Category Archives: Vinyl

The Sidekicks – SAM – 7″ Review

I just found my new favorite hometown punk rock band thanks to a friend who literally left me their four song 7″ SAM in my door on Monday. I still have yet to hear their full release but I can tell you that from the four songs I heard I was turned to an instant fan.

The band is called The Sidekicks and they hail from all three major Ohio cities according to their MySpace page.  Recently just playing Berea Fest IV the band has a pretty big east coast tour lined up in front of them where they will finish off in NYC but only to hit the road again at the end of October to play the Gainsville, FL Fest 8.

The 7″ was actually a tie me over until their full length So Long, Soggy Dog was released and just gives you a small taste of how great this band is.  Heavy pop punk with hints towards acts like The Falcon, The Lawrence Arms, Gaslight Anthem, The Get Up Kids, even O Pioneers!!! This band has some serious potential at making a name for themselves with their upbeat punk as well as a matured indie rock feel.

I did not know what to expect when I spun this 7″  and “Hop On A Sea Cow & Manatee Up” played, but I can tell you I was moderately shocked at how solid sounding it was.  The band has some serious talent and this song alone won me over.  The first band that came to mind if someone asked me what this song sounded like easily would be Millencolin.

“Bryant Gregst (gets nervous)” honestly had more so an indie rock feel to it but that did not discourage me one bit.  The singing alone was so charismatic and inviting I had to give it another listen just to enjoy it some more. “The Island” again was more so an indie rock jam but it was so good especially at the climax of the song where lead singer just explodes vocally.

For a mere four bucks this 7″ can be yours too by heading over to Woah Oh Records, or if you prefer you can download it from iTunes as well.  If you want to take it a step further head over to Vinyl Collective and put in and order their full length So Long, Soggy Dog.

If you are a fan of punk rock you really need to at least check these guys out.  From what I hear their live shows are not to be missed and now that I know of their existence I will make a huge effort to hit one of their shows.

I’m not sure how much longer a band like The Sidekicks will be and underground punk band seeing as they have the skills to play with the big boys.  I can only imagine the crowd at Fest 8 when The Sidekicks introduce themselves to all the punk rock loving fans.  I am sure the outcome of their set will be amazing.

Just do me a favor guys, don’t forget about Cleveland.

The Sidekicks – Hop On a Sea Cow & Manatee Up from If You Make It on Vimeo.

May The Fourth Be With You – Weekend Follies In Fours

There is nothing better than having a four day weekend. Well maybe there are some other things out there that can be better, but one of them is definitely not having to work for four straight days and getting paid for one of them as it is a holiday. Add buying stuff, hanging with friends, and good eats and I would have to argue that nothing could be better.


Thursday the lady and I went for an amazing lunch at Yellow Tail in Fairlawn.  For $10 a person we got to engulf as much sushi, salads, desserts, and other buffet quality foods.  It was awesome and I am going back there very soon.  I was obsessed with the seaweed salad as well as the sushi tempura.

After we stuffed ourselves silly we stopped at Square Records in Akron for a quick look around at what was good.  I left there with some sweet finds including a Judgement Night soundtrack single and some Thom Yorke remixes from his album Eraser.

It was a nice little date for the two of us.  She had plans to go to go over to a friends for movie night and I just kicked it in the bedroom for the rest of the night.  It was a perfect way for me to start the weekend.

Last Friday was a day I really need to recap with a little more detail seeing how on much fun it was.  For starters I decided to head out to the good shops on Waterloo Rd. in East Cleveland where I dropped some $$$ on some vinyl at Music Saves (new Dinosaur Jr & Against Me! if you were wondering) and then killed some time at Shoparooni and Blue Arrow before heading to Lakewood to meet up with my pal Matt.

Once Matt and I met up we decided to grab a bite to eat but not before making a stop at My Mind’s Eye where I snagged up a couple more records (Coner Oberst & another Against Me!).  With my wallet feeling a little lighter we headed across the street to Angelo’s where for the first time I actually tried something other than the pizza.

Feeling full thanks to devouring my shrimp fettuccine alfredo and a slice of tiramisu, Matt and I ventured out to the Gordon Square Arts District area and made way in to the Happy Dog, a quaint little bar where Chris Allen & The Guilty Hearts with very special guest Don Dixon were to play a show that night.  Earlier in the week Matt had asked me if I wanted to join him as he was very excited to see Don Dixon live finally.  Figuring he would never make it down my way unless someone else drove him I happy oblidged to join him.

After dropping over $80 on records and a sweet Music Saves pint glass earlier in the day I feel as if I was given a break by the door-lady at the Happy Dog as she kindly waved us in saying it was not 9pm yet so no cover charge was needed.  Scoping out the bar we found a booth that was pretty close to the stage and parked it there for the night.

A very young and green opening act (their band’s name escapes me) took the stage and cranked out some original tunes as well as a Tom Petty cover and even a bold Wilco cover of “Jesus Etc.”, I was impressed with the kids.  I almost felt bad for them seeing how nervous they were but they really did a good job and everyone in attendance made sure they they let the kids know they were doing a good job.

