On Monday December 27, Veloz will be playing a set on Live from the Fallout Shelter on WUML 91.5FM! This band includes members of Furnace, who played on the show back in 2008. Like their predecessor, Veloz is fast, heavy and intense, almost as if Motorhead had a baby with Converge. Most of their songs are under two minutes long and offer a constant and steady pattern of thrash which the musicians involved have the talent to make worth listening to. This band strikes me as the type of band that would start playing a set and then finish the entire set seven minutes later. It would most likely be one of the best hardcore sets the people in the audience would have ever seen, despite the fact that they probably don't have any limbs left.

So tune in this Monday from 8 - 11pm, with Veloz playing at 930pm and the best in underground music before and after the set as well as an interview with the band. You can listen at WUML 91.5FM or online at www.wuml.org.

You can listen to Veloz and download their music for free at veloz.bandcamp.com

This Monday December 20, Dreamtigers will be playing a live set on Live from the Fallout Shelter on WUML 91.5FM. This will be the band's second appearance on the radio show and we are very excited to have them back! The band features current members of Defeater and past members of Ambitions, Life In Your Way and Acta Non Verba. Displaying sounds similar to that of Bon Iver or Iron and Wine but with more of a pop-rock sense added to the mix, this band is perfect for everyday indie rock and folk fans and even hardcore fans who are looking to relax for an evening. Intimate and heartfelt, yet driving and intense.

The band has just released a new 5-song 7 inch titled "Fools" through Grinding Tapes Recording Company. You can listen to a track off the album and then order it at http://www.grindingtapes.org/artists/dreamtigers/fools/

So listen this Monday night from 8 - 11pm with Dreamtigers playing a set at 930pm and the best in underground music before and after the set as well as an interview with the band. You can check the band out at http://www.myspace.com/dreamtigersmusic.

You can listen online at http://www.wuml.org
Last night, WUML 91.5FM held it's 11th annual Rock For Tots charity event at Cumnock Hall on the North Campus of UMass Lowell. The event was a huge success and managed to raise $425 for One Lowell, a local organization that aids immigrant families in Lowell. We all see this as a huge success!

Big thanks to Hivesmasher, Los Bungalitos, Hetfield & Hetfield, The Sinbusters and Ladderlegs for all playing amazing sets as usual. Also, big thanks to One Lowell, The 119 Gallery, The Sock Hop, The Space, To Write Love On Her Arms, Coalition For A Better Acre and United Teen Equality Center for coming and being a presence at the show and helping us promote. Finally, a huge thanks for everyone who came out to the show to support the bands and donate to the charity. We couldn't have done it without everyone involved and we all look forward to Rock For Tots 2011!

Pictures and video footage from the show will be posted soon!

This Monday December 13, local hardcore outfit Darkwoods will be performing a set on Live from the Fallout Shelter. These guys hail from the South Shore and are about as fast, heavy and angry as it gets...but in a good way. While listening to them, I can just see an image in my head of a circle pit opening up from wall to wall at your local VFW or Knights of Colombus and no one in the audience being able to resist. Their music definitely reminds me of bands like Bane, Ceremony and Verse...heavy, hard and with vocals that are right up front making sure the listener is paying attention.

You can check Darkwoods out at http://wwww.myspace.com/darkwoodshc where they have a free download of their "Road To Ruin" EP.

So tune in this Monday from 8 - 11pm for Live from the Fallout Shelter on WUML 91.5FM. Darkwoods will be playing a set at 930pm with the best in undergound music before and after the set as well as an interview with the band. You can listen to the show online at http://www.wuml.org


Tomorrow night at Cumnock Hall on the North Campus of UMass Lowell, WUML 91.5FM will be hosting it's 11th annual Rock For Tots charity event for One Lowell, a local organization who aids immigrant fanilies in Lowell and settles them in to the community by offering services and providing social connections. Five of the best bands in Lowell will be performing throughout the night and all proceeds will be going to benefit the One Lowell organization. There will also be many informational tables set up for local non-profits, clubs, organizations and businesses. If you are interested in attending, here is the information:

WUML 91.5FM Present Rock For Tots 2010
Thursday December 9
Doors at 730pm, Event starts at 8pm
One University Ave, Cumnock Hall, North Campus, UMass Lowell
Lowell MA 01854
Bands: Hivesmasher, Los Bungalitos, Hetfield & Hetfield, The Sinbusters and Ladderlegs
18+, $5, All proceeds go to One Lowell
More info on One Lowell at http://www.onelowell.net

Please join our Facebook event and help us promote by inviting all of your friends and sharing the event on your wall. Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=162277003809250


This Monday November 29, Live from the Fallout Shelter on WUML 91.5FM will be hosting local band Empty Phrases as they play a live set in our studio! This four piece indie-shoegaze group hails from the mean streets of Lowell and even includes WUML members and UML students, so we are extra excited to have them!

Going the DIY route that so many bands from the Lowell area have gone, they have released their first EP for free download at their bandcamp music page. When I first listened to these guys, their music made me feel like what I can only imagine it would feel like to fall off a cliff and never hit the ground. Soothing and relaxing, at the same time canceling out all of your other problems. Empty Phrases is definitely for fans of Rx Bandits, Pavement and Minus The Bear.

You can hear them on Live from the Fallout Shelter on WUML 91.5FM this Monday November 29 from 8 - 11pm, with their set starting at 930pm followed by an interview and the best in underground punk, indie, folk and whatever else played before and after their set.

You can listen at www.wuml.org.

You can check them out and download their EP for free at http://emptyphrases1.bandcamp.com.

On Monday November 22, Live from the Fallout Shelter on WUML 91.5FM will be hosting the one and only Dan Blakeslee as he plays a live set in our studio! Dan hails from Somerville, MA but has frequented a few venues right here in Lowell. Dan is an acoustic singer-songwriter who plays very creative folk songs and has been compared to Johnny Cash, Echo and the Bunnymen, Jeff Buckley and Tom Waits. Actually, following in the footsteps of Johnny Cash's Live at Folsom Prison recording, Dan has played and recorded a set in front of a houseful of murderers and felons at Laconia State Prison. His eerie yet enchanting songs combined with his engaging live performance make Dan a true American Renaissance man.

So tune in this Monday night from 8 - 11pm, with Dan going on at 930pm and the best in underground punk, folk and indie spun by the shows DJ's before and after the set as well as an interview with Dan Blakeslee himself.

You can check out Dan's music at http://www.myspace.com/danblakeslee

You can listen to Listen to Live from the Fallout Shelter online at http://www.wuml.org and see the whole schedule of bands at http://www.myspace.com/livefromthefalloutshelter


Claudia Ulla Binder - Piano
Christian Weber - Bass
Dieter Ulrich - Drums, Bugle


BOX's Ten Variations on an Unknown Theme is a collection of improvised projects curated by Swiss bassist Jonas Tauber. With such a title the caliber of free jazz they play, set in a modern composer's back yard is no surprise.

The trio's take off point is this "theme" usually consisting of disjointed, spiky drum parts accompanied by off-kilter piano and bass melodies. With numbered variations being the groups chosen mode of presentation the album makes for a delightful listen through, as the album progresses it gets stranger and stranger.

Variations 1 through 4 are each in their own way elegant trio compositions, albeit avant-garde. Loud-quiet dynamics play into the trio's style as each one snaps in and out of the listener's attention at almost lightning speed and for short, disciplined amounts of time. 5th Variation is very wiry. Here the group is using the very outer edges of their instruments Binder's piano sounds alien while Ulrich trades his kit for undulating bugle bursts. Bassist Weber picks up all the rhythm, or what little shreds are available. After track 5 the album becomes noticeably more textured. 8th Variation explores a more solemn mood for the group and the 9th a drunken marching suite.

BOX's exploratory intermission serves to create two halves of an album, that is, one which jangles along just inside the fence of typical free piano-trio music, and another which embraces the area beyond that boundary as a home.


