This week on the podcast, we’re still talking about TIDAL, questionable streaming service Grooveshark bites the dust, and DC finally has their very big-time music festival. Will Landmark save the mall or unleash hordes of angry custies upon our nation’s capital? PLUS!!! We review the heartbreaking final album from Rhode Island’s Brown Bird, and take a trip into the surreal with the latest from sax-man Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire). It’s the only podcast you’ll hear this that features a Henrietta Porkchop – it’s Episode 115 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast.
On Wednesday night, Dustin Kensrue of post-hardcore band Thrice and Andy Hull of indie rock band Manchester Orchestra brought their co-headlining solo tour to Sixth & I, in a format very similar to that followed by Kevin Devine and Evan Weiss earlier this year. Each played a solo set, accompanied by only by his own acoustic guitar. As with that previous show, the synagogue turned out to be the perfect setting for such an intimate performance, giving the artists the chance to showcase their strong vocal talents and songwriting away from the much noisier surroundings of their respective bands.
Although Thirce announced a return from an extended hiatus earlier this year, with appearances set for several festivals throughout the summer, Kensrue also released his second solo album, Carry the Fire, two weeks ago. Much like his earlier solo work, 2007’s Please Come Home, the new record is a departure from the heavier sound of Thrice, venturing in pop and folk directions, which lent itself well to the solo acoustic format.
For a brief period in the 1980s, a musical movement known as New Romanticism ruled the music charts. Artists such as Duran Duran, Culture Club, and Adam Ant were the big musicians of the day, and slick production values and feathered hairstyles were the staples of MTV (back when they played music videos!) and FM radio. In the middle of all of this madness was Spandau Ballet. They usually weren’t quite as flamboyant or outlandish as many of their counterparts, and they didn’t see as much success in the US (despite being hugely popular in Europe). Despite this, several of their songs, including “True” and “Gold” have come to epitomize the decade for nearly everyone who hears them.
This week Kevin sits down with Beauty Pill front-man/mastermind Chad Clark to talk about their astounding new record Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are. Initially conceived of in 2006, the project was unexpectedly put on hold when Clark fell ill in 2007. Multiple life-saving surgeries and a new outlook on life later, Clark and his cohorts have crafted a rare, exploding-with-life masterpiece that sounds as big as the universe while managing to tackle smaller, more personal matters of the heart (often quite literally) with sophistication and ease.
Tune in for a deeply human, moving, and life affirming conversation on Episode 114 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast.
*Photo courtesy of PJ Sykes
A new Waterboys album comes infrequently enough that when it does, it feels like something to celebrate. Despite a career going on 32 years, the band released only their 11th studio album, Modern Blues, at the beginning of this month. The album is a bit of a change of pace for the band – the only time they’ve rocked so hard previously was on 2000’s A Rock in a Weary Land, and in many ways this new album feels like a spiritual successor to that one. The driving guitar and soaring electric organ at the opening of “Destinies Entwined” sets the tone for the album, and also served to introduce the Waterboys of 2015 to a packed, standing-room-only house at The Birchmere’s flex stage last Tuesday night. The Waterboys have always had a rotating lineup – for this tour, bandleader Mike Scott and long-time violinist Steve Wickham were joined by several of the musicians behind the album, guitarist Zach Ernst, bassist David Hood, keyboardist Brother Paul (Paul Brown), and drummer Ralph Salmins.
In 1994, the Manic Street Preachers released their third album, The Holy Bible, a harrowing 13-song statement on human suffering that has often been branded as the band’s masterpiece. Following its release, just before the band was due to tour in the US, songwriter and guitarist Richey Edwards disappeared never to be seen again in what has become one of rock and roll’s more infamous mysteries (Edwards was declared legally dead in 2008). The tour was cancelled, and the album was never toured stateside.
For the 20th anniversary of the album, the band has chosen to rectify this by playing the album in its entirety on a series of US dates (their first shows on this side of the Atlantic since 2009). Monday night’s show at the 9:30 Club not only marked the first US performance of the album, but also the band’s first appearance in Washington, DC. “We’ve never played Washington before, and I’m fucking glad we came,” declared bassist Nicky Wire partway through the show. And DC was glad to see them too, as fans cheered and sang along with songs that many of them have been listening to for years but have never gotten to see live. While the band has been highly successful in Europe, selling out stadium shows, in the US they’ve retained more of a cult following. For an hour and a half in the packed club, though, they seemed like the most important band in the world, with fans who had travelled from all over to see the album make its US debut.
One of the early pioneers of the late 70s British punk movement, Buzzcocks have outlasted many of their peers. They were one of the first punk bands to bring a pop sensibility into the genre, proving that energy and melody are not necessarily the antithesis of each other. Also unlike many of those peers, the band has not been content to simply relive past glories. Although they initially split in 1981, since reuniting in the early 90s they have released a catalog that now triples their original three-album output. Touring for the recent release of their ninth album, The Way, the band – made up of original members Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle, both on guitar and vocals, along with Chris Remmington on bass and Danny Farrant on drums – came to Baltimore last Saturday for a stop at the Baltimore Soundstage.
In our latest podcast, the TIDAL wave of fail continues for Jay Z’s newborn streaming service. CEO firings and cold calls from Jack White? We dish the latest news on TIDAL, then dive into the messy realities of “poptimism” and what it means for you. PLUS!! The gang takes an Ivy Tripp with singer/songwriter Katie Crutchfield aka Waxahatchee, and Escape From Evil with one of Baltimore’s best, Lower Dens. It’s a jam/schadenfreude packed hour of deep feelings, hard truths and a bit of outlaw country on Episode 113 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!
One of our favorite bands having fun; Your favorite 80's jams spaced out and given that special Roadkill "touch"; any given Sunday in our basement.
Why You Should Care:
The guys of Athens, GA's (by way of Deland, Fla) Roadkill Ghost Choir are, first and foremost, music fans. If you follow them on Facebook you can see the ever growing playlist that they listen to in the van. If you've seen them live you know the energy this band brings to their art. Put simply, they're one of the best bands to come up in the past few years, and they're story is just getting started. So what does a band who's opened for Band of Horses, received widespread critical acclaim for their debut album In Tongues and become known as practical warhorse of the touring circuit do in their spare time?
Record a handful of choice 80's covers obviously.
Montreal-based band Stars has been perfecting their own intelligent brand of indie pop for fifteen years now. 2014’s, No One Is Lost, their seventh album, took them in a more electronic direction, with disco beats permeating tracks like “From the Night” and “Trap Door,” and the roller-disco theme of the cover art reinforcing the shift in sound. Yet the album is still recognizably Stars, and sounds more like an evolution than a reinvention. The band came to the 9:30 Club late last year their tour for the album, and returned to the area to play at Rams Head Live in Baltimore last Friday night.