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The OaKs start to burn — band brings its forest of sound from Orlando to Afghanistan to NYC for an appearance on Public Radio International’s “Fair Game.” Press day announced amid fawning early notices for upcoming album Songs For Waiting.

The OaKs start to burn — band brings its forest of sound from Orlando to Afghanistan to NYC for an appearance on Public Radio International’s “Fair Game.” Press day announced amid fawning early notices for upcoming album Songs For Waiting.

Band lyricist Ryan Costello details the story behind “Masood” — the hypnotic, hopeful tale of an Afghani teen and a mythic hero. Fans of Paul Simon’s Graceland, Steve Earle, Wilco, Sufjan Stevens abide.

“The OaKs have earned an enthusiastic following due as much in part to their cunningly complex music arrangements as to their epic, humanitarian-based back story.” – Metromix

Orlando-based band The OaKs continues to build momentum leading up to the release of its sophomore album, Songs For Waiting, recently playing to a sold-out hometown crowd eager to hear the band’s affecting new material in a live setting. The group will be in New York on January 29th to tape its public radio debut on Public Radio International’s Fair Game with Faith Salie.

The OaKs will also be available that day to meet with the press to discuss its new album, bandleader Ryan Costello’s time spent living in Afghanistan, and what makes its music so spiritually inspiring. Contact Fanatic’s Vai Godhania (print media) and Andy Silva (new media) with your interview requests.

Additionally, The OaKs has released a short video depicting its at-home recording journey.

One of the major surprises of CMJ 2007, Orlando band The OaKs is set to release its sophomore album Songs For Waiting on March 4th, 2008. The profound and stirring album is the follow-up to the band’s Our Fathers and The Things They Left Behind which caught the ears and minds of many fans and scribes in 2007 with its unique blend of Graceland’s polyrhythms, Steve Earle’s politics, Wilco’s urgency, and Sufjan Stevens’ orchestrations.

The story behind The OaKs’ music is just as interesting as the sounds. In late 2003, just two years after 9/11, The OaKs’ Ryan Costello sold everything he owned, joined a humanitarian organization and moved to Afghanistan. Costello lived there for two years, working in the Central Afghan Mountains with returned refugees, teaching them creative agricultural techniques and becoming fluent in their native language, Farsi. Late at night, while the dust storms blocked out the stars and rattled the windows, he would sit and work out impressions of what he had seen and heard that day on his acoustic guitar. Costello also documented his time in Afghanistan with a series of moving portraits which can be viewed at ryancostello.com.

After returning to the United States, Costello joined back up with his long-time creative and songwriting partner Matthew Antolick, who was drumming full-time in a Moroccan band. Antolick and Costello began working out Costello’s melodic ideas and lyrical concepts, home-recording in Antolick’s apartment what eventually became Our Fathers and The Things They Left Behind. Exploring themes of self-sacrifice and introspection over roots-folk and jazzy melodic layers, Our Fathers… was an original breath of fresh air in the independent music scene.

The release of Our Fathers… drew immediate attention to The OaKs in Orlando’s press and music scene, and the attention quickly went national as Paste Magazine featured Costello and The OaKs in its July 2007 cover story “Can Rock Save the World?” (LINK). The OaKs also partnered with Global Hope Network on the release of Our Fathers…and agreed to donate 50% of the profits from each CD or track download to aid widows and recently-returned refugees from Afghanistan.

As the attention grew, Costello and Antolick realized immediately the difficulty of translating their multi-tracked compositions into a live setting as just a duo, and began working to put together a band of diverse musicians who could make the compositions come to life on stage. They were soon joined by Jeremy Siegel, a classically trained bassist steeped in Led Zeppelin and Bootsy Collins riffs, and also fluent in classical and jazz trombone. Tim Cocking came next — a piano major and audio engineer as dexterous on his keyboard and accordion as he is on his trumpet, and Greg Willson, a seminary student wielding a mandolin and electric guitar and playing the breathiest Stan Getz-style saxophone they had ever heard. Their lineup was completed shortly thereafter by Melissa Reyes, a singer-songwriter whose alto voice and folk harmonies perfectly complement Costello’s high vibrato. From the first guitar riff at The OaKs’ debut show at the 2006 Anti-Pop Music Festival, it was apparent that these people were meant to be making music together – the energy in the room was electric, and the reviews were raving.

Out of this natural chemistry was born many new songs over the winter of 2006/2007. Inspired by the unique talents of each new band member, Costello and Antolick began writing songs that would showcase the bands rhythmic tightness and diverse instrumentation. The result is Songs For Waiting. On the album, Costello delves into the life of one of his complicated mythic heroes, Dietrich Bonheoffer, a German Lutheran minister who was executed for attempting to assassinate Adolf Hitler (“The Two Calls [of Dietrich Bonheoffer]”). In “Masood”, Costello paints a composite portrait of a teenage friend he had in Afghanistan who took on the mantle of his family after his father passed away, and of Akhmad Shah Masood, an Afghan war hero who was killed in the war of 2002.

Costello also draws from one of his favorite southern authors Carson McCullers (No Country For Old Men) in “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter” (LIVE at CMJ, 2007), writing about searching for truth amidst brokenness. He writes of his more personal experiences with spirituality and failure in the prayerfully repentant “Here I Am Again,” and with friendship across the divide of global conflict in “War Changes Everything.”

Inspired by Costello’s lyrical and melodic depth, Antolick pulled drumming inspiration from everything from Moroccan polyrhythms and bebop jazz, to John Bonham’s spacious power. The OaKs honed these tracks in the living room of Costello’s wood-floored 1950’s style house, and at live shows across the state of Florida, until the melodic complexity and rhythmic tightness of the music exceeded anything the band had done before.

In late July of 2007, Costello put in for part-time employment at his social work job and The OaKs began recording Songs For Waiting. Using the warm, full sound of Costello’s old house, he and Antolick were determined to use no artificial reverb on the new album, instead using room micing techniques to mix the elements together in the style of their favorite 1960’s jazz and rock albums. Even synthesizers were played through amplifiers and speakers and run into the room to give them the woody ambience of Costello’s house. Over the next few months The OaKs employed trumpet, trombone, sax, Hammond organ, bells, synths from the 70’s and 80’s, acoustic and classical guitars, electric and acoustic bass, a plethora of shakers, tambourines, and hand-drums, and a Wurlitzer electric piano from 1959.

