Thursday, June 27, 2013

Shooting the shit with Sunset Guns

  Greetings dear readers! Sunset Guns are an incredibly fun Brooklyn based four piece, and we're proud to have them playing for us at Fort Useless on July 13th. I sat down with Jon Mann (guitar/vox) and Derek Hawkins (also guitar/vox), and chatted about the usual band nonsense. Derek starts this one out with a brief history of the band. Here's the transcript:

Derek: I guess the whole thing technically started a couple winters ago. Jon and Chuck had their own bands but they'd linked up and started writing some songs together. I was somewhat new to the city and Jon, who I knew through some mutual friends, brought me into a practice with them and George Garcia, who was on drums. We had a good session, banged out a big stupid rock n roll song, and it was just a matter of time before we started playing shows. The idea at first was to write big, scrappy, simple rock n' roll, but after about a year of that we parted ways with George, found Sam on Craigslist and started working on new, tighter, slightly more serious material.

Jon: Sounds about right. Sam was a huge Craigslist find. I do like to think we still have the big and scrappy elements, but yeah, we've tightened things up.

Hearts Bleed Radio: You guys have really good guitar interplay, (and vocal interplay too), how do your songs come together?

Jon: That's nice to hear, man, thanks. Early on, it was more common for us to come in with relatively complete songs and sort of throw them around, but increasingly - and I think this leads to some of that back-and-forth interplay - we're coming into practice with ideas or pieces of songs with the desire to get everyone's input in order to complete them.

HBR: Do you feel like one of you has the job of the lead guitarist? It seems pretty split.

Jon: It's pretty split. The other thing that leads to that interplay is that Derek and I are both riffy as hell.

HBR: And vocally, the same applies?

Derek: It's pretty even overall, but I think Jon's got a tad more noodle in him and I lean a little more on the vocal duties. I like driving the guitar a lot but I get a lot of energy by pushing my voice, stretching into my upper range, doing back to back songs that get me a little raspy.

HBR: The old tag team!

Jon: Yeah, I've never really thought of it, but we've never had a moment of 'No, I think I should sing this one,' or anything like that. It's always just fallen in place. 'I've got some lyrics for this.' "Do it."

Derek (left) and Jon (right) get down to business

HBR: Do you write lyrics together? Or at least talk about the meaning of the song? Y'know, to make sure it makes sense? DOES IT MAKE SENSE?

Jon: Yeah sure, sometimes. 'Haymaker,' for instance, was about a 50/50 collaboration. 'Thunderclap' and '25th Hour' were also situations where I had incomplete lyrics and asked Derek to give me a chorus or a bridge or whatever.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Libel's new video! and Showcase #5 and #6 info!

  Hey gang, I think my liver has finally recovered from the Northside weekend, and it's time for us to get rolling on our next batch of interviews! I'll start with Sunset Guns and Sharkmuffin, both of whom will be performing at HBR showcase #5 at Fort Useless. But right now I'd like to mention Libel, who we've booked to headline HBR showcase #6 at The Grand Victory on August 1st. It's looking like the show will be their LP release, and we're super lucky to have them on the bill. Libel is a tight post-punk trio based in Brooklyn. Here's a shot of them performing at Muchmore's, taken by yours truly...

Possible second career as a band photographer?

  They've released a video for the single "This is Love", and though it's remarkably simple, it suits the song well, and ends in a very mysterious manner. The camera follows lead singer/guitarist Gavin Dunaway as he zig zags down a staircase through a bombed out industrial building. From the opening shot of a destroyed room at the top of the stairs, to the climatic end scene where Dunaway opens a door into a bright white light, he seems to be driven by an unknown motive. Though the motive is undefined, the sense of purpose on Dunaway's face is clear, and the viewer feels compelled to follow him. Check it out below:

  In my mind the white light at the end is an exploding A-Bomb that annihilates Dunaway and the crime scene at the top of the stairs that he had spent the preceding several hours cleaning up. But that's just me, you decide for yourself.

Shot, directed, and produced by Daniele Dandaddy. Check out his work --->

Check out HBR Showcase #6, featuring Libel ---> here.

