Henry Rollins "Capitalism" Tour comes to Charleston 10.23


WVRockscene will be hosting ticket sales and promoting Henry Rollins’ 10.23 “Capitalism” show in Charleston. Rollins is traveling the U.S., hitting all 50 state capitals for spoken word shows in advance of the November presidential election.

Check out the PRESS RELEASE below for details...

Henry Rollins hits the campaign trail this fall for a two-month tour hitting all 50 state capitals -- starting September 6 at Hawaiian Brian’s in Honolulu, HI -- and wrapping up on the eve of the Presidential election at the 9:30 Club in the nation’s capital.

Titled “Capitalism,” Henry’s latest talking tour offers not so much a voting guide as an outside viewpoint -- and an unflinching quest for truth that’s sadly lacking in the profit-driven American mass media. “I will be performing across our fine nation, doing shows in the capital city of each state. We will be going all the way up to election eve,” says Henry. “It’s always a great time to be in America, but this will be the highpoint of this year’s tour. Shepard Fairey did a great poster for the tour to make it extra noteworthy. I can’t wait to start this one.”

On “Capitalism,” Henry will continue to dish anecdotes gleaned and perspective gained from the road less traveled -- sharing experiences that include recent visits to North Korea, Mongolia, Bhutan, Vietnam, India, Tibet, Sudan, Uganda, Haiti and Cuba. And in the spirit of the season, of course, expect both pointed commentary and wry observations about the American democratic process as it unfolds.

Tickets for “Capitalism” go on sale Friday, June 29. Check with local venues for full ticket information.

(You can buy your tickets for the Charleston show safely and securely visit our friends at Brown Paper Tickets. (http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/257753) Click on any of the conveniently placed BPT widgets or links to get your tickets.


John Radcliff Turns His House Into a Venue in Parkersburg

photo: PM Beat

Parkersburg-based John Radcliff (above) has opened his doors for his 816 Quincy Street Concert Series.

We think house shows are cool, lotta people do. It’s not everyone, though, who will let strangers walk into their house for a few hours. Who can't envision some totally awesome scenario where everyone just goes nuts and trashes the place?

Parkersburg-based musician John Radcliff doesn't care. Well, we're sure he cares, he just trusts people and wants to put on cool shows by any means. He's been hosting some neat looking house shows at his 816 Quincy Street Concert Series. And he’s got one lined up tonite, as he welcomes The Kernal, Mechanical River (Joel T. Hamilton) and Andrew Combs (and you, if yer up there) into his residence.

We caught up with Radcliff to see what possessed him to host house shows…

WVRockscene: House shows seem to have been a weird mix of popular yet underutilized. You see some around here but you might think there'd be more. When did you decide to welcome musicians and strangers off the street into your home for this Quincy Hill House Concert Series?

John Radcliff: I started hosting shows in 2007. I came across Kevin Montgomery on Myspace and really enjoyed his music. I got to reading about him and this thing he does called, the 50 States in 50 Days tour. I had been hosting songwriter parties for a couple years and thought I could host a musician for a concert just as easily. I wasn't really planning on making it a continuing thing until I started getting emails from other artist wanting to know if they could play at my house. Pretty soon, I found myself looking at touring schedules for acts I really liked and trying to fit house concerts in the holes in their touring schedule.

Success with the first few shows made me want to keep on doing it. I find that the strangers that show up are usually some of the most interesting people I meet. There is a certain amount of apprehension about letting people into my house. But your realize pretty quickly that those are the people that really love music. Since Parkersburg isn't a really big town, I think guests really appreciate the quality of the artists that play at my house. Because otherwise, we don't attract that level of performer to the area. Since I started, there have been a couple bars that have started going after these kind of acts. And that is really refreshing, because the whole Mid-Ohio Valley wins, and I like to think it has made the music scene around Parkersburg that much better.

rockscene: Obviously for the most part bands play bars. While playing out like that is still cool, what are some of the pros of house shows versus playing at a bar (time/cost/atmosphere) and some of the cons as it relates to hosting something like these?