In mid-October Antolick, Costello, and keyboardist Cocking began mixing the new album. Using as few modern mixing tricks as possible, including no artificial reverb or delay, they carefully arranged each song. Throughout the mixing process they were mentored and guided by Alan Douches of West West Side Music, whose hand has been on great recordings from Paul Simon’s Graceland to Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House and Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois.

Finally, after over four long months, The OaKs’ Songs For Waiting was finished on November 8th, 2007. The new album is scheduled for release on March 4th, 2008.

The OaKs Live:
01/29 New York, NY Press Day
01/29 New York, NY Public Radio International – Fair Game w/ Faith Salie
02/01 Tampa, FL New World Brewery
02/23 Daytona Beach, FL The Bank

Songs For Waiting Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

View The Album Trailer HERE

Release Date: March 4th, 2008

01. The Two Calls (of Dietrich Bonheoffer)
02. Masood (MP3)
03. Old Bones
04. Pike County
05. After the Fires
06. The Attraction of the Pilgrim
07. Here I Am Again
08. War Changes Everything
09. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
10. Song for Waiting

More about The OaKs’ song “Masood”:

It was early December, 2004. 26-year-old Ryan Costello had just moved into a new house on the west side of Kabul with a South African family, having lived there only one month. With only a scant knowledge of the local language, Farsi, Costello began walking the streets near his house during the day determined to make friends in the neighborhood. After several days of hanging out with and taking photographs of the local school age children, he was invited by a middle aged man into his mud-walled shop and offered tea. Not knowing the local custom of declining invitations at least three times, Costello said “yes”, which surprised the man who frantically looked around, realizing he had no tea to serve. At that moment another, younger man with a beard and leather jacket who had been standing in the corner of the shop spoke up, “You must come to my house and have tea with us.”

Just a few hundred feet away Costello approached an old rusty gate racked with bullet holes and walked into a courtyard where the shell of a blown-out building stood. Up the winding stairs and into a carpeted living room, with thin cellophane over the gaping hole blown in the wall, Costello sat and waited. After a few minutes, in walked a young boy, around sixteen-years-old, with clear eyes and a wide smile. “Hello – welcome. My name is Masood.”

Thus began a close friendship between Costello and Masood. Taking him deep into the heart of the city’s swarming bazaars, Masood helped Costello buy a Chinese bicycle for 20 American dollars. Masood and his brothers took Costello all over the ancient city, from the mined mountains on the outskirts of the city where the faithful gather holy water from a sacred spring to the bird bazaar where birds from all over Asia are traded and sold. Their unlikely friendship grew deeper, as did Masood’s English and Costello’s Farsi. Masood shared his life story, how his father had been a renowned judge before the war and how they lived in a large house, which they now huddled in the remains of.

One sub-freezing night in the middle of winter, Masood showed up on Costello’s doorstep with red, worried eyes. “Can I use your phone to call my brothers out on the west side of the country?” After some prompting, Masood shared with Costello that his father was near death with an undiagnosed illness. Masood took Costello in the cold night to his house, up the stairs and into a small back bedroom, where Costello saw Masood’s mother, brothers, and sister huddled around his father who lay on a cot on the floor, a loud rattle in his chest. Masood invited Costello to come and sit with him next to his father, and they sat together for some time. Masood asked if Costello would pray over his father, and, raising his hands in the Afghan custom, he did. That night, Masood’s father passed away.

The next day began 40 days of mourning. Masood came over to get Costello one early morning soon after, and Costello walked into their courtyard to find relatives from all over Afghanistan had come to pay their respects for Masood’s father. Many of them walked up to Costello and thanked him in broken English for coming to spend time with him in his last hours, and for praying for him.

Costello and Masood continued their close relationship for two more years after this, until Costello left for America. Masood changed after his father died, becoming more sober and pensive. He shared with Costello the weight he felt on his shoulders to rise up and provide for his family and to take on their name.

Three years later, as Costello sat around in his living room in Florida one summer strumming on his classical guitar, he began working on a song that would weave in the story of Masood with another Masood who was killed in late 2001, Ahmad Shaw Masood. An Afghan mythic hero who rose up mighty armies to fight first the Russians and then later the Taliban, Masood from an early age carried himself as a warrior and a walking message to his people never to let themselves be ruled from without. Called “The Lion of Panshir”, Masood gave hope to his people in a hopeless time. As a composite of one personal friendship and one mythic story, Masood came to be one of the centerpieces of The OaKs’ new album Songs For Waiting.

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reviews

Wooden Shjips debut album receives high praise in Rolling Stone, Harp, Paste, SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, et al., San Francisco psjch-rock quartet to play All Tomorrow’s Parties curated by Pitchfork in 2008.

Wooden Shjips debut album receives high praise in Rolling Stone, Harp, Paste, SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, et al., San Francisco psjch-rock quartet to play All Tomorrow’s Parties curated by Pitchfork in 2008.

“Tight-wound repeato psych guitar raunch with spoony (maybe even imaginary) percussion, surprisingly Rev-like keys, and vocals buried under burning driftwood.” — Byron Coley, The Wire

“Wooden Shjips (not a typo) are from San Francisco, but the concentrated ferocity of the freakouts on their two very-underground releases — a white-label ten-inch EP (the band gave away the first 300 copies) and a clear-vinyl single (“Dance, California”) — arrives via the Seventies Germanic-guitar lunacy of Guru Guru and the confrontational repetition of VU.” – David Fricke, Rolling Stone

With glowing endorsements from legendary critics like David Fricke (Rolling Stone) and Byron Coley (The Wire, Forced Exposure, Arthur, et al) as well as visionary labels Holy Mountain and Sub Pop, San Francisco’s highly-touted garage-drone group Wooden Shjips (that’s not a typo) has, er, docked on many writers’ picks for best album of 2007 and earned high praise from Rolling Stone — including a nod from Fricke in the mag’s Top 50 Albums of 2007 issue — Harp, Paste, SF Bay Guardian (winning a “Goldie” award in its “Best of the Bay” 2007 issue) and SF Weekly (naming the album in its picks for Best CDs of 2007.)

Wooden Shjips’ self-titled psjchedelic adventure on the Holy Mountain label (Om, Lesbian, Six Organs of Admittance) followed quickly on the heels of the band’s Sub Pop single and has since earned many accolades in the months since its October release.

Wooden Shjips is a vital and refreshingly inspired quartet playing loud rock ‘n’ roll in a style heavily influenced by the experimentalism of psychedelia, classical minimalism and garage rock excess. Started as an experiment in rhythmic primitivism and group improvisation, the current lineup brings a more structured rock approach to its performances, utilizing a traditional lineup of drums (Omar Ahsanuddin), bass (Dusty Jermier), organ (Nash Whalen), guitar (Erik “Ripley” Johnson) and vocals.

