New Music | BLXPLTN – Start Fires

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The Austin, TX trio BLXPLTN are the newest addition to the live music capital of the world and they’ve been taking the city’s many venues by storm with their eclectic mix of electronic-post-punk-industrial rock. The band formed in 2013 and since then Lil K Big Q (guitars/vocals/screams), TaSzlin Muerte (elecro-drums/vocals), and Jonathan Horstmann (bass/synth/vocals) have been tearing apart the music scene with mind-melding beats, chaotic guitars, and pulse-stopping bass.

BLXPLTN currently only have a handful of songs released, but it’s not the amount of tunes that makes people thrash about in delight… it’s the energy contained within those songs. They will be bottling up that energy and releasing it in the form of a debut album, Black Cop Down, in October and I’m excited to share the first single, “Start Fires,” with you fine people. It’s an intense track that will set your brain ablaze and have you screaming “You’re a tiger/And I’m a lion” at the person closest to you. (Warning: results of said screaming may vary).

If you are in the Brooklyn area August 23-24 you can catch BLXPLTN shredding the stage at the Afropunk Festival in Commodore Barry Park.

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Mixtape | July 2014

This is my mixtape for the month of July, there was so much good music this month, I couldn’t even keep this to 20 songs. Great new tunes from Savage favorites Chuck Prophet, Blake Mills, The Rural Alberta Advantage, and even a few we never thought we’d like and we were totally surprised. So hit play, sit back, open your ears and enjoy.

Photos | Against Me! @ House of Blues (Cleveland)

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I’d gone in expecting audience participation at the hands of some of Against Me!’s more anthemic songs, like “I Was a Teenage Anarchist” and “Unconditional Love.” But nearly everything on their setlist became a rowdy singalong. It’s rare to see a band play with such obvious joy, and I’m not sure there was a point in their set where Laura wasn’t smiling. With very little time devoted to introducing songs and only a brief break before the encore, Against Me! fit in old favorites like “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong,” “Don’t Lose Touch,” and a lively rendition of “Turn Those Clapping Hands into Angry Balled Fists” along with new tracks from Transgender Dysphoria Blues. It was fun, energetic, and well complemented by opening acts Jenny Owen Youngs and the Creepoids. 

New Music | Royal Blood – Figure It Out

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A punch of adrenaline straight to the heart Pulp Fiction style! That is how I would describe the head rattling sound that is Mike Kerr (vocals, bass) and Ben Thathcher (drums), otherwise known as Royal Blood. The UK duo released their debut EP, Out Of The Black, earlier in the year, and the four tracks made quite an impact. The guys have opened for the Arctic Monkeys and Interpol across the pond, and have recently begun a headline tour of the US. All of this attention without a full-length album! 

Speaking of which, their self-titled debut album will be released on August 25th via Warner Bros. Records and we have the first single, “Figure It Out”, to fill that head banging void in your soul. Kerr rips into his bass as though it were a six-string on fire and Thathcher hits the drums like a man possessed. Do yourself a favor and check out their website to catch some live footage and you’ll see and hear Royal Blood in their element…on a stage in front of people going bonkers. And speaking of bonkers … check out the video for “Figure It Out.”

If you prefer to experience your music live rather than on a screen Royal Blood will be here in our fair city Tuesday, July 22nd, at Brighton Music Hall for what is sure to be a kick ass show (Tickets and info). Make the beginning of your week more bearable with some all out rock n’ roll. For those of you not in Boston check out the tour dates below and if they are in your town you’ll want to go!

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New Music | Ex Hex – Don’t Wanna Lose

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Washington, DC power-trio Ex Hex will release their eagerly awaited debut album, Rips, on October 7th via Merge Records and we have been sent the fantastic first single, “Don’t Wanna Lose,” to help spread the word. It’s an out-and-out rocker which kicks you in the pants with set-to-stun guitar hooks and pulse-pounding drums.

Ex Hex is Mary Timony (guitars/vocals), Laura Harris (drums), and Betsy Wright (guitars). The combined talent of the musicians makes for a gigantic sound! Timony is the hardest working rocker in the biz (with Helium, Autoclave, and Wild Flag notched into her belt), Harris honed her drumming chops in Aquarium, and Wright is an accomplished performer/piano player who mastered the six-string as the third member of the band.

