Time for you to stream METZ’s ripping new album Strange Peace on repeat, a full week before release (it’s out Friday, 9/22), courtesy of NPR Music’s First Listen right over here… and you too, Canada! Tune into CBC Music’s First Play here now.
NPR Music’s Jason Heller says of Strange Peace, “Recorded with Shellac’s mastermind Steve Albini, Strange Peace is an album that doesn’t need to be explicitly political to make a statement about our current chaotic climate. The opening track, “Mess of Wires,” gallops out of the gate like a malfunctioning industrial robot, a tangle of mechanical riffs and Edkins’ oddly infectious chants. The band’s ability to inject melody into the weirdest of places is most striking on “Cellophane.” Slightly more laidback than the usual METZ song, it’s closer to a garage-rock anthem than a skin-peeling punk rager, and Edkins’ refrain of “How will I know? / How will I know?” is designed to lodge itself in the brain of the listener like some insidious implant….cathartic rather than hopeless — an exorcism of nervous energy at a time when it’s direly needed.”
And CBC Music’s Andrea Gin says of the album, “Their uninhibited, electrifying shows also earned them a reputation as one of the best live bands around…Strange Peace does a good job of capturing the band’s intense live show — from the blistering opener ‘Mess of Wires’ to the careening finale of ‘Raw Materials,’ it creates sonic turmoil and embraces it. You can almost feel discord in the air as you listen.”
Next week, METZ has a Reddit Indieheads AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) scheduled for Monday, September 18th at 1pm PST/4pm EST. Bookmark this page, then ask them anything! No really, the band says you should feel free to ask about “Dogs, vans, pizza, cartoons, movies, doodles, basements, first shows, Toronto, books, touring, ozak, fridge magnets, coffee… and anything else I guess.”
METZ will resume their international tour schedule in support of Strange Peace on September 22nd at Detroit’s Princess Riverboat. The tour currently runs through December 16th. In the midst of that run, METZ will serve as direct support for Modest Mouse on October 10th and 11th. Additionally, METZ will play shows with Suuns (September 29th-30th), Uniform (October 2nd-8th), Protomartyr (Sept. 22nd and November 2nd-8th), Brian Case (November 9th), Drahla (November 12th-24th), and Cherubs (December 15th). All of their current tour dates follow.
2017 METZ Tour Dates: Sep. 19 - Seattle, WA - Live on KEXP Sep. 20 - Seattle, WA - Sonic Boom Records Instore Sep. 22 - Detroit, MI - Detroit Princess Riverboat ! Sep. 23 - Madison, WI - Majestic Theatre Sep. 25 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall Sep. 29 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace * Sep. 30 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace * Oct. 02 - Boston, MA - Sinclair # Oct. 03 - Philadelphia, PA - The First Unitarian Church # Oct. 04 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg # Oct. 05 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom # Oct. 06 - Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel # Oct. 07 - Hamden, CT - The Ballroom Oct. 08 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rosa Oct. 10 - Providence, RI - Lupo’s ** Oct. 11 - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom ** Oct. 18 - Halifax, NS - The Marquee (Halifax Pop Explosion) Nov. 02 - Prague, Czech Republic - Futurum ! Nov. 03 - Wroclaw, Poland - Klub Firlej ! Nov. 04 - Warsaw, Poland - Klub Hydrozagadka ! Nov. 06 - Berlin, Germany - Bi Nuu ! Nov. 07 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen ! Nov. 08 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust ! Nov. 09 - Zwolle, Netherlands - Poppodium Hedon ^ Nov. 10 - Kortrijk, Belgium - De Kruen (Sonic City Festival) Nov. 11 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Le Guess Who? Festival Nov. 12 - Le Havre, France - Le Tetris % Nov. 14 - Nimes, France - La Paloma % Nov. 15 - Bordeaux, France - Theatre Barbey % Nov. 16 - Toulouse, France - Club Metronum % Nov. 17 - Barcelona, Spain - La (2) De Apolo % Nov. 18 - Madrid, Spain - Moby Dick % Nov. 20 - Nantes, France - Pole Etudiant % Nov. 21 - Paris, France - Le Trabendo % Nov. 22 - London, UK - The Garage % Nov. 23 - Bristol, UK - The Fleece % Nov. 24 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club % Nov. 25 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt Dec. 07 - Seattle, WA - Neumos Dec. 08 - Vancouver, BC - Cobalt Dec. 09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Dec. 11 - San Francisco, CA - Independent Dec. 12 - Los Angeles, CA - Teragram Ballroom Dec. 13 - San Diego, CA - Casbah Dec. 15 - Austin, TX - Mohawk & Dec. 16 - Houston, TX - Studio @ Warehouse Live * w/ SUUNS # w/ Uniform ! w/ Protomartyr ^ w/ Brian Case % w/ Drahla & w/ Cherubs ** w// Modest Mouse
Bully’s Sub Pop debut is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated releases for the fall, with early reviews and critics raving about the record’s explosive power and sharp, potent lyrics. Losing will be released worldwide on October 20th, and today the band released another track from the album: “Kills to Be Resistant”. The song deals with the emotional conflict of unrequited love and the feeling of restraint and pushing your feelings aside out of respect for the situation.
