Night Birds announce tour with No Problem (2015)

Night Birds have announced an East Coast tour. The band is simultaneously recording their new LP which will be out on Fat Wreck Chords.  The band will be joined by No Problem

Date City Venue With
March 27, 2015 East Setauket, NY East Setauket VFW Hall Night Birds, No Problem
March 28, 2015 Boston, MA Middle East Night Birds, No Problem, Conmen, Life Problem (Early Show)
March 28, 2015 Providence, RI Funky Jungle Night Birds, No Problem, Beartrap, Wokling (Late Show)
March 29, 2015 Brooklyn, NY Acheron Night Birds, No Problem, Sonic Poison, Nuclear Santa Clause
March 30, 2015 New Brunswick, NJ House Show Night Birds, No Problem, Future Damage
March 31, 2015 Asbury Park, NJ Asbury Lanes Night Birds, No Problem, Mental Abuse, Stag Party
April 1, 2015 Philadelphia, PA Ortliebs Night Birds, No Problem, DopestrokE
April 2, 2015 Pittsburgh, PA The Shop Night Birds, No Problem, The Sicks, Blood Pressure
April 3, 2015 Richmond, VA House Show Night Birds, No Problem, Orgasm, Reactor 4
April 4, 2015 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery Night Birds, No Problem, Pure Junk, Widows Watch

Tiny Engines to reissue State Faults EP

Tiny Engines announced the first proper physical release of Head In The Clouds, the debut EP from Santa Rosa, CA’s State Faults. The album was only released in digital form in 2010 and the long wait for a physical release is finally over. Head In The Clouds has been remixed and remastered and the vinyl is now available for Order with immediate digital download. The vinyl is a one-sided 12″ with etched B-side. The EP is also available now on Bandcamp for $4 or iTunes.

Jeff Lohrber leaves Today Is The Day

Jeff Lohrber from Enabler is no longer playing drums for Today Is The Day.  Here is his statement from Facebook:

“I am no longer playing drums for Today is the Day. I appreciate all of my friends who reached out to me saying that they were excited to see me again for the upcoming tour, but I will not be there. I also appreciate all the positive comments about my work behind the kit on Animal Mother and the touring that followed. I’ll forever be proud of the album I finally got to make with one of my favorite bands. I’ll just leave it at that.”

You Indie Feature: An interview with Stelth Ulvang

Stelth Ulvang (photo by Norah Hoover)

Stelth Ulvang (photo by Norah Hoover)

Although the name Stelth Ulvang probably isn’t familiar, his performance with celebrated Denver, Colorado-based folk rockers The Lumineers probably is. The band’s self-title debut album, released in mid-2012 peaked at number two on the Billboard charts in early 2013 and has been certified platinum in the U.S. As a result they were nominated for both Billboard Music Awards and Grammy Awards.

Ulvang released his first proper solo album, and as always the in infinite cosmos, on February 19 and has a pair of Southwest Ohio tour dates where he’ll road test his skillful, multi-layered rock tunes. You Indie caught up with him to discuss the LP, and the delicate balance between songwriting and showmanship, and communicating with  life on other planets.

The new LP is your second solo record?

It is actually my first. I put out a couple little EPs here and there. I was in another band called Dovekins and put out records with them, but this will be the first record that are solely my songs.

Your solo material is pretty piano centric.

This album is about 50/50 piano songs versus guitar songs.

What is it about writing on those instruments that lends itself to the stories you are telling?

A lot of the music I was listening to before was piano-inspired. I like the formalness and grandeur of pianos in a lot of music going back to Elton John or Jerry Lee Lewis or Leon Russell.  The transfer of physical energy that is being moved into an instrument is powerful. The same can be said about a guitar. I’ve always liked that about the piano – that everything you are playing is something you can feel as you are doing it.

There is also a 16-piece orchestra on half of the record, which felt fitting to the music as it was written in an older Quincy Jones kind of way. I’ve always liked those big, powerful Hollywood strings that supplement pop songs, although my songs aren’t as pop as they could be and the strings aren’t filling up the Hollywood Bowl…it was my small attempt while recording in a little studio in Portland.

Did you write the compositions for the orchestra?

I didn’t. I wrote the songs in New Zealand in 2012, and contacted a friend of mine who I’d met while I was living in Hawaii. I really wanted him to collaborate with me and he’d been going to school for composition. So I gave him a few of my ideas and he pulled the compositions together and wrote them for an orchestra that I could afford.

