Tag Archives: Pittsburgh

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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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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Check ‘Em Out: Airpark

Last month, Nashville-based alternative pop/rock duo Airpark released their debut EP Early Works, Volume 1 via Eugenia Hall Records. The band is on tour now, with upcoming dates in NYC, Boston, New Orleans, Nashville and more (full list below).

The band just premiered their video for “Plenty To Pine For” at Under The Radar, who said “The brothers face off in the manner they typically create, with Michael Ford Jr. on drums and singing with an alley cat rasp similar to Spoon’s Britt Daniel and Ben playing guitar in tight lock with the slugging drum beat and lending falsetto accents.”

Inspired by minimalism, melody and groove-heavy percussion, bandmates Michael Ford, Jr. and Ben Ford launched the group in 2016, one year after their previous project The Apache Relay quietly called it quits. The Apache Relay had been a large band, staffed with six members and armed with a thick, wall-of-sound approach. With Airpark, the Ford brothers sharpen their focus and scale back their arrangements, offering songs that pack a punch with bold, basic ingredients. So far the band has been embraced by BaebleAmerican SongwriterLockeland SpringsteenWYEPConan O’Brien’s Team CoCo, and more.

Raised in New Orleans, the Fords grew up surrounded by music, from the Crescent City’s jazz to the soul of Irma Thomas and Allen Touissant. Later while living in Nashville, the two rekindled the music connection they’d kick-started back home, finding popularity as The Apache Relay performed alongside the likes of Jenny Lewis, Mumford & Sons and more. Michael and Ben move at a deliberately different speed with Airpark, thus finding new musical territory to explore.

Taking their cues from a wide set of influences — the rhythmic world music of Tinariwen and Lijadu Sisters; the production of Air, Damon Albarn, and Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel; the tenor vocal range of Big Star’s Alex Chilton and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, with the occasional pop crooner delivery of Harry Nilsson — the two unveil their new direction with Airpark’s debut EP, Early Works, Volume 1.

It’s a sound that targets the feet and the head. It’s pop music for thinkers. It’s dance music for wallflowers. And with the brothers pulling triple-duty as songwriters, multi-instrumentalists, and co-producers, Early Works, Volume 1 is their most forward-thinking project to date, pairing the band’s growing ambition with musical chops to match.

Tour Dates:
4/24 Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi
4/25 Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe
4/27 Tupelo, MS – Blue Canoe
4/28 Jackson, TN – Barefoots Joe
4/29 Columbia, TN – Variety Records
5/4 Shreveport, LA – Day Old Blues Records
5/6 New Orleans, LA – House Of Blues
5/9 Boston, MA – Middle East Upstairs
5/10 Brooklyn, NY – Gold Sounds
5/11 New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall
5/13 Albany, NY – Parish Public House
5/14 Providence, RI – Fete Lounge
5/16 Burlington, VT – Light Club Lamp Shop
5/17 Kennett Square, PA – Kennett Flash
5/19 Lexington, KY – Willie’s Locally Known
5/20 Nashville, TN – Capitol District Street Fair
6/9 Knoxville, TN – Preservation Pub
6/10 Nashville, TN – Musicians Corner
6/17 Lawrence, KS – The Bottleneck
7/14 Cincinnati, OH – The Comet
7/15 Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe
7/20 Durham, NC – The Pinhook
8/19 Omaha, NE – Barley Street Tavern

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Thrival Festival 2016!

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Thrival Festival just continues to get better and better every year. This year we were introduced to a new venue, the Carrie Furnaces. The festival also brought it’s largest lineup yet. I’ve saved you guys the trouble of reading all the other articles and posts out there, I’ll tell you the gist.

lineup

Friday wasn’t the best, and there’s a lot of feedback on social media to verify that. There were long lines galore; for drinks, for wristbands to GET drinks; and some heavy confusion around drink tokens. Oh, and then they ran out of water. BUT ALAS, no fear, they fixed everything all up for Saturday which was amazing! It’s not very often that an event like this fixes up main complaints in time for the following year, let alone Day Two!

