Archive for the ‘Entries’ Category

This might be the most exciting week in Rocker Stalker’s existence, with THREE rock-tober shows!

It all kicks of tonight at PIANOS in the Lower East Side with a hard-hitting, face-melting, eardrum-shattering line up featuring Boston’s SUMMONER, Asbury Park’s THE BATTERY ELECTRIC, Dallas’ THE PHUSS and Brooklyn’s STRNGRS! Be there at 7:30pm, RSVP HERE!

101814

 

Show #2 rocks BAR MATCHLESS in Brooklyn for the CMJ Music Marathon on TUESDAY 10/21! Official show featuring HEK, THE TOXIC FEMMES, THE COURTESY TIER, STROAMATA, CADAVER DOGS, THE WANS and STRNGRS! Everything gets going at 6:30pm, and is free to CMJ badge-holders and $10 for the public! RSVP and invite your friends! 

1021cmj

Last but not least, CMJ week closes at SPIKE HILL in Williamsburg at the PARTY ON! OFFICIAL CMJ SHOWCASE! Get a huge dose of awesome music from 5 cities all through the afternoon from 12-6pm on FRIDAY 10/24!  Tunes provided by BLACK WING HALO, DAN ABRAHAM, MENAGE, ISLE OF RHODES, THE GRIZZLED MIGHTY, THE GRAYCES, TESLA ROSSA, THE WANS and CADAVER DOGS!

FREE TO EVERYONE!  RSVP and see you Friday!

1024CMJ

Not my first trip to Austin, but my inaugural attendance at Austin City Limits, I was treated to three days of bliss featuring some of the top acts of my generation, notable emerging bands, amazing food and perfect weather.  Between 8 stages, thousands of people, and miles of walking, I was able to take advantage of some VIP luxuries and city’s downtown shenanigans.

On Friday, October 3, I kicked off my day with England’s newest hit-makers, psych/indie pop-rock group Temples who have been gaining notoriety with their throwback vibes and newest LP Sun Structures. Next up, some of Nashville’s tops, rootys rockers  Blank Range and soulful Lake Street Dive, which features vocal powerhouse Rachael Price, kept the afternoon energy surging.  I took a break from the rock ‘n roll to sample what the kids like these days, the eletro-poppy dance creations CHVRCHES, before the one and only song-writing master Beck graced the stage. With an ever-growing repertoire, Beck selected tunes from basically every album released to date, ranging from  Mutations, Odelay, Midnight Vultures, Sea Change,  Guero, The Information, Modern Guilt to the latest release, Morning Phase. Pretty killer way to start the weekend.

The next day, I was already hurting but amped for what the day would bring. Soaking up the 90-degree weather, I started day 2 with Canadian songwriter Mac DeMarco, who had all the teenage girls screaming for his nerdy yet charming demeanor and playful indie rock tunes off his recent release Salad Days. Across Zilker Park, one of New York’s pride and joys, Interpol, ran the gamut of their (almost) 20 year career, including the 2014 album El Pintor, showcasing their signature dancy alt-rock cadence that never fails to crowd-please. Zig-zagging back across Zilker, Nashville’s grungy garage rockers The Wans took the stage and launched a counterattack on “laptop music.” The power trio performed their ultra-rockin’ album He said She Said  in full along with selections from their 2012 EP, proving that real instruments are still the way to go. The band recently debuted a hilarious video for the track “Never Winthat makes those who are all-too-familiar with epic fails feel a little less terrible, and will be heading out on tour starting October 16 and playing TWO Rocker Stalker showcases on October 21 (Bar Matchless) and October 24 (Spike Hill)By the time Eminem and Skrillex hit the stage,I could only muster up the energy to listen from afar before heading out.

Closing day of Austin City Limits was bittersweet with an emphasis on sweet.  Yet another Nashville act, modoc, opened the day, showing off the city’s knack for pure rock ‘n roll with just the right amount of southern tinges.  Switching gears and genres, the legendary AFI shook the stage with tastes of their ever-evolving punky/hardcore/melodic sound. Lead vocalist Davey Havoc, even after almost 20 years of stomping around, gave audiences an energetic performance, climbing over crowds and leaping into the air throughout the set. A Thousand Horses brought the country to the festival before the beloved Austin-based, indie rock pioneers Spoon  put some pep in onlookers’ steps.  Last but certainly not least, the quintessential rock band, Pearl Jam, closed out the three days with a phenomenal set, blowing the minds of the seas of people throughout the park. Playing almost an hour and a half of favorites from the 90’s to Lightening Bolt, and even a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” to match the band’s revolutionary spirit, the group didn’t tire easily, as they pushed through a half hour encore much to the park rules’ dismay. Eddie Veddar  was willing to take the party elsewhere, as he teased their sound guy about hosting an afterparty at his house nearby. Solid as ever, Pearl Jam wrapped up the weekend on a perfect (and epic) note.