Kyle Brenders - Soprano Saxophone
Nicole Rampersaud - Trumpet
Johnathan Adejmian - Korg MS-20
Tilman Lewis - Cello
Aaron Lumley - Contra Bass
Brandon Valdiva - Percussion


It's no surprise that Ways may sound Braxton-esque, for Kyle Brenders, a Canadian saxophonist, has studied and appeared on numerous recordings with experimental jazz composer Anthony Braxton. Brenders' debut from March of this year melds modern electronic composition and stretched-out free jazz. For Brenders, composition is extremely sparse and off-pulsed. Creeping loud parts are so forward they seem omnipresent, but Brender's use of quiet/loud dynamics is markedly masterful.

The inaugural Section 2 serves to pace off the album from a distance. At first, the drumming marches in with distant tympani hits, but soon Brandon Valdiva's spritzing, varied fringe percussion takes hold. Stylistically reserved, it focuses more on rim clicks and cymbal rushes rather than accented hits or beats. Section 4 begins to take more shape as it evolves from off-pulse ideas into shades of humming from Brenders, trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud, and cellist Tilman Lewis. Here, Johnathan Adejman's Korg synth uses only pitches that dance between ranges of cello and contra bass of Aaron Lumley. As the sections expand and progress, they become more infused with jazz such as Section 5's episodic procedures through choppy solo sections. Each time one of the players takes the forefront, the backing four fall into a different, regimented melody. After the 13:30 mark, the track rolls into a layered, cresendoing conclusion. The album's longest track, Section 6, begins as whimsical and eerie making for some true minimalism, that is, conjuring up complete feelings and images by doing as little as possible. It moves along very slowly, with abrupt rises and slithering falling actions throughout. Album closer Section 8 is a study in the drone, providing a stark one-note procession and, for the first time, a continual, thunderous drum part.

The assembled sounds work of one another well. Brenders has directed each member of the sextet to engage in a study of ambiance, but it sounds at times like a harrowing experience. There is a noticeable loneliness in between rigid structures and timeless freedom, and Ways studies these intervals masterfully.


New York's composer collective Anti-Social Music (ASM) are a group of jail-house rules misfits who found seem to have the time among scrounging up rent to put out a debut, a collaboration with the Gena Rowlands band, and this, their third offering entitled Fracture. ASM takes cues from many different styles of music, while guiding it with an avant-classical approach. It's various members include Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay on accordian, Gutbucket member Ken Thompson on clarinet and sax, who also a member of The World/Inferno Friendship Society alongside Peter Hess, who also contributes on various woodwinds.

According to their Myspace, the 11 members are well versed in several different types of musicology. Not only those expected members, trained in classical and jazz composition, but also music auteurs, world tour rock and rollers, anti-establishment cretins, cult members, and hipsters. Each piece of the ASM jigsaw gives the album such an alarming set of tracks.

Obviously, chamber-pigfuck has not taken off as a genre but what certainly has, is the blurring of jazz with classical with rock and roll with punk. For ASM this seems a bod, in large part, to progenitors such as Naked City (and other Tzadik projects), Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham and others. What puts ASM in a new light is the fact rather than a cohesive group of musicians looking into new horizons, the members are all coming from differing backgrounds and looking inward.

Herding ASM into "third-stream" is a little uncalled for. They more are outer-edge, modern classical. Gumdrops and Kittens serves up what could be called a "gnarly" opening riff on guitar/violin. The jarring swell sloughs off into a tense climax and enters into the albums first real movement Fracture IV. Here, the group is in a purely cinematic form. In dipping in and out of sections featuring fluttering winds, clunky piano, and low, moaning brass sections. These larger tracks, running over 10 minutes, including String Quartet No. 2 and PortRait_7 have the group maintaining improvised discipline and working the songs up to more frantic parts or vice versa. shitfuckcumbastard is an uncomfortable, daunting yet beautifully layered track. A tapestry of trembling strings and accordion fall in place behind short, staccato tenor sax hits which slowly go from spiritual Coltrane-like to frantic, hoarse Shepp-like. Although the album is drum-less, the groups series of Broken Aphorisms (eight of which appear here) have low, orchestral anchoring in using cello, violin, and trombone with piercing highs of dual flautists. With the help of accordion and pianist/keyboards, all of these work towards a sinking ship of middle range for a very interesting sounding conference.

This album isn't exactly approachable, but people who can appreciate rather intense post-rock, left-field third-stream, and meat grinder modern classical should find something.
By Matt Gannon




The first time I heard Ceremony it was three years ago, the song was called “Kersed”. It was the most raw angry thing I ever heard and I was instantly a fan. I have been looking forward to the release of “Rohnert Park” for some time now. After finally listening to it I found it to be a great punk album. It is defiantly a progression from “Violence Violence” but its also the next logical step after “Still Nothing Moves You”.

Rohnert Park opens with “Into the Wayside Part I/Sick, the first chords strike and it feels like Dick Dale wrote a Halloween song. Its not long before Cazarotti’s pounding drums come in with a steady punk beat, guitar and bass add to the mix and make the build up that much better. When Ross Farrar finally sings the cynicism and anger in his words is enough to send shivers down my spine. The song boasts a simple message of pure hatred for the modern world, and the delivery is remarkably effective.

One track in particular caught my attention, “The Doldrums (Friendly City)”. This track alone shows the huge range that Ceremony is able achieve. The subject matter of the song is only enhanced by the droning clean vocals. I applaud Ceremony for doing what great bands do, experimenting with their sound. This song will be hit or miss for many Ceremony fans but for me it is defiantly a hit.

“Rohnert Park” sounds like it could be some long lost gem recorded in the 80’s and not discovered until now. The production quality and the style of song writing couldn’t have reached a more perfect balance. Rohnert Park in my opinion is one of the best hardcore punk albums to come out in 2010.

Highlight Tracks
M.C.D.F
Moving Principle
The Doldrums (Friendly City)
Don’t touch Me
Back in 84


Aram Shelton - Alto saxophone, Clarinet
Keefe Jackson - Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Josh Berman - Cornet
Fred Lonberg-Holm - Cello
Anton Hatwich - Bass
Frank Rosaly - Drums

Chances are, Chicago has a cooler jazz scene than your city. With its young vanguard of experimentalist, Two Cities, the new offering from Fast Citizens, proves a second wave is within the ilk of Ken Vandermark, Chicago Underground Duo, and Isotope 217. The sextet Fast Citizens' rotating leader chair is this time occupied by saxophonist Aram Shelton.

Although the album is built around free-form clusters, usually with each of the six members in mix, they are set within a post-bop ethos. The opener and title track is a colorful trek through not one, or two cities, but an array of sounds for touring many different places. Josh Berman and Keefe Jackson round out the front end. All three invited each other in and out at various points in the song, some times harmonizing warmly, other times tip-toeing around one another. Big News flourishes Fred Lonberg-Holm's cello with entrances by horns just after the 1:00 mark and creeping rhythm lines soon thereafter.

The album even dips into third stream. VCR #9 is Mingus-like in mood and image with its dizzying whirs. Clocking in at just over a minute long, Wontkins is the rapid unpacking and throwing about the room of angular free jazz, but certainly not a shrugged-off after thought. It's voice on the album sheds more onto what type of sextet Shelton is leading. The group's last album, led by Keefe Jackson, was more mature in its track by track organization. Here, the Fast Citizens sound juvenile, but are in no way unweaned.
Tuesday night jazz show primer! Each week SBS, hosted by Chris and I, plays what is defined as 'jazz and jazz plus.' So here are some thoughts on jazz and jazz plus, but more specifically new, underground things we play.

