Hailing from Temecula, California, The Forty Nineteens take us back to the great American ’1980′s garage revival when greats like The Del Fuegos, Let’s Active, The Long Ryders, The Bongos, The Smithereens, and The Dream Syndicate ruled the college airwaves. The members of The Forty Nineteens lived and experienced this period of halcyon jangle rock and you can still hear this influence in the band’s latest music. Some of the members of The Forty Nineteens played in the acclaimed ’80′s alternative acts, The Strays, Mary’s Danish and the Detroit- rock flavored gem, The Leonards, who rocked the stage of Pittsburgh’s Electric Banana!! The band includes Nick Zeigler , on drums ( who played in The Outpatients the LA Outpatients, not the New England area band, plus Mary’s Danish and The Leonards,) John Pozza on vocals and guitar (who played in The Strays and The Leonards), John DiMambro, on bass ( who played in The Leonards, Agent Orange, Down By Law, and is also currently in Pearl Harbor), Chuck Gorian, on guitar and Craig Campbell, on keyboards. Over the years, the boys got to share the stages with many acts including Geza X ( from legendary punks, The Deadbeats), L.A.Guns, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Gin Blossoms, The Beat Farmers, Monks of Doom, The Fixx, , X, Pygmy Love Circus, and The Fleshtones.
Frank Secich ( formerly of Blue Ash, Stiv Bators Band, Club Wow), bass and vocals of Youngstown’s acclaimed powerpop all star outfit, the Deadbeat Poets are working on a new upcoming record for 2015, which Secich said is tentatively titled, “Pop Gun.” The Deabeat Poets includes Frank Secich on lead vocals and bass guitar, Pete Drivere on lead guitar and vocals, Terry Hartman on lead vocals and rhythm , and John Koury, on drums and vocals. Secich and the Deadbeat Poets have been quite busy as the band is recording material for “Pop Gun” and heavily promoting their latest release on Pop Detective Records, “Hallelujah Anyway,” which Secich said is available on 12 vinyl LP format, CD and downloads. Secich said that “Hallelujah Anyway,” along with the band’s upcoming album continues the band’s quirky, semi-poetic whimsical lyrical and musical tradition. He said this is all intertwined with new eccentric twists and turns which includes love songs, Farfisas, banjos, and wah-wah’s.
I don’t go to as many shows as I’d like of late, simply because of my work schedule and my disposable income being practically nil. However, I remain immersed in the music of local and regional artists, as well as those from our rickety Rust Belt world who have sought their fortunes elsewhere. In fact, I have practically no knowledge of who’s ‘hot’ and who’s ‘not’ in the ‘mass media’ sense; almost everything I listen to is local or regional music. And I think I’m better off for it. There are wonderful musicians in great bands of every stripe that are making phenomenal original music, and they’re all around you. While some of us take this for granted there are far too many people that don’t realize it, and they’re the ones that need to be enlightened. Get new blood into the so-called ‘scene,’ and everybody thrives. There’s a sound of some kind for everyone’s taste, and those who DON’T normally come to shows featuring original music or patronize the venues that feature it are the ones who should be encouraged to explore the breadth and depth of local music.
The following is not intended as a ‘Best Of’ list, it’s just the stuff that’s been in my rotation over the last year or so. If you’re band’s not on here, there’s no slight intended, it’s simply what I’ve been digging lately, and I think this list illustrates my point perfectly.
Here, in no particular order, are works by local or regional artists, and Rust Belt Babies nationwide, that I feel deserve attention. I’m not going to waste time putting in links, you know how to work the Google, look them up yourselves.
5 Elements – “Enter the Zao”
Party rock at it’s purest. A heady brew of 80′s West Coast skate punk and metal, ska, reggae, hip-hop and God knows what else. Sure to get your next bash bumpin.’ (BUH BUH)
Tracks of note – “Champion Sound,” “Texas Toast”
Harnessing The Sun – “Sun Signs”
Fearless American garage rock. Nice and tight, with a ‘plug it in and let it fly’ attitude, and something I can only describe as a ‘Rust Belt’ sound… call it “Americana with a Punk ethos,” if you like.
Tracks of note – “That’s Right,” “Whiskey and Smoke,” “Life Is Good”
The Sweet AM – “Twice”
This Los Angeles-based project is the brainchild of Boardman native Dee Nichols, and on first listen I was reminded somewhat of Bob Mould. However, this powerful and richly layered musical document is purely Nichols’ own. Impeccable in every respect. From flat-out fat-riffed rockers to lullabies of post-industrial introspection, this is top-notch stuff and well worthy of widespread attention.
Tracks of note – “Confide,” “Famous and Free,” “City in Dust”
Demos Papadimas – “Wanderin’ In The Wilderness”
A rich blend of American blues and folk with deep Old Country roots, coupled with thoughtful, insightful and introspective lyrics. Demos’ use of traditional Mediterranean instruments and arrangements adds further depth, making this one that you can listen to again and again.
Tracks of note – “Barrier Doors,” “Double Knots”
Third Class – “12 and 9 EP”
Talking Heads crossed with The Kinks. Wonderfully creative indie-pop, this band of talented musicians (who routinely trade instruments during live shows) carry the torch of the likes of Youngstown legends Boogieman Smash. Well written, well executed, and just plain fun.
