The pervasive collaborative effort that is being currently found in the Bay Area music scene is where Night School was born into and from. Hailing from Oakland, CA to be exact, among their members is one Alexandra Morte, formerly of Whirr and also currently as one half of the duo Camera Shy, which includes Nick Bassett of Whirr and Nothing.
Night School‘s music while cemented and part of the newgaze sounds, it evokes also a persistence in incorporating garage rock and the doo-wop of groups like The Shangri-las and The Ronettes. It’s a fuzzier sound than expected from a vocal-heavy group. The sugary melodies are washed over by the fuzziness of the guitars and rhythms and the dream-like vocals wrap it all nicely in a package that then becomes difficult to categorize. And it’s such a great feeling to just listen and lose yourself in their sound.
Night School have a four-song EP, Heart Beat, due out on October 7th (that’s tomorrow!) via Graveface Records (and you can order here).
And just in time for that oh-so glorious release, we offer you another teaser from the EP in the song “Casiotone”. As opposed to the first song released, “Birthday”, with its pop sounds and harmonies stretched out to make it a bouncy affair, “Casiotone” finds the group taking on a more lo-fi and melancholic approach. It’s a true sound of what languid and dreamy garage pop is like. The song gets bombastic and loud as it progresses while still maintaining a persistent melody and pop-infused delivery. With this second song off the EP, Night School paint themselves out of that corner that could potentially pigeonhole them in some lengthy word-filled category. Let’s just say that Night School are the perfect pop group for the slighty-jaded newgazers.
No Devotion, the new indie-rock endeavor fronted by former Thursday and United Nations vocalist Geoff Rickly that also includes the remaining members of the UK band Lostprophets, will see their debut EP 10,000 Summers released on October 27th via Collect Records.
From the press release:
To celebrate the release of the EP, No Devotion will be making its U.S. live debut at Glasslands in Brooklyn, NY on Tuesday, October 28 with Ricky Eat Acid, labelmates Black Clouds and Creepoid. Pre-order information on the EP as well as tickets for the band’s upcoming appearance can be found on the band’s official website, http://www.nodevotion.com.
This is a story that starts with an ending. An atypical story for modern music, this is a tragedy that isn’t mythologized, a drama that couldn’t have been manufactured. In this story, a popular band does not rediscover friendship to deliver the best album of their careers. The story of No Devotion truly has no precedent.
By now, most people-or at least most anyone reading this-know what happened to Lostprophets, the Welsh sextet whose multi-platinum, fifteen-year career died instantly with the horrific actions of its former lead singer. What most people haven’t seemed to consider, however, is how the lives of the band’s remaining members – Lee Gaze, Luke Johnson, Mike Lewis, Jamie Oliver, and Stuart Richardson – were profoundly impacted. Harshly uprooted from their settled lives and careers, their own notions of trust and betrayal tested beyond measure, there was never going to be an ending in which everything could simply go back to where it was before.
“We didn’t know if we would ever make music again,” Richardson recalls, “if people would look us in the face. Everything felt like it was over.”
There was a long period of reflection, a sort of self-preservation for themselves and their families. And then, the music did come, albeit not like before.
By the time they approached former Thursday vocalist Geoff Rickly with a batch of instrumental tracks, an updated creative template had been forged and the singer’s famously eclectic musical interests – which he spent the last few years exploring as both a solo artist and as a member of United Nations – somehow perfectly aligned with this new direction.
“To be honest, I never really listened to Lostprophets,” Rickly admits. “But with this music, we speak a common language. You don’t really grow out of punk, you grow with it. To my mind, post-punk was about taking a more sophisticated approach to that sound, and I think we all have a shared respect for that era of modern music.”
After much consideration, Rickly agreed to front the new project. In light of the recent controversy, no one believed that this was an easy request.
“I had always liked these guys in passing: they’re funny and self-aware. I didn’t think it was fair, what was happening to them. And, well, the music was too good to pass up,” he says, simply.
Which is to say that this story is not so much about alienation as it is about connection, and it’s not about redemption as much as personal reclamation. No Devotion provided a vehicle for its members to become themselves again, and the two songs that comprise this, their debut 12-inch for Collect Records, were the fuel.
“We didn’t know what else to do,” Richardson explains. “We just wrote music. I didn’t know if anyone would ever want to hear it, I didn’t know if anyone ever would hear it. I just needed to occupy my brain.” He pauses, then adds, “We just needed this.”
