Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sneak Peek Download "Blood In The Water" from NØMADS upcoming NEW release

Brooklyn's post-punk duo NØMADS is gearing up to release their debut album Free My Animal on April 8th via Mecca Lecca, and is now giving away "Blood In The Water" (free download) below"
NØMADS are a maximum sound two-piece rock outfit featuring Nathan Lithgow (touring and recording bassist for My Brightest Diamond, Inlets, and Gabriel & the Hounds), and drummer Garth Macaleavey (former Inlets touring percussionist, and sound engineer for the Philip Glass Ensemble, Joe’s Pub, and Le Poisson Rouge).

Forged and incubated in a small rehearsal room in Brooklyn, NØMADS harken back to the razor-efficient songwriting forms of 90’s bands like Nirvana, Fugazi, and Girls Against Boys, while updating the style and stripping the approach to its essential foundations of lyricism and sonic intensity. NØMADS are a sound that capitalizes on conspicuous juxtapositions- minimal instrumentation against maximum sound; aggression against beauty; soft melody versus an aggression of expression.

Free My Animal, the project’s first full-length effort, is an album about liberation, belief, and being alive, incorporating elements of more contemporary rock outfits like Death From Above 1979 and Queens of the Stone Age. Produced, recorded, and mixed entirely by Lithgow & Macaleavey, it is a meditation on shedding a skin and becoming a predator in the modern age.

Download NØMADS first single from Free My Animal, Blood In The Water


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Battle Worldwide Recordings My 1st Record, My 1st Store

I've been watching them closely it's an interesting lineup of tasties, Battle Worldwide Records label & publishing house a young company run by Darren Smallman who grew up in a mid-sized industrial/university town called Geelong which is about an hour outside of Melbourne, Australia. He tells the story this way,
There wasn’t much to do there in the late 80s/early 90s and like most teenagers, I hung around in town a lot attempting to cause mischief. We had a secret though… Caveman Records. Unlike Brashes (the HMV equivalent) Tim the store owner sold records by The Flamin’ Groovies, Mudhoney, Bored!, The Stooges, Sonic Youth, The Hard-Ons… of course we hadn’t heard any of them before but we really, REALLY wanted to! This was our introduction to Rock ‘N’ Roll. 
This was the place we congregated.
This was the shop we met the bands that gave us our first gigs.
This is where we all found unity in a town where we were different.

My 1st Record, My 1st Store will map stories from each artiste on the label about the record that most influenced them, where they bought it and why it was important to them. Over the coming months stories will be added to the BWR website that will include streaming links and other goodies

Release date:  Record Store Day 19th April 2014
Catalogue #: BATTLE038
Format: Limited to 250 12 inch purple vinyl


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Culling the Couch for Treasures: Wicklow Atwater and the Fallen Flame

Billy Lupton- Mandolin & Vocals
Nick Lupton- Guitar
Ricky Martinez- Bass
Gilbert Montoya- Banjo & Vocals
David Archey- Harmonica & Vocals

Wicklow Atwater and The Fallen Flame is an American band. They formed and remain based in Atwater Village, Southern California. Being born and raised in the same neighborhood all five members have been the best of friends since childhood which has created an unbreakable bond that some describe as brotherhood, in turn this has created a unique energy between the group that you can sense off and on stage. Although its impossible to label Wicklow Atwater as a single genre it is safe to say they play a brand of acoustic music known as Americana which encompasses a blend of bluegrass, old time, country, folk, blues, ragtime, and rockabilly. The group consists of array of Multi-instrumentalists who have been recording, producing and releasing their own music without the aid of a record label through various show earnings and out of pocket expenditures. Growing up with big dreams and humble beginnings the boys have gotten by on a supportive fan base and a do it yourself mentality that goes hand in hand with an old fashion punk rock ethic. The Ultimate goal of the band is simple, to serenade the nation and to live and experience the beauty that this country has to offer through touring and performing on road. With that said Wicklow Atwater and the Fallen Flame does not wish to set the world on fire, they just want to reignite the fallen flame in America's heart.

