Cincinnati pop-punkers Mixtapes just dropped a new song off their highly anticipated upcoming album. The song, called “Hey Ma Pt. 2”, can be heard on AbsolutePunk.com.
“This song was fun to make,” says singer/guitarist Ryan Rockwell. “When it was done, musically I felt like the verses had a bouncy almost Superchunk type vibe and we were really happy with how it came out. I think it fits the album well. The album as a whole is upbeat and was a blast to make.”
I for one can so I am super stoked about this song and their upcoming release. I am really excited to see this band mature in the last couple years and can not wait to see what they have to offer on their new album.
Check out another new track titled “Even On The Worst Nights” by Mixtapes on AltPress.com.
Maybe some of you remember the interview I did with Evan Lovett earlier this year. He is an amazing artist and happens to do some amazing tattoos as well. It was a fun interview from a guy who gave me an amazing tattoo while I was in Austin for Fun Fun Fun Fest.
Evan Lovett is actually going to have a booth at Hell City in Columbus, OH from May 4th to the 6th. If you are going to be in the area that weekend, I highly suggest you stop at his booth and say hello. The guy is super friendly and will actually have some prints for sale.
Lovett actually still has a few appointments open at Hell City. If you are interested in getting an amazing tattoo from Lovett, email him at email@example.com to see what he still has open.
Singer / songwriter Jeff Rowe is one of the most DIY guys I have had the pleasure of meeting. A few months back, he stopped and played a show in Akron at the Gurley House. I remembered canceling plans to see another band that night just to make sure I could see Rowe play. I’ve been a fan of his music after I reviewed his solo-debut Barstool Conversations last year. There was just something about his sincere-ness in every song that I ate up and when I found out he was touring, I really wanted to make sure I was in attendance.
That night, I chatted with Rowe for a while and I will say this: He is hands down one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. His wife was pretty damn awesome too. His stories were great and he was just so happy to be able to play for everyone at the house that night.
I finally got some time to chat with Rowe again, this time through email, as I feel more people need to know about this DIY musician. I look forward to the next time he swings through Akron and can not wait for his next release.
BHP – First and foremost, for those who do not know you, who are you and what is it that you do?
JR – I’m a songwriter (sigh) from just north of Boston. I tour a lot and do my best to have a great time and make friends along the way. I’m more of a story collector than a story teller.
You grew up in a tough town just outside of Boston. How did you deal with the hard times as a youth?
The fair city of Gloucester, Massachusetts made for an interesting childhood. In all my travels I’ve still not yet come across a place quite like it. “The Island” is really a conundrum of sorts that is packed with characters that Hemingway would have been banging the keys for if he were writing an episode of the twilight zone. I had a mixed bag of a childhood but falling in love with music in many ways created an exit strategy for me and a way to not fall into some of the trappings that we all know too well.
What types of music were you listening to while growing up?
In the kitchen and living room my mom would be listening to Neil Diamond, Joan Baez and various Motown artists…from my brothers room i would hear Metallica, Slayer and COC… From my sisters room could be heard The Dead Kennedy’s, The Pixies and the Violent Femmes… I think all of that wound up giving me a healthy appreciation for music and shaped my listening habits as a child.
So how did you get your start as a musician? Was Boxing Water the first band you were in?
I got a guitar when I was fifteen years old and started a few local punk bands and helped start a small venue that would later play a vital role for the north shore punk scene as a whole, a life source of sorts. It was a room that held maybe 40 people but we’d pack in a hundred. It still amazes me today thinking about how many bands came through our little venue that went on to be national acts. It was all very DIY for me from the start, my feeling was that if you want something to happen you’ve got to make it happen because no one is gonna do it for you.
What happened to Boxingwater? Where can I find some of their songs at?
Boxingwater was together for 6 or 7 years, we started moving around a bit and it just got to be too hard. Two of the members of Boxingwater are now in the band Landmines and they are fantastic. I was in several bands before Boxingwater but that band was the first time i took it seriously and tried to do something that would go beyond Massachusetts. Most of our stuff is now out of print but I think we may try to get some kind of discography going one of these years, I’ll send you some songs though.
Sweet! You left a punk band and completely shifted in musical style. When did you decide that punk music was not your thing anymore?
I’ve never felt that punk wasn’t my thing at all, playing acoustic is something that I’ve been doing for many years now and it just sort of took over organically and went from convenient to a legit outlet. I love playing songs alone and feeling like I’m walking a wire of sorts with no band to fall back on but at the same time I really do miss playing in a band. That is something I am going to re-visit at some point for sure. Right now its so much easier to tour and write on my own.
