Happy Halloween | Squirrel Nut Zippers – Hell

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This year’s Halloween video is both a trick and a treat! The treat coming in the form of the catchiest tune the spectacular North Carolina band Squirrel Nut Zippers released this side of the graveyard. The trick being that you will not be able to get the song out of your head all day. Seriously, those horns, that rhumba-beat, and the D and the A and the M/And the N and the A/ And the T and the I-O-N, will be knocking around that skull of yours while the costumed ghouls and goblins make short work of your bowl of candy.

 

New Album | Those Poor Bastards – Vicious Losers

Lonesome Wyatt of Those Poor Bastards

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It continues to be almost Halloween. Everyone seems in altogether too high of spirits for the time at hand, so I’m here to help you out with that. Friends – fiends – take a listen to Those Poor Bastards’ new album, Vicious Losers, and turn that smile upside down.

If you aren’t familiar with Those Poor Bastards, they make music that makes your horse go crazy, the music you hear on loop when you’re chained to a pipe in a basement, and Vicious Losers does not break from that tradition. Some people might want to tell you they hail from Wisconsin; in reality, they hail from the place your nightmares are set.

Lonesome Wyatt’s vocals can fool you into thinking there are several people singing in this band. Within the same song, even the same verse, he’ll run the gamut between creepy rasp and the pulpit yowls of a brimstone preacher. You’ll get an idea of this in the very first track off the album, “I Am Lost.”

Like a recurring nightmare, certain themes come up again and again on everything Those Poor Bastards do – fevered religious imagery (“Born to Rot”), loathing for the modern world in all of its materialism (“Big Trees”), and half-told stories that let your imagination fill in the lurid details (“Strange Dark Night”). Here now, hearken to “The Only Time,” above, and feel the pull between staying alive and living out that miserable life.

If crippling dread and portents of doom are your idea of a good time, you may purchase Vicious Losers straight from Tribulation Records here (and the rest of their back catalog, which I highly recommend for scaring trick-or-treaters away from your house). Marinate in it, sinners.

Photos + Review | Shakey Graves + Joe Sundell + Esme Patterson @ The Sinclair

Shakey Graves at The Sinclair
Photos by Boston Concert Photography

Well last Friday night the sold-out Sinclair crowd was treated to a spectacular show of rock n’ roll force when Austin musician, Alejandro Rose-Garcia, aka Shakey Graves, reminded us all of how a great live show is supposed to go down. Along for the ride were fellow Texas musician Joe Sundell and Denver songstress Esme Patterson, both of whom paved the way to our collective hearts with fantastic opening sets.

Shakey took to the stage to thunderous applause and immediately kicked into the high-octane number “Roll The Bones,” which got everyone shaking along as the night’s ringleader stomped his boots on the suitcase kick-drum placed behind him, filling the empty space with enough sound that if your eyes were closed you might have thought there was a full band on stage.

He wasn’t always on his own up there however. As he is touring with Esme it would be most prudent to invite the talented musician, who played a major role in the recording of Shakey Graves’ new album And The War Came, up on stage to sing along on the tunes she helped create. The playful “Big Time Nashville Star” shines as a live number, with Garcia and Patterson evoking Johnny and June Carter Cash, and the already fan favorite, “Dearly Departed,” creating a moment of mass hysteria.

When accompanied on stage by his friends and bandmates, Garcia’s showmanship was in full display. As a one-man band his presence commands attention, and the audience is riveted. As a player amongst fellow musicians he lives up to his Texas gentleman reputation and lets each performer shine and elevate every one of his songs to new heights. Touching on tracks from both his full-length albums, Garcia kept his longtime fans thoroughly engaged while deftly welcoming his newest fans to the friendly fold.

Shakey’s partner in crime, Esme Patterson, opened the show with a killer rock n’ roll set that placed the bar high for the following acts. Patterson released her fantastic new album, Woman to Woman, back in April and drew the crowd in with catchy hooks and overall guitar prowess that had those lucky enough to be there early totally enraptured.

I’d imagine that taking the stage right before Shakey Graves would be tough on a lot of folks, but Austin’s Joe Sundell handled the task like a seasoned pro. Performing tracks from his recently released sophomore album, The Hat Thief, Sundell sat atop a kick-drum and played his banjo like a man possessed by an entire old-timey Delta Blues band. He had the crowd clapping along with Southern fury.

Have a gander at the amazing photos taken by Music Savage contributor Steve Benoit of Boston Concert Photography… and be sure to catch Shakey live if he happens to make his way to your town. You will not be disappointed!