SBS Tuesdays, 6 PM - 8 PM 91.5 WUML Lowell
or
Listen Online

New Music Worth Your Time:
  • Little Women - Throat, AUM Fidelity
  • New York Art Quartet - Old Stuff, Cuneiform
  • Aram Shelton's Fast Citizens - Two Cities, AUM Fidelity
  • Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu Steps Ahead, Strut
This Week's Program:
  • Some music off of Popol Vuh's 1983 masterpiece soundtrack for Aguirre, Wrath of God. Directed by Werner Herzog.
  • Joe Harriot, the lost pioneer of free jazz.
  • In honor of it's 35th anniversary, selections from Phedra by Tangerine Dream.
  • Miles Davis Live at the Fillmore East, 1970: It's About That Time.



An announcement from a February 2010 Umass Lowell chair meeting on the dismantling of the Regional and Social Economic Development (RESD) department came as a shock to students and faculty, and now professors and students say they feel they are losing a sense of community despite administration claims of bettering the program.
The interdisciplinary department, now in it’s thirteenth year, focuses on economics, sociology, labor, environmentalism, and other fields. It’s flagship program, the Master of Arts in Economic and Social Development of Regions, will continue under a new model starting in July by re-integrating RESD department faculty into disciplinary departments.
“After the University Provost suggested the idea of having a better model, we offered to work with him,” said Philip Moss, RESD professor and co-chair.
The announcement came soon after.
“I was shocked and appalled this was happening,” said Dr. John Wooding, a RESD co-chair.
Moss says a department base is crucial and the student community relies on this structure.
Wooding and Moss, along with concerned students, have been holding meetings and keeping correspondence with university administration to raise issues and reiterate negative reactions to the decision.
“This change was extremely unexpected and there is a lack of transparency with whats being done” said Graduate Student Lianna Kushi.
Umass Lowell Provost Ahmed Abdelal said it was always clear that the degree program would continue.
"I feel the alarm may have been provoked by misunderstanding," says Abdelal.
Graduate Student Matt Hopkins said meetings were bizarre, marked with emotion from students and a lack of listening from administrators.
“[RESD] has evolved as a department, not a framework,” said Hopkins.
Administrators say the current deployment of RESD resources and departmental boundaries have hampered interdisciplinary collaboration and cost the university money in an economic climate when they need to be prudent and cost effective.
“Sometimes there is confusion with change but we feel the sense of community will still be there,” said Nina Coppens, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
RESD's 5th floor space located Umass Lowell's O'Leary Library will be used as a research center rather than a department base.
“Integrating RESD into different departments will bring expertise of the department to the whole campus,” said Coppens.
Coppens said that RESD expertise can not only better student education, but make their Master’s program more visible to the UML community.
Changes in RESD, like in other interdisciplinary frameworks, will include faculty councils, from different departments, and student representatives to provide input.
“RESD was an experiment to decide what would be a sustainable model for interdisciplinary programs,” said Associate Dean of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Melissa Pennell.
Pennell said creating new departments for new programs is unwieldy and by creating faculty councils with professors from multiple departments increases flexibility as professors are being utilized in a number of different teaching activities.
Co-chair Philip Moss said the departmental structure has always lent itself to good quality instruction and research.
Tom Waits' Rain Dogs is an extension of Swordfishtrombones, and certainly an experiment into yet another backwater, scurvy-ed and dilapidated album. For me, the real hit on it is Marc Ribot, who helps drive the jostled 'Singapore', but anchors down 'Jockey Full of Burbon'. This, of course, is not meant to overlook appearances from Bobby Previte on auxiliaries here and there, Greg Cohen on upright, or John Laurie's background vocalish-sax on 'Walking Spanish'. The more solemn Diane, by veterans Chet Baker and Paul Bley, is heroin remnants dripping off into standards. By '85 Baker was utterly destroyed by heroin, drugs or drug deals, by this time and admist label and mood jumping, he would fall out of a window to his death three years later. But here is one of Baker's last statements: trumpet accompanied by chiming piano trade off on a textbook rendition of 'How Deep is the Ocean'. Its dreary, hazy, and relaxing.



John Carter's Castles of Ghana features free-jazz compositions on the clarinet as well as Bobby Bradford on cornet. It's left-field avant howls create an atmosphere of remorse and reflection on the African Slave Trade. Lester Bowie is similar on I Only Have Eyes For You, an album not unlike Coltrane's My Favorite Things. State of the Tenor is a live double-disc from Joe Henderson and is a history lesson, with selections from all walks of jazz, as well as a beautifully recorded show from the Village Vanguard. The Big Gundown, Zorn's reworking/tribute to Ennio Morricone, was at one point titled Once Upon a Time in the Lower East Side and is his first in a set of interpretations he would do. After reinventing quartet interactions on his early works, Gundown is the ushering in of a phase which would move on to put Ornette Coleman, hard bop,and Mickey Spillane through his own filter. Finally, Ran Blake's third-stream, film nior compositions are collected on Painted Rhythms and then he would go on to do many more things, mostly in the footsteps of Horace Silver.
  1. Chet Baker and Paul Bley - Diane
  2. John Carter - Castles of Ghana
  3. Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
  4. Lester Bowie - I Only Have Eyes For You
  5. Joe Henderson - State of the Tenor
  6. John Zorn - The Big Gundown
  7. Ran Blake - Painted Rhythms, 1
This Thursday, 5/27, a Lowell cultural revue of sorts will take place at UTEC on Hurd St. Starting at 6 pm, join the Revolving Museum and UML Regional Economic & Social Development Dept for historical immigrant mural presentations, live music by Celtic Angkor, slam poetry from FreeVerse! and refreshments. Free.

Also Thursday: Sinbusters and Ladderlegs will be playing a free show in Charlestown at the The Tavern at the End of the World on 104 Cambridge St. Doors at 9:30.



Other News:
To our readers: an apology for the lack of content from the last couple of weeks. Finals had most of us ravaged and away from the blog. However, expect more stuff from the WUML Blog and 91.5 FM all summer:

Fantastic Fallout summer schedule announced:
WUML wins kickball against UML's print-journalism news source. Another reason to listen to radio, another reason to read our blog: three-peat. Inner-forum details here.



Other News:

Last Thursday night, fellow Live from the Fallout Shelter host Sean and myself, ventured out to see Small Brown Bike at the Great Scott in Allston with a few of our friends. The Michigan born post-hardcore-beard-punk band recently got back together last fall and have released two seven inches, “Composite Volume 1” and “Composite Volume 2”, since then off of No Idea Records. The band would be playing their first show in Boston in seven years to a sold out crowd at The Great Scott. We had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Reed, lead singer and guitarist, before the show, which I can only imagine was like watching Chris Farley interview Paul McCartney on Saturday Night Live. Enjoy!

Tom: So why don’t we start by having you introduce yourself.

Mike: Hi, this is Mike and I play in Small Brown Bike. I play guitar, yeah, I play guitar.

Tom: So you guys have recently released two new seven inch records, the Composites 1 and 2. What was the motivation behind having these as separate releases instead of just one big recording and are there more of these releases to come?

Mike: Well, I think it just started as an idea, like we had originally started writing some songs last summer and the first two that we kind of finished up and felt like they were ready we said to ourselves, well we didn’t really want to just come out and do a full record, we wanted to do something that was a little more bite size and little pieces of music. So the first one we got out just because the fest was happening and we wanted to just make sure we had it out and literally got them the day of the fest last October. So I guess at that point we didn’t really want to do the big full length, we wanted to kind of come out in pieces. We’re going to do five of them total and the way that it happened was Dan our drummer does graphic arts and he had five paintings and collages that he had done in school on his wall in his living room and we were just sitting around one day after practice and we came up with this idea to do one for each painting or whatever and that was that. So the covers of each record are based on his collage, its actually the collage scanned in at a smaller scale.

Tom: So there are three more coming out?

Mike: Yeah for sure. So its just a matter of you know when, I don’t know. We’re kind of doing when we feel like its, you know like when we have songs. Right now we’re working on getting newer songs and obviously getting a record together but right now its just like yeah there will be three eventually.

Tom: So the reunion this time around seems to be a little more significant than from when you guys reunited back in 2007 for those shows. You guys even have a Twitter account now.