28 – Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands (w/ Ricky Eat Acid, Black Clouds, Creepoid)
OCT 10 – Chicago, IL @ Township w/ Cheap Girls & The Gunshy
OCT 11 – Fort Wayne, IN @ Brass Rail w/ Cheap Girls
OCT 12 – Toronto, CAN @ Cave w/ Cheap Girls, Tragic Hearts & Liver
OCT 13 – Buffalo, NY @ The Mohawk w/ Cheap Girls, Newish Star, Softlines
OCT 14 – Brooklyn, NY @ St. Vitus w/ Cheap Girls, Signals Midwest & Lee Corey Oswald
OCT 15 – Boston, MA @ Middle East w/ Cheap Girls, Signals Midwest & Lee Corey Oswald
OCT 16 – Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Lanes w/ Cheap Girls, Signals Midwest & Lee Corey Oswald
OCT 17 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire w/ Cheap Girls, Signals Midwest & Lee Corey Oswald
OCT 18 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe w/ Cheap Girls, Signals Midwest & Lee Corey Oswald
OCT 19 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop w/ Cheap Girls, Signals Midwest & Lee Corey Oswald
OCT 31 – NOV 02: Gainesville, FL @ The Fest!
New England melodic-hardcore band Four Year Strong has announced plans for a headlining tour in January with support from Canadian hardcore band Comeback Kid. The tour will kick off on January 6th in South Burlington, VT and end on January 24th in Amityville, NY. VIP and pre-sale tickets will go on sale Tuesday, October 7th at 10AM ET. Tickets will be available to the general public on Friday, October 10th at 10AM ET. Visit FourYearStrongMusic.com for additional information.
Four Year Strong will also be on the road this fall for “The Go Down In History Tour” with Transit, Such Gold and Seaway in support of their new EP, Go Down In History.
Four Year Strong Tour Dates:
Nov 1 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge (w/Transit, Such Gold)
Nov 2 – Lawrence, KS – Granada Theatre (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 3 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theater (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 4 – Murray, UT – Murray Theater (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 6 – San Francisco, CA – Slims (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 7 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 8 – Pomona, CA – Glass House (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 9 – San Diego, CA – SOMA (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 11 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theater (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 13 – Houston, TX – Walter’s Downtown (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 14 – Dallas, TX – The Door (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 15 – Austin, TX – Red 7 (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 17 – St. Louis, MO – Ready Room (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 18 – Columbus, OH – Skully’s (w/Transit, Such Gold)
Nov 19 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theatre (w/Transit, Such Gold)
Nov 20 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Nov 21 – Buffalo, NY – Waiting Room (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)
Dec 27 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium (w/State Champs, A Loss For Words)
Jan 6 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 7 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 8 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 9 – Pontiac, MI – The Crofoot (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 10 – Louisville, KY – Vernon Club (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 11 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 13 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 14 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 15 – Charleston, SC – Music Farm (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 16 – Ybor City, FL – The Orpheum (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 17 – Orlando, FL – The Beacham Theatre (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 18 – Jacksonville, FL – Underbelly (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 20 – Richmond, VA – The Broadberry (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 21 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 22 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 23 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer (w/Comeback Kid)
Jan 24 – Amityville, NY – Revolution (w/Comeback Kid)
Newmoon recently stopped in at Hightime Studios and recorded a live set that includes songs off their debut 7″ EP Invitation To Hold as well as some new material. The Belgium shoegaze and dream-pop influenced band proves that they’re a great unit live in their style of ethereal music.
From the ol’ inbox:
AFI lead vocalist Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget have announced a November 18 release for XTRMST, the self-titled debut album from the duo’s new straight-edge hardcore band. The first single from the album, “Conformist,” will be available this coming Tuesday, October 7. In conjunction with this announcement, the pair have posted a brand new album track online called “Words For The Unwanted.” Listen now at www.xtrmst.com.
“Jade and I have been talking about starting a straight edge hardcore band for years,” says Havok. “We started writing and recording in early 2012 and chose the name XTRMST because it expresses the messages represented on the record. The straight edge movement is not one of moderation. It’s based in undeniable objective truths.”
“The straight edge philosophy is something that Davey and I gravitated towards at a young age, drawn by concepts and ideals that seem almost foreign in modern society,” says Puget. “Like much of the other subcultures we were a part of growing up, it put us at odds with 99% of the people around us, which was something we embraced. Being sXe for over 20 years and being musicians, it seemed natural that this crucial ideology would find a musical expression.”
The 14-track XTRMST album was produced and mixed by Puget at his home studio and at The Treehouse in Los Angeles, and its November 18 release will come via Dim Mak Records, the indie label founded by DJ/producer (and former member of hardcore band This Machine Kills) Steve Aoki. Although Aoki and Dim Mak are most often seen as leaders in the electronic dance music space, the release of the XTRMST album marks a return to Aoki and Dim Mak’s hardcore roots. “I got into straight-edge hardcore when I was a teen. It was my community, it was the reason I picked up a guitar, it’s the reason I was in bands, and ultimately it was the reason why I started Dim Mak,” says Aoki. Although no longer a staunch straight-edge follower today, Aoki expands, “I met Davey a while back and we bonded over our shared experiences in straight-edge culture. We found a lot of kinship there, and so it made sense for us to release an album that represents the spirit of what originally birthed Dim Mak.”