For anyone contemplating a trip to Austin for ACL, it’s a must! I can’t wait to go back again, but in the meantime…

Check out some photos from the weekend on Rocker Stalker’s Facebook and give it a ‘like’ while you’re at it :)!

photo

 

 

It’s been a minute since I got to bask in the great songs and banter by Jersey/NY-based rock ‘n rollers The Gay Blades.  This time, they went big, as in Gramercy Theatre big, supporting their Asbury Park brethren, power pop/rock quintet The Parlor Mob.

Since my first intro to The Gay Blades in 2010, I’ve seen them alternate between duo and trio, and this time around, they had settled on a third Gay Blade, sporting two guitars and drums.  The packed crowd eagerly awaited and chanted the band onto the stage as the curtain rose.  The trio launched into the noise-ridden, punky “Rock ‘n Roll, Pt. 1,” taken from the band’s 2011 release Savages,  and in between songs, vocalist/guitarist James Wells had no problem picking on someone from the crowd and interspersing comedic banter throughout the set, a must at a Gay Blades show. The audience ate up the band’s energy and excitedly sampled a few new tunes along with favorites, disco-esque “Mick Jagger,” ultra-bubbly but pleading “Try to Understand,” and crowd-pleasing closer “O Shot.”

Catch these guys on Friday October 17 at Black Bear in Brooklyn and check out the photos from Gramecy on Rocker Stalker!

DSCN3562

 

 

Rocco Deluca is the type of performer who will break and mend your heart all at once. The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter/slide guitar extraordinaire graced Brooklyn with his presence on Tuesday Setpember 2 at Rough Trade NYC in Williamsburg.  DeLuca has been through a few incarnations over the years.  I first heard his tunes back in  2006 when his band and music were the focuses of a documentary  entitled I Trust You To Kill Me,  featuring  Kiefer Sutherland, who acted as the band’s tour manager during that time.  Now, touring as a duo in support of his latest self-titled album, DeLuca was joined by Johnathan Wright on drums.

Tuesday evening was  a treat to say the least. The opener was an intriguing and interesting Brooklyn-based act called The Loom, who put a twist on “indie rock,” integrating a french horn into their sound.   The softspoken DeLuca and unassuming Wright appeared on the stage after a brief soundcheck, creeping up on the audience with undetectable introductions that  launched into walls of sound that seemed almost impossible to achieve by only two musicians. The  musical chemistry between Wright and DeLuca was undeniable as Wright complimented every nuance in DeLuca’s voice and interwove rhythms into DeLuca’s slide guitar variations and dynamic style. Taking selections from the 2014 release, including hymn-infused “Congregate” entrancing “Through Fire,” and hypnotic “Colors of the Cold,” DeLuca’s ethereal voice ebbed and flowed with such sentiment, made all-the-stronger by the yearning nature of the pedal steel,  that  I was on the verge of tears. Heavily influenced by gospel music and hymns, DeLuca took on John Cleveland’s “God Can Do Anything,” crafting a poetic rendition, complete with exquisite vocal runs that trailed off into whispers,  leaving the audience in entranced awe. In between songs, DeLuca was a man of few words but still managed to mention he “wasn’t into the UK scene,” cracking some jokes about British hipsters, which he would “never live down.” Whatever the case, his Brooklyn fans were forgiving, especially when he played a more hip hop beat-infused version of the favorite, “I Trust You to Kill Me,” title track to the aforementioned album, to complete the set. Compelled by the crowd’s cheers, DeLuca agreed to an encore, but not before expressing his gratitude to the audience, the venue and the incredible sound. Closing the night officially and on a powerfully poignant note, DeLuca chose the radiant and emotive “Nightingale,” a song inspired by Oscar Wilde’s The Dole of the King’s Daughter.

After the show, I chatted with DeLuca briefly about his next tour stops and future NYC plans. He also mentioned liking my nail polish that glowed brightly in the black light, which gets him brownie points. His kind demeanor and approachable attitude was refreshing to encounter in such a talent.

Rocco DeLuca will be on tour through the fall and will be returning to NYC on October 19 for a performance at Rockwood Music Hall. After years of listening to his albums and finally seeing the live show, I highly recommend checking out a gig near you and guarantee that DeLuca’s beautifully powerful artistry will have you hooked in no time.

Meanwhile, check out all things Rocco DeLuca on his website and Facebook!

 

photo (5)

This is most exciting show yet! Rocker Stalker presents an AMAZING line up on Monday 8/18 at one of the best LES spots, Mercury Lounge, featuring Toronto’s awesome sibling trio Ménage, surfy rock duo Slim Wray, the wild and whacky Ugly, Ugly Words, top notch rock act Prospector, and grungy rockers Graveyard Lovers!

Doors are at 6:30pm, 21+, $10!

RSVP HERE! And GRAB YOUR TICKETS!

See you there!

818

If you’re like me, you take finding new music really seriously, so seriously that you Shazam your computer, the TV, or even movies at the theater. This is in fact how I came across Nashville-based grungy rock trio The Wans, whose song  “Want You” from their 2012 self-titled EP was featured on USA Network’s Necessary Roughness. I unabashedly reached out last year and managed to keep in touch like any rocker pen pals would.

