Tag Archives: Surfer Blood

New Music: Surfer Blood – “Six Flags In F Or G”

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Surfer Blood has announced their fourth studio album, Snowdonia, due out February 3rd via Joyful Noise Recordings. A sonic departure for the band, Snowdonia is Surfer Blood’s first release since the tragic loss of guitarist Thomas Fekete to cancer in May 2016.

Snowdonia was written shortly after the band’s first long tour without Fekete, as lead singer John Paul Pitts struggled with Fekete’s absence and the weight of getting older. Featuring a talented new lineup that sees Michael McCleary on guitar and Lindsey Mills on bass — both high school classmates of Pitts and drummer Tyler Schwarz — Snowdonia marks the first time since the band’s debut album, 2010’s Astro Coast, that Pitts has written and mixed a Surfer Blood record alone. Though the album features plenty of Surfer Blood’s signature hooks, it also incorporates heavier themes. One of the record’s darkest songs, “Six Flags in F or G,” was written as Pitts grappled with Fekete’s illness and his absence on tour.

Shortly after Fekete was diagnosed with cancer, Pitts’ mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and began undergoing chemotherapy. Her illness inspired him to write “Carrier Pigeon” — Pitts notes it is the most narrative and autobiographical song he’s ever written, and it embodies his attempts to reconcile the love he has for his parents with not always loving how they choose to see the world.

Other tracks on the record attempt to deal with aging in a more playful way. “Matter of Time” is a straightforward pop song that focuses on the decision of when to get married, something Pitts is now considering at age 30. “Taking Care of Eddy” can be taken literally: it was written about Pitts’ girlfriend’s great uncle, Eddy, an 84-year-old who suffered stunted development after a car accident as a child. As a result, he thinks and acts like an eight year old, has Parkinson’s disease, and can’t get around by himself, but maintains a childlike sense of wonder. While taking care of him hasn’t been easy, Pitts tried to inject some of Eddy’s playfulness into the song.

While Snowdonia grapples with heavier material, Pitts likens some of the more complex songs to Astro Coast track “Anchorage,” though the new songs were written specifically with the band’s current lineup and new strengths in mind. Wanting to play up McCleary and Mills’ vocal skills, he wrote layers of vocals into almost every track and added call-and-response parts between himself and Mills throughout the album.

With enormous attention to detail, the eight tracks on Snowdonia make the album Surfer Blood’s most ambitious release yet.

snowdonia

Snowdonia Track Listing:
1. Matter of Time
2. Frozen
3. Dino Jay
4. Six Flags in F or G
5. Snowdonia
6. Instant Doppelgängers 
7. Taking Care of Eddy
8. Carrier Pigeon 

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Surfer Blood and Lil Bub

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Surfer Blood & Lil BUB Team Up for 7″ Split,
Out May 13th via Joyful Noise
(pre-order)

Surfer Blood has teamed up with everyone’s favorite magical space cat, Lil BUB, for a 7″ split due out May 13th via Joyful Noise Recordings. Featuring brand new Surfer Blood track “Evil Cat” on Side A and BUB’s contribution “BUB the Builder” on Side B, the 7″ is currently available for pre-order. It’s limited to 500 copies on special “Eye of Sauron” colored vinyl.

lilbub_promo

100% of profits will benefit long-time Surfer Blood guitarist Thomas Fekete’s cancer treatment. Currently unable to tour and make a living, Thom has relied on the generous donations of fans & friends via his GoFundMe page, sales of his new solo album Burner, and various other fundraisers (the most recent being an auction of previously-unreleased tracks from artists like Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, Cults, Real Estate, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart & others, which are still available for download with a donation of $10 or more.)

Surfer Blood hits the road with Joyful Noise label mates Sound of Ceres — who recently released their debut album Nostalgia for Infinity — in May. See below for a list of upcoming dates.

Surfer Blood & Sound of Ceres Tour:
5/4: Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre
5/5: Chattanooga, TN @ Revelry Room
5/6: Bowling Green, KY @ Tidballs
5/9: Kansas City, MO @ Tank Room
5/10: Lincoln, NE @ Vega
5/11: Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
5/12: Champaign, IL @ The Accord
5/16: St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
5/18: Indianapolis, IN @ White Rabbit
5/19: Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
5/20: Detroit, MI @ UFO
5/21: Columbus, OH @ The Basement
5/22: Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
5/23: Lexington, KY @ Cosmic Charlie’s

 

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Unreleased Tracks for Thomas Fekete Benefit Auction

Here's Thom with his dog, Sachi

Earlier this year, Thomas Fekete, Surfer Blood’s guitarist of six years, was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive cancer. Though he has health insurance, which has covered more than six months of chemotherapy, he’s been undergoing an alternative treatment plan that unfortunately is not covered by insurance. Currently unable to tour and make a living, Thomas has relied on the generous donations of fans & friends, via his GoFundMe page and various other fundraisers.

