All posts by ervins

eggsovereasy

Eggs Over Easy

Eggs Over Easy is the American band that invented UK pub rock, influenced the careers of Nick Lowe, Huey Lewis, Loudon Wainwright III and Elvis Costello, and laid the groundwork for a grassroots movement that would spawn UK punk.

With roots stretching back to late 1960s Berkeley, CA, the three principals in the Eggs – songwriters Jack O’Hara, Austin de Lone, and Brien Hopkins – would by early 1971 find themselves ensconced in London’s Olympic Studios, lured by Animals bassist and Jimi Hendrix manager Chas Chandler, and an apparitional record deal.

When said deal went bust, the Eggs “did what any American band would do,” Stiff Records co-founder Dave Robinson told a journalist. “They went to the nearest bar and said, ‘Give us your worst night.’” Which is how Eggs Over Easy leapt onto the pages of pop music history.

Their humble Monday night gigs at a former jazz club called the Tally Ho – pub rock ground zero — would become the hub for a network of artists, venues, and music business machers that included back-to-basics groups Ducks Deluxe, Bees Make Honey and Dr. Feelgood, DJs John Peel and Charlie Gillett, and hustlers like Jake Riviera and Mr. Robinson.

Founding members of Eggs Over Easy, Jack O’Hara and Austin de Lone, are back together and ready to recreate that Tally Ho magic in a series of shows throughout 2016. Special guests are expected at most, if not all, performances.

 

“There were hippies there, skinheads, rastafarians. I remember, most especially, a Sikh bus driver with a turban on and his bus driver uniform dancing away. It was an unbelievable scene with people hanging off the ceilings. There was this fantastic feeling that you were in on something extraordinary.”

 

–       Nick Lowe on Eggs Over Easy at The Tally Ho

Drink Up Buttercup

drinkupbuttercup

Drink Up Buttercup may hail from Philadelphia but the geography of their debut album Born & Thrown On A Hook is less easily located on a physical map. It’s an occasionally surreal mythology filled with tales of hopelessly flawed characters, star-crossed lovers, drunks, fairy tales & bad trips.

It exists in a world touched upon previously by Tom Waits, Hans Christian Anderson and Lloyd Kaufman while musically it follows the direct lineage of classic songwriting: Bowie, The Beatles & The Beach Boys’ late 60s lysergia, early Roxy Music, Sabbath’s bass heavy pulse & the crescendos of Arcade Fire.

Recorded meticulously throughout 2009 by Bill Moriarty (Dr Dog / Man Man) and mixed by Rusty Santos (Animal Collective / Final Fantasy) it perfectly balances consistently catchy melodies with the raw energy of their trashcan pounding live show.

First brought to the attention of music fans through their debut ‘Sosey & Dosey’ 7” on Brooklyn’s Kanine Records (Grizzly Bear, Chairlift), the Philly group comprised of Jim Harvey (vocals, guitar), Ben Money (bass, organ), Mike Cammarata (drums) and Farzad Houshiarnejad (keyboards) stormed CMJ and SXSW and earned early praise. Described as, “Beatle-esque but in a kitchen sink kind of way,” (Brooklyn Vegan) and “60’s psychedelic carnival” (Stereogum) the band’s nuanced yet bombastic live show is a vital part of its growing legend, with the New York Times saying that DUB, “mesmerizes and clobbers live.”

 

teengirlfantasy

Teengirl Fantasy

Following last year’s journeying Nun EP, Teengirl Fantasy returns with Thermal to be released November 18. Tracing threads from their previous deconstructed dancefloor works into thrilling new directions, the Thermal EP is the duo’s most mature and cohesive work to date. It features four new songs: two instrumentals that showcase the duo’s sensual and intuitive way with texture, and two prime-time vocal tracks featuring the new queen of underground Korean R&B, Hoody (후디), and rising NYC recording artist Lafawndah.

Tracklisting:

1) Cavescape

2) Lung feat. Lafawndah

3) 7:30 AM

4) U Touch Me feat. Hoody

ianmclagan

Ian McLagen

When asked why he titled his new record United States Ian McLagan replied, “It’s about relationships. Actually it’s an anagram for Austin Texas and Nudist Estates.”