Tracks of note – “A New Kind Of Mars,” “Cake And Ice Cream”
The Sparrows – “Magnolia Sessions”
One of the greatest rock albums I have ever heard in my life. By anyone. Ever. Period. I can hear the influence of the voices of every great American rock and roll songwriter of the last forty years, expertly woven into a musical tapestry of love, loss, hope, fear and redemption.
Tracks of note – “Star Crossed Love,” “Hell Or High Water,” “Amphetamine,” “Gone Too Long”
The Robbie Jay Band – “Finally”
The band describe themselves as “Rock and Roll with a Country chaser,” and that’s certainly apt in light of this record. While the crap coming out of Nashville for the last 30 years is nothing more than overproduced pop-rock arrangements with a steel guitar and the occasional fiddle thrown under false-drawl vocals, RJB have turned the tables by using traditional instruments and arrangements in combination with big back-beats and razor-sharp guitar riffs to craft a country record that truly rocks. Or a rock record that’s truly country. Point is, if that’s a “Country chaser,” it’s a double of Wild Turkey 101, straight up.
Tracks of note – “Kick My Love,” “Broken Hearts And Faded Blue Jeans”
The Hawkeyes – “Goodbye Americana”
Unabashed and unapologetic American rock and roll. Equal parts Johnny Cash, The Heartbreakers (Johnny Thunders and Tom Petty ‘versions’), E-Street, John Mellencamp and Crazy Horse. Powerful performances, killer hooks, and songs that tell compelling stories of the sometimes shadier side of the ‘American experience.’ These guys put on an exceptional show, and should definitely be seen ‘live.’
Tracks of note – “Karl from ’81,” “Hey Ricky,” “Gun Thug USA,” “The Double E”
First In Space – “Greatest Hits Vol. 3″
Still one of my favorite Youngstown bands. I’m glad to see them back after a long hiatus, and their latest effort didn’t disappoint me. Full of clever songwriting, crisp guitars and driven by a solid rythym section that is arguably one of the Valley’s best, you may find yourself humming these tracks in the shower. Perfect for cranking up with the windows rolled down while on a summer drive.
Tracks of note – “Drinking With Enemies,” “Tonight I’m Walking Away.”
The Turbo Lovers – “Hopelessly Addicted”
BJ Lisko is Youngstown’s answer to Lemmy Kilmister. The hardest working man in “Yo”-business. He’s wants nothing more than to rock his twisted brain out, and he wants you to come along, kicking and screaming and headbanging all the way. With the addition of drummer Christian DeSantis and bassist Keith Colclough, the band has found it’s stride and is ready to bring it’s swaggering brand of ass-kickin’ beer-swillin’ girlfriend-stealin’ party rock to your town. Lock up your women.
Notable tracks – “Got The Time,” “Kickin’ Dog,” “Hopelessly Addicted.”
Geo C and tha Storm – “Unconditional Funk”
Within the first 30 seconds of the opening track, “Bobblehead,” we’re told “I see you bobbin’ your head now”… and you will be. This collection is not just a great record – it’s a musical history lesson that traces a path through funk, hip-hop, jazz, blues, Motown and Gospel as well, layered on each other so expertly that you’ll find something new with every listen. Exceptional musicianship and arrangements. They don’t play out often, but their shows are always memorable. Catch them live if you get the chance.
Tracks of note – “Bobblehead,” “Truth, Funk, Experience,” “The Revolution,” “Thank You”
Suede Brothers - “13 Songs”
Straight-up no-frills heavy-duty rock-and-fucking-roll. Six hyphens in a sentence not enough for you? I can give you more. Balls-out. Mind-blowing. Exactly the kind of music your mother warned you about when you started hanging around with those weird kids in junior high. Especially Chuck Hamner. He REALLY gave her the ‘creeps.’ Anyway, these guys ‘get it,’ and they project it. Fat riffs wrapped around an unrelenting rythym section, and compelling lyrics that draw you directly into the heart of the songs. This one’s in heavy rotation at my house and should be at yours too.
Tracks of note – “Desert Song,” “Falling Apart,” “Way Back Home”
Jellybricks – “Youngstown Tune-Up”
Boardman native Larry Kennedy has found a home and brotherhood out in eastern P-A with this terrific power-pop quartet, but there’s no denying the influence of his Valley roots on this record – and that goes beyond the album’s name. These guys have been featured extensively on Little Steven’s Underground Garage, with good reason. Perfectly crafted and executed, and highly listenable.
Tracks of note – “Not So Old,” “About the Weekend,” “I’ll Go Mine”
Deadbeat Poets – “American Stroboscope”
If you don’t know about the Deadbeat Poets, you must be living on Mars or some damned thing. They’re international pop sensations, have toured the UK and Europe, and are in heavy rotation on the aforementioned Underground Garage as well as broadcast, sattelite and streamcast stations across the globe. They are a power-pop super group featuring Frank Secich (Blue Ash, Stiv Bators Band), Terry Hartman (Terry and the Tornadoes), Pete Drivere and John Koury (Infidels) – and their combination of skill and experience shine through wonderfully on this collection.