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The music has great feedback from Friday (shout-out to Lettuce!!!) EXCEPT for one MAJOR setback. Hmm…let’s see, we have Daya performing and we have The Chainsmokers performing. Daya and Chainsmokers have the hit song “Don’t Let Me Down” and yet they definitely let everyone down by not performing that song together! Whyyyyy? Blasphemy! I seriously don’t get it, can someone explain this to me? There was a chance for some legendary shit right there. *big sigh*

But, here’s a video of them performing their brand new song, “All We Know” featuring Phoebe Ryan:

Anyway, according to festival goers, Saturday ran much smoother and they nixed whatever the hell those drink tokens were about (Thank goodness because no one has time for that when they’re going to have a good time and listen to music!)

I did not make the Music Festival for Day One. But, my main passion was Thievery Corporation who was headlining on Day Two. You know how in your car, if you have Sirius, you can set “alerts” to let you know when certain artists or songs come on, and you can set it to auto-tune to that station. Well, Thievery Corporation is one of the groups on my “alerts” list….and lemme tell you, that alerts list has maybe 3 artists on it. So, that’s how excited I was, if that puts it into perspective for you.

I would have never known the fiasco of Day One had I not read about it, because Day Two was a dream. The weather was perfect; anyone from Pittsburgh knows that’s a huge accomplishment to have good weather for an exciting event. The crowds weren’t as big as Day One, which I attribute to the Chainsmokers crowd, but I welcomed the much more relaxed flow. Especially since only a week before, I was in California for the Kaaboo Music Festival (which The Chainsmokers also performed at) and it was way oversold and overcrowded. So much so that we were forced to leave the event early. Womp Womp.

I also did not deal with any of the parking or shuttle woes thanks to Uber. Though I very much like that a shuttle service was available. So, Uber dropped us off at a designated drop-off area and we marched on down to the entrance. The entrance brought on a teensy bit of confusion, since there were different locations for general admission, will call and VIP, but nothing major. I just have a really bad sense of direction. Once inside, we were thirsty (duh) and while I’m happy with almost anything, my friend was bummed about no liquor, unless you were VIP. BUT, it was still a step up from last year because this year there was wine. Maybe next year everyone can have access to liquor, who knows. Oh, but there were, however, two Skyy Vodka gals there though giving out free shots of a watermelon vodka of some sort, so we took advantage of that (again, duh).

I love that this festival has two stages with only one band playing at a time. This way, there’s no conflicts of interest and you can hear the band playing from anywhere on the festival grounds. And there’s no long waits in between the bands because the next one is already setting up on the other stage. Ty Dolla $ign was supposed to perform, but sadly had to cancel due to a death in his immediate family. But, there was lots to check out besides the music. There were vendors set up selling different items including clothing and coveted flower crowns. Rivers of Steel Arts created live iron pours. The Wheel Mill Stunt BMX team put on a show. There was even a tent with a virtual reality simulator to check out.

Metric put on a fantastic set and wowed us with some of their best songs. Here’s a video of “Breathing Underwater” from Shawn Glass on YouTube:

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When it was getting to be that time (Thievery Corporation), the place was noticeably and expectedly even more crowded. I can’t even express how excited I was to see this group that’s been together for over 20 years and yet this was their very first time performing here in Pittsburgh! Their set exceeded mostly everyone’s wildest expectations and hopefully it doesn’t take them that long to come back! They were the most perfect close-out for a sensational Thrival Festival.

After their set, everyone wafted around seemingly walking on clouds. And then suddenly…something more happened. Over yonder, music started playing. The strange but cool artsy thing that everyone had been looking at all weekend sprung to life. It was the Squonk Opera! And what…pray tell, is that?

Squonk Opera is a group of interdisciplinary performing artists from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Led by artistic directors Jackie Dempsey and Steve O’Hearn, Squonk Opera’s shows consist of music, visual art, and acting elements in an attempt to make a form of opera accessible to all people. The group “like to think of ourselves as a wacky, provincial opera company,” says Dempsey, who named the group “Squonk” after a description of a jazz saxophonist’s playing as a “squonk-fest”, rather than the legendary creature of the same name. — From Wikipedia

Check out this little tidbit video of Squonk Opera performing from their Pneumatica show:

I’m so glad that Pittsburgh keeps moving up that cultural ladder and bringing more and more awesomeness, especially in the music department. There’s always going to be little hiccups but this festival was overall a huge success and I can’t wait to see what next year brings!