Radcliff: The best part is that seeing an act at a house concert really is the best way to see them. Most of the crowd are there to hear the music, and you don't get the noise and distractions you would at a bar or a large venue. It's intimate and you can actually sit down and talk with the performers in a casual setting after the show. I'm lucky that I have really cool neighbors that don't mind the extra noise or traffic. My reward is the two hours of incredible music and the looks on people's faces when they understand how right I was about the uniqueness and fun of house concerts. The con is cleaning up the next day.

rockscene: As it relates to the pros, what's the response been from the musicians and even attendees who've come to 816 Quincy Street for a show?

Radcliff: While I haven't toured extensively myself, I've slept on enough floors and back seats of cars to know how great it is to have a comfortable place to sleep and a warm meal. Besides hosting the shows, I have the room to let the acts stay the night. I try to make them as comfortable as possible before they head back out on the road. I think that goes a long way. First time house concert goers are the best. I know it was an eye opener for me at my first show I hosted. Most shows are $10 a head and I think people are apprehensive about laying down that kind of cash. But once they step through the door and commit to it, I think they feel the same way I do.

rockscene: You live in Parkersburg, right? I've heard of one or two places to play up there but do you see what you're doing here as something as an asset to the town?

Radcliff: Absolutely. The Adelphia Music Hall and Marietta Brewing Company have been great about bringing music to the area. But when I started hosting shows, there wasn't hardly anywhere to go see good music. I've lived here since 2003, so I'm probably not the best resource. But for what I wanted to listen to, there wasn't anything. I knew there were people in the area that would enjoy these types of shows. A lot of them came to my songwriter parties. But you know there have to be more people that are interested. It really works for both the artist and the area. It leads to bigger things, as well.

There is another house concert host in Parkersburg, Steve Tuck, that put together a really nice festival to raise money for The Children's Home Society. Steve is an absolute saint, and we're joining up to bring Kevin Montgomery back September 24th. It's really neat, because Kevin's 50 State in 50 Days tour is about raising awareness about foster children that age out of care. It's so closely related to what Steve does, it's like the perfect storm. But in a really good way.

rockscene: You've signed up for this "Concert in Your House" thing, how much is that going to help with promotions etc.?

Radcliff: I literally just signed up last week. I've received two emails from artist wanting to play here in the fall. So I would expect the more I work with acts through CIYH, the better it will work for me. Probably a lot more exposure. I think they'll enjoy Parkersburg too!

rockscene: Does being a musician (again, the pros and cons) give you an insight others might not have when it comes to booking these shows and convincing these musicians to come to your house and play?

Radcliff: I'm sure they like that I have a PA set up and ready to go when they arrive. I try to be reasonable and work with them any way I can. I think that comes from being a musician and knowing how much easier it is to put on a good show when your mind isn't clouded with other things. As far as booking, I have pulled from that network a few times to get acts here. I'm sure there's a certain amount of trust in knowing you're working with someone who really cares about music.

rockscene: You most recently released "Naked Souls" -- what's up with any recording or other highlights you're looking forward to the rest of 2012?

Radcliff: I have Haggard Wulf from Morgantown coming July 21st and Chris Bathgate August 27th. As far as my music, I'm doing a project called Demolicious. It's the songs I've written recently that I maybe want to record. So I've made demos of six of them so far. When I get to a point where I'm ready to choose and do make the next CD, it'll be fun to look back on them. I've also tried to video tape myself the day or the next after I write the song. So I'll have three layers to all the ones that make the final cut. It'll be fun to have that all out there to see the evolution of the songs. They are all on my Youtube site. There's also a few videos of the house concerts I've had. But I'm in the middle of editing a lot of them out and posting. So it's kind of thin right now.

rockscene: You've got Shovels and Rope booked for September?
Radcliff: Yes!!!!!! The day after Labor Day, September 4th. It's funny because I landed the three acts that will be here Wednesday night through the booking agent for Shovels and Rope. It was a last minute thing, but when I listened to them I was just like, "Hell Yeah!" I saw Shovels and Rope at the Nelsonville Music Festival and really thought it would be a long shot at best. But I ended up getting two incredible shows out of it. I'm really thankful you're taking the time to ask me about it and pass it on. It's just too good to keep a secret. Thank you!

John Radcliff 816 Quincy Street Concert Series
WED 6.27 The Kernal, Mechanical River (Joel T. Hamilton) and Andrew Combs
816 Quincy St., Parkersburg 8 p.m.
$10 suggested donation
Facebook event page? Here.