You were happy with those arrangements?

I loved a lot of it.  It was interesting handing over that creative power.  It is also interesting not having his name centered on the record seeing that he added so much to it.  I am excited to play with him more and to support him as much as possible.

In your live shows you are communicating in an aggressive, almost Jerry Lee Lewis like kind of way. How important is it to be a showman as well as a songwriter?

I think it is pretty valuable. There are two-sides of the spectrum, maybe more. And ideally we’d like to be in the middle of the two, although I know a lot of musicians that just want to be songwriters. Touring makes them sick. I love travelling and I love touring. I love being on stage way more than I like being in the studio.

I value stage space as well. And movement. From an audience perspective, I like looking at a stage that doesn’t just sit two-dimensional on a grid or axis. There is movement upwards and forwards and into the crowd and behind the crowd. I love explosive movement within a band.

Can you recall a time when you were on stage and really noticed that connection that comes with showmanship, between performer and audience?

I grew up doing theater. There is the idea of breaking the fourth wall between the audience and the crowd. In theater, you don’t often do that, but as musicians we do when we engage or talk to the crowd. I think it is really incredible when musicians push that even further.

Two things stick out to me, the first is that made for TV, theater version of Peter Pan where they had her on the cables flying around. I’m also reminded of Imagine Dragons who do a very similar thing with cables. They can afford that kind of thing, where as a solo artist I can’t, but they are able to fly the singer over the crowd with a giant drum. It is jaw-dropping to see. That’s the kind of stuff that happens with Tommy Lee and Lady Gaga or Katy Perry. But that is a defining thing for them as entertainers and provides some incredibly entertaining moments.

Ideally, we’d all like to find that balance; where we can give someone that experience, but also have lyricism and songs and music that comes from the heart.

Is storytelling a part of your show?

Yes. I’m not yet as good at it as I’d like to be yet. I spend a lot of time in bands were I don’t speak. So in my shows it is up to me to do that. I don’t want to have a shtick that’s not me, but I would like to have an honest flow of the thoughts that I’m thinking on stage. Sometimes you see a band and just want them to shut up and play. Maybe I can figure out that balance on this tour.  I have 30-some shows coming up to practice. By the time I’m in Dayton, perhaps my banter will be on lock.

Will you be touring with a band?

I will.  There will be four of us.  Drums, bass, guitar and piano.   The music will be a little different than the record.  I think we have found some pretty good balances though on how to recreate those tunes.

You mentioned that you recorded the album in Portland.  When did you record that and who is releasing the album?

I recorded the album on breaks with the Lumineers; bits and pieces on breaks between tours. It was almost two years of back and forth in the studio.  When it became time to finish the record, I hadn’t spent any time at all publicizing it or sending it around.  I was more focused on documenting the songs.  Some I’m thinking of this as a little booster album that I can tour on while I try to find someone to help me about out another record that may be more representative of what I’m doing now as a four piece.

Can you identify a single song on the record that is your favorite, and if so, what is that song about?

Yeah, it has come to be “Carl Sagan.” It isn’t directly about Carl Sagan in the traditional sense.  There is a really inspiring story about him and a woman that was working with him on the Voyager project.  They sent a gold record into space with the Voyager and if it was ever discovered by intelligent life, there were instructions to but the record on a turntable that is also in the spacecraft.  It is crazy that any funding went towards this, but it was the ‘70s so it was kind of a hippie idea that came to fruition.

Anyway, he worked with this lady Andrea throughout the bulk of the project picking the songs out and deciding what messages would be on this golden record for all alien life to hear.  One of the last moments before they finished it, when it was just barely incomplete, he asks her to marry him and she is so elated that she says she wants to go to the lab right now.  In the lab they hook up nodes to her temples and record the electromagnetic activity in her brain at that moment of excitement and feeling love.  They put that on the record as well.

It is crazy, but it is a very cool idea.  The song was written with the inspiration of that kind of collaboration in love and that kind of tension between two people dancing around this project and the release as the beauty is finally laid down and recorded.

Do you believe in love and/or alien life?

I’ve never heard those things spoke so closely together.  Yes, I believe.  The likelihood of aliens existing is so high considering how many other celestial bodies are out there.  So yes, I believe that there are.  And because I believe in that infinite amount of possibilities, I believe that love is among the things humans can come up with as well.  If love is one of the planets out in the universe, I believe that it is spreading like wildfire.  It is just one of those things that inhabits everybody. 

