Empty Lung has just released our new single “Don’t Get It” for streaming on Soundcloud .
"The song is basically a 'fuck you' to a culture that warps young people into thinking that self-image and selfishness are the core values of our modern society. Those kinds of attitudes create an atmosphere that alienates anyone that doesn’t fit the mould. The youth culture that we love revolves around tolerance, art, activism and social change. Unfortunately these aren’t the dreams being sold to many of us.
"It definitely hasn’t been an easy road so far, but grit and determination to create something positive and unique are instilled in us. We all grew up in Belfast, Ireland at the tail end of a divisive 35 year conflict. So after losing members, losing jobs, and a near death experience, our energy and loyalty to the band was only bolstered.
"When we recorded the songs on our ‘Don’t Get It’ EP, it seemed like a re-birth for the band. Our second guitarist of 3 years had just left but the three of us are like a family unit after everything we’ve been through together and I think that shines through in the songs.
On March 3, 2017 The Strumbellas brought their infectious energy to TBS’ Conan, with a debut performance of their vibrant new single, Young & Wild. The band also dropped an impassioned live music video for the track, which showcases their breakout 2016 year; capturing scenes from sold out shows across the globe including the massive crowds from their debut sets at Lollapalooza and ACL, New York’s Bowery Ballroom, The Danforth Music Hall, and many more.
2016 saw The Strumbellas release their third album, Hope, and trail-blaze their way through the year with their chart-topping single, Spirits. The track reach #1 on the Alternative Radio Chart in Canada and America, and the U.S. Billboard Alternative Songs Chart, went double platinum in Italy, platinum in Canada, and gold in America and Germany, and is one of the top 10 most streamed Rock songs of 2016 worldwide, establishing The Strumbellas as one of the biggest breakout Alternative Rock acts of the year. This has undeniably carried into 2017 as the band has been nominated for three JUNO Awards – Group of the Year, Single of the Year (Spirits), and Fan Choice – and will be performing at the award show broadcast. They have also not only been nominated for iHeartRadio’s Alternative Rock Artist of the Year, but they’ve already won Best New Rock / Alternative Rock Artist, making them finalists for Best New Artist at this Sunday’s iHeartRadio Music Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
April 6th. Merle Haggard’s date of birth in 1937, date of his death in 2016 and in 2017 the date of a Nashville tribute concert honoring the country music legend.
Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard is set to take place on April 6 at 7 pm at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena; April 6 also would have been Haggard’s 80th birthday. The star studded event is being put together by Haggard’s family, Blackbird Presents and Willie Nelson, and Don Was, Ben Haggard and Buddy Cannon are serving as its musical directors. The tribute show will be taped for multi-platform distribution and some of the proceeds will benefit the TJ Martell Foundation.
“I am so very thankful for this tribute to my late husband, Merle Haggard,” Theresa Haggard says in a recent press release. “Please come join me and my family at this fantastic show that Merle would be so proud of.”
The concert will feature Willie Nelson, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesneyas well as performances from John Mellencamp, Dierks Bentley, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Jr., the Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss, Ronnie Dunn, Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lucinda Williams, Ben Haggard, John Anderson, Connie Smith and Bobby Bare. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Winterfolk XV was busier, punchier and way warmer than usual, all good things for the folk that swarmed over the bridge to check the annual feast of blues and roots musics of all kinds. Folkie Peter Verity opened the launch party at The Black Swan with an engrossing set largely drawn from recent album Sometimes A Journey. Accompanied by fiddle virtuoso Thomas Hamilton, Verity rolled out the haunting narratives and minor key melodies of fan faves“Blue as I Can Get”, “The Healing Rain” and “North Ontario” among others.
Next up, the bayou brewed quirkiness of Soozi Schlanger, vocals & lead fiddle and washboard, with Conny Nowe adding guitar and vocals. The pair helm Toronto's most loved Cajun dance band Swamperella, so we got some of that but Soozi focused on recent joints from her solo project soozimusic, of which the artist has said: "The songs paints a personal portrait that exposes the private world of the artist behind the scenes, the internal world...the motels and hotels, the long drives, the one night stands...witty, gutsy, vulnerable and true. Faves here were "Don't Let Go" and " Road Trip Again".
Matt Andersen has paid his dues (probably some of yours and mine as well) and is now reaping the rewards of his labour with international recognition and a jammed packed tour schedule.
We caught up with Matt at his home in Nova Scotia on the eve of the beginning of his new live show schedule -The Honest Man Tour. “I feel really fortunate that I’m able to go out on these tours and enough people like my music and support me to make it all possible.” This tour is a solo tour and I asked Matt, who tours with his band as well, ,whether he preferred the band set up or the solo configuration he said “I like them both, neither one is better, just different. As a solo I can change things but I do that with the band anyway. It’s fun to not do the same thing every night. Plus the band is used to me hollering at them on stage.”
And Matt is set to embark on a tour that will see him in the northeast United States in February and March with Canadian gigs in March and April as well before heading to Europe in May and June and back to Canada in July. The boy is busy and enjoying every minute of it. “I feel very fortunate to be able to work as much as I do and be able to share the music with the people.”