He’s always the joker, so that last part might not be accurate. But Austin resident McLagan sings and writes from his heart on his Yep Roc debut. United States is his first record in five years and first since being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of classic British rockers Faces in 2012. It’s a combination of unremitting desire and deep contemplation as well as a showcase for his beguiling way of fashioning one memorable hook after another.

His last disc, 2009’s Never Say Never, found McLagan in the state of grief. It was released following the sudden passing of his wife Kim who died in a auto accident. United States offers an experienced reflection on affairs of the heart.

“It’s a lot about, as all my records seem to be, about loss,” McLagan says. “It’s about trying to get into a relationship. It’s tough to be 68 and dating. But some of these songs are very old. “Pure Gold” I had twenty odd years ago. I recorded it once a long time ago and I wasn’t happy with it.”

With the assistance of the more than adept Bump Band – composed of some of Austin’s most highly regarded sidemen, ’Scrappy’ Jud Newcomb on guitar, Jon Notarthomas on bass, and Conrad Choucroun on drums – “Mac” delivers a mixed bag of settings for his wise observations on relationships. “I have a such a band,” he exclaims. “When I play something they immediately fall in. There’s no real discussion. It’s real easy to record with them.”

The trapping range from the ska bounce of “Pure Gold” to sultry sway of “Who Says It Ain’t Love,” the roadhouse blues of “How Blue” to 1960’s style R&B of “Shalalala.”

“”Shalalala” is really a thank you, a love song to the audience. Thank you for being here and asking me to play,” he explains.

McLagan recorded and produced the album at his own The Doghouse Studios in Manor, TX. The songs were mixed by longtime friend Glyn Johns (The Faces, The Who) and mastered by Bob Ludwig (Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones).

Throughout McLagan croons about love, real or imagined, in a way that’s affecting yet reflects his rock and roll roots. He began in the 1960’s as the keyboard player for the Small Faces, who eventually became the Faces when Steve Marriott left and Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood joined in. Since he’s become a successful solo artist as well as a sideman in high demand.

Over the years McLagan has performed with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and a host of others. Mac moved to Austin in 1994. Since he’s become an important cog in the bustling music scene, where he’s performed with everyone from Ray Wylie Hubbard to Eliza Gilkyson to James McMurtry.

“It’s the community,” Mac says of his time in Austin. “I’ve been thinking about this. I’m a socialist. Sorry the rest of the world. Sorry the rest of Texas. It means I care. That’s all it is. I like the fact that it’s the first place I’ve ever lived where there’s a real sense of community. People care about their neighbors. I’m proud to say this is my home.”

jimwhite

Jim White and the Packway Band

When Athens, GA outfit the Packway Handle Band sought Jim White out to produce an album, the quintet learned he had a massive stash of bluegrass songs just waiting to be sprung on the world — and they would make the perfect slingshot. “When I’d heard ’em play a couple of years earlier,” White says, “I muttered under my breath, ‘I wish I could have that much fun playing music.’ When they offered me the chance to produce, I thought, ‘How can I undermine this?’” The answer is Take It Like A Man, the new Yep Roc Records release by Jim White vs. the Packway Handle Band, due out January 27, 2015.

Sounding like an ivory-tower academic one minute and a stand-up comedian the next, he explains that term versus addresses the “conflagration of opposing mindsets” as an answer to the question, “What happens when we throw these two unlikely elements together?”

The album alternates between White and Packway compositions; only one track, the campy bluegrass rave-up “Corn Pone Refugee,” is a co-write (credited to White and Packway’s Josh Erwin). The first single, “Not A Song,” by Packway mandolinist Michael Paynter, is an infectious, upbeat melody fueled by clever lyrics and la-da-da harmonies.

