Lineup Revealed for 2017 Thrival!

The Thrival Innovation + Music Festival has announced its music lineup, featuring a blend of 19 national and local artists. Headliners Wiz Khalifa, Logic, Carnage, GRiZ, and Two Door Cinema Club and over a dozen more acts will perform at the historic Carrie Furnaces on September 29-30.

Two-day general admission and VIP festival passes go on sale Friday, May 19 at 10:00 AM EST.

Capping an extensive 2017 festival touring season — including performances at Lollapalooza and Okeechobee Music Festival — multi-platinum selling and Grammy-nominated recording artist, Wiz Khalifa, will make his only appearance in Pittsburgh in 2017 as one of Thrival’s headliners.

Logic, the 27-year-old Maryland-based rapper, will also headline Thrival, building off of a packed 28-date U.S. summer tour. His critically acclaimed, “Everybody,” sold 247,000 equivalent album units last week, earning Logic his first #1 album. The album touches on an array of societal issues that affect us all on a daily basis.

Irish alt-indie darlings, Two Door Cinema Club, are also touring the U.S., having just announced dozens of new dates across the country.

Detroit electronic funk outfit, GRiZ, and Los Angeles-based Guatemalan American DJ, Carnage, will both headline their own stages.

SuperDuperKyle will make his first-ever Pittsburgh performance after the release of his Billboard Top 10 hit, “iSpy” (currently #8). Chart-topper and multi-platinum artist, Kiiara, veteran DJ, TokiMonsta, Sirius Alt Nation mainstays, Missio, and Grammy-nominated DJ, Steve James, are all first-time Thrival artists, joined by Harts, Echos, Circa Waves, Welshly Arms, Michigander, The Garment District, Byron Nash & Plan B, Rachel B., and JRod.

“We started this initiative five years ago. To watch its growth has been pretty remarkable,” says Bobby Zappala, founder of Thrival and CEO of Ascender. “Thrival 2017 is set up to be a special experience. We’re proud to have a Pittsburgh artist headline the bill for the first time in the festival’s history.”

“Thrival Music continues to grow, and this year’s lineup is the biggest and most prolific to date. We welcome an eclectic mix of multi-platinum and chart-topping artists who will compliment a host site that has the potential to be one of the best live music venues in the entire U.S.,” says Dan Law, Director of Thrival and VP of Business Development at Ascender, the nonprofit organization that presents and produces Thrival every year.

The festival kicks off with Thrival Innovation (featuring a new partnership with San Francisco-based event and media company, NewCo) on September 27-28, a conference focused on “Intelligence: Humans X Tech” — a theme that leverages Pittsburgh’s strengths in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

After Thrival Innovation, festival-goers will transition from Pittsburgh’s East End to the historic Carrie Furnaces in nearby Swissvale, Pennsylvania for a “one-of-a-kind Pittsburgh venue” that “features a stark contrast of new sound and rustic industrial setting” minutes away from Pittsburgh city limits.

For a unique local flair, Wiz Khalifa filmed the music video for his 2012 double platinum single, “Work Hard, Play Hard” at the Carrie Furnaces.

“With the right vision, leadership, and investment, the Carrie Furnaces are primed to be a premier destination for live music fans. By doing this together, we’re turning a mill back on. But instead of producing steel, we’re producing culture,” says Law. “A show at Carrie is unique. You can’t get it anywhere else.”

The festival is the flagship initiative of Ascender, a Pittsburgh-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serving early-stage startups, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

To help manage this growth in 2017, Thrival has partnered with Live Nation Entertainment for venue operations, talent buying, and marketing efforts.

“Ascender’s partnership with Live Nation to deliver Thrival Music allows our core team to both invest more energy in scaling Thrival Innovation and more effectively engage our dynamic local audience, with Live Nation adding significantly to the festival’s expanding national reach. We’re very excited for the opportunities this presents,” says Zappala.

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Listen: Hounded – “On My Side”

Sydney producer HOUNDED is back on the grid with a sunshine-filled track called “On My Side” and it arrives just in time to defrost us from all those winter chills.

Right from the first chime you’ll be grooving and your shoulders will be bopping while the fluttery voice of Brisbane artist Savoi makes this track all the more uplifting, and all you wanna do is dance and smile.

