24 January 2012

LISTEN: Old Poets - Demo

Time for a little self-promotion as I post the demo from my new band. Old Poets is a new hardcore punk band in Austin, Texas. We formed in late 2011 because there is a lack of quality hardcore in the area. Being a band of older guys who haven't played in years, we just wanted to write music that we listened to when we were the age of most people in hardcore bands in Austin. Since releasing this demo, we've had light comparisons to Right Brigade, Black Flag and Youth of Today. So have a listen, or download it, and feel free to drop a donation. We hope you dig it.

20 January 2012

WATCH: Paul Sturgess: Big Man On Campus

I came across Paul Sturgess via an interview on Huffington Post. The 7'8"-tall Englishman was drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters in 2011. Before that, Sturgess was the tallest ever college basketball player when he was a part of the team at none other than Mountain State University in Beckley. Here's an ESPN piece about him from 2010.

18 January 2012

WATCH: Police try to shut down The Radio Beats final show

Speaking of punk rock, here's a great video of The Radio Beats' final show in 2006. Hailing from Pittsburgh, The Radio Beats was a three-piece punk rock'n'roll band, for which my friend and once-Wheeling resident Steve Anderson sang and played bass. They were a great band with a lot of attitude playing music influenced by the likes of the Devil Dogs and Dwarves. Just as they were starting their at The Rock Room in Pittsburgh for their final show, the cops showed up and told them to "shut it off." Check it out, and if you can ever track down some of the Beats' record, do.

10 January 2012

DOWNLOAD: Connie Dungs - Earthbound for the Holiday

This is the third full-length released on Mutant Pop Records from Eastern Kentucky's most successful snotty pop punk band Connie Dungs. By this point, the Dungs were moving their style from sounding like the Ramones into Jawbreaker territory. There are plenty of three-chord hooks and clever lyrics. Holiday also features back-up vocals from Mass Giorgini of Squirtgun. Having experienced quite a bit of success in the region around Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Tennessee, the Connie Dungs also received plenty of praise in Maximumrocknroll, Flipside and Punk Planet over the years between 1995 to 2000. Brandon Tussey later went on to form the excellent A Radio With Guts.

Artist: Connie Dungs
Album: Earthbound for the Holiday
Year: 1999
For fans of: The Ramones, Jawbreaker, Screeching Weasel

DOWNLOAD: Connie Dungs - Earthbound for the Holiday

09 January 2012

LISTEN: Friday Nights Lights and West Virginia

In October I wrote about Friday Night Lights, and how the first season closed with Bright Eyes' rendition of Daniel Johntston's "Devil Town." It was exciting as a new fan of the show that a song by a West Virginia (and Austin) native had been used.
Last night, with bittersweet emotions, I finished the series. (Best ever.) In one of the final episodes, though, it wasn't football that made me sit up and cheer (it rarely is on this fantastic show). Instead it was hearing Daniel Martin Moore's "Flyrock Blues" playing in the background of a quiet scene between two characters. With anticipation, I listened for the line where he sings, "In West Virginia the water's bad, and there just ain't no peace to be had." I was excited to clearly hear the name of my home state on my favorite show. It's a good song, so give it a listen, but if you haven't watched FNL, do.

06 January 2012

WATCH: Sierra Ferrell - Wet Your Whistle live in Charleston, 2010

A few months ago, I stumbled across this video of Charleston-based singer-songwriter Sierra Ferrell performing at the Empty Glass. I had never heard (of) her, but was impressed by her voice and this song enough to want to share it on here. I believe this talented young lady plays with a band called 600 Lbs. of Sin, who are okay. If I was her friend, I would recommend she stick to the solo gig (and probably try a career in a place like Nashville or Austin) as she belongs with the likes of Laura Marling or Elle King.

05 January 2012

DOWNLOAD: Chernobyl Kids - To Spoil Go the Victors

Around 2000, Looks Like Rain from Baltimore began making regular stops in Morgantown and Huntington. We all quickly became friends with singer Mike Riley and the band. It was Mike who introduced me to this fellow Baltimore punk outfit Chernobyl Kids, with which Looks Like Rain did a split seven inch. Mike compared them to Dag Nasty and encouraged me to book them, but unfortunately I never got the chance to even see them live. He sold me this album in 2001 when it came out, and more than 10 years later, I still listen to it. It's lively punk hardcore that is melodic at times with thrashy guitars and rousing vocals, and brings to mind 7 Seconds, Circle Jerks or AFI. Chernobyl Kids recently created a Facebook page, which leads me to believe they're reunited. So get on this. (Note: cover art by me because my the CD case is at my parents' house in West Virginia.)

Artist: Chernobyl Kids
Album: To Spoil Go the Victors
Year: 2001
For fans of: Dag Nasty, 7 Seconds, AFI

04 January 2012