In the hands of White and the ebullient Packway Handle Band, the whole album adds up to a huge dose of fun, with just a dash of sorrow.

themayflies

The Mayflies

Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Mayflies USA deliver hits for a better universe! –Creative Loafing

If you know anything about Chapel Hill, NC, you know how instrumental a front porch can be. Ideas are generated, plans are made, songs are written, life is romanticized and yes, beers drunk.

Coming together by way of California, Saudi Arabia, Holland, LA, New York and Baltimore, The Mayflies USA call Chapel Hill their home. And all of their time spent on the porch has helped them form their version of rock music- it bounces with infectious melodies, glides with summer-y harmonies, sings with romantic lyrics and pops with loud squalling guitars.”The fact that our band is comprised of a preacher’s kid (Long), a product of a Moral Majority fundamentalist education (Liesegang), and a kid who was raised as an atheist (Price) has to factor into The Mayflies USA somewhere, now that I think about it. Probably we all fled to rock music in reaction,” admits singer and guitarist Matt McMichaels.Maybe their unusual upbringings explain their feverish love of rock music (and the otherworldly escape it provides), and shed some light on their meticulous nature of sound and song construction. Then again, maybe it’s just a coincidence. But, for their third studio album, Walking in a Straight Line, they turned to Keith Cleversley (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Spiritualized) at Chicago’s Playground Studios to capture the live sound of the band and the organic feel of their late 60’s, early 70’s rock influences.”We’re all on a lifelong Beatles kick. That Beatles statement notwithstanding, I think we told Keith we wanted the record to sound like Exile on Main Street. Of course we weren’t equipped with either the musical chops or the collective life experience to make a record quite like Exile, but for better or worse I think that was one of the first things we said when we got to Chicago,” McMichaels said.

The Mayflies USA toured through fall of 2001 and on their return, they locked themselves in their basement and practiced all winter long in preparation for the Chicago sessions.Says McMichaels, “I remember it was around 5am this past New Year’s Eve that we resolved to make this record regardless of what it took. What it took was practicing 6 hours everyday until it was time to leave for Chicago. Perversity and masochism certainly factored into our decision, but we really wanted to make an authentic document.”Recording straight to 2” tape, using minimal overdubs, and no computer editing, the band spent 24 hours a day in the studio, laying down tracks for up to 13 hours a day and then sleeping with the drums, guitars, amps and mics still set up around them. There were moments when they nearly cracked and hightailed it back to Chapel Hill, wanting to leave Cleversley to fix everything on Pro-Tools; but instead they endured the studio life, producing what the band call “a less idealized version of themselves”.

Walking in a Straight Line kicks off with the album’s title track in full post-punk splendor with a jangly, southern-rock zeal while “The Greatest Thing” recalls the Southern-gothic guitar treatment that Peter Buck used to give to early R.E.M. tracks. And if you want a peek into the future sound of The Mayflies USA, listen closely to keyboard-based “Sweet 16”.

Discography:
Summertown (Yep Roc Records, 1999)
The Pity List (Yep Roc Records, 2000)

therelatives

The Relatives

Call it Gospel Funk! Or, Psychedelic-Gospel-R&B. In truth, the sound of The Relatives is so much more. Formed in 1970 by veteran Dallas Gospel singer Rev. Gean West and his brother Tommie, The Relatives’ sound bridges the gap between traditional Gospel, Soul and Psychedelia. In the early 1970’s, they recorded three obscure singles and a previously unreleased session—all of which are compiled on the acclaimed 2009 anthology, Don’t Let Me Fall (Heavy Light Records). The release of the anthology brought The Relatives back together as a band, planting the seeds for their 2013 Yep Roc release, The Electric Word, which was recorded and produced in Austin, TX by Jim Eno of Spoon.

The Relatives are spawned from the same fervent Pentecostal tradition that begat Elder Utah Smith. In the 1950’s and 60’s, the West family were Dallas Gospel royalty and often hosted traveling musicians, including a young Aretha Franklin, The Staple Singers, Lou Rawls, and O.V. Wright. Rev. Tommie recalls climbing a tree to watch Soul Stirrer Sam Cooke play guitar and sing on their front porch. When Rev. Gean returned home from 1970 tour, a young Tommie had written a song in a new voice influenced as much by traditional Gospel quartets as it was James Brown and Hendrix. “Speak to Me (What’s Wrong With America?)” marked the beginning of The Relatives and a new musical direction, dubbed the “Street Sound” by Rev. Gean. The group quickly realized that their contemporary sound would get them bookings in nightclubs as well as churches. As Rev. Gean says, “If the people won’t come to church, we’ll bring church to the people.”

