Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Oklahoma Lefty Podcast # 11

On this episode we have new stuff from The Gomes, The Addisons, Great Cynics, Benchmarks, and Dave Hause plus cult classics from Dag Nasty, Sinkhole, and 7 Seconds, and much more.

Find past episodes of the Oklahoma Lefty Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spreaker.

Listen to "Oklahoma Lefty Podcast # 11" on Spreaker.

1.  "Shizzy" by 7 Seconds (from Out The Shizzy)
2.  "Timing" by The Addisons (from Invisible Falls State Park)
3.  "M Team" by Step Into Red (from Heard It All Before)
4.  "Take My Heart With You" by The Bigger Empty (from Lakes & Oceans Vol. 1: Michigan)
5.  "Stoned Under a New Moon" by toyGuitar (from Move Like a Ghost)
6.  "All Ages Show" by Dag Nasty (from 85-86)
7.  "Next Year" by Benchmarks (from Our Undivided Attention)
8.  "Brooklyn Bridge" by Candy Hearts (from All The Ways You Let Me Down)
9.  "FOMO" by The Bombpops (from Fear Of Missing Out)
10.  "All I Want" by Bullet Proof Lovers (from Shot Through The Heart)
11.  "Wembley" by Beach Slang (from Here, I Made This For You [Beach Slang Mixtape Vol. 2])
12.  "Hypnotize You" by The Gomes (from Hypnotize You - Single)
13.  "Happiness, London" by Great Cynics (from POSI)
14.  "Leaner Days" by Sinkhole (from Groping for Trout)
15.  "Berlin" by Shallow Cuts (from Empty Beach Town)
16.  "Bury Me in Philly" by Dave Hause (from Bury Me in Philly)

*Note*  All music played on this show is done so with the express written permission of the artist, artist representative, and/or the record label.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Currently Listening

1.  "Bad Scene, Everyone's Fault" by Jawbreaker (from Dear You)
2.  "Red Hill Mining Town" by U2 (from Red Hill Mining Town [Steve Lillywhite 2017 Mix])
3.  "Sallisaw Blue" by John Moreland (from John Moreland)
4.  "Like Flowers Ache for Spring" by The Winter Passing (from Double Exposure)
5.  "One By One" by Cock Sparrer (from Forever)
6.  "Louder In Outer Space" by Skating Polly feat. Louise Post & Nina Gordon (from Louder In Outer Space)
7.  "June" by Tigers Jaw (from June)
8.  "Annie" by Carter Sampson (from Queen of Oklahoma and Other Songs)
9.  "The Violence" by Rise Against (from The Violence)
10.  "Fade to Black" by Northbound (from The Flaws In Everything)
11.  "Wedding Speech by The Flatliners (from Inviting Light)
12.  "Midnight To Morning" by Japandroids (from Near To The Wild Heart Of Life)
13.  "New Air" by Fire in the Radio (from New Air)
14.  "City of New Orleans" by Me First & the Gimme Gimmes (from City of New Orleans)
15.  "Your Wild Years" by The Menzingers (from After the Party)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

10 Questions with Dead Bars

Dead Bars is a catchy as all hell punk band from Seattle, WA.  The band released their full-length debut Dream Gig on No Idea Records in March 2017.

This interview was conducted via email with lead singer and lyricist John Maiello February 26 - April 3, 2017.

For more information on Dead Bars check out the band's Facebook, TwitterBandCamp, and Spotify pages.

Dave:  How did the band get together?

John Maiello:  I was a drummer in a bunch of bands on the East Coast from age 14-22. When I was 22, I moved to Seattle to start playing drums in a band with my friend Tom who was living out here. We played a handful of shows with that band, but in the end my vision for the band was not the same vision as the other members. I realized that as a drummer, it was difficult to grow a band the way I wanted to. I decided to pick up guitar and learn a few power chords and I wrote a few songs. I kicked them around for a few years and then in 2013, I put a band together to play one show. People thought it was good, so I decided to play more. C.J. joined on drums for show #2 and has been in the band with me the whole time since. We've had a bunch of friends join/fill-in/help/tour since the early days but we have a good group now. Blom on guitar and Oddo on bass.

Dave:  What’s the story behind the name Dead Bars?

John:  A long time ago, my friends dragged me to an overcrowded bar with lines just to get a beer. I told them that I would never go that bar again, and that the only places I will ever go for the rest of my life are dead bars. I thought it was a good band name, and it stuck.

Dave:  For those who have never heard the band, how do you describe your music?