Playing acoustic music huh? How did that transition happen?
To be honest I started playing acoustic shows years back when I couldn’t find a drummer and it forced me to take a more detailed look at my songs and how I’d be able to format them to be played acoustic. It really just kind of stuck and i got offered more shows and just went with it. My horizons have been broadened as a result and I’ve stumbled (literally) across some great music that exists beyond the bounds of the punk community.
I heard that you left Boston for Richmond, Va., to more or less perfect your musical style. Is that true? Did you have any influences there that helped you fine tune your act?
I actually moved down to RVA with a bunch of Boston friends because it was much cheaper and we thought it would be easier to tour, not to mention that Richmond is a great city as well. I made many friends down there but I’m not sure how much of an effect it had on my music or playing acoustic in general. Richmond has always had a wealth of great bands from Born Against and Inquisition up to Smoke or Fire and Landmines.
Your debut full length Barstool Conversations was dropped about a year ago, how personal were the songs on that release to you? It was not the most upbeat album, but to me hit me hard in a good way.
Barstool for me is a very personal record. There is a lot of myself and my close friends in those songs. In a way I think songs are my way of confronting some things in my life that I otherwise couldn’t find the words to articulate or convey what it was exactly that I was feeling. Those songs are all very real for me and I’m proud of that record for what it is and even though in some cases it makes my head spin that those songs had to be written, I wouldn’t change a thing.
You have toured not only the US but also overseas. What were your experiences like while traveling?
The travel is one of the absolute best parts of touring for me. Music has taken me to places that I never thought I’d get the opportunity to see and I’m real thankful for that. I’ve made some friends in far off cities and countries that I will have for the rest of my life and nothing can touch that. The experience of letting your guard down in a foreign country and just going with whatever the days and experiences bring is something that I’ll always keep close and those memories are the ones that inevitably stick when the tour is over.
You tour with your wife correct?
I always tour with my wife Alissa. She is my best friend and to be honest she’d much better with handling the rigors of the road and more adept than most folks I’ve ever traveled with. At the end of the day we both want the same things and neither one of us is willing to fracture our relationship over extensive touring so we do it together, the planning, the routing, merch etc…
You dropped an EP in the spring called New Winter, New England. I dug what I heard, but what exactly is a Tragabigzanda?
Tragabigzanda is what the city of Gloucester was called by its original inhabitants. All that seems to be left of that history is a road on the outskirts of town where wealthy folks “summer” called Tragabigzanda. I used it because I thought it was fitting because the song is really about trying to remember the innocence of teenage years and the steps that were taken to inevitably lose it. Also there is an amazing poet from Gloucester named Charles Olson that dropped it a few times in his earlier work.
Are you going to record a new full length anytime soon? Will you put that song you recorded in a hotel room in it? I forget what it was called, but I loved it when you played it live at the Gurley House.
Right now I’m writing and culling through a bunch of new songs to start piecing together the next record, not sure of any timeline, but by the end of 2012 I’d very much like to have a new record out. That song is called “simple & fair” and I’m 99.9% sure that’s going on the next one.
When we chatted the night you played Akron, you were telling me some funny stories about touring Europe. Care to entertain the readers here with one or two?
Where to begin… I’ve actually thought about compiling a bunch of road stories for a zine and giving them out at the merch table to anyone interested. I could take up pages and pages for this one. I’ll just say that I’ve got a doozy that takes place in Russia and involves a man that’s incapable of reading social queues, a potential kidnapping, wild dogs and Dostoevsky.
Potential Kidnapping? I do not think you told me that one. I would totally love to read that. So, when not touring you have quite the cool job back home in Boston. Who is it that you work for again?
I have been a professional craft brewer for the last five years with Harpoon Brewery in Boston. It’s a fantastic job that couples hard work with science… perfect for a dork like me.
Two dream jobs, man you lucked out. What’s next for Jeff Rowe?
I’ve got a split 7″ with a sick pop punk band called Mayflower. We both have an original and we cover one of each others songs. I’ll be playing Fest 10 and plan on hitting the road again in Feb. It looks like I’ve got Europe, U.S., Canada and beyond on the docket.
Check out Jeff Rowe’s website, http://jeffrowemusic.com/, for more videos and updates from this one man band (and his lovely wife). If you want to hear more of his music, head over to his MySpace page or Facebook page. Better yet, head over to Anchorless Records and grab one of his albums!
