We are excited to announce the release of Quitter, the new full-length album from Portland, Maine indie-rock band WEAKENED FRIENDS.Following their acclaimed 2018 debut album Common Blah, Quitter will be released on November 19, 2021.
Weakened Friends dive into the honest truth of being a working musician on Quitter, reflecting on lost friendships and self-worth swallowed up by burnout. Songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist Sonia Sturino is supported by Annie Hoffman (bass/vocals) and Adam Hand (drums), filling out a mature and emotive sound.
Central to the record thematically is the empty threat of quitting music and “getting a real job.” Sturino wrestles with her relationship with music on the title track, shouting “I love it, but it never really feels okay” over scorching guitars. Despite the implications of the title, quitting is not an option for the band. Even as friends settle into adulthood, Weakened Friends find themselves trapped in a fortress of their own creation, inseparably attached to the eternal youthfulness of life in music. In this liminal zone, life passes by and friendships are weakened, and Quitter takes plenty of time to mourn these losses.
The album's title track “Quitter” is out now, as is a music video accompanying the song. The song embodies the album's central theme of burnout in the music scene through chunky guitars and snarky vocals. As competition turns friends into rivals and pressure bears down on songwriter Sonia Sturino, she feels trapped by the time and effort she’s put into her life in music, despite the fact that “it never really feels okay”. This grungy number is equal parts personally introspective and broadly cathartic, resonating with a wide reach of emotions non-specific to Sturino’s individual experience.
Though the record acknowledges a perpetual state of arrested development that comes with being a musician, the band is anything but stagnant musically. Opening themselves up to ideas outside the constraints of their slacker rock sound, Weakened Friends puts the full force of their creative ambition into Quitter. Inspired by watching peers go above and beyond what is expected of them, the band sought to explore each song’s fullest potential, with their most extensive pre-production and arrangement work to date. Incorporating banjo, pedal steel, horns, extensive synth arrangement and a number of non-instrumental sounds such as ovens and camera flashes, Weakened Friends expand on their universe of sounds on their new LP.
Catch Weakened Friends LIVE On Tour This Fall: 9/25/2021 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade (Hell) 9/27/2021 - Columbus, OH - Woodlands 9/29/2021 - Grand Rapids, MI - Pyramid Scheme 10/1/2021 - Chicago, IL - Cobra Lounge 10/2/2021 - Ferndale, MI - The Loving Touch 10/3/2021 - Lakewood, OH - Mahalls 10/4/2021 - Pittsburgh, PA - Craft House 10/5/2021 - Buffalo, NY - Rec Room 10/7/2021 - Asbury Park, NJ - House of Independents 10/8/2021 - Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory 10/9/2021 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall 10/11/2021 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar 10/12/2021 - Greensboro, NC - Blind Tiger 10/13/2021 -Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern 10/15/2021 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge 10/29/2021 - Gainesville, FL - The Fest 12/2/2021 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Showroom 12/3/2021 - Portland, ME - Portland House Of Music
Queen Of My World picks up where BatFangs left off: big riffs and pinched leads, a reeling, rocking mass of guitars and vocals, with hall reverb "whoa-oh" choruses similar to those that filled arenas in the 80s heyday of hair metal. The album is both a reclamation and a reevaluation of a sound that was once a breeding ground for a particularly egregious brand of cock rock dude-bro. Paying tribute to the glam rock and metal sounds of their youth while offering a modernized alternative to an era of music that deified toxic masculinity as a core value, Wright and King represent a new model of Rock Stardom that’s less about the Stars and more about the Rock.
The album's title track “Queen of My World” is out now, as is a music video accompanying the song. Songwriter Betsy Wright reflects on teenage mischief through the hair metal sounds of her youth. Stories of hanging out in the woods, getting high, and generally just doing bad shit are soundtracked with soaring guitar solos and crunchy riffs, opening a gateway into an era of high octane rock and adolescent antics.
Using musical nostalgia as it’s crystal ball, Queen of My Worldlooks back through life’s little moments and sees the mystical within the ordinary. Though many of the songs are autobiographical, at its core the record is a lens into other worlds, gazing into timelines that could have been and childhood memories so distant they may as well be past lives. Underneath the high-octane teenage antics is a genuine tribute to the unique friendships that can only form in the pseudo-invincibility of youth.
Led by Cree Indian Nik Alexander on guitar and vocals, the band is riff heavy, as they were contemporaries of classic hard rock guitar gods such as KISS and Thin Lizzy, while heavily informed by the spirit, harmonics and thematic elements of the indigenous American-Indian communities. Native rhythms and chants are peppered in with the heavy fuzzed out power chords of mainstream rock of the era.