Like Libel on Facebook ---> here.

RSVP for HBR showcase #5 ---> here.

And don't forget to like Hearts Bleed Radio on Facebook ---> here.

That's all for now folks, see you at a show!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Crazy Update! Crazy Pills Kickstarter Action!

First of all, thanks everyone for an awesome Northside Festival showcase. The bands were incredible, and so were all the wonderful people who made it out. Hopefully we put on a show deserving of your valuable time and hard earned money.

We thought Crazy Pills were excellent the other night! Here's a picture of them rocking Matchless, courtesy of Chad Turner's Instagram...

So here's the real news...  Crazy Pills have a Kickstarter campaign to fund their debut album, "Restless". Check it out and drop them a couple of bucks if you can!

We can't wait to see you at Fort Useless for Hearts Bleed Radio Showcase #5! Hopefully we'll be fully recovered from the festival by then.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Juan from The Beets talks NYC streets.

Northside Festival 2013 begins today! We're so excited, we can't contain ourselves. Seriously, I can't wait to get out of work, pick up my wristband, and hit the shows! We have THE BEETS going on at about 10 o'clock on Friday night, and I was super lucky to get a chance to talk to front-person, Juan Wauters. We chatted about neighborhoods, music, New York, and abandoned schools. Here's the transcript:

Hearts Bleed Radio: I've seen it written a couple of places that you don't make music from Queens, you make Queens music. You seem like a big Queens guy, so tell me, what is it about Queens that you love so much?

Juan: I was actually born in a different country, but coming here, it's a really good place to move to. Y'know its very welcoming and I've made a big nucleus of friends. It's just something to identify with, and creates a sense of unity among ourselves, and my family, and all that. It's not so hard to take pride in that for me, y'know?

HBR: It's gotta be the most diverse place in the city.

Juan: Probably, yeah. So all that, and you know, it's the kinda forgotten borough, but where more "real" people live. We all share the same kind of society among ourselves. We all hustle for the same purpose. And a lot of us are building up a future there.

The band in nature.  awwww

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Practice makes OK: The Planes, HBR, and Beatalic Cats.

Greetings dear readers! For this interview, we're talking to Stephen Perry from The Planes. "Wait!" you might say, "isn't that your band?" Well, it is... I tried interviewing myself, but it was coming off more like a cross between Mao's little red book and the Unabomber manifesto, so I decided it would be best to get a hand from Marisha, formerly of the band Corita. I must apologize for the goddamn novels I wrote for some of the answers, but I've been tapping into the writing part of my brain lately, and it's a well that is not easily capped. Marisha was a good sport though, here's the transcript:

Hearts Bleed Radio (Marisha): So, you have a fantastic showcase coming up on Friday. Tell me about the Northside Festival showcase for HBR.

Stephen: Well, it's mostly a bunch of friends bands that I wanted to get together on the same bill. Mostly catchy indie bands, all of whom are excellent performers. The Planes played a super fun showcase with Crazy Pills last year, so I wanted to get them again. Quiet Loudly is a blast to see live, really dynamically good set, poppy, but you can also get a chance to zone out with them. Mount Sharp has a kinda songwriter plus loud dissonant guitar thing, that a sonic youth like myself really digs. pow wow! might be one of the best bands in the city when they really nail it, like, any fan of rock would like them. And lastly, we were fortunate to get Queens natives, The Beets, to round out the bill. They haven't been playing to much recently, and they are kinda getting back into things, so we're super excited.

HBR: Crazy Pills are amazing! It's a really strong line up you've got on a Friday night. You guys are creating a supportive community of bands that tend to curate a lot of interesting shows in Brooklyn on a pretty regular basis. What are some of your favorite venues to play?