“I had a difficult time finding vocals that matched the energy of the song. I was fortunate enough to be in the studio with Savoi late last year and his voice just seems to fit perfectly with the instrumental. I find that Savoi’s voice really compliments my style and gives it that extra sense of movement and energy” – HOUNDED

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Check ‘Em Out: PACE

In the spring of 2016, old friends Jamie Ley and Philip Morris spent a day in a pub on top of Muswell Hill in north London chatting about their love of great pop music. After going back to Phil’s house to play piano, something clicked and they decided to create a new musical project that focused solely on melodies. When they met drummer Aaron Colton at a New Year’s Eve party, the group was finally complete and Pace was born. A stint recording with renowned producer Bernard Butler soon followed. Having been featured on BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 2 and a Spotify Top 50 Viral Artist this year, the future looks bright for the alt-pop three piece.

‘Through Your Fingers’ is a Motown inspired melody ready for the summer. It’s a song about meeting someone you really like, but not having the courage to ask them out. Or when you meet a person who turns your world upside down, but you decide to act cool and risk losing them. The longer you wait, the harder it gets. The song is a kind of mantra – you’ve got to act quickly on things before they slip away. Don’t be scared to tell someone how you feel, otherwise you could lose them forever. — Pace

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Check ‘Em Out: LuvAbstract – “Risk”

 

Photo: The Video Boy

Ohio native LuvAbstract has released a track that in one way or another speaks to all of us. We’ve all got that little voice in the back of our head saying ‘go for it!’ Well, in this case, it’s saying, You’re only young once, so let’s take a chance.”

It’s easy to create music when you write about what you see or experience, and LuvAbstract has done just that by making a song that is ballsy, unapologetic and real.

“Risk” is about promiscuity and how readily available hot sex is. In a way, this track explores the ego within us all; a notion, which can often be mistaken for cockiness, but here, it’s all about swag.

“This song is about two strangers who meet at a bar just before going home together for a one night stand. The first verse is a conversation between the two strangers. The guy flirtatiously challenges the girl by telling her that he can go home with any girl he wants so, what makes her so special. The girl playfully replies by telling him that’s not really impressive because she can have any guy she wants so, what makes him so special. The verse is supposed to show that the two strangers have met their match for the night,”  he said.

LuvAbstract has worked closely with producer and good friend Jordan Roman over the last few years, and it’s clear that their musical-mojo makes for steamy productions to get you all hot & heavy. The laid-back rap-vocals paired with vinyl cracklings certainly show that new and old school hip-hop sounds play a part in today’s musical exploration.

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Remix Galore! La Felix + That’s Nice – “Delicious”

Just recently we were all treated to an infectious disco-pop track called “Delicious”, which came from Mexican producer That’s Nice and New Zealand producer La Felix, and this week they are giving us four very awesome remixes by four of their favorite people right now: Patawawa, July ChildREFLEX  and Dino Soccio.

Patawawa Remix
“These guys actually reached out to me through my facebook page, not saying much but showing me their work. I thought they were pretty funky. I talked about doing something together which hasn’t happened but I thought having their vibe on ‘Delicious’ would be a good start.” – That’s Nice

July Child Remix

“July Child and I got to remix the same song for Le Youth last year. I thought their remix was actually really good and I wanted them to have a go at ‘Delicious’. I was pretty sure they would do a great job and I wasn’t wrong”  – That’s Nice

REFLEX Remix
“Been following REFLEX for quite some time now. I love their sound and their tracks are very DJ friendly. Whenever I get to play a DJ set, I often drop some of their tunes in there. Now, it’s even better I’ll  be able to drop their remix version of one of my tunes! ”

Dino Soccio Remix
“Been a fan of both That’s Nice and La Felix for awhile now, was excited to do a Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis 80s take on Delicious, bring out that breakbeat funk.” – Dino SoccioCheck out all of the tracks below:

That’s Nice and La Felix discovered each other online, initially sending emails of rough ideas and different beats. Ultimately, “Delicious” was the result.

“When we first started it, I sort of got the Daft Punk vibe, which is one of our main influences. We wanted to keep it very simple just like that Daft Punk song ‘Get Lucky’; small instrumentation but every instrument playing its part, having its moment throughout the song, and not overdoing it with production. By the time we were almost done, I was in Los Angeles doing some production work and seeing a lot of my producer friends adding real live drums to their disco-dance tunes. We needed to try that. So, last minute we completely changed the drum sound from electronic to a more organic natural sound instead using a real kick drum, a real snare, and real hi-hats.” – That’s Nice

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Latest Track From Juiceboxxx, “Freaking Out”


Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Out of my mind but I’m a hell of a guy, I got the PMA, that’s just an FYI / I got a J-O-B and that’s to stay alive, 24/7 not 9 to 5… So begins “Freaking Out” on Freaked Out American Loser, the latest album from Juiceboxxx, the Milwaukee-bred punk rap artist who is quite simply the first and last of his kind all at once. Juiceboxxx grew up in the ‘2000s within the noise, punk rock, and underground rap communities of Wisconsin, and while those banners still fly high independently today, there are very few other artists who not only understand that Venn diagram but who are also actively attempting to merge those sounds cohesively.

