“Kids rock” rockers Feltworth return with new emphasis on power-pop rock.

FELTWORTH (Canadian Puppet Power-Pop)
*Premiere debut music video “Forget This Feeling
*Release AA-side 7-inch “Forget This Feeling / You Turn Me On”
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FELTWORTH –“Forget This Feeling” / “You Turn Me On” 7-inch
(out June 02, 2017)

Share new video “Forget This Feeling”  YouTube // Brooklyn Vegan
“Both songs are super-catchy pop, reminiscent of The Beatles or The Sweet, or Canadian bands who like The Beatles and The Sweet.”Brooklyn Vegan

“There’s no Juno category for Best Musical Performance By a Puppet — but if there were, Feltworth would likely have it locked down.”CBC
“Forget This Feeling” is a rollicking slice of pure power-pop built on an insistent piano part from Morris and stellar brotherly harmonies, all loving smothered in appropriately fuzzy guitars. For Feltworth the near future is bright…orange.”
The Line Of Best Fit
Feltworth is a 4-piece rock band consisting of Dezi Feltworth (bass, vocals), his brother Manny Feltworth (guitar, vocals), Morris Katzenburd (piano, keyboards) and Cozy Balboa (drums, tambourine). You may, of course, know of them already if you have children at arm’s length. Feltworth has been an outrageously successful act on the children’s music scene for many years. They burst into the limelight early in their career with their first album of music for youngsters called Super DuperThey followed that smash record with both Felty, Felty Places and We’re Feltwortha pair of multi-platinum releases that saw the “fabric four” begin to add more original material to their repertoire of tried and true children’s classics. Their game changing fourth album, Beanbag Townwas their first album of all original songs for kids. It’s still considered a high water mark on the spectrum of adolescent entertainment.

Though regarded as financially and commercially successful, the fellows of Feltworth didn’t feel creatively satisfied by being pigeon-holed as children’s act. So, against their manager’s wishes, they’ve embarked on making a real pop/rock record that reflects their own personality and their influences – be it The Sweet, Paul McCartney, Brian Eno or Rupert Holmes. With the change in direction, they are challenging their core audience and seeking new listeners. It’s been a tough-sell to their manager and label, so the band has decided to self-finance the new recordings that will be released via their own Dezman Productions label. The first release from this brand new batch of activity is a limited edition orange coloured 7” single featuring the rocking “Forget This Feeling” (lead vocals by Manny) and the longing romanticism of “You Turn Me On” (lead vocals by Dezi). There’s more music to come. The past is behind them. The future awaits-ish.

Feltworth – Forget This Feeling / You Turn Me On
Release Date: June 02, 2017
Pre-order: https://feltworth.bandcamp.com/

Feltworth Links
Official: http://feltworth.com/​
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/feltworth/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/feltworth​
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/feltworth/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/Feltworth

Austin, Texas’ Solstice Festival reveals lineup and offers discounted tickets.

Austin, Texas, the live music capital of the country (if not the world), brings us another music festival this year.  The annual Solstice Festival brings in acts like JJ Grey & Mofro, Built to Spill, Golden Dawn Arkestra, and Bayonne this year.

General admission tickets are only $35.00, but for a limited time you can pre-order tickets for 15% off with the code SOSFEST.

Don’t wait too long to get your tickets.  It’s sure to be a fun time.

Keep your mind open.

The Districts release new single from upcoming “Popular Manipulations” album.

The Districts Share New Single, “If Before I Wake”
Listen HerePopular Manipulations Out August 11th On Fat Possum

Photo by Pooneh Ghana

“‘Ordinary Day’ is the first chapter of a new book in the band’s creative growth.” – NPR Music

“The album’s chock-full of emotional anthems.” – Noisey

Last month, The Districts announced their new album, Popular Manipulations, and shared the video for lead single “Ordinary Day.” Today, they’re back with another anthem, “If Before I Wake,” premiering via NME.

Rob Grote from the band says, “The lyrics were written the morning after actually waking up during a storm that felt like it was right over my room. It was refreshing to work on as a band because we had been talking about ideas of restraint and contrast, removing chord changes and toying with droning notes, and this one felt like we synthesized some of those ideas more by second nature as we had been exploring those ideas for a while at this point.”