Tracks of note – “Throw The Bums Out,” “Jennyburg Hill,” “2000 Miles Away From You,” “Who’s Hieronymous Bosch, and Why Is He Saying These Terrible Things About Me?”
The Forty Nineteens – “Spin It”
From L-A by way of Monaca, P-A, this is another outfit that has taken their distinctively Rust Belt sound and transplanted it’s roots fruitfully on ‘foreign’ soil. Think Social D meets TP and the Heartbreakers meets the Stones. A steady-rockin’ good-time record, no pretensions with plenty of great hooks and clever songs. These guys are the real deal, and are making quite the name for themselves – they’re yet another band that Dr. Kiljoy and I have beaten Underground Garage to – and bands with this kind of savvy don’t stay ‘underground’ for long. A killer cover of the Stones classic ‘Dead Flowers’ is a definite bonus.
Tracks of note – “Falling Down,” “Modern Romance,” “Only Time Will Tell”
New Releases: Phratry Records (Cincinnati,Ohio) State Song “Sleep Crawling” -Review By Gary S. Angelo
Cincinnati’s State Song’s sophomore effort, “Sleep Crawling” sounds like it would fit perfectly on the rosters of Grass Records, Teenbeat Records and Caulfield Records. I can hear a little bit of Idaho ( as frontman Scott Torres has very Jeff Martin-esque vocals) , HUM , Codeine and self-titled –era Sunny Day Real Estate thrown in this sweet and spacey mix. The music balances piano and keyboard arrangements with angular spacey guitar scapes. The track “Motor Momento” is the band’s ultimate shoegazer moment as it opens with a massive angular guitar. This track gives the band a nice Parasol Records sheen. State Song really captures that unsung era of slowcore, especially on the tracks “Liberata,” while “Barstools and Bedrooms” is the standout piano -driven track. – Gary S. Angelo/YoungstownRock.com
New Releases: Phratry Records (Cincinnati,Ohio) Shanks: “Surfing The Lexicon” -Review by Gary S. Angelo
Hailing from Toronto, Canada ,The Shanks have that quintessential Aussie and Scandinavian garage punk feel which plays nice with its Detroit rock and glam tendencies . I hear slight elements of Agent Orange on the track “Feel The Holes.” Also a more “muscular” sounding Redd Kross comes to mind , especially on “Miss Virginia,” “When We Come,” “Step By Step” and “Get Cut Tonight,” which also veers the band in ‘70’s glam meets Detroit rock vibe. The track “Do it Again” really showcases the band’s Scandinavian sound with hand claps and humming guitar . The Shanks display a vivid Marc Bolan-esque groove overlapped with the heat- drenched melodic heaviness of Australian greats like Exploding White Mice, The Bamboos and Brother Brick. However, “Surfing The Lexicon” is ideal for anybody who is into solid punk rock ‘n’ roll with a dash of arena glam. - Gary S. Angelo/YoungstownRock.com
New Releases: Phratry Records (Cincinnati,Ohio) – 2x Split 7-inch Aperiodic / Mala In Se / Joe 4 / Knife The Symphony -Review By Gary S. Angelo
2x Split 7-inch Aperiodic / Mala In Se / Joe 4 / Knife The Symphony (Phratry Records)
This split 7-inch release with Aperiodic ( Brooklyn, New York, Chicago, Illinois), Mala In Se (Cincinnati, Ohio) Joe 4 hailing from Zagreb, Croatia and Knife The Symphony ( Cincinnati, Ohio) is a perfect showcase and roadmap as to what Phratry Records is about as a label.
Aperiodic includes members of the legendary early to mid ‘90’s Grass Records alumni, Ten 0’ Clock Scholar and Lab Partners and the popular Touch & Go experimental stalwarts, Enon. Aperiodic is quite a venture for members Matt Schulz, on drum kit and percussion, Kevin Parrett on electric guitar, and Ben Perkins on assorted instruments. Aperiodic is far more experimental than the members previous projects , although I do love the slowcore/alt-country of Ten 0’ Clock Scholar. We definitely hear elements of acid jazz and No-Wave especially on the track, “Scene Crush”. When listening to Aperiodic, I hear a tighter Chrome mixed with the finest experimental moments of Von LMO and Throbbing Gristle.
After recording and putting out three solid releases “This Is Not Here,” “Geronimo” and “Greatest Hits Vol. III,” Johnny Stanec (vocals and bass) and the boys of First In Space are getting ready to record their fourth record. The band’s previous releases caught the attention of the powerpop label and distribution, Kool Kat Music. Stanec said that the new record will feature ten new songs and plans on shooting for an early May release. Stanec said that the songs on this upcoming release are a step up from the band’s past catalogue. First In Space includes Johnny Stanec on vocals and bass, Beau Basement on drums and Dolus McCormick on vocals and guitar.
At the The First Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 1105 Elm Street (Elm & Illinois) Youngstown, Ohio 44505
Tim Malone Reiki and the Youngstown Eclectic Pagan Society present S.J. Tucker live at The First Unitarian Universalist Church in Youngstown. This show will be S.J. Tucker’s first Mahoning Valley appearance.