Its songs sound something akin to the icy garage rock of early Echo & The Bunnymen crossed with the sun-bleached tremolo-punk of The Scientists. There are hints of krautrock, the trance-inducing organ haze of Suicide, Deerhunter style dance-drone, classic desert-fried garage psych and the mysterious, obscure Japanese lysergic-rock band Les Rallizes Denudes all mixed into one explosive whole on Wooden Shjips debut.

The experience of Wooden Shjips has been equated to that of the Japanese phenomenon called maboroshi, which is somewhat similar to seeing a mirage or hallucinating in time. In the context of imagination/dreams, maboroshi is attributed to past occurrences and can take on a meaning like “phantoms.” The group’s songs seem to exist in a dream state in which anything is possible.

Wooden Shjips released two acclaimed records in 2006, beginning early in the year with the self-released 10” EP Shrinking Moon for You. The record quickly sold-out, after capturing the attention of well-regarded tastemakers, such as Tom Lax and Byron Coley, who penned rave reviews on Siltblog and in The Wire magazine, respectively. A 7-inch single followed on the Sick Thirst label, and received similar praise from music bloggers, as well as from veteran scribe David Fricke in Rolling Stone.

The band has launched three new releases in 2007: the LP/CD for Holy Mountain, a 7-inch for Sub Pop and a 7-inch for Pollymaggoo Records. They played at NoisePop 2007 with Roky Erickson in March, as well as playing packed showcases at the SXSW Music conference in Austin, TX in March and CMJ Music Marathon in New York City in October.

Wooden Shjips Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. We Ask You To Ride (MP3)
02. Losin’ Time
03. Lucy’s Ride (MP3)
04. Blue Sky Bends
05. Shine Like Suns

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reviews

The Pipettes live review

The PipettesThe Pipettes live review by Gena Perala

I caught The Pipettes at the Plaza not too long ago. The show was ok, yup simply ok. I was expecting much more since a friend
of mine had heard they were great live. Their performances however left much to be desired.

The Pipettes are a British indie pop group consisting of 3 gals up front on vocals and backed by an all male band named ‘The Cassettes’. They were started by drummer and DJ, ‘Monster Bobby’, when he realized the reaction girl group songs got during his DJ sets. The most impressive thing about the band though, is their look. The girls are beautiful, they always wear polka dots and they have a sexy, innocence thing going on, sort of like half Betty, half Veronica.

They successfully execute the choreographed moves, the doe eyes and the doo-wops. The Pipettes are a throw back to the 60s girl group era and are often compared to the Shangri-Las. But the Shangri-Las could be considered ahead of their time combining an innocent charm with a darker side during a period when women were supposed to be all smiles and sunshine.

The Pipettes
Had The Pipettes existed in the 60s, their sexually aggressive, confidant and independent attitudes really would have been something. In today’s music though, it’s nothing new and unfortunately unlike The Supremes or The Ronettes, The Pipettes, got no soul. They are as white snow. If you like their album I suggest keeping it at that. Their voices weren’t even that great live however Rosay outshines both Gwenno and RiotBecki and might consider going solo. Her sexy alto voice was the highlight.

Ultimately, The Pipettes are fun but forgettable and I think they pretty much accomplish their goal, they make “simple, practical, music” – but who wants that?

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music videos reviews

Zune Arts Features Corey Godbey and MAPS in “Le Cadeau du Temps”

Zune Arts Features Corey Godbey and MAPS in “Le Cadeau du Temps”

Zune Arts is continuing to pursue the quest to join music and art, and has released a new video that joins artist Corey Godbey, a visual sculptor of Portland Studios, with Maps, the UK based sonic sculptor. The resulting film piece, entitled “Le Cadeau du Temps”, explores how eternal youth can be both a blessing and a curse, and follows a man’s journey through time and the consequences that befall him when he chooses not to share his youth potion. The film is set to the ethereal sounds of Maps’ “Liquid Sugar,” the contemplative track from Maps’ 2007 debut full length We Can Create.

“The latest Zune Arts film, “Le Cadeau du Temps,” explores the power of sharing and personal connection through the eyes of a man given the gift of eternal life,” said Rob Schaltenbrand, brand marketing manager for Zune Arts. “The use of texture and color in the animation blends seamlessly with the musical backdrop to create a deeply emotional connection with the viewer.”

The new video follows in the footsteps of other creative artist collaborations which have included Bitstate and Lilly Allen, Goldfrappe and Epoch Ink, and Black Angels and pandapanther.

Watch “Le Cadeau du Temps” here: http://www.zune-arts.net/dutemps

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Old Time Relijun’s “daemon” meetings captured on video, singer/guitarist tours with Japanese underground artist hot on the heels of grueling Catharsis In Crisis national tour.

Old Time Relijun’s “daemon” meetings captured on video, singer/guitarist tours with Japanese underground artist hot on the heels of grueling Catharsis In Crisis national tour.

“Unless I read them wrong (and I may; the music itself is the opposite of describing it: it’s wet, and bloody, and it smells like fresh earth and red cinders, and it’s a good goddamn time, is what it is) Old Time Relijun’s theory is that ‘the underground’ (I know. I know. I know) isn’t an identity that reinvents itself once or twice per generation, but a permanent place within a culture – maybe within all cultures – where styles don’t go in and out of fashion but are always floating around in the air just above our heads.” — John Darnielle, Last Plane to Jakarta

“The music kicks ass: brutal, fluid, funky, spasmodic, violent, sexual…I wish there were more visionaries like Dionyso around.” — Everett True, Village Voice

Old Time Relijun has been caught on video in various stages of “daemon” meetings and other devious practices of catharsis tied to its most recent cross-country evangelical mission. This past Halloween, the Pacific Northwest’s esoteric uprooters of rock’s antecedents were nabbed by an amateur cameraperson in the throes of a particularly frenzied ritual in New York City.

Likewise, this meticulously animated “crayonimation” video by Chad Paulson captures the eerie essence of Old Time Relijun’s infectious “Daemon Meeting” track from its recently released Catharsis In Crisis on K Records.

The tireless troubadours recently completed a grueling comprehensive U.S. tour. However, singer/guitarist Arrington de Dionyso almost immediately launched a series of dates with Japanese underground musician Katsura Yamauchi in the Pacific Northwest. Katsura plays every member of the saxophone family, and he is renown for his intimate explorations of music in nature, having made recordings of his saxophone playing while almost completely submerged underwater.