Mike: Haha, yeah we’re really 21st century.

Tom: What are you guys currently up to and what does the future hold for Small Brown Bike?

Mike: Well, I think we’re really just kind of taking it really day by day week by week kind of thing. The main thing is just having fun and being together writing songs again. I don’t know, sometimes you get so caught up in the business stuff or the we have to do this, we have to do that kind of thing. It’s a huge part of our lives but its not like the number one priority so we do it when we can all get together and get a chance. So right now we’re just writing new music basically, we’re playing these four shows on the tour and then we don’t have any shows scheduled after this. It really kind of just comes and goes. We look ahead about three months and decide what we want to do and then just go from there. So right now we’re just writing new music and mainly that’s done. My brother still lives in Chicago so we just send each other ideas on mp3s and stuff and get together when we can. So that’s the main thing, just writing as much as we can.

Sean: So you’re doing the five Composite albums. Will there be a full length encompassing those?

Mike: Yeah that’s the idea. Eventually we’re going to do five of them and then eventually the idea is to do an LP with all of the songs on it and we’d probably remix everything so it sounds more cohesive because each one we record in our drummers basement and have a friend mix them and so we kind of buy more gear and they, well I hope they sound a little better each time, so by that fifth one we’ll probably just remix everything and make it a full LP with everything.

Sean: So are you going to do more touring after that?

Mike
: Well, I don’t think we’ll ever do a big tour again. It’s not the same, I mean never say never, but its hard to see that happening where we just do like a full US five week tour. So stuff like this where we come out and play four or five shows, that will happen and we want to go out to the west coast this year. I mean, obviously we always had fun coming out here and playing shows and the west coast is fun and Chicago and Michigan were always fun. So I don’t know, its hard to say. Right now we don’t have anything scheduled at all. We’re kind of just like I said focusing on writing new music and that’s about it.

Sean: So do you think those are mostly going to be headlining shows or you’ll maybe be jumping onto somebody else’s tour?

Mike: I mean, if it comes up where somebody asks us to tour, I’m sure we’ll do the right thing, obviously we would totally consider it. But we don’t have a booking agent right now, we’re kind of just doing stuff on our own so that’s kind of part of that, is you know when you have a booking agent they know other booking agents who can get you on tours. So I think we’re just having fun kind of headlining right now and playing smaller shows with like two to three hundred people which is still huge, I mean that’s not a small show by any means. So its been fun just doing our own stuff and then we can play a longer set with some old songs and some new stuff too.

Sean: How about a Small Brown Bike/Hot Water Music show?

Mike: Always, I’d love too! Yeah, I’d love too, absolutely.

Tom: They only play in Germany.

Mike: My other band played with them in Chicago, what, two years ago. So yeah, I could see it happening if those guys were into it.

Tom: That would be the best thing ever.

Mike: Haha, thank you.

Sean: So after “Dead Reckoning” came out, you guys changed things up a little bit and you guys released “Nail Yourself To The Ground.” The last song on that, “A Table For Four”…what is that about exactly? Or what things?

Mike: Well, Travis wrote it, Travis wrote the lyrics to it so I don’t want to speak for him exactly. But I will say its based in reality, like we don’t really write stuff that we don’t believe in. But that song, we still play it and its one of our favorite songs to play and its just become one of those epic things that we like doing. I think we’ve all taken our own meaning from it. That’s about the best I can answer that one.

Tom: What does the future hold for your other projects, La Salle and Able Baker Fox?

Mike
: I don’t know that’s a tough question too. We don’t plan very well. Nathan, from Able Baker Fox and I keep in touch and almost every time we talk we say we have to write more music and we have to do something but he’s busy with Coalesce right now. I think it will happen again, I think we’ll eventually do something when we have the time or when we start sending ideas back and forth. Right now, I’m kind of focusing on writing songs for Small Brown Bike so that’s like what I want to do. But you know, I guess the lesson from Small Brown Bike is that breaking up doesn’t really mean much anymore, it’s like we get back together. So that’s the way I look at Able Baker, its like we just kind of aren’t actively doing anything right now. Same thing with La Salle, my wife and I still write music and we have a ton of songs and its just that you know we’ve both been in school and working and stuff so we just haven’t been out playing shows. But who knows when we’ll pick them back up again. Right now there’s no plans to do stuff.

Tom: At WUML, we play a lot of underground music. Are there any bands that you listen to who you think don’t get as much recognition as they should?

Mike
: Yeah, there’s a ton of bands. Well I think like Bridge and Tunnel and Your Skull My Closet who are both on tour with us right now, I think both of those bands are amazing and they’re not played on top 40 radio stations by any means but we respect them and appreciate everything that they do. Old Growth is another band that has one of the guys from Twelve Hour Turn in it who we were big fans of and toured a lot with back in the day and they’re just an awesome band. I don’t know I guess that’s all I’ve got right now off the top of my head. But yeah, I’d recommend those three for sure.

(At this point, one of our friends Nick stepped in to ask a question.)

Nick: What was the band that just kind of got your juices going? Name a few of them.

Mike: Well, when I was really young and getting into punk rock, 7 Seconds was a big one. We all skateboarded so they were huge in getting me into that kind of stuff. Then like as we started writing our own music, Jawbreaker was huge obviously, I mean, I remember the first time I heard that band it was just different and something that I wasn’t used to. I had heard punk and pop punk way before that but they were doing something that just kind of pushed it into a different kind of territory so I still remember hearing them for the first time for sure. And yeah, Hot Water Music was another one of those bands where I remember it was just a fluke and like a friend of mine was going to see them in Kalamazoo and they played in front of like ten or fifteen people and I just went and was like yeah I’ll go check out this band from Florida, they were playing with Giant’s Chair, who I loved at the time and it was just those four guys just pushing it, and it was just crazy, in front of like, you know there were probably thirty people at the show or something like that but to just see that energy…there’s a huge list, I could keep going. Even bands like classic rock, like Led Zeppelin and stuff, just growing up I loved that music. It goes on and on.

Tom: So for the last question, I ask this to a lot of bands. It’s really stupid and silly. Who do you think would win in a fight, all the humans in the world or all the ants in the world?

Mike: The ants? In a fight? Like a fist fight? Because ants don’t have very good fists.

Tom: That’s true, I never thought of that.

Mike: That’s my answer. Yeah, in a fist fight I guess we’d win because we have fists.

Tom: Alright, good enough for me. Well, thanks a lot for the interview. It was a pleasure and have a really good show tonight. We’ll be out there rocking out.

Mike: Awesome, thanks!

Keep an eye open for the next time Small Brown Bike hits your town as they put on one amazing live show. You can buy “Composite, Vol. 1” and “Composite, Vol. 2” at noidearecords.com and check out the band’s music at http://www.myspace.com/smllbrwnbk .

This past Wednesday the 5th of May, Minus The Bear was kind enough to grace The Wilbur Theatre in Boston with their presence. The Seattle based indie rock, kind of proggy kind of poppy, band had just released their new album “Omni” the night before, the first release off of their new label, Dangerbird Records. Myself and WUML intern Jenna sat down with bassist Corey Murchy on the sidewalk outside of the theatre for a quick little chat about what is happening behind the scenes of Minus The Bear.

Tom: Let’s start by having you introduce yourself.

Corey: Hmm…I’m Corey Murchy and I play the bass in Minus The Bear.

Tom: Yesterday (May 4) was the official release of “Omni“, your new album. You guys must have been pretty excited for its release. What did you all do to celebrate?

Corey: Well, we played a radio show in New York City because we had played the night before and then we actually hoofed it up to Newbury Comics in Boston and played a little record store. So I guess we celebrated by playing in a record store.

Tom: Was that a wicked secret show?

Corey: The record store? Well, I think it was kind of last minute so I think it was maybe announced the day before or the day of so it was pretty short notice.

Tom: Yeah, that would be an awesome venue to see you guys in.

Corey: Yeah, there was a really great turnout so it was a lot of fun.