Doors open at 5:30 pm to all $20 ticket holders for an exclusive meet & greet and for shopping with local vendors. Doors open at 6pm for all.
S.J. Tucker’s set begins at 7pm and the event is ALL AGES
Ticket Prices: $10 economy, $15 general, and $20 generous.
Get Tickets at : http://sjrocksyoungstown.brownpapertickets.com/
Those who purchase $20 ticket will get a special souvenir packet and a hand-written thank you from S. J Tucker.
Listen and purchase S.J. Tucker’s music at Bandcamp.com
Cleveland’s Kid Tested is a creative power house –of-a trio. The band is constantly working on material. Shawn Mishak vocalist and guitarist of Kid Tested, said that the band has at least three more albums worth of written unrecorded material, plus seven finished songs. Mishak said after mastering the recordings, the band will hopefully have a new release for the spring of 2014. The band released some solid noise-pop gems including “Pop Era Laundry” (2006) and “Lost On Purpose” (2007). The band includes Shawn Mishak, on vocals and guitar, Jim Beil, on drums and Dominic Ricciardi, on bass. In 2009, Kid Tested played at the Cleveland radio station’s WRUW 91.1 FM’s annual event, Studio –A-Rama, in Cleveland, which was headlined by the acclaimed the Boston Massachusetts post-punk act, Mission of Burma.
“We do have 7 songs for the next record finished. We are looking to get back into the studio during the winter to finish our third record and record our fourth, most likely in the same sessions.We plan to get the main tracks in two days. We usually go for the more live style of recording and I am not much for click tracks, just because I am bad at them and they can be confusing to me.We are going through a lot of titles for the next two records. The two I like most right now are: ‘Midnight Canoeing,’ and ‘Unwanted Food and Extraneous Growths.’” Mishak said.
Mishak said that some of the band’s new songs include, “Service Engine Soon,” and “Kimberly,” which Mishak said embodies an Elvis Costello influence. Mishak said that the band is veering more towards a pop sound. He said that the band’s previous albums “Pop Era Laundry” and “Lost On Purpose,” were representations of what Kid Tested’s music sounded like during the time period they were recorded.
“From The Drum Throne to The Office Chair “: Musician creates a go-to guidebook for touring bands By Gary S. Angelo/YoungstownRock.com
Brian Pennick, is founder of The Counter Rhythm Group, which is a Cincinnati-Ohio based radio promotion, record marketing, publicity, tour management, event promotions, and internal artist company. As an active musician, Pennick has spent almost half of his life as a touring musician, spending time touring the world in vans, planes as well as trains. From years of experience of being a hard- working touring musician, Pennick decided that he wanted to help other touring bands and musicians excel on the road and properly get their music professionally accessible to the public. This is how Pennick started The Counter Rhythm Group.
Pennick’s latest innovative development is the Musicians’ Desk Reference, which is a reference ebook for touring musicians, that consists of timelines, templates, and instructional guides designed to help the touring musician.
“Anyone who is personally familiar with me knows two things: I can be pretty longwinded and I’m am very passionate about certain things, especially the music industry. The Musicians’ Desk Reference is a great resource that allows me to help a wider number of artists who I am able to reach on a one-to-one basis. It became clear that something like this was necessary soon after I switched over from the drum throne to the office chair,” Pennick said.
Finally Found A Home… In a song: Turbo Lover’s pays homage to Huey Lewis And The News By Gary S. Angelo
Members of the pub rock/ funk and jazz powerhouses of the 1970’s Clover and Soundhole, joined forces to form Huey Lewis and The News. Harmonica master, Huey Lewis gave the adult contem…porary radio world a pure musical education. Huey was an all-original American cult favorite who collaborated with many original artists including, Nick Lowe( Lewis played harmonica on the track “Born Fighter” on Lowe’s 1979 effort, “Labor of Lust”) The Gospel Hummingbirds, The Tower of Power and musician, record producer, engineer, and guitarist John McFee (who played with Southern Pacific, Doobie Brothers, Elvis Costello and The Grateful Dead)- McFee played the pedal steel guitar on “Honky Tonk Blues” the closing track of The News’ eponymous 1983 release “Sports. ” With songs like “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Perfect World,” “Bad Is Bad,” and “The Power of Love,” the singles equally balanced fun, humor and confidence. One lesson I learned from being a figure in the Youngstown music scene, is that it’s definitely “Hip To Be A Square.”