I think about it more scientifically sometimes as well, but that is way too unromantic and disheartening…

Are there romantic moments on your record where you are sending a message to someone you are in love with?

I was writing these songs while I was in New Zealand and it was truly lonely.  I was in love with somebody back in the states at the time.  Similar to the gold record, I wasn’t sure if these messages were ever going to reach that person or to mean the same thing to them.  But you still want to try.  I recorded these songs much later after that relationship had come and passed.  But it is a snapshot of that moment in time.  It was sincere.  It encompasses the same woman on a lot of the songs.  She’s heard them and they’ve reached her.  But it’s hard to tell.  Like communicating with aliens, you never know what language the listener is going to speak. 

Neil DeGrasse Tyson suggests that it is almost a waste of time trying to communicate with extraterrestrial life when we can’t communicate with 99.9 percent of the life on our planet.  The idea is that there is a planet just like ours a million years ago and the spacecraft lands there, none of those creatures will understand what has landed there.  The chances of finding a planet with a similar level of intelligent life is pretty slim.  If you think about communication like that, it is really hard to catch someone on the perfect peak while confessing your feelings for them and communicating it in the way you intend.  It already gets muddled up when you start using words, and it is even more muddled up when you use metaphors and song.

Maybe she missed the intent of them…

You are actually playing two shows in the area. Was there someone that encouraged you to visit Southwestern, Ohio?

I have a friend who has played violin with me that played at Taffy’s and swore by it. There is something really valuable about playing in communities where people are encouraged to come out to any music.  Often littler towns get overlooked. That is inspiring.

Additionally, Ricky Terrell from Starving In the Belly of the Whale wrote me and said he’d help me set up a show in Dayton, which I didn’t originally have in mind. It was all the convincing I needed.

( For more information, visit www.stelthulvang.com.)

Season of Mist sign Black Cobra

Season of Mist announced the signing of Black Cobra. The American sludge metal band will enter studio in the near future to record their Season of Mist debut album for a late 2015 release.

Black Cobra were formed in 2001 by guitarist and vocalist Jason Landrian (ex-Cavity), who was joined by Rafael Martinez (ex-Acid King, -16). The duo exploded from the underground with their scathing take on hardcore-fuelled sludge metal. After the release of four well-received full lengths, Black Cobra have levelled venues across the United States and internationally alongside such cult acts as High On Fire, Weedeater, Pelican, The Sword, Yob, Sleep, and more.

Agalloch tours North America with Helen Money (2015)

Agalloch has announced the Western leg of their “Serpens In Cvlmination” tour of North America. Direct support will be provided by experimental cellist Helen Money. Dates include:

6/5 Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall (no Helen Money) w/ Yob, Ufomammut
6/6 Sacramento, CA @ Midtown Barfly
6/7 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
6/8 San Luis Obispo, CA @ SLO Brew
6/9 Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
6/10 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
6/11 Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel
6/12 Tucson, AZ @ Hotel Congress
6/13 Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
6/14 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
6/15 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
6/16 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
6/17 Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
6/18 Vancouver BC @ Venue
6/19 Victoria BC @ Victoria Event Center
6/20 Portland, OR @ Star Theater

You Indie Feature: An interview with Dave Doughman of Swearing At Motorists

Swearing At Motorists (photo by Gunnar Nicolaus)

Swearing At Motorists (photo by Gunnar Nicolaus)

Tastemaking music website BrooklynVegan.com cited Dayton, Ohio as Swearing At Motorists’ homebase in a recent write up on the band. Although Swearing At Motorists founder, frontman and figurehead Dave Doughman relocated to Germany from Dayton over a decade ago, it was an easy mistake to make. Doughman is recognized for painting vivid pictures of the people and places in his hometown in his music.  In fact, Dayton has probably never had a stauncher supporter of local music, or a more charismatic ambassador. Even now, it isn’t uncommon for Doughman to pop up in unlikely places, as he did during a late 2014 benefit for the daughter of a Dayton friend/musician that had passed away unexpectedly. He attended the event with the help of Skype and his mother, miles and oceans be damned.

In part, that’s why it is so exciting for Ohio fans of the band that Doughman’s Motorists will play a handful of Ohio shows to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first record, 1995′s self-titled Swearing At Motorists. You Indie recently caught up with the enigmatic frontman to discuss his forthcoming trek.