Juiceboxxx might be out of his mind, but in all the best ways—he owns it and commits to this unstoppable onslaught of creative ideas and outbursts. Freaked Out American Loser is a punk rap blast that captures the anarchic, aggressive spirit of Juiceboxxx’s live show while also adding a new level of polish, focus, and dare we say, professionalism.

When talking about the track, Juiceboxxx explained, “”Freaking Out” is about hitting brick walls and fucking everything up but despite it all staying the course and trying to change your life in a positive way. It is also just my attempt to make a high energy rap song with some real nerve. Musically, it is influenced by everyone from The Breeders to Wu-Tang Clan. I’ve been doing music my whole life. The real ones are in this regardless of trends or the internet attention economy or really anything. We do this because we have no choice. Scope a Juiceboxxx show and tell me otherwise.”

“I’m putting together these pieces in a way I find interesting as a contemporary record, and not conforming to any trends of the moment,” Juiceboxxx says. “I’m looking at Beastie Boys as the Ramones or something, and trying to build on that language; looking at Public Enemy within the lens of punk rock.” 

Freaked Out American Loser will be out 7/28 on Dangerbird Records.

 JUICEBOXXX TOUR DATES

04/29 Queens, NY @ Trans Pecos
5/4 New York, NY @ Webster Hall Emo Night LA NYC Takeover
5/24 Brooklyn NY @ The New Secret Project Robot Space
6/17 Huntsville @ TBA
6/18 Chattanooga TN @ JJ’s Bohemia
6/19 Athens GA @ Georgia Theatre Rooftop
6/20 Nashville @ DRKMTTR
6/21 Cincinnati @ House Show
6/22 Chicago @ Empty Bottle
6/23 Madison @ Mickey’s

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Introducing CHIMNEY

Producer and musician Dan Molad is CHIMNEY, long-time drummer/producer for Lucius and producer (Pavo Pavo, San Fermin, Luke Temple, JD McPherson, Here We Go Magic). He self-recorded and produced this breakout solo effort. His penchant for sonically adventurous melodies and harmonically complex layers, combined with a stark pop sensibility shine through the breadth of the album.

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Video: Highly Suspect – “Little One”

Highly Suspect have released the official video for their new single, “Little One,” available via 300 Entertainment. “Little One” is the second single from the band’s critically praised sophomore album, The Boy Who Died Wolf, which debuted at #1 on the Current Alternative Album and at #2 Rock Album on the Billboard Charts.  To date, the album has spent over 22 weeks on the Billboard charts.

“Little One” is the follow-up to “My Name Is Human” which spent 9 weeks at #1 at Active, reached Top 15 at Alternative Radio and was nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Rock Song category among legends like David Bowie, Metallica, Radiohead, and also Twenty One Pilots.

Set in the mid-1980’s, the “Little One” video stars band frontman Johnny Stevens as a thrift store manager who is at breaking point, and bandmates Rich and Ryan Meyer as policemen who are hot on his tail.  The video was co-directed by DJay Brawner and Johnny Stevens.

Highly Suspect are currently on a sold-out U.S. headlining tour which wraps up on June 3 in Los Angeles. In addition, Highly Suspect will also be performing at a number of festivals this Spring, including Lollapalooza, Shaky Knees, Bottlerock, Bumbershoot the Milwaukee Summer Fest and more to be announced shortly.

“‘Little One’ is about love slipping through the cracks. It’s the feeling you have when you know you just lost your lover, your right hand, your best friend.  Our videos try to capture emotion. Standing in an empty room pretending to play instruments is something you’ll never see us do.  I grew up watching real music videos. Stories. ‘Thriller’ comes to mind. You already know we’re a band. Why do you need to see a guitar? As artists, we need to continue making art in all aspects. The actual ‘Little One’ in this video is played by the real-life woman the song was written about, Madison Parker…and that was the last time I saw her. The irony here is that the band pulls me away from love. It’s very true to life. ” – Highly Suspect frontman, Johnny Stevens

