MONDAY: BULLY (SOLD OUT)
Playing upbeat but noisy indie rock with pop hooks and more than a slight grunge influence, Bully is a band from Nashville, Tennessee founded by vocalist, songwriter, and guitarist Alicia Bognanno. Originally from Rosemount, Minnesota, Bognanno didn’t show a great interest in music when she was young, and wasn’t an especially distinguished student, but while in high school, she discovered that her school offered elective courses through an alternative education center located at a nearby zoo, and one of the classes was in audio engineering. Bognanno signed on for the audio courses, and discovered she had a knack for working with recording gear, and was soon working up loops and beats for friends who liked hip-hop. The experience kick-started Bognanno’s desire to write and sing her own songs, and after finishing high school, while studying recording at Middle Tennessee State University, she began working on material and occasionally sat in with local musicians doing recording projects. After receiving her degree from MTSU, Bognanno landed an internship at Electrical Audio, the Chicago recording complex founded by outspoken recording engineer and musician Steve Albini. While Bognanno described the experience as “the most calming, welcoming comfortable environment for me to be in” and called Albini "maybe the smartest person I know,“ she was also short on money in an unfamiliar city where she had few friends. The circumstances prompted Bognanno to work on her songwriting, recording rough demos in her apartment in her rare spare time. When her internship was over, Bognanno settled in Nashville, and joined a power pop band called King Arthur while engineering at Battle Tapes Recording and handling live sound at music venue The Stone Fox. When Bognanno met up with drummer Stewart Copeland (not the former Police percussionist), she decided it was time to form a band of her own to make use of her backlog of personal songs, and with the addition of guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus, they formed Bully. Bully started playing out in mid-2013, and in April 2014, they released their first single, "Milkman” b/w “Faceblind.” By October 2014, the band had signed with Star Time International, an imprint of Columbia, which issued a five-song EP simply titled Bully. After steady touring in the United States and Europe (including festival appearances at Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits, and a string of dates opening for Best Coast), Bully’s debut album, Feels Like, was released on June 23, 2015. The album was recorded at Electrical Audio, with Bognanno helping to engineer the sessions. [All Music]
Sounds like: Strange Wilds, Wild Flag, Weezer
TUESDAY: HOMEBREW EP Release Show
Minnesota rockers Chris Wald and Zach Gonet make up the two-fold rock group Homebrew. The band will be celebrating the release of their first EP at The Entry, with fellow local rockers Remo Drive, The Retakes, and Goodnight Gorillas as support.
Sounds like: Muse, The Dead Weather, Royal Blood
As members of the Beast Coast movement, which includes Joey Bada$$, the Pro Era crew and Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers are part of the new wave of rappers that have been coming out of New York. Rapper AK started rapping at 11 years old and his partner Issa Gold started 6 years ago. Raised together in Flatbush, Brooklyn, they established THE UNDERACHIEVERS in 2011 and have been creating music together ever since.
Join Bobby Raps and TIIIIIIIIIIP for the afterparty in The Entry after the Mainroom show, only $5 crossover from Mainroom.
Vacationer’s Relief, the Philadelphia group’s second LP, is clear in both title and intention. If Gone, the sunny electronic-pop act’s 2012 debut, was about escape – whether through travel, photography or toasted sonic bliss – Relief unspools the strings of our wound-up existence with a cinematic wallop of positivity-oozing pop.
A collaboration between Kenny Vasoli and Body Language’s Matthew Young and Grant Wheeler, Vacationer returns tighter and more powerful after spending the last two years touring with groups like Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Naked And Famous, Tennis, and Niki And The Dove, as well as making numerous festival appearances. “Playing so many shows is probably our biggest influence on this album,” says Vasoli. “Being out there every night with our wonderful fans and on the road everyday with Matt making beats next to me led to a deeper, more immediate energy in our music.”
Relief, which was primarily recorded at Body Language’s Landau Audio Design (LAD) studio in Brooklyn over the last year, is Vacationer gone widescreen. The kaleidoscopic, sampledelic world that intoxicated fans on original singles like “Trip” is still there, but the orchestration has become more muscular and expansive. Lead single “The Wild Life” mixes the influence of The Beach Boys, J. Dilla and LCD Soundsystem into a sonic mai tai. Animal Collective meets Hollywood’s golden age on “Heavenly,” while “Paradise Waiting” catapults the soulful chop of De La Soul into a club-ready summer anthem. “Whether through love, exploration or relaxing, we all strive for relief,” says Vasoli. “It’s just a quick flip-of-the-switch away, and think it’s good to be reminded of that.”
