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Music: Douglas Keith Streams "Pony" LP

Douglas Keith

01/26/14 - More From The Publicist: “A pony will work, nonstop, until it physically cannot work anymore. I’m like that.”

If you’ve never heard of Doug Keith but think you’ve seen him somewhere, it’s probably because you have. Although he’s an accomplished solo artist—his first full-length album, Here’s To Outliving Me, was an NPR and Sirius XM favorite—he’s spent much of his musical career on the sidelines supporting other musicians. His first touring gig, playing bass for San Francisco-based punk band The Gods Hate Kansas, started his lifelong love of playing live and touring. After the band broke up Keith moved to New York City, lending his guitar and bass skills to various bands all the while pursuing his own music, described by NPR as “…richly textured, backed by sweet harmonies and beautifully layered instrumentation.” Although happily married and busy touring solo, he wanted to tour and collaborate with others again. Enter singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten.

“It was 2009, right before her record epic came out. She needed a bass and guitar player. I honestly thought I’d only play with her for a tour or two. But we clicked, and I've been playing with her ever since.”

Van Etten’s star rose quickly, and Keith’s touring wish was answered tenfold: they’ve traveled consistently and all over the globe, playing shows with everyone from The National to The War on Drugs. It was always busy so to keep working on his own music, Keith had to get crafty with his time. He’d write on the road, then flesh out ideas during their few days off. After he’d gathered enough songs to record, he hunkered down for 6 days at Echo Mountain Studios in the mountains of Asheville, NC with engineer Jon Ashley. He enlisted fellow Sharon Van Etten bandmate Zeke Hutchins to play drums, and brothers Brad and Phil Cook from the North Carolina band Megafaun to play bass and keyboards. Says Keith, “Things just clicked immediately. It was one of the funnest weeks I’ve ever known.”

After tracking, a few things still needed to be added, so Keith enlisted his other SVE bandmate, the heavenly-voiced Heather Woods Broderick, to sing backing vocals. Wanting a J.Mascis-like solo for the song “Pure Gold in the ‘70s”, Van Etten herself dared Keith to go ahead and ask Mascis, who they recently met on tour. To Keith’s surprise, Mascis agreed to do it. Says Keith, “I know, right? Mindblowing. Mind blown. He played the most amazing solo that captures exactly what that song is about.”

Part storyteller, part rock and roller, Keith’s wide range of influences runs deep on each track, creating a unique patchwork of guitar-driven songs to get lost in. On “Pure Gold in the ‘70s” you’ll hear a bit of Neil Young and The National (and, of course, Dinosaur Jr.). On “Harvest Home” there’s traces of Dylan & The Band with slight nods to Keith’s love of Husker Du and Fugazi. His love of Elizabeth Cotten is evident at the top of the anthemic “I Will Burn For You”. On “The Apostles”, Keith’s yearning vocals are reminiscent of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’s Kevin Kinney.

Touchpoints aside, it’s a Doug Keith record through and through. His lead vocals are stacked and laid-back, adding signature sheen to his warm growl. Layers of driving keyboards give even more vibe and depth to Hutchins’s rollicking beats. You can hear the closeness of the band on every track. It’s an energy that was captured during those 6 perfect (and long) days in the mountains. “It’s a pretty personal, intense record, without being just me and an acoustic guitar. I wanted it to have feeling, a backbone.”

And, like the animal it’s named after, the album has just that—and continues to show strength with each listen.

Pony will be released February 11th on The Village Label.

-Brought to you by Robert Thorn.

Music: Aan Premieres "Bubble Bath Bop"


02/04/14 - More From The Publicist: Aan is a fearless experimental pop band from Portland, Oregon, mixing richly textured guitars and acerbic lyrics with sugary three-part harmonies and sprawling soundscapes. Aan began as a once bedroom pop project of freakish folk balladry, but as of late, its more straightforward side has given way to deeper sonic explorations of more subliminal (and occasionally animalistic) territory.

Aan tours and performs as a four piece, often turning versions of their recordings upside down. Frontman Bud Wilson reaches octaves of the late Jeff Buckley, while maintaining a grittier timbre. The rest of the band follows suit by matching Wilson's caterwaul with cooing harmonies and a measured rhythmic pulse.

Aan's blend of discordance and harmony has earned the group touring support with alt rock juggernauts like The Smashing Pumpkins and indie legends Built to Spill. Aan has also performed alongside indie stalwarts like Wye Oak, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Red Fang, Gardens & Villa, Bosnian rainbows and many others.

The band's debut record, Amor Ad Nauseum, will be released on Portland imprint Party Damage on February 4. Recorded over two years in various studios and a cabin on the Oregon coast, the album explores themes of the devotion, desire, complacency, loneliness, and desperation. Though the locations vary, a thick sonic thread runs track to track through the release's nine songs. More confident than most debut albums and more urgent than albums from most of Aan’s peers, Amor Ad Nauseum is a sticky, lush labor of love and lust.

Aan has performed at SXSW, Noise Pop, MusicFestNW, and countless dates across the United States. With the release of the band’s new LP, Aan will resume it’s hectic touring schedule.