CXCW 2014 Wicklow Atwater & The Fallen Flame – I Wanna Be Yer Man


Friday, March 21, 2014

Culling The Couch for Treasures - LA's The Tonk Honkys - The Singles

The Tonk Honkys are a southern rock/alt-country band in the vein of The Black Crowes, Wilco, and My Morning Jacket among others. The band was founded in Los Angeles in 2004 by Alabama natives Brack Bradley (from Jasper), Ben Morehead (from Huntsville), and Brian Allen & Grackus L. Ray (both from Mobile). All being from Alabama, they share the eclectic melting pot influences of rock, soul, blues, gospel, and country unique to the state.
They joined in the festivities this year at Couch By Couchwest with a excellent NIN cover of Closer

CXCW 2014 The Tonk Honkys – Closer (Nine Inch Nails cover)

Brian and Grackus knew each other the longest having both graduated from the same high school in Mobile. Moving on to college, they eventually all became acquainted at The University of Alabama through seeing each other play gigs at various bars in Tuscaloosa. After graduation, they decided to make their way to Los Angeles.

Brian was the first to move to L.A. in the summer of 2003, and after a few months of sleeping on couches, he finally found a decent four bedroom house to rent. With the house secured, Ben and Grackus began the long drive from Alabama to Los Angeles. Ben followed behind Grackus as he drove an old, white cargo van packed with all of his belongings and two Labrador Retrievers. A few months later Brack made the trek to L.A., and from the moment they played their first song together, they all knew they were on to something.

After several years of working long hours on various TV shows and films while also playing gigs around L.A., they finally decided to focus their attention on recording an album. In 2012 they started working on 10 original songs that showcase a broad range of musical styles and sounds due to each band member being a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter.

Three of those songs (“Loving Kind,” “Nada Care,” and “From Somewhere”) were featured on their self-titled, debut EP that was released in February 2013. Since that time they have filmed a music video for "Nada Care" as well as released four singles - "Winston County Runaway", Carry It Away", "Around Again", and "Like I Said". Their upcoming, full-length album will be released in the spring of 2014.

Five of the singles are available on iTunes

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Lunar Effect - Solo Release from Jon Jefford (ex DeepSeaGreen guitarist)

Long a fan of DeepSeaGreen after thier swansong album 'The Sunken Tea Party, this solo release by guitarist Jon Jefford's project The Lunar Effect has dangled in my subconcious for a while axiously waiting.
The 5 track EP harks back to a traditional production style with a modern punch and dynamic range.
Hard edged grunge meets Psychedelic, Songs Someone Better with echo laden riffs and vocals and You Come Along poundin' bass line, wild licks and anguished vocals both are solid in yer face rock numbers.
On Getting To Grips With You we're treated too some London style Grunge laced good ol' sky punchin' R&R.  Solitude grooves a 60's LA vibe with catchy verses and jangly to spare.
The acoustic Out of Mind delve's into dreamish beauty with haunting string arrangements and heart pained vocals. Well worth the wait and sent immediately to moblie listening device.

Released 17 March 2014 The Lunar Effect is available via  Bandcamp, iTunes and other major download stores, for lossless audio


Full List of Record Store Day 2014 Releases

The seventh annual Record Store Day will be held on April 19, and with releases having already been announced from the likes of Green Day, Sunny Day Real Estate and the Flaming Lips, the hype has been building. Now, the full list of RSD releases has been announced, and you can read the entire thing at one of the links below.
Visit Record Store Day’s official website for more information.

Culling The Couch for Treasures - Round up the usual suspects Part 1

These CXCW Stalwarts deliver the goods every year, and this year was no exception....Here's ten of more too come.