The distinctly intense sound of Popular Manipulations—charging guitars, thunderous drumming, and Grote’s searing vocals—was brought on by a few cited influences, from shoegaze’s aggressive swirl to the Velvet Underground’s impeccable drone-rock sound. But don’t mistake easy comparisons for a lack of originality: on Popular Manipulations, the Districts are in a lane entirely their own, exploring lyrical themes of isolation and abandonment in a way that ups the music’s already highly charged emotional quotient.

For such weighty thematic material, though, Popular Manipulations is purely life-affirming rock music, bursting with energy that cuts through the darkness of the world that surrounds us. “We’re a much better distillation of who we wish to be as a band,” Grote reflects on the journey that has led the Districts to this point. “We’ve figured out how to distill the things we’ve been trying to accomplish as a band, musically and lyrically. We’ve always viewed making music as something we’re trying to do better the whole time.”

The Districts tour throughout the coming year in support of Popular Manipulations including dates with My Morning Jacket. They’ll make stops at Lollapalooza, Osheaga, Reading and Leeds Festivals, and more. Their live show is not to be missed. Every song is epic and heart-stopping. A full list of dates is below.

Listen To The Districts’ “If Before I Wake”:
https://soundcloud.com/fatpossum/the-districts-if-before-i-wakeWatch & Listen:
“Ordinary Day” video – https://youtu.be/zEdWd1W3cV0
“Ordinary Day” stream – https://soundcloud.com/fatpossum/the-districts-ordinary-day

The Districts Tour Dates:
5/22 – Paris, FR – La Maroquinerie
5/23 – London, UK – The Dome
5/25 – Berlin, DE – Badehaus Szimpla
5/26 – Amsterdam, NL – London Calling @ Paradiso
6/4 – Lancaster, PA – Long’s Park Amphitheater
6/21 – Charlotte, NC – Visualite
6/22 – Charleston, SC – Royal American
6/23 – Orlando, FL – The Social
6/24 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre
6/26 – Houston, TX – Raven Tower
6/27 – Austin, TX – Sidewinder
6/29 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf
6/30 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
7/01 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
7/03 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
7/06 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
7/07 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
7/08 – Vancouver, BC – Cobalt
7/10 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
7/11 – Denver, CO – Globe Music Hall
7/13 – Kansas City – Record Bar
7/14 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway
7/15 – Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi
8/04 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
8/04-06 – Montreal, QC – Osheaga
8/07 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
8/08 – Hamden, CT – The Ballroom at The Outer Space
8/10 – Columbus, OH – Express Live *
8/11 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
8/12 – North Adams, MA – Mass MoCA *
8/16 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
8/18 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
8/25 – Reading , UK – Reading Festival
8/26 – Leeds, UK – Leeds Festival
8/27 – Hull, UK – Fruit
8/29 – Newcastle, UK – Cluny
8/30 – Edinburgh, UK – Caves
8/31 – Glasgow, UK – King Tuts
9/3 – Cambridge, UK – Portland Arms
9/5 – Nottingham, UK – Bodega
9/6 – Manchester, UK – Gorilla
9/7 – Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach
9/11 – Brighton, UK – Haunt
9/14 – Monthey, CH – Pont Rouge
9/15 – Milan, IT – Serraglio
9/17 – Darmstadt, DE – Golden Leaves Festival
9/18 – Zurich, CH – Werk 21
9/19 – Munich, DE – Strom
9/20 – Vienna, AT – Flex
9/25 – Brussels, BE – Rotonde

* supporting My Morning Jacket

Live – Shonen Knife and Shooda Shook It – Tucson, AZ – May 24, 2017

I was delighted to discover Japanese pop-punk legends Shonen Knife were playing in Tucson (at the nice little club / art space 191 Toole) while I was recently there.  I’d never seen them, and their “Ramen Adventure Tour” included original bassist Atsuko, original guitarist Naoko, and new drummer Risa.  Tickets were only $15.00, so this was a must-see.

Opening for them were local new wave / post-punk outfit Shooda Shook It.  They showed up in matching black and white outfits and checkerboard masks that made them look like either luchadors or obscure Bronze Age comic book villains.