 

Video | Biblical – The Quiet Crooks

Halloween’s on its way. Recently, Boston just had a full night and day of howling winds and rain. A black cat literally just crossed my path (granted, she is my cat and she lives here, but just never mind that). What better time to watch a spooky, ominous video? Biblical’s new video for “The Quiet Crooks” has you covered. In the style of Dario Argento, the video brings you to an eerily empty city, where two dead-eyed women stalk each other through the shadows.

Biblical gets a lot of points with me. I listened to their album, Monsoon Season, on their site – and immediately got really excited because it was reminiscent of Red Fang, and I do enjoy Red Fang. Biblical’s Nick Sewell’s voice is less deep and more melodic than you might expect, though, which is a nice surprise for the genre. Also, they’re from Canada, like me (well, they’re from Toronto, but nobody’s perfect). And, possibly best of all, earlier this year, they opened for Andrew WK when he played Montreal – at Foufounes Electriques, whose dollar-beer night I availed myself of more than once in college. That’s a lot of upside.

So, if you like your rock like you like your beers, and by that you mean heavy and dark, give this a watch, and also let’s go get a beer.

Buy Monsoon Season

Tonight | Shakey Graves w/ Esme Patterson, and Joe Sundell @ The Sinclair

Shakey

Attention friends of Music Savage…especially those in the Greater Boston area. Tonight we are in for a boot-stompin’, hand-clapping good time as we welcome back Austin troubadour Alejandro Rose-Garcia, aka Shakey Graves, to our fair city. The last time the Texas tallboy was in our neck of the woods was back in September 2013 when he opened for Shovels & Rope at the Royale. Man that was a show! I also got to see Shakey shake the stage at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island this year, after which I turned to Kyle and said “Well that’s it… he will sell out every show here in New England from here on in.”

That statement has proven to be true, not only here but across the country as well. Shakey is touring in support of his newly released sophomore album, And The War Came, and his shows have been selling out left and right. Such is the case for his stop here tonight at one of the best venues in the area, The Sinclair in Harvard Square. Joining him for the fun this evening are two of his talented musical friends. His muse for the new album, Denver’s very own Esme Patterson, and fellow Austinite Joe Sundell.

Just because the show is sold out doesn’t mean you can’t find tickets! Hit the internet folks and get yourself to Cambridge this evening. If you do come find the Music Savage gang as most of us will be there kicking up our heels and swinging our partners.

For a taste of what is in store check out Shakey’s performance on Conan.

Tonight’s show info and his full tour info

New Music | Dead Professional – Bad Memory

When we received the first Dead Professional single back in the summer of 2013 I knew it was a sign of good things to come for singer-songwriter John Harouff. With a number of super-catchy songs released throughout the year, and a pretty active live gig schedule which included recently opening for Ryan Adams at the 9:30 in D.C., it was only a matter of time before we had news of a debut EP from our favorite Virginian.

The forthcoming release is called Hard Hard Hard, and as Harouff is the hardest working man in music the title is spot on. It will be released November 18th and the first single, “Bad Memory,” is already a fan favorite at shows. The track makes you want to throw on a vintage leather jacket, jump on a beautiful Triumph TR5 Trophy, walk into the diner and hit the jukebox like Arthur Fonzarelli. If it’s indicative of what is to come on the album then I’ll definitely need to practice my “Ayyyyyyyy!”

Preorder Hard Hard Hard

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Photos | Lil’ Dicky @ Brighton Music Hall

Lil' Dicky at Brighton Music Hall
Photos by Boston Concert Photography

Sometimes there’s a movement in a music scene that you simply can’t ignore. Such is the case with Lil’ Dicky (A.K.A. David Burd / LD / Mr. Leftward Sloping Penis,) the white Jewish rapper from Philadelphia who is turning heads from Everytown, USA to Diddy’s yacht with his Kickstarter-funded “Professional Rapper”album and tour.

On first impression, some people will probably take him for strictly a comedian. Some kind of cross between Weird Al Yankovic and Eminem, if you will. But I’d ask you to listen closer if comedy is all you’re taking away from his music.

Are most of his songs satirical? Yes. Does his subject matter appeal to geeky white guys? Yes. But take in more than the videos being played for laughs and you’ll find out this guy actually has the skills, the rhymes, the flow and the scheme to pull off legitimate rap game (just look around.)

Lil’ Dicky is a legit performer. Don’t let the Jew-fro and Jew-flow fool you.

If you were able to make it to Brighton Music Hall on Tuesday, you’re probably a believer that this is more than a fluke. Go catch one of Lil’ Dicky’s shows before he starts playing much bigger venues and have a damn fun time.

But let’s not get it twisted — Lil’ Dicky is the one having the most fun out of all of us.

