MEDIC is Aaron Wagner, Dominick Wagner, and Andrew Black, a three-piece cinematic pop band based in Nashville, TN. With the stadium sound of U2 and Coldplay and the nuanced musicality of Sigur Ros, MEDIC creates an explosive, honest, and inclusive experience for true music lovers.
Rainer Maria If you happened upon the front page of the New York Times arts section on April 13th, 2006, you might likely have been taken by one of two reactions. Perhaps “Who?" Or maybe for the long devoted adherents, “Finally!" There they were, a trio who came up in the idealistic confines of Madison, WI, and the fertile incubator that was the Midwest's '90s indie rock scene, now perched atop a Brooklyn warehouse with the sunset-drenched Manhattan skyline behind them. Momentary conquerors at what would turn out to be the tail end of a decade of trailblazing creativity, Rainer Maria had reached a mountaintop of sorts, and yet by the end of the year they'd be bidding farewell to sold out crowds at the Bowery Ballroom and Williamsburg Brooklyn's now almost mythical DIY haunt, Northsix.
A decade earlier, during the summer of 1995, Kaia Fischer, William Kuehn, and Caithlin De Marrais, collectively Rainer Maria, were getting their start in a college town not necessarily known as a nexus for any scene. That isolation may have proven fruitful as they crafted their own unique sound, spinning raw and tumultuous emotion into introspective rock songs, with literary and philosophical interests and influences that endeared them to many also searching through the underground for their place in the world. A self-titled EP released in 1996 would be followed by signing to the then nascent Polyvinyl Records and the release of their first full-length albums, Past Worn Searching and Look Now, Look Again.
Those rst releases, paired with an ambitious amount of time spent in DIY spaces, basement shows, and rock clubs throughout the US, fostered a dedicated following for the trio while connecting them to other scenes and musicians throughout the country. Rainer Maria, likely without realizing it at the time, were on their way to cementing themselves as an early cornerstone for Polyvinyl, and as ambassadors of the midwest indie rock scene now so revered by later day musicians and fans. In 1999 they moved to New York City, in part to be closer to family and loved ones, but with the added effect of further unconsciously spreading that gospel.
Throughout the rst half of the aughts, Rainer Maria would release three more full-length albums. Evolving their sound as they tightened their craft, the band continued to hit the road with opening acts ranging from Ted Leo and Rilo Kiley to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, whom Rainer Maria took out on tour for the then young band's rst string of East Coast dates outside of New York. By 2006, however, Rainer Maria were feeling the strain of having spent life since their late teens as part of the same band. Collectively, they felt a desire to explore other avenues of living, and so, after a few rapturous farewell shows attended by fans from around the world, Rainer Maria hung up their hats.
De Marrais moved out of the City, releasing two well-regarded solo records of intricate, meticulously crafted pop. Kuehn spent time living in Syria and Yemen, studying and playing music with a variety of artists with all sorts of different approaches and ideas. Fischer studied Tibetan language and Tibetan Buddhism at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University, a journey that brought her into a traditional-style Tibetan apprenticeship and eventually to living in Asia. (During this time, she also came out as a trans person.)
Over the years that followed, offers for shows would come in every so often, but the band were neither emotionally nor geographically prepared to seriously entertain them. Slowly but surely though, they migrated back to the New York City area, and perhaps more importantly, had moved further along on their own personal journeys. So when the latest offer came in a few years ago, the three got together for dinner to catch up and feel out where they all were both personally and musically. While none of them yet felt the allure of the stage, all three were excited with the idea of writing and recording together again, and so in lieu of any new shows, they began the process of writing the songs that would become S/T.
Guided by their shared history as songwriters, and buoyed by their recent adventures and explorations in music and life as individuals, S/T, fits like well worn boots with the spring of new soles. Intuitively written without much post-mortem intellectualization, the album benefits from its origin as an exercise in fun between old friends who didn't necessarily have the intention of releasing a new record when they started down the path.
The lyrics are full of natural imagery, influenced by the more pastoral setting outside De Marrais' window—soil and greenery, weather patterns, and other markers of country life. While sonically, S/T retains and even amplifies the core grit and vigor that Rainer Maria has always had as a band. The album also benefits mightily from Kuehn's hand at production, his first time doing so for a Rainer Maria release. His bandmates implicit trust in him is a guiding force allowing each song to take on its own distinct life without losing a sense of overall cohesion.
In listening, one gets the feeling Rainer Maria were far from the end of their road together as they stared towards the horizon from that rooftop in April 2006, but rather have much further yet to travel.