Shooda Shook It

They were funky, groovy, and good.  They played a set that started like early Devo, then ventured into early Talking Heads-like stuff, and then a neat blend of surf-punk and P-funk.  I need to track down their stuff.

Shonen Knife came out to a rousing chorus of cheers.

Sisters Atsuko (left) and Naoko (right).

They ripped out a set of stuff from their newest record, Adventure, including “Jump into the New World” and “Green Tangerine” – which was sung by their outstanding (and adorable) drummer, Risa.

They then played a big “food” set of songs related to food, including “Banana Chips,” “Ramen Rock,” “Sushi Bar,” “Wasabi,” “Fruits and Vegetables,” and “Barbecue Party.” I was bouncing like a delighted schoolgirl during “Banana Chips” and the crowd chants during “Sushi Bar” were great.

L-R: Atsuko, Risa, Naoko rocking out “Sushi Bar.”

Other highlights were “Twist Barbie,” “Capybara,” and “Bear Up Bison,” which I thought was a fun addition to a set in the southwest.  Their encore included their cover of “Daydream Believer” and the heavy classic “Bakka Guy,” which proves Shonen Knife could’ve been a doom metal band if they’d wanted.

Encore performance of “Daydream Believer.”

It was a solid set that lasted just under an hour.  They promised their set in Tempe the next day would be entirely different and they’d have different costumes (all of which are designed by Atsuko, by the way).

My wife said I was “crushing on them,” and she was right.  I geeked out for them hard.  I didn’t realize how much I needed a fun pop-punk show until then, let alone how much Shonen Knife material is out there I still don’t have.  I hope I can catch them again sooner rather than later.

Keep your mind open.

Naoko’s foot pedal board. I think she keeps her guitar picks in the Altoids tin.

The Black Angels – Death Song

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Black Angels named their newest record Death Song, considering the name of their band comes from the Velvet Underground tune “The Black Angel’s Death Song.” The surprise might be that it took them so long, especially when you consider how many of their songs are about death. I think they were waiting for the right time, and the right time came after the 2016 election.

Death Song opens with the hard-hitting “Currency,” in which lead singer Alex Maas sings lyrics like “You print and print the money that you spend, you spend and spend the money that you print. One day it will all be over.” It’s a scathing takedown of corporate greed and the way it crushes the working class (“You’ll pay with your life, a slave nine to five.”). Meanwhile Christian Bland’s guitar sounds like an alarm klaxon and Stephanie Bailey crushes her kit.

“I’d Kill for Her” continues the theme of death and has the band firmly in dark psychedelia thanks to Kyle Hunt’s soaring synths and plenty of reverb on the guitars. The length of “Half Believing” is 4:20. Coincidence? Perhaps, but perhaps not when you hear its guitars simmering like a brew you might drink in a sweat lodge ceremony. On its face, the song is about Maas being wary of falling in love with a woman who might be treacherous. However, it’s easy to consider the song is subtly about concerns over civil rights and support for the arts over the next couple years (i.e., “I will die for things that mean so much to me. If you take them, you’d better watch out.”)

The guitars on “Comanche Moon” swirl around you like ghosts. Maas sings about the plight of the Comanche nation, and I can’t help but wonder if the Black Angels were inspired to write it when they saw coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. The near-funk bass of “Hunt Me Down” sets the tone for one of the grooviest tunes the Black Angels have released in a long while. Maas can’t escape another potentially dangerous woman (or is it the Grim Reaper?) who dogs him no matter the time of day or the place.

“Grab as Much (as You Can)” is lovely psychedelia, and the additional skewering of corporate greed is inescapable even as Maas sings about an amorous encounter with that mysterious, dangerous lady. The instruments on “Estimate” sound far away (as Bailey taps out a military procession march and Bland strums a simple, yet haunting riff), yet Maas’ vocals are immediate and almost pleading as he pledges to not get caught up in a They Live type of world but admits it’s difficult to avoid (“It’s kind of seductive.”).

“I Dreamt” is appropriately trippy and a bit frightening. The keyboards and guitars come at you from all sorts of angles, and Bailey practically lays down a house music beat. Maas takes on the role of a dreamweaver / wizard / shaman who offers to help us manage reality and the dream world (but which is which?).