Over the past year, I’ve seen the band’s notoriety increase exponentially, as they’ve landed spots at Forecastle Festival, Hangout Festival and soon, Austin City Limits.  Additionally, they announced a forthcoming full-length album, He Said She Saidout September 9, produced by Dave Cobb (Jason Isbell, Rival Sons, Sturgill Simpson), mixed by Vance Powell (Jack White, Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys) and mastered by Richard Dodd (Tom Petty, Traveling Wilburys, Kings of Leon).  Several of the tracks are already out via tastemaker sites like USA Today, Consequence of Sound, Flavorwire, PopMatters, and The AV Club, riling up anticipation of the release.  When the band was planning their “Takeover Tour” a few months back, I did the Rocker Stalker thing to do and booked them a gig at Pianos for August 2.  I had been waiting what seemed like ages to see the band live, so I took full advantage and saw them three more times after Pianos at The Bowery Electric (supporting Jesse Malin), Niagara Bar, and The Legendary Dobb’s in Philadelphia. The gigs were a blast and obviously addictive, as the trio was consistently the stand out band of the night, bringing their high-powered energy and tight musicianship to the stage. Check out the photos from the week on Rocker Stalker’s Facebook page!

 But let’s get down to business.  The new album is just plain badass. However good music possesses you, be it headbanging, dancing, flailing, moshing or taking your clothes off, He Said She Said will lead you to do so.  Fraught with bursts of raging rock, sexy grooves, and dejected lyrics, this record blends Simon Kerr’s  smooth and sultry upper register vocals and distorted guitars, Mark Petaccia’s  heavy, pounding drums, and Thomas Bragg’s penetrating bass riffs into a smoothie of rock perfection.  If you’re into “recommended if you like” comparisons, The Wans’ sound  evokes a large dose of Queens of the Stone Age and Nirvana, splashed with Led Zeppelin, Chris Cornell/Soundgarden and tinges of punky brashness, a la JEFF the Brotherhood or Bass Drum of Death.  Opening with the ironically triumphant melodies of  “Never Win,” The Wans show off their knack for ear catching songwriting. I hear there’s going to be a pretty awesome video to accompany it too, so stay on the look out! He Said She Said plummets into the dark depths of the unbridled “You’re Wasting”  and “The Holy One,” which  slinks along with grinding slide guitars and smashing drums.  “What I’m Feeling” builds on grooving bass lines and oozes with seduction and growing tension, which pushes the tortured sentiment to erupt on “So Cruel,” as Kerr laments over and over, ” Why are you so cruel? Try to be a man but you treat me like a fool!”  The Wans take a minor breather with a “balladic” but burdened “Turn Your Back,” and though the slightly subdued mood seeps into the raw opening vocals of “Take Me Home,” it quickly escalates into fits of wailing choruses. “I Can’t Fix You” is probably the most contagious singalong track with “Oh’s” and “Ow’s'” that will be stuck in your head for days, and the discordant chords of  “Tired”  aptly embody the pain of the song’s message. Last but definitely not least, “Black Pony” (featured recently in a BMW commercial), is pure bluesy, grunge greatness, pushing the album to a climactic close with hypnotic beats, crunching guitars, and angst-ridden welps. The point is, this might be my favorite album of 2014 so far, and I’d recommend getting your hands on it. That’s what she said, and that’s final.

Keep your eyes peeled for more from The Wans, but in the meantime pre-order He Said She Said on Bandcamp and find the band on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. Happy rocking!

DSCN3283

 

Today is the final Rocker Stalker Northside showcase! Come out and rock for FREE at Spike Hill with

1pm: Jake Levine of The Howler Weary
1:45pm: MACH22
2:30pm: The Bushwick Hotel
3:15pm:The Courtesy Tier
4pm: The Venetia Fair
4:45pm: Pussywolf
5:30pm Graveyard Lovers

Doors are at 12:30pm!

 

Northside2014

It’s finally here! The annual Brooklyn-centric festival Northside is back! I’m SUPER excited to be presenting TWO kickass showcases, the first going down TONIGHT at Bar Matchless!

Doors are at 7pm and bands start at 7:30pm sharp! You’ll get 6 bands for $10 or for free with a Northside badge.

Check out the featured bands and set times for tomorrow’s showcase and RSVP HERE!

7:30pm: Great Woods

8:15pm: Sucker

9pm: The Freaky Baby Daddies

9:45pm: Slim Wray

10:30pm: The Courtesy Tier

11:15pm: The Venetia Fair

Northside2014

 

I am super stoked to have such a rock filled line up tonight at Spike Hill in Brooklyn! Check out…

Plato Zorba
The Courtesy Tier
Ugly, Ugly Words
The Battery Electric

Come on over! Doors at 7pm, $5! RSVP HERE.

530

Nothing is a better treat for a three day weekend than NEW rock ‘n roll! Today, my favorite dirty rock boys from the mid-west, Cadaver Dogs, released their video “Get Out! (Before You’re Empty Inside),” from their forthcoming album due out later this year.  Bang your head and sing along below!