I recently got the chance to sit down with my friend Sarah McCarty and ring in a call to speak with Josiah Wolf of “WHY?” We later got to cover their show at the Middle East which was fantastic!
If you aren’t among the people who’ve had the chance to listen to WHY?, this is your chance so don’t mess it up! The group is off the collective label Anticon, which was started in part by WHY?’s Yoni Wolf.
You can find their music on Spotify, Itunes, and most other music stores.
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing and listening to performances by the bands Root Glen and Good Field. Root Glen and Good Field are small indie bands and the sort of groups I like to think give the indie scene its heart and soul. People too often forget that just because a band isn’t on the Top 40, doesn’t mean it isn’t turning out high quality tunes.
What really gets me excited about rising bands like these are that they’re really in it for the music, art of the sake of art, prioritizing being heard over much else. In Boston, these sorts of bands are everywhere, many local, and many coming in from out of town for shows. To not try and hear some of them is doing yourself a great disservice because when you think that your IPod is all played out and you’ll have to bide your time for the next big thing, you miss an abundance of great music right under your nose! So, if you get the time, checkout some of those smaller venues in city, and give a listen to the bands coming into town, because you’re probably going to find something you really like!
Root Glen is a fairly new project out of NJ and of a genre that even the band has some trouble finding the right moniker for, although at the moment they are leaning towards “groove-rock”, whatever they decide on though, the sound is as awesome as it is unique! They were nice enough to come out to my apartment for the interview and live-set and as we chatted setting up, tearing down, and of course, during the interview, I learned that they recorded a total of four EPs this year, one for each season! That kind of dedication really says something about a band and listening to the music it’s clear that they’re saying we’re all about our music. Their music and love for music is truly the primary focus for the group and the perfect expression of this is their releasing all of their music free under a Creative Common License. So check out the amazing full set they did in my living room and then go to their site and bandcamp over at http://www.rootglen.com/ and http://rootglen.bandcamp.com/ to get the full discog!
Good Field is a project even newer then Root Glen, as the band has been together for only about a year, listening to them though, you’d never guess that. Even more surprising for me, and my housemate Ashleigh who came along to help out, was that we were seeing the band on their first tour! We didn’t find this out until after the show, so watching the bands internal chemistry, one would have guessed they’d been playing together for ages. Good Field calls themselves pop-rock but listening to their record and hearing them live and acoustic, I think that “pop” is in many ways, far from what they are doing. Their sound is extremely listenable and peppy but there’s something to it that transcends what one might normally call pop and as they continue to make music I think that they’ll get noticed as being great and upbeat but also having something more serious backing their sound and the overall high-quality of their music. Check them out at http://www.goodfieldband.com/and be sure to watch the AWESOME music video on their homepage!
Lastly, both of these bands self-engineered their records and I think that’s something worth taking note of. The quality of the recording and the overall sound of the record are greatly affected by the engineering process, so to have two great bands that made their music, recordings, and tours from scratch is a pretty cool sign of dedication and another reminder that good things come in small packages, in this case from Texas and New Jersey.
(Interviews below & photo credit to Jeremi Kajtek Stogniew)
WBRS was granted passes to attend this year’s camp Bisco and after endless scheduling, phone calls to friends with cars, and the eventual drive, attend Camp Bisco is exactly what we did. Abby and I had never been to Bisco before and while we had some idea of what to expect, these expectations were nothing close to the actuality of the event, which draws 20,000+ hippies and ravers to rural New York every summer.
The festival grounds themselves resembled an oversized carnival in many ways and even included a brightly lit Ferris wheel in front of the main stage. There were dozens of vendors and promoters around as well as a seemingly endless pool of friendly attendees who were willing to talk to anyone about anything. Despite the enormity of the festival, the crowds it catered to fit certain niches and this common ground among the attendees did indeed prove the event worthy of the Camp moniker and the insanely large color war game. We were expecting the crowd to be friendly overall but were really taken by the fact that in our four days there, no one in our eight-person party saw or heard about any incidences of violence so props to the festival organizers on keeping everyone a happy camper.