The End Men - Wolves

The End Men on Facebook

Bluejay – Burnin’ Soul


The Imperial Rooster - Hungover Again / Die From Drinking / The Wage Slave Rebellion

The Imperial Rooster on Facebook

Chris Porter – Angel


Larry Hooper – I Was Wrong

Larry Hooper on Facebook

Huke Green – Queen of the Corner


American Aquarium – Wolves – CXCW Exclusive!

Mic Harrison and the High Score on Facebook

Matt Woods – Angel (Sarah McLachlan cover)

Matt Woods on Facebook

Todd Farrell Jr. – Liner Notes

Todd Farrell, Jr. and the Dirty Birds on Facebook

Culling the Couch for Treasures Part 2 - Emi Sunshine

Back at CXCW for the second year Emi Sunshine is bundle of raw talent that shines brightly, she has a grasp of music well beyond her years and a fantatic future ahead of her, I am so impressed with this busy buskin' young lady I will follow her career intently.  Fluff of the cushions to you Emi....
Some of her songs are availble for purchase on Reverbnation.
A recent Facebook update,
Got me a PO Box of my own... 
P0 Box 254 Vonore, TN 37885
In case you wanna order a CD or 2 they are 15 each or 2 for 20! Also any donations or cards can come just to me not my aunties lol... Sorry aunties!!! Lol

CXCW 2014 - “A Year Times Ten”

CXCW 2014 “Little Black Bird”

CXCW 2013 "Weeping Willow Tree"

CXCW 2013 "Black Sunday"

With a family musical lineage that goes back three generations it's no surprise that EmiSunshine is a natural performer. Like her great-grandmother, Wanda, Emi has the ability to turn on the country charm and entertain a crowd. Like her grandmother, the late Patsy Hamilton, Emi can sing the Lord's gospel with the conviction of a soul who's been on the earth years beyond her age. And like her daddy, Randall Hamilton, Emi can cut loose and have fun with the crowd while she entertains them.

Before Emi could actually talk she was cooing along to harmonies with her grandmothers. By the time she was 5 she'd written her first song. By the age of 6 she'd already performed live at countless churches and festivals around east Tennessee and at age 7 she recorded her first 2 albums, simultaneously, Strong As The Tall Pine and Wide River To Cross in her family studio with the help of her daddy and grandpa Bill.

Drawing inspiration from artists such as Buddy & Julie Miller, Dolly Parton and Sister Thorpe as well as regional artists like Jeff Barbra & Sarah Pirkle, Mic Harrison & the High Score and her distant cousin Kevin Abernathy, Emi strives to write and perform her own songs while also covering some of her favorite artists.

Emi is also a talented musician currently learning the piano and ukulele while continuing to strengthen her vocal range with teachers at Maryville Rock Academy. Her band consists of her daddy on bass guitar and her older brother John on mandolin plus an ever-changing cast of fellow friends and musicians. Randall graduated from MTSU with a degree in recording engineering and currently does sound for several east Tennessee venues as well as owns and operates Hamilton Sound & Recording. As a senior in high school John won a Grammy as a member of the Hiwassee Dam Steel Pan Band. He's a multi-instrumentalist and a true artist himself, who relishes the role of big brother.


Folk Jazz Rock Fusion, Twang Darkly - Modal Creatures

As seen at CXCW,  Michael Futreal's Shreveport, LA trio Twang Darkly does instrumental folk jazz rock fusion music with mountain dulcimer, banjo, harmonica, flute, guitar, gourdtar, bass, and drums. Performing all original material, Twang runs the gamut from foot-stomping to thought-provoking.
Troy Messina - drums
Joel Boultinghouse - bass, guitar
Michael Futreal - dulcimer, guitar, banjo, gourdtar, harmonica, flute
I was really impressed with these guys couch submissions and became an instant fan, they have seven releases since '02 to delve deeply into, the latest 'Modal Creatures' released 01 November 2013 listen below.



