Puig Destroyer: A Virtual Hardcore Band For Real Baseball Fans

Categories: Bands We Like

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Riley Breckenridge, best known as the drummer of Thrice, geeks out to baseball as much as he does to percussion. He's in three fantasy leagues, one of them is a keeper league. He reads Baseball Prospectus and verses himself in experimental statistical analyses of the game--SABRmetrics for those in the know--as if he scouts players for Billy Beane's Oakland Mathletics.

The song "Centerfield" by John Fogerty, however, is a different matter. "I hate it," he says. "It's awful."

Rock and roll and baseball haven't much crossed paths over the course of time, which is kind of weird if you think about it, as distinctly American as they both are. Aside from "Centerfield," there's one verse in Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days" that mentions high school ball--and that's about it. If ever there were a niche that needed filling.

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JEFF the Brotherhood Cover Classics In a Coat of Grunge

Categories: Bands We Like

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Jo Mccaughney
Total party music. That's what JEFF the Brotherhood's songs are. Crunchy, guitar-driven singalongs, tub-thumping drumrolls--if you were old enough to remember the heydey of grunge, their sound is eerily reminiscent of Weezer/Nirvana/Mudhoney/Teenage Fanclub's early days. Yup, totally fun!

Their self-produced EP of covers called Dig the Classics includes JEFF the Brotherhood's versions of songs by the Pixies, My Bloody Valentine and Teenage Fanclub.

The two-piece band made up of brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall are actually too young to remember grunge when it was all over MTV, but their psychedelic punk-garage-pop leanings (that LA Record's Chris Ziegler dubbed "heavy Wipers-guitar-meets-Thin Lizzy-rhythms") took root during David Geffen's high times.


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Interpol Return To An Indie Rock World That Desperately Needs Them

Categories: Bands We Like

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Courtesy of Interpol
Bands who reunite, whether it's for one night or 100 more, are used to hearing a specific type of roar. For Interpol at FYF last month, that moment was the deafening squall that followed the tight opening notes of "Slowhands" at the very end of their set. The massive 2004 hit was many people's introduction to the band's mechanic, four-on-the-floor dance rock, and 10 years later, it proved to still be potent. Facing an ocean of sunburned festivalgoers, Paul Banks, Sam Fogarino and Dan Kessler manned their instruments as though they were sharp-dressed (in black shirts and suit jackets), unshakable robots. It was a true, fashionable return to form.

Along with fellow New Yorkers the Strokes, the National and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol helped to usher in the post-punk, indie-rock era of the early aughts. Their first two albums, Turn On the Bright Lights and Antics, propelled the band from a local favorite to a critical and commercial success.

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Well Hung Heart's New Documentary Captures the End of an Era

Categories: Bands We Like

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When we last caught up with Well Hung Heart, they had just put the finishing touches on their debut LP Young Enough to Know it All. Since then, they've won multiple OC Music Awards, continued building their production company, and of course, writing music. Initially, they thought they'd have some loose ideas that would be enough for an EP that would be recorded at Secret Ninja Studios. What they didn't realize was that the acclaimed studio was shutting it's doors at its current location after the building was sold. The duo knew they had a responsibility, as the last band to record at the same place as bands far ranging from Kyuss to the Righteous Brothers.

"It was a very emotional time for Ryan, the studio's engineer, since he's been at the studio for 12 years" Davey says as he and Valenti hustle around preparing to shoot a video for the band Bush on Monday. "We didn't have any songs ready to record, but we had a band, and we went in to see what we could do."

The band went in for the maximum amount of time they could afford--10 days--and ended up recording their second full-length, Go Forth and Multiply, which was released two weeks ago. Some days, they'd start with bits and pieces of songs, other days the well was dry. But the constant was the tireless days and long nights they spent putting together compositions they'd record live. On one day particular day, Well Hung Heart recorded three new songs from scratch.


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Phantogram Laughed Through the Dark Times, Now They Party With Rap Stars

Categories: Bands We Like

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Press Photo
"We toured the country multiple times, just the two of us," says Josh Carter, one-half of electropop duo Phantogram. "We'd sleep in Wal-Mart parking lots. Playing for five people every night was a success then. The first time we sold out Bowery Ballroom--that was a huge success. It's constantly building, and for that, I'm really grateful."

Vocalist Sarah Barthel looks back on those early days fondly, when she and Carter were forced to grind it out. Their highest point, she says, was their first tour. "We realized we were going to tour, and it was the smallest tour ever," she says, laughing. "We went to Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pittsburgh, and we played in front of the other band, but we were so pumped--like, it was great, so crazy. We had to sleep in our car that night, but it was awesome because we were doing it."