Listen here

-Brought to you by Robert Thorn.

Music: Rise Above Festival Coming To Bangor, Maine

ise above fest maine

01/28/14 - Saturday, May 10th, 2014 Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion-Bangor, ME

Individual Show Tickets On Sale Friday, January 31st at 10:00AM


All Day, Multi-Stage Music Festival Set To Take Place In Bangor, ME In Support Of Suicide Prevention & Mental Illness

Avenged Sevenfold Seether, Motorhead, Hellyeah, And More Confirmed To Participate

Bangor, ME – Multi-platinum rockers Seether are thrilled to announce the second annual Rise Above Fest with one of the best rock festival line ups for 2014 and it’s all for a great cause. The festival featuring Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Motorhead, Hellyeah, Black Stone Cherry and others, will take place in Bangor, ME on Saturday, May 10th at the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion as part of the Machias Savings Bank Concert Series and will also be the kick-off event for the 2014 Concert Season. It will raise money for SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), one of the leading national not-for profit organizations dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public in order to SAVE lives. Tickets for the event go on-sale Friday, January 31st and will range from $43.75 to $73.75 with exclusive VIP packages offered.

The festival’s name is taken from the song, “Rise Above This,” which Seether front man Shaun Morgan wrote as a message to his brother. His brother took his own life six years ago before he ever got a chance to hear it and it was that experience that brought about the creation of Rise Above Fest. The inaugural event was held over Labor Day weekend 2012 in Gilford, NH and raised nearly $20k for the New Hampshire chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) thru ticket sales, a special Rise Above Fest auction as well as a limited edition T-shirt which sold out in less than two hours.

“The fact that so many people supported our first event, along with all of those who have shared how we helped get them through their own tough times, makes us want to continue reaching out and educating people. No one is alone and no one should ever feel that way. Plus, with bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Motorhead and Hellyeah willing to support, it will definitely be a show to remember!" - Shaun Morgan (Seether)

Multi-million selling artist, Avenged Sevenfold will be headlining in 2014 alongside festival founders and multi-platinum artist Seether and world-renowned rockers Motorhead. Other fellow artists confirmed to participate include Hellyeah, Trivium, Kyng, Devour the Day, Black Stone Cherry, Muckler’s Circle & Skindred. This will be an all-day, multi-stage festival that will feature local artists throughout the day as well.

In the US, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and worldwide someone dies by suicide every 39 seconds (World Health Organization). Yet, more people survive suicide attempts than actually die. In 2011, roughly 487,770 people received medical care for suicide attempts at emergency departments in the US. SAVE strives to eradicate suicide and use their funding to educate nearly 14,000 people every year through various events and programs set up across the country.

General Public ticket sale begins FRIDAY, JANUARY 31st AT 10:00AM. Tickets prices range from $43.75 to $73.75

General Admission & Pit Tickets – Additional VIP Packages Available - PLUS ANY APPLICABLE FEES DEPENDING ON PURCHASE OUTLET -

Tickets available via waterfrontconcerts.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 or locally at Mark’s Music in Brewer.

-Brought to you by Robert Thorn.

Music: Sebastian Bach To Perform In Portland, Maine


01/26/14 - SEBASTIAN BACH on Sunday, April 27th, 2014 at 9:00 PM | $22.00 General Admission | 18+ at the ASYLUM [121 Center Street, Portland, ME]. Tickets on sale :: Friday, January 31st, 2014 at 10:00am. Ticket Link

-Brought to you by Robert Thorn.

Music: Darling's Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, Maine gets nominated for the "Best Large Capacity Venue" in the US by the Academy Of Country Music Awards

acm awards maine

01/29/14 - Darling's Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, Maine gets nominated for the "Best Large Capacity Venue" in the US by the Academy Of Country Music Awards. We're up against the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. We're gonna win!Click here to watch video.

-Brought to you by Robert Thorn.

Music: Drowners' Self-Titled Debut LP Out Today On Frenchkiss Records


01/28/14 - In the late summer of 2011, Drowners frontman Matthew Hitt found himself in New York City. He’s from a small town in rural Wales but New York is where Hitt feels most at home. “I just like the way things look here. I like the way things are done here. I like how late everything happens,” he says. New York’s signature up-all-night energy courses through Drowners’ self-titled debut, but there’s a sweet melancholy to the album as well.

In his down time, Hitt began writing songs that reflected this renewed interest in angular, compressed rock and roll. “The early songs came out really short – I thought, well, I’ve already sung the chorus twice I don’t need to do it again, that’s what makes it a chorus! I think that being in New York influenced what I was trying to do with economy in song structure and instrumentation. It’s like, here’s what I’m trying to say. Okay, I said it. Now it’s over. Onto the next one.” Gallivanting around downtown, Hitt also met likeminded souls, including future bandmates, Jack Ridley III (guitar, vocals,) Erik Lee Snyder (bass,) and Lakis E. Pavlou (drums).