Now, some of Thomas’s favorite artists and closest friends have come together to help raise money, contributing previously-unreleased tracks and autographed items to be put up for auction on eBay. Never-before-heard songs from Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, Cults, Real Estate, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Lou Barlow, The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger, Nick Diamonds, Julianna Barwick, Alex Somers,…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, The Drums and Surfer Blood were pressed to hi-fi, stereo lathe-cut vinyl, with only one copy being made of each. Each one is up for auction now, along with autographed items from Sleigh Bells, Yoko Ono & Flaming Lips, Interpol & Shepard Fairey, Sharon Van Etten, and Angel Olsen.

All thirteen unreleased tracks are also available for digital download with a donation of $10 or more to Thomas’s GoFundMe page. See below for a full list of tracks.

Guided By Voices – “Motor Away” (live)
Recorded live 6/24/94 at Threadwaxing Space, New York City on “The Insects of Rock” tour.

Yo La Tengo – “Can’t Forget” (live)
Recorded 8/28/15 at WorldCafe Live, courtesy of WXPN, Philadelphia. Yo La Tengo appears courtesy of Matador Records.

Cults – “Hurting”
An out-take from Cults’ 2013 album Static.

Real Estate – “Talking Backwards” (demo)
This was recorded in Real Estate’s practice space in Bushwick in the summer of 2013.  Courtesy Domino Records.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – “Between These Boys” (demo)

Lou Barlow – “Sunshine / Money / Thirsty”
Three previously-unreleased tracks.

The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger – “Rainbows In Gasoline” (unreleased version)
Recorded in 2009 with early line-up of The GOASTT (Sean Lennon, Charlotte Kemp Muhl, Mark Ronson), recorded & mixed by Mark Ronson.

Nick Diamonds (from Islands) – “Be A Comedian”
Recorded spontaneously on September 2nd, 2015.

Julianna Barwick – “Promise”
Recorded in 2012.

Alex Somers – “Well”
Recorded in Iceland in 2015.

The Drums – “Help Him”
2012 unreleased demo.

…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – “F Train”
Demo version of “Tao of the Dead Part II”.

Surfer Blood – “Tidal Wave” (demo)
Brand new song recorded last week!

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Surfer Blood Tour & Benefit Concert For Thomas Fekete

SB

Today Surfer Blood reveal its full national headline tour in support of 1000 Palms, the band’s third full-length and first release with acclaimed indie imprint Joyful Noise out May 12th. In addition to the upcoming 30+ date tour (listed in full below) the band also announces details of a NYC benefit show for guitarist Thomas Feteke’s cancer treatment May 12th at Bowery Ballroom (album release day).

Surfer Blood have organized a benefit concert for their guitarist Thomas Fekete, who is undergoing treatment for cancer.  Friends of Thomas will join Surfer Blood for special performances at Bowery Ballroom (New York) on Tuesday, May 12.  Performers will include Julianna Barwick, Kip Berman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), DJ Allen Blickle (Alpaca), Andy Boay (Tonstartssbandht), Cults, POP ETC (acoustic), Marnie Stern & The Figs (w/ members of Les Savy Fav & Girls Against Boys), We Are Scientists. More about Thomas at:  http://www.surferblood.com/thomas

1000 Palms is the band’s return to indie label life after a frustrating experience on Warner Bros. The new record – which features stunners such as “Dorian”, newly-revealed track “Island” and first single “I Can’t Explain” – was written and recorded at home entirely by the band, free of major label tinkering.  The record is Surfer Blood at its most adventurous and carefree.

Today also sees the reveal of the first video from the album for lead single “I Can’t Explain” – which you can check out below. Speaking of the video, Surfer Blood’s John Paul Pitts provided insight on the track and making of:

“The lyrics to “I Can’t Explain” are about a romantic encounter on a New Year’s Eve, so we wanted the video to show the events of a New Year’s party sped up.  We ended up slowing down the song to half-tempo and choreographing all the background action in real time.  This way the movement would appear to be sped up when played back at the normal tempo.  Thankfully a lot of our friends showed up to help, I think a lot of them wanted an opportunity to throw cake at each other in their favorite bar… The video concept was created by our friend Ates Isildak: a local musician, videographer, promoter and clairvoyant.”