(P.S. I’m sure I’ll think of more suggestions, but I’d love to see Lotus come perform next year! — Here’s a video of them performing “Anti-Gravity” at the Summerdance Festival in Ohio this year!)

 

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Thrival Innovation + Music Festival – Pittsburgh 2016

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Pittsburgh’s thriving culture of innovation and some of the most cutting-edge tech and art from around the country will be showcased across 100,000-square-feet of free exhibits, demos, and interactive experiences during the fourth annual Thrival Innovation + Music Festival, from September 20-24, 2016.

In just three short weeks, the Thrival Innovation + Music Festival will welcome its most ambitious lineup to date for its two-day live outdoor music experience — headlined by Billboard #1 artist The Chainsmokers, as well as CHVRCHES, Thievery Corporation, Ty Dolla $ign, Metric, Lettuce, and more. Set times below.

The Chainsmokers and CHVRCHES will co-headline Friday night, with the Scottish electro-pop group hitting the stage at 9:00 PM and the meteoric rising DJ duo will close out the night, beginning at 10:30 PM. Festival mainstay funk outfit Lettuce, summertime scion Sir the Baptist, and Pittsburgh-native (and Chainsmokers collaborator) Daya will also perform, with notable local acts Meeting of Important People and the Bastard Bearded Irishmen opening the festival.

Thievery Corporation closes out Thrival 2016 on Saturday night with a full 20-piece ensemble to mark their first visit to the Steel City in their 20-year history. The band of “Thieves” will begin their headline set at 9:30 PM. Recent MTV Video Music Award-winner Ty Dolla $ign performs at 8:15 PM, immediately prior to alt-indie darlings, Metric, who kick-off their set at 9:15 PM. Rubblebucket and Wild Child bridge the afternoon with a marquee early evening set by DJ/producer Hudson Mohawke that starts at 7:00 PM. Wu-Tang Clan member Cappadonna and syndicate group Killarmy will perform with the WuLords and Ezekiel XI on a unique national/local collaboration. For an early afternoon dose of EDM, rising stars The Cheat Codes will get the crowd going at 2:15 PM. Brooke Annibale, Chalk Dinosaur, Beauty Slap, and Balloon Ride Fantasy round out a strong local showing for Pittsburgh.

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The two-day show is hosted at the historic Carrie Furnaces, a national historic site just minutes outside of Pittsburgh. A 125-foot-tall blast furnace will serve as a dramatic backdrop between two stages, with performance times staggered so festival-goers do not miss an act.

“So often, festival-goers pay top dollar to attend these events, and they’re forced to choose between multiple acts they very much want to see but can’t due to time overlaps. As such, the experience has a built-in sacrifice for attendees, even though they are paying promoters for the full experience. It’s our approach to ensure that each performer has the stage to themselves, and the audience can celebrate the entire lineup, from beginning to end,” says Thrival Executive Producer, Dan Law.

According to Martin Potozcny, Thrival’s Creative Director and CEO of LUXE Creative, the music is only part of the experience.

“The moment you pass through the gates of a music festival you’re struck with the sensation that you’re on the cusp of a remarkable experience. Our goal is to tap into the deep emotional current that music evokes, and we have a unique opportunity to transport each and every individual to a world where all of their senses are engaged. Whether this is a concert goers’ first festival or tenth, at the forefront of our mind is creating an experience that inspires, surprises and engages — it will be a transformative experience that can only be described as the magic of being part of a growing international festival,” says Potoczny.

On the innovation side of things —- for the first time this year, the festival will transform over one hundred thousand square feet at Nova Place and Alloy 26 — a former indoor/outdoor mall and Woolworth’s five-and-dime — as its home base for its Thrival Innovation programming. A 14,000 square foot “Innovation Hall” will feature highlights from experiential electronic music collaborations through smart devices (CEEMI) to live demos by noted Pittsburgh chefs of a new hands-free cooking assistant app (Yes, Chef). This will be paired with an outdoor “Innovation Playground” that includes aesthetically graffitied demolition derby cars (PGH Art Car), adaptive sports games for people of all abilities (Find Some Flow), and a mobile office bus equipped with 3-D printing, laser engraving, and robotics (Tech Tank).