Stream Black Lips NEW Album Underneath The Rainbow

Known for their hodgepodge of blues, rock, doo-wop, country, and punk, as well as for their boisterous antics, Black Lips have been making brilliant music since 1999, starting a new rock ‘n’ roll trend in their hometown Atlanta, GA. Three years after Mark Ronson’s produced Arabia Mountain, their seventh album Underneath the Rainbow - is available online & in stores on Vice Records.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Culling the Couch for Treasures Part One - Aron Blue's Bushwick Venue

I don't recall Aron Blue at previous CXCW Festivals, a fluff of the cushions to her for bringing so much good stuff this year Aron truly understands the concept of the festival bringing the masses to the couch for entertainment. Aron is a singer/songwriter and performer, her band is the fabulous Aron Blue & the Bootleggers

Throughout the week the talent rolled up to the camera at her Bushwick venue and delivered the goods!

Aron Blue and Dan Lieberman – Cold Hearted Man

Sharon Stacy – Troubled Mind (Catie Curtis cover)

Buffie Roseanne – Head High

Brook Pridemore – Who’s Gonna Build My Deathray

Kate Vargas – Throw The Devil Back

Julie Lablahblah – Untitled

Shayne Bovell – I Am Getting Old

Catie Vanderbilt – You’re Right

The Takin’ Care Of Business Band – Takin’ Care Of Business (BTO cover)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Surf tinged indie rock - Jargon Party

A true DIYer Zach Lewis falls squarely into our mantra here at HQ. Originally Jargon Party was based in Brooklyn, New York  After a few years of trying to play in different live bands in Richmond, Va. Zach decided to move to New York City when 22 in 2011. Broke he started selling comedy tickets in Times Square. a cafe as a food runner. Jargon Party started out as a five- six piece band but it soon dwindled down to about two. Zach decided then to record everything himself, moved to an Island off of Portland, Maine, playing all the instruments, writing all of the songs, and recording everything himself with Dave Charboneau helping and playing the drums on the album. Lydia Velichkovski also played keyboard on "Internal Clock."

Jargon Party's debut LP of surf tinged indie rock, and catchy ear worms is available on iTunes download three tunes from the album below.

Zach joined us at Couch By Couchwest this year with “Isabella” the lead track from his debut 

Ashley Lennon Thomas - NEW LP Color By Numbers

Lovely, folky, poppy, body melting goodness from LA singer/songwriter Ashley Lennon Thomas extraordinary vocals accompanied by a fantastic ensemble. Big big scrumptious sounds.
John Daren Thomas- Percussion, acoustic guitar, background vocals
John 'JT' Thomas- bass, all keyboards, electric guitar
Paulie Cerra- Saxophone
Paris Patt- bass, electric guitar
Johnny Moezzi- electric & acoustic guitar
Byl Carruthers- electric guitar
Morgan Klein- electric guitar
David Chamberlain- bass
Cecily Gardner- background vocals


Meg Olsen - NEW LP Charade

Meg Olsen released a lush beautiful new LP Charade, sweet country vibes abound, with some spaghetti western flavored twang and haunting vocals and harmonies, and a tickling of the ivories throughout.  Meg’s voice carries weight and draws on the rich history of female country crooners lacing her stylistic approach.  


Monday, March 17, 2014

Rosanne Cash & The Thread Close Saturday Night at Couch By Couchwest how it came to be

This is the prime example of how bands/artists come the the internets oldest longest running Music Festival known as Couch By Couchwest....the people do it
Rosanne Cash & The Thread Close Saturday Night at Couch By Couchwest how it came to be
It started with Kim Ruehl Writer, editor, community manager, folk music advocate

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tumblewild Debut When the World Had Four Corners

Elisa Zoot of Black Casino And The Ghost turned me on to Tumblewild  I listened and listened and loved.
Gregory Weinkauf  Poet, pundit, award-winning writer is way ahead of the curve and has this fantastic piece on HuffPost Blog

What do you get when you mix a founding member of chart-topping women's choral group Mediaeval Baebes with a founding member of chart-topping psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker? It's amazing, and you can hear the results on When the World Had Four Corners, the brilliant, brand-new album, just released, by Tumblewild. The group, currently a duo and set to expand, consists of married couple Audrey Evans and Alonza Bevan, she of lyrics and lead vocals, he of bass, guitar, keys, etc.