Upcoming U.S. & International 
Tour Dates:
4/26 – Destin, FL – Club LA
4/29 – Jacksonville, FL – Welcome to Rockville
4/30 – Fort Myers, FL – Fort Rock
5/4 – Washington, DC – 9:30– SOLD OUT
5/5 – Charlotte, NC – Carolina Rebellion
5/6 – Memphis, TN – Beal Street / Memphis in May
5/9 – New Orleans, LA – Republic NOLA
5/10 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn
5/12 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival
5/14 – Washington, DC – DC101 Show
5/18 – New York, NY – Webster Hall- SOLD OUT
5/20 – Chicago, IL – WKQZ piquing
5/24 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom- SOLD OUT
5/25 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom- SOLD OUT
5/28 – Napa, CA – Bottlerock
6/1 – San Diego, CA – Music Box- SOLD OUT
6/2 – Pomona, CA – Glass House
6/3 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theatre
6/9 – Bakersfield, CA – Radio Shot
6/10 – San Francisco, CA – Live 105 Radio Show
6/23 – Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany – Southside Festival
6/24 – Munich, Germany – Strom
6/25 – Scheessel, Germany – Hurricane Festival
6/27 – Eindhoven, Netherlands – Effenaar
6/29 – Norrkoping, Sweden – Bravalla Festival
7/2 – Arras, France – Main Square Festival
7/8- Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest

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Listen: Panama – “Hope For Something”

Warmth, nostalgia, and melody: that’s the sound of Panama. Jarrah McLeary marks his long awaited return with the triumphant, “Hope For Something” – premiered by Pigeons & Planes. It’s the first single and title track from Panama’s upcoming EP of the same name, due for release June 23. The five-track EP is full of his richest, most moving work yet and is available for pre-order now.

“It’s about a battle with yourself. This song was a bit like therapy for me as it helped me resolve some things I had been holding on to for a very long time. Writing is, was like self-talk.”  – Panama singer/songwriter, Jarrah McCleary

Jarrah McCleary’s confessional songwriting, the piece was written about his personal demons and features a melody that soars, stadium-sized vocals and Panama’s trademark crescendos. With a blend of both live and electronic sounds, it’s a result that shows McCleary is at his most energizing.

The touch of personal lyrics to Panama’s music has been a common theme since their 2013 breakout with their ALWAYS EP, which to date has accumulated over 30 million streams between Spotify and SoundCloud, earned a place in key Australian tastemaker triple j’s Hottest 100, and received airplay on the UK’s BBC Radio 1. In the years following, Panama released the fan favorites “Stay Forever” and “Jungle”, which added to their success, allowing them to embark on US and European tours (the latter of which included Barcelona’s Primavera Sound and a sold out headline show in London).

Keep your ears open and eyes peeled for more from Panama this year, as it’s shaping up to be a busy one.

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Check ‘Em Out: Slow Caves

Slow Caves premieres their video for “Glares” and announces upcoming tour dates (see list below). The song is off of their Old Flame Records debut, Desert Minded EP released last month.
 
The band says of the video, “Most of the video was shot last summer, on the last day of our trip to Denmark. We wanted the video to reflect how we are as a band internally, and kind of give people a taste of what it’s like to hang out with us. So, we handed the camera to our cousins, Kristian and Martin, and just kind of goofed around. We shot most of the footage at their school in Silkeborg (where Oliver and Jakob were born). The scenery there is unreal. We think the vibe of the video matches the song and our personalities really well. It’s light-hearted and very sentimental and nostalgic.”

Impose Magazine premiered the song calling it an “Undeniably catchy power ballad,” and added “With a sound somewhere between Lower Dens and Joyce Manor, ‘Glares,’ does a great job showcasing the band’s ability to craft tight harmonies and do it in a way that feels effortlessly fun.”  
Formed in Ft. Collins, CO in 2014, Slow Caves consists of Danish born brothers Jakob and Oliver Mueller (vocals, guitars) rounded out by childhood friends David Dugan (guitar/bass) and Jackson Lamperes (drums) who offer a relaxed and surf-y update on 80’s synth, 90’s jangle, and early aught’s indie rock.

Tour Dates:
4/28 – Fort Collins, CO @ FoCoMX Music Festival
4/29 –  Greeley, CO @ May Play Music Festival
5/13 – Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall – Red Bull Sound Select w/ DIIV
5/26 – Davenport, IA @ Triple Crown Whiskey Bar and Raccoon Motel
5/27 – Chicago, IL @ Elbo Room
5/29 – Muncie, IN @Be Here Now
5/30 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
5/31 – Providence, RI @ Aurora
6/2 – Brooklyn, NY @ Our Wicked Lady
6/3 – Philadelphia, PA @ House Show
6/5 – Asbury Park, NJ @ The Saint
6/6 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit
6/7 – Cincinnati, OH @ Motr
6/8 – St Louis, MO @ Heavy Anchor
6/10 – Fort Collins, CO @ Taste of Fort Collins
6/24 – Denver, CO @ Westword Music Festival

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