It would take the better part of the next six months to secure the right record deal, but during that time the band gigged like crazy, ratcheting up their live prowess. They also released a well-received EP, Between Us Girls. By the time Drowners were in a recording studio to record their full-length debut, with producers Gus Oberg and Johnny T., they were ready. The first single off Drowners’ eponymous debut, “Luv, Hold Me Down,” is a propulsive slice of perfect garage pop. “It brings across this sort of jovial misery,” says Hitt, “It’s kind of pop, like a lot of the rest of the record, but lyrically, it’s not as shiny as seems.”

The other side of coin, according to Hitt, comes courtesy of the melodic and melancholy track “A Button on Your Blouse” which changes up the pace of Drowners’ self-professed brand of romantic aggression. “I always think of this one as our ballad even though it’s not even that slow,” says Hitt with a laugh. But it’s the cheeky grime of “Long Hair” that really showcases the easy, dirty thrill of Drowners.

While Hitt is responsible for the elegantly understated lyrics throughout the album – the kind that adhere to his Salinger-esque economy of words – he professes that everything changed as soon as recording began. When Hitt, Ridley, Snyder, and Pavlou began to play, Hitt’s initial blueprint and the band’s extensive punk music background melded, giving the album its true form. The group wanted to present something slightly different, says Hitt. “Our live shows are a lot more aggressive,” he adds, “With the album, we wanted to create like a sort of layered, fleshed out live show.”

The result is an album that’s equal parts playfulness and disquietude, toeing the line between music that sweeps the listener up, and lyrics that beg for their deep sensitivity and understanding. “Whether you think something is good or not is if you respond to it,” says Hitt. “I wanted to ellicit a response, but I want them to get whatever they want from it.”

Click here to listen

-Brought to you by Robert Thorn.

Music: Horse Thief Announce "Fear In Bliss" LP, Out April 14th On Bella Union

Horse Thief

01/28/14 - More Info From The Publicist: Bella Union is excited to announce the release of Fear In Bliss, the debut album from recent signings HORSE THIEF. This youthful band is a purveyor of a panoramic yet nuanced sound, flowing from intimate to anthemic, the mood from vibrant to contemplative, with front-man Cameron Neal’s lyrics ranging from confessional to metaphorical. The result evokes the wide-open spaces of America’s Midwest but infuses the sense of grit and wonderment with edgier emotions. Click HERE to check out new track "Devil".

Horse Thief, originally founded in Denton, TX, moved to Oklahoma City to attend the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, from which they recently graduated. The band subsequently signed with the Flaming Lips’ management and soon came to the attention of Bella Union. Though Fear In Bliss was conceived at Horse Thief’s Oklahoma headquarters the band decided to record the album in LA, “to leave our comfort zone of Oklahoma”, and producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Vetiver) has helped the band fuse their renowned stage performance with studio quality.

The over-arching theme to Fear In Bliss is “finding yourself and what you believe in, and finding the comfort in acknowledging fear. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression which comes out a lot on the new album. But when everything gets rough, I think there’s always a way to fix it. The biggest thing for me is to give comfort to people, to shed light on the truth that someone is feeling the same way as them.

Somewhat appropriately, having originated in Denton, TX, Horse Thief will be touring with their fellow Dentonians and label mates Midlake throughout February, joining them as special guests on their forthcoming UK / European tour.

Fear In Bliss will be released 14th April on Bella Union.

Click here to listen

-Brought to you by Robert Thorn.

Music: The Montauk Project - 'Belly of The Beast' Review

The Montauk Project - 'Belly of The Beast'

01/28/14 - The Montauk Project 'Belly of The Beast'

90's Alt Blues, Psych Rock, Grunge. Really enjoying the Kyuss-esque riffs throughout most of the record. The singer's voice is a meld of Scott Weiland meets Chris Robinson (does that even make sense?)

The band itself sounds awesome (sick guitarist and a great drummer). I'd imagine it'd be pretty great to see them perform live.

"Good As Gold", "The Beast" & "Black As Night" are my top picks. "The Beast" is definitely the standout track but "Black As Night" follows as a very close second.

Overall a B for 'Belly of The Beast'. Hope to be hearing more from these guys soon.

RIYL: Kyuss, Dungen, RATM, Soundgarden, Black Crowes

-News, tips and advice by Betsy Draper.

Music: Break Science To Perform In Portland, Maine

Break Science maine

01/26/14 - Break Science with Paul Basic on January 29th at the Port City Music Hall. On Sale Now: http://tinyurl.com/kv35l7l

-Brought to you by Robert Thorn.

Music: Mac Demarco - Salad Days

Mac Demarco - Salad Days

01/27/14 - i just looked at the archives and realized that i had never told you humans about this man before.

fact #1: not sharing him with you prior to this is prolly one of the dumbest thing that i've done in a long while.

fact #2: (the most important fact of all) this man, mac demarco, he is THE MAN.

his newest record 'salad days' is coming out on captured tracks - on april 1 and he's released a lover-ly song for us all to keep in our dreams until then.

play this one LOUD. immediately.

after that listen to all of his older records. "2" is everything that i've ever been wanting to hear. all mac, all the time.

RIYL: fucking music, people. real fucking music.

-News, tips and advice by Betsy Draper.

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