The Relatives spent the 1970’s touring nationwide and pressing small batches of 45 rpm singles that did well regionally, but never made a splash outside of North Texas. Known for their powerful original songs and searing stage show, their reputation survived the 1970’s, but the group did not, recording their final session with legendary engineer Phil York in 1975 and disbanding in 1980. Rev. Tommie founded his No Walls Ministries, while Rev. Gean continued to manage touring Gospel artists, founded his own church and hosted a popular radio show on Dallas’ KKDA, “Soul 73 AM.” With only a cracked copy of The Relatives’ “Don’t Let Me Fall” single to go on, Heavy Light Records located Rev. Gean in 2009 and began the process of reissuing The Relatives’ vintage recordings. Rev. Gean calls The Relatives’ rediscovery and resurgence, “nothing short of a miracle.”

After a stunning, sold-out 2009 reunion performance at the Continental Club in Austin, The Relatives began performing regularly again, barnstorming major festivals and venues worldwide, taking their incredible stage show and four-part harmonies to Lincoln Center, ACL Fest, Bonnaroo and Splendour in the Grass. Summer 2011 found the group in southern France, where they appeared at the Cognac Blues Passions festival, collaborating with a 30-member French community choir for an impassioned performance of Relatives originals. 2011 also saw The Relatives combine forces with Garage/Soul powerhouse Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears to record “You Been Lyin,” which appears on the BJL album Scandalous. Their Austin City Limits TV taping with Black Joe Lewis has been called “one of the best we’ve ever seen” by longtime ACL staff and fans.

Picking up BJL’s drummer and guitarist/musical director as full-time members, The Relatives cut the The Electric Word, their first recording in over 30 years, in the summer of 2012 with Jim Eno at Public Hi-Fi Studios in Austin, TX. Still helmed by the West brothers, The Relatives’ current incarnation is the most powerful generation of this musical family to date.

“Maybe the world wasn’t ready for the Relatives when they first formed, but
today they combine sweat, grit, and a righteous musicality in a manner that’s
unequaled.” – AUSTIN CHRONICLE

“The Relatives are the heroes America needs, even if we don’t deserve them.”
Dean Blackwood, Revenant Records

“The Relatives are Jesus on LSD.”
Leo Sacks, producer, filmmaker

AmericanPrincess

American Princes

The initial lineup of American Princes began in Brooklyn in early 2002, with David Slade (vocals, guitar), Matt Quin (drums), and John Beachboard (vocals, bass). By the end of the year, the band had left New York, relocating to Little Rock, AR. The southern city’s cheap rent and central location made it an ideal base for musicians who wanted to tour nonstop – which they did, picking up guitar player and vocalist Collins Kilgore along the way.
The next two years were spent writing and releasing 2 albums (We Are the People and Little Spaces), and crisscrossing the country. The pressures of life on the road mounted, and after a whiskey-fueled punch up in a Tennessee forest, Beachboard left the band (amicably, it should be noted). Continuing in the tradition of bass players with great last names, Ryan Universe agreed to go on a few tours as a stand-in, ultimately stepping aside for Luke Hunsicker.

The beginning of 2005 marked a pivotal moment for the Princes. Glenn Dicker, head of Yep Roc, heard a copy of Little Spaces in an associate’s car stereo and got in touch with the band, ultimately offering them a deal. The album was re-released on Dicker’s label, followed by 2006’s Less and Less, produced by Al Weatherhead (Lucero, Sparklehorse, Hotel Lights) at Sound of Music in Richmond, VA.