Sean Tillmann (aka Har Mar Superstar) is an American songwriter / performer who makes R&B / Pop / Soul music. What started as a one-man show in 1999 has grown into a full band revue. Often noted as a premier live act, Tillmann works the crowd and earns his keep with sweat equity. A grueling tour schedule has made this Minneapolis, MN outfit a show not to miss. www.harmarsuperstar.com/
It’s true what they say. You can’t keep a good band down.
For the past 8 years The Creepshow have been smashing the whole world in the face with their brutaltastic mélange of punk, country, psychobilly and good old fashioned rock n’ roll. They’ve toured the world, sold a metric shit-ton of records and blown the faces off a ga-zillion fans…But the road to punkrock infamy hasn’t all been paved with rainbows, unicorns and gum drops. Over the years, the band has been fraught with innumerable hardships along the way. From robberies and wrecks to line-up changes and countless personal obstacles, this band has lived through it all. And you know what? Instead of crying in their beers and whining like assholes, they got more strongerer, more awesomer, more determinated and a whole hell of a lot angrier.
Which brings us to the title… “Life After Death” is the fourth full-length from Canada’s reigning heavyweight champions of macabre, horror-soaked radness. Self-produced with the engineering magic of longtime friend Steve Rizun at Drive Studios (The Flatliners, Dillinger Four, Ill Scarlett, Protest The Hero etc), “Life After Death” is a sonic ear-gasm of debauched delights. Eleven venom-drenched bangers run the gamut of themes ranging from bloody revenge (duh) to unconventional love to the joys of cocktails to defiance in the face of insurmountable adversity and back again. This is the redefined, renewed, resurrected Creepshow at their very finest.
listener Beginning in 2002 as a solo act the band Listener has evolved over the years into a full fledged rock and roll band, and has toured the world over playing their brand of Talk Music. Based out of Kansas City Missouri with Dan Smith on vocals and bass, Kris Rochelle on drums, and Jon Terrey on guitar. With thought provoking stage banter, music that keeps your mind busy, and words that quickly take hold of your heart, Listener is a near perfect balance of what words and music are supposed to be.
Levi the Poet A performance artist and storyteller native to The Land of Enchantment, Levi The Poet has toured his way around the country and beyond with bands and artists spanning the full spectrum of genre, interacting with audiences in hundreds of venues - house shows to universities, dive bars to colleges, conferences, schools, festivals, churches and art spaces - throughout the country, with international performances as nearby as Canada, and as distant as New Zealand. Levi combines advocacy and artistry in a language that speaks beyond words. A language that resonates with life lived, universal. Ever a fan of truth and narrative, he has successfully woven the two together throughout his career in both autobiographical and fiction spoken-word storytelling.
Mister Heavenly “Supergroup" is a title that gets thrown around a lot, but in the case of Mister Heavenly, it's well-deserved. The trio consists of Ryan Kattner (aka Honus Honus of Man Man), Nicholas Thorburn (Unicorns, Islands) and Joe Plummer (The Shins, Cold War Kids, Modest Mouse)
FREE 21+ STIG is an all-instrumental, progressive jazz/funk band from Boston, MA.
Consisting of 5 close friends, STIG aims to bring people together with their music. The tight communication and positive energy shared between everyone in the group brews a raw and exciting experience at every show. STIG came together during their time at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. They spent most of their first year together playing sweaty, overflowing basement shows in Allston, the student filled neighborhood in Boston. STIG’s music is all original and is always written as a group to draw from everyone’s genre-crossing influences.
STIG was invited to play the main stage at the NAMM Music Convention in Anaheim, CA in January of 2016 and from that point forward they’ve solidified their lineup and have been touring all over the Northeast.
They released their first live album, “FLEX”, in September of 2016 and their EP, "Downtown Tom" was released in July of 2017. The band recently completed a successful tour of the East Coast and is continuing to fill their calendar with national tour plans. Be on the lookout for new videos and tour dates from STIG!!