Lucero Brings "Women & Work" to V Club Tuesday

Courtesy photo
Lucero (L-R: Rick Steff, Brian Venable, Ben Nichols, Todd Beene, Roy Berry, John C. Stubblefield) performs at The V Club Tuesday night as part of its Summer “Women & Work” tour.

Reposted from The Huntington Herald-Dispatch

Given the very rich rock and roll history Memphis, Tennessee has, it wouldn’t surprise anyone that the critically acclaimed alt-country band Lucero was influenced by it, in ways both subtle, and overt.

What may surprise some is the music they bonded over before forming 14 years ago.

“For us as a band, we all grew up punks, and we all met at punk rock shows,” guitarist Brian Venable said over the phone from Carrboro, North Carolina, where Lucero kicked off its Summer “Women & Work” tour.

“When you’re young, you might not realize where you’re from,” he added. “Everyone wants to go somewhere else, to get out. We were trying to do something different.”

Lucero performs at The V Club Tuesday night with Houston-based country rocker Robert Ellis, who was just nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year by the Americana Music Association.

“Women & Work,” Lucero’s eighth studio release, finds the band embracing its Memphis roots; a bigger, more soulful sound, with horns, steel guitar, and piano/organ. Lucero also recently played with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s Opus One musician series, and in May, recorded some songs for the PBS-syndicated Sun Studio Sessions.

“Just being from Memphis, playing with the musicians and knowing the people and the history and recordings, you realize you’re a Memphis musician, and there’s a lot to be said about that,” Venable said.

Released on ATO Records, (home to Drive-By Truckers and My Morning Jacket) a lot of positive things have been said about “Women & Work” since its March release. The record, a raucous soundtrack to a bar-based weekend, with some gospel nods (hear the female chorus on “Go Easy”) thrown in, has received praise from Rolling Stone and The New York Times (among others) and that’s cool, Venable said, if a little unreal.

“It’s one of those things where it kind of doesn’t seem real. But it doesn’t affect our day-to-day touring. It’s also something that your grandparents and people like that, you can go, ‘Look, the New York Times likes us.’ They all know what The New York Times is. It’s like getting your records into a Best Buy or a Wal-Mart. Your relatives are like ‘Oh, you’re a big deal,’” Venable said with a laugh. “Sure.”

But Lucero is a big deal to their fans. That the hard livin’, hard lovin’ songs singer-guitarist Ben Nichols and crew come up with means so much to the fans, means that much more to the band.

“That’s the awesome thing,” Venable said of the love Lucero is constantly shown by its fans. “Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. We’re so busy making music and living day to day, and you get people who come up and are like ‘Your music got me through a divorce,’ or ‘We’re getting married to your music.’

“Music means a lot to a lot of people, but sometimes as a musician you miss out on the importance of it to people. I mean, I have favorite bands, but it never occurred to me that my band would be someone’s favorite band until they came up and told me.”

The long, winding musical path Lucero finds itself on? Venable said the journey is the destination.

“We’ve been really lucky being a band for 14 years, to be able to stretch our legs, so to speak, creatively, where a lot of bands if they break up after six or eight years, they might not get to try it like we have.

“It’s just one of those things,” he added. “None of us have real job-qualified educations. The joke is we’re too dumb and too uneducated to do anything else. We’re lucky enough to play music for a living, so we’re going to run with it as long as we can.”


w/Robert Ellis
WHERE: The V Club, 741 6th Ave.
WHEN: 9:30 p.m. Tuesday
COST: $18
INFO: www.vclublive.com or (304) 781-0680
ONLINE: www.luceromusic.com/


Q&A w/Tucker Riggleman and Paul Cogle of Bishops


It’s always cool to see new bands form, ‘specially when they’re made up of cool dudes we’ve talked to in the past. Such is the case with Bishops, which grew out of Tucker Riggleman (The Demon Beat/Prison Book Club) recording some solo stuff with Paul Cogle (Nagato/Vox Populi).

