London-based DIY rockers Male Bonding have been signed to Sup Pop for over a year now. If you’ve heard them, then I bet you’re looking forward to their return to Columbus next week. If you haven’t, consider this your fair warning to work in multiple listens to their record Nothing Hurts (clocking in just under thirty minutes) before then.
Last week I caught up with singer/guitarist John Webb, who discussed the record, the band’s recent collaboration with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo and life as Male Bonding.
Everyone has influences when they start making music, but what kind of bands/artists continue to inspire you guys when coming up with new material?
Well, we recently recorded a song with Rivers Cuomo from Weezer. He got in contact with us a few months back and asked if we wanted to have a songwriting session when he was in London for the Reading Festival. We love Weezer, so we jumped at the chance. Anyway, watching Rivers work was very inspiring. That guy is a songwriting machine. He’s the king of melody. That whole experience was a dream come true. Continue reading →
After stopping in Columbus in November, Surfer Blood returns Sunday night for a Benco Presents show with Turbo Fruits (ex-Be Your Own Pet) and locals Tin Armor at the Summit. Oddly, I spent all of last week in the West Palm Beach area, which is the Surfer dudes’ hometown. So instead of previewing the show by attempting to describe their debut using adjectives like “anthemic” (see “Swim,” above) and “youthful” (“Close contact on the couch was fine/Tell me where to draw the line”), I decided to ask singer JP Pitts a few ignorant questions about the Atlantic side of south Florida and what it’s like to play music down there:
Was it tough for a band like Surfer Blood to gig in the West Palm area? To completely stereotype after spending only a few weeks down here in the past three years, it seems like most of the bars are filled with Margaritaville bands, and the “arts and culture” spots are for upper-class, dress-up types?
A lot of the stereotypes associated with West Palm Beach are true. There is a lot of affluence and Jimmy Buffet pride and there are not a lot of young people in bands. However, like anywhere else there is a group of talented and creative young people that are doing cool stuff, you just have to look a little harder for them. Most bands down in South Florida end up playing a lot of house shows and DIY spaces because there is a serious lack of small venues for up and coming bands.
(More about Florida’s lame waves, Willem Dafoe, Robert Kennedy and the awesomeness of Columbus after the jump…)Continue reading →
All proceeds go to Gracehaven House, a Columbus-based nonprofit that raises awareness among young women about the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking and also seeks to provide shelter and rehabilitation to girls who have been victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
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Back when I was a Philadelphia middle-school kid with a mushroom haircut and giant tortoise-shell glasses, I remember getting my introduction to the city’s hardcore scene through a cassette tape by a band called Step Ahead. It was my older brother’s tape, and like most kids with big bros, his music taste became my own, so I’d sneak a listen to anything he came home with. What made this cassette even cooler, though, was that Step Ahead’s guitarist, Dave Hause, went to our school. That tape was my first experience with a DIY band. My brother gave me the evil eye whenever I said I wanted to go to a Step Ahead show with him, so I never saw them live, but I played that tape on my big, spaceship-looking Aiwa stereo often.
Dave Hause went on to play in more well-known hardcore bands (the Curse, Paint it Black), and these days you’ll catch him playing catchy, polished punk-rock (with a pinch of Americana here and there) in The Loved Ones, which now includes Dave Walsh (ex-the Explosion). The Loved Ones released their full-length debut on Fat Wreck Chords last year, and this year they put out an EP called Distractions. (Judging by the EP’s covers, they’ve been distracted by Springsteen and Billy Bragg.) Check out the mp3s above to see if it’s your thing.
I’ve been spending the afternoon listening to Zaza on their MySpace page, and I think I’m equally as excited to seem them too. A little shoegaze, a little Radiohead, and a whole lot of mood make me really interested to see how it translates live. They’re giving away their Cameo EP for free on their website. I posted a direct link to one of their songs above.