Now, resting temporarily at home, Old Time Relijun is already scheming to take its haunting rituals overseas and throughout the U.S. yet again early in 2008.

Old Time Relijun’s latest K Records meisterwerk Catharsis In Crisis received an impressive outpouring of critical praise since its release in late October. Legendary music scribe Everett True — he who put Sub Pop and myriad others on the map with his writing in NME and Melody Maker, as well as current author and Plan B editor — rated Catharsis In Crisis #1 in his “Top 5 Antifolk Songs” column in the Village Voice. A couple of weeks later, True followed that article with a column raving yet again about Old Time Relijun.

Likewise, esteemed critic and musician John Darnielle (singer/songwriter of The Mountain Goats and Last Plane to Jakarta editor, et al.) writes one of the most eloquent and flowing prose pieces about the latest Old Time Relijun disc in his latest zine. The review (clumsily quoted above) must be read in its entirety to be fully appreciated.

However, in addition to what the critics are saying, the band’s spokesmen, guitarist/vocalist Arrington de Dionyso and bassist Aaron Hartman have their own unique ideas to express regarding the concepts behind the album and its execution. So, the eminently quotable musical adventurers have made time available for interviews in order to share their vast ideas with members of the press (and blogs alike.)

Old Time Relijun continues to further shatter rock’s imperious formalism with its latest K Records release that landed in shops on October 9th, 2007. Song after song, the ferocity of vocalist/guitarist Arrington de Dionyso draws listeners deeper into a world where language, rhythm and unrepentant libido collide. The music is temperamental, unwieldy and unyielding; aimed to cut listeners to the bone.

Catharsis In Crisis was written and recorded at Calvin Johnson’s fabled Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, WA over four inspired days and nights. Legendary producer Steve Fisk was recruited to mix this raw material into OTR’s most fully realized album to date. OTR + Calvin Johnson + Steve Fisk = a magical alchemy of sound and light. But don’t worry folks, it’s still terrible background music.

Arrington de Dionyso’s electrifying vocal delivery retains the blood-soaked risk of a true underground visionary, while showcasing his mastery of over-the-top nuance. Aaron Hartman (contrabass) and Germaine Baca (drums) propel the album forward with relentless bump-and-grind. Catharsis In Crisis is the first album to reveal OTR’s new secret weapon, subversive “saxophonista” Benjamin Hartman, who uses and abuses his classical training to drive the band further into the spheres.

Often lazily compared to a No Wave version of Captain Beefheart, Old Time Relijun’s subversive — dare we call it sadistic — mashing of world folk music styles sounds brutally fresh. No Wave? Forget that. Catharsis In Crisis is Yes Wave for the young millennium. “Daemon Meeting” blazes through a bizarre convocation of underworld creatures, to conclude with the query, “what does it mean to be human?” A tenor saxophone throttles the dub-infected “Liberation” with propulsive urgency through a zone of “young life and decay,” while songs such as “In the Crown of Lost Light” and “Invisible New” confront infinity with their bright shimmering sound. Even Dante is given a run for his money with the Ennio Morricone influenced junk-disco centerpiece “Veleno Mortale,” actually an Italian “re-translation” of the brutal “Burial Mound” featured on OTR’s album 2012.

Taken as a whole, the three discs of the Lost Light Trilogy (in reverse chronological order Catharsis In Crisis, 2012 and Lost Light) are a tour-de-force of myth, dream and autobiography. “We wanted ‘The Lost Light Trilogy’ to be a kind of rock opera,” de Dionyso says. “But with a non-linear development of plots and characters. Every song on each album contains musical or lyrical fragments of other songs within the trilogy, like broken shards of mirrors reflecting each other infinitely, the way a cubist painting presents multiple perspectives of the same subject, or the labyrinthine twists in a Borges story.”

Catharsis In Crisis, while concluding the trilogy, also stands on its own. Like the confrontational, compulsively danceable live show for which OTR is known and loved, Catharsis is a record and a testament to the oscillations of opposites. Darkness and Light, Water and Fire, Spirit and Matter struggle within Old Time Relijun’s alchemical oeuvre. From this elemental battle, the music emerges, dripping and triumphant.

Catharsis In Crisis Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. Indestructible Life! (MP3)
02. The Tightest Cage
03. Daemon Meeting (MP3)
04. Liberation (MP3)
05. Garden of Pomegranates
06. Akavishim
07. Dark Matter
08. The Circular Ruins
09. Veleno Mortale
10. Dig Down Deeper
11. A Wild Harvest
12. The Second Day of Creation
13. In The Crown of Lost Light
14. The Invisible New

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press releases reviews

Faith, friendship and Farsi: The OaKs to release stirring sophomore album Songs For Waiting, the patient product of two years in the Afghan Mountains and ten years of spiritual and musical partnership, March 2008.

Faith, friendship and Farsi: The OaKs to release stirring sophomore album Songs For Waiting, the patient product of two years in the Afghan Mountains and ten years of spiritual and musical partnership, March 2008.

Band lyricist Ryan Costello details the story behind “Masood” — the hypnotic, hopeful tale of an Afghani teen and a mythic hero. Fans of Paul Simon’s Graceland, Steve Earle, Wilco, Sufjan Stevens abide.

One of the major surprises of CMJ 2007, Orlando band The OaKs is set to release its sophomore album Songs For Waiting on March 3rd, 2008. The profound and stirring album is the follow-up to the band’s Our Fathers and The Things They Left Behind which caught the ears and minds of many fans and scribes in 2007 with its unique blend of Graceland’s polyrhythms, Steve Earle’s politics, Wilco’s urgency, and Sufjan Stevens’ orchestrations.

The story behind The OaKs’ music is just as interesting as the sounds. In late 2003, just two years after 9/11, The OaKs’ Ryan Costello sold everything he owned, joined a humanitarian organization and moved to Afghanistan. Costello lived there for two years, working in the Central Afghan Mountains with returned refugees, teaching them creative agricultural techniques and becoming fluent in their native language, Farsi. Late at night, while the dust storms blocked out the stars and rattled the windows, he would sit and work out impressions of what he had seen and heard that day on his acoustic guitar. Costello also documented his time in Afghanistan with a series of moving portraits which can be viewed at ryancostello.com.

