Saturday, October 25, 2014

PLAYLIST: NN Presents A Soundtrack To Fall In Louisville

Everyone appreciates a good playlist, especially Day of the Dead's Bub.
Autumn is my favorite season, and it's officially in full effect. To celebrate this most excellent time of year, we created a 50-song playlist utilizing songs from homegrown Louisville bands that remind us of Fall. For best results, listen to this playlist while raking leaves, carving pumpkins, growing beards, over-eating, and/or drinking your favorite pumpkin ale.  

It should be noted that this playlist was created on Spotify, and a lot of our favorite Louisville-centric bands don't have their music available there. So before you tell us about how we left off your favorite Bodyhammer song, they aren't on Spotify (which is stupid, I know). Anyway, click here to listen to it on Spotify or stream it below:


Friday, October 24, 2014

LISTEN: Satellite Twin - "A Tower in the Right Flood"


Satellite Twin where were you when I was 18? I would've absolutely loved the shit out of this then, which is not to say that I don't enjoy it now. A throw back to what proved, at least to me, to be my formative years, like Fugazi or The Archers of Loaf as filtered through, I don't know... Elliott maybe? There is definitely a careful attention paid to each track, one that is certainly a product of experience. If not that, then the illusion of such is so powerful that I would believe this to be their tenth release.

Of course it's not. This is their first release since Tidal, which we here at Never Nervous took a real shine to. It's been a while, but given the work put into this EP, it seems like it was worth the wait. There is definitely a post hardcore vibe here, albeit one influenced equally by the aforementioned acts as the sublime ambient drone of shoegaze. The closer "Weapons," plays at first like a long lost My Bloody Valentine or perhaps Bowery Electric track, until about the midway mark, when an especially Meddle-era Pink Floyd riff comes in. This is all to say that this is post-hardcore by way of prog rock, and it's a stronger effort for it, and well worth your listen.

Stop reading this and just listen to it already. Jeez.

LISTEN: Ted Tyro - "Graham Patrol"


Ted Tyro make some of the most sublime anti-pop in the city, a kind of no wave, but somehow no abrasive take on music, that borrows from all sorts of places. With "Graham Patrol," their newest single, I hear plenty of Camberwell Now or Flaming Tune, both post This Heat projects which were equally fresh and unique. So know that there is a little dub influence going on here, and some relatively straight forward pop components, but a bit fractured and scattered, like an ephemeral smattering of sounds that coheres into one cohesive thought before fading away into the background. Per usual, Ted Tyro makes the most of what is clearly a limited sonic palette, although the less-is-more aesthetic has always seemed to work for them and certainly still does here. Its a nice and subtle way to kick off your day, and hopefully a sign of what's more to come.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

R.I.P. XOX


Yesterday, I was going to report that XOX called it a day, but was unable to do so, because of "Dad Stuff." I think that Dad Stuff is a serious excuse that I get to use from now on, and I'm happy to report that I rather like this Dad Stuff, even if I miss out on a good scoop. Or in this case a bad one.

I liked XOX. I only caught them once, but I was really looking forward to catching them again soon. I know that they were going in a really bizarre and exciting direction. With the loss of their guitarist, XOX went from Dischord meets Touch And Go style indie, to, well, something a lot more difficult to describe, which is something I appreciate since I describe music all the time. That they opted to not replace the guitar with another guitar is ballsy for an indie rock band, or at least by my standards, given that our culture so favors the instrument. Swirling and atmospheric, it was without apt comparison, and Louisville has lost out on something destined for greatness.

The silver lining is that bassist and founding member Bradley Coomes has apparently already found a home in a new band, although the details of that are still lost to the ether. You'd better fucking believe I'll report about it once more information becomes available though. Unless some Dad Stuff comes up, then just expect to hear about it in a day or two, possibly written while I'm in the bathroom or at a stop light. I'm a loose cannon like that.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

INTERVIEW: The Fervor's Natalie Felker talks about the reissue of "Bleeder" and more!

Photo by Natalie Biesel
For me, the special ingredient behind what makes indie rock band The Fervor great is the powerful voice belonging to Natalie Felker. Her vocals featured on their 2011 record Arise, Great Warrior are gritty and beautiful with a no-nonsense attitude behind them. At times she comes at you like a pissed off Nico, and holy shit it sounds awesome. If you haven't heard AGW, do yourself a favor and listen to it here (thank me later).