Due to popular demand Bully have added more shows both for North America and the rest of the world as anticipation grows around the album’s release.
11/02/17- St Louis MO - Off Broadway
11/03/17 - Iowa City IA - The Mill
11/04/17 - Minneapolis MN - Fine Line Music Cafe
11/06/17 - Madison WI - High Noon Saloon
11/07/17 - Chicago IL - Thalia Hall
11/08/17 - Detroit MI - Marble Bar
11/09/17 - Toronto ON - Lee’s Palace
11/10/17 - Montreal QC - Bar le Ritz
11/12/17 - Boston MA - Great Scott (SOLD OUT)
11/13/17 - Brooklyn NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
11/14/17 - Philadelphia PA - First Unitarian Church
11/15/17 - Washington DC - U Street Music Hall
11/17/17 - Charlottesville VA - The Southern
11/18/17 - Durham NC - Motorco Music Hall
11/19/17 - Asheville NC - The Mothlight
12/06/17 - Little Rock AR - Stickyz
12/07/17 - Dallas TX - Club Dada
12/08/17 - Austin TX - Emo’s
12/09/17 - Houston TX - Walter’s
12/10/17 - New Orleans LA - Gasa Gasa
12/12/17 - Birmingham AL - Saturn
12/13/17 - Atlanta GA - Terminal West
12/14/17 - Nashville TN - Mercy Lounge
12/15/17 - Nashville TN - Mercy Lounge
12/16/17 - Nashville TN - Mercy Lounge
2/16/18 - Norman OK - The Opolis
2/17/18 - Santa Fe NM - Meow Wolf
2/18/18 - Phoenix AZ - Valley Bar
2/24/18 - Eugene OR - Hi-Fi Music Lounge
2/26/18 - Vancouver BC - Biltmore Cabaret
2/28/18 - Seattle WA - Neumos
3/1/18 - Spokane WA - The Bartlett
3/2/18 - Boise ID - Neurolux
3/3/18 - Salt Lake City UT - Kilby Court
3/5/18 - Denver CO - Larimer Lounge
3/6/18 - Kansas City MO - Record Bar
5/30/18 - London, UK - Moth Club
Losing is available for pre-order now from Sub Pop Records and from Bully’s webstore. LP pre-orders of the album from Sub Pop and select independent retailers will receive the limited Loser Edition on clear vinyl with black swirls (while supplies last).
Losing was engineered and mixed by lead-singer Alicia Bognanno in Chicago at Electrical Audio.
Cost of Living LP is Out Now on Sub Pop + International Tour Continues
Downtown Boys use their ferocious energy and powerhouse live shows to unite crowds in the struggle to smash racism, queerphobia, capitalism, fascism, boredom, and all things people use to try to close our minds, eyes and hearts. The band underlines their fearless and steadfast work towards these common goals with every conversation, song and performance as well as the “Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas)” video released today via Univision.
Directed by Eavvon O’Neal, the video opens with a short clip from powerful Cost of Living album single “A Wall” and quickly transitions into Spanish-language track “Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas)”. The video pits emotionally charged live performance footage of the Downtown Boys against a children’s birthday party in Brooklyn with piñatas fashioned after hot-button political signposts and eventually breaks out into a food fight.