After returning to the United States, Costello joined back up with his long-time creative and songwriting partner Matthew Antolick, who was drumming full-time in a Moroccan band. Antolick and Costello began working out Costello’s melodic ideas and lyrical concepts, home-recording in Antolick’s apartment what eventually became Our Fathers and The Things They Left Behind. Exploring themes of self-sacrifice and introspection over roots-folk and jazzy melodic layers, Our Fathers… was an original breath of fresh air in the independent music scene.

The release of Our Fathers… drew immediate attention to The OaKs in Orlando’s press and music scene, and the attention quickly went national as Paste Magazine featured Costello and The OaKs in its July 2007 cover story “Can Rock Save the World?”. The OaKs also partnered with Global Hope Network on the release of Our Fathers…and agreed to donate 50% of the profits from each CD or track download to aid widows and recently-returned refugees from Afghanistan.

As the attention grew, Costello and Antolick realized immediately the difficulty of translating their multi-tracked compositions into a live setting as just a duo, and began working to put together a band of diverse musicians who could make the compositions come to life on stage. They were soon joined by Jeremy Siegel, a classically trained bassist steeped in Led Zeppelin and Bootsy Collins riffs, and also fluent in classical and jazz trombone. Tim Cocking came next — a piano major and audio engineer as dexterous on his keyboard and accordion as he is on his trumpet, and Greg Willson, a seminary student wielding a mandolin and electric guitar and playing the breathiest Stan Getz-style saxophone they had ever heard. Their lineup was completed shortly thereafter by Melissa Reyes, a singer-songwriter whose alto voice and folk harmonies perfectly complement Costello’s high vibrato. From the first guitar riff at The OaKs’ debut show at the 2006 Anti-Pop Music Festival, it was apparent that these people were meant to be making music together – the energy in the room was electric, and the reviews were raving.

Out of this natural chemistry was born many new songs over the winter of 2006/2007. Inspired by the unique talents of each new band member, Costello and Antolick began writing songs that would showcase the bands rhythmic tightness and diverse instrumentation. The result is Songs For Waiting. On the album, Costello delves into the life of one of his complicated mythic heroes, Dietrich Bonheoffer, a German Lutheran minister who was executed for attempting to assassinate Adolf Hitler (“The Two Calls [of Dietrich Bonheoffer]”). In “Masood”, Costello paints a composite portrait of a teenage friend he had in Afghanistan who took on the mantle of his family after his father passed away, and of Akhmad Shah Masood, an Afghan war hero who was killed in the war of 2002.

Costello also draws from one of his favorite southern authors Carson McCullers in “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter”, writing about searching for truth amidst brokenness. He writes of his more personal experiences with spirituality and failure in the prayerfully repentant “Here I Am Again,” and with friendship across the divide of global conflict in “War Changes Everything.”

Inspired by Costello’s lyrical and melodic depth, Antolick pulled drumming inspiration from everything from Moroccan polyrhythms and bebop jazz, to John Bonham’s spacious power. The OaKs honed these tracks in the living room of Costello’s wood-floored 1950’s style house, and at live shows across the state of Florida, until the melodic complexity and rhythmic tightness of the music exceeded anything the band had done before.

In late July of 2007, Costello put in for part-time employment at his social work job and The OaKs began recording Songs For Waiting. Using the warm, full sound of Costello’s old house, he and Antolick were determined to use no artificial reverb on the new album, instead using room micing techniques to mix the elements together in the style of their favorite 1960’s jazz and rock albums. Even synthesizers were played through amplifiers and speakers and run into the room to give them the woody ambience of Costello’s house. Over the next few months The OaKs employed trumpet, trombone, sax, Hammond organ, bells, synths from the 70’s and 80’s, acoustic and classical guitars, electric and acoustic bass, a plethora of shakers, tambourines, and hand-drums, and a Wurlitzer electric piano from 1959.

In mid October Antolick, Costello, and keyboardist Cocking began mixing the new album. Using as few modern mixing tricks as possible, including no artificial reverb or delay, they carefully arranged each song. Throughout the mixing process they were mentored and guided by Alan Douches of West West Side Music, whose hand has been on great recordings from Paul Simon’s Graceland to Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House and Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois.

Finally, after over four long months, The OaKs’ Songs For Waiting was finished on November 8, 2007. The new album is scheduled for release on March 3, 2008.

Songs For Waiting Tracklisting:

Release Date: March 3rd, 2008

01. The Two Calls (of Dietrich Bonheoffer)
02. Masood (MP3)
03. Old Bones
04. Pike County
05. After the Fires
06. The Attraction of the Pilgrim
07. Here I Am Again
08. War Changes Everything
09. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
10. Song for Waiting

More about The OaKs’ song “Masood”:

It was early December, 2004. 26-year-old Ryan Costello had just moved into a new house on the west side of Kabul with a South African family, having lived there only one month. With only a scant knowledge of the local language, Farsi, Costello began walking the streets near his house during the day determined to make friends in the neighborhood. After several days of hanging out with and taking photographs of the local school age children, he was invited by a middle aged man into his mud-walled shop and offered tea. Not knowing the local custom of declining invitations at least three times, Costello said “yes”, which surprised the man who frantically looked around, realizing he had no tea to serve. At that moment another, younger man with a beard and leather jacket who had been standing in the corner of the shop spoke up, “You must come to my house and have tea with us.”

Just a few hundred feet away Costello approached an old rusty gate racked with bullet holes and walked into a courtyard where the shell of a blown-out building stood. Up the winding stairs and into a carpeted living room, with thin cellophane over the gaping hole blown in the wall, Costello sat and waited. After a few minutes, in walked a young boy, around sixteen-years-old, with clear eyes and a wide smile. “Hello – welcome. My name is Masood.”

Thus began a close friendship between Costello and Masood. Taking him deep into the heart of the city’s swarming bazaars, Masood helped Costello buy a Chinese bicycle for 20 American dollars. Masood and his brothers took Costello all over the ancient city, from the mined mountains on the outskirts of the city where the faithful gather holy water from a sacred spring to the bird bazaar where birds from all over Asia are traded and sold. Their unlikely friendship grew deeper, as did Masood’s English and Costello’s Farsi. Masood shared his life story, how his father had been a renowned judge before the war and how they lived in a large house, which they now huddled in the remains of.

