The Honor Was All Mine

I was lucky enough to interview Heather Gabel, wife of Tom from Against Me!, for Folio Weekly in advance of a joint art show/ music performance they've got scheduled for Friday, December 17th at Anchor Boutique in St. Augustine. Read the full story here and make sure you check out Heather's kick-ass macabre art if you're in the Oldest this weekend.

Sizzling Chicago Indie Rock From Smith Westerns

•If "Weekend," this uber-catchy new single from Smith Westerns, doesn't set your heart aflame, I don't know what will... New album Dye It Blonde out on Fat Possum in February; winter tour dates below the video; stream "Weekend" here.

Smith Westerns - Weekend from Fat Possum Records on Vimeo.

Tue-Jan 18: Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands
Wed-Jan 19: New York, NY - Pianos
Fri-Jan 28: Nashville, TN - The End*
Sat-Jan 29: Knoxville, TN - Pilot Light* 
Sun-Jan 30: Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506*  
Mon-Jan 31: Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club*
Tue-Feb 1: Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn*
Thu-Feb 3: Orlando, FL - Backbooth*
Fri-Feb 4: Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder*
Sun-Feb 6: Houston, TX - Fitzgeralds*
Mon-Feb 7: Austin, TX - Emos*
Tue-Feb 8: Dallas, TX - The Loft*
Thu-Feb 10: Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room*
Fri-Feb 11: Los Angeles, CA - Echo*
Sat-Feb 12: Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar*
Sun-Feb 13: San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill*  
Tue-Feb 15: Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
Wed-Feb 16: Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
Thu-Feb 17: Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe
Fri-Feb 18: Boise, ID - Neurolux
Sat-Feb 19: Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
Mon-Feb 21: Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
Tue-Feb 22: Kansas City, MO - The Record Bar
Wed-Feb 23: Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
Thu-Feb 24: Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
Fri-Feb 25: Madison, WI - The Frequency
Sat-Feb 26: Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
Mon-Feb 28: Toronto, ON - Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
Tue-Mar 1: Montreal, PQ - La Sala Rossa
Wed-Mar 2: Boston, MA - Great Scott
Fri-Mar 4: Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel

^ = w/ MGMT
* = w/ Yuck


SoCal Surf Punks, South Carolina Chillwave, and Milwaukee Retro Soul

•When it's 20-something degrees out and the wind chill is in the teens, Levi Prairie & company's throbbing surf punk as Gantez Warrior (newly signed to Warriors Of Radness Records) is just the antidote. 

+Tour dates w/ Los Growlers: 
    Dec. 23 - Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar
    Dec. 28 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones
    Dec. 30 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
    Dec. 31 - San Fran, CA @ Hemlock Tavern

•Bedroom chillwave never sounded so good as when Columbia, SC, native Chaz Bundick AKA Toro Y Moi burst onto the scene last year with Causers Of This. Now Chaz is back with Underneath The Pine, an album full of live instrumentation equally inspired by Ennio Morricone and his Palmetto State surroundings. Download the new mp3 of "Still Sound" here; one date in New York with Cloud Nothings in January:
  +01/19 New York, NY Mercury Lounge

•Retro soul doesn't have to come from Brooklyn — take Milwaukee's Kings Go Forth, for instance. Before April 2010, this ragtag bunch of musicians hadn't performed farther away than Indiana. Download a hot mix of "Don't Take My Shadow" here and make sure you show up for one of these sweaty, action-packed live sets:
      +1/21/11 - Double Door - Chicago, IL
       1/29/11 - Majestic Theater - Madison, WI
        2/11/11 - Cedar Cultural Center - Minneapolis, MN
        2/16/11 - The Recher Theatre - Baltimore, MD*
        2/17/11 - Rock N Roll Hotel - Washington D.C.
        2/18/11 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, PA
        2/19/11 - Southpaw - Brooklyn, NY 
        2/21/11 - SOBs - New York, NY
        2/25/11 - Turner Hall Ballroom - Milwaukee, WI
        *with Fitz and the Tantrums


Triple D-Light

Somewhere in an alt-country fantasy land, some grungy kid was flipping through his iPod and stumbled upon the insane trifecta of Dawes, Deer Tick, and Delta Spirit: "Dude, I could listen to these three in a row all day long!"