“Medicine” has electro-beats behind Bailey’s rock ones, and spaghetti western guitars mixing with Hunt’s groovy keyboards. “Death March” is easily the trippiest song on the record. Maas’ vocals bounce all over the place, and the reverb on the guitars is enough to drop your mind down a rabbit hole to Wonderland. The album ends with “Life Song,” which seems to be from the perspective of a ghost who longs to be reunited with his love in the next world. It’s a lovely, soaring track that’s a fine send-off for an album (with a great, fuzzy solo from Bland) about death and dark times.

Death Song is another strong release from the Black Angels and further establishes them as one of the powerhouses of modern psychedelic rock.

Keep your mind open.

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Oliver Ackermann interview – May 11, 2017

L-R: Yours truly, Oliver Ackermann, Lia Braswell, Dion Lunadon

Oliver Ackermann, lead singer and guitarist of A Place to Bury Strangers, was kind enough to chat with me before the band’s performance at Chicago’s Thalia Hall on May 11th opening for the Black Angels.  We talked about the tour, the New York music scene, bassist Dion Lunadon’s upcoming album, shoegaze bands, and where to get good tamales.

7th Level Music: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.  I’m really looking forward to the show.

Oliver Ackermann: Cool, man.  Thanks so much.  We’re psyched to be coming there.  We’ve been doing some crazy things at some of these shows.  Definitely with the energy of Chicago, I’m sure it’ll be crazy.

7LM: Have you ever played Thalia Hall?

OA: No, is that place cool?

7LM: It is very cool.  It’s a converted opera house, so the acoustics in there are great.

OA: That sounds so rad.

7LM: It is a very cool venue.  I’ve been told the restaurant there is amazing, but I’ve never eaten there.

OA: Oh, cool. Hopefully they give us a discount or something like that.

7LM: If not, I can recommend a place.  A short walk east is this really good tamale restaurant (Dia De Los Tamales – 939 West 18th Street).

OA: Really good tamales?  That sounds delicious.

7LM: If you get there early enough, I highly recommend that.

OA: Awesome.  Maybe we’ll hit that up.

7LM: The other day I was describing your music to somebody, and I said it’s kind of like a Zen master whacking you with a stick on the head.

OA (chuckling, as he’s clearly never heard that before): Okay.

7LM: The reason I came up with that analogy was because the last time I saw you guys was in Detroit when you played with Grooms and Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor.  Rick from the Sisters and I were at the back of the venue chatting, and you guys come on and as soon as your set started it literally knocked the sound out of our mouths.

OA (laughing): Awesome.

7LM: I got to thinking about it, and your music has that effect on people where it shakes people out of things.

OA: Sure.  That kind of makes some sense.  There are those shows that you go to and have your mind blown and we’re always trying to hark back upon those moments.

7LM: I remember the first time my wife and I saw you was at one of the Levitation shows.  You played at the Mohawk.  You completely floored us, and I had a similar experience.  By the end of it, I was standing there thinking, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”  It was great.

OA: That’s awesome.  Right on.

7LM: How influenced is your sound from living in New York and being from that area, if at all?

OA: I don’t know.  I wonder that, too.  Sometimes I feel like we have no influence from that.  I’m so busy in New York and we don’t always get to do things, and there’s so much crazy stuff going on, but I guess that must be an influence as well.  There are a lot of great creative people that can definitely drive you, but I feel so disconnected from the scene.

7LM: I was watching some of your videos, and I noticed this reoccurring theme in the videos, and some of the lyrics, about how technology separates us from each other.  Maybe I’m overreaching here, but it seems like you touch on those themes a lot.

OA: Sure.  Definitely.  That’s pretty funny you bring that up.  That’s definitely a theme of some of our music.  Sometimes you want to go a little old school, and you kind of miss some of those days of just being able to wander and go meet your friends if they were there, or having to go knock on their window.  I think it brings us together as well, so maybe that’s just part of it.

7LM: Is Lia (Braswell) still drumming with you guys?

OA: Lia is drumming with us, yeah.  That has been awesome.  That’s definitely been a big influence on where our sound is going.

7LM: How did you two meet Lia?

OA: (Bassist) Dion (Lunadon) had seen her play in a friend’s band, Baby Acid, and said she was a wicked drummer.  We were looking for different people to play with, so we invited her over to play drums, and she was amazing.