Alonza and I have met -- once, in L.A. -- when Alonza was touring with Aqualung (following his work with Johnny Marr and the Healers), and he had just picked up a tiny baby grand piano for the child Audrey and he were expecting. A few years later, that's their Lewis on their new album's cover, posing before the barn-turned-studio the couple have converted to record, among other things, the latest Kula Shaker album, and of course Tumblewild's When the World Had Four Corners. I congratulate them on both the boy and the album, and ask about "Revenge," their new single and video. Audrey picks up the other line and orchestrates.
"Well, I can talk about the video," she says to Alonza, "and you can talk about the song, yeah?"

"I wanted to do a nice, dark, dirty blues number, really," reflects Alonza, "and Audrey came up with a great lyric. We constructed it in the studio -- played everything ourselves on that one. We wanted to chuck some un-bluesy intstruments into the blues soup, like the Indian tamboura, and stuff like that. And even the approach to the drums was kind of a bit more voodoo-tribal, as opposed to the blues thing. Musically it was just a big play on the blues, but mixing up a nice soup."
Audrey chimes in on the visuals: "Well, we live not far -- we're lucky -- it's not far from an old steam train line. It's run by amateurs, so they just do it for fun. And you can pretty much go there and look at whatever you want: you can look at trains, you can get on a train -- so we turned up there. We had some Scottish friends over, and our friend Scott had a camera, and we just did it there and then."
In one day. Not bad! Alonza laughs: "We got a lot of freebies on that one. Normally it costs quite a lot to get a steam train in a video."

Audrey and Alonza name-check Bonnie and Clyde as creative inspirations, which prompts Audrey to share some of her methodology:
"All the songs we do, I can't sing about myself. Every song -- it's not a scene -- but it is inspired by something: by a photograph, or by a book I have read, or by fairy tales. And this one was kind of inspired by Dial M for Murder -- you know, the Hitchcock film. So it's got that, but then you add the bluesy kind of thing to it, so there's a theme to it, a kind of revenge theme.
They both laugh, and Alonza riffs on "Hell hath no fury..." Then Audrey continues:
"But also, the album is kind of influenced by the move we made, from London to this remote village in the middle of the woods, and kind of discovering our surroundings, and living a different life."
"We feel a bit like outlaws here -- now that we've left London," adds Alonza. I ask if they fade in, or stick out.
"We are 'les Anglais,'" he concedes. 'Oh: les Anglais.' They knew -- we hadn't been here more than a day, and we bumped into someone in another village, a few villages away, and we were chatting, and he said, 'Oh, you're the English.' And word had already spread. People around here are super-friendly. That was remarkable, coming from London."