More recently (sort of) The Fervor has reissued a record I previously didn't know existed called Bleeder. It was quietly released originally back in 2007, but the fine folks at Karate Body Records have taken it upon themselves to bring it back to life. Listen to the first song from the record called "Moment of Truth" below. Much like the music heard on AGW, it's pretty straight forward rock that hugely benefits from Felker's badass voice:


The reissue of Bleeder is now available as a 13-song CD and also as a digital download; buy the album here. To get a little more information on this re-issue we reached out to Natalie, and she was kind enough answer a few questions about the current state of The Fervor, the re-release of Bleeder, and more...

Never Nervous: Talk about the re-release of Bleeder. What was the motivation behind the reissue?

Natalie Felker: The album wasn’t available anymore. Mat approached us about reissuing it through KBR, and we were excited about it. We added three songs previously only available as singles, mastered by our friend Shelley Anderson at Black Lab Mastering.


NN: How would you describe The Fervor to someone that has never heard of you?

NF: Southern moody folk rock with pop sensibilities and a dark sense of humor.


NN: If you had to recommend one song from The Fervor to someone that has never heard you, what would it be, and why?

NF: "Yellowwood." It’s one of my favorite recordings we’ve done.


NN: As a vocalist and lyricist, are there any direct inspirations you draw from, whether they be music-related or not?

As a vocalist, I shoot for Aretha Franklin and hit somewhere closer to Neil Young. I like voices that are honest, not just technically good, that serve the voice of the singer. As a lyricist, nothing is quite as inspiring to me as a quiet morning and hot cup of coffee. That might sound boring, but it’s the best time for me to gather my thoughts and write.


NN: Moving forward, what does the future hold for The Fervor? Are there plans for a new record?

NF: Yes, we’ve been writing and recording over the last year. We hope to release something by summer or fall of next year.


NN: What was it like playing SXSW? Did anything interesting happen?

NF: We went in 2011. It was a lot of fun. We played early in the week, then we were able to enjoy the rest of the festival. We also played a PRF party that was a good time.


NN: Does it ever get awkward being in a band with your husband?

NF: Sure, doesn’t being in a band with anyone get awkward at some point? The Fervor started ten years ago this January, but Ben and I played in other bands together for years before that. It seems to work alright for us.


NN: As a lady, what’s it like being in a band with all dudes?

NF: I haven’t always been the only woman in the band. Meredith Noel was the bassist on the original Bleeder album and played with us from 2006-2007. We also did a bunch of shows with Cheyenne Mize on violin and backing vocals from 2007-2008. Last year, we gained MaryLiz Guillemi on guitar, vocals and the occasional percussion and keys. It’s been awesome having that extra layer of sound, and now on the occasion when we practice without her we feel a little naked. But yeah, for several years I was the only woman. It wasn’t really an issue. I’m not all that lady-like, and I grew up with brothers and lots of boy cousins, so I’m pretty used to it.


NN: Talk about the last show you went to in Louisville. How’d it go? Did it start on time? Did the bands sound good? Was it a good experience?

NF: I went to the Louisville Outskirts Festival at The New Vintage Showcase last weekend. It was really well-organized and the stage was backlined, so everything ran smoothly. I remember how years ago, everything started late. Doors at 8? Opener goes on at 10:30. These days it seems like the people putting on shows in town are running things a lot better. Anyway, the bands at the festival were pretty diverse and sounded great. I really enjoyed Shannon Wright, who was backed by Louisvillian rhythm powerhouse Kyle Crabtree and Todd Cook.


NN: If you had to recommend a record store to an out-of-towner friend, which one would it be, and why?

NF: We have a variety of cool record stores to choose from, depending on the neighborhood they’re visiting. There’s Astro Black or Greenhaus in Germantown, Please and Thank You in Nulu, Matt Anthony’s Record Shop and Guestroom Records in Clifton, Better Days in the Highlands. You can’t lose.


NN: Talk about one or two of your favorite horror movies. It is October, after all.

NF: I watch the original Halloween from 1978 with Jamie Lee Curtis almost every October. The 1983 classic Sleepaway Camp is also an old favorite. I tend to prefer the horror movies of my youth, prior to today’s special effects and glamour.


NN: Before you go, talk about your favorite record of 2014 so far.

NF: Wussy - Attica. They’re one of my favorite contemporary bands ever. We’ve had the pleasure of playing many shows with these guys over the years, and it’s been inspiring to see them grow and change and continue to put out powerful records. I think this is one of the best things they’ve done yet.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

RECORD STORE DAY Releases BLACK FRIDAY List of Releases!


Record collectors rejoice! The fine folks behind Record Store Day have released the full list of limited release records that will hit the streets on Black Friday! Records I'll be searching for include confined releases from the likes of David Bowie, CHVRCHES, Death Grips, Jenny Lewis, STRFKR, and many, many more! Check out the full list of releases here.