7LM: I saw her play with Lindsey Troy of Deap Vally and she killed it.

L-R: Lia Braswell, yours truly, Lindsey Troy

OA: Yeah, she’s incredible.

7LM: Did you and Dion meet when he came on with Exploding Head?

OA: We actually first met in Los Angeles.  I was out there doing some sort of job for a friend and I didn’t have a place to stay.  He was staying at this house with some friends of his.  I spent the night at the house because he offered a place to stay.  We met again back in New York when he moved there in 2007 or so.  He was in the D4 and a bunch of killer bands.

7LM: A friend of mine wanted me to ask you what your favorite shoegaze bands were, and I know the Jesus and Mary Chain is one.

OA: Yeah, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, of course all those bands.  Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, Heaven Piano Company, Alcian Blue was really good, the Cocteau Twins, the Emerald Down, Mallory.  There’s a bunch of good shoegaze bands.

7LM: Have you heard the new Slowdive stuff?

OA: I’ve only heard a couple of the songs.  It sounded awesome, though.  I’m super-psyched to hear the whole thing.  What do you think of that record?

7LM: I like it.  I’ve heard the first two singles.  In some ways it’s like they just stepped right out of a time machine and in other ways it sounds like they’re moving in this cool new direction.

OA: Yeah, for sure.  I’m excited to hear the whole record and maybe if they make another record after this what comes out of it.

7LM: I have a few questions I always ask bands I interview.  One of them is, do you have any influences that you think would surprise some of your fans?

OA: Oh, for sure.  I like a lot of different music.  What do you think people would be surprised by?

7LM: Well, the reason I always ask bands this is because I once heard an interview with Rob Halford of Judas Priest and he was asked this question.  He said, “You’re never gonna believe this, but I’m a massive Hank Williams, Sr. fan.”  Ever since then I’ve been intrigued with hearing about what influences people have that others might not realize they have.

OA: I love Hank Williams, Sr.

7LM: Yeah, me too.

OA: Yeah, totally.  That stuff’s awesome. I don’t know, in this day and age is anyone going to be surprised by anything?

7LM: That’s a really good point.  Another question I always ask is, do you have any favorite misheard versions of your lyrics?

OA: I wish I could remember, because there sure are some funny ones out there.  It’s kind of cool because when you hear them a lot of times they kind of morph into what makes sense for the people.  I really like that.  It turns personal for them, which is kind of the point of our music.

7LM: That gets back to the thing I believe where your music changes people’s perceptions, especially live.

OA: Totally.  That’s the goal for a lot of our music.  It’s a state between life and fantasy and to be able to let go of some of your thoughts and troubles.

7LM: When I saw you in Detroit, you came out into the audience with your instruments and I loved how you made this cool moment where you brought this technology into the crowd, but instead of technology pushing people away it was this big communal thing.

OA: Yeah, that’s a great thing.  I think that’s pretty awesome.  Not everybody will do that to connect with the audience.  We always welcome anybody and everybody to jump up on stage or pull us down or whatever to connect and make it a communal event.

7LM: Do you write grooves first or lyrics first?  Or does it depend on the song?

OA: It depends on the song. We always try to reinvent writing songs all the time we do it.  It depends on what’s inspiring you.  Sometimes it starts with an idea and some lyrics, or sometimes the music brings out a whole story or a mood.  Even more recently, we’ve kind of been writing all of it at once.  It’s kind of a weird, wild thing.  I’ve always fantasized about having a band where you didn’t have any songs written before you played the shows, and you would play a whole bunch of songs at that moment.  You start to do this thing where you unconsciously tap into a really pure experience and it draws you in a different direction.  You’d dig deep and reveal some things maybe you wouldn’t be comfortable revealing in that moment.

7LM: If you ever do that, I hope I can get to one of those shows.

OA: Right on.

7LM: I’m one of those guys where if I go to a show and the band gets up and says, “We’re gonna play a bunch of stuff you’ve never heard before.”  I’m the guy in the back saying, “Fantastic!”

OA: Awesome.  I always like that, too.  At least to hear some sort of challenge.  It’s all about the excitement at that type of show.  I’m sure there’s band where I’d be disappointed in that, too.