“I wanted these songs to be chaos, at times difficult to listen to, the wild architecture difficult to understand, but with a taste of the hardcore we grew up on thrown in. The vocals are raw and the main vocal in every song is the first take,” says Puget.
Fans began buzzing about XTRMST this past March, when Vacation Vinyl in Los Angeles offered free copies of a four-song cassette featuring a simple XT logo next to a sign that read, “Do you like hardcore? Fan of Straight Edge? If so – take this tape for free!” The tapes disappeared instantly and rumors of a new project from Havok and Puget lit up the Internet. When the rumor mill went into overdrive, Puget took to Twitter to announce, “Now that the cat is out of the bag, XTRMST is indeed Davey and I. More to come.”
“These songs are the purest expression of emotion, with no thought towards commerce or accessibility,” says Puget. “And the album was made with the amount of money you have in your pocket right now – just 2 people expressing their love and hate into microphones in a tiny room.”
01. Words For the Unwanted
03. Social Deathplay
08. The Breed
10. The Way
11. Swallow Your God
12. Dirty Nails
14. Coward Bow Your Head
Into It. Over It. will finish out the year on the road, playing dates this November and December with Lemuria in a unique tour that will feature both doing individual sets (Evan Weiss performing solo) as well as playing songs together. Along the way special guests will join them from time to time on stage as they travel from city to city. Upcoming tour dates below including Into It. Over It. full-band headline shows and dates with American Football and Mineral already in progress this October.
03 – Flint, MI – Flint Local #
04 – Hamilton, ON – Club Absinthe #
05 – London, ON – Rum Runners #
07 – Toronto, ON – Sneaky Dee’s #
08 – Montreal, QC – Cabaret Underworld #
09 – Burlington, VT – Signal Kitchen w/ Kevin Devine, #
10 – Poughkeepsie, NY – The Loft #
11 – New York, NY – Webster Hall w/ American Football (SOLD OUT)
17 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock
18 – Fargo, ND – The Aquarium
19 – Billings, MT – Railyard Ale House
21 – Reno, NV – The Holland Project
22 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent w/ Mineral
24 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre w/ Mineral
25 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre w/ Mineral
26 – Pomona, CA – The Glass House w/ Mineral
27 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom w/ Mineral
28 – El Paso, TX – The Lowbrow Palace
Oct 31 – Nov 2nd – Gainesville, FL – FEST 13 (set date TBA)
03 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade w/ Mineral
04 – Greensboro, NC – The Blind Tiger w/ Mineral
21 – McAllen, TX – Cine El Rey *
22 – Corpus Christi, TX – The Nasa *
23 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s (Upstairs) *
26 – San Antonio, TX – 1011 *
28 – Austin, TX – Red 7 (Inside) * (Fun Fun Fun Nites Show)
29 – Albuquerque, NM – Gasworks *
30 – Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room *
01 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar *
02 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room *
03 – Fresno, CA – Strummers *
04 – Oakland, CA – New Parish *
05 – Portland, OR – Slabtown *
06 – Seattle, WA – Corazon *
07 – Boise, ID – The Crux *
08 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court *
09 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive *
10 – Lincoln, NE – VEGA *
# = With Foxing, Kittyhawk
* = With Lemuria
Whirr‘s debut LP, Pipe Dreams, originally released by Tee Pee Records in 2012, will see itself reissued this coming October 7th by Graveface Records. The reissue, now titled Pipe Dreams Redux, will not only be remastered by Jack Shirley, but it will also have brand new artwork and the originally-intended tracklisting and “very simply the way the band intended you hear/see it.”
Pre-orders for Pipe Dreams Redux are up and live now at Graveface’s webstore. More info as it becomes available and hopefully a teaser or two of these remastered songs.
Pipe Dreams Redux Tracklisting
2. Home Is Where My Head Is
8. Formulas and Frequencies
Celebrating 15 years as an independent record label, Robotic Empire gives you “Blood”, a 30 track free mixtape comprised entirely of label alumni’s side projects, solo material and/or otherwise rare/unreleased songs. Enjoy!
Additionally, the label expands on the idea behind the compilation:
Founded in 1999 under then-moniker Robodog Records, the label changed names 3 years later to Robotic Empire, exploring a wide range of genres and formats over 100+ releases. The longrunning independent label has carved out a reputation as one to push the envelope and a multitude of genres to new limits.
