Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hearts Bleed Radio's Official Northside Showcase Previews!

  The 2014 Northside Festival is right around the corner. We're looking forward to four days of music, whiskey, food, and musicians being treated like they deserve to be treated all the time. The best thing about Northside is it's walkability; it never feels like you're more than a five minute walk from the next venue. If I'm not playing a show, I'll be bumming around North Brooklyn in an endless loop of whiskey, tacos, and rock 'n roll. That being said, most likely, I will be playing/hosting a show. This year, Hearts Bleed Radio is proud to bring you two and a half showcases. We'll cross paths with you at some point. It was meant to be.

The Teen Age, probably trying to find the entrance to Pet Rescue

Friday, June 13th
Pet Rescue

The Teen Age are one of those bands that effortlessly brings a vibe that, I guess in my head I refer to as "beer drinker's energy." I wouldn't want to call them a "high energy" band, because I don't want you think they're punks or anything like that. They have good energy; it's the kind of energy that comes from beer calories. They are a fucking blast. They are kicking off our weekend.

My Teenage Stride is the long time project of the multi-talented singer/guitarist/producer/king of Facebook; Jed Smith. Jed is one of the best songwriters I know, and I know a lot of songwriters. MTS is a songwriting clinic in action. Enjoy their music, and learn something too. Funny story, I realized last year that I saw Jed's old band open for Superdrag at Pearl Street in Northampton, MA like, in '99 or '00. Brooklyn feels like a weird "LOST" island more and more every day.

The Planes get good gas milage and fit into the tiniest parking spaces, but still have enough horsepower to pass a semi on one of those scary ass dotted yellow line highways. They are kinda the HBR house band. You know them by now, right?

Shark? Yes, dammit, SHARK?! Is it a shark? We tried to book these guys a couple times in the past, but nothing ever materialized... until now. This band is too good to be contained in a small place like Pet Rescue. I don't know what exactly is going on in this video, but I promise you there will be no weird predator aliens at the show.

Found this pic of Clouder online, it was taken by Bryan of Mount Sharp

Saturday, June 14th

The Meaning of Life is like a cool drink on a hot day. Their tunes are smooth and simple, without dragging or getting boring; but also lush and texturally deep without getting sonically crowded or muddy. Get to the show early (The Planes are opening this one up), and have a strong cocktail with this band. Let them part the seas for you.

Haybaby is kinda like a bottle of soda that you shake up and throw in the air. When it hits the ground, it explodes like actual dynamite, and you're like, "whoa." They are a throwback, but also modern. They can do a bass groove grunge-y thing, and mix in the occasional guitar riff explosion. Good live vibes.

Old Monk is releasing an album at this show. I take this to mean that they'll probably be famous soon. They are my pick for this year's "band that should be on everyone's radar." Old Monk are unbelievably tight. The can do all sorts of proggy left hand turns, abrupt stops, and dynamic changes, and the caveman Ramones fan inside of me can still follow the melody. Josh Carrafa might be my favorite local guitarist.

Miniboone is a party in a can. Or they are a spring-loaded snake that pops out of the can and hits you in the face. Either way, you're in for an experience. I saw them play last at Mercury Lounge and it was incredible. We're lucky to have them in a joint like Matchless. You have a good time at a Miniboone show; even if you get dumped, mugged, or injured. They have band magnet waves the alter your internal compass.

Clouder is a riot/party waiting to happen. In fact, it's not really fair to the venue to have Old Monk/Miniboone/Clouder back to back to back. I'm not sure the place can take it. Clouder draws on influences from 60's garage to 00's indie, and most everything in between, while maintaing the feel of a hard talking, hard drinking, bar band. Eric Gilstrap plays the archetypical rock 'n roll lead singer like few others. It's a sort of homecoming show for the band. Don't plan on being anywhere too early on Sunday morning.

Let's Be Loveless. Haha, I love press photos. Seriously though, this band is rad.

Sunday, June 15th
Matchless Matinee 

Provided the joint is still standing, and we're all still functioning (I plan on sleeping over), Big Quiet opens up the show on Sunday afternoon. The Brooklyn/Glasgow (I had to) three-piece is known for their short catchy songs; college/jangle rock with slight indie-punk overtones. They rock harder than almost any band that uses a distortion pedal less than 5% of the time.

Let's Be Loveless bribed me with hot sauce from Belize, but little did they know I would have put them on this bill anyway. I can't believe that festival organizers weren't all over these guys. They are so good at their own unique kind of shoegazey dream-pop star particle explosion. They are a solid band who plays to their strengths and makes it easy for the crowd to get on their wavelength.

I was at a picnic with The Living Kills last weekend, and I didn't even realize it. That's what happens in this world where we do business be email and you don't see what people look like till you get to the show. We're pumped to have them on the bill. I love it when bands have a kind of psych thing AND a lo-fi punk thing going on, 'cause I feel like in real life, those two crowds didn't get along great. It's kinda like we're rewriting history.

Crazy Pills are no stranger to HBR showcases, though this time, the credit in booking them goes to Kelly from Noise Love. They are a garage/rockabilly band who at their most frantic sound to me like punks trying to play country music (I mean that in a good way). The Pills are no strangers to well written hooks and strong grooves, and put on a hell of a show.

Eastern Hollows is the last of the bands we're personally involved with (though official Northside stuff will be going down into the night). We booked these guys back in March, but it was Kelly who wrangled them this time around. I missed that show because I was in Austin for SXSW, and I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to catching their set as much as anything else going on this weekend. And they're a small band, in a small bar, at 5pm, for 5 bucks.

And that's what's cool about Northside. Some people might think the festival isn't a big deal because their aren't that many big headliners, their isn't a ton of media coverage, and there aren't all these tales of little bands getting discovered and "making it" because they played a great set in front of the right person. But seriously, I don't care about any of that bullshit. To me, it's just nice to be a part of something that square society hasn't had a chance to ruin.

Apologies to bands who we didn't have room for, and to local bands who didn't make it into the festival this year. I know exactly what it's like. I've been a musician in this city for eight years, and more often than not, I've been on the outside looking in. I know most of you act cool, like it doesn't really matter, and I think that's a testament to how classy you are. But it does suck to feel left out, especially when you spend the rest of the year playing the same dives, lugging your crap on the same train, sweating/freezing in the same crappy practice space, and dealing with all the challenges that make being a musician here, well, downright hellish at times. I know it's a small thing, but for anyone who has played an HBR showcase and didn't get a wrist band this year, shoot me an email and I'll guest list you for all our festival shows. I don't even care if there's 50 of you and house fees don't get met and I go broke/get fired. Fuck it. It's your community and I want you here.

Fingers crossed for nice weather, free hoodies, and the energy to rock as hard on Sunday afternoon as I will on Friday night.

Like The Northside Festival on Facebook ---> here.

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Check out our Fridays at Matchless here, here, and here.

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