So as many of you know, Broken Headphones has turned 3 years old this month. I am so stoked to have been able to continue fueling this site with nonsence and without you, the reader, it would never have been possible.
So thanks to everyone out there that has wasted some of their life on my site. It means a ton to me.
In a celebration of sorts, I have gotten a few bands to play a show in Kent on Aug. 28th. That’s this Sunday for those of you who may not have a calender handy.
I have made acquaintances with the folk/punk/country/rock Ninja Gun thanks to this site. Jonathan Coody, the lead singer of the band, emailed me a while back thanking me for giving a review I did on their sophomore release Restless Rubes. We have kept in touch ever since. Mixing a bit of country and folk into rock and punk has never sounded so good.
Punk rockers Playoff Beard (love the name) hail from Pittsburgh and Kent (I know one of the members is a fellow alumni). I wish I could say I knew more of their material, but I guess I will find out more in a couple of days. I will be sure to fill you all in.
Worship This! are a group of good guys who I am happy to call friends. They also have a good thing going for them as their DIY punk rock band is just awesome. I try and not talk up my friend’s bands a lot, but I am just thrilled about their sound. Recently the foursome opened up for Iron Chic in NYC. That right there is bad ass.
The show is going to start around 9pm and is 21+ only. Formerly Professor’s Pub, the Stone Tavern is in the heart of Kent located at 110 E. Main St., Kent, OH, 44242.
This is a free show, but donations are encouraged for the touring band.
Come out and have fun. The Stone Tavern has a great beer list and is just a fun place in general to hang at.
Who cares if the show is on a Sunday night? Get your music-loving butts out to Kent and come see these kick awesome bands!!!
Last Wednesday Columbus, Ohio was the place to be if you were looking for an amazing rock show. New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem headlined the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion with special guests Chamberlain and Tim Barry and I must say, all who packed the floor knew well in advance that they were in for a good time. It was a show I had been looking forward to since it was announced in the Spring and luckily I was able to be a part of it.
Even if it down-poured on the way down there and careless drivers kept trying to crash into my vehicle my friends and I made it down to Columbus with some time to kill. Having never been to the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion before I was not sure if it was an indoor or outdoor venue. Turns out it was both but due to a baseball game at the neighboring stadium the show was going to be played inside.
While wasting some time I enjoyed a tall, cheap, and ice cold Natural Light (no I did not get paid to say that) as I conversed with friends and the people around me at the A&R Music Bar that stood left to the concert hall. Turns out we were not the only folk who traveled to see the show. One group of guys, who I swear I knew one of, were from Cleveland and another few came all the way from Indianapolis. I also got word that someone else I knew was traveling from Charleston, WV. When it is a show like the one we all had tickets to, it was worth the drive no matter how far away.
Making way into the indoor section of the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion I was impressed with what I saw. The inside was not only super clean but nicely laid out with a split level floor as well as an upper floor where one could see the stage just about anywhere you hung out. My only vice was that my photo pass only allowed access to the photo pit for Tim Barry, not that I am complaining. I just had never encountered a venue so strict with their press before. Regardless I was beyond pleased to be in the building that was about to host three exciting acts even if it were going to be indoors.
Tim Barry took to the stage with a beer in hand and a baseball cap shut down over his head. While most know Barry as the punk rock lead of Avail there were many who had no idea who he was. There seemed to be a lot in the crowd who were expecting more than a man and his acoustic guitar to fill the opening slot.
That soon changed as the Richmond, Virginian working class hero kept close to the mic stand and strummed his guitar playing “This November”. The punk turned folk rocker told everyone how busy he has been being on the road touring since January and pointed out at one time that he was not afraid of death at all but feared failure and especially being on stage playing a bad show.
I was most impressed to hear Barry not only play “Prosser’s Gabriel” but also state to the crowd before the song that he was planning on playing a free show on the parking lot in Virginia that lies over the burial site of Gabriel Prosser. The punk at heart bad ass was not kidding and even mentioned being told to bring along a lawyer because he knew he would get arrested. By the time the song was over just about everyone in the venue had their eyes on the one man show. Other tracks I enjoyed seeing live were “Avoiding Catatonic Surrender” as well as the end of the set chilling “Dog Bumped”. During that final song I could not help but scream along in approval (queue in Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison applauds) with the crowd during different moments of the track.