Does Alonza, being Welsh, take umbrage to being called "English"?
"It's funny for me," he declares, "because I was brought up in England, but my parents were both Welsh -- and particularly my father, was very nationalist-Welsh, like they all are, really -- and just had a huge contempt for the English. It was a real dilemma for me, growing up, you know, within that English culture, while also having -- they killed our king, you see."
"It's a funny, schizophrenic thing," continues Alonza. "As Audrey says, I'm only 'Welsh-ish.' When I try to tell her I'm Welsh, she explains that I'm 'Welsh-ish.'"
"Yeah, a little bit of Welsh," laughs Audrey, returning to their change in environs. "It was amusing to come to the country -- we had that kind of romantic ideal of like, oh, lovely walks, meadows -- but we didn't think of, you know, basic things, like plumbing and heating."
"Heating's a problem," admits Alonza. "Nothing to do with the album, but yeah, it's true: They don't have buttons here, or like a little dial you turn up when it gets cold, you just turn it, and it gets warmer? You kind of have to cut wood. You have to work for your warmth."
The work has paid off. When the World Had Four Corners is terrific, already one of the great albums this year. We discuss a few tracks, and I ask if that's Lewis' baby-baby grand on the delicate "Elevator Girl."
"No, that would be cool, wouldn't it?" responds Alonza. "It's actually very out-of-tune, that piano. That's a little glockenspiel -- it's something that Audrey rescued from an old school. It's sad, a lot of the music education of the early years is changing, so they're chucking out all those old little Fisher Price bells, and glockenspiels, and things like that -- but they sound great, they record great." He cites a Serge Gainsbourg inspiration (Hammond organ, et al) -- and lo! there's "Bonnie and Clyde" again. Consistent, these two.
Audrey brings the backstory: "It's inspired by a Robert Frank photograph called 'Elevator Girl.' This girl, that's her job -- that's all she does, she's pushing buttons, and no one sees her. That photo takes that kind of loneliness, and it spoke to me -- so I decided to write a song about it."
Detailing another: "'Lucinda' -- that song was inspired by a book called Water for Elephants (by Sara Gruen) -- they did a film afterwards -- and it's a story about a fat lady in the circus, and the man telling the story -- and that spoke to me -- how they used to 'red-light' people: they used to chuck them off the train!"
Audrey shares her appreciation for Edward Hopper, then turns to a haunting, standout track. "'Sweet Bones' is actually 'The Grasshopper and the Ant,'" she says, and asks if I know what it is. (Pleasingly, I do: Aesop's fable.) "It's my favorite of Aesop's fables, and it used to terrify me as a kid! I thought, 'I really want to be an ant! But I know that I'm a grasshopper at heart.' Actually, I think I married a grasshopper."
The two share a good chuckle. I ask how Alonza and Audrey -- the bass-man and the Baebe -- manage to merge their estimable talents.
"We have very different musical tastes, to start with," explains Audrey. "And being husband and wife, it's weird to work with your husband. I just want to laugh all the time, or I just want to throw hissy-fits -- it's one or the other. But sometimes for me it just works. And I think the will of both of us wanting to do something, and enjoying each other's company, and respecting each other -- like each other's paths, where we come from." She laughs, "But like, when you started bringing the Hammond organ out--"
Alonza rejoins, amused, "You hated it. You hated everything. Anything new I would try, you hated it."
Audrey clarifies: "No! I want to keep things all simplistic -- like, fewer instruments -- I'm a big fan of letting a song breathe. So those were kind of our fighting points: Alonza always wanted to add another thing on. But then, it just worked: we do enjoying doing stuff together. And we do have a mutual love of blues music, or traditional kind of American folk music. And so for that it jelled, it kind of worked."

"Kind of" is an understatement. When the World Had Four Corners is rich and rewarding, an album of gems. We close with Audrey and Alonza weighing in on the art form itself:
"I'm a huge music fan," notes Audrey. "I think I prefer even listening to music to singing or playing myself. But I just can't see my life without music. I guess it's like a natural progression -- I like other things: I love photography, and there's other art forms I love. But music -- I was bathed in it, I guess, from an early age."
"Music, it's true," enthuses Alonza, "of all the art forms, it's the one that spoke to me the most -- the one that kind of moved you the most -- I guess when you're younger it's something that you just connect with -- more than you would with a piece of art, or even the movies or something. It becomes a soundtrack to your life. It's what you project onto the world."
Photos courtesy of Tumblewild

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

#CXCW Artist Spotlight Q&A w/ Matthew & Livia aka The End Men + Live at CXCW 2013 Download

With The End Men partcipating in CXCW for the third year, I sat down on my couch; I don’t know where Matthew and Livia were sitting and asked them a few questions inquiring minds want to know.

Popa: I'm a romantic at heart, and I've read your interviews and love the story of youse meeting, but could you tell it again? You can humor me and start it with Once upon a time there was a beautiful Princess if you'd like.