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SURFER BLOOD NATIONAL HEADLINE TOUR
5/8: Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Festival
5/9: Richmond, VA @ The Camel
5/10: Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
5/11: Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
5/12: Bowery Ballroom – Thomas Feteke Benefit Show
5/14: Philadelphia, PA @ Boot and Saddle
5/15: Asbury Park, NJ @ The Saint
5/16: Lancaster, PA @ Lizard Lounge
5/18: Akron, OH @ Musica
5/19: Indianapolis, IN @ Joyful Noise Recordings
5/20: Lansing, MI @ The Loft
5/21: Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig
5/22: Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
5/23: Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
5/24: Madison, WI @ The Frequency
5/26: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
5/27: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room (Outdoors)
5/28: St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
5/29: Cincinnati, OH @ Fountain Square
5/30: Nashville, TN @ Exit In
6/8: San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
6/10: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
6/11: Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile Cafe
6/12: Vancouver, BC @ Venue Nightclub
6/13: Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett
6/15: Provo, UT @ Velour Live Music Gallery
6/16: Denver, CO @ Lost Lake Lounge
6/19: Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
6/20: San Diego, CA @ The Irenic
6/25: Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits
6/26: Charlotte, NC @ Fountain Plaza
6/27: Athens, GA @ Georgia Theater
7/11: Columbus, OH @ Seventh Son Brewing Co.
7/17: Rehoboth Beach, DE @ Dogfish Head Brew Pub
7/18: Frederick, MD @ Flying Dog Brewery

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Help Surfer Blood guitarist Thomas Fekete Raise Money For Cancer Treatment

SB

Thomas Fekete, guitarist for Surfer Blood, is asking for everyone’s help! Visit GoFundMe to help with his treatment costs. Any little bit helps!

 Statement from the band (here’s a link to the FB post) :

Surfer Blood Facebook Post/Band Statement: 

Thomas has been playing guitar in Surfer Blood for nearly 6 years, but since December has been sidelined by treatment for cancer. We miss him everyday on the road but we know he is incredibly strong and we have faith in him, and in his doctors. We hope you can help with a donation of any size, and help spread the word by sharing on social media. Thank you so much for the support!

From Thomas Fekete (Surfer Blood guitarist):

Hey all,

A few months back I had a major surgery to remove a large tumor from my abdomen. I was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive cancer (a sarcoma), which unfortunately has moved. A few days ago, my doctors informed me that it had spread to my lungs and my spine.

The lesion on my lower spine will be treated with radiation, and I’ll also start chemotherapy this week. Because my cancer is so rare, there is very little research on it (cancer treatment is a business after all), so going to a typical doctor and getting loaded with all types of drugs would probably kill me. However, I found a doctor who is on the cutting edge of cancer treatments, and we have assembled a team of brilliant doctors who all seem to be extremely confident in an alternative treatment plan, to complement the chemotherapy. Because these doctors are doing things a bit differently, insurance will only cover a portion of my treatment. I never in my life thought that I would be asking for money publicly, but the universe works in funny ways.

Any bit of help would be massive for me, as I’m no longer able to tour and make a living, and my wonderful wife/best friend whom I just married in November will now be leaving work to help me throughout my treatment. If you can’t help, no worries whatsoever, all I ask is that you spread the word. Any extra funds collected when this is all said and done will be donated to further my doctor’s alternative cancer research. I not only feel great, but I am in great spirits, and I know this will soon be over like a bad dream. Please take care of yourselves, enjoy every single day. Life is beautiful. Love and light always.

-Thom

Here's Thom with his dog, Sachi

Here’s Thom with his dog, Sachi

My favorite Surfer Blood song (still):

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The Drums and Surfer Blood North American Tour

Rolling Stone recently called The Drums’ debut “one of the best indie pop debuts of the year.”  Their spellbinding sound takes a classic alternative sound and infuses it with a raw energy only they can create. The album and electrifying UK shows have already gained the band an NME cover.  The album is out now digitally in the US and will be available in stores in September.

Tickets for The Drums & Surfer Blood’s North American Tour go on sale on July 30-31 with a band presale at thedrumsandsurferblood.com on July 28.

The Drums/Surfer Blood 2010 North American Tour Dates

9/11 Providence, RI @ Jerky’s Live Music Hall
9/12: Washington, DC @ The 9:30 Club
9/13 Chapel Hill, NC @  Local 506
9/15: Atlanta, GA @ The Loft
9/17: Orlando, FL @ Social
9/18: Miami, FL @ Grand Central
9/19: Tampa, FL @ State Theatre
9/20 Gainesville, FL @ Common Ground Coffeehouse
9/21: Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder
9/23: Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s (The Drums ONLY)
9/24: Dallas, TX @  The Loft (The Drums ONLY)
9/25: Austin, TX @ ND (The Drums ONLY)
9/27: Phoenix, AZ @ Clubhouse
9/28 Pomona, CA @ Glass House
9/29: Los Angeles, CA @ The Music Box
10/01: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent (The Drums ONLY)
10/03: Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
10/04: Seattle, WA @ Neumos (The Drums ONLY)
10/05: Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore Cabaret
10/07: Boise, ID @ Neurolux
10/08: Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
10/10: Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
10/13: Minneapolis, MN @ The Varsity Theater
10/14: Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
10/16: Toronto, ON @ Mod Club (The Drums ONLY)
10/17: Montreal, QB @ Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire (The Drums ONLY)
10/18: Boston, MA @ Paradise (The Drums ONLY)
10/20: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
10/22: Philadelphia, PA @ Making Time

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