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For Fucked Up, Everything is All Right

Categories: Bands We Like

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Toronto-based hardcore outfit Fucked Up never expected their band to go very far when they formed in 2001, let alone all the way to Brazil. A few weeks ago, they played São Paolo for the first time, opening for Dinosaur Jr. For singer Damian Abraham, it was a landmark moment in a career filled with critical acclaim and accolades. Even if they were only there for a total of 27 hours.

"One of the goals of the band when we started was to play in Japan and Brazil," he says. "It was great to walk in the same footprints of the bands I love. When we said, 'One day, we'll play Brazil, one day' . . . Getting to go down there was a check-it-off experience for this band."


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Little Daylight Are Seeing Brighter Days on Tour

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The trio, in their synth-poppy glory
I first saw Little Daylight when they were opening for Marina and the Diamonds in Seattle. At that point, they didn't even have enough original music to really fill a set list, but their live performance was amazing: Nikki Taylor's vocals were hypnotic and engrossing, and Matt Lewkowicz and Eric Zeiler rocked the stage like they owned it.

Now, one and a half years later, the synth-pop trio from Brooklyn have an EP and an album worth of material to work with and are headlining their own national tour in support of their latest release, "Hello Memory," a studio length album full of the modern indie electro pop that made their name as well as more 80s-influenced synth ballads. Tomorrow, they'll finish their tour with a show at the Troubadour.

I had a phone call with Nikki while she was having lunch to discuss everything they've done thus far.

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Warpaint - The Observatory - August 9, 2014

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Aimee Murillo
Warpaint
The Observatory
8/9/14

LA quartet Warpaint came out once again to cast their melodious spell at the Observatory Saturday night before their upcoming European tour later this month. It's been a while since they've played in Orange County, unless you count their show last October at The Glass House. Even members Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman, while feeding the audience with banter in between songs, expressed their joy at returning to OC. "Sahnta Annaaa," Kokal's and Wayman's pronunciation simply rolled off their tongues. "We always love playing here."

Buzz band no more, the group have toured extensively in the last few months honoring the release of their third album Warpaint. Keeping up with their free-flowing, experimental style of psych-rock, Warpaint retains their ethereal melodic harmonies but adds new instrumental flourishes in the mix, including piano synthesizers and drum machines. The resulting album stems on a slightly divergent path away from their previous songs, especially on the song "Disco/Very," that has a danceable beat, yet their hypnotic vocals and psychedelic grooves still maintain a familiar vibe for fans.

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Teri Gender Bender is Trying Hard Not To Believe in Curses Anymore

Categories: Bands We Like

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Violet Felix
We're used to hearing musicians talk about improving their ability to lose themselves on stage in an effort to slash, burn and entertain. It's rare to hear one say they think they might be overdoing it a bit, especially when it's someone whose nihilism fans have grown to love. Since she was a teenager, Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes was one of those performers possessed by the music, and the curse of frustration and rage she says gave her the impulse to douse herself in pig's blood, cut off her bangs and swing from rafters in front of a crowd. Just talking about some of the old feelings of red eyed adrenaline make the 25 year-old woman born Teresa Suárez, feel jittery over the phone.

And while there's still plenty of string-snapping punk energy in her latest album Cry is For the Flies (released digitally in May, physically in September via Ipecac) she says the music represents a far more tempered version of herself. In choosing to embrace new projects (like Bosnian Rainbows) and happier emotions, Suárez has finally started to control some curses that plagued her mind as a performer for so long. Notice we don't say she let go of them entirely. Anyone who has seen her perform knows that a visceral element of haunting, raw power will always be part of her repertoire. We recently spoke to Suárez before she and her drummer Lia Braswell return to the Observatory to open for her good friend and mentor Omar Rodriguez Lopez who has reunited with his bandmate Cedric Bixler Zavala of the Mars Volta to perform as Antemasque.

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In Defense of Sublime

Categories: Bands We Like

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By: Bree Davies
I thought I would have to wait until the 20th anniversary of Sublime's 1996 self-titled mainstream breakout album to write about how fundamentally misunderstood and judged Sublime is. I have so many feelings, probably too many, about a band whose legacy is beaten up almost as much as Insane Clown Posse's (who are possibly the most DIY music-makers on the planet, by the way) by people who tend to lean toward the appearance-based criticism that often bashes music embraced by the working class.
But then the A.V. Club published Jonah Ray's scathing take down of "What I Got" as part of its HateSong series, and I was handed my Sublime platform.

See also: Five Songs That Prove Why Sublime Still Matters

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