Matthew: Once upon a time there was a beauuuuuutiful Princess with the magic power to slay at the drum kit! Like a siren’s song my gaze was fixed upon her playing one fair evening at a showcase I use to arrange in Brooklyn. Unlike those seafarers of old however, I managed to survive the treacherous obstacles between my quarry and I, and now, we live happily ever after. How’s that for heart string strumming? In all honesty though, I don’t think it would have mattered how we actually met, because regardless I think the outcome would have been the same. We are just a match for one and other and I think it was really only a matter of time and chance that it would end up this way, no matter how you sliced it.

Popa: And busy you’ve been since, two full albums and a lot of touring, the latest album Play With Your Toys was met with quite a bit of critical acclaim from both sides of the pond, how does that feel?

Matthew: Yeah, it is strange that the album is nearly a year old now. Seems like we toiled on it for so long and now it is nearly ancient history in this modern landscape. It was fantastic to see the response to the album. We really approached it as one complete experience for the listener, you know, get cozy, throw it on and enjoy the ride, and many people have done just that. It’s also nice there were a few stand out tunes that we were able to have flow as singles for a while, and sort of keep things interesting thru the year. But like all art, we’re done with that piece, it’s for all of you now. We are on to the next, actually the next after the next! Hahaha.
Livia: It feels like we need to oil the machine back up and pop the new album that’s on the oven right now! We have received some interesting reviews of the album, a couple of which came from Italy. One of them brought up an interesting point - it read something like: these guys are promising, but their sound still needs lots of work. I personally agree with that. There's a long way ahead of us, and the only way to pave it is learning from what you have put out, and use the experience for what yet has to come.

Popa: I’ve wondered about the single and video release, ‘Work’ it’s quite a timely subject and makes quite a statement (and Livia is quite the Femme Fatale) how did that come about, it was immediately after the album was it an extra song?

Matthew: Yeah, timely hahaha about that… I think those ideas are really timeless, and the song came out of a couple of different places inspiration wise. We just got lucky that as we were putting things together for it to come out you had the Occupy upswing and a lot of political stuff that brought the subject really to the forefront. I think everyone was just feeling that way, or has been feeling that way for a while, overworked, under-appreciated, all of that. But I had a friend point out that he thought we got the video wrong. Instead of lampooning the one percent, he thought it should be motivational for DIY artists, like, work is what we all do and so we got to get back in there, make more art.
Livia: If you knew how much in pain I was in wearing those shoes, you’d look at the video under a whole new light. Haha! But I agree with Matt – the subject is pretty timeless. Most of us are just getting by, and making somebody else lazier and richer. We wanted to impersonate the greedy and the evil. The song was actually never intended to be in Play With Your Toys, but who knows… you might find a little surprise in our next one!

Popa: You’ve also recently become spokespeoples for Howling Monkey Hand Made Guitar Picks and Livia for Dream Cymbals anyone else knocking on the door?

Matthew: Well I rep Howling Monkey after talking with Brian Staebell and sampling a couple different picks he makes. I’m all in on that deal. It seems like such a weird thing for me to be particular about something like a guitar pick, but because of a funny situation, I was stuck looking for something that felt right. The pick I use to use went out of production. So at the right time, he put this pick in my hands and now having used it exclusively for like a year now, I’m completely addicted. It’s a great pick, a great business, a great story behind it. We are working on the “Hendershot” signature model pick now which should be coming soon. I also endorse Malekko Heavy Industries effects pedals. I have a dozen of their pedals, a couple of which appear on the Work single b-side Ratking. Live, my tone is defined by their work. They make some nasty stuff that is just so complex and versatile that you can have like three pedals and make just about any sound you want. My connection Jimmy Archey takes good care of me on that front and I’m sure you’ll see more The End Men / Malekko cross over stuff coming down the road this year. This year for CXCW I partnered up with Commonwealth Amplification for a special guitar amp appearance in the video. I don’t want to give too much away until you can all see it in our submission and in context. The amp worked out perfectly for the shoot, and played it’s part flawlessly in the video. I’m also still working with Michael Himes on guitar stuff. He built my Tele and is about to do some work for me on my Godin arch top. I’m also about to strike up a conversation with Burn Method for some guitar customization. They do this sick wood burning / engraving and painting custom work that I have a Les Paul that is just dying for. So we’ll see.
Livia: Not at the moment. I found Dream Cymbals through my friend Ryan Barclay and immediately fell with their unique sound. I really like their green mentality and they are amazing people to collaborate with. I actually would like to knock at the door of a toy manufacturer and tell him, Hey, why don’t you pass me some noisy toys that I can bang on? I think sometimes real instruments are taken too seriously, and produce sounds that are not unknown yet.