“We want our listeners to enjoy our music just as much as we enjoy playing it. To play music that makes you smile and move with us is our goal. We all find inspiration in many different genres and enjoy making groovy music with the different ideas we hear on a daily basis.”... See MoreSee Less
Fea is the continued ferocity of Girl In A Coma’s Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva, joined by lead vocalist Letty Martinez and guitarist Aaron Magana. Their melodic brand of riot grrrl chicana punk immediately caught the ear of many iconic collaborators, such as Joan Jett who signed them to Blackheart Records. Producers on their debut LP (self-titled) include Lori Barbero (Babes In Toyland), Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), and Alice Bag (Bags), all of whom perfectly compliment the band’s fierce exploration of societal, cultural and gender-related issues. Mixing humor with abandon and English with Spanish, Fea empowers listeners and inspires dissidence. Those whose aim to oppress are in FEA’s crosshairs, and resistance has never sounded so infectious! fea210.com/
Garage Pop Rock N Roll duo Bruiser Queen (St. Louis, MO) blend 21st Century punk stomp with 60’s girl group shimmy. Morgan Nusbaum’s vocals & guitar arrive on stage like a Riot Grrrl but bop to the beat of Jason Potter’s huge, dark drumming. bruiserqueenmusic.blogspot.com/... See MoreSee Less
After leaving a career as mechanical engineer in Boston to focus on art and sculpture, Tristan Shone, the creator and sole artist behind Author & Punisher, moved west to pursue his MFA in Southern California. In the metal and machine shops of University of California, San Diego, Shone forged a relationship with design, sound and fabrication that ultimately yielded AUTHOR & PUNISHER‘s first music and mapped the journey away from traditional instrumentation towards custom made, precision machinery. Shone used his technical knowledge, along with his artistic background to create what Wired Magazine has hailed as his own “special brand of doom metal.”
All aspects of the AUTHOR & PUNISHER sound begin with physical movement, limbs struggling in unison to coordinate a wall of electronic rhythm and oscillation, ultimately conditioned by an organic and loose quality absent of plastic perfection. AUTHOR & PUNISHER performances are a real amalgamation between man and mechanisms. They are direct, physical, heavy experiences that have amassed praise and intrigue from a wide array of audiences. Pitchfork styled him “immediate but mysterious,” Stereogum described his “chilling, unrecognizable form,” and NPR hails him as “a thrill [who] fires on all cylinders”.
NYC trio Consider the Source defy easy description. If intergalactic beings of pure energy, after initiation into an order of whirling dervishes, built some kind of pan-dimensional booty-shaking engine, powered by psychedelics and abstract math, it’d probably just sound like a CTS tribute band. Drawing from progressive rock, fusion and jazz, with alien sounds soaked in Indian and Middle Eastern styles, CTS blends disparate parts into a striking, utterly original whole. Dubbed “Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Fusion”, the band’s music strikes a rare balance between cerebral and emotional, intellectual and primal. A relentless touring schedule has won the band a fervent following from California to Israel, with fans ranging from jam-band hippies and jazz cats to corpse-painted headbangers and prog geeks.
Formed in 2004, Consider the Source features Gabriel Marin on fretless double-neck guitar, bassist John Ferrara, and drummer/percussionist Jeff Mann. Called “the guiding light for his generation of six-stringers”, Marin channels the mystical fury of McLaughlin and Coltrane into wailing melodies, kaleidoscopic soundscapes and boneshaking riffs. With a background in classical musics both Eurpoean and Indian, and an instinct for avant-jazz and destructive metal, Marin’s hypnotic fusion of styles is ever unpredictable. Ferrara’s propulsive, percussive attack, equally suited to simple grooves and impossible chords, can ground the music or launch it into space. His madcap gumbo of slap bass, Indian rhythms, earthy minimalism and complex tapping constantly pushes into strange new worlds, whilst still dropping thick booty-clap beats. Underneath them lies Mann’s rolling thunder; dense rhythmic architecture built from pure swagger and bounce. Half double-bass prog-metal, half crackle-pop Buddy Rich swing, with African and Balkan swirls, Mann’s muscular, freewheeling polyrhythms are the engine fuel for Consider’s multiversal mischief. Even when not improvising, Consider’s music is always a conversation, a roiling stew of dynamic interplay. Each member of Consider the Source alternately leads and follows, spars and assists; in any single song, alliances are made and broken, bargains struck and divorces finalized.
Touring from coast to coast, as well as Europe and the Middle East, has not only earned the band thousands of fans, but has allowed them to perform with a wide variety of well-known artists, including Victor Wooten, Wayne Krantz, King Crimson Projekt, Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Wyclef Jean, Andy Statman, Matt Darriau (Paradox Trio), Oteil Burbridge, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Dumpstaphunk, Keller Williams, George Porter, Jr., Jeff Sipe, Panzerballet (Germany), Eatliz (Israel), Freak Kitchen (Sweden), Morglbl (France), and many others. They have performed at numerous festivals and events, including Burning Man, Gathering of the Vibes, the NYC Fretless Guitar Festival, Catskill Chill, Sun Seekers Ball (Canada), Aura Music & Arts Festival (Florida), Jazz Fest (New Orleans), Head For The Hills Festival & SXSW (Texas), Rootwire (Ohio), and the NYC Gypsy Festival. The band’s latest release, “World War Trio (Parts 2 & 3)” (2016) is available at considerthesourcemusic.bandcamp.com... See MoreSee Less
Nora Jane Struthers has written "some of the most quietly powerful narratives within the new wave of Americana artists," says Ann Powers of NPR Music. The songs that last decades and weave themselves into the fabric of listeners' lives are usually the ones in which an artist lays her soul bare for the world to hear. Struthers' new album Champion, due out October 13 on Blue Pig Records, is built on these kinds of songs.