Stephen: Venue wise, there are three who have been very friendly to HBR and The Planes... For starters, Matchless, where we're throwing the show. Nice, tight, small room, bar in the band room (key), good food, outdoor area, good location. Cake Shop, has been very kind also, probably the last spot in Manhattan that small bands love to play (not to diss Bowery Electric, but I've never played there). And lastly Grand Vic, where we're doing a showcase on 8/1. Jeremy is a super nice guy and I recommend everyone stops by on a slow night and has a beer with him. Also, we haven't played Fort Useless yet, but we will on 7/13, and we're pumped, 'cause we've been going to shows there forever and what they do is so true to the DIY spirit and the community spirit of indie.

HBR: Fort Useless, Matchless and Grand Victory are great places for live music in an intimate space. I am a major fan of Cake Shop for all of Andy Bodes's ideals, high standards and good taste, all around a great place.

Stephen: I'd take a full room over a big room any day, haha. Legion has been good to us too, and they are super tiny.

I lost those aviators after this shoot. If anyone finds a pair on Meserole Street, hit me up.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

holy cow! pow wow!

Hey you awesome people out there, reading this, probably getting stoked for Northside next weekend... We'd love to see you at our showcase, AND we know you'd love to see pow wow!, one of the most fun live shows this side of anywhere. pow wow! is a local five-piece, consisting of Eddie (guitar/vox), Jeff (keys/vox), John-Paul (bass/vox), Amanda (guitar/vox, from Crazy Pills), and Sal (drums, from Quiet Loudly). Between you and me, they are the band I'm looking most forward to seeing. I sat down via Gchat with Eddie the other day. Here's what he had to say:

Hearts Bleed Radio: So how did pow wow! get started?

Eddie: pow wow! got started way back in the fall of 2005 between myself and long time friends from high school Blake Zarsky & Chris Connell. We had been jamming together as several bedroom type bands post high-school and pow wow! was the first project where we actually focused and aimed to released material and play shows. The problem was, we needed a full band to really be able to play out, as our formula of two guitars and a drummer, wasn't exactly working out for our live set. After a few jams, Jeff was invited to join the band to play keys in 2006 when he turned 17, along with our first bass player, Corey Mcnaught who I had met during my short stay at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I forgot to add it was formed in New Jersey (IMPORTANT!)

HBR: Totally important. How do you feel about Maxwell's closing?

Eddie: Maxwell's closing is truly a bummer, especially for us Jersey blooded folks. Before really hanging out in New York, the early 2000's was spent in Hoboken. We saw a bunch of shows at Maxwell's and were lucky enough to even play one back in 2009. They were such a hospitable establishment. I can't think of another venue that fed us an entire meal on the house before we played! Maxwell's has and always will hold a soft spot in my heart. Between the cigarettes we smoked in that front lounge, to all the times I stood in front of their jukebox trying to decide which Replacements song my friends would most enjoy a drunken sing-a-long to... their closing is truly quite a loss for Jersey and the Northeast in general. It will be missed immensely.

HBR: It's silly how we live in NYC, and we know NOT to be sentimental, because things change so constantly... but there are always changes that come as shocks.

Yup, this is exactly what they look like.

Eddie: It's true, but it's unavoidable. New Yorkers are just as sentimental as anyone else, especially when it comes to any long standing local haunts...

HBR: Let's talk about "Don't Stop to Look". It's a really strong recording, polished enough, and catchy enough songs, to be accessible to the average fan, but it retains some lo-fi grit that gives it a mountain of character. What was the recording process like?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sharkmuffin's big splash... Mermaid Sex Slave

Some music critics (who get paid a lot more than me), say that rock music is dead, or dying... But that's bullshit. If you're reading Hearts Bleed Radio, you probably know that's bullshit. However, if you still need proof that indie rock still rocks (and hasn't totally become yupster adult contemporary), just listen to Sharkmuffin. They are the antidote to the Bon Iver-ization of indie...

I don't look nearly as good in a black dress and heels...

"Mermaid Sex Slave" is the single off their new EP, She-Gods of Champagne Valley, and it's the kinda punch-you-in-the-face-and-don't-say-sorry rocker that we LOVE here at HBR. The song starts off with a watery two note lick that drifts into the verse, and sets the tone for the poseidosexual barrage of Tarra Thiessen's vocals. The full force of the guitar comes in with the chorus and pulls the song from a wet spacey undersea lair, into the tightness of a small rock club. This is where the song really shines, Thiessen riffs perfectly over the tightness of Natalie Kirch's bass, and the sharp, syncopated beat of drummer Sarah Peterson.  It's a great track, check it out below.