Popa: All things being equal you’re two time couch by couchwest participants, is there a metric that can measure the effect that has had on your fan reach? (plug plug)

Matthew: The 2012 video for Run Away is still one of the most referenced thing that people in the real world throw at us. We use it in booking emails to show venues what we are like full on and live. Fans at shows are always bringing that one up to us saying how much fun it looks like, all of that. Couple thousand views across all the videos we’ve submitted, which isn’t small potatoes. The only metric that really mattered was the owner of the venue in Leipzig Germany, our friend Derek Hedges, pulling in two women off the street to show them exactly that video to try and draw them into the show. That is the kind of response you really want to get.
Livia: Derek and Stoned rock. Seriously, you need to go there if you are in Leipzig. I think the CXCW video from 2012 is still people’s favorite. 2013 was really fun, but a different experience - people in the audience, the outdoors, its length. We like variety, so we will try to always come up with some new ideas.

Popa: The first year Run Away did make quite a splash and last year you set quite a high bar for yourselves with the rooftop concert, are you feeling any pressure to top that, can you even?

Matthew: HA! Well I guess after 2012 they retired our “Most Rocking” award because our showcase didn’t double down on that. Talk about an exercise in over doing it! We had to carry all that gear up there to the 7th floor by hand, no elevator in the building. All the power was coming from the 5th floor via extension cable… it was a day to remember for sure. I think at this point we are just in the habit of going as big as we can come up with. I keep justifying it by how much fun it is after the fact to be able to say you did all this just to make a YouTube video. This year we scaled back the number of songs to just one from The End Men (spoiler alert?) but we are hitting you all up with a brand new unreleased tune and a killer version of it as well, in what we think is a great location… again, I want to give them so much love for letting us shoot there, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise until the video is out!
Livia: you should always feel the pressure! We definitely enjoy that fire, it keeps us on the move. Personally, I am very happy with what we are preparing for you this year.

Popa: What’s next, I know you’ve got some secrets in the works, any you’d care to share at this date?

Matthew: Well I guess we can take this opportunity to announce for the first time anywhere that we are going to tour Europe again from May 5th thru June 2nd, and with that will come the release of a new album! Hopefully! We are working round the clock right now to get that ready for everyone in time to take it with us on tour, so keep your eyes and ears open on that front. Liv and I are also happy to say that starting later this month we will be touring in support of and as part of the backing band for Matt King! Matt is an amazing talent from Nashville who has had songs appear in Sons of Anarchy, Eastbound and Down, tons of other film and TV stuff, and has 4 or 5 of his own records out. It is a reboot of sorts since The End Men have teamed up with Jon Lane and Andrew “Ginger” Archey from the band Godmaker to form his backing band.
So you have this Southern stomper that Matt is, with a stoner metal rhythm section, Liv doing auxiliary percussion duties and myself playing rhythm guitar and mandolin. Like… stomp-stoner-southern-cowpunk… we are calling it GUTTERBILLY at the moment, so get your hashtags ready with that for when we start to trickle things out.
Livia: Second that!! And hey, did you see how cool our saxophone player Matt Elia is!?

FREE Download Live at CXCW 2013 for a limited time or slide this hard working duo some coin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...