“The debut of Innovation Hall and the Innovation Playground this year will take Thrival to an exciting new level — offering festival-goers and city residents alike a chance to experience some of the most dynamic art and tech from Pittsburgh and from around the country,” says Law.

“We started with a blank slate of huge spaces on the North Side of Pittsburgh. We took on the challenge of transforming it into an alternate universe — and definitely an experience people won’t forget,” says Kenny Chen, Thrival’s Director of Innovation.

Highlights include:
  • Pick up official merch through Pittsburgh-based street wear pioneers 412 partner with Thrival for the first time this year, introducing a brand new line of festival gear aimed at a new generation of culture creators, athletes, musicians, and original thinkers.
  • Participate in an eclectic mix of DIY projects led by Kelly Malone, founder of award-winning makerspace Workshop SF, who is returning from California’s Bay Area to reboot in Pittsburgh with Workshop PGH (tagline “Drink Beer. Make Stuff.”).
  • Experience awe-inspiring industrial production through live iron pours on the concert site with Rivers of Steel Arts.
  • Multimedia troupe Squonk unveil a first-time artistic collaboration of the group’s “Pneumatica” structure paired with the both quirky and surreal “Cycle Sonic” performance.
To register for these features and more, and for information on the Thrival Innovation schedule, visit thrivalfestival.com/innovation-schedule.

To purchase concert tickets or pickup keynote talk passes, visit thrivalfestival.com/tickets.

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New Track From Corbu – “Better Better Off”

Photo credit: Erika Mugglin & Corbu

Photo credit: Erika Mugglin & Corbu

Ahead of the release of their soaring debut album Crayon Soul, New York’s Corbu are streaming the new single “Better Better Off”. A swirling anthem, “Better Better Off” perfectly balances trippy desert rock with glacial stargazing. Corbu’s Crayon Soul is released August 5th via 3Beat (EU) & Big Picnic (US).

The band recently gave an insight into their vivid world with the animated video to the track “Battles”. The video hints at the narrative that began to unfold as frontman Jonathan Graves was writing the record. Each track tells a different part of the story, taking the listener on a true journey through Corbu’s vibrant imagination. Despite taking inspiration from science fiction and psychedelia, the album also pulls from the band’s real life experiences to create a body of work that is both otherworldly and deeply personal.

Crayon Soul is produced by Corbu and mixed by Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, MGMT, The Flaming Lips). It follows two acclaimed EPs, We Are Sound and Everything You Imagine Is Real, which garnered praise from the likes of NYLON, Stereogum, The Guardian, NME and more, as well as capturing the attention of Jessie Ware, who personally requested the band to remix her song “You & I (Forever)”.

Crayon Soul is released 5 August 2016 

TOUR DATES:
Aug 1st Philadelphia: Black Box
Aug 2nd Washington DC: DC9
Aug 3rd Pittsburgh: Brillobox
Aug 5th New York: Mercury Lounge – Album release show http://ticketf.ly/28S5Odi
Sept 30th Austin: Austin City Limits Festival

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Mixtape From Mystery Skulls + Tour Dates

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“some of the most addictive, hypnotizing disco-pop jams you’ll hear” –COMPLEX 

Skulls’ tunes are one part electro, another indie-pop, and a whole lotta soul all wrapped into one package”- THUMP

“He sings, he DJs, he produces, he stuns… Tantalizing disco-inspired harmonies will no-doubt get you dancing”. –VIBE

“Every live Mystery Skulls show maintains a juxtaposition between the energy and grittiness of a DIY show with his infectious and dance-worthy productions and vocals. Forever is a disco house and funk-infused album” – DJ MAG USA

Following some time off after two tours with Cherub, spot dates around the globe, and commissioned remixes, sound architect Mystery Skulls will hit the road in August for a 7 day, 7-city tour run that begins Friday August 21st in Brooklyn and ends Friday August 28th in his former stomping grounds of Toronto.