Chris Allen was joined on stage by Don Dixon for the whole set.  Where as I am not familiar with any of their music I just relaxed and enjoyed the music.  Good times.

When Chris Allen and his band left Don Dixon to be alone for a while I became intrigued.  I was aware, thanks to Matt, that Don Dixon produced the Smithereens and R.E.M. back in the day so it was pretty clear the man was a veteran musician.  I was not sure what he was going to sound like as he started playing his acoustical guitar but was soon answered that question when he started to sing.  He had, to me, a very Elvis Costello resemblance and I really enjoyed the few songs he played.

Chris Allen and band joined Don Dixon back on the stage for play the second half of their set.  The mostly middle aged crowd there was going nuts.  The locals who use the Happy Dog as a Friday night drinking hole were not too excited, especially the ones who learned they needed to pay to get in the doors.

It was about at this time that another person was added to our table.  The very cool Emily who runs The Cleveland Caper met up with us to enjoy some of the tunes.

Honestly I think we had more fun making jokes at one another and surrounding people.  Regardless it was a good time.  Emily’s boss even met up with us for a couple of drinks after the band finished playing their songs.  We all sat snugly in the booth and continued to poke fun at one another as well as just engage in good conversation.

At one time Matt was telling us about how he and the Cleveland Bachelor went to see Kevin Costner play at the House Of Blues.  Somewhere in the conversation Matt hollered “Waterworld” where Don Dixon heard us and walked over to join our small party.

It was awesome just to sit there and talk to this guy who has a lot of music history running through his blood.  Trying not to talk to much I just let Matt and Don Dixon chat for a moment because I knew Matt was really excited to have him sit with us and talk shop even if it were only for a few minutes.

Having drained my iPhone battery earlier in the night from posting tons of Twitter lies about Matt, I had just enough juice to take a photo of Matt and Don Dixon.  After a warm shake for the guys and a more gentleman kiss on the hand for the ladies Don Dixon bid us a good evening and went back to collecting his gear.

Back to a table of four we kept conversing for a bit and before I knew it the time was after 2am and I really needed to get a start on that almost hour drive home.

Friday night was an awesome night even if I hardly slept.  I needed a night like that and I thank Matt and Emily for being a part of it (and Emily’s friend/boss too).

Saturday of course was the 4th of July. Woo, a day where people can go up to local fireworks stores, lie about where they are going to blow them off at since it is illegal to discharge fireworks in Ohio, and return home only to narrowly blow off a finger while carelessly lighting off M-80’s after a full day of drinking…

The day does not mean much to me as far as a drinking aspect goes so it was more like a day off from the work.  I did however have to go to my work as I left a flash drive there and needed it for review purposes.  After picking up my much needed storage device the lady and I headed up to the grocery store to buy junk food and grill food.  Jalapeno Cheetos are the bomb by the way.

The day (as well as the next day, Sunday) was all about hanging out with friends and family (and the pups) and was something that I needed.  I had some good eats, good sleeps, and just overall good times.  When I had down time I took a few moments to spin a couple of the records I had purchased.  I also joined the lady in some long ass naps.  I never nap so it was even that much more special.

So now that I have some alone time once again I thought it would be best to reflet upon about the weekend as well as relax a little bit more once again with the needle on the record…

Those Darlins + BluBlocker Sunglasses + First Vinyl Saturday

As if I don’t talk about these lovely ladies enough, I have some more Those Darlins news…



Those Darlins and drummer Sheriff Lin are hitting the road in support of Those Darlins debut album release.  Release shows include special guests The Black Lips, Heavy Trash (Jon Spencer), The So So Glos and We Are Country Mice (details below).  Other performances include a KCRW sponsored event, Bonnaroo, Mountain Aid, and Bristol Rhythm n Roots Festival.

This release tour is in part sponsored by BluBlocker Sunglasses.

(You remember Blublockers: Not since the Oak Ridge Boys has Blublockers supported a musical act.

Whether fishing, trying to imagine what the 70’s looked like (from behind the glasses), or playing state trooper; Blublockers are affordable sunglasses that provide a one of a kind visual experience and role-playing fun…!

Those Darlins and Blublockers first endeavor together is to provide fans who buy the vinyl at select indie retailers a free pair of the sunglasses.  This offer begins on the first Record Store Day Presents Vinyl Saturday happening June 20th.