Record stores that will be participating in this year's Black Friday event (8/28) include Astro Black, Better Days, Guestroom, Modern Cult, and Underground Sounds. While there is no guarantee behind what records will end up at what record shops, there without a doubt will be plenty of festivities to celebrate the release of these records... as soon as we hear more, we'll fill you in! Until then, celebrate like you just won a huge poker hand, like this guy:

INTERVIEW: Dope Body's Zachary Utz on the Inherent Bro-Ness of their Name, the State of the Baltimore scene, and Eternal Ollies!

Pictured above: Dope Body isn't afraid to jump onto laptops!
Drag City artists Dope Body make some truly mutated music, like the bastard child of Arab on Radar and old Man or Astroman? on cocaine. Or something like that. I don't know all that much about drugs or any of that stuff, but this sounds like the dirtiest garage rendition of surf music as filtered through the noisy clutter of no-wave. But that doesn't mean that Dope Body aren't catchy, a magic trick given their predilection to bouts of feedback, the ferocious guitar heavy passages that give each track their meat, or the often visceral vocal attack, that sounds sung through a mega phone. Yeah, they still somehow manage to sound poppy in spite of all that, which makes them worth your listen. We typed words at guitarist Zachary Utz and he was kind of enough to talk to us about how they describe their sound, the stress of touring, and eternal ollies. Check them out tonight with Jeff the Brotherhood and Diarrhea Planet at Zanzabar.

Never Nervous: Tell us your origin story. How did the band come together?

Zachary Utz: We started playing together at the very end of 2008 (can't believe it's been 6 years now!). There weren't any intentions, which I guess is always the best way to start anything. It's like we were about to go out on a date but we didn't all just only want to fuck each other before the date happened so there wasn't any weirdness to work through afterwards. Just some friends hanging out. I don't know, we just started jamming on some super fast noisy shit and whatever came out was a viable "song". Those early songs are still some of my faves honestly.

NN: What's the name about? Feel free to lie about this, but if you do, please incorporate time travel and/or dinosaurs.


ZU: What's in a name? Is it allowed to just be a bullshit name? Because that's what it is. Our name is fucked. It makes people think about ripped dudes. Andrew is actually ripped. I just started going to the gym! Not sure if that's an unconscious decision to embrace our name being about being ripped. It's like as hard as we try, we can't get away from bro-ness. But we aren't really trying at all. Shit, oh well. I think we wanted something you could Google and nothing else would come up before it. Honestly that's all bands should be thinking about in names honestly. Names are shit for the most part. There's been a few good ones I suppose.

NN: Is there an objective truth to your music, be it the name of the band, they lyrics, or even any of the music? Should there ever be in art?

ZU: There is no truth here other than that one day this band won't exist anymore and that music or any thing you believe in is not worth killing anyone over, including yourself.

NN: How would you describe your band to old people? I'm assuming you all play a lot of retirement homes or Bob Evans', and figure you have plenty of experience and all.

ZU: I always just say we play rock music. That's all old people understand. They are super limited in their limited understanding of culture.  No country for old men in our music at all. I'm kind of jealous of that though. I wish all I had to know is rock music! Nowadays there's all this new shit: techno, noise, rap, ambient etc etc blah blah. I really identify with old people honestly, shit was so simple back in the day. Now it's all fucked up.
NN: What's the Baltimore scene like? I imagine it's like Oxes meets The Wire. How would you describe it?
ZU: Baltimore kind of sucks right now. Everything is awkward and there are all these people you don't really want to see all over the place. Not naming any names obviously, but it's all goofy. I feel like I'm probably just speaking for myself, everyone else is doing good I think. Damnnnnnnn.
There isn't a lot of new things going on in music here. Just last week I was trying to think of new bands to ask to open a show and kept thinking of bands that have been around for like 2 years as being the new bands. That's not new, that's a fucking cottage industry of band at this point especially in Baltimore! I wish people were starting bands all the time, just for the sake of doing it. Shit is getting stale people, get on it!
NN: Does your environment impact your music? I mean that on a larger sociological scale (as in your city as a whole) and on a smaller scale (like your practice space or the venues you play).
ZU: Ughhh, yeah I think it does. Like I was saying before, shit feels stale in baltimore and I think music is starting to feel stale too. Everyone is working a lot now and kind of saying fuck it to the things that a few years ago they were stoked on. That's fine though, out with the old and in with the new. Baltimore is kind of a dumpy city and a lot of people that live here are dealing with a kind of cellular depression. It's a cosmic city wide funk of vibes where you feel like you're stuck here because it's cheap and your favorite bar with all the people you see every night is right down the street. It creates a false sense of independence within us semi "adults" where you actually believe that you can be a fucking hippie-burnout-loser who just plays music all day and sustain yourself off two days of work a week at whatever under the table shift you can pick up on a given day. That gym I mentioned earlier that I go to is only possible because I make so little money that they gave me the poor discount. I could never afford a gym membership otherwise, I'm a fucking bum! This place can be a pit. That being said, fuck everywhere else too though.
NN: What are some of the best reactions you've gotten at shows? What constitutes for a good show and why, both as performer and observer?
ZU: I mean anytime people get physical at our shows it's great! Not violent though, fuck that shit. Just pleasantly engaged and bouncing around in a slightly aggressive bubbly sort of way. That's a great high for us as performers when you feel like you're getting a little bit back of what you put in, because we always put in a lot! That always makes for a good show, and it's something I will never get tired of, and I'm tired of most things lately haha.
NN: Where is the most interesting place you've played? Where do you wish you could play that you haven't yet?