Fast forward a few months, and after adding drummer Andrew Ford and pulling guitarist Adam Meisterhans (The Demon Beat/PBC/Rozwell Kid) in, Bishops is releasing a full-length in July and heading out on tour. We caught up with Riggleman and Cogle to learn more and talk about some rock songs…

WVRockscene: The first Bishops full band show was June 10? How did that go?

Paul Cogle: The first band show went great! Loved playing the “Ice Breaker” in front of all our friends.

Tucker Riggleman: It was definitely a lot of fun. Everyone was real attentive and had nice things to say. It’s only gonna get better from here.

rockscene: You’re set to release the full-length real soon right?

Cogle: Yes, it’s recorded and we are in the mixing stage. It’s got a sound all it’s own – Trashy Garage Rock, Dream POP/Shoe Gaze and just down right Rock at times.

Riggleman: Yup, and it’s sounding way bigger than I ever expected. Everyone really brought their best. It definitely doesn’t really sound like anything else I’ve ever done. People keep asking me ‘What kind of band is Bishops?’ and I never have an answer. We have some songs that are pulled back and soaked in reverb, and that might be followed by a raved up, almost punk sounding song. It covers a lot of ground, but somehow still makes sense that it’s coming from the same band.

rockscene: Tucker you’d previously done solo stuff, still write in PBC, but played the MACRoCk solo Bishops set, how & when did this collaboration with Paul come about out of your own writing? Did you two say ‘Let’s start a band!’ at any point?

Cogle: I’ve been bugging Tucker for a few years about doing some recordings for either PBC or the Demon Beat and schedules had never worked, out but last fall we talked (about a side project) he’d like to record and wanted to know if I’d be involved. I jumped at the chance. It’s been a really good time!

Riggleman: I’ve been writing songs pretty frequently since I was about 16 years old. Once I got to college I had the opportunity to do some solo shows and travel around a bit with that, but I was never really satisfied with the representation of the songs. Everything I write has more of a “full-band” feel to it in my head. Paul is a great guy and is very active in the West Virginia music scene.

I was finally able to find the time to go check out his studio in Falling Waters in early 2012 and cut some acoustic demos of a bunch of songs I had recently written. Once we got Andrew in there and plugged in the amps it all just felt pretty perfect. I was finally hearing the songs the way I had heard them in my head all of those years.

rockscene: Paul I thought I’d seen a Nagato show mentioned online not too long ago, what’s it like being in a band like Bishops with Tucker, something so different than Nagato?

Cogle: I’m a real music junky and love playing as many styles and with as many different people as possible (this is how I grow). Bishops and Nagato are so far apart but still, all a part of me.

rockscene: Paul, what’s up with Nagato, you gonna do another EP or anything? Still playing shows obviously right?

Cogle: Yep, still playing shows and getting ready to record a full length. Been a lot of challenges in “Nagatoland” but all is well. Greg Ball (also in Hovel) now lives back in Morgantown so there are a few schedule challenges but we do get together every few months.

rockscene: Tucker not to get too personal or specific but just looking at stuff you’d said on Facebook about life sucking in general, and then you have the lyrics on “I Wanna Marry Rock and Roll,” -- “Everything sucks don't you think I know/Tomorrow's gonna suck, just let it go.” But now the obvious question how cathartic is it now to have this band for you?

Riggleman: It is very cathartic. I think everyone needs that outlet. The Demon Beat’s songs are written by Adam, and PBC’s almost entirely by John, so it’s definitely nice to be able to cut loose and get some shit off of my chest. I think the entire act of writing, recording, and performing music is insanely therapeutic, and it always seems to help me out when I’m down.

I think as I get older I just realize that a lot of the negative or shitty things that happen around me are out of my control, so if I can try to remember to just sit back, let it go, and play some music with my friends it will make this whole “growing up” thing at least a bit easier.

rockscene: Is Meisterhans supposed to be in the band now?

Cogle: He started out as a fan, then a utility player but I think he needed to be in the band after what he brought to the recordings. Adam is great! Like cream, he rises to the top. Can’t wait for you all to hear the songs!

Riggleman: Yeah, we recorded one of the early practices we had with just a room mic and let Adam check it out so he could add some parts to the recording, but the parts ended up being so good and his enthusiasm about playing was awesome, so he’s going to start playing live with us as well.

rockscene: Where did you guys record at? And given each of your own respective amounts of recording how did it go for Bishops?