Then, somewhere in the musical heavens, that wish was granted, when the three respective frontmen for each band decided to form a band called Middle Brother. They're playing a one-off show in Los Angeles on December; Partisan Records will drop their debut album on March 1st; and further spring dates will come.

This pretty much says it all: "In a time when synthesizers and laptops are taking over stages, Goldsmith, McCauley and Vasquez are leading the pack of young rock songwriters who strive to carry on the tradition of figures such as Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen Warren Zevon and Tom Petty. Middle Brother came together in mid-2009 when the three songsmiths realized, after several on-stage collaborations, that they shared a unique vision and wanted to take it one step further, into the studio. Their songs are anthemic, soulful, passionate and confessional."

Peep a video of "Daydreamig" here, and stay tuned here for more information.


Two Ends Of The Spectrum

•First, legendary Canuck comic Bill Hicks: Rykodisc, who released "Bill Hicks: The Essential Collection" in September, have teamed up with blog Street Boners And TV Carnage for a "Re-Animate Bill Hicks" contest. Sounds sacrilegious, yes, but the best fan-created video featuring Hicks' work receives prizes from the comedian's personal collection. And any excuse to go back and listen to Mr. Hicks is an opportunity upon which to seize. Enter here by December 30th.

•Second, in a phenomenal example of local government doing something good, the Pittsburgh, PA, City Council honored Girl Talk's Gregg Gillis by proclaiming him a true patron of the Steel City arts — and naming December 7th "Gregg Gillis Day." Gillis christened  Pitt's new Stage AE amphitheater with two sold-out shows last week. That's Mr. Girl Talk himself rocking the sweet sweater. Download his most recent masterpiece "All Day" here for free.


Monday, Monday

Deer Tick Does Christmas —Our favorite rowdy Rhode Island country-rockers release "Holy Shit, It's Christmas"two-song EP; buy it here, get "Christmas All Summer Long" for free here.

Mon-Dec-20  Los Angeles, CA Troubadour *
Fri-Jan-14    Boston, MA    Middle East Upstairs

Sat-Jan-15    Providence, RI    Met CafĂ©
Sun-Jan-16    Northampton, MA    Iron Horse
Wed-Jan-19    New York, NY    City Winery
Thu-Jan-20    New Haven, CT    Daniel Street
Fri-Jan-21    Philadelphia, PA    First Unitarian Church Santuary
Sat-Jan-22    York, PA    Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center
Sun-Jan-23    Washington, DC    Rock and Roll Hotel
* = John McCauley only, w/ Mountain Man, Guards

•Kansas rapper Stik Figa teams with producer Oddisee to release funky, smoky, jazzy five-song EP, "From The Top." Download it for free here


Let's see if I can actually keep this going

Lots to report in the music world today:

•New doom-wop supergroup Mister Heavenly — Man Man's Honus Honus, Islands' Nick Thorburn, Modest Mouse's Joe Plummer, and Michael freakin' Cera of all people — are on a mission to mystify your minds. Pitchfork story here, west coast tour dates here, Facebook here.

•Jacksonville, FL, native Owen Holmes, who I'm proud to share a masthead with at Folio Weekly, just released an EP entitled "Duettes" under the name Gospel Music. More info here; get a digital copy here, listen to "Automobile" ft. Tracyanne Campbell of Camera Obscura here and watch the video here.

•California bluegrass-punk phenoms The Devil Makes Three have a killer stop-motion video up here.

•And finally, the Bruise Cruise Music Festival is gathering steam. Spend three days drinking yourself silly and bashing your head against the wall listening to Black Lips, Vivian Girls, Jacuzzi Boys, Surfer Blood, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Turbo Fruits, The Strange Boys, and more from February 25th-28th. Peep the Black Lips holiday video here.