Songwriter melds the best of the east and west: Demos Papadimas’ latest effort ‘Wanderin’ Through The Wilderness’ ” By Gary S. Angelo
If I had to come up with one genre-specific description to sum up the Youngstown Music scene of 2013, I would say it’s has been a year of the “singer-songwriter.” When it comes to the local/singer-songwriter folk territory, Demos Papadimas is my ultimate pick. As I can recall vividly in my memory, I met Papadimas around the end of 2012 and between that time and now, it’s been a wonderful experience hearing the diverse sounds and introspective songwriting that he has brought to the table. In between that time and now he has been busy playing shows in the Pittsburgh and Cleveland areas. In addition to some out- of -town networking and gigging , Papadimas also released his debut full-length, “Wanderin’ Through The Wilderness” this year. Papadimas said he promoted the album at the Americana Music Association Conference and Festival at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Judge’s Park Fundraiser at Cedar’s West End will raise awareness By Gary S. Angelo/Youngstown Rock & Groove
Local musician, Shiloh Hawkins is a huge animal lover at heart and is putting together the fundraising event, Judge’s Park Fundraiser, a charitable event that will aid in funding the Edinburgh, Pennsylvania -based animal shelter, Judge’s Park Small Animal Rescue. Judge’s Park Small Animal Rescue is owned and operated by Jen Wahl Kilmer. Kilmer provides shelter for rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, hamsters and rats. Hawkins said that Judges Park Small Animal Rescue is a 501c3 non -profit organization, which runs strictly from donations. Since 2005, Judges Park Small Animal Rescue has found homes for 500 small animals.
The event, Judges Park Fundraiser, will take place on Friday, September 6th, at Cedars West End, located at 706 Steel Street in Youngstown, Ohio, from 7PM till 1 AM. Hawkins said that all profits made from the event will go to Judges Park Small Animal Rescue to pay for vet care, food, and other related expenses. Admission for the event is $5 and will include musical performances by Katianne Timko & Khaled Tabbara, The River’s Own, Blue Through Branches, Ben Flint ,plus more to be announced. The event will also feature a 50/50 raffle, gift certificates to local businesses and a Chinese auction. If you bring in an item from The Judges Park Small Animal Rescue wish list, you get a free ticket for the event’s Chinese auction. To check out the wish list items, click on the link:http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1YVC14PB4ZXX4/ref=cm_sw_su_w. However, the items do not strictly have to be from Amazon, if you find items that are similar to these wish list items, feel free to kindly bring those in as well.
Kid Tested, showcases perfect noise –pop structure on ‘Lost On Purpose’” By Gary S. Angelo/ Youngstown Rock .com
One April night at Cedars West End was a beyond fantastic night of music, as it was a night of real, pure, simple, “primal” indie rock in all its appropriate glory. It sounded like the era that I miss and want to relive again and again. As my more “recently seen” shows, (I have seen so many great bands over the years) this bill included Kid Tested, Filmstrip and Batt Lion and to me, that was right up there with the Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500 &Luna) and Britta Phillips show ( The Belltower & Luna) . There are shows that are well, shows and then there are shows that are everlasting memories and Kid Tested was among that list.
Kid Tested, had that sound, think “Avalanche” –era Some Velvet Sidewalk, maybe “Hear It Is” –era Flaming Lips, or “Crappin You Negative” –era Grifters. They just sounded like a band that would just fit comfortably in my collection and what I like to call my “listening wheelhouse.” When Kid Tested took the stage, I heard the heyday of labels such as Restless, Homestead, K Records, PigZen Space, Fist Puppet (Cargo Records), Shimmy Disc, Drag City, Smarten Up! Records, and some Alternative Tentacles in the mix. I was completely blown away to the point where I had that “ah-ah moment,” where I had to get these guys on The Homegrown Show, on WNCD 93.3 FM The Wolf.
Matt Jauch, vocalist and lead guitarist of Cleveland Ohio’s Ragers, has one astonishing musical resume. Jauch has played in the acclaimed lo-fi jangle pop project, Boatzz plus other Cleveland staples including Chalkline, Solo Flyer, and Stimulus Package. Jauch said that with Ragers he is taking on lead guitar duties while in the past he was more of a rhythm player. Jauch is quite well-versed in playing many genres and subgenres of music. “Style-wise I have done a lot. Hardcore, Emo, radio-rock, indie-rock, and Brit-rock. As you get older ,it’s fun to venture into different genres and challenge yourself to be competent with writing and playing different styles. With Ragers, you’ll hear those old influences here and there in the lead playing and noodling that I do,” Jauch said.
Listening to Cleveland’s Extra Medium Pony’s full-length debut, “11868,” I was immediately hooked because it reminded me of the pure, honest emotion and musicianship of Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, The Grifters, Silkworm and The Beatnik Filmstars. For Extra Medium Pony singer/songwriter and guitarist, Rick Spitalsky, “11868” is an honest musical showcase. The band’s debut clearly shows that the subject of heartbreak is the perfect ingredient to a passionate pop song. This album was an actual godsend for me, as it was a therapeutic listen for me as well.
“The number 11868, is the apartment building I lived in with my ex-girlfriend when things were going well. It seemed to be a magical place and when we moved out it was like something was lost or left behind. We split up a couple of months after and needless to say, it was shitty. I wrote these songs full of raw emotion and passion and that’s why I think so many people have been reacting to it. I don’t get the satisfaction some people might get out of the songs, hearing them as upbeat, poppy anti-love songs,” Spitalsky said.
After an 8-month hiatus, Neon Avenue, returns to the scene fully rejuvenated with their latest release, “Welcome To Reason.” For Justin Edwards, vocalist/guitarist/pianist of Neon Avenue, the song craft on the band’s new full-length was a creative release of emotions . Edwards said that “Welcome To Reason,” has been reflective of some challenging times. He said as the band progresses, they hope to reach in more optimistic and positive territories.