Cogle: We recorded at my house. Tucker, Andrew Ford (PBC) and myself. The energy was really good and we knocked-out the main tracks in an afternoon. All first takes! Was a pure joy to record. Adam came in a few days later and did his cuts. It’s all been really good. Lots of good performances captured to tape.

Riggleman: Paul has a great studio with amazing gear that he built from the ground up. That’s where we practice too, so it was a very comfortable environment to track in. I’ll admit, it being a brand new band I was a bit nervous about how the tracking would go, but I’ll be damned if we didn’t do 10 songs in one take each for the basic live tracking. Andrew and Paul are such professionals, and I’m really lucky that they let me add my sloppy playing style overtop of their locked in rhythms.

rockscene: You’re going out on tour with New God in July, how much are you looking forward to that?

Cogle: It’s gonna be a great time – totally looking forward to it!

Riggleman: I’m very excited about this, especially because Kenny (from New God/The Christmas Lights) and I grew up playing shows together in our very first bands, so it’s really come full circle for us. He’s an amazing musician, and New God is going to turn some heads. Check out their record “Motorcar” if you haven't already.

rockscene: Tucker maybe a side issue but you started Big Bullet Booking recently, what made you wanna do that and how’s it gone so far?

Riggleman: That is really just an attempt for me to take my years of booking experience to the next level. To kind of get my foot in the door. It’s been going pretty well. This tour actually started as Kenny from New God approaching me about booking a tour for them, and then I was like, ‘Well I’ve got this new band and we’d love to play some of the shows with you,” and he was all about it. I also have recently helped booked some stuff for my friend JKutchma from Durham, North Carolina.

rockscene: You’ve each been in and still are in multiple bands. How exciting is it to be in this band right now?

Cogle: The hardest part is scheduling. All the bands (we are in) are with our friends and time has to be shared with all our music endeavors but that said, I’m totally excited about Bishops and the future!

Riggleman: It’s very exciting. Like I said, it’s been years in the making for me to finally have an outlet for my songs the way I’ve always wanted them to be heard. That being said, it’s still just as important to me to go out and be super loud with The Demon Beat, or rock out with PBC. Each has its place in my life and are equally cathartic in different ways for me. I think we’re all pretty lucky to be involved in so many different projects. It’s hard for some people to find one band that they like to play in.

Bishops art: Jordan Hudkins

Sample mix of “Get Down” from Bishops soon-to-be-released debut record

Video(s) courtesy Bucket of Rock Blog

Bishops: “Shit Happens” 6.15 @ Church St. Pub


CD Review: "All the Stuff and Gore"


CD: All the Stuff and Gore
ARTIST: The Renfields

Fans of The Renfields have for years had the same problem: where to go to hear all their records. If these fans are at all like us, they may have been trolling the internet, looking first at MySpace, now at Facebook Renfields pages, wanting to hear more, screaming:

“There’s got to be a better way!”

Yes, dear friends, Team Transylvania has released its two-disc box set All the Stuff and Gore just for you!

Only a few people really know our own “fiendish,” bloodthirsty affection for The Renfields. Since first hearing “Prom Night” what, around 2006 or 2007 (?) there hasn’t been any other band we’ve loved hearing more than the Transylvania pogo-punk stylings of these undead horror movie lovers, re-animated with the parts of dead Ramones.

Not only will Renfields fans finally get their favorite records, The Night THEY Came Home and Bastard Sons of Ed Wood, there are like a dozen or so unreleased songs, some old, some new, so even the most diehard Renfields fans will have new songs to fall in love with and sing along to.

“War of the Robots,” “Transylvania Fight Song,” and “Renfields Go!” are included on disc one, and disc two (Stalk and Slash Splatterama I and II) has the most awesome “Ramones Zombie Massacre” (just included on a Ramones tribute comp) and the very much still unreleased “Porkchopp3D”, dedicated to Eamon Hardiman’s murderous pig-headed backwoods killer, is actually one of the most badass Renfields songs ever. Cool to see Hardiman team up with The Renfields.

The one thing that longtime fans of The Renfields will be able to agree on is the very clear progression the band has shown since those older records were released.