Barry might be a tough mother you-know-what, but he is also sincere and genuine as seen when he thanked the crowd for letting him play once it was time for him to exit. While the next act was getting set up Barry was actually walking around amongst the crowd where my two friend’s spotted him and bought him a beer. I was told that Barry said not only thank you to them but also yelled “that’s the biggest damn beer I ever seen!”
Tim Barry Setlist:
Moving on Blue
Church of Level Track
Avoiding Catatonic Surrender
Chamberlain hit the stage next and as much as I thought I was going to enjoy their set I didn’t. I have heard their material and recognized when certain songs were played like “Try For Thunder” and “Mountain Of A Heart” off The Moon My Saddle but just was not impressed. They sounded much rockier than what I am used to on their studio album and not to mention the lead singer was just acting off key. I am not the only one who noticed that either. Luckily for the band my thoughts about them were not shared with the rest of the crowd. They loved them and erupted with approval when the band stated they were happy to be back in Columbus.
The band played through a good set including “Manhattan’s Iron Horses”, “Stars In The Streetlight”, and the impressive live sounding “Raise It High” which I later picked up a 7″ of at their merch table. They were solid and on point but again I just was not feeling it (until the last song). I really need to give these guys another chance live as I love their albums and especially adore their previous act Split Lip.
The rock band of the night, hell -the year, Gaslight Anthem took the stage while Jay-Z’s “Empire State Of Mind” blasted over the PA with all smiles to the packed house. Wasting no time the band jumped into their latest album’s title track “American Slang” followed by “Boxer”. Brian Fallon and crew looked so happy to be on stage and gave the crowd the show they paid for continuing with my favorite track off American Slang “The Diamond Church Street Choir”. During the song I was curious to see if Fallon would be able to sing his Billy Joel-like ending and to my satisfaction he nailed it.
Keeping the momentum the band moved along with “Old White Lincoln”, “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues”, as well as “Mile Davis and The Cool” and “The 59 Sound”. Needless to say the entire crowd helped sing along throughout the set as well as danced, moshed, and just lost all control. After “Film Noir” Fallon spoke to the crowd but be it my bad ears or him strumming his guitar a little too hard, I could barely understand what he was saying. He mentioned to the crowd something along the lines that his Mom loved and shared this band from 1959 that featured a bunch of African-American men playing on an album with some guy named Elvis. The band immediately broke into “Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?” – Again, the place went insane.
After about six more songs including “Blue Jeans and White T-shirts” and “The Queen of Lower Chelsea” the band finished up their set with “Great Expectations”. Knowing that there would be an encore in just a few moments I was already fully satisfied or so I thought. With the crowd cheering in a soccer like chant of ” Gaslight Anthem” followed by claps the band returned to the stage and announced they would be playing a few more songs starting off with a cover of Lucero‘s “The War”. All I could think was how awesome it was going to be to hear their version when all of the sudden Tim Barry came out and sang along. I was speechless.
The encore, which lasted longer than most opening acts I have seen in my day, also included “We Came To Dance”, “Senor and the Queen”, and another cover from a band called The Who. It has been quite some time since I have seen an entire venue participate during a song but the moment “Baba O’Riley” started that all changed. The Gaslight Anthem’s version was exceptional and the moment they finished Fallon screamed “Yeah! So much fun!” He was correct in that statement, it was. I thought the show was over and that was the band’s farewell but they kept playing and I was not complaining one bit. Ending with “The Backseat” it was clear that I was not the only one who had just witnessed an amazing performance by a young and growing talented band.
The band exited the stage, the lights came on, and that was it – the show was over and it was time to go on our separate ways. Immediately the saying “the memories will last a lifetime” rolled thought my mind and I could not agree more. Throughout all of the shows I have seen this year this one will stand out a little more over the others. I was treated to an amazing performance by a band I have been a fan of since they were playing small clubs as well as finally grabbed the chance to see a good man named Tim Barry. That night is what live music is all about to me and I am grateful to have been there.
The Gaslight Anthem Setlist:
The Diamond Church Street Choir
Old White Lincoln
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
Bring It On
Miles Davis & The Cool
The ’59 Sound
Red In The Morning
Angry Johnny & The Radio
Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
Boomboxes & Dictionaries
The Spirit Of Jazz
The Queen Of Lower Chelsea
The War – Lucero cover w/ Tim Barry lending vocals
We Came To Dance
Senor & The Queen
We’re Getting A Divorce, You Keep The Diner
Boba O’Riley – The Who cover
Here’s Looking At You Kid