Tom: What would you like to tell people about the new album? What do you think is the most important thing about the new album?

Corey: I think just the fact that it was the first time that we all recorded kind of together as far as wanting to keep a lot of the tracks that we all recorded together as opposed to overdubbing later. So it was a lot more of a live feel and in the end it was about getting the right feel and the right vibe to the songs as opposed to whether it was perfect or not, it was more of a relative thing.

Tom: And that worked out pretty well for you guys, playing live like that?

Corey: Yeah absolutely. There’s a lot that was learned from it for sure but we pulled it off in the end.

Jenna: In what ways did the writing process of “Omni” differ from the earlier albums?

Corey: I think it was actually the first time that we really allowed someone else from outside of the band to take a stab at song arrangement and placement of parts and revisiting parts and stuff. We never really had an outside influence but working with Joe (Producer Joe Chiccarelli) in pre-production and stuff it was kind of like well what about going back to that chorus and what about not doing this part. So that was probably the biggest difference.

Jenna: How do you guys feel about the album leaking early? I know you guys posted your album for streaming online so it must have not really ruined any element of surprise. But there are a lot of different opinions between bands on this subject. Is it just assumed that this will just happen, or did you guys try to prevent it?

Corey: Yeah, I mean we always try to postpone it for as long as possible but we know that in this day and age its going to be leaked. And on one hand its really not that big of a deal because its kind of cool because kids can go and listen to the record and become familiar with the songs before they come to the show. So playing those songs live is always kind of fun when people recognize them and are familiar with them. So I think it kind of helps because it gets people out to the shows and then they’ll buy a CD at the show or a shirt or something.

Jenna: Yeah, it definitely helps out because I saw you guys at Bamboozle and all the new songs that you guys played, I knew all of them already.


Corey
: Yeah, so I think it’s a cool thing and I think it can actually be a good thing as long as you don’t freak out about it. At the end of the day people are still buying music, I mean it’s a lot less than what it was but I mean if you still love the band and want to support them then you’re going to buy the record.

Tom
: So you recently switched over to Dangerbird Records. What made you decide on the switch from Suicide Squeeze to Dangerbird?

Corey: Well, our record contract was up with Suicide Squeeze and we just decided to try something different and Dangerbird was one of the options and they were by far the right option. They come from selling records kind of where we come from too. It’s about the whole package and they’re a bunch of artists as well so they understand it. We’re really stoked. We’ve been really lucky to work with Suicide Squeeze because they’ve been so on top of it and they have helped us out in a lot of ways but we’re really excited about Dangerbird too. And we still support Suicide Squeeze, we love them. So there’s no bad blood there.

Tom: It’s pretty much just a new group of family and friends.

Corey: Exactly.

Tom: So you guys have been kicking around for almost ten years now and you have been pretty successful with your endeavors. I believe the hardest part of being a band is getting your name out there, for a lot of bands at least. In your experience, what has been the most effective way of promoting the band and what do you advise bands to stay away from?

Corey: Well, we have definitely put our time in on the road as far as touring and playing places repeatedly and I think that really helps to build a fan base if you come to their town and play. So I think touring is really, really important. You know, obviously the internet is not without its flaws, kind of like the whole downloading question, but its also a good tool. It gets kids interested in the band immediately. What was the second part of your question?

Tom: What would you tell bands to stay away from?

Corey: Oh Jeeze, there’s so many things to stay away from. You know, I would tell a band to stay away from letting someone else tell them what to do. We are really hands on with our band and we really want to know everything that’s going on from the mundane shit to the big stuff so I think sometimes bands let go of the reigns a little too soon because they think that’s the way you need to do it but you really need to stay on top of your shit ultimately.

Jenna: What kind of history have you had with college radio?

Corey: College radio has been really good. Kind of from the get go they have always been really supportive and I think a lot of our fans are turned on by college radio. I think that college radio is still really viable and even in the age of internet and websites and blogs and stuff I think that its cool that kids are still listening to college radio and its still a relatively unchanged format. It still gets people playing what they want to play. It’s good, it helps.

Jenna: So at our radio station, we only play underground music and try to stay away from the mainstream popular bands who don’t necessarily need our help anymore. Are there any bands that you would consider underground right now who you believe deserve a lot more attention?

Corey: The Heartless Bastards. I think they’re fantastic, I am surprised you don’t hear them more. Uhm…who else? Russian Circles are phenomenal. The Narrows are also really good, they’re from Seattle. All those bands…Velveteen’s another one.

Jenna: Who was your favorite band that you got to see at Bamboozle?

Corey: Piebald actually, Piebald was fucking awesome! They took us on some of our really early first tours and we opened up for them and we were main support for them and they are really good friends of ours and we have had a lot of really, really great times. Piebald are great dudes and they really took us under their wing on those first few tours and taught us a lot about touring and stuff because you know, they’re road dogs. So yeah, watching Piebald was definitely the highlight.

Jenna: Do you guys prefer playing at festivals or do you like smaller venues?

Corey: I mean, its like comparing apples and oranges, I know that’s clichĂ© but its kind of true. They’re just different beasts. I think its always fun playing your own show and having your own thing going on but festivals are fun because you get to run into people and you know it’s a lot more hectic and chaotic which is a lot of fun too.

Tom: Alright this will be our last question and its a silly one. Who would win in a fight…all the humans in the world or all the ants in the world?

Corey: Ooh, ants. Ants.

Tom: That was a pretty quick response.

Corey: Yeah, ants are by design much more hearty characters than the old humans. I think ants will persevere much longer. You don’t want to fuck with a group of ants, man. Hell no.

Tom: It’s a big group.

Corey: It’s a really big group. We’re talking…a lot. Yeah, I’ve got my money on the ants. Sorry humans.

Tom: Awesome, well thanks for the interview and have a great show tonight!

Corey: Thanks man, it was nice meeting you!

Minus The Bear is currently on tour supporting their new album “Omni”. The album is now available to buy and is certainly well worth it. Make sure to catch these guys next time they come to your area, but in the meantime you can check them out at www.minusthebear.com
After seeing them blow up the Silent Barn and the Mercury Lounge at the head and tail of CMJ last year, Male Bonding appeared three English chaps destined for greatness. Then we scratched around for anything by them...and only came up with two collections entitled 'Ruff Demos' and 'Brattwell Shed Punk Sessions.' Needless to say, they were fucking gold, and the band was signed to Sub Pop.



Oh the suspense. Now seven months later we have the release of their debut album Nothing Hurts, we have them breaking through a well deserved surface. First and foremost, MB can write a damn good pop song, but it's gonna be under 3 minutes, they're punk-rock. To be more exact, and to not call them post-punk/indie, these guys are intelli-punk with angular attack and frantic guitar work, and dabble in surf-rock. Immediately I noticed the speedy 1-2 shimmer of opener Years Not Long provided by guitarist John Arthur Webb, which breathlessly shoots into the dreamy All Things This Way. With each track, Male Bonding marks more territory; the lazy surf-haze of Franklin, the jostled, blistering R.U.F.F., or the heart-throb acoustic Worse to Come (feat. Vivian Girls). Male Bonding don't shy away from punk, but feel the need to evolve as polymaths of the genre. The unnerving anthem Pumpkin towards the conclusion deserves the old skip-to. Album-wide, Robin Christian's drumming is not only frantic in typical punk fashion, but also shows resolve in places, taking a back seat to wily guitar riffs or stabbing in cringing cowbell.

Of course, I cringed more live...and I loved it. Nothing Hurts' has more refined, alt-rock sounding versions of their songs sound different from live stuff and 'Ruff'/'Brattwell.' Of course, this simply makes them more accessible and allows them to put forth the breadth of sound they can produce better. The album will pass quick, and taking it at face value may be punk but Male Bonding writes simple statements, but is saying more...read between the lines...put it on repeat.