While there was a great deal to do when not enjoying the music, one would have been making a huge mistake to pass on the lesser known performers to shop or laze around one’s tent. The buzz before the festival indicated that things would be more organized, flashier, and fun than last year. I’d read an interview with one of the festival higher-ups to this effect and speaking to friends who had attended the festival in past years, they said that while every year had been great, this one was the best. The performances were virtually nonstop and featured an impressive variety of music from the Disco Biscuits jam band sound, Skrillex and Bassnectar’s bone-shaking bass, solid hip-hop acts from Big Boi and Atmosphere and even upbeat indie acts like Rubblebucket and Yacht. Backstage I got to talk to a number of journalists and performers who also expressed how impressed they were with the event and the way it brought artists from different genres together.
At the festival, I got a chance to interview with Paul Chambers, an engineer from Belgium who leapt from backstage to onstage after showing the people at Soulwax one of his tracks. I also spoke with Adam, who founded a game-changing drug awareness organization called The Bunk Police that without a doubt saves some lives at every event they attend.
Camp Bisco is a great summer festival and one that should definitely be on your radar, as it’s rapidly becoming one of the biggest parties this coast has to offer!
Lastly, after the Crystal Castles set, Abby and I spotted an engineer who had worked at Springfest; we started yelling his name and around 40 people around us assuming he was a celebrity joined in yelling “EVAN!” I tracked him down back stage the following day and he, Abby, and I had a laugh.
As many of us in the Boston area music scene know, WFNX will no longer be broadcasting as a FM radio station and will continue as an online station. While this change isn’t something anyone is happy about, WFNX isn’t going to stop playing awesome music. Last Saturday was WFNX’s second to last Alternatour, which featured Animal Talk and Wolfgang.
I got to talk to Ben Bourgeois of Animal Talk about WFNX and AT. Animal Talk has only been around since last year but they’ve managed to get there name out there through major festival appearances, a Grammy winning producer for their ep, and of course, great high-energy music! Give a listen to their ep over on their ep over at http://animaltalkmusic.com
Last week I went on an outing into Boston and stopped at the Rosebud in Somerville to chat with Ellia Bisker about her project Sweet Soubrette. Sweet Soubrette’s music is modern and sonically diverse, featuring everything from a dancing horn section to Ellia’s trademark ukulele. Sweet Soubrette benefits from more than just talented instrumentalists though; Ellia’s lyricism and tightly sung melodies make for a really exciting listen! So give her record a listen over at: http://www.sweetsoubrette.com
Last week I sat down during my lunch break to interview Phillip Price of Winterpills. Winterpills is one of those bands that as a college radio person in MA, you thank your lucky stars you got said interview and then curse those same lucky stars for the band not being big enough to swat your interview request like a fly. Winterpills probably wouldn’t do much interview swatting, too friendly but at the rate they’re going, they’ll be too popular with too full an inbox to handle all of the requests. Turning out lots of great records seems to have that effect on a band’s popularity and Winterpills, as you’ll hear, isn’t showing any signs of stopping.
I’m far from being the only one with these feelings about Winterpills, and one only needs to turn to the critics at the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, NPR to see happy consensus. Not to mention if you look into magazines and endless blogs the praise just doesn’t stop. What does stop though is you reading this paragraph because you should be busy finding a copy of All My Lovely Goners, their newest album, and listening to the interview! ;]
Interview with Jerry Adler of Wave Sleep Wave! As well as Content from their show with Mighty Tiny and Balkan Beat Box at The Paradise Rock Club.
Wave Sleep Wave has a sound that while familiar does a lot of bending and pushing into new areas and the critics seem to agree with me on this one as well: "An unconventional and immediately memorable sound… this self-titled debut evokes indie rock greatness from beginning to end." — The Daily Vault