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Jul
19
Fri
Frederick the Younger, Grace Joyner, Modern Moxie
Jul 19 @ 10:30 pm
Frederick the Younger

Frederick the Younger

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, some of Jenni Cochran’s earliest memories are of writing songs. Returning to the USA after working in Vietnam for a few years, she met Aaron Craker (guitar, keys, vocals) who was performing with his band Dr. Vitamin. The two immediately bonded over their shared love of Elliott Smith and The Beatles. They formed Frederick the Younger a few years later, releasing their first full length record “Human Child” in 2017. 

The band is their bond, formed on groovy garage pop, soulful vocals, a hint of Broadcast, Dr Dog and 60s pop with a modern twist. There is an earnestness to their newest songs on a forthcoming EP that rings true – the kind of sincerity born from experience. These songs feel alive and well-lived, tragic, nostalgic, beautiful, and contemplative, all with a solid hook.

 
Grace Joyner

Grace Joyner

Grace Joyner started making waves with her debut LP ‘Maybe Sometimes- in C’ in 2016. She teamed up with Charleston’s Wolfgang Zimmerman (Band of Horses, Susto) again to record her sophomore LP set to come out later this year. Joyner’s ability to weave in & out of a haunting, powerful sound & a soft intentionality allow for captivating performance both in & out of the studio.
 
Modern Moxie

Modern Moxie

Indie pop/rock band Modern Moxie’s effervescent pop melodies floating over the distorted fuzz of angst-ridden guitar combine with unique vocal stylings to produce an intimate, first-person narrative with a nostalgic 90’s alt-rock vibe. Charlotte based members include Madison Lucas (vocals/guitar/synth), Phil Pucci (lead guitar), Harry Kollm (bass), and Charlie Weeks (drums).
Jul
23
Tue
EX HEX w/ Spider Bags
Jul 23 @ 8:00 pm
EX HEX

EX HEX

When Ex Hex exploded onto the scene with their unfettered brand of rock and riffage, the power trio for our generation had finally arrived. Made up of Mary Timony (guitar, vocals), Betsy Wright (bass, vocals), and Laura Harris (drums), the group’s 2014 debut Rips was a gleaming collection of tightly wound gems that scored Best New Music honors from Pitchfork, the top spot on Magnet Magazine’s Best of 2014 list, and No. 11 in that year’s Pazz & Jop critics poll. Near-constant touring throughout 2015 and 2016 established the band as a force to be reckoned with: an audacious three-piece distilling rock music to its essence with formidable skills and a reputation for frenzied and unabashedly fun live shows.

On It’s Real, the group’s forthcoming second album, Ex Hex’s commitment to larger-than-life riffs and unforgettable hooks remains intact, but the garage-y, post-punk approach that defined Rips has grown in scale and ambition. What started as a reaction to the blown-out aesthetic of Rips would test the sonic limits of the power trio and lead the band on a quest for a more immersive and three-dimensional sound. Vocal harmonies are layered ten tracks deep, solos shimmer and modulate atop heaving power chords, and the codas linger and stretch toward new frontiers of sound. On first listen, you might think you’ve unearthed a long-lost LP carved from the space where crunch-minded art rock and glitter-covered hard rock converge, an event horizon at the intersection of towering choruses and swaggering guitars.

Produced by Jonah Takagi (who also produced Rips), It’s Real was a more collaborative effort than its predecessor. Mary and Betsy could be found writing late into the night, leaning on Takagi to tighten up arrangements. Egos were surrendered in service to the music: Nothing was sacred or precious, and there was a relentless devotion to both songcraft and exploration. Dozens of guitar amps sat mic-ed in the next room, and the group experimented at a frenzied pace parsing countless combinations of instruments, pedals, and amps. They even dusted off Mary’s old Rockman, a small headphone amp designed by Boston guitarist Tom Scholz in 1982. Mary recounts, “It’s only about the size of a Walkman and takes eight AA batteries, but it sounds massive. We read that parts of [Def Leppard’s] Hysteria were tracked through it, and when we finally plugged it in, it blew our minds!”

The opening track “Tough Enough” is punky and defiant, with stacked backing vocals posing the question “Are you tough enough (to let it go)?” that’s resoundingly answered in the affirmative by a searing, triumphant guitar solo. “Cosmic Cave” is a bittersweet rave-up with shimmering phased guitars, a gooey-candied chorus, and beamed-in “whoa-oh-ohs” that add a touch of melancholia to the frenzied speed-of-sound pace. The ferocious and anthemic “Rainbow Shiner” is what Wright describes as “a victory song.” Her mordacious central riff is coupled with dueling guitar-god solos that explode from the stereo spectrum. The starlit “Another Dimension” has it all: pounding drums, palm-muted humbucking chugs, soaring harmonized vocals, and a stark, ethereal bridge that sends listeners deep into the lush sonic landscape that the band set out to create.

Ex Hex were already one of America’s best guitar bands—but on It’s Real, their musical savvy has thrillingly combined with anything-goes curiosity, studio experimentation, and a dedication to refinement, resulting in an album that’s ready to be played at maximum volume.