Nothing Hurts is out on Sub Pop on May 10th. Check out Male Bonding here.
Kompakt's relentless assault of minimalism has been breaking out more and more. London-based Walls' self-titled debut is very cinematic. The different aspects of opener Burnt Sienna seem to creep up on a listener, leaping from the 70s to 80s and back here with borrowed roars and beats.



Cyclopean Remains lumbers and pulsates with jangly poly-rhythms and a opening string fanfare. Airy vocals are etched into a lasting guitar drone on Burnt Sienna which invites in an active backing synth. Throughout the recording there is noted style changes among their sound: sporadic, glitching A Virus Awaits!, Strawberry Sect sound like the opening of a Beatles song extended over 2 minutes, and Gaberdine is straight-forward micro house. Walls' best feature is not their ability to create these, but to float in and out so well, and incorporate strange wisps of footsteps, crush-like sounds, and bullfroggy croaks, as well as some smart samples such as The Black Angel's Death Song in Gaberdine.

Listen to Walls.
Ant Cellar show featuring :The Network, The Binary Code, Gloominus Doom, Hivesmasher, and Drive-By Bukkake. Woah. Thursday May 6, 2010 at 8:30 p.m.

Former Lowellian shoppe Birke's will be explored through the film Browsing Through Birke's on Tuesday May 18th at 6 p.m. The film, being shown at the Lowell Historical Park Visitor Center, spun off a 1994 exhibit which explores the vintage store, which not only sold garments but served as a social gathering spot for many locals. Free admission.

Fallout Announcement from Punky T-South:
Live from the Fallout Shelter will be having In The Audience play a set on the show tonight! In The Audience is an indie pop band from Portland Maine, which is cool because we never have people from Maine play the show! The band sounds a lot like Anthony Green and Say Anything...except folkier. In other words, really good stuff!

So tune in Monday night from 8 to 11PM, In The Audience will be on at 930PM. You can check the band out at http://www.myspace.com/intheaudience
LALA is shutting down, which is lalame. The web service has been a valuble way of finding music, by supporting tons of artsists. One of it's best features enables a user to listen to an entire song once and then keeping to it a 30-second sample. Below is a copy of the email sent to all users.

Dear [username],

The Lala service will be shut down on May 31st.

In appreciation of your support over the last five years, you will receive a credit in the amount of your Lala web song purchases for use on Apple's iTunes Store. If you purchased and downloaded mp3 songs from Lala, those songs will continue to play as part of your local music library.

Remaining wallet balances and unredeemed gift cards will be converted to iTunes Store credit (or can be refunded upon request). Gift cards can be redeemed on Lala until May 31st.

Click here or visit Lala.com/support for more information, or to view Lala's Terms of Service.

Thank you.

Lala

©2005-2010 la la media, inc. All rights reserved.

Radio is still a bulwark of discovery for new music. Currently a bill in Congress called H.B. 848, but more affectionately known as the performance tax, is being looked at to charge radio stations for airplay of artists...record companies cashing in on the otherwise free airtime they have been giving radios. In turn for that free airtime, comes free promotion, but not anymore. The fees are graduated, and the more money a station makes the more they will be required to pay for music. Thus, stations that can't pay the fees will essentially be done away with or resort to something alike talk radio. The act could mark the second major sea change in radio telecommunication in the last two decades. In February of 1996, increased competition in the radio industry paved the way for media conglomerates acquiring large numbers of stations.

And perhaps that's all fine, but what has happened was alignment of many stations under uniform programming. People are fine with this because many of us prefer to hear familiar sounds when they tune in. However, those who challenge such alignment and promote, play, and celebrate what the power of radio are who may not survive passage of a performance tax. Classic rock and popular bands promoted otherwise soak up airtime and use radio as a tool for extension of reissues and hit records. Don't kill tools of discovery and beneficial promotion.


After listening to Cut from 1979 , it's no wonder the Slits first tour was with the Clash. However for these girls, dub-reggae was injected into them from the start. Along with co-conspirators The Raincoats, LiLLIPUT (who also got reissue treatment as of late), and Siouxie Sioux they expanded the framework for Riot Grrl and to-die-for indie sweethearts of today, but Cut proves to be a very important step forward for punk rock music.

M.I.A. isn't exactly ripping off Ari Up (lead vox), Palmolive (Teresa Pollitt [bass]), and Viv Albertine (guitar), but with a backing band instead of a backing track she might sound a little bit like them. Right from the onset, opener 'Instant Hit' begins with picky guitar and tip-toeing high hat, with all three girls swirling about. At:48, the album kicks off the dubbed-out sound with a cliche, taut-snared bdddDADA *crash!*. Copy and pasted from Alton Ellis and Desmond Dekker, from there, the rest is just relentless reggae. The Slits' particular brand of it is angular and broken up. The drums, here provided by the only male member Budgie (Peter Clarke) are colorful, but tie-dyed as he climbs over walls of change with relative ease on So Tough. Shoplifting anticipates a straight feel, and then chokes you for a second and leaves you to groove, but between the trios gang-vox chorus and Ari Up's screeching, the mere 1:40 of the song is a lower class living English viewfinder, which sums it up perfectly: "Do a runner!" so you can eat tonight. Cut is quite thin, and sounds as if it's RIGHT in front of your face, little sounds to create a big idea. Spend, Spend, Spend's just as Ari sings "I want to buy..." at the 1:20 mark, a coin drop cuts through everything sizing down their sound yes, but more so giving perspective.

The 2010 deluxe edition gives this morsel justice, by expanding it to a double disc with 29 other tracks including alternate takes, 8-track demos, and John Peel sessions. Highlights include the spacey 'brink style dub' version of Typical Girls, the straight post-punk of Vindictive, and several instrumental out takes on disc 2. Feminism? Would Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott pose loinclothed and muddy? Welcome to a broader revolution.
Join local artists, Sheep and Other Anomalies, TRAGWAG, Texas Battle, Found You, Everyone Except Me, Caitlin Ford, Chris O'Grady, Victoria Valente, and Inspector 34, on Saturday 4/24, for a lovely afternoon of FOLK THE PARK.

Featuring special guests, Kevin and the Wasps!

Utilize your public space, get fresh air, and enjoy local sounds.


This is all happening at the Wakefield Commons tomorrow (April 24th) at 3:00 PM. See you there!

In light of the third annual Lowell Film Festival, which brought many people out to relevant Depression-era movies a couple weeks back... I got an idea for writing about music in movies while watching the excellent Capra film It Happened One Night.

Howard Jackson's score was uncredited...but it presents an interesting look at film soundtracks: it is an elitist genre. Obviously a film with a good soundtrack is greatly enhanced. But what about a soundtrack alone? Does Carl Stalling's cartoon music stand alone because we've been watching cartoons for years or is it because its some of the most technical, fast orchestral music we've heard? I think they can stand alone, and here are some that do. I watch a lot of movies, so maybe I am biased by the images on-screen, but nonetheless, they certainly can translate.