We’ll have more from Ex Hex as the release date draws near. Until then enjoy the one-two punch that is “Don’t Wanna Lose” and make sure the volume is turned way up for this one.

Ex Hex Tour Dates:
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New Music | Chuck Prophet – Wish Me Luck

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Chuck Prophet’s background is vast, and lengthy, and he’s recently announced a 13th studio album to add to his own lore. His most recent release, Temple Beautiful, was a critical success, and it seems as though he’s looking to build off of that. Upcoming record, Night Surfer, and first single, “Wish Me Luck,” a sort of tongue-in-cheek jangly rock-affair that’s a bit Petty and a bit Velvet Underground, or a million other influences that are so hard to decipher in his music, all I know is that I never want to end. Check out “Wish Me Luck,” and look for Night Surfer, September 23 and a NA tour coming soon.

New Music | Field Report – Wings

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Back in 2012 there was a lot of hubbub over Wisocnsin’s Field Report, I saw them at SXSW and they totally amazed me. Chris Porterfield’s background, vocals and songwriting gave the band instant gravitas, they toured relentlessly and blew us all away with their tunes. Having written one of my favorite records that year, I have been eagerly awaiting what brings them to the fold and we are finally here. Their forthcoming record, Marigolden, drops October 9 but we’re getting our first taste today of single “Wings,” and entirely stripped down, bare, digital-folk tune that feels as though you are floating within Porterfield’s personal ruminations on touring, drinking, and the toll it all takes mentally and physically. The result is a sparsely beautiful tune that you will get lost in.

Photos | Portland Cello Project’s Extreme Dance Party 2014 @ Doug Fir (PDX)

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Photos by Colin McLaughlin

Out-of-towners love to say Portland crowds don’t dance. We don’t. We do love karaoke though, which makes Portland Cello Project’s annual Extreme Dance Party mighty appealing to us homegrown folk.

For the uninitiated, the Extreme Dance Party is PCP’s yearly excuse to fuse mega hits with cellos. Vocalists from as close as Portland, and as far as Chicago, get to play Top 40 icon as PCP and a crew of musicians (horn section, percussionist, drummer, and keyboardist) provide the launching pad.

I’ve been the last 4 years and it’s always an amazing experience. Crowds are pumped, people are dancing (!) and everyone gets to be in love with pop music. Guilty pleasures and all. I’d like to tell you what they’d played, but I don’t want to ruin it for everyone going tonight. You go to be surprised, and every year you are.

If this interests you, and you’re in Portland, get to the Doug Fir by 8pm (have to scalp a ticket) or go next year. It’s always worth your time.

For everyone that can’t make it, I took pictures of night 1 for you. Have a look.

 

New Music | The Sea The Sea – Love We Are We Love

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New York duo The Sea The Sea released their palindrome-titled debut, Love We Are We Love, to critical acclaim here in the states earlier this year and are hoping for the same across the pond when the album gets its UK release on September 1st.  Chuck e. Costa and Mira Stanley formed the band in 2011, after having met at a songwriting contest a few years earlier, and have been making waves in the folk rock waters ever since. 

We received the latest single in our Music Savage mailbox this week and I was smitten from the moment I pressed play. The title-track is the most pleasing blend of harmonious male/female voices I’ve heard in quite some time. Mix that together with some hip-shaking guitar hooks and a head-bopping drum beat and you have yourself a perfect summertime sonnet.

The Sea The Sea have been on a touring tear as of late with no signs of slowing. The two have been in our neck of the woods quite a few times these past months and will be back in town September 3rd with a date at Club Passim in Cambridge. That’s still a few months off and it is too beautiful outside to think of autumn, so for now enjoy the song “Love We Are We Love” and soak in the sunshine emanating from your speakers.

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New Music | Harriet – Ten Steps

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Yet another tune has surfaced from Los Angeles band Harriet’s new upcoming record “It’s Totally Cool, I Wouldn’t Even Worry About It.” Everything we’ve heard from this record to date has this interesting tone, it’s nearly cinematic, with multi-layered sonic moments that seemingly come from every angle, it all works so well with the video above which plays like a weird dance instructor met Stanley Kubrick.

I’m totally in love with what they’ve got going on here.