It seems like for so long, Vincent had a hard time putting, much less keeping a live Renfields act together. Now, with the current Fiend and Dick Ramses having been in the band a couple of years, Vincent and Team Transylvania have displayed not only with their very raucous energy and chemistry a step forward but also capture a bigger sound with better production. They just sound like a better band, not surprisingly.

But one thing that must be addressed in the live act: the samples. Having the movies that are so important to The Renfields (what the songs are about, duhhh) be a part of these songs pulls everything together. Hate to not see that live.

One last thing: the Ramones nods displayed so prominently in parts by The Renfields. Some readers will maybe get that the title of their own box set is a lift off the Ramones’ vault-like two-cassette greatest hits comp.

While some things have changed (for the better) for The Renfields, some things haven’t changed: the fun. Listening to The Renfields horror-themed version of plug-in-and-go punk rock, this reviewer really is reminded of those days of old, discovering those Ramones tapes, a wholly innocent punk rock love blooming. Except where the Ramones may have been more prone to sing about babysitting and locket love and needles and pins, The Renfields sing about slumber party massacres, but it is just as fun, and just as catchy.

But yeah, there’s stuff for Renfields fans old and new on All the Stuff and Gore. As much as we’d been anxiously waiting to hear this very much treasured box set, it’s even more awesome than anticipated, this coming from someone who considers himself a Renfields afficianado/expert.

All the Stuff and Gore is the perfect Christmas-in-June gift for that hard to buy for Renfields fan, and a great way for new Renfields fans to love the band as much as we do.

Renfields GO!

All the Stuff and Gore box set includes:
*every Renfields song ever recorded
*acoustic demos and rare tracks
*first ever Renfields show flyer
*Transylvania Devil Bats team poster
*Textured CD cover art via Jason Kisner @ Killer Design


Royal Thunder brings “CVI” (and the story behind it) to V Club tonight

Photo: Christy Parry

Atlanta-based Relapse Records artists Royal Thunder (L-R: Josh Coleman, Josh Weaver, Mlny Parsonz, Lee Smith) brings its debut record CVI to the V Club Tuesday night with Valient Thorr, Holy Grail and The Kickass

Reposted from The Huntington Herald-Dispatch

Numerology is of course a very real thing. Whether or not the number 23 is actually appearing everywhere in some sort of cosmic conspiracy, it’s a neat thing to think about.

It can also make you insane, apparently.

For the Atlanta-based rock band Royal Thunder, 106, or, as they’ve titled their new, critically acclaimed Relapse Records debut, “CVI,” is that number.

“The 106?” singer and bassist Mlny Parsonz (that’s how she spells it for the band) asks back over the phone, almost like you don’t know about a horror story she doesn’t want to talk about.

“No, it’s actually a pretty significant story,” she continued. “Originally Royal Thunder was an instrumental band, and the drummer was born on January sixth, 106. They found $106 in the street one day, and it led to some woman crying, and it turns out it was her money, and they got into a lot of trouble with the cops thinking they stole the money.

“And the original drummer went to stay at a friend’s house, and when they woke up in the morning, the drummer was talking to the guy’s grandmother and apparently she was dead, and he didn’t realize it, but she was 106 years old.

“So whatever it means, this number has followed us on a daily basis.”

Royal Thunder, with “CVI,” released May 22, following the band quite literally around the country, comes to Huntington tonight for a show at the V Club with Valient Thorr, Holy Grail, and The Kickass.

Parsonz said praise from outlets like NPR and Revolver Magazine for Royal Thunder’s version of Southern-infused hard rock and metal in general, and for her vocal range and power in particular, is always cool, given the band’s modest aspirations getting started.

“Our hopes and dreams for this band were to just be a successful Atlanta band,” Parsonz said just a few days removed from Royal Thunder’s CD release show and a three-day jaunt of shows with Baroness. “Of course, everybody wants something more than that, a lot of musicians do. You just hope you can pay your bills with it one day.”

But fielding questions about songs like “Parsonz Curse,” spelling out some sort of generational affliction on her dad’s side of the family for strangers in the press? That’s taking some getting used to.