John:  Punk Rock band with fun sounding songs about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

Dave:  You recently released your debut full-length album Dream Gig on No Idea Records.  What's the story behind the record?  How did you get hooked up with No Idea?

John:  Dream Gig is supposed to take the listener on a journey. Its supposed to sound like a young band finding and refining their sound as the record progresses. It starts off with an idea, the overture, and then by the end the title track is seven minute opus of drunken bliss. We did it all live in C.J.'s living room. Its not perfect, but it's beautiful.

As far as No Idea, early on in 2013, we recorded a demo and thought that it would fit on that label. We got really fucked up one night and sent them an email with a link to our songs. The next morning we woke up and got a response that they wanted to release our records. They released our first two seven-inches and then a tour split with The Tim Version last year. Over the last few years we were crafting Dream Gig. We're lucky to be apart of No Idea Records.

Dave:  Do you have plans to tour in support of the new record? What are some of your favorite places to play?

John:  Yes, we will definitely tour both coasts. I'd love to get back to the Mid-West too. I don't know where or when, but sometime in 2017. Our favorite places to play are the Pacific Northwest, Southern California, NYC, Boston, Chicago, and Gainesville, FL.

Dave:  Do you have any specific type of songwriting process?

John:  I sit down with an acoustic guitar and just start playing chords and see what clicks. Every single Dead Bars song is about something real that actually happened to me. If it didn't happen to me, then it's not going to be a Dead Bars song.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Seattle?

John:  I think Seattle has a great music scene. I guess like any big city, it is kinda split up into different smaller scenes. There are also bands that are what I like to call "Seattle Big" which I don't really understand. They play really big shows and have a lot of fans in town but I don't think anybody cares anywhere else. We are lucky enough to play in a bunch of different scenes with a bunch of different bands.

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question. What are your top five favorite bands, albums, movies, television programs, books/authors?

John:  This is tough one. I'll just give you one of my favorites from each category cuz this question is kind of stressing me out!

1) Band: Bouncing Souls
2) Album: "Blue Album" Weezer
3) Movie: Dumb and Dumber
4) TV: Seinfeld
5) Book: Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerad

Dave:  What’s next for the band?

John:  Gigs. Sleep. Writing more songs. Some beers. Recording new stuff. Probably touring.

Dave:  Any final thoughts?

John:  Never Give Up On Your Dreams

Monday, March 27, 2017

Currently Listening

1.  "Indoors" by The Flatliners (from Indoors)
2.  "Kernel" by Seam (from Kernel)
3.  "Guardian" by Tigers Jaw (from Guardian)
4.  "Wrong" by Archers Of Loaf (from Icky Mettle)
5.  "Only Shallow" by My Bloody Valentine (from Loveless)
6.  "No Halo" by Sorority Noise (from You're Not As _____ As You Think)
7.  "No Exception" by Chris Wollard and The Ship Thieves (from Chris Wollard and The Ship Thieves)
8.  "Thick as Thieves" by The Menzingers (from After the Party)
9.  "Show Me Mary" by Catherine Wheel (from Chrome)
10.  "Midnight To Morning" by Japandroids (from Near To The Wild Heart Of Life)
11.  "Why Do You Have to Put a Date on Everything" by Superchunk (from Foolish)
12.  "Anything Could Happen" by Bash & Pop (from Anything Could Happen)
13.  "Chasing Heather Crazy" by Guided By Voices (from Isolation Drills)
14.  "Dear Trouble" by Bleached (from Can You Deal?)
15.  "Constructive Summer" by The Hold Steady (from Stay Positive)

Video of the Day: "As They Sleep" by Lights & Motion

Song:  "As They Sleep"
Artist:  Lights & Motion (OfficialFacebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud, BandCamp, Spotify, Deep Elm Records, Wikipedia)
Album:  Dear Avalanche (Deep Elm Records, BandCamp [Deep Elm], Amazon, iTunes, Spotify)

We have partnered with Deep Elm Records to give away 10 digital copies of Lights & Motion's brilliant new album Dear Avalanche.  In order to get your copy, all you need to do is follow me on Twitter @OklahomaLefty and send me a tweet with #OklahomaLeftyGiveaway and I'll hook you up with a download code.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Album Review: 'Our Undivided Attention' by Benchmarks

Title:  Our Undivided Attention (SofaBurn Records, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify)
Artist:  Benchmarks (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloudBandCamp, Spotify)