One sub-freezing night in the middle of winter, Masood showed up on Costello’s doorstep with red, worried eyes. “Can I use your phone to call my brothers out on the west side of the country?” After some prompting, Masood shared with Costello that his father was near death with an undiagnosed illness. Masood took Costello in the cold night to his house, up the stairs and into a small back bedroom, where Costello saw Masood’s mother, brothers, and sister huddled around his father who lay on a cot on the floor, a loud rattle in his chest. Masood invited Costello to come and sit with him next to his father, and they sat together for some time. Masood asked if Costello would pray over his father, and, raising his hands in the Afghan custom, he did. That night, Masood’s father passed away.

The next day began 40 days of mourning. Masood came over to get Costello one early morning soon after, and Costello walked into their courtyard to find relatives from all over Afghanistan had come to pay their respects for Masood’s father. Many of them walked up to Costello and thanked him in broken English for coming to spend time with him in his last hours, and for praying for him.

Costello and Masood continued their close relationship for two more years after this, until Costello left for America. Masood changed after his father died, becoming more sober and pensive. He shared with Costello the weight he felt on his shoulders to rise up and provide for his family and to take on their name.

Three years later, as Costello sat around in his living room in Florida one summer strumming on his classical guitar, he began working on a song that would weave in the story of Masood with another Masood who was killed in late 2001, Ahmad Shaw Masood. An Afghan mythic hero who rose up mighty armies to fight first the Russians and then later the Taliban, Masood from an early age carried himself as a warrior and a walking message to his people never to let themselves be ruled from without. Called “The Lion of Panshir”, Masood gave hope to his people in a hopeless time. As a composite of one personal friendship and one mythic story, Masood came to be one of the centerpieces of The OaKs’ new album Songs For Waiting.

The OaKs Live:

01/05 Orlando, FL The Social

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reviews

The Panthers, with Coliseum, Mono, and High on Fire; October 24, 2007 at Richards on Richards

The Panthers, with Coliseum, Mono, and High on Fire; October 24, 2007 at Richards on Richards

by Erin Hanson

The opening slots in a night of guaranteed heavy, quality rock cannot be an easy spot to fill, especially when the crowd is clearly there for someone else, and you know you’re only going to be followed by a group as enigmatic as the atmospheric yet heavy psychedelic Japanese rock act Mono. But the Panthers pulled through and delivered an energetic set which guaranteed some newly converted fans.

Coliseum got things going first off in the night, which could not have been an easy spot to fill for an audience who was clearly wanting to be impressed. The band played songs from their new album “No Salvation” to a largely empty dance floor, but kept the volume loud and the tempo up to set the pace for the night.

The Panthers hit the stage next, to a once again clear floor. Their set started off solidly with their not-so-unique brand of catchy 70’s-esque metal. Yet as they entered seamlessly into their second song, the floor was crowding up again with those intrigued by what they were hearing. The music was heavy on the guitar riffs and predictable yet enjoyable bass lines to keep their tunes speeding forward. Drummer Jeff Salane’s high energy and mini solos would steal the spotlight occasionally and keep their sound interesting.

At one point, singer Jayson Green surveyed the timid audience largely hanging out in the back and happily commented: “I think it’s full… Vancouver, you got it together! That’s good!” The Panthers, hailing from Brooklyn, were clearly excited that they were getting a relatively warm reception, showing that they really do come by their music honestly. It was when they launched into Goblin City, their first single off their new album “The Trick” which truly won the crowd over; something which the band was very thankful for after a two-day drive from Minneapolis.

The Panthers’ live show has the full sound and energy which their recordings lack. And although the band will no doubt be constantly cursed by comparisons to Black Sabbath and Woflmother– during “Panther Moderns” I half-expected him to break out into Wolfmother’s “Woman”– the Panthers’ high energy and familiar yet addictive riffs give the audience a quality rock show, plain and simple. It may not be the most original thing you’ll hear or see, but the band members are clearly giving it their all, and their passion is contagious.

Original Article

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reviews tour dates

BLACK LIPS TO STAR IN FEATURE FILM, EXTEND US TOUR, MAKE RADIO AND TV APPEARANCES – FUEL TV PERFORMANCE AIRS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd at 9PM ET / 6PM PT, VIVA RADIO SESSION AIRING NOVEMBER 2nd at 4pm ET

BLACK LIPS TO STAR IN FEATURE FILM, EXTEND US TOUR, MAKE RADIO AND TV APPEARANCES – FUEL TV PERFORMANCE AIRS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd at 9PM ET / 6PM PT, VIVA RADIO SESSION AIRING NOVEMBER 2nd at 4pm ET

NEW US TOUR DATES BELOW

Springboard Films has announced that the Black Lips (VICE) have signed on to star in the feature film, Let It Be. Scheduled to begin production in May of 2008, Let It Be takes place during the late eighties in the post-punk American underground rock scene. Atlanta’s notorious Black Lips will play a fictional band who become a symbol of the changing cultural landscape. The movie will be filmed throughout the Southeast and will include notable music of the period and new music written by the band.

Let It Be will be produced by veteran producer Andrew Meyer (Fried Green Tomatoes, The Breakfast Club) and Winn Coslick (The Bottom), and directed by award-winning producer/director Roger Rawlings (Neurotica).

Springboard Films has formed a creative partnership with VICE Music for this project.

Black Lips also make appearances on Fuel TV and Viva Radio this week. Their session on Viva Radio airs at 4pm eastern time this Friday, November 2nd. Check it out at http://www.viva-radio.com/meplusyou. Details on Fuel TV below.

Friday, November 2nd: Black Lips
The hyperactive Atlanta-based garage-rockers blister through “O’ Katrina” and “Bad Kids” from their latest Good Bad Not Evil.

“The Daily Habit” is FUEL TV’s first original daily series, telecast weeknights at 9:00 pm ET (6:00 pm PT) while re-airing later in the evening at 12:00 am ET (9:00 pm PT), and the following weekday at 2:30pm ET (11:30am PT) and 5:30pm ET (2:30 pm PT). “The Daily Habit” encompasses the world of the action sports enthusiast, mixing the best in pop culture with today’s top action sports personalities, cutting-edge music, product reviews, and comedy.

Upcoming tour dates:
Nov 30 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse w/ Snowden, Deerhunter, and Selmanaires
Dec 5 – Athens, GA @ Georgia Theatre w/ Deerhunter
Dec 7 – Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre w/ The Sammies
Dec 8 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel /w Reigning Sound

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music videos reviews tour dates

The Willowz announce Nov-Dec U.S. tour dates with the Electric Six, new videos posted from latest Dim Mak album Chautauqua directed by Paul Gondry, others.

The Willowz announce Nov-Dec U.S. tour dates with the Electric Six, new videos posted from latest Dim Mak album Chautauqua directed by Paul Gondry, others.