7LM: Well, the opposite of that is that after we see you guys tonight, we’re driving down to St. Louis to see Tom Petty and Joe Walsh.

OA: Oh, wow, that sounds awesome.  That should be so cool.  I’ve never seen them.

7LM: Speaking of new stuff, Dion’s new album (self-titled) is out next month?

OA: Dion’s new album is out next month.  I’ve heard it.  It’s fucking awesome.

7LM: I’ve heard the two tracks that he’s released so far, and I thought, “Holy crap!  He’s gunning.”

OA: Oh yeah, it’s so powerful.

7LM: I’ve always thought that about him.  When I saw you guys in Austin the first time, it was two songs into your set and he body slammed his bass on the stage so damn hard and I thought, “Holy crap, we’re really in for something.”

OA: Yeah, he’s hit himself in the head a couple times, bled all over the place, climbed up on some things that everybody else would be scared to climb on.  I’ve seen him do some crazy things.

7LM: Are you your own guitar tech?  I’ve seen the way you handle that thing.

OA: Totally.  Yeah, we are all our own instrument techs.

7LM: That’s fantastic.  It reminds of when I was in a garage band in college, and our guitarist would cut holes in his guitar and take it apart to get different sounds out of it.  I see you getting the craziest sounds out of your guitar by mauling it.

OA: Yeah, you gotta play your instrument to the fullest.

7LM: Where are you off to after Chicago?

OA: We’re going to Minneapolis.  We’re playing First Avenue.  Purple Rain, Prince, it should be awesome.

7LM: Well thanks for all this.  Break a leg tonight.  Not literally, of course.

OA: For sure.  See you tonight.

APTBS at Chicago’s Thalia Hall May 11, 2017.

[Thanks again to Oliver Ackermann, Lia Braswell, Dion Lunadon, Burgers Rana, and Steven Matrick for being so groovy, arranging this interview and my press pass to the Thalia Hall show, and for the lighter.]

Keep your mind open.

Jai Wolf announces summer tour and releases new single – “Starlight.”

Jai Wolf Announces Summer Tour Dates,
Including Brooklyn Steel, Red Rocks, Lollapalooza, Electric Forest, Capitol Hill Block Party, HARD Summer and MOREListen To New Single, “Starlight (Feat. Mr Gabriel):

Photo by Dash Grey

Jai Wolf has unveiled his initial summer tour dates on the heels of a recent sold out headline tour around Coachella. Starting next month he’ll make stops at Free Press Summer Fest, Red Rocks, Electric Forest and more, before heading to Capitol Hill Block Party in July and Lollapalooza and HARD Summer in August, with many other dates along the way. He’ll cap off the summer with a hometown headline show at Brooklyn Steel on August 25th. It marks his first NYC headline show in 2017 since playing Terminal 5 late last year. A list of dates is below with more to be announced soon.

The recent touring comes in support of his new single, “Starlight,” featuring vocals from Mr Gabriel. “Starlight” picked up where his debut EP, Kindred Spirits, left off by melting the lines between indie electronic, hip hop, and 80s pop, proving Jai Wolf is a promising young artist with a distinct, emotional sound and style. Both “Starlight” and Kindred Spirits are available now via Mom+Pop.

Jai Wolf Tour Dates:
Sun. June 4 – Houston, TX @ Free Press Summer Fest
Sun. June 11 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre (w/ Marshmello)
Fri. June 23 – Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forest
Sat. June 24 – Mountain View, CA @ ID10T Festival
Sun. June 25 – Heber City, UT @ Bonanza Campout & Music Festival
Thu. June 29 – Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forest
Fri. July 7 – Surrey, BC @ FVDED in the Park
Sat. July 22 – Seattle, WA @ Capitol Hill Block Party
Sat. Aug. 5 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
Sun. Aug. 6 – Fontana, CA @ HARD Summer
Sat. Aug. 12 – Salmo, BC @ Shambhala Music Festival
Sun. Aug. 13 – Baltimore, MD @ Moonrise Festival
Fri. Aug. 25 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel

Live – Midnight Oil and Boytoy – Chicago, IL – May 18, 2017

“You know what the coolest thing is about this show?” Said a man next to me in the Vic Theatre where young Aussie rockers Boytoy and Aussie rock legends Midnight Oil were about to perform. “No one here is under thirty!”