Drummer Alfonso Kolb writes in the liner notes of Electric Warriors:
Winterhawk was more than a band. It had a message. It was Nik’s plan to use the tool of music to bring this message to the youth through his lyrics combined with the type of music to grab their attention. Especially at that time a heavy rock n roll sound was the style he felt would best get the attention of Native kids. The music was loud, strong, powerful and fast. With Native chants and drum beats resembling traditional Native drums. Some critics say it had a 70’s sound, and to some degree it might have. But, there was no 70’s music like this. No music that I have ever heard before. I felt at the time I was involved with a new kind of style. I know there have been other bands before Winterhawk that have had this idea, but I had not heard of a band that was doing this style of music directed toward Native American kids. Winterhawk has its place in the Native American music world. It has its meaning for our Indian people. I recommend that all Indians give it a listen along with non-natives. It was meant for all of us to hear, and to remind us that … We’re Still Here!
We are also reprinting an impossibly rare original t-shirt design Winterhawk produced and sold in the early 80s:
Minneapolis’ beloved indie rock trio Bad Bad Hats has signed with Don Giovanni Records for their brand new album, Walkman, due out September 17. While breathing exuberant joy and her singular sense of humor into every syllable, songwriter Kerry Alexander (guitar/vocals) brings personal storytelling and wit into the multi-layered lyrics, while wailing on bouncing guitar lines and infectious melodies with bandmates Chris Hoge (bass) and Con Davison (drums).
Defined by a balance of sweet and sour, the trio’s music honors classic pop songwriting, with nods to nineties rock simplicity and pop-punk frivolity. Lead single “Detroit Basketball” is delivered alongside a video that charmingly depicts the band’s delightfully absurdist perspective, delivered with the utmost sincerity, as they make their valiant return to the spotlight. Piston’s fans will recognize this song’s title as the call-and-response chant that fills the Little Caesars Arena on game night, but the simple phrase stuck in Kerry’s head, who drew on it for inspiration for this searing power-pop track.
Walkman is the group’s fourth time working with producer Brett Bullion, including their previous two LPs, Psychic Reader and Lightning Round, and the Wide Right EP. Bullion and the band use the studio as an instrument, resulting in their most polished work to date.
Bad Bad Hats Tour Dates
On sale now
July 30: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry
July 31: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry (early show)
July 31: Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry (late show)
On sale Friday, July 16
August 12: Spring Green, WI @ Shitty Barn
September 22: Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
September 23: Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
September 24: Saint Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
September 25: Des Moines, IA @ xBk
October 7: St. Cloud, MN @ Pioneer Place
October 8: Fargo, ND @ Fargo Brewing Company
October 9: Sioux Falls, SD @ Icon Lounge
October 15: Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop
October 19: Newport, KY @ Southgate House Revival
October 20: Columbus, OH @ Natalie’s
October 21: Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
October 22: Vienna, VA @ Jammin Java
October 23: Richmond, VA @ Richmond Music Hall
October 24: Philadelphia, PA @ Silk City
October 26: Asbury Park, NJ @ The Saint
October 27: Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom
October 28: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
October 29: Concord, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire Stage
October 30: Keene, NH @ Colonial Theatre
October 31: Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
November 2: Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse
November 3: Albany, NY @ The Linda
November 4: Buffalo, NY @ The 9th Ward at Babeville
November 5: Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s
November 6: Ferndale, MI @ Otus Supply
November 7: Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
November 18: Wausau, WI @ Grand Theater
November 19: Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
November 20: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
December 2: Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
December 3: Duluth, MN @ Sacred Heart Music Center
We are excited to announce a new art book by TIM KERR titled SELF TAUGHT which will be released on August 27, 2021. The book is available for PRE-ORDER NOW and all pre-order copies will be hand-signed by the author.
Tim Kerr is a musician and artist known for his lifelong contributions to the DIY and punk scenes, as a member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame, hailing from Austin, and for having played in The Big Boys, Poison 13, Monkeywrench, and Bad Mutha Goose. Kerr is a visual artist and photographer, and currently releases music with his project Up Around The Sun.
As a bonus, every purchase of Self Taught will include a digital download card of a new Up Around The Sun album along with the book.
"Self Taught" is a collection of paintings, portraits and collages done over the course of his life, and the work is an expression of the spirit of DIY and creating for creation's sake. Kerr has always rejected the impulse to define art or music by categorizing it into a specific genre and throughout his music and visual art career, has preferred to color outside the lines rather than adhere to any one definition of "art" or, for that matter, punk.
The book Self Taught by Tim Kerr will be released August 27 by Don Giovanni Records, and is available for pre-order now. It will include a digital download of a new Up Around The Sun album, composed by Kerr and Jerry Hagins.