 
Spider Bags

Spider Bags

Daniel McGee formed Spider Bags in 2006, and the band now includes Rock Forbes on drums and Steve Oliva on bass.

Four years after releasing their Merge debut, Frozen Letter, Spider Bags return with an LP that ascends to new levels of aural punch and perspective. The years that elapsed between records were crucial in enabling that progress to take place.

Recorded in Memphis at Bunker Audio by Andrew McCalla (who also engineered 2012’s Shake My Head), Someday Everything Will Be Fine leverages the limitations and glory of the Tascam 388, a vintage recording/mixing device that’s acquired a mythos via its association with legendary records by Dinosaur Jr. and others. Unlike the error-erasing editing software Spider Bags frontman Dan McGee has favored in the past, the Tascam’s charms are more immediate, and it has a visceral resonance all its own.

Someday Everything Will Be Fine, which is about the importance of saying f**k it and dancing to a rock and roll record, is an album only Spider Bags could make.

Aug
2
Fri
IAmDynamite
Aug 2 @ 10:30 pm
IAMDYNAMITE is the spirited, anthemic duo of Christopher Martin and Chris Phillips, two Michigan high school friends raised on the Seattle sound and 80s pop – anything with a beat that makes them move is an influence.

IAMDYNAMITE returns with an amazing follow up album to SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC in Wasa Tusa. This new record shows the creative reach IAMDYNAMITE has always possessed. The album highlights their melodic, hook laden songwriting skills and delivers on all emotional fronts.

When asked the difference between SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC and Wasa Tusa, Chris Martin commented, “Our first record was more of a documentation of our live show. This is our first record where the ultimate goal was to make cool and moving recordings, where the recording was the art form, not just a documentation of some songs. Our goal was to make recordings that make you feel something.”

Chris Phillips commented, ‘We took a no holds barred approach when recording this album. We needed to make a great album first and foremost. Our first album was written specifically for just drums and guitar, and to fully grab the attention of the listener and make them move. Wasa Tusa is just the next step for us as a band, it’s not just drums and guitar…. it’s so much more!’ Wasa Tusa is full of the catchy, powerful, and harmonic songs IAMDYNAMITE is known for, while showing a wider dynamic range that the band is fully capable of.

Wasa Tusa was recorded at Orb Studio in Austin, TX and finished back home in Michigan. Produced by Matt Noveskey, as well as IAMDYNAMITE, this time around the band has pushed themselves as writers, producers, and performers.

The first single, “In The Summer,” is poised to surpass the chart success IAMDYNAMITE experienced with “Where Will We Go.” That track spent over 20 weeks in the top 20 of the Billboard Alternative chart, a huge success for a debut single from the virtually, up to that point, unknown band out of Ann Arbor, MI. Two years of nonstop touring and airplay inspired so many new believers. Now the band stands poised to benefit from all those miles after delivering Wasa Tusa with 10 new tracks that will not only energize the existing fan base, but will create an even wider path of discovery for Chris and Chris.

Aug
16
Fri
GUTHRIE BROWN
Aug 16 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Guthrie Brown a Nashville transplant by way of “old Montana” began playing the guitar at age six. By the age of seventeen, he journeyed to Nashville to pursue the dream of being a professional songwriter, recording & performing artist.

After settling in Music City, he recorded and produced his first self-titled EP, which got the attention of Nashville’s premiere independent radio station, WRLT Lightning 100. Capitalizing on the initial success of his debut EP, Guthrie recorded and released his second EP “Spirit of the Elk” with producer Stuart Mathis (The Wallflowers, Lucinda Williams). Following his second release, he recruited his longtime friends and musicians John Ogelby (drums), Will Honaker (bass, keys) and John McNally (guitar) to join the band. Their musical pairing has since been compared to something as strong and pure as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Friday, August 16
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.
Aug
29
Thu
MIDNIGHT NORTH
Aug 29 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

In June of 2017 Midnight North released their third studio album: Under the Lights. On this full length record, Midnight North left it all on the court. Recorded by David Simon-Baker (Los Lobos, ALO, Jackie Greene, Mother Hips) at the Greene Room and Allegiant Studios, Under the Lights features their 11 best new tunes. Expect flares of country on tracks like “The Highway Song” and “Greene County”, tinges of soul on the likes of “Back To California”, but mostly good solid rock and roll. With strong melodies and stronger harmonies, for this band it comes down to one thing: the song.

Immediately after their last studio release, 2015’s Scarlet Skies, Midnight North – fronted by lead songwriters Elliott Peck & Grahame Lesh with lush Hammond B3 organ, lead guitar, and harmony work from Alex Jordan and stomping bass lines from Connor O’Sullivan – began touring the country in earnest, visiting the East Coast and the Midwest for the first time in Summer 2015. The band wrote the majority of Under the Lights in the following months, and the lyrical road themes – the initial excitement, the longing for home, and the inherent need to keep moving – shine through.

EVENT DETAILS:

  • When: Thursday, August 29
  • Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Location: River Jam Stage
  • Cost: Free and open to the public
  • Weather: Events are scheduled to proceed rain or shine.  In the event of severe weather, the USNWC reserves the right to reschedule/cancel live music performances.