Here for you now, is a related statement from Downtown Boys:
“We hope you enjoy this video. Chulas are people who believe in the mergence of our past experiences and what we want the future to be. This mergence becomes our reality, and right now that includes a lot of pain and healing in our community at so many levels. We feel that the recent decision made by the white supremacist faction of our Federal government around DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was not a decision based on economic justice for the USA nor based on advancing real immigration reform. It was based on racism against immigrants. We know a lot of people who like Downtown Boys, come to our shows, or listen to our music are affected by this. We also want to acknowledge the millions of immigrants that were never even eligible for DACA and face criminalization, deportation, and racism daily. We must continue to fight against all borders. Demonizing people of color and immigrants is not a solution. We know we can’t do much, but we can try to get as much information on this out there as possible. We urge anyone who is affected by the DACA decision or knows someone who is affected to look into United We Dream and the National Immigration Law Center. People have until October 5 to renew their DACA paperwork, please read more info on how to get involved and things to know here).
Produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, Downtown Boys recently released their highly anticipated and critically acclaimed third album, Cost of Living, on Sub Pop. Listen here, and buy it here.
Downtown Boys wrap up a National US tour this week with a performance at The Broad museum in Los Angeles, hit stages across Europe this fall, and return to the US for a handful of show in November. Full list of dates and links to purchase tickets are HERE.
U-Men is a comprehensive and remastered collection, which compiles the entire studio-recorded output of The U-Men, plus five unreleased songs, with a 16-page book of photos, liner notes, and interviews with the band. The U-Men anthology was executive produced by Jack Endino.
“Gila” [listen here] was initially available on the group’s first EP, released by Bruce Pavitt on Bombshelter Records. The track would reappear years later on the Sub Pop 100 compilation, and a split single with the Melvins for Amphetamine Reptile’s Sugar Daddy Live! series. Meanwhile, “The Fumes” [listen here] was found on the tracklisting for Stop Spinning, the group’s second EP originally released by Homestead Records.
U-Men is now available for preorder from Sub Pop right here, and is available in the following formats:
3xLP box set housed in a cardboard slipcase with printed inner sleeves + 16-page booklet
2xCD digipack with custom dust sleeves + 16-page booklet
[Photo Credit: Cam Garrett]
More on the U-Men from Mudhoney’s Mark Arm:
The U-Men are one of the best bands I’ve ever seen. They were hypnotic, frenetic, powerful and compelling. It was impossible to resist getting sucked into their weird, darkly absurd world. They effortlessly blended The Sonics, Link Wray, Pere Ubu, and Captain Beefheart. Their shows were loose-limbed, drunken dance parties and no two shows were alike. The U-Men were avant garage explorers and, most importantly, they fucking rocked. I was lucky enough to live in their hometown and I saw them every chance I could.
From 1983 to 1987, the U-Men were the undisputed kings of the Seattle Underground. No one else came close. They ruled a bleak backwater landscape populated by maybe 200 people. They were the only band that could unify the disparate sub-subcultures and get all 200 of those people to fill a room. Anglophilic, dress-dark Goths; neo-psych MDA acolytes; skate punks who shit in bathtubs at parties; Mod vigilantes who tormented the homeless with pellet guns; college kids who thought college kids were lame; Industrial Artistes; some random guy with a moustache; and eccentrics who insisted that they couldn’t be pigeonholed: all coalesced around the U-Men (read more at Sub Pop).
The U-Men were… Tom Price – Guitar John Bigley – Vocals Charlie Ryan – Drums Jim Tillman – Bass (1982-86) And Robin Buchan – Bass (1980-82) Tom Hazelmyer – Bass (1987) Tony Ransom – Bass (1987-89)
NPR Music’s Stephen Thompson says of Cry Cry Cry, “Befitting the creative ambition of the group’s previous LPs, it serves as a full-throated burst of musical and thematic ideas. Goth-streaked album opener “Lazarus Online” pleads for survival and resiliency — “Let’s fight / Let’s rage against the night” — as its protagonists struggle to coexist with the darkness in their lives. “Valley Boy” storms and booms with glammy drama, referencing Leonard Cohen’s death as it waxes weary about the state of the world, while “Incantation” builds from a moody murmur to climactic cacophony. Cry Cry Cry is a big swing, artistically speaking, but it also dodges many of the pitfalls that face artists who try to chronicle an age of uncertainty and resistance without sounding ham-handed. Wolf Parade taps into the sound of modern disconcertment on Cry Cry Cry, but the album’s grandiosity is mostly restricted to the music itself — rousing, urgent, and always seeking out slivers of hope.”
Ask Wolf Parade anything during their Reddit Indieheads AMA, currently set for Friday, October 6th at 1pm PT.