I first saw Pittsburgh’s Amplifiers open for hometown heroes, Sam Goodwill the fall of 2010. I immediately got into the band’s sound as it nostalgically reminded me of the post- rock glory of listening to post- rock staples such as Life and Times, Seade, Stella Ink, Failure, Shrimpboat, HUM, Centaur, Starflyer 59, with occasional big-rock meets shoegaze nods to Swervedriver. From my alternative historian viewpoint, I always see every post genre from “90’s eyes.” The album’s state of the art production quality gives it a nice modern tinge and filled out sound.
It was a cold and damp weekend, the usual accoutrements that garnish the average fall season in northeast Ohio. Fall is not complete without these cozy bedfellows defining the atmospheric barometric mood. With bone chilling temperatures and remnants leftover from my “annual” fall cold, nothing stopped me from my usual venture to Cedars Lounge. It was worth the travel, because it was an magical evening of music.
“Turbo Lovers Tighten up sound on ‘Hopelessly Addicted’ ” By Gary S. Angelo/ aka Dr. Killjoy Youngstown Rock
Turbo Lovers frontman and guitarist, Bj Lisko is sticking to the traditional punk and rock ‘n’ roll sound, but with a powerpop tinge, on the band’s new album, “Hopelessly Addicted.” This effort will mark the band’s 6th release.
“The new disc is our first full –length since our 2009 release, ‘Roll Your Vice.’ It has a lot of the same elements that our previous records have had, and takes on a life of its own as well. The full-length, ‘Roll Your Vice,’ sort of set the tone for what I wanted Turbo Lovers to be about and ‘Hopelessly Addicted,’ takes it a step further. It’s definitely got a no- frills rock ‘n’ roll vibe to it , but we structured a lot of it in a pop format this time,” Lisko said.
Mind-expanding music from the Mahoning Valley and beyond, from the
studios of Golden String Radio in Youngstown, Ohio. Featuring special guest Jimmy Martin of the Jimmy Fro Podcast. Brought to you by
Lenz’s Artistic Dermagraphics, Guitar Slinger Music, American Auto
Painting and The Youngstown Rock & Groove Co.. c. 2013.
Cleveland Powerpop Sensations Rise above to Triumph: “The Paranoid Lovesick Story.By Gary S. Angelo- (Dr Killjoy)/YoungstownRock Staff Writer
To me, Cleveland, Ohio, circa the 80’s through the early 90’s, was a very underrated time in that it cranked out many acts that have yielded great power. It brought us the raw sounds of The Pagans (in the late 70’s) the pure aggression of Starvation Army , the thunderous rock of Prisonshake, the catchiness of The Mice, and all the way to the classy stage presence of The Revelers. The underlying subgenre of music that was always within reach in the Northeastern Ohio area, was powerpop, all things jangly, and all things good –heartbreak-songs-that-hit –home.
One of those bands which really hit home for me was Paranoid Lovesick and Medicine Men (later known as Medicine Show). The two bands have a wonderful, inspiring story packed with clever songwriting and infectious hooks. I remember the excitement of finding a copy of Medicine Show’s 1994 CD full-length “Welcome To The Show,” at the used bin. Just the coolness of songs like “Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out,” “Lucky The Dog” “Wait For You,” and “Swirl,” just capture the perfect essence of a fun neo-psychedelic powerpop gem, with a nice trippy humorous touch. Paranoid Lovesick had some powerful stompers including, “Universal Boat,” “Marginalia,” “Postman Bob” and an awesome cover of Badfinger’s 1973 gem, “Icicles.” This cover appears on the Copper Music Badfinger Tribute compilation, “Come And Get It: A Tribute To Badfinger” (1995).
In 2012, Paranoid Lovesick was included in writer and musician, Joe Oestreich’s book , “Hitless Wonder: A Life in Minor League Rock and Roll. Oestreich is a good friend of the band and plays bass in the Columbus, Ohio Powerpop band, Watershed. Like Paranoid Lovesick and Medicine Show, Watershed has also played Cedars Lounge numerous times. In fact, their recent Youngstown performance was at Cedars Lounge in June 2012.
The ALL NEW Rust Belt Rock Show! Now even MORE mind-expanding music from the Mahoning Valley and beyond, from the studios of Golden String Radio in Youngstown, Ohio. Brought to you by Lenz’s Artistic Dermagraphics, Guitar Slinger Music, American Auto Painting and The Youngstown Rock & Groove Co.. c. 2013.
This episodes guest is Dave O’Malley who you can catch every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on the Eclectic Electric Show w/ Gretchen on Golden String Radio.
Also, Jeff did some digging in the local music record vault and will be playing some classic thrash/speed metal by Youngstown’s Dementia (late 80′s) and Warren’s Decimator (late 80′s early 90′s)
This episodes music from the local record vaults are two area Thrash/Speed metal bands, Dementia (Youngstown) and Decimator (Warren)
From their 1988 demo Plead or Bleed
From their LP Do Unto Others
The Youngstown Rock’s Rust Belt Show is now on Golden String Radio Fridays 7pm-9pm. Listen in as Vike and guest play local and regional music, discuss recent and upcoming shows, and other matters of marginal importance.