Less and Less garnered the Princes rave reviews, making multiple year end lists, including Magnet, The Onion, and Blogcritics. Over the course of the year, the band’s live profile grew, seeing them share the stage with groups including the Roots, the Flaming Lips, Big Star, Lucero, De La Soul, Son Volt, Soul Asylum, Mudhoney, the Hold Steady, and Spoon.

By the end of 2006, Collins had relocated to Brooklyn, reversing the route the band had taken four years earlier. Additionally, Little Rock native Will Boyd joined American Princes as a third guitarist and vocalist. With Collins commuting from the Northeast for month-long songwriting marathons, the five musicians began writing what would become Other People, their latest release.

One night during this period, the band got an e-mail from a hip hop and R&B producer in New York named Chuck Brody (Wu Tang Clan, Beastie Boys, The Northern State). He was interested in recording with a rock group and, like Glenn Dicker years before, had happened upon American Princes’ music and felt compelled. Brody offered to record a song for the band gratis to see how the two parties worked together.

Luckily, it was a perfect fit. By summer of 2007, the Princes were holed up at the Fireplace, Brody’s Manhattan studio. Over the course of several weeks, the collaboration yielded an incredible collection of songs encompassing a vast spectrum of emotions and sounds. Everyone worked nonstop, sometimes going for days without sleep, pushing themselves to their physical as well as artistic limits. By the final stages, both the band and the producer knew that they had created an album that was leagues beyond anything the Princes had done previously. The end result, Other People, is the band’s crowning achievement thus far.

1_Feb_2016_JaTH

Jeremy & The Harlequins

You know you’re doing something right when Bruce Springsteen’s right-hand man decides your track is the coolest song in the world. That’s exactly what Steve Van Zandt’s listeners did–picking ‘Trip Into The Light’ for that very accolade on his Little Steven’s Underground Garage radio show. It’s easy to hear why – the opening song from Jeremy & The Harlequins’ debut full-length, American Dreamer, sparkles and shimmers with the glamor of rock ’n roll’s past while simultaneously forging forward into the future with confidence. Channeling the influences of 1950s and ’60s rock’n’roll through the (cell phone) camera lens of 2015, Jeremy & The Harlequins – Jeremy Fury (vocals), Craig Bonich and Patrick Meyer (guitars), Stevie Fury (drums) and Bobby Ever (bass) – have managed to capture the sound of New York both in the here and now and the there and then.  

JAMES FERRARO _PRESS PIC _SKID ROW

JAMES FERRARO

Million dollar smiles, lattes & police brutality.
Excess and fiscal ambiguity.
Media violence & Lamborghini dreams, all under one surveillance video texture.

The desert landscape, like tupperware housing digital smog.
K9’s and glistening acid rain, wash away the sentient blood that stains the palm tree city.
An Escalade® burns on the freeway. The drone of helicopters hum above head, in a desert backdrop commuters in traffic requite aspeed of 20 mph pass the gleaming semiotic debris. The sushi elite & the poor all anonymous in an unforgiving freeway fatality,
an undiscerning system.

Man on the highway, through a walkie talkie speaker, barefoot on the slick asphalt.
As the sunsets, the sky burns a fusion of metal and silhouetted palms.
and a hyper real civilization is rendered by it’s idealism, at war with the gravity of reality..
Rendered by it’s traffic culture, it’s culture of police brutality and gang violence, media saturation
and racism, it’s glamorization and solipsism, rendered by the tabloid of it self.
” Skid Row started as a collection of poems, it came first as words, then grew into becoming the lyrics of Skid Row.. I was writing about the state of the world around me, living on what feels likethe brink of societal collapse while also seeing high excess everywhere.. all the sounds of thestreets crept in, the blood and tears on the street, the echoing sirens in the early morning fog,
soaked into the poetry and it became evident that LA is a hyper America. a place where violence(media and real life), excess and poverty, police exceptionalism & brutality, racism interact daily.. racism is a war on reason, so in my state of animosity I wrote Skid Row, I’m a disciple of the streets my spoken word and music on Skid Row mirror these conflicts that spill out over thewestern landscape like a painting of America frozen in a state of hyper real war “