You can hear the rest of She-Gods of Champagne Valley ---> here.

Like Sharkmuffin on Facebook ---> here.

We're happy to announce Sharkmuffin will be playing HBR Showcase #5, at Fort Useless on 7/13! To stay in the loop, Like HBR on Facebook ---> here.

We'll be interviewing Sharkmuffin before that show, so if any of you have any questions for them, email me, or leave them in the "comments" section below.

Check out our Northside Showcase ---> here.

Thanks for reading. I'll catch you at a show.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Breaking Oceanographic News

Oceanographer, home from the expedition... happy.

Our sources confirm (what? you didn't think I had sources?) that Mark Kelley of The Roots is joining the Brooklyn indie band Oceanographer. I'll have to track down Mark at some point and grill him on his decision, but in the meantime we can watch this super 8 music video and imagine a driving, thumping bass-line underneath.


OH, and also, Oceanographer is making their first television appearance, this Friday, at 9pm on the Artie Lange Show (Directv ch. 239), and playing Mercury Lounge on Monday the 10th!

Like Oceanographer on Facebook ---> here.

Like Hearts Bleed Radio on Facebook ---> here.

AND, don't forget to check out the HBR Northside Showcase ---> here.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Quiet Loudly Rocks It Proudly

Quiet Loudly is one of the most sonically deep indie acts in NYC right now. They have an ability to work up an aural tsunami, and then corral it into a tightly written pop song. To hear what I mean, check out "Go Into The Light Smiling" on Bandcamp.  We are extremely lucky to have them performing at the Hearts Bleed Radio Northside Showcase. I sat down lead singer/guitarist Max Goransson, and picked his mind about the band, the album, and the future. Enjoy!

Hearts Bleed Radio: You recorded "Go Into The Light Smiling" with Tony, Sal, and John. But you're going to have a fill in at the 6/14 show. I assume for John?

Max: Yes. Well, John's still going to be away on tour with his other band Naam (who are great). BUT, that's not the only change to our lineup. We will be playing our first show as a five-piece for your showcase. We've made a pretty big change-- Tony has moved over to guitar for all our songs and we've brought in Jonathan Pilkington Kahnt to play bass for us permanently. And he is amazing. And as far as keyboard goes, our good friend Kurt Schneider is going to be filling in for John. And from now on, whenever John is in town and can play with us, he will continue to do so. But, whenever there's a show we want to play and he is on the road, we're going to try to have someone filling in whenever possible. We've been rearranging all our songs to accommodate the change. So, if we ever have to play without keys, we can, and we can still have a nice, full sound. It just might be a little more guitar-centric.

HBR: Looking back on that album, I guess almost a year after it came out... AND going through those changes, like, how has your perception of the album changed? Do you like certain songs better than you used to? Some less?

Max: Well, to be honest, I have a really hard time listening to my own work. I go through phases throughout the process of making an album, as I'm sure most musicians do. There's that first phase when you've just laid down all the tracks and you are super, super pumped and you're convinced it's the best thing you've ever done. Then, you reach a boiling point during mixing the album where you've heard every single detail under a sonic magnifying glass and anything that's not perfect is totally jarring and infuriating. Then, once the album is done being mixed, there's usually a lull when you can take a break from it and you get it mastered. Then, once it's mastered it feels like gold again and you're obsessed with it for a week. And then you go back to nit-picking and finding it intolerable and you need distance. That's how it is for me, anyway. So, I haven't actually listened to the album for a long, long time. But, if I wait for another year before I do, I'll probably love it again. There were definitely a couple songs that weren't my favorites before recording, that became favorites AFTER recording, like Your Wedding/My Funeral.
If you don't wear glasses, you have wear a hat. If you don't wear a jacket, you have to wear suspenders.