  • Naked Lunch, Ornette Coleman & Howard Shore - (1990, dir. David Cronenberg) - This meeting of the minds, in my opinion, is unparalleled. Coleman's previous orchestra work on Skies of America had the orchestra molded with him, playing sporadic, free compositions. Naked Lunch bends Ornette around the mood setting orchestra of Howard Shore.
  • Brazil, Michael Kamen - (1985, dir. Terry Gilliam) - Just like Terry Gilliam in his film, Kamen's music puts a technocratic spin on sambas, film nior, dramatic fantasy, and everything in between,. To be amazed: add the track "Waiting for Daddy" with Johnathan Pryce, soggy toast, and ducts.
  • Vergogna Schifosi, Ennio Morricone - (1969, dir. Mauro Severino) - This is a great example, because I have not seen the film and thus have no images to connect to. Dirty Angels may be one of the lesser known of Morricone's but it is the most in touch with the popular music sound he injects into all of his works. The center piece of the whole album is a 1-2and bassline which lies beneath haunting vocal lines, summery guitar solos, and piercing organ attacks. It's best track is the spiraled rising of all parts on Una Spiaggia a Messogiorno.
  • The Conversation, David Shire (197 dir. Francis Ford Copolla) - 70s funk-nior from movies like Three Days of the Condor and the Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 seemingly responds to Blaxploitation be saying 'we can be hip too!' In FFC's The Conversation, not only was the film made between Godfather parts I and II, but the main character, portrayed by Gene Hackman, plays saxophone, and the ending this movie has one of the greatest endings.
  • The Shining, various - (1980, dir. Stanley Kubrick) - Not to many arguments here, but this soundtrack includes a lot of source music and pop tunes which blend together very well. The Gleneagles band's old time, big band recordings are very washed out and sound eerie, plus Henry Hall's vocals are regal, yet sadistic in context. Electro-charged Wendy Carlos makes a breathtaking acoustic-electro appearance having worked with Kubrick 8 years before on A Clockwork Orange. However, the true terror, infused with mystery behind the film, comes from Krzysztof Pendereck (pictured above). This Polish compose's incredibly dark, unexpected contributions are marked with unexpected blasts of auxilary percussion, far-off, daunting brasswork, and truely scary sounds: open-ended terror of not knowing.
  • Blue Velvet, various - (1989, dir. David Lynch) - Picking out one of these with Angelo Badalamenti wasn't easy to do, so I just went with my favorite movie. He also scores the City of Lost Children, Holy Smoke, Wicker Man, and everything else Lynch has done. Aside from working with Lynch, he has collaborated with Shirley Bassey, and that just kicks ass. Atmospheric, ethereal, dreamy, terrifying. Also, this soundtrack has the best old school rock and roll from Bill Doggett, Roy Orbison, and others to complement Angelo's eerie sound and Lynch's surreal images.
  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Popol Vuh - (1972, dir Werner Herzog) - Before Grizzly Man and the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Krautrock was spilling out everywhere. Apart from being an airy, highly experimental band, this film soundtrack is frequently cited as one of their best works.
Honorable Mentions:
  • Punch Drunk Love, Jon Brion
  • Alien, Jerry Goldsmith
  • Amarcord, Nino Rota
  • Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud, Miles Davis
Lightning Bolt's upcoming tour is kicking off at 'noise day' at Clark University in Worcester MA. Saturday, April 24th the SOUND//ART//SOUND//ART action will kick off at 1:00PM. The event's schedule is as follows:



2:30-3:00 Dark and Stormy
3:15 - 3:45 Britney's Spear
4:00 - 4:30 The Awesome Something
4:45 - 5:30 Gila Monster
5:45- 6:15 Kyle Clyde
6:30 - 7:00 – ISA Christ
7:15 - 8:00 - Tinsel Teeth
8:15 - LIGHTNING BOLT

Also, check out our review of Earthly Delights.


Thursday April 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm.

Join the City of Lowell as they march to end sexual assault and domestic violence.


Speakers include:
Attorney General Martha Coakley,
Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Kontz,
Lowell Police Chief Kenneth LaVallee,
Lowell City Manager Bernie Lynch
and more including an open mic!
Visual artist Rachel Carey-Harper will be displaying an installation in McGauvran today from 1 - 5 p.m. Carey-Harper, a founding member of The Clothesline Project will be hanging up shirts made by victims and color-coded to identify various types of domestic abuse. The event will be followed by a candlelight vigil at 7:30 p.m.



If you're interested in a haul out west, Hadoken is playing a show Phi Sigma Kappa in Amherst on Saturday, April 24th. Show begins at 8 p.m. cover is 5$ and Phi Sig promises the event will "get gnarly." Also, The Right to Arm Bears, Ghost Ocean, Young Victorians, and Ask the Ice.

On Thursday, April 22 at 4 p.m. a talk entitled "Raising Awareness in Human Trafficking" will be held in O'Leary 222. The talk will discuss reasons and motives behind human trafficking and many of the groups working to stop it.

News in brief:
Click Here and watch this awesome documentary on Pitchfork.tv

This past Thursday, Providence, RI's Soul Control made their way up to the Fox Common in Lowell MA in support of their latest album "Cycles", which was released off of local punk/hardcore label Bridge Nine Records this past August. I had the pleasure to meet up with vocalist Rory Van Grol before the show and talk to him about a few things including what it's been like touring for "Cycles", New England hardcore scenes and other delicacies that sit on the plate that is Soul Control.

Tom: Let’s start by having you introduce yourself.

Rory
: I’m Rory and I sing for Soul Control.

Tom
: How have you enjoyed your time in Lowell so far?

Rory
: Well, I just got here so I mean despite the nice aroma of whatever dining hall type hangout spot this is and the dead bird outside, our van made it here and we’re here so it’s been alright I guess.

Tom: So you guys released your latest record “Cycles” back in August off of local record label Bridge Nine Records. What are you guys currently working on and are there any new releases in the near future?

Rory: I mean we’re just writing. There’s no releases named or whatever, we’re just writing songs. If we write 12 songs then we write 12 songs. There’s no record we’re writing for…if we end up writing a record then that’s cool, if not then whatever. We’re a band and we produce songs and we like writing so that’s what we’re doing. It’s kind of redundant in a way, but oh well.

Tom: Are you guys playing any of those songs or are you still just supporting “Cycles” right now?

Rory: Well, we played one new song out live but we are still working on them so we’re not really pushing those songs yet. We’re pretty much just playing “Cycles.”

Tom: Your music definitely adds a lot of different aspects to the term hardcore. You guys are pretty heavy but you definitely have a lot of different things going on at the same time. How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?

Rory: Well we got pulled over in Philly and the guy was like ‘so you’re in a band?’ And I said yeah and he asked ‘what kind of band we were in’ and so I said well its kind of like a heavier Rage Against The Machine, so I guess that is what I would go for. Something that people can easily grasp if they have no knowledge of really heavy music or really loud music. I think Rage Against The Machine is a pretty good median for that, you know like people will say ‘oh its heavier than that? Cool!’ So I think that is a good starting point. I mean I could go from there, obviously we have more influences than that but not everyone is going to know who Dinosaur Jr or The Pixies or Sonic Youth are or bands like that. They’re not going to be like ‘Oh that’s a Byrne riff’, you know what I mean? Rage Against The Machine is a good starting point I think.

Tom: Yeah, I never thought of it like that. That is a good description for you guys. I like that. So you guys are from Providence. It’s a different state, but its not too far from Boston, so I am sure you guys get plenty of both scenes and areas in your experience. How would you say the scene changes as you cross the state line?

Rory
: Well a lot of Rhode Islanders don’t like to leave their houses, let alone their state. So I would say Rhode Island is an older community of people and I would say that Rhode Island, as far as music and independent music, is a lot more wild as far as I‘m concerned. Like you have bands like Lightning Bolt and Dropdead and bands that are just like independent punk music whereas hardcore is not so much. There was like Verse…and I guess more recently there are a lot more younger hardcore kids, which is awesome, but as far as like defining a hardcore scene there really isn’t a huge one in Rhode Island its just like a few bands and a few kids, you know like a normal show would probably have like 30 kids who are from Rhode Island. If a show is big it’s probably because kids from mass came down. I would say Rhode Island as far as music goes has a lot more older people and a lot more people who are into like metal and punk than hardcore. As far as Mass, it definitely has a more like youth oriented hardcore vibe. But you can also get your crustier and punk-er hardcore style too. You have bands like Mind Eraser who don’t necessarily fit on shows with other “hardcore” bands, you know what I mean. But in my experience I’m a lot more psyched on the dirtier hardcore aspects of hardcore punk than I am on the sterile hardcore thing, but that’s me personally. I guess I grew up in Upstate New York so it’s a smaller close knit scene with more variety. I think they are both good and I think I wish there was more youth involved in Rhode Island hardcore and punk but its kind of cool seeing a bunch of thirty year old dudes still raging and people into their forties still doing like the DIY punk attitude. Like you have Armageddon records and the dudes in Dropdead. They’re there…they’re staples, which Is awesome. I guess I don’t get that so much from Boston like you have people who come out every once in a while but you don’t have staples. Whenever I go to a show in Boston I don’t see that person at every show, you know what I mean. But as you get older you have more responsibilities and that happens so maybe that’s life. And I don’t go to as many shows in Boston anymore, I don’t have all that knowledge. But Mass is definitely a lot more youth, and that’s the main difference that I see in my experience.