“It was a little uncomfortable for me to even be as personal as I was,” Parsonz said of her lyrics. “We were just another band, I thought we could be off-the-grid, and people wouldn’t focus on it. But all of this is happening, and people are focusing on it, and I want to be open but still keep my boundaries and not just give all the details all of this personal stuff.”

Parsonz, on the subject of personal stuff, said that, yeah, being married to founding member and lead guitarist Josh Weaver makes for smoother chemistry in Royal Thunder.

“I, um,” Parsonz said, pausing to calculate the time they’ve been together. “I’ve been with Josh for almost half my life, and we’ve been married for eleven years and just always have had such a connection with music. You would never know we’re married; we’re like best friends. We don’t really bring our marriage into the music, but inevitably when you’re playing music with your partner it’s going to translate in some way whether it’s energy or subconscious chemistry.

“I do think it makes for a chemistry and energy you can’t really explain.”

And all that flattering praise for the new record? There may be one person not following it too closely. “To be honest, I don’t read a lot of the press because it can make me feel too much pressure, and it makes me feel bad,” Parsonz said with an almost apologetic laugh. “But I hear a lot of good things, and I’m grateful for that.”

Parsonz said that as much as the number 106 has followed Royal Thunder, the band doesn’t believe they’re cursed, or, alternately, given their rapid ascendance in popularity, blessed.

“No, we definitely worked our asses off,” Parsonz said about any cosmic benevolence the number may carry for the band. “I think it’s just interesting. It was like, 106 was such a huge part of our lives, and now it’s being sent out even further into the universe. It’s really cool.”

IF YOU GO Valient Thorr, Royal Thunder, The Kickass, Holy Grail
WHERE: The V Club, 741 Sixth Ave.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 12, 9 p.m.
COST: Advance $10, at door $12
INFO: www.vclublive.com or (304) 781-0680


CD Review: "Animal Tracks"

CD: Animal Tracks
ARTIST: Sly Roosevelt

On the song “Bluejays,” on their recently released full-length debut Animal Tracks, Sly Roosevelt singer-guitarist Sean McDaniel sings “We’ve got something special here.”

If he’s referring to the record, he’s right.

You have to imagine that Sly Roosevelt knew what it was doing all along to pull together what even at first glance appears to be a surrealist petting zoo-themed concept record. On Animal Tracks, though, this Huntington-based indie rock band not only ties together the album art (ably done by Jarrod Schneider) with songs like “Bluejays,” “Lion,” “Minks” and “Wolf,” but a populist, anti-Wall Street manifesto theme seems to have buried itself in some of the lyrics of these songs.

Heck, the band samples 90 seconds worth of Teddy Roosevelt’s August 6 1912, “Confession of Faith” to open the record.

Over twelve songs worth of richly arranged songs that ebb and flow between laid-back almost jazzy intros building into rocked out choruses, jammed out bridges and soaring solos by lead guitarist Jyosh Sanders, it’s McDaniel’s stunning vocal range, from delicate whisper-to-shrieking-howl, that really help make Animal Tracks such a wild ride.

Alexander Durand (bass) and Matt Marshall (drums) have steered the band DIY-style through their own studio in addition to their rhythm section role. Megan Durand adds so much to the songs with synth and piano part.

Standout tracks for us are “Lion,” (which you may have already seen the YouTube “Meet the King” series and video the band did for the song) “Opportune Moment,” “Atoms,” and what makes this CD something more than just animal crackers, “Elijah,” which finds McDaniel ending up on the no-fly list with his conspiracy theory lyrics:
“Gimme the vaccine for Wall Street… Gimme the vaccine for this mock democracy… Gimme the vaccine for this vaccine/I haven’t had the flu in years… I guess I’m gearing up for the plague…”
Not only is the CD something you should buy just to see how the art flushes out the very rich, animal-infested landscape Sly Roosevelt has created here, but this seems like a band that would have an energy live that may be hard to capture on a record. Jon Parsons (mixing) and Russ Fox (mastering) deserve kudos have done that here, we think it would just be cool to see them rock these songs out live.

But yeah, Sly Roosevelt has something special here. Animal Tracks is a great record and a great full-length debut for these cats.

--- Related: Making "Tracks" -- Sly Roosevelt releases "Animal Tracks" at V Club Friday (Huntington Herald-Dispatch article)