Rust Belt Rock Show will also be available as a podcast on Youngstownrock.com and iTunes.
This weeks guest is Dave O’Malley who you can catch every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on the Eclectic Electric Show w/ Gretchen on Golden String Radio.
Also, Jeff did some digging in the local music record vault and will be playing some classic thrash/speed metal by Youngstown’s Dementia (late 80′s) and Warren’s Decimator (late 80′s early 90′s)
And don’t forget tonight at Cedars Lounge
Wild Kindness Record’s Bon Voyage 23 N Hazel Party
9PM (Proper ID required)
The Building (Youngstown)
Andre Costello & The Cool Miners
Rahkeem Brown (Youngstown Poet)
The Raspberry Reich (Youngstown avant-garde)
Also, Records & Local Wares, Comic & Art Vendors & Cheap and delicious vegan goods by SPACEbakery!
Droids Attack bassist talks about his noise rock past and future: “The Below The Sound Saga”. By Gary S. Angelo (Dr. Killjoy)
When someone says the words “Mid and “West” to me, the first thing I think of is my favorite genre of music of all time, noise rock. Whether it be Die Kreuzan, Killdozer, Halo of Flies, Scrid, Big Black, Libido Boyz, Tar, Sound of Rails, Janitor Joe, and Season To Risk, I love it all. Even East Coast noise rock bands like Pitchblende (being my all time favorite), BALL/Gumball, The Honeymoon Killers, Action Swingers, Unsane, Spore, Stress Magnets and Polvo all hit near and dear to my musical “wheel house.” Even the noisy post punk from the Pacific Northwest and West Coast is quite stellar. Well, anyone who knows me well enough, knows I could go on and on the topics of the raw, rustic , edges of the ‘90s. Whether it’s the Industrial, lo-fi, post punk, heavy, or post-hardcore end of this lovely genre, at the end of the day, noise rock is pure art to me plain and simple.
As fellow passionate music journalists in the Northeastern Ohio area, Gossip Culture brainchild, Ryan Sheridan and I had some pretty in- depth conversations about the ever-so-changing music climate. These discussions are filled with “ah-hah moments, critiques, twinkles of reminiscent auditory nostalgia, chuckles and guffaws. It’s been rewarding to have numerous “parking lot chats” with a fellow “herald of the musical pen.” We both provide our devoted audiences with well –crafted gifts of music journalese, just in the same fashion that a baker creates gourmet pastry delights of mouth-watering bliss. Our underground literary feats serve as helpful cultural alerts that encourage readers to catch a glimpse of independent talents.
Celestial psychedelic symphonies of Pittsburgh’s The Van Allen Belt By Gary S. Angelo/YoungstownRock.com
Pittsburgh, PA’s The Van Allen Belt is an endless swirl of musical influences from dream pop, classical, and Brazilian psychedelia. The band’s discography includes Meal Ticket To Purgatory (2007), Vancouver And All The Reasons Why EP (2010) and Superpowerfragilis: Or How I learned to Stop Caring and Love The Drug (2010).
I must say that the band’s past few performances at the Lemon Grove Café mesmerized me and I was indeed in my bliss. The Van Allen Belt is currently working on their new album, Heaven On A Branch ,as well as crafting ideas for a new EP. The Van Allen Belt’s creativity continues to grow. The Van Allen Belt songwriter, author, producer and keyboardist, Benjamin K. Ferris, agrees that the attitudes and the technologies within the band’s music have matured.
On Thursday August 30th at Cedars Lounge, R. Ring played a fabulous, heartwarming and intimate set. R.Ring includes Kelley Deal (The Breeders, Kelley Deal 6000, The Last Hard Men) on vocals and guitar and Mike Montgomery (Thistle and Ampline), on vocals and guitar. Being the quintessential noise rock addict that I am, the most intriguing moment of the night was when the band covered Shellac’s riveting track, “Ghosts,” which appears on the essential Shellac album 1000 Hurts, released on the mighty Chicago, Illinois’ Touch and Go Records.
Forming from the embers of the Akron, Ohio acts Radar Secret Service, New Body Type, Human Caveman, and QIX, David Bay Leaf has grown to be a minimalist post-punk opus. The band’s sound is well anchored by Robert Ledyard’s (of Radar Secret Service) compelling vocals and bass lines, guitarist Gabe Schray’s angular Dan Electro chimes and the propulsive rhythm of drummer Scott Davidson.
On August 18th at Cedar’s Lounge, David Bay Leaf celebrated the release of their 2012 split effort with Youngstown, Ohio’s Batt Lion. The split includes the songs “Boring Grotto” and “Open To Experience.” The bill also included the acts, Filmstrip from Cleveland, and Fishwives from Youngstown.
Also this Saturday September 22, at The Royal Oaks, located at 924 Oak Street Youngstown, Ohio Radar Secret Service will take the stage with Batt Lion and Moony Hairy. The show will be free.