The 13-song collection is the follow-up to 2015's Wake, which earned Struthers acclaim from major outlets like NPR Music, Rolling Stone Country, and "Fresh Air." Struthers wrote and recorded the album with her longtime road band the Party Line, and the chemistry between her and the other players is palpable.
There’s an honesty and energy to Nora Jane’s stage presence; a vulnerability that is part and parcel of great artistry. In one moment, she joyfully leads the audience in a dance party ... in the next, she lays her soul bare for the world to hear. A performance by Nora Jane and her band is full to the brim with stellar musicianship, unexpected arrangements that blur the lines between folk, roots, and rock, and an audible sense that everyone in the room is having a damn good time.... See MoreSee Less
Take the elegance of jazz guitar as inspired by Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, and Joe Pass. Blend it with the greatest melodies of heavy metal (Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions and Aerosmith, et al). What do you get?
AST (Alex Skolnick Trio).
Known for their sophisticated re-harmonizations of heavy classics as well as quirky originals, AST perform with a depth, humor, and character that enthralls fans across the musical spectrum. An AST concert will quickly achieve legitimacy in the eyes and ears of skeptical jazz fans, while at the same time introduce metalheads to the pleasures of music without moshpits. A 2015 cover story said of its leader, well known for his work with thrash metal group Testament, "Though he’s pretty much a household name in heavy metal, Alex Skolnick is not your average, everyday shredding guitarist. In reality, he defies categorization by musical genre." (Making Music Magazine 2015).
Conceived while Alex was pursuing a jazz degree from New York's New School University, the project came together when he and a fellow student, AST drummer Matt Zebroski, began incorporating metal melodies into their explorations of standard jazz repertoire. Bassist Nathan Peck, a fellow Pittsburgh Native of Matt's, was brought in a couple years later.
AST has been frequently chosen as support act by the immensely popular guitar duo, Rodrigo y Gabriela, performing in such venues as Paris's Olympia Theater and New York's Radio City Music Hall, while an AST tour of the UK elicited the following reactions from music journalists in Dublin and London, respectively:
"A wonderful display of rock infused jazz" (Dublin Concerts) “Alex Skolnick is that rare thing, a passionate, innovative and adventurous guitarist.” (GRTR UK) "Originals & metal covers converted into jazz w highly satisfying results. Sumptuous, technically proficient music" (Egigs.co.UK)
The band just returned from their first ever headlining tour in Europe, and it was incredible. The trio enthralled audiences in The Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria. The audiences were made up of jazz aficionados and metal heads wanting to see what the lead guitarist from the thrash metal band TESTAMENT is up to. Every promoter on the tour wants him back. On top of that, we are now getting offers in from Scandinavia for the next tour.
Now, Alex Skolnick is releasing a new live album with his jazz guitar trio and we are putting together a U.S. tour to promote the release! In concert, AST performs a mix of compelling original compositions, with radically altered yet heartfelt arrangements of Scorpions, Aerosmith, Ozzy, Judas Priest, and more, to standing ovations.
Alex Skolnick (guitar and vocals), Matt Zebroski (drums), Nathan Peck (acoustic standup bass) are stellar virtuoso artists who thrive on playing challenging music in front of their fans. AST delights their dedicated audience while breaking hallowed and, supposedly, mutually opposite music genres. Along with Steve Vai, Kirk Hammett and Charlie Hunter, Alex has the profound distinction of being one of the more successful breakout individual students of uber-guitar-hero Joe Satriani.
The international music press has been overwhelmingly receptive and effervescent in their support of the Trio. Since the debut, AST had had an entire Jazz notes column in Billboard, garnered 4 ½ stars by Downbeat, reviewed by Jazziz, The Village Voice and much more. With a successful European tour under its belt and more in the works, a new chapter is beginning for AST.
Alex Skolnick (Testament, Stu Hamm Band, Metal Allegiance): GUITAR Matt Zebroski: DRUMS Nathan Peck (Maynard Ferguson, Maria Maldaur): BASS... See MoreSee Less