The Darlins during their recording of the album with Kelley and Nikki Darlins wearing Blublockers:


5/29: Los Angeles, CA @ House of Campari $$
6/5: Florence, AL @ Mobile St.
6/11: Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
6/16: Columbus, OH @ The Basement *
6/17: Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Café  *
6/18: Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar  *
6/19: Bristol, VA @ Border Bash
6/20: Pittsboro, NC @ Mountain Aid
6/20: Asheville, NC @ BOBO Gallery
6/25: Atlanta @ Drunken Unicorn
6/26: Athens, GA @ AthFest
6/27: Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge $
7/7: Arlington, VA @ Iota Club & Cafe
7/9: NYC @ Mercury Lounge +
7/10: Brooklyn @ Southpaw  **, ++
7/11: Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda’s
7/13: Pittsburgh @ Club Café
7/14: Cleveland @ Beach Land Tavern
7/15: Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room
7/16: Indianapolis @ Radio Radio
7/17: Chicago @ Schubas
7/18: Minneapolis @ 7th St. Entry
7/20: Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Company
7/21: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown Front Room
7/22: Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
7/23: Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar
7/24: St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
7/25: Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
9/18 & 19: Bristol, VA @ Bristol Roots & Reunion Festival

*  W/Elvis Perkins
+  W/Heavy Trash (Jon Spencer) CD RELEASE PARTY
$$ W/Jason Eldredge of KCRW, Paper Magazine, and MOCA Contemporaries (RSVP)




Record Store Day presents Vinyl release date: June 20th
Official Vinyl Release Date: June 23rd
CD: July 7th

Suburban Home Records + The Takers = Free MP3

If you have not heard of Suburban Home Records yet you really need to, it might just make you a better person.  The music label is home to a slew of great indie, punk, and even country/folk artists and has been putting out some great releases by, just to name a couple, Tim Barry of Avail, Joey Cape of Lagwagon, Ninja Gun, and even Austin Lucas.

Just today I received an email from Tony @ No Idea Records that I thought I should share with everyone out there about a pretty sweet offer:

Gainesville’s newest outlaw country band, The Takers, have just posted a free downloadable MP3 from their upcoming debut album, entitled Taker Easy, that will be released by Suburban Home Records on LP/CD July 21st.

You can download an MP3 of the title track “Taker Easy” on the Suburban Home Records website HERE.

The band recently leaked three other tracks from the album. You can stream “Curse of a Drunk,” “Drift,” and “Friends in Bottles” on the band’s MySpace page.

The band describes their sound as being “influenced by 70’s outlaw country and honky-tonk classics made standard at the time by legends like Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr.”

Members have been playing in various Gainesville bands for years, with two members currently pulling double duty in No Idea Record’s Whiskey & Co.

The Takers released a 7” version of “Curse of a Drunk” on Suburban Home Records this past fall and have plans to release a collaborative split 7” with Austin Lucas in the near future

Take advantage of this opportunity.  As a fan of outlaw country I really got a kick out of this song and can not wait till the full release of the album.

If you liked what you heard here are a following options you have if you would like to order a copy:

If you want to be ahead of the game and would like to pre-order a CD copy of Taker Easy you should click HERE.

If you want to be a little cooler, pre-order a copy of the Taker Easy beer colored LP by clicking HERE.

If you want to one up everyone else and be the coolest, click HERE and pre-order the deluxe set that includes the LP, CD, T-Shirt, Beer Cozie, Shot Glass, Poster, and Button.  Now that is DELUXE.

Finally if you are the ultimate vinyl collector in the world, click HERE to order a hand-numbered and hand-written test pressing copy of The Taker’s Curse Of A Drunk 7″.  Keep in mind though that only 5 to 20 pressings are created each time a test pressing is created so supplies are extremely limited.

I can not be held responsible for empty wallets so order at your own risk.  I know I am seriously contemplating pre-ordering the LP because I know I am going to listen to it over and over.  The CD and LP will be released on 07/21/2009.

The Takers Tour Dates:
Jun 23 – The Atlantic-Gainesville, Florida
Jun 24 – TBA-Daytona Beach , Florida
Jun 25 – Tobacco Road -Miami, Florida
Jun 26 – Propaganda -Lake Worth, Florida
Jun 27 – New World Brewery, Ybor City, Florida
Jun 28 – Wills Pub , Orlando, Florida

(Hopefully one day they will make it up to Cleveland…hint hint)

Good Buy: Detournement – Screaming Response EP

While at the Bouncing Souls show last week I was checking out the merch booth grabbing some goodies for myself.  As I was waiting for the merch guy to return to the booth, I saw this interesting looking 7″ vinyl on the counter.  It grabbed my attention mostly because of the jacket.  The jacket was actually wrapped in sand paper making for a unique look.

Not knowing who the band was I added it to my pile of goodies and went on with my night.

Today I finally had a chance to check out my impulse buy.  The band is called Detournement and their debut EP titled Screaming Response was released on the Bouncing Souls’ record label Chunksaah Records.  The band enjoyed the EP so much they were selling it at their shows and boy am I glad they did.

The eight song EP is full of political powerful punk rock goodness with very thought out lyrics combined with punk music that almost reminds me of Rancid especially with the Matt Freemon-like bass riffs throughout the EP.  Heavy on the hardcore punk side at times and overall a good listen, I really enjoyed this blind purchase a lot.

If you want to pick up a copy for yourself head over to Chunksaah Records and grab one for the low low price of $6!

Detournement features members of Lifetime, Bigwig, Ensign, Plan A Project, and Worthless United.

Pressing Info:
Yellow Version: 195 pcs available from Pirates Press Records
Grey Version: 190 pcs available from Chunksaah Records
Black Version: 85 pcs available at Detournement shows (or Bouncing Souls as that is where I got mine)