“Big ballsy tracks plus trippier, genuinely engaging psych rock with loads of good, basic melodies and expertise.” – Rolling Stone

“Coyly ambitious and in-the-moment exciting.” – Spin

“The Willowz’ sonic revelry is a riotous romp through rock’s back pages. It’s neither ramshackle nor imitative. The Willowz are an ingenious hybrid, devising clever arrangements and deploying convulsive vocals and slowly but surely getting under your skin.” – Harp

L.A.’s garage-punk-teens-gone-full-scale-rock-opera The Willowz return to the road yet again in November with everyone’s favorite disco-punk band Electric Six. The tour kicks off November 13th in Philadelphia (please see full dates below.) The Willowz released the band’s third album Chautauqua on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label earlier this year and has toured nearly non-stop ever since.

The band beloved by revered director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind) — who co-directed The Willowz 2006 DVD video collection Seeinsquares — has released four new videos for Chautauqua.

Willowz Videos:

“Evil Son” – http://youtube.com/watch?v=OvU38lYtFHE

“Jubilee” – http://youtube.com/watch?v=_lHLSXHad0Y

“Take A Look Around” – http://youtube.com/watch?v=Iiva8Cnq9Os

“Nobody” – http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7070252051644197679

The Willowz were conceived in a bedroom in Anaheim, CA in the early summer of 2002 by Richie James Follin singer/guitarist and bassist/singer Jessica Reynoza, who were both at the time in their late teens. The name of the group came to Jessica in a dream when a willow(z) tree told her it would bring her musical enlightenment. The first 7-inch was recorded that summer with producer Paul Kostabi in NYC, with Tony Mann on drums (GG Allin, New York Dolls) and released on the infamous Posh Boy records by way of Robbie Fields.

The Willowz then began playing shows anywhere and everywhere around Los Angeles and Orange County, with an ever changing lineup of drummers and guitarists. The band soon caught the eye of Dionysus Records, who would release the first disc, The Willowz in early 2004 which was chosen by the OC Weekly as one of the top 10 albums of the year. For that album, the band set up a studio in a Whittier garage with Paul Kostabi as their producer, recording everything in just a few days with little idea what they were really doing… and the raw sound is proof of it.

Soon after rigorous touring of the greater North America and Europe, the band’s music was featured in Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind while Kirsten Dunst danced on a bed in her underpants. The soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy. Gondry had a dream about The Willowz song “I Wonder” and soon flew them out to NYC and paid to make a video for them. What followed was another single release, this time on XL Recordings and more European and North American touring with such bands as The Weirdos, New York Dolls, The Dirtbombs, The Greenhornes, Wolfmother, The Ponys, Tom Vek, Ted Leo, OK Go!, The Gossip, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dwarves, Burning Brides, John Cale and many others.

In February, 2005, The Willowz re-released its self titled album on Sympathy For the Record Industry, changing the title to Are Coming and adding four new songs. The follow-up Talk In Circles was released June 2005 (also recorded in a garage by Paul Kostabi, this time as a four piece and with a little more focus on making an album) on the Long Beach, CA label Sympathy for the Record Industry by way of record mogul Long Gone John. Talk In Circles received extraordinary reviews, including “46th Best Album of The Year” by Rolling Stone and was also featured in another one of Gondry’s films, The Science of Sleep. The Willowz were nominated by LA Weekly as one of the top bands of 2005. More singles followed on such labels as Contaminated, Acid Bird and Sympathy. In 2006 the band released the DVD Seeinsquares on Sympathy. Seeinsquares contained 27 unique videos, all by different directors, and additional live concert footage at a Catholic school summer camp in Oklahoma, several of these videos have gone on to win national and international awards.

For the third album Chautauqua, released on Steve Aoki’s Los Angeles label Dim Mak, The Willowz headed to the eastern countryside and set up a studio, this time in a basement, with Paul Kostabi again producing. They recruited Aric Bohn on guitar and Loren Shane Humphrey on the drums. Chautauqua provides the energy and rawness of the first albums with a thicker rock sound more focused on songwriting. Chautauqua has already been voted by the OC Weekly as the best album in the past 12 months. Rolling Stone gave it 3 1/2 stars, naming “Siren Song” as best song of the week and “Waiting To Fall” song of the day at Rollingstone.com.

“Chautauqua is an engaging and desperately needed resuscitation to raw fundamentals of rock in this digitally perfected age. Flawlessly executed, attention grapping, and joy inducing, Chautauqua is a renaissance rock masterpiece.” – Jive Magazine

“I like The Willowz. They defy categorization, drawing on a wide palette of influences, from metal to country/ folk and from post-punk to grunge. An early contender for record of the year.” – Razorcake

“With Chautauqua, The Willowz prove their mettle (and metal) as a big expansive rock machine cleverly disguised as an economical indie garage band.” – Amplifier

“You could do a lot worse than to have famed director Michel Gondry as your number one fan. The deserving subjects of his adoration are The Willowz, a five-year-old-rock quartet from California. It is the group’s guitar-heavy melodies he loves or the way the fivesome reinvents classic rock licks on Chautauqua? Either way, if we had a hidden camera on Gondry right now, we’d surely observe him headbanging to Willowz tunes like “Evil Son” or zoning out to the folky, Zeppelinish ‘Jublilee.’” – Bust

“In true Willowz fashion, the musicianship manages to simultaneously sound both rough and impeccable – if a contemporary version of the Nuggets box set were put together, a few songs on Chautauqua would be a natural fit.” – Performer Magazine

“Lo-fi darlings of critics and Michel Gondry, young California band The Willowz may finally be ready to make their mark on everyone else.” – Filter Magazine

“Willowz has always been one of ear-splitting ferocity. Lead singer Richie Follin’s charm has always been a yelping recklessness combined with a natural ear for melody.” – URB

The WIllowz Live:

All w/ Electric 6
11/13 Philadelphia, PA The Khyber
11/14 Cambridge, MA Middle East
11/15 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
11/16 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
11/17 Washington, DC Black Cat
11/18 Baltimore, MD Sonar
11/20 Savannah, GA Savannah Smiles
11/21 Atlanta, GA The Earl
11/23 Orlando, FL The Social
11/24 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbits
11/26 New Orleans, LA The Parish
11/27 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
11/28 Houston, TX Engine Room
11/29 Austin, TX Emo’s
11/30 Dallas, TX House of Blues
12/01 Kansas City, KS The Record Bar
12/03 St. Louis, MO Creepy Crawl
12/04 Little Rock, AR The Rev Room
12/05 Nashville, TN Mercury Lounge
12/06 Indianapolis, IN Birdy’s
12/07 Covington, KY The Mad Hatter
12/08 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop

Chautauqua Tracklisting:

01. Beware
02. Take A Look Around
03. Jubilee
04. Nobody
05. Evil Son
06. Siren Song
07. Warship
08. All Need
09. Waiting To Fall
10. Choose A Side
11. Once and A While
12. Big Knob
13. Yesterday’s Lost
14. Lonesome Gods

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reviews tour dates

Bring Back The Guns to bring the noise to Midwest and Dry Futures to the rest. Houston quartet’s vast arsenal hints at Hot Snakes, Pixies, The Shins, Fugazi, more.