Wolf Parade’s thunderous Cry Cry Cry will be available on CD / 2xLP / DL / CS worldwide from Sub Pop on Friday, October 6th, 2017, and pre-order is on now worldwide from Sub Pop and in Canada from Universal Records via Wolf Parade’s webstore right here. LP pre-orders through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in the U.S. will receive the limited loser edition on creme colored vinyl (while supplies last). There’s also a brand new t-shirt design available for your bundling pleasure.
Cry Cry Cry is already one of the best-reviewed albums of the year, seeing praise from outlets on both sides of the Atlantic:
Uncut says of the album, “Cry Cry Cry is 21st century rock at its most delectably omnivorous [8/10].”
“Wolf Parade have always stood apart from their peers: always weirder, more complex and artier than the others with their dissonant punchy pop and gnarled edges,” says London in Stereo.
Stereogum raves that Cry Cry Cry “is packed to the brim with stray melodies locked between the foreground and background that brighten the surroundings without stealing attention from the main action. Every note is meticulously functional, but displayed with a style of craft that rings miraculous rather than mechanical….The band plays it sharper and straighter than when we last left them, emphasizing economy in their experimentation and a professionalism in their power. It’s a cleaner, clearer direction after those previous albums. Importantly, it feels like a sustainable start to something new, hopefully something that’s here to stay — something this band can hold onto now that they seem ready to charge against everything that at one time had them on the run.”
Meanwhile, Q Magazine says Cry Cry Cry is “A colourful and melodic musical expansiveness… it finds them in rejuvenated form [4/5].”
Slant notes that “Wolf Parade’s latest effort re-emphasizes the contrast between Boeckner’s raspy, emphatic vocal and Krug’s forlorn warble. Nearly every track on Cry Cry Cry starts simply with guitar, piano, or organ and layers in additional textures—horn blasts here, a flurry of electronic effects there—until the songs swell to kinetic, instrumentally dense climaxes [4/5].”
And MOJO offers this, “This quartet’s first material in six years is a shimmering, bombastic blast.”
Wolf Parade’s headlining international tour schedule, which resumes October 12th in Guelph, Ontario at Peter Clark Hall, has been extended through January 24th in Phoenix at The Van Buren. Barsuk Records act Charly Bliss, who are supporting the October 13th-27th shows (select dates), will also act as direct support, January 12th-24th (select dates).
2017 dates Oct. 12 - Guelph, ON - Peter Clark Hall Oct. 13 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Concert Theatre** Oct. 15 - Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom** Oct. 16 - Cleveland, OH - House of Blues Oct. 19 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer** Oct. 20 - Boston, MA - Royale** Oct. 21 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Steel Oct. 22 - Washington, DC - Black Cat** Oct. 24 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall Oct. 25 - South Saginaw, MI - The Crofoot Ballroom Oct. 26 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall** Oct. 27 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue** Nov. 15 - Amsterdam, NL - Melkweg Nov. 17- Paris, FR - Petit Bain Nov. 18 - Bristol, UK - Thekla Nov. 20 - Dublin, IE - Button Factory Nov. 21 - Manchester, UK - Gorilla Nov. 22 - London, UK - O2 Forum Nov. 24 - Brussels, BE - Botanique (Orangerie) Nov. 25 - Nancy, FR - L’ autre Canal Nov. 26 - Basel, CH - Kaserne Nov. 27 - Munich, DE - Hansa 39 Nov. 29 - Berlin, DE - Bi Nuu Nov. 30 - Hamburg, DE - Gruenspan Dec. 01 - Copenhagen, DK - Loppen Dec. 02 - Stockholm, SE - Strand
2018 Jan. 12 - Vancouver, BC - The Commodore Ballroom ** Jan. 13 - Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market ** Jan. 14 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom ** Jan. 16 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore ** Jan. 17 - Berkeley, CA - The UC Theatre ** Jan. 20 - Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre Jan. 21 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory ** Jan. 23 - San Diego, CA - The Observatory North Park ** Jan. 24 - Phoenix, AZ The Van Buren **
Walt Wagner’s Reworks will be in stores November 17th, 2017.
Sub Pop will release Walt Wagner’s Reworks – an album of renditions popularized by the likes of Band Of Horses, DJ Shadow, My Bloody Valentine, Prince, Fleet Foxes, Phoenix, and more – on November 17th, 2017. The veteran pianist recorded the songs live on October 9th, 2016 at the famed Canlis Restaurant in Seattle, Washington.
Charles Darwin said it best: adapt or die. Okay, maybe that’s not an exact quote, but the great English scientist was definitely on to something. Organisms that respond over time to the ever-changing environment are more likely to survive and thrive.