With this 15-year-celebratory free digital compilation simply titled “Blood”, a significant amount of the Robotic Empire’s illustrious musicians are represented through their current, side and solo projects.
With contributions from repeat offenders TORCHE, TILTS, PYGMYLUSH, HOLLOW SUNSHINE, TIDELAND and ALPACA, this sampler also spotlights a swath of new material from members of historic Robo bands PG.99, DAUGHTERS, ISIS, CAPSULE, RED SPAROWES, CRESTFALLEN, YOUNG WIDOWS, STOP IT!!, DIAL, ULTRA DOLPHINS, A STORM OF LIGHT, VERSE EN COMA and many more.
The lead track from 10-year label veterans TORCHE is oddly-enough named after Robotic Empire label owner, Andy Low. When asked further about the song, TORCHE vocalist/guitarist Steve Brooks commented:
“This is a lost track we recorded for the “Songs for Singles” record in 2010. We weren’t completely satisfied with how it turned out and planned on rewriting it one day. One of the riffs got used in “Letting Go” (Harmonicraft). It’s a tune I kinda forgot about until Andy Low (pack rat) sent us a copy asking if we’d be into having this on his new comp. Sure, why not? If it wasn’t for Mr Low, Rick and I wouldn’t have met, Torche might not have existed and who knows where we’d all be today? We decided to call the song “Andy Low” to make him uncomfortable/feel strange about his name as a song title AND because we love the hell out of him. “Andy Low” is for our boy Andy Low/Robodog/Robotic Empire Records. Enjoy!”
Quote label founder Andy Low in reaction to assembling this release:
“I’m truly humbled and fairly weirded-out to have a song named after me. But far more importantly, I’m blown away by the sheer talent that surrounds this free ‘mixtape’ release. Every song included amazes me in some manner, and the culmination of all this material yields the same kind of excitement I felt on the cusp of releasing our most influential records through the label’s history.
If you can, please take the time to check out the full release, especially the songs by bands you haven’t heard before. It was sequenced with a classic mixtape feel in mind, and set to flow as best possible with such a wide variety of material! With two tracks for each year of the label’s existence, there is a plethora of great new tunes lurking in here, which I hope you’ll find and enjoy.
A genuine and hearty thankyou is due to every artist who is a part of this, it means the world to be celebrating 15 years as a label with such amazing musicians, and their projects past, present and future!”
Blood Track Listing
1. Torche – Andy Low *
2. Passing Phases – In The Dark, In The Fire *
3. The Ar-Kaics – No, No, No
4. Tideland – Let Me In *
5. Big No – Turn It On *
6. Taiga – Excelsius *
7. Tilts – Thomas Jefferson II
8. Gull – Susquehannd (Cut) *
9. Christian Blunda – Faraway *
10. Hollow Sunshine – Stay Down
11. Big Hush – Wholes *
12. Snacktruck – Miracle Ball *
13. Wrong – Call It *
14. Decades/Failures – Blank Clocks *
15. Jaye Jayle – Space Girl *
16. Alpaca – Dark Lands
17. Society – Sympathised
18. Mustard Gas and Roses – The Hard Road *
19. Some Stranger – Cosmic Dust (Call 911)) *
20. Hell Night – Black Hornet
21. Chris Taylor – Train of Thought *
22. Crooked Son – Hum *
23. Medusa – Crack & Bleed
24. Nicholas Sadler – You Don’t Know Where You Are Anymore
25. Idolands – Back Pocket *
26. Ancient Sky – Mistakes *
27. Light Yourself on Fire – Get Got *
28. A Storm of Light – Effigy *
29. Howling Void – The Moaning Ache of a Time on the Edge of Collapse *
30. Pygmy Lush – Serve the Servants (Acoustic Demo) *
* denotes previously unreleased
When Nothing recorded their Downward Years To Come EP as released by A389 Recordings, a few of the songs didn’t make the final cut and ended up being reworked for their debut LP, Guilty of Everything. One of those originals songs was “B&E” and it was initially an acoustic track. Now Nothing head honcho Domenic Palermo has not only released the acoustic version of the song, but also made a video to accompany it. The black & white video is culled from footage of home surveillance systems to create a piece of an actual home invasion.
As Palermo himself puts it:
“I have been sleeping at very strange hours since returning from Asia. The past 6 days I’ve woken up at 5:24 or just minutes past like some low-budget horror film. So when it happened this morning, I went downstairs, sat at my dining room table, and started searching for home invasion video footage. I started ripping clips and splicing it together until it started looking like one break in. This went on until the sun finally came up.”
The acoustic version of “B&E” is available in the Downward Years To Come V2 EP out from A389 Recordings.