Today local post-rock unit, Pilot The Mind, is flying above the formulaic “musical box.” In short, the band continues to think outside of the box and has successfully mastered the art of tying in musical influences outside of the traditional hard rock coventions. Bassist, Chris Krejci believes the band has successfully mastered the art of this musical mission. The band is by far not a cliché or tied to a specific genre,but wholesomely organic in nature.
When making my usual “weekend appearances” at Cedars Lounge, I and my many colleagues always engage ourselves in a memorable music discussion. Anyone who knows me well to a “T” knows I pretty much have the “gift of gab” when it comes to music whether it’s local, national or international. No matter what happens between Saturday night and the responsibilities of the week, I still return to these in depth discussions in my mind, kind of like a tape recorder.
One memorable conversation that just so happened at the right time was a Friday August 3rd night at Cedars with friends, Matt Zackeroff, Paco Magallon and Eric Tharp. They are great music conversationalists and musicians, by the way. Zackeroff asked the question, “What currently active local band has been together for the longest time?” Now we all know that bands in this area have formed, disbanded, went on hiatus, and reformed. The question is, who has been together for the longest amount of time, but has been active all those continuous years? Someone, I think it was Zackeroff ,settled on the answer; Third Class. I can definitely agree with this answer. Other bands that came to our minds were The Zou and Rebreather (which probably came to my mind).
Varg Freeborn, founder and owner of the business, Guitar Slinger Music, located at 14 S. State StreetGirard, Ohio said he has been a customizer for all his life. Today Freeborn and his wife Katie Papay Freeborn own Guitar Slinger Music. Freeborn’s journey into the world of customizing began with 15 years of experience building custom motorcycles and cars. In addition to customizing, Freeborn knew he was a guitarist at heart and worked to acheive entertwining these two trades.
Columbus,Ohio’s Old Worlds recaptures that perfect essence of the early roster of Tooth and Nail Records circa early to mid 90s drawing in post shoegaze elements of Starflyer 59, Puller, and Roadside Monument with the finesse of Shudder To Think. The band’s gifted talent for creating ambient landscapes gives them a sound that is authentically theirs.
The landscape of Youngstown’s Indie rock climate owes respectable admiration to Boogie Man Smash. Boogie Man Smash formed in 1987 during a time when Youngstown had a vibrant Hardcore scene including a roster of acts such as The Gutter Snipes, Sacred Hate, The Moat Hamz and Symphony of Terror. Boogie Man Smash stood as a creative, enigmatic force playing a brand of Post Punk that spanned into the territory of the Pixies, meshed into Syd Barret era Pink Floyd with the art approach of Chicago’s Alice Donut. Boogie Man Smash still allowed the Americana influences of Murmur –era REM and Camper Van Beethoven to shed some light on their musical influences. On a Thanksgiving night at Cedars in 2008, I sat down with the brothers Hudak, (Marty and Rob, former BMS frontman), to discuss the glory days of Youngstown’s Penguin Pub and Boogie Man Smash. Rob Hudak was home visiting for the Thanksgiving holiday, so it was a great moment to recapture history.
For over three decades, The Grateful Dead has defined American musical culture. Since the mid 60s, The Dead’s music and lifestyle has been a household name among listeners young and old. The band has even influenced a generation of Alt-rock acts like Screaming Trees, Thelonious Monster, Meat Puppets, Tripping Daisy, Rusted Root and Jane’s Addiction.
Since 2003, James DeCapua and his band, Jones For Revival have been delivering the splendor of the Dead’s influence to local and regional crowds. The band has built musical momentum at regional festivals like RukusFest, VexFest and their very own event, “Jonesfest,” which is held at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville,Ohio.
Former Asleep bassist/keyboardist transforms practice space into full time recording studio By Gary S. Angelo/Youngstownrock.com
After many years of playing in Asleep and practicing in the quaint, loftyBoardman,Ohiodestination, located on 6192 Southern Blvd., Larry Serb was inspired to transform this space into the recording studio, known as Don’t Touch That Studio. What was once Asleep’s practice space is now a full-time recording studio for local and regional bands. Don’t Touch That Studio is owned and operated by Larry Serb.
The East Killbride, Scotland influential force, Jesus and Mary Chain gave the year 1985 a volume-induced, fuzzed out awakening with their Blanco y Negro debut, Psychocandy. The album is not a testament to proto-shoegaze alone. Instead, JAMC successfully drew influences from vintage blues icons like Bo Diddley and Howlin’ Wolf, to charming 60’s female garage groups like the Bittersweets and Shangri-La’s to famous American east coast advant progenitors such as Suicide and of course The Velvet Underground. One can hear Psychocandy’s influences and volume- soaked drone on masterpieces like The Telescope’s Taste (1989), and Loop’s Heaven’s End (1987), the chainsaw buzz of Ecstasy of Saint Theresa’s 1992 effort Susurrate to the somber buzz that is hinted in The Boo Radley’s 1990 debut, Icahbod and I.
Champaign,Illinois has been the ultimate hotspot of some of the most visceral reverb-soaked and wall- of- noise guitar masters of our time. Acts like Hum, Steakdaddy Six and Poster Children are among the few bands that have helped revolutionized theChampaign,Illinois sound, placing this destination on the influential musical map.