28 February 2012

WATCH: Rollins Band live in Huntington, 1999

Rollins Band covering Thin Lizzy's "Are You Ready" at the Gyrationz (Drop Shop) in Huntington in 1999. What else do you need to know?

23 February 2012

DOWNLOAD: The Monkey Knife Fights - The Sound Of a Certain Urgency

When I asked Monkey Knife Fights singer/guitarist Travis, what were his bands influences, he responded, "Not sure, something like melodic thrash." That could give you the wrong idea, but it's somewhat accurate. While frequent moments of fast guitar picking could hint at D.R.I. or Motörhead, it is the poppy but still in-your-face melodies ring of bands like Descendants, Minutemen or Sugar. The music from this Morgantown band is intense but playful and the lyrics are provocative. A highlight for me is the album's second track - "This is Where Words Get Serious." It is straight forward and fast; double bass driving forward its ferocity, but with an underlying melody from the guitars and dual vocals making its sound layered and similar to that of Hot Water Music. Best of all on this album, which was released in 2006, is the overt West Virginia pride with songs like "Almost Heaven, Drunk as Fuck" and "Appalachian Rage." Despite an old band of mine playing with MKF in 2004 at one of the first HYAMP shows, I hadn't heard the band much over the last eight years. (I blame that on living outside the state.) This is one of those album I'm glad this blog has put on my lap.

Artist: The Monkey Knife Fights
Album: The Sound Of a Certain Urgency
Year: 2006
For fans of: Minutemen, Descendants, D.R.I.

22 February 2012

WATCH: Esteema: Your Walk of Shame Will Never Be the Same!

My friend, former roommate and fellow West Virginia expat living in Austin, Erica Lies, is part of some pretty funny stuff nowadays. In August, I posted about her web series Freelancers. Most recently, Erica's comedy troupe There's Waldo has produced a commercial for Esteema, a drug that helps women get their self esteem back after a one-night stand. It is quite laugh-worth, which is why it is currently trending on Funny Or Die. In the video, keep an eye out for the curly-haired Maggie Gyllenhaal-looking Italian girl from Morgantown. That's Erica.

20 February 2012

LOOK: Misfits of West Virginia T-shirt

Dana White (formerly of Holden Caulfield) is taking pre-orders for this T-shirt via Kickstarter. A measly $15 gets you the shirt, while greater donations get you even more including a poster, Holden Caulfield albums and more. Check it out.

17 February 2012

DOWNLOAD: Codesven - A Sense of Coalition

A while back in a post about the North Carolina indie/emo band Blankface, I mentioned a hardcore/punk festival Dana White put on at the Common Grounds. At that same festival was this fellow band from the Tar Heel State, and they were one of the more memorable and entertaining groups of the weekend. Codeseven played melodic hardcore with some hip-hop-punk-metal elements that ring of late '90s Deftones - meaning there's no actual rapping, so don't get the wrong idea. The band, which featured sing-scream vocals from two singers, progressed in style on it's excellent follow-up album Division of Labor. But 1998's Sense of Coalition is still a fun listen for fans of Boy Sets Fire or At the Drive-In, especially when you consider the cover of Don Henley's "Boys of Summer," which was released before The Ataris' sub-par version of the same song.

Artist: Codeseven
Album: A Sense of Coalition
Year: 1998
For fans of: Deftones, Boy Sets Fire, At the Drive-In

13 February 2012

WATCH: D. Ray White - Cindy

I have my opinions on Jesco White and the cultural attention he has received over the years, but I'll save that for a dissertation one day. What I can't argue with is the talent of his father D. Ray White. Here is clip of D. Ray tapping and singing from the documentary Talking Feet.

07 February 2012

DOWNLOAD: Librarians - Alright Easy Candy Stranger

When I asked the guys from Librarians a while back if I could post this album, they were a little embarrassed. They've seemingly put this 2006 album them, but I don't see what the problem is. Though a bit dated and certainly not as mature as 2010's Present Passed, this album has some good moments. Alright Easy Candy Stranger is electronic indie dance rock that brings to mind Les Savy Fav, Joy Division or Franz Ferdinand. Recently, Librarians' Ryan Hizer has been doing Good Sport, a "lazy, lo-fi, electronic" (according to their Bandcamp tags) project that is quite good. But if you want to know what Hizer was up to six years ago, whether he wants you to or not, here it is.

Artist: Librarians
Album: Alright Easy Candy Stranger
Year: 2006
For fans of: Les Savy Fav, Franz Ferdinand, Killers

DOWNLOAD: Librarians - Alright Easy Candy Stranger

06 February 2012

WATCH: Brother's Keeper live in Charleston, 2001

Here is a pair of videos of Erie hardcore band Brother's Keeper playing at the VFW in Charleston in 2001. I sure I was at this show, but I don't remember it very well. I do, though, see a lot of friends including Dana White, who put on the show and deservedly receives words of appreciation from BK singer Mike Ski. I wasn't the biggest fan of the music of Brother's Keeper, but the guys in the band were always incredibly friendly and appreciative. Any band that enjoyed coming to play in West Virginia had my respect, and the members of Brother's Keeper always returned with their future projects. That is what I think about when I watch these videos.

03 February 2012

LISTEN: Living Saints - Living Saints

I've known Living Saints' main man Cody Lynch for many years since his days in the skate punk trio Feet First. He then played in Down Goes Frazier before doing his solo project Wine & Water. I have a lot of talented friends, but I've always admired Lynch's work ethic and ambition. In 2011, he formed Living Saints, what I believe is the first full-time full band he has fronted. With Living Saints, Lynch's hard work seems to be paying off with what is his most creative and professional musical outing yet. Living Saints blends many of Lynch's influences including Leatherface, Austin Lucas or Dinosaur Jr., making for some enjoyably catchy folk punk rock and roll. The production of this record isn't top quality (a demo recording in a living room), but I've certainly given it a number of listens. I hope the band can get into the studio soon, as I'm excited to see what is to come from this pretty promising group from Huntington.

02 February 2012

WATCH: WWF introduces Earthquake as "John" from West Virginia

In 1989 at a WWF even in Wheeling, the Ultimate Warrior and Dino Bravo participated in a push-up contest. To show off Bravo's strength, Jimmy Hart picked a random audience member to sit on Bravo's back. The 460-pound man introduced himself as "John," and said he was from West Virginia. John Tenta, who was actually from Canada, eventually became known as Earthquake, and wrestled in the WWF for 5 years. In fact, I saw Bravo and Earthquake take on Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior in a tag-team in Wheeling the next year. Yeah, I loved wrestling, and never forgot seeing this clip when I was a 8 years old, and how excited I was to hear "John" say he was from state.

01 February 2012

DOWNLOAD: The Union Deposit Road - Tapes

Union Deposit Road is a band I found about via a now-defunct page about Wheeling hardcore. From what I can gather, the UDR existed from 1994 to 1998 in Fredericksburg, Virginia, featuring members from Wheeling. This collection includes songs from the band's tapes including "American Rock Classic." UDR followed in the path set by bands like Lincoln and Hoover using the loud-soft dynamic mixed with sing-scream vocals. A WMWC staffer wrote of the band in 1997, "Intense, passionate, balancing that tenuous line between euphoria and rage. In my opinion."

Artist: The Union Road
Album: Tapes
Year: 1997-1998
For Fans Of: Lincoln, Hoover, Jawbox

DOWNLOAD: The Union Deposit Road - Tapes