Submitted to Cashbox Canada Old 97 Photo Credit Jason Garner
Dallas four-piece Old 97's is a pioneer ofthe alt-country movement. Years of hard work has earnedthem respect and veneration, yet they still retain theraucous energy, deceptive cleverness, and knockabout spiritthat first distinguished them from the pack. This attitude continues on their 11th studio album,Graveyard Whistling, out today.
Today the band released its music video for rollickingsingle "Good with God". Directed by Lee Kirk, the video isa parody of MTV's '120 Minutes' featuring an interview andlive-tracked performance with Fred Armisen (Portlandia, Late Night With Seth Meyers) andJenna Fischer (The Office). "Good with God" has also been a breakout at radio and is inside the top 20 on the AAA Chart.
"Lee Kirk and his team had written a great script andarranged for what would have been a very cool video when wediscovered at the last minute that our drummer would not beable to take part in the filming," explained lead singerand songwriter Rhett Miller. "Thank god that Fred Armisenis a world-class drummer in addition to being literally thefunniest man on the planet. What we wound up with wasunexpected and amazing. This video could have been an hourlong given all of the hilarious improv that Jenna and Freddid."
Submitted by Sam Jay Copeland (Editor's note: We sent a next generation punk appreciator to see how an iconic punk act from the way past stacks up with the young uns.)
Go to a punk show for the music, stay for the ritual. A fan climbed onstage during the middle of a song (don't remember which one, possibly A.I.D.S.) and declared her eternal love for lead singer Mickey DeSadist. He allowed her to come on stage and dance around for a bit, whilst cautioning her to "please not show everybody in the crowd your boobs like you always do."
The house was packed, the average age was probably about 40, but there was still a strong contingent of younger people, mostly making themselves noticed by smashing against each other in the mosh pit while all except the most hardcore older folk stood by the sidelines. The Kensington Market veterans were all in attendance, with Steve Goof (of TheBunchOfFuckingGoofs) and his entourage of refugees from the 1980’s frequently parading to the bar and returning to the pit with 4 beers each.
Mickey was wearing a shiny golden Mad Hatter's costume from some alternate universe version of Alice in Wonderland as imagined by David Bowie. His stage presence was on point, soaking up the crowd's delight and stopping to make sarcastic commentary when appropriate. His beer gut emerged from the shimmering suit vest in a way that me and my friends concluded was in fact proud. Rather than concealing his middle aged girth behind a veil of glam rock influenced sexuality he had integrated it into the performance.
Where do you start with Rory Block? Something of an acoustic blues legend these days, she's a lady who has played with the greats, sat at their feet absorbing their multi-hued styles and tones while always striving to open new boxes with her sassy, savvy driving vocals and strident, percussive fretwork. For over fifty years, Block has thrown down the blues gauntlet, pushing herself to the limit at times, known for her bleeding, scarred and torn fingertips and her refusal to compromise her music in any way.
It's only fitting that she has most recently centred her focus on the old generation of pickers, the guys that influenced, inspired and instructed her in the music, legendary names that every blues-fan both knows and reveres. Guys who were her blues buddies, sharing their own evident love of the music with her, as she honed her craft and powered her way along the care-worn, blues highway.
Currently riding a well-deserved wave of popularity, Block's stunning, Stony Plain 'Mentor Series' of recent releases have not only reacquainted many with the traditional roots of the music but also showcased her own, startlingly colourful mastery of a range of different and divergent styles of playing. This is a lady who doesn't just play the blues - she pretty much is the blues incarnate.
Hailed by Rolling Stone as "one of the most compelling collectives of art-rock experimentalists in recent years, exploring a mix of high-concept musical odysseys that range from AM bubblegum to kaleidoscopic acid tests," Australian psychedelic seven-piece King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard have expanded minds yet again with their latest song "Sleep Drifter".
"Sleep Drifter" is featured on the new album Flying Microtonal Banana, out February 24th via ATO Records. This album is King Gizzard's first-ever experience in microtonal tuning, which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves.
"Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for Stu," further explained drummer Eric Moore. "The guitar was modified to play in 24-TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a Turkish horn called a Zurna."
To say the King Gizzard crew is averse to comfort zones is an understatement.
Toronto singer/songwriter Luke Nicholson's new album Shape And Sound, out April 14 on Maggie's Room Records/Fontana North, displays once again the melodic gifts and poignant storytelling that has led him to be regarded as one of Canada's true songwriting craftsmen. The album also marks a sonic departure from Nicholson's previous work, drawing inspiration from the likes of The Lumineers and City & Colour.
Shape And Sound 's two-year journey following his previous release Frantic City not only led Nicholson to find his true artistic identity, it also encouraged him to firmly take the reins of his creative process. Nicholson worked closely with Marty Skrzypczyk, and between them they played every instrument while co-producing all the tracks from the beds up. Mixing was handled by Howie Beck, with Joao Carvalho applying his usual excellent mastering skills.