A milestone achievement like a 20th anniversary is a real benchmark for a band, and the result of lots of work I’m sure. To what do you credit Swearing At Motorists longevity?

I’ve been fortunate that enough folks want to hear Swearing At Motorists, which allows me to keep releasing records. There’s no choice. I can’t really quit. The songs will always be there, I hope, so I will always record them. Getting to release them is like some extra gift. like, “Wow, someone else thinks other people will want to hear this?”

Twenty years. That still doesn’t seem possible. It feels like just last year we were four tracking in my living room on North Main after a long night at the Walnut Hills. (Dave Doughman)

Speaking of those late nights recording in Dayton, I understand that you may have also been the first person who supported and encouraged a lot of Dayton’s other musicians to take that step towards putting their songs to tape. What is your favorite non Swearing at Motorists release that you worked on during those North Main Recordings days?

I was lucky to be involved with so many great artists. How could I choose one? Brainiac’s Internationale is pretty special to me, because it was their first release for Touch & Go. The Cigarhead / Honeyburn split 7″ I recorded and released on my label Lo- Fi Recordings. I really love the demos I did for A Ten O’Clock Scholar too. what a band! (DD)

Did you always envision celebrating the anniversary milestone with a tour? Also a former Motorist will be joining you on the road for some of the Ohio dates. Who’s idea was that?

Somehow I completely spaced on the 10 year anniversary and for the next 10 years joked about the 20th. Don Thrasher and I have always played together when we have the chance and fortunately he has time to rock Ohio with me again. (DD)

At this point in your career I imagine you tour less to attract new fans and more to nurture your relationship with Swearing at Motorists lifers. Is that accurate?

You know, I never thought about that. I really love playing shows, but at a certain point, touring just became part of the cycle: write and record some songs, release a record, tour to promote the record. I do hope we will attract new fans, but of course it’s great to play to old friends and familiar faces. (DD)

I imagine after as many years on the the road as you spent your list of friends and acquaintances reads like a who’s who of indie rock royalty. Have you ever met someone during your travels that had you legitimately star struck?

This one will be hard not to seem like bragging. (DD)

I think you’ve earned some bragging rights. Friggin’ Anton Newcombe put out your last record and Cheetah Chrome called Swearing At Motorists “The two man The Who.”

You know Cheetah dubbed us “The Two Man Who” when we played his wedding reception.

Not exactly star struck, but once Neil Blender and I were backstage after a Neil Young gig, and right before we were going to be introduced, standing only a feet away, we looked at each other and just slipped out the door. We gave our passes to some kids waiting out back. at the last second, i realized i had nothing to say to him. he’s my biggest influence, and i was paranoid he would be a jerk and it would ruin his music for me.

Wait, I didn’t get to the story where Johnny Marr introduces himself and we compare the contents of our backpacks! (DD)

What was in Johnny Marr’s backpack?

Porn. Weird porn and granola bars. (DD)

You are kidding?

No….yes. (DD)

So, Dayton rock fan Joe Eversole has immortalized you as a trading card. Did you ever think that would happen?

If you would have told me as a kid that one day I’d be on a Topps trading card, I would have said, “Of course, playing shortstop for the Reds wearing the number 7.” But with my band? I never saw that coming. (DD)

What do you hope the band’s lasting legacy will be?

That folks still listen to the records and play them for their closest friends. (DD)

Swearing at Motorists perform Friday, March 13 at Blind Bob’s, 430 East Fifth Street.  The show begins at 7:30pm and is 21+.  Also on the bill are Dear Fawn and Oh Condor.  For more information, visit www.swearingatmotorists.net.

Iron Chic announces tour dates with Spraynard (2015)

Iron Chic has announced a few tour dates this May with Spraynard. Spraynard will be releasing a new album on Jade Tree Records and will be releasing Cut And Paste [Remastered] on Dead Broke/Square of Opposition this month.