Sounds like: Generationals, Reptar, Geographer
Welcome to 2015: the year of the wolf. Since their formation in 2008, the Bristolian riff-ragers have melted minds with their signature brand of patchouli-drenched punk rock fury. Their live rituals are the stuff of legend: a trapdoor into the cosmic beyond via the uncharted depths of your mind, sound-tracked by the red hot fuzz of crackling speakers and overloaded channels. After wrapping up a hugely successful last year, which included headlining Live Nation’s ‘Download Freezes Over’ tour as well as crushing stages with chart-toppers Royal Blood, the quartet are set to unleash second album Two Hands and excitement in the camp is infectious. […] “We just like cultivating great songs,” says Andy. “You know when a song comes on and you get a kick out of it – the structure’s right and everything clicks into the right place. Whether it’s pop or strange old acoustic ’70s folk stuff. It’s more about writing great music. The way we think about it is like a project of seeing how far we can push stuff, always trying to do something different, going against the grain purposefully. If we do something that sounds too much like something else… we do something else! It’s almost like a scientific experiment to see what is left in rock music that doesn’t sound like it’s already been done!” […] It’s another slice of recognition for a band whose ongoing quest has been to push against everything in the search for their own space… “We’re only really conscious of what we’re doing,” reflects Chris, “and we’re fortunate in being able to play in a lot of scenes, because our music is a marriage of all sorts of stuff. We used to go on stage at 3am at these electronica club nights in Bristol; everyone would be off their heads on all kinds of stuff and go wild ‘cause it was different but had that same pumping sound. We became that weird band you’d put on when everyone was fucked up. That’s where we come from…” And there we have it. 2015. The Year of the Wolf. Or as they once were known, “that weird band you’d put on when everyone was fucked up”.
Sounds like: Black Moth, ASG, The Shrine
SATURDAY: Zombie Pub Crawl’s METAL STAGE
First Avenue will be crawling with zombies. Local acts Dumpster Juice, Impaler, Witchden, and Mastiff will be dishing out some terrifying metal rock tunes in The Entry.
Formed in 1990 in Uptown Minneapolis. Tom Duclos & Chris Rowland - knowing in advance the name “Dumpster Juice” would never leave the memory or taste buds of anyone who had ever stumbled across the stuff - called upon drummer John Bigelow. After consulting with Duclos & Rowland over large quantities of alcohol the decision was made to hold an abrupt practice at Bigelows brother Kevin’s Uptown apartment. Duclos, Rowland, John Bigelow & Kevin Bigelow became Dumpster Juice. In June 1992 drummer Todd Petterson answered an ad Dumpster Juice left at the drum shop he just happened to be working at and within a week Todd learned the entire collection.
Impaler celebrated their 31st year of Shock Rock in 2014, releasing their 12th album, 30 Years & Rising, the previous year. Impaler is a Minnesota horror rock band from the Twin Cities. The band formed in the spring of 1983 with founding members Bill Lindsey (vocals), Michael James Torok (guitar), “Commander” Court Hawley (bass), Robert “Meaty Bob” Johnson (drums), and Mike Senn (guitar). Bill Lindsey is the sole continuing member of Impaler, keeping the band alive for more than 30 years. Impaler has a theatrical show which features fake blood, cages, coffins, latex severed heads and a finale that includes a mock disemboweling of victims. Impaler recorded demo tapes which caught the ear of Important Record Distributors and lead to the band being signed to the in-house labels IRD Records and Combat Records. They released two records with these labels, the first being the Rise Of The Mutants EP (1985), which caused much controversy with Tipper Gore and her P.M.R.C. organization. The record cover was also used as a prop in the cult horror movie Trick or Treat.
Witchden formed in July of 2010 after singer Jason Micah, and drummer Jeff Moen got in contact about a possible project. Micah brought guitarist Adam Alexander Rivkin into the group and Moen asked bassist Andrew Green join. The foursome wrote their first song during their initial jam session. In May 2012, Witchden added guitarist Dinis deCarvalho.
SUNDAY: TYLER WARD
It has been a year of self-discovery for Tyler Ward. A year of change, of introspection and an incredible journey both personally and professionally. In the fall of 2015, Ward will embark on the Yellow Boxes Tour. Why title a tour Yellow Boxes? Because this year, Ward will unpack all the changes he has made and the new perspective he is bringing to his music. It has been a year that has birthed not one, but two new EPs and a worldwide tour. Although this will be his fifth worldwide headlining tour, it will be his first as a solo acoustic artist. The tour will bring an intimate look into the world he has been creating his entire career. Known since 2010 as a social media pioneer, Ward continues to use the familiar formula that has made him such a fan favorite but is now expanding his horizons and exploring different ways of reaching out and connecting with his community. Most of Ward’s early songs were performed and produced in his parents’ basement, which he later turned into a proper recording space. Nowadays, he produces most of his music on the road as well as in his Los Angeles, Nashville and Colorado recording studios. Ward has spent time as number five on Billboard’s Top 100 Uncharted List and was also ranked on Billboard’s Social 50 Chart for several weeks. Additionally, Ward coined the phrase “Social Media Artist’ - which accounts for all full-time musicians making a living through online platforms. This business has been considered the "future of the music industry.” Ward is one of the pioneers of selling and streaming cover songs, legally, on iTunes and Spotify that has established the ability for other artists to collect advertising revenue through streaming monetization. If you have seen Ward in the past you know what a showman he is on stage. The Yellow Boxes tour promises more of the same. It will be more have more insights into an artist who is passionate about and continues to blaze the trail for those around him.
Sounds like: Boyce Avenue, Ron Pope, Alex G
Blog by Gina Reis