While you may not find this crazy idea in Junior’s textbooks these days, it’s audible in every facet of Walt Wagner’s Reworks. With its distinctive renditions of songs popularized by DJ Shadow, My Bloody Valentine, Fleet Foxes, and more, this live recording of the beloved pianist’s farewell performance shows how three Seattle institutions – Wagner, Canlis restaurant, and Sub Pop Records – have evolved over the years.
When veteran pianist Wagner first landed at Canlis in 1996, the Emerald City’s premiere destination for fine dining was in the midst of significant changes: a new chef, new uniforms, modifications to its iconic building overlooking Lake Union. That required a fresh approach to dinner music, too. “I knew what the status quo was, but the owners wanted new energy,” recalls Wagner.
Although he started out with a set heavy on the Great American Songbook and the occasional pop tune, that gradually gave way to more adaptations of modern fare. “Increasingly I kept working in more new, edgier music. In the beginning my sets were 90 percent standards. In the last few years, I was mostly playing very contemporary music.”
As young staff members recommended new artists and songs, Wagner’s repertoire grew deeper and more varied – especially after the next generation of the Canlis family took over in 2003. Yet whether the source material was Pink Floyd, Prince, Metallica, or the Weeknd, the challenge remained the same: “To distill the vibe on a record, the very essence of a song, into solo piano playing.” Performances as memorable yet tasteful as the cuisine, interiors, and views of Canlis.
One fateful night a couple years ago, Sub Pop CEO Megan Jasper and co-president Tony Kiewel were dining at the award-winning restaurant when they recognized melodies by Adele and Daft Punk wafting through the restaurant and decided to investigate. Canlis co-owner Mark Canlis offered the Sub Pop crew a full tour, and when he pulled out a vintage copy of the ’60s LP Live At Canlis, an idea was born. With Wagner preparing to retire, the time was ripe for a live recording that captured his inimitable gifts in their natural surroundings.
In preparation for the big night, Wagner sat down with Jasper and Kiewel for more ideas. “I wanted them to feed me tunes that they loved and could imagine hearing me play.” Sub Pop alumni Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses were already staples of Wagner’s sets, but what magic could he work with DJ Shadow, Phoenix, or My Bloody Valentine? He had three months to find out.
The album’s opening selection, “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt,” provides a glimpse into Wagner’s modus operandi. “The first time I listened to it, I said ‘well what can I do with that?’” he recalls. “But the more I listened, the more I noticed these signature moments in the song, and through messing around with those and improvisation, I ended up with my version.”
Recorded before a packed house on October 9, 2016, Reworks is more than just a souvenir of a very special evening; it captures decades of musicianship that forged Wagner’s distinctive style. At the age of six, he couldn’t keep his mitts off of the family piano – even though it was stored under a moving blanket in the basement. He studied classical piano throughout his youth, yet kept his playing secret until he’d reached his teens, when he began playing in rock bands.
While learning to improvise and play more rhythmically made him a hit with his peers, his classical instruction made his band the Exotics especially popular with local bookers. “We were one of the only bands that could read music, so we accompanied different stars of the time: Dick and Dee Dee, Johnny Crawford, all these ’50s and early ’60s artists that came to town.” The Exotics even cut a single, a Wagner original entitled “Oasis,” that made it to #3 on local radio station KJR in the summer of 1961.
In the years that followed, Wagner played at downtown Seattle watering holes and eateries including the Dublin House and Plaza Five, and refined his jazz chops. In the ’70s he began working on cruise ships and supporting entertainers like Bob Hope and George Burns. Two decades at Canlis taught him to interact with listeners in a whole new way. And now, flush with excitement over Reworks, Wagner may not stay retired for long.
“This record is totally out of the box for me,” he concludes. “It’s a totally new adventure, and I don’t know what kind of life it’s going to have. If it catches on, I could see myself making a lot more music in this style.”
Walt Wagner’s Reworks will be available on CD / LP / DL from Sub Pop and select independent retailers on November 17th, 2017. Pre-order it now here.
Reworks Tracklist 1. Building Steam With a Grain of Salt (DJ Shadow) 2. I Only Said (My Bloody Valentine) 3. Desiree (The Left Banke) 4. Mykonos (Fleet Foxes) 5. 1901 (Phoenix) 6. Bondye (Goat) 7. No One’s Gonna Love You (Band of Horses) 8. Purple Rain (Prince) 9. The Funeral (Band of Horses) 10. Ever Fallen In Love (Buzzcocks)