After working with the world's favorite underground indie-rock songwriter Jeffrey Lewis for the last decade or so to reissue his classic albums on vinyl were proud to announce a brand new proper full length!
Lewis has a new band name, too, if not necessarily a new band. Bassist Mem Pahl and drummer Brent Cole -- who have been touring the world with him for the past four years as Los Bolts -- are still on board. For Jeffrey, though, it is tradition to apply a new band name to each release. This time around, the group has been re-christened as The Voltage.
Although mostly recognized for his lyrical skills, the secret weapon in Lewis's arsenal has been his slow evolution from DIY folkie in the late '90s to barn-burning indie-rock live sensation- he started out as Daniel Johnston and spent twenty years turning into Yo La Tengo. Bad Wiring -- which was recorded by Roger Moutenot in Nashville, TN -- continues along this trajectory.
"The first thing we did when we got to Roger's studio in Nashville was to set up the gear and play the entire album through, live, like a live set, no stopping," Lewis explains. "Roger got good quality recordings of all of that and we pretty much could have called the album finished right then and there, in one day. But we spent the rest of the week using those live performances as a reference point for how to capture the best possible version of each song, the best performances and the best sounds. So we first showed Roger what we were capable of and then Roger showed us what he was capable of! It was an amazing working method! I worship a number of the records Roger had produced in the past, so I specifically sought him out, I didn't even know if he was still producing records, or where he was living."
As usual, Lewis's song topics are a tightrope walk between comedy and tragedy. The album opener "Exactly What Nobody Wanted" is a passionate tour de force on the subject of great artists that the world missed the boat on. Never entirely specific as to who or what the art or music in question is, the subject is left to the listener's imagination. Elsewhere the relentless and dense lyrical darkness of a song like "Depression! Despair!" is lightened by the camaraderie of the call-and-response chorus: "Depression! Despair! / I'll see you there."
With the endlessly creative musical variety on display from Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage, and Lewis's writing as sharp as ever, we are completely comfortable telling you that Bad Wiring is the greatest album of Jeffrey's 18-year career.
11.1.19 - Kent, OH @ Stone Tavern 11.2.19 - Detroit, MI @ PJ's Lager 11.3.19 - Chicago, IL @ Subterranean 11.4.19 - Omaha, NE @ Brothers 11.5.19 - Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive 11.6.19 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records 11.7.19 - Boise, ID @ The Owyhee 11.8.19 - Portland, OR @ The Fixin' 11.9.19 - Seattle, WA @ Victory Lounge
11.11.19 - Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur
11.12.19 - Eugene, OR @ Wandering Goat
11.13.19 - Arcata, CA @ Outer Space
11.14.19 - Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club
11.15.19 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Cid
11.17.19 - Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space 11.17.19 - Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress 11.19.19 - Austin, TX @ Cheer Up Charlie's 11.20.19 - Tulsa, OK @ The Vanguard 11.22.19 - Knoxville, TN @ The Pilot Light 11.23.19 - Richmond, VA @ Sound of Music 11.24.19 - Newark, NJ - Index Art Center
Out October 18th, Singles Too collects Screaming Females’ complete non-album recordings, gathering together early 7” singles, digital-only b-sides, and one pretty great remix. The download and CD will also feature six cover songs, including the New Jersey trio’s takes on music by Neil Young, Taylor Swift, Sheryl Crow, and Patti Smith. The vinyl version of the album will be a one-time pressing limited to 1500 copies.
The tracklist also provides a roadmap of the band’s progress through 15+ years of music-making -- tracking Screaming Females from their early days playing New Brunswick basement shows into life as a full-time band with a tour schedule rigorous enough that their van earned its own New York Times profile. “On the first single we ever put out, there were mistakes that I made playing guitar that make me want to crawl into a hole and die,” says guitarist Marissa Paternoster, recalling the sessions for “Arm Over Arm” and “Zoo of Death.” “At the time I didn’t know I was allowed to say, ‘Can I do that again and correct it? I was 19, giving it my all.”
On Singles Too, you can hear Screaming Females lay it down at Milltown, NJ’s post-apocalyptic recording-on-a-budget one-stop, The Hunt -- tin roof, flammable mixing board, DIY growlab housed in back of Marshall cab -- AND at posh Los Angeles hit-factory, East West Studios, where they convened with members of Garbage to cover “Because the Night.” The b-sides included here also capture the breadth of the trio’s creativity, with compelling detours and tangents otherwise unrepresented in their catalog, from Sammus and Moor Mother’s re-work of “End of My Bloodline” to the stripped down demo of Rose Mountain’s “Hopeless.” Singles Too is a rarities comp, but it’s a compelling one -- a deep dive into SF ephemera, an introduction, and a history lesson all at once.
Formed in 2005, Screaming Females are Marissa Paternoster (guitar), Mike Abbate (bass), and Jarrett Dougherty (drums). They have released seven full-length albums and toured across the world.
We’ve got an exciting new release out today: trans femme activist Evan Greer just dropped her new single “Last iPhone,” a singalong anti-fascist anthem for the end times featuring Chris #2 of Anti-Flag, streaming everywhere today.
Support independent music and activism by grabbing it on our Bandcamp!