Bring Back The Guns to bring the noise to Midwest and Dry Futures to the rest. Houston quartet’s vast arsenal hints at Hot Snakes, Pixies, The Shins, Fugazi, more.

“There’s something compelling about a band that manages to sound like the Shins hopped up on mathcore, with just a dash of early Modest Mouse… There’s a weird, utterly unreasonable energy here that makes it worth playing over and over.” — Impose Magazine

“Opening with Futures’ “Radio Song,” wiry frontman Matt Brownlie jerked, jumped and flung himself pell-mell across the stage, his spastic movements mirroring the music’s jittery vocals and guitar parts. Drummer Thomas Clemmons, his parts as animated as Brownlie, broke into a sheen of sweat visible from several yards away, while bassist Ryan Hull stood like a statue as his lumbering basslines acted like the glue holding BBTG’s schizophonic sound together. Their music seems to be based on duality – tension/release, quiet/loud, pensive/unhinged – and it was all there Thursday.” — Houston Press, live review 10/4/07

Houston quartet Bring Back The Guns has announced tour dates throughout the Midwest beginning in late November to support the release of its debut album on Feow Records, the new label founded by Devendra Banhart cohort Jana Hunter and BBTG’s own Matthew Brownlie. The band plans to deliver its taut, wiry live show to the rest of the country soon thereafter. Until then, its Dry Futures album — already praised by Alternative Press, Paper Thin Walls, Impose, Houston Press and more — should hold audiences over sufficiently. Please scroll down for complete tour dates.

Bring Back The Guns is a messy experiment in taking pop and punk tropes to the classical museum hoping to get thrown out. There’s a mathematical precision that belies the boiling underneath, a surface of timing and beats, wordplay, performance, persona that performs the same function as a paper plate during an eclipse. BBTG twists its primal screams into exquisite sculpture and invites you to knock over the ropes on your way to touch the art. BBTG is anger and love and other short words with long definitions: pop, math-rock, post-Pavement, anti-cool. Its sound somehow simultaneously references elements of such disparate bands as Hot Snakes, The Shins, The Pixies and Fugazi on the young quartet’s debut album Dry Futures.

Previously, Matthew Brownlie, Blake Powell, Thomas Clemmons and Erik Bogle (ex-The Octopus Project) were the award-winning Groceries, and in five years they released two albums: the 1999 EP Knuckleheads & Icons and a 2001 split EP with DrillboxIgnition. Powell took off in late 2002 and now flies airplanes through the sky. The rest of the band toured twice with The Toadies, once with Lozenge (Sickroom Records) and did the West Coast with The Octopus Project (Peek-a-Boo). In 2004 Ryan Hull joined on bass, and the band became known as Bring Back The Guns. Soon they were freaking everybody out in their hometown Houston, TX scene. The music got uglier, the beats got faster, and the anger got redder. All the while, the praise got louder — winning the Best Indie Rock award in the Houston Press in 2005 and 2003, with nominations every year from 2001-present.

For the next 1 and 1/2 years, scads of touring took them all over the lower 48 states. The boys hit the Midwest and South repeatedly and both coasts twice, doing stretches with the likes of Old Time Relijun (K Records), The Show Is The Rainbow (Tsk Tsk), Danielson (Secretly Canadian), and Emperor X (Discos Mariscos.) Recording and mixing on the full-length that was to become Dry Futures technically ended December 31, 2004, but since that date BBTG released a 7” on Discos Mariscos and appeared on two nationally distributed comps.

Imagine the bow-tied rage of a chess genius at his first lost tournament, a spelling bee prodigy after missing an easy word. Imagine the anger irrational numbers feel, when they realize they’ll never make the big time. Imagine the neighbor dog over the fence, that wants out so badly he’s frothing at the mouth. Where do you go when you can’t get out? Imagine being shushed in the library when you weren’t even the one talking, a kid so pissed off he’s going to walk until he doesn’t want to fight anymore. Set the rage to music. That’s Bring Back The Guns.

“Bring Back The Guns is making some of the most original music in the city. The band’s music crackles with energy and makes the heart race. It isn’t simple, and it’s often weird, but these are the very reasons it engages you. You listen, you try to piece together what is being said and why, and then the key changes or the song stops and the rug is pulled out from under you.”—Sara Cress, Houston Chronicle

“Bring Back The Guns are incredibly fun. They are masters at taking completely unrelated segments of music, stabbing them together and making them work as if they serve to tell some sort of immense, epic tale.” —Lance Walker, 002 Magazine

“..one of the coolest bands I’ve ever seen/heard, from Houston or otherwise…chances are that nobody in this town will ever realize how good they are, even though they might well be the closest we’ve got to the Archers of Loaf, Spoon, or Pavement…Skewed, mildly ‘progressive’ pop songs that are smart as hell…”—Jeremy Hart, spacecityrock.com

Bring Back The Guns Live:

11/ 23 Fort Worth, TX 6th St. Live
11/24 Norman or Oklahoma City TBA
11/25 Springfield, MO TBA
11/26 St. Louis, MO The Bluebird
11/27 Chicago, IL Ronny’s
11/28 Madison or Milwaukee, WI TBA
11/29 Minneapolis, MN TBA
11/30 Des Moines, IA TBA
12/01 Omaha, NE Slowdown w/ Antelope (Dischord)
12/02 Hot Springs, AR The Exchange w/Clipd Beaks

Dry Futures Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. No More Good Songs
02. The Art of Malnutrition
03. Let’s Not
04. Dry Futures
05. Take It Like A
06. Face Smear Pt. 1 (All Right Now)
07. The Family Name
08. The Season for Treason
09. Radio Song ’04
10. I Am the Voice of Sarah Strickland’s Rage
11. In Piles/On File (MP3)