New Album | BLXPLTN – Black Cop Down

BLXPLTN

[A]ustin, TX trio BLXPLTN released their debut album, Black Cop Down, this week and I am pumped to be able to post the new release in its entirety here for your fist-smashing, bone-crushing, head-rattling, cubicle-trashing pleasure. Lil K Big Q (guitars/vocals/screams), TaSzlin Muerte (electro-drums/vocals), and Jonathan Horstmann (bass/synth/vocals) have created a record that truly exemplifies the outrage most of us feel at the rampant social injustice and inequality quickly spreading across the country.

You yourself may never have to actually face the type of discrimination and exploitation that the band powerfully rebukes in all nine songs found on Black Cop Down, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rage along with them. There has always been, and always will be, abuse carried out by those living within a perceived bubble of power; fortunately there will always be great bands like BLXPLTN ready to burst that bubble.

Turn this album up, put your fist in the air, and jump around with fury. Music makes everything better!

Buy Black Cop Down

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Review | Shakey Graves – And The War Came

Americana Showcase at SXSW

[T]here’s a new sheriff in town folks and his name is Alejandro Rose-Garcia. The Texas troubadour, who creates his unique brand of foot-stomping rock n’ roll as Shakey Graves, released his sophomore album, And The War Came, this week and it is the release fans of his live show will undoubtedly enjoy while bringing new fans to the Shakey fold.

The release of his first LP in 2011 titled, Roll The Bones, rooted the Shakey sound deep into the hearts of music fans across the Lone Star State, while his relentless touring and self-promotion carved a new path on the well-worn Americana highway. The release of his EP, Donor Blues, in 2012 only further escalated the fervor for more grave shaking.

Rose-Garcia is a natural performer and his live show has become a not to be missed event. How does one take that energy put forth on stage day in and day out and bottle it up in a studio recording you ask? Well, one listen to And The War Came will provide the answer you need. There is a fuller, richer sound to be found in the 10 songs on the album and collaboration is the key to hand-clapping, hip-swinging success.

The first seven seconds are titled “This is the Beginning” which flows right into the album’s first track “Only Son,” a slowly escalating track that explores the end of a lonesome journey with powerful harmonies and that signature Shakey Graves guitar picking proficiency. The album’s single, “Dearly Departed,” is a full on, no nonsense barn-burner of a number about a love that has died and the ghost that is left behind. With stellar guest vocals by the always endearing Esme Patterson, the track soars through your soul and manages to uplift your spirits despite the dour outcome. The duo sing out “You and I both know that the house is haunted/You and I both know that the ghost is me,” with no restrain, as if realizing they are both at fault and celebrating the discovery. It’s simply fantastic!

Shakey Graves is not afraid to kick it up a few notches on And The War Came and the electrified track, “The Perfect Parts,” is a perfect example of the magnified sound found in his live show. With quick tempo changes, amps turned up to 11, and screamingly emotional lyrics it’s the type of number that is sure to singe the hairs in your ears and leave you wanting more.

The songs which find Patterson providing vocals exemplify ideal collaboration between two talented artists, and it is clear the two enjoyed working with one another. The track “Big Time Nashville Star” is filled with Johnny Cash style, locomotive-guitar playing and back n’ forth vocals reminiscent of the playful banter found in any great Cash/Carter song. The album’s closer is a lo-fi little ditty titled “Call It Heaven,” with Patterson and Rose-Garcia trading blows in the boxing ring of love. It’s a TKO in ten rounds!

Shakey Graves has been a one man music-machine for much of his career, and as his style progresses, and his audience grows, there is a sort of comfort that comes with partnership and knowing that you don’t always have to carry the weight yourself. And The War Came is the sound of a musician with a powerful instrumental army by his side.

You must see this album performed live for yourself and lucky for you Shakey is on tour! Do yourself the favor of catching him when he makes his way to your town. He will be here in Boston for a sold-out show at The Sinclair, which is one of the areas finest venues.

Tour info here.

Buy And The War Came

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New Music | Little Children – Hey Hey

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[R]egulars to our site know that I am a big fan of the music Stockholm singer-songwriter Linus Lutti has been creating under the Little Children moniker, and with every new single he makes a strong case to become king of all Swedish musicians. Sure that’s not a real thing, but if it was Lutti would be sitting on the Scandinavian indie-folk throne.

The latest single from Little Children is the excellent “Hey Hey,” which combines the intricacies of a love gone wrong with the subtle psychedelic grooves laid down by bandmates Andreas Söderström and Mattias Bergqvist. The sound the trio creates continues to evolve with each new release and the new track is no exception. “Hey Hey” is hushed harmonious heartbreak at its finest.

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