Nashville, TN's Benchmarks full-length debut Our Undivided Attention is a compelling, enriching, and fulfilling album that touches on a multitude of sub-genres, styles, and moods all while holding strong as a cohesive unit and a singular experience.  Mixing elements of indie rock, alt country, emo, anthematic punk rock, power pop, alt rock, and classic rock, Benchmarks have created a sound that is bold, expansive, and pure rock 'n' roll passion.  Without the constraints of being an actual concept record, Our Undivided Attention has themes that are heard throughout its 11 songs, including a wonderful lyric that is haunting and desperate in the opening track "This Year" while hopeful and optimistic in the closer "Next Year" -- "I know next year things will be better."  It is that idea that permeates all aspects of this record through songs about love, life, trials, tribulations, growing up, and never giving in.  Sonically Benchmarks hit that perfect sweet spot playing catchy melodic rock anthems with deep emotions and a slight twang.  This is the kind of record that should appeal to fans of everything from Placeholder to Against Me! to Jimmy Eat World to Foo Fighters to Two Cow Garage to The Promise Ring and everything in between.

You can check out my interview with Benchmarks' guitarist / lead singer Todd Farrell Jr. on episode # 10 of the Oklahoma Lefty Podcast available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spreaker.

EP Review: 'Too Old To Dream' by Get Fired

Title:  Too Old To Dream (BandCamp, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify)
Artist:  Get Fired (OfficialFacebook, Twitter, InstagramBandCamp, Spotify)

Oklahoma City's Get Fired have returned with their sophomore EP Too Old To Dream.  The seven-song collection is blisteringly quick, clocking in at 10 minutes, with most of the songs coming in at well under the two minute mark.  This time around the band's sound has gotten darker and more serious tackling topics such as mindless politics and modern day social media communication.  At it's core Too Old To Dream is still a pop punk record but it has more in common with Milo Goes to College and the Adolescents' first record than Everything Sucks or NOFX.  As with their debut Things That Are Not Rocket Science, Too Old To Dream's standout moments are the simple pop songs that let the hook and the melodies steer the ship, the opening "The Only Thing That Matters Is Whatever's After The Hashtag" and the closing "Star Map."  The best thing about this record is the band's continued growth as songwriters and performers, making them one of the up and coming bands to watch in the Sooner State.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Album Review: 'Leonard' by Deforesters

Title:  Leonard (BandCamp, Black Numbers Records, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify)
Artist:  Deforesters (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube,  BandCamp, Spotify)

Deforesters have delivered a stellar full-length debut in Leonard.  Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Deforesters play a sickeningly catchy brand of gruff and melodic punk rock that is equal parts Nothington and Screeching Weasel.  Mixing the best of the melodic, the pop, and the punk, Leonard plows forward with tight hooks, big choruses, and lyrics that are as intelligent as they are thoughtful and witty.  This is the kind of band and the kind of record that sounds and feels like it is a product of the scene in Gainesville, and while that is absolutely a compliment, this band is so much more.  Behind the gruff vocals and punk hooks, is a tremendous pop sensibility that goes far beyond one genre or one era of rock 'n' roll.  Bottom line, this is a killer record that is a must for fans of Red City Radio, Against Me!, Timeshares, Hot Water Music, The Fest, or any of the aforementioned bands.

You can also check out my interview with Deforesters' lead singer / bassist Pod on episode # 7 of the Oklahoma Lefty Podcast, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spreaker.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Album Review: 'In The End' by Nothington

Title:  In The End (BandCamp, Red Scare Industries, Amazon, iTunes, Interpunk, Spotify)
Artist:  Nothington (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Bandsintown, BandCamp, Spotify)

Nothington's fourth full-length album In The End is the kind of nearly perfect record that somehow gets better with each and every listen.  This record is the perfect mixture of aggression and melody, gruff edges and pop sensibilities, punk and rock.  The album is classic Nothington with 11 songs of big choruses, tight melodies, gruff dueling lead vocals, excellent harmonies, and hooks that refuse to let you go.  It's that killer melding of melodic pop punk with country twinges and classic rock anthems that hits some many different sweet spots.  Then there's the lyrics.  This record deals with desperation, love, and growing older without ever diving into complete despair, offering glimmers of hope for a better tomorrow.  In fact it's those lyrics that really drive this record home taking it from great to unfuckingbelievable.  This is the kind of record that hits you first with its incredible sounds and then knocks you out with its words.

In the past few years, it has become increasingly obvious that Nothington has quietly become one of the most influential bands in modern punk.  You can hear their impact on the music of acts ranging from Red City Radio to Arms Aloft to Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves to Timeshares, just to name a few.

From top to bottom this record kills.  I've been listening to it constantly for a couple of months now and each time I put it on, I find something new to love.  Bottom line, In The End is a completely and utterly satisfying record musically, lyrically, and emotionally.