Date Location Venue Detail
5/01 Lancaster, PA Fulton Street Arts Co-op w/ Spraynard
5/02 Pittsburgh, PA Cattivo -
5/03 Dayton, OH Blind Bob’s w/ Spraynard
5/04 Columbus, OH Double Happiness -
5/05 Indianapolis, IN Hoosier Dome w/ Spraynard
5/06 Dekalb, IL The House Café w/ Spraynard
5/07 Milwaukee, WI Cocoon Room w/ Spraynard
5/08 Minneapolis, MN One Last Party Fest w/ Spraynard
5/09 Chicago, IL Fizz w/ Spraynard
5/10 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme w/ Spraynard
5/11 London, ON Rum Runners w/ Spraynard
5/12 Toronto, ON The Smiling Buddha (All-Ages) w/ Spraynard
5/13 Toronto, ON The Smiling Buddha (19+)
5/14 Rochester, NY The Bug Jar -
5/15 Cleveland, OH Spring Fling -
5/16 Asbury Park, NJ Skate & Surf w/ Spraynard

You, Me And Everyone We Know stream EP, tour (2015)

After months of anticipation and build up, You, Me And Everyone We Know has partnered with MTV.com today to stream their upcoming EP, Dogged, in its entirety a week before its release. The record, scheduled for release on March 17 via South By Sea Music, is currently available for pre-order at iTunes and http://southbysea.limitedrun.com/.

Stream Dogged now at MTV.com: http://ymewk.mtv.com/

Led by Ben Liebsch, YMAEWK has returned to full-form with the impressive new Dogged EP. The record boasts six new songs that crisscross genres, blending pop-punk, power-pop and alternative rock for a well rounded and unique listening experience that should have you singing along if you’re a human being. Tracks like “I’d Rather Be Sleeping” and “Does It Amaze Thee?” prove without a doubt YMAEWK’s return in 2015 is the real deal.

Catch YMAEWK on their spring tour, kicking off in Baltimore tomorrow, and follow the band at ymaewk.com for further updates.

You, Me And Everyone We Know Tour Dates:

Mar 12 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar

Mar 13 – Philadelphia, PA – The Barbary

Mar 14 – New York, NY – The Studio at Webster Hall

Mar 15 – Cambridge, MA – The Middle East-Upstairs

Mar 17 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Smiling Moose

Mar 18 – Toronto, ON – Hard Luck Bar

Mar 19 – Lakewood, OH – Mahall’s 20 Lanes

Mar 20 – Pontiac, MI – Pike Room @ The Crofoot

Mar 21 – Chicago, IL – The Beat Kitchen

Mar 22 – St. Louis, MO – The Demo

Mar 24 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theater

Mar 25 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Loading Dock

Mar 27 – Orangevale, CA – The Boardwalk

Mar 28 – Van Nuys, CA – White Oak Music

Mar 29 – Anaheim, CA – Chain Reaction

Mar 30 – Henderson, NV – Eagle Aerie Hall

Mar 31 – San Diego, CA – The Irenic

Apr 1 – Mesa, AZ – The Underground

Apr 3 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada

Apr 4 – San Antonio, TX – The Korova

Apr 5 – Houston, TX – Walter’s On Washington

Apr 7 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade

Apr 8 – Tampa, FL – Epic Problem

Apr 9 – Sunrise, FL – Anonymous Guitars

Apr 10 – Orlando, FL – Backbooth

Apr 11 – Jacksonville, FL – The Birdhouse

Apr 12 – Greensboro, NC – Greene Street

Glower signs to Broken Circles

Broken Circles announced the addition of North Dakota’s Glower to the label’s roster. The band’s debut full-length, The Circle Binds, will be out officially June 23, 2015. Stay tuned for more details, song premieres and vinyl pre-orders!

Upon founding Glower, Josh Silbernagel (Hands) and Sean Murray (The Diversion Scene) asked the epic question; “What would it sound like if Billy Corgan and Brian Wilson started a hardcore band?” The Circle Binds is their answer. Says Silbernagel of the projects origins, “I have always had this music in me. When Hands went on indefinite hiatus, I felt the time had finally come to let it out. I wanted to take the complexity and intensity of hardcore and combine it with my love of melody, harmonies and big choruses.” The result of this odd marriage is some the most creative (and catchy) rock and roll in recent memory.

Glower pushed themselves to the artistic limit in the writing and recording of their debut full length. Over two years in the making, The Circle Binds is a laboriously crafted paean to the cyclical nature of life and relationships. This theme may best be captured in the album’s titular track, as Silbernagel intones the listener to; “Hear the song, hum along. A melody so sweet and strong, catch it while we can. It’s here, it’s gone.”

The Circle Binds was engineered and produced by Joshua Barber (Norma Jean, Everything In Slow Motion, Hands) with mastering by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room (Alkaline Trio, Hot Water Music, NOFX). The album’s artwork is by acclaimed Columbian artist Randy Mora.