It wasn’t true, but it was definitely an older crowd at the Vic. It had been over twenty years since my wife and I had seen Midnight Oil in concert, and you could tell the entire crowd in the hot, packed venue was ready to go nuts once Midnight Oil hit the stage.

Boytoy were first. They were three young ladies who were playing some good garage rock when we walked into the place, but they transformed into a stoner rock band by the end of their set, which elated me to no end. I need to track down their stuff.


Speaking, sort of, of stoner rock, the guy next to me tapped me on the shoulder, pointed at my rolled-up tour poster and said, “I thought that was a bong! I thought, ‘This guy’s the coolest guy in here!’” He even grabbed it at one point during Boytoy’s set and took an imaginary hit off it.

The guy in the teal shirt behind me thought this tour poster was a bong at first glance.

Midnight Oil came out to a roaring welcome and then got right down to business. They hadn’t lost a step in the time they’d been off working on other projects or, in the case of lead singer Peter Garrett, serving in the Australian Parliament.

“Why hasn’t he aged?” My wife asked about Garrett. My best guess is that he’s either a vampire or the food is much better in Australia because she was right. He looked like he’d barely grown older since we saw them in the early 1990’s.

He was, of course, politically outspoken. You don’t go to a Midnight Oil show and not expect to hear some political commentary.

Garrett started fairly early in the set. “Fact one: Thanks for waiting for so long. Fact two: It’s nice to be back in Obama territory. Fact three: There will be no alternative facts here tonight. Fact four: We don’t have short memories.” They then tore into “Short Memory” and had everyone bouncing.

He would touch on compulsory voting (“I don’t think you-know-who would’ve gotten in.” (if we had it here in the U.S.)), the environment (“We have a Mother Earth who takes care of us.”), universal health care (“If you make tacos for a living, you pay a little bit. If you have fifty million in a hedge fund and support the governor, you pay a bit more. We don’t call this socialism. We call it common sense.”), and equal rights (“Everyone, no matter their race, sex, age, or religious beliefs deserves to be treated with respect.”) before the night was over, and he wore a shirt that read “To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards of men.”

Among the many great spots in their set were an acoustic version of “My Country,” a funky rendition of “When the Generals Talk,” roaring versions of “Read About It” and “Kosciusko,” and a killer performance of “Dreamworld” to end the set that had everyone pumping their fists and chanting.

A stunning rendition of “My Country.”

They played two encores. The first started with “Put Down that Weapon,” and I couldn’t help but think they chose to play that in Chicago as a message toward the high rate of gun violence there the last two years. “Truganini” and “Forgotten Years” rounded out the mini-set, and then they came out once more to dedicate “Sometimes” to people working hard to help others.


It was a trip back in time to songs that are still relevant today. Midnight Oil is globetrotting for this tour, so catch them if they come near you. This is one of the best and most welcome tours of the year.

Keep your mind open.

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Live – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Joe Walsh – St. Louis, MO – May 12, 2017

My wife and I honeymooned in St. Louis twenty years ago, and we ended up back there for our twentieth anniversary.  It was great timing because not only were we going to see the Cubs play the Cardinals (Cardinals win 5-3), but we also had tickets to see rock legends Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Joe Walsh.  Tom Petty has been high on my wife’s bucket list for years.  She’s also a big fan of the Eagles, so the addition of Joe Walsh was a win-win.

Joe Walsh just getting warmed up.

Mr. Walsh came out with nine people in his band behind him, including four back-up singers and two drummers.  He quickly got to work with “Meadows” and then dialed up “Ordinary Average Guy.”  You could tell he was having fun by then.  He threw down “The Bomber” by the James Gang (“Was part of that from Bolero?” My wife asked.  Answer: “Yes.”) and made my wife cry when he played “Take It to the Limit” and dedicated it to Glenn Frey.  “In the City” hits harder live than you expect it will, and people went nuts for “Life’s Been Good.”

I was yelling “Golden throat!” by this point, and sure enough he ended with “Rocky Mountain Way.”  It’s easy to forget how good a guitarist Walsh is.  He can still shred and the golden throat effects on this track are still fun after all these years.