Tom: What is your favorite thing about “Cycles”?

Rory: My favorite thing about “Cycles”?

Tom: Yeah, the record.

Rory: Yeah, well I mean riding bikes is cool. But “Cycles” the record…I think the whole process of talking about the idea of the record was awesome. It was a really cool process, especially as far as artwork and everything like that. I mean, we were all really motivated and had a really good idea of what we wanted the band to like not necessarily sound like, but our idea. I think that came across well and it was pretty cool. So like the painting of the record is an actual painting of the record that our friend Alice did for us, which is awesome. So having friends involved and having us be there and affected and just the songwriting says a lot about us I think in a very personal way. It’s just like this cycle is a continuation and a new breath of this band, new singer full length, new drummer full length like these are our songs as far as Soul Control, this is Soul Control right now. You know, this is the band. The last album was a totally different band, different songs, different song writing and way of going about it. So “Cycles” is us as a band now. From that point there’s a new breath of fresh air, a new cycle of life. And there’s so many different ideas that can stem from that and that’s the most exciting thing for me about the record. This is something fresh and new and exciting for us and I think going from there is the biggest part of this band. Not looking back to say who is the new member or whatever. This is it, starting point, we’re taking off and we’re going with it.

Tom: Yeah that’s really cool because it gives you so much freedom to do whatever you want if you think that way.

Rory: Exactly. We don’t want to be held down by any kind of barriers or limits of being a hardcore punk band. I think it’s your attitude that definitely makes you a hardcore band not necessarily your sound anymore. I think a lot of people put themselves in boxes and are afraid to get out of them and I don’t think that we are a band who is limiting themselves and the record “Cycles” is our extension of that and I think it is just going to continue our extension, which is pretty exciting.

Tom: So you guys have been touring pretty heavily for the album. What has been your favorite place to tour too?

Rory
: Um, we’ve done two US tours and then a European tour and I mean, Europe is always awesome, it’s fun. You always experience something crazy to do. I got pretty sunburned in Portugal which was shitty but kind of hilarious in a way. Favorite places? I guess since the US is like, you’re so used to it you don’t really think about it, it becomes like who are your friends, you get to see your friends and go to restaurants. So in that aspect, Chicago is always fun because I can eat Pick Me Up cafĂ© and that place is always awesome. Seattle has always been awesome, we have tons of friends and it is just great being in that city. Other than that, in Europe we had an awesome time in Belgium. Good friends there and we stayed in this red light district which was weird because there were just like prostitutes selling themselves and we were on this balcony watching it and it was just wild because it’s legal and the government subsidizes it and it just throws you back and your just like wow that’s crazy. So those things are kind of crazy and wild and you’re just like this is insane, this pocket exists in this country, in this city and it’s totally acceptable. It’s interesting and it makes you think of the US and how we treat it, it’s really interesting to think like that.

Tom: For my last question, this is something I ask most bands…it’s kind of a silly question.

Rory: Go for it.

Tom: Who do you think would win in a fight, all of the ants in the world or all of the humans in the world?

Rory: I would say ants. I mean I hope ants.

Tom: You hope ants?

Rory: Yeah, I think humans are just pieces of shit who could care less. I think ants have this drive to thrive. I mean, humans do too in a very cockroach kind of way, but we’re more fallible. I think ants just have that drive and they don’t have that mentality to make a decision, they’re just doing their job where as we have a decision. Overall, I think ants would win out because they would burrow and we would just kind of destroy ourselves. Ultimately, I think ants will win by default because we would kill ourselves.

Tom: Would you try and side with the ants?

Rory: No, there’s no point. I mean, I’m not an ant. It’s going to happen, like, fuck it.

Tom: Haha, awesome. Well thank you for the interview and have a great show tonight!

Rory: Thanks!

Soul Control's "Cycles" is available now from Bridge Nine Records. You can find out more about the band at http://www.soulcontrolhc.com .

Local monster of folk, Tyler Bisson (aka That Really Awesome Guy With A Guitar), was nice enough to post this Fallout recording from the past week. Featured is a set full of songs that Tyler has written over the past 5 years under various project names; this is a wonderful way to get a glimpse into Tyler's musical past! CLICK THE PICTURE FOR DOWNLOAD LINK!

Tracklist:
1. Well There/Beauty Fades
2. Snow Symphony
3. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
4. Congratulations!
5. The Gloved Hands Story
6. Tyler Song
7. Why Can't We?
8. Prospect Avenue Is Looking Dreary
9. Finder's Keepers
10. Texas Sky
11. Home of The Redcoats/Demo Song
12. Tales Of Miscommunication And Loneliness
13. My Dear Watson
14. Interview


The above cover for Thomas Fehlmann's new album on powerlabel Kompakt records resembles those of Eno's Ambient recordings. Therefore it comes as no surprise the contents are not only a commissioned work, but include ambience. Berlin 24hr, which you can view for free here, is the longest television program ever made. Gute Luft ("Good Air") is the soundtrack for it. The album is only 70 minutes of kraut-dub minimalism, but it is seemingly made up of infinite pieces, and thus works out for such a large project. Fehlmann's soundscape moves a listener, as it does the progress of the film. By dropping out enitre layers and match even the smallest glitches to a new one, Fehlmann tends to jump about. Some, such as the playful Wasser Im Fluss, begin in a mood and progress to another, Wasser moves to a sudden seriousness with a regimented back beat. Punchy synth creates anticipation on Permanent Touch, Von Oben is a club hit for the non-participant, and Darkspark gears you up for the unknown.

The 6 minute opener Alles, Immer's only inherent characteristic is one swell of static occurring every four bars or so, the remainder is restless, improvised noise which pops, pangs, and pans. Like the cover, Fehlmann has created a sound map for the daily life of Berlin, or any modern city for that matter. Gute Luft is certainly contemplative, the 15 tracks are less songs than they are complete ideas packaged in their own unique ways.

Michael Gira isn't exactly turning over in his grave, but NY's Child Abuse sound as if they are using Filth as a touchstone. Although the genre could be, at times, identified as listener abuse it's really not the same effect as it would've been when Swans played in 1983. On Cut and Run, this bass-keyboard/voc-drums power trio's debut, screechy layering and distant, helpless vocals, along with proggy drum beats combine to create "no-grind". Opener Hold This is free, distorted and seems to soundtrack an arena of troglodytes, all the while inviting whiring synth tuned like Sonic Youth . Child Abuse doesn't let up, especially on Froze Toes which clocks in 5 minutes of changes. Bebe trudges along, shuttling back and forth from lightning quick blasts to murky sludge parts. Cut and Run from pop music, here's your synth-core motor cycle accident you can't help but watch.



Cut and Run is available on Lovepump United. Check out their myspace for a taste and an Eric Dolphy cover.
HEALTH and Eric Wareheim collide in a music video for the song We Are Water, thanks Gorilla vs. Bear! And, personally, this is one of the greatest fucking music videos I have ever seen.

OFFICIAL Short Fuse Burning reunion has been scheduled for May 7th at the Ant Cellar. Past-epochal looking bassist Brian Gullekson will be heading westward post-graduation, so the boys are getting back together for something "incredibly insane." Also performing: Hetfield and Hetfield and Fishing the Sky. Show starts at 8PM.



New attack at the University Art Gallery, "No Thing," begins April 12. It will include drawings, paintings and wood cuts from realist, literal/figural artist Richard Ryan. Mon. 11 - 4, Tues. & Wed. 10 - 4, and Fri. 9 - 2.

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