Routing and ticket links are as follows:
DATE               CITY                             VENUE

FRI 8/21            Brooklyn, NY                Baby’s All Night                        TICKETS
SAT 8/22           New York, NY               Mercury Lounge                        TICKETS
SUN 8/23          Baltimore, MD               The Metro Gallery                     TICKETS
TUE 8/25           Philadelphia, PA           Ortlieb’s Lounge                        TICKETS
WED 8/26         Cambridge, MA             Brighton Music Hall                   TICKETS
THU 8/27           Pittsburgh, PA              Brillobox                                   TICKETS
FRI 8/28            Toronto, ON                  Drake Hotel                               TICKETS
To coincide with the tour, Mystery Skulls takes his eclectic ear and genre-bending stylings to produce a specially curated mix to hold over fans while (re)introducing the sounds popularized in his Forever debut last year which featured appearances from Nile Rodgers, Brandy and Snowblood.

Listen: Mystery Skulls Summer 2015 Mixtape

 

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Video: Brick + Mortar – “Train”

Brick + Mortar will release their highly anticipated EP on 7/17. But, right now, they are thrilled to premiere their new video for “Train”. The video plays off of the trops of the star-crossed lovers by reenacting some of the most iconic scenes from famous love films to create an epic ode to love.

The video plays homage to such films as:

  • Romeo + Juliet 
  • Say Anything 
  • Annie Hall 
  • Titanic 
  • It’s a Wonderful Life 
  • Dirty Dancing 
  • American Beauty 
  • Sixteen Candles 
  • Grease 
  • Blue Valentine 
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s 
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • Love Actually 
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 
  • Lost in Translation 
  • The Graduate

Tour Dates

7/16/15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
7/17/15 – Cincinnati, OH @ Fountain Square w/ The Ting Tings
7/18/15 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s 20 Lanes
7/19/15 – Columbus, OH @ Woodlands Tavern
7/21/15 – Detroit, MI @The Shelter
7/22/15 – Chicago, IL @ The Beat Kitchen
7/23/15 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada
7/24/15 – Denver, CO @ Underground Music Showcase
7/25/15 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Music Garage Live
7/27/15 – Seattle, WA @ El Corozon
7/28/15 – Portland, OR @ Analog Cafe
7/29/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
7/30/15 – Redlands, CA @ Hangar 24 Brewery
7/31/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
8/01/15 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge
8/02/15 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
8/04/15 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
8/05/15 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
8/07/15 – Tampa, FL @ New Wrold Brewery
8/08/15 – Atlanta, GA @ Wrecking Ball 2015
8/09/15 – Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
8/11/15 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
8/12/15 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
8/13/15 – Washington, DC @ DC9
8/14/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
8/15/15 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall Studio
8/16/15 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs

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Highly Anticipated: New Music From Brick + Mortar

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“Brick + Mortar’s songs may have a gritty edge to them, but the experimental pop duo of Brandon Asraf and John Tacon’s main goal is to encourage and spread positivity and self-motivation through music.” Pure Volume

“There’s an undeniable energy that charges through New Jersey-based duo Brick+Mortar…”NYLON Magazine

John Tacon and Brandon Asraf have truly been building a movement. Spreading a message of empathy, positivity, and self motivation… The two artists have been playing gritty, bright yet sinister, witty alternative pop for inspired audiences throughout the country. John Tacon started by playing in a few short lived bands. He suggested his friend, Brandon Asraf, pick up an instrument. He chose the bass guitar and it not only offered distraction, it changed the course of his life. While Tacon’s upbringing was reasonably normal, Asraf, on the other hand grew up “like wolves” amid five siblings in a New Jersey household headed by a conman father. Dad’s schemes ultimately tore the family apart. “Mom didn’t take everything that happened the best,” he says. But you can learn more about that in VICE’s article: “My Buddy’s Dad Was a Blood Diamond Smuggler”. Google it.

Asraf and Tacon jammed together for many years instrumentally before deciding to try writing songs. Asraf was initially concerned about his voice, but like with everything else, his confidence grew alongside his mastery. After giving their project its name in 2008, they followed in 2010 with Brick + Mortar’s first EP, 7 Years in the Mystic Room. It captured some buzz and, after lots of touring, the Bangs EP followed in 2013. For the past 2 years, Brick + Mortar have been criss-crossing the continent, playing their energetic anthems of empowerment. The band has given the two best friends an outlet to share their beliefs with the masses. Brandon says, “Music gave me a sense of value. I realized I could tell a story and express myself. It’s positive. I’m meeting these people in the outside world that are making me feel like I can be the part of something positive on Earth, instead of being destined to this scumbag existence.”