Walsh proving he can still shred.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers started their set with the first song off their first album – “Rockin’ Around (with You).”  They unleashed “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” next and played it so well and with such fervor that it could’ve been the encore.  “I could go home right now,” my wife said as we sat there with our mouths hanging open in stunned appreciation.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers playing “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”

They tore through many of their biggest hits, including “You Don’t Know How It Feels,” “I Won’t Back Down,” and “Freefallin'” (a big crowd favorite).  Two surprises were “It’s Good to Be King” and the lovely, acoustic “Wildflowers.”

“Wildflowers” – a lovely part of the set.

“Refugee” slayed the place, and the band was firing on all cylinders by this point. “Runnin’ Down a Dream” was almost a full-on psychedelic mind trip with its accompanying visuals.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers getting trippy.

There was a nice salute to hometown hero Chuck Berry when they played “Carol,” and they ended, no surprise, with “American Girl,” which had everyone jumping.  It was a great end to a wonderful set.  It’s hard to believe Petty and his band are on a 40th anniversary tour, because many of his songs still sound so fresh.

“American Girl”

Keep your mind open.

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She-Devils release new single and North American tour dates.

She-Devils Share Video For New Single, “Hey Boy”
Watch Here
North American Tour Dates Added;
European Tour Starts Next WeekSelf-Titled Debut Album Out May 19th On Secretly Canadian

“She-Devils are aware of some future truth that the rest of us aren’t privy to.” – NME

“intimate, dusty hybrid pop that searches for cosmic meaning in vintage sounds” – The FADER

“She-Devils…are creating a new way forward for tape looping. The group…dive into the souls of the samples they use, possessing them and finding otherworldly new emotions.” – Pitchfork

“She-Devils evoked the ’70s and ’80s electro-punk minimalism of Suicide and Soft Cell with an austere but riveting presentation.” – Chicago Tribune

A week ahead of the release of their eagerly anticipated self-titled debut album, She-Devils are pleased to share the new video for “Hey Boy.” The duo directed the video themselves, as with the all of their videos, and this focused vision creates a style that is very much in tune with the song. Bright and bombastic colors harp back to the video’s influences including the art of Yayoi Kusama, as well as 90s TV shows such as Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and 60s yé-yé music videos like Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg in “Comic Strip.”She-Devils have expanded their North American tour in support of the album. In June, they’ll make their way through Canada and the Midwest hitting Do Division Festival and ending in the Northeast with a stop at Northside Festival. Come July, the duo will join Beach Fossils for a western states run. Starting next week, She-Devils will be in Europe for two London shows as well as a Saturday slot at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, plus more. A full list of dates is below.

Watch She-Devils’ “Hey Boy” video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z98O1v9lUskListen & Watch:
“Hey Boy” stream – https://soundcloud.com/secretlycanadian/she-devils-hey-boy-2
“The World Laughs” video – https://youtu.be/lCRZCEQpOqY
She-Devils Tour Dates (new dates in bold):
Wed. May 17 – Paris, FR @ Pop Up du Label (Fireworks Festival
Thu. May 18 – London, UK @ Moth Club
Fri. May 19 – London, UK @ London Fields Brewhouse (Bad Vibrations Alldayer)
Sat. May 20 – Brighton, UK @ The Great Escape Festival
Thu. May 25 – Berlin, DE @ ACUD
Thu. June 1 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz
Fri. June 2 – Toronto, ON @ The Baby G
Sat. June 3 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory
Sun. June 4 – Chicago, IL @ Do Division Festival
Mon. June 5 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Wed. June 7 – Philadelphia, PA @ Ortlieb’s
Thu. June 8 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool (Northside Festival)
Fri. June 9 – Boston, MA @ Lily Pad
Wed. July 5 – Los Angeles, CA @ Resident
Fri. July 7 – Fresno, CA @ Strummer’s (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)
Sat. July 8 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)
Mon. July 10 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)
Tue. July 11 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)
Wed. July 12 – Portland, OR @ Holocene (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)
Fri. July 14 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)
Sat. July 15 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)
Sun. July 16 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)
Tue. July 18 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)
Wed. July 19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)
Thu. July 20 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah (w/ Beach Fossils, Ablebody)

album art