Between breaking news alerts, 2017 formed into the year people fought back. The shocks of 2016 grew into the movements of 2017. Music mirrored this, as bold women and the socially conscious dominated playlists. I did my best to reflect that here.Read More
The River’s Edge Media made waves when they launched a Pittsburgh-music-based radio station in Millvale in 2014. Three years later, they are launching their second station – The Metal Edge. In keeping with the format of its predecessor, The Metal Edge will play metal music by Pittsburgh artists.Read More
Metacara’s uniques sound is birthed from organic sounds in their studio fueled by real life interactions.Read More
With the spring release of their astounding third full-length, Heartless, Pallbearer have cemented themselves as the most accomplished metal band of the last decade.Read More
This April, from Austin, Texas, the experimental electronic hardcore duo Street Sects made their Pittsburgh debut at the Roboto Project in Garfield. They gave a performance as intense and impassioned as the work on their jarring first record, End Position (The Flenser - 2016). An amalgam of razor sharp industrial beats, samples, and buzzsaw vocals, fired upon the listener at a relentless barrage of fury, Street Sects exhaust the listener in a challenging, but endlessly satisfying way. The unique abrasiveness of their sounds has not kept fans or critics away, as Street Sects found themselves one of Rolling Stone’s “10 Bands to Watch” in 2016, and are now into their third national tour.Read More
If you’re not aware, Green Day was in town on March 25th. When they announced their tour dates – and a stop in Pittsburgh, my sister thought it would be a great birthday present for me (granted a birthday present I would need to redeem a few months after the fact). Summed up? The show was as good as I expected it to be.Read More
When you meet Palermo Stone you meet a humble man who gets the hustle, struggles and the grind that makes you successful. He proclaims that he is just a musician, father and husband, but if you listen hard enough you hear the deep rhythm of an entrepreneur.Read More
2016 seemed like the year that would never end. Musicians responded with dense, serious works reflecting the current environment.Read More
Byron Nash and Plan B has only been together for a year, however the veterans of the band have been playing in Pittsburgh for a while.Read More
Don’t callthe Cactus Blossoms a revival act. Though it may harken a bygone era, Minneapolis brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum’s harmonizing classic country sound is timeless and ageless. No one else is making new music like this.Read More
Concerning new music, 2016 has been mostly memorable for not being all that memorable. At this point last year dozens of records were released that merited the label “great.”Read More
This March, the Seattle’s funeral-doom metal titans Bell Witch pummeled a transfixed crowd at Club Café.Read More
This past November, the ascendant Sean Rowe powered through a rambunctious, genre-busting solo set of folk and blues at the South Side’s packed Club Café.Read More
In ten years, Scranton, Pennsylvania’s Tigers Jaw have blossomed from an underground punk band into a sonically, and emotionally complex indie rock player.Read More
Like all years, 2015 produced an abundance of great music. As improving technology makes it easier than ever to hear more diverse, deserving artists, it only takes minimal effort to fill lists like this with gems spanning from Long Beach gangsta rap to underground Danish black metal.Read More
Richmond, Virginia's Matthew E. White wowed critics and crowds alike in 2012 with the release of his solo debut, Big Inner.Read More
Mandolin Orange - Such Jubilee; Yep Roc Records
The North Carolinian duo Mandolin Orange released Such Jubilee back in May, but unfortunately it didn’t find its way to my ears until this fall. Their Appalachian roots shine on this simple, understated collection of barebones, mostly percussion-less Americana. Emily Frantz’s voice sounds eerily - gloriously - like Soul Journey-era Gillian Welsh. But the record soars when she and Andrew Marlin harmonize. Nothing is forced, as each note sounds like it’s naturally falling into place on the delicate Such Jubilee.
Stand-out tracks: “Rounder”, “That Wrecking Ball”, “From Now On”
Loma Prieta - Self Portrait; Deathwish Inc.
Deathwish’s seemingly unstoppable hot streak continues with the terrific fifth album from the San Francisco hardcore/punk band, Loma Prieta. Though their most melodic, textually varied work, Loma Prieta maintains its intensity and grit through all of Self Portrait. As that title suggests, the subject matter is ruminative and bleak. On “Nostalgia” they belt out, “Life is tunneling deeper all the time / So with each year there’s a little less light.” Not the easiest pill to swallow, but reflective of a serious, mature band that have steadily improved for over a decade.
Stand-out tracks: “Nostalgia”, “Love”, “Satellite”
Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete; Warp Records Limited
Over the years, Daniel Lopatin’s work as Oneohtrix Point Never has consistently challenged, confused, and defied expectations. Find 2013’s R Plus Seven to hear him at his finest. His dense waves of zipping electronics and rattling beats fly in and out of his arrangements, building to an auditory overload that the listener can almost feel creeping under their skin. Garden of Delete bottles Lopatin’s energy at its most anxious points, only to burst out the other side in a blizzard of dizzying digital shrapnel. Yes, this is a difficult listen, but that just makes the reward is all the greater.
Stand-out tracks: “Sticky Drama”, “Mutant Standard”, “Lift”
The atmosphere took on the air of a romping party, rather than the coffee shop sit-around acoustic acts can often slog through.Read More
Noah Gundersen, Sleaford Mods & LocrianRead More
At 30 years old, Tulsa, Oklahoma's John Moreland generates the type of accolades and laudatory reactions reserved for the beacons of the singer-songwriter circuit.Read More