Coming from the wrong side of the tracks, Asraf knew what Janis Joplin meant about the freedom of having nothing left to lose. “I was just a poor kid growing up. I didn’t have an identity. I wasn’t really good at anything,” says Asraf. “I didn’t have a fear of failing or of dying or of any of that, because I figure that was just what was going to happen anyway. Because of my life at the time, I just didn’t give a fuck.” The two have started assembling a following of believers. People who can relate to where they are coming from. If the songs weren’t catchy enough, the authenticity of the artists behind the music is relatable on so many levels.

Brick + Mortar is an escape for both the listeners and creators alike. The honesty of songs on Dropped can be heard July 17th. This release is the first time Brick + Mortar are truly free to do things their way. They are taking control of their future, and doing all the things the label would never let them do. They can’t wait for you to hear the new songs, and experience the live shows they will bring to you. Every song on the record will have a music video. They already have released the sleek sci-fi video for “Move To The Ocean” which was directed by Asraf’s brother Corey, and stars his youngest brother, EJ. This communal hand’s on approach is powered by the fans, because it’s all for them. “We are the band that only exists because of you. The Dropped EP is for anyone who ever believed in Brick + Mortar. Thanks for believing in us.”

BM

 

Listen: Brick + Mortar – “Staying Gold”

Tour Dates

7/16/15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
7/17/15 – Cincinnati, OH @ Fountain Square w/ The Ting Tings
7/18/15 – Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s 20 Lanes
7/19/15 – Columbus, OH @ Woodlands Tavern
7/21/15 – Detroit, MI @The Shelter
7/22/15 – Chicago, IL @ The Beat Kitchen
7/23/15 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada
7/24/15 – Denver, CO @ Underground Music Showcase
7/25/15 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Loading Dock
7/27/15 – Seattle, WA @ El Corozon
7/28/15 – Portland, OR @ Analog Cafe
7/29/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
7/30/15 – Redlands, CA @ Hangar 24 Brewery
7/31/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
8/01/15 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge
8/02/15 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
8/04/15 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
8/05/15 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
8/07/15 – Tampa, FL @ New Wrold Brewery
8/08/15 – Atlanta, GA @ Wrecking Ball 2015
8/09/15 – Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
8/11/15 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
8/12/15 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
8/13/15 – Washington, DC @ DC9
8/14/15 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
8/15/15 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall Studio
8/16/15 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs

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Stream Kopecky’s New Album

Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

Kopecky’s upcoming second full-length album Drug for the Modern Age is now available to stream on SPIN, who describe the record as “a collection of melodic tunes that prove pop can be deeply intimate and fiercely energetic at the same time.” To be released on Tuesday May 19 via ATO Records, DFTMA is also available for pre-order on the band’s official store and iTunes.

Stream: Kopecky – Drug for the Modern Age

Tour Dates:
5/14 at Camp House in Chattanooga, TN
5/15 at Vinyl in Atlanta, GA
5/17 at Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, AL
5/19 at Basement in Nashville, TN
5/22 at Live Oak in Fort Worth, TX
5/25 at The Casbah in San Diego, CA
5/26 at The Echo in Los Angeles, CA
5/29 at Bottlerock Festival in Napa, CA
5/31 at Sainte Rocke in Hermosa Beach, CA
6/1 at Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ
6/4 at Wakarusa in Ozark, AR
6/5 at Wanderlust Festival in Snowshoe, WV
6/6 at KINK on the Waterfront in Portland, OR
6/12 at MidPoint Music Fest in Cincinnati, OH
6/13 at Lincoln Hall in Chicago, IL
6/16 at Vega in Lincoln, NE
6/18 at Vanguard in Tulsa, OK
6/20 at Turf Club in Minneapolis, MN
6/26 at U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC
6/27 at WYEP’s Summer Music Festival in Pittsburgh, PA
7/26 at XPoNential Music Festival in Camden, NJ
8/8 at Chateau Morrisette Winery in Floyd, VA
9/18 at Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion in Bristol, VA

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Filed under Highly Anticipated, listen, new albums, Shows