ZU: For me, the most interesting places are the places where you have no idea why you are playing the place, because everyone literally hates what you are doing. Dope Body has been an interesting experiment for us because it is something that a lot of people actually cannot stand and yet we still do our thing when we know that we are getting laser beams of hatred from the audience. Wonky college shows come to mind, but also just bills that make no sense with a bunch of musical purist in whatever genre they respectively jerk off every day of their lives. Sorry, got a little angry on that one. We have played alotttttt of awful, awful shows. I'd like to play like Coachella or something, just to say I did it and get a little affirmation of what I spent all my early 20s doing, just kidding I have no regrets.

NN: How do you write? Is it jam based, or does someone come in with a riff?

ZU: Typically it's jam based. Occasionally there is a riff that is pre written, but very rarely is that the case. We are a jam band until aren't anymore, and that's what the audience gets to see and hear on the record.
NN: What is the best song you've written and why? I'm asking whoever answers this to pick a favorite or at least favorites and defend that answer. Surely there is one banger that you always revisit.

ZU: I think our best song is "Enemy Outta Me." I remember writing it and thinking woah this feels like a vibe that isn't contrived or owing to much to other things, even though I'm sure someone who is much more versed in noise rock could school me on even though I wouldn't want them to, I'd rather bask in what I perceive as uniqueness. I think the blend of really extremely harsh blocks of pounding rhythmic noise with quirky razor sharp cutesy melodies and harmonics is what i view as being the dope body sound. Did I just describe Melt Banana? Fuck. Our new record has very little of that, which is fine. It's just different. Getting older man...
NN: How has the internet effected your music or the music industry?
ZU: The internet has had absolutely no effect on our music. We are a still a barely working class band, I thought the internet was supposed to help elevate us beyond that. We must be using that shit wrong. I would eat a bag of baby poop to get one of our videos to go viral. That's pathetic.
NN: What are the pressures of being a touring band in 2014?
 
ZU: Touring right now sucks!!!! It's like a groundhogs day list of dilemmas every time we are about to do it. Like what van do we take? How will we pay for shirts? Has everyone taken off work? Can we fit all the gear in this minivan from the airport car rental service? Should we get insurance on it? Probably? How do we get away with only bringing half our gear to save money. It's seriously fucking tough out there. We still have never done a full US tour as a result, which I'm actually embarrassed to say. We all value our sanity a little too much and I think we know if it started getting really bad we would probably kill each other. Touring is fun though and I'm excited to play your city!!!
NN: If you were writing fan-fiction what would it be about and why?

ZU: Man I don't even know what fan fiction is. Is that unacceptable, sorry!
NN: Would you rather be awesome at jump kicks or have the ability to ollie non-stop?

ZU: Ollie's non stop, but does that mean one Ollie that never ends or just the ability to keep doing them. I hope the former.

NN: What non-musical things have you all riled up lately? Any books, comics, movies, or tv that has you ready to create?

ZU: Music is really my only true art form so I really just focus very hard on that. Sorry, I should be diversifying into other things though and I feel like an ignorant fuck as a result of this response.

NN: What music have you been listening to lately and why should we?

I listen to The Grateful Dead a lot these days and also a lot of country from the 50s, more specifically close harmony vocal groups like The Louvin Brothers. Also Tonnstartsbandhttt from New York, they are amazing. I spelled their name wrong for sure. I'm on a seventies tip pretty hard too. Steely Dan and Grand Funk Railroad. I used to think it was cheesy but I'm back on it. Also Joe Walsh from the eagles, he was the best Eagle. Fuck all the other Eagles. Not blowing anyone's minds with these suggestions. Sorry man, I'm pretty plain.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...