Evan Greer’s pronouns are she/her/they/them. That’s also the name of her new album, the first studio recording she’s released in a decade, which drops April 5 on Don Giovanni Records. Produced by Taina Asili and Gaetano Vaccaro, the songs range from indie-punk anthems about fighting fascism to bluegrassy genderqueer love ballads, and feature guest artists like Chris #2 of Anti-Flag, Bonfire Madigan, and bell’s roar. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello calls Evan “a heck of a guitar player,” but she’s perhaps better known as an activist. She’s been on the frontlines of some of the most notable grassroots victories of the last decade, from defending net neutrality to helping free Chelsea Manning to to pressuring SXSW to drop a “deportation clause” from its artist contract. When she’s not parenting, leading singalongs in a crowded basement, or organizing a queer dance party, Evan writes regularly for The Guardian, Washington Post, TIME, and Newsweek.
Formed in Cleveland, OH by producer/activist Ra Washington, Mourning [A] BLKstar is a multi-generational, gender and genre non-conforming amalgam of Black Culture dedicated to servicing the stories and songs of the apocalyptic diaspora.
In keeping with the pace that the collective that is M[A]B set since 2016, Washington presented a series of song sketches during the summer of 2018 -- one per week -- while the group practiced and toured their debut records, BLK Musak (Glue Moon Records, 2016) and The Possible (2017). The result, Reckoning, will be released on April 6th, 2019 in collaboration with Don Giovanni Records.
Reckoning represents a deep dive into the M[A]B vaults -- a dizzying array of styles, big boy reverb, the heat transversing through love won and love lost, and the tensions that go with living in a world that is increasingly hostile to POC futures and wholly locked in on its disgusting treatment of the poor.
Led by producer RA Washington, Mourning [A] BLKstar features a trio of dynamic singers—James Longs, LaToya Kent, and Kyle Kidd—and an indeterminate number of musicians. The ensemble traffics in a gritty strain of DIY Afrofuturist soul music, balancing hip-hop production techniques with lo-fi experimentation that bathes sultry grooves in darkness, either in scratchy samples or washed-out synth tones.
Out March, 29th on Don Giovanni Records, The Big Freeze is the long-awaited fifth album by New York-based songwriter Laura Stevenson.
gravity is strong enough, at the end of time our universe will
collapse, pulling all of existence back down to infinitesimal size, like
before the Big Bang. But if expansion outpaces gravity, eventually the
universe will be cold and empty--all light, heat, and connection will be
gone. That possibility is called The Big Freeze.
Recorded in her childhood home during the dead of winter, The Big Freeze
represents a pivotal step for Stevenson. Despite her pedigree in the
punk and indie rock scenes, and the occasional inclusion of a backing
band (like the sprightly, C86-inspired pop track “Dermatillomania”), for
the first time on record Stevenson’s voice and guitar are in clear and
highlighted focus. It is a natural aesthetic choice for the musician,
who has often toured as a solo act and who pulls influence from the
great American songbook, and a choice that plays to the core strength
and organic beauty of her writing. And though it is easily the darkest
and most emotionally-devastating album of Stevenson’s career, it is also
without a doubt her most powerful.
Stevenson builds on her own
private worlds with choruses of multi-tracked voices, swarms of cellos,
French horns and violins; orchestration that blooms and swells
throughout each intimate performance. Exploring thematic ideas of
distance and misconnection; worlds pulling apart, aching loneliness, and
attempts to drive out hibernating dormant demons.
opening track Stevenson’s voice insists the listener “lay back with arms
out, all-in, unfeeling,” to allow themselves to sink into a flood of
instrumental sound that thrums between dissonance and resolution. From
waves crashing in an abandoned waterpark on the haunting “Value Inn”, to
the last leaves trembling before winter sets in on “Rattle At Will”, a
creeping sense of isolation and anxious beauty surrounds every song. And
yet there is also warmth, and hope. The album’s third track “Living
Room, NY” tells of an intercontinental love and longing which seems to
have the strength to thrive despite even the most trying and impossible
of circumstances. Across ten tracks, the listener will travel through
the cold night, following after a small but powerful flame burning from
the other side.
Stevenson is a songwriter whose strengths have gone unsung for far too long, but The Big Freeze
is likely to change that. At times you will be reminded of
classic songwriters from both the mainstream and the fringe, whether
it’s Jason Molina, Judee Sill, Harry Nilsson or Dolly Parton. But always
you will be reminded of the power of the human voice (and a single
guitar) to invoke the universe. Or in this case, it’s end. LAURA STEVENSON ON TOUR
2.7 – Gainesville, FL @ Changeville Festival 2.9 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom (sold out) 3.14 – Austin, TX @ SXSW 5.3 – Washington DC @ Black Cat 5.12 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge 5.14 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore 5.15 – Seattle, WA @ Vera Project 5.17 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill 5.18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theatre 5.22 – Boston, MA @ Sinclair 5.23 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA 5.24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade 5.25 – Burlington, VT @ Arts Riot 5.29 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen 5.30 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme 6.3 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry 6.5– Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater 6.6 – Madison, WI @ Memorial Union Terrace / University of Wisconsin