Genre Archives: Rock

Kikagaku Moyo

Based on the latest local guidelines, attendees are no longer required to provide proof of negative COVID-19 test AND/OR vaccination for entry into this event. Other shows on our calendar may still have specific health and safety requirements based on artist request.  Be sure to check our venue website for the latest updates and guidelines as entry requirements are subject to change. 


ABOUT KIKAGAKU MOYO

Kikagaku Moyo have come a long way – both literally and metaphorically – since their humble beginnings busking on the streets of Tokyo back in 2012. A tight-knit group of five friends who bonded over the desire to play freely, and explore music associated with space and psychedelia, their initial ambitions were modest – semi-regular slots in the cramped clubs of the city’s insular music scene. Yet the band’s progressive, folk-influenced take on psychedelia marked them out from their peers and re-started Japan’s psych rock scene; it also brought them international acclaim.

With a settled line up – Go Kurosawa (drums, vox), Ryu Kurosawa (sitar), Tomo Katsurada (guitar, vox), Daoud Popal (guitar), Kotsuguy (bass) – and a signature sound that blended classical Indian music, Krautrock, traditional folk, 70s rock, and acid-tinged psych, the band sold out shows across Europe and founded their own label, Guruguru Brain, to showcase not just their own work, but the under-represented music scene in East Asia.

To date, the label has released music from over ten different artists alongside their own albums. In 2017, Kurosawa and Katsurada relocated permanently to Amsterdam. The move placed both Kikagaku Moyo and Guruguru Brain at the heart of Europe and eased the logistical challenges of long tours for bands on their label and release schedules, while catering to Western audiences.

Since then, their popularity has continued to grow, and Kikagaku Moyo are now one of the most acclaimed bands in the alternative psych scene. Having toured the world several times over, they’ve also graced prominent slots at renowned festivals such as Bonnaroo (US), End Of The Road, Green Man (both UK), and Concrete and Glass (China), and have been commissioned by world-famous fashion brands such as Gucci and Issey Miyake.

The band will release their fifth and final album this May, once again on Guruguru Brain.

All Them Witches

Please note that Majestic Theatre, High Noon Saloon, Orpheum Theater, and The Sylvee are requiring all fans to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours OR full vaccination for entry to all events at the venue moving forward. Additional policies may apply on a show-by-show basis. More details available here.

Dinosaur Jr.

Based on the latest local guidelines, attendees are no longer required to provide proof of negative COVID-19 test AND/OR vaccination for entry into this event. Other shows on our calendar may still have specific health and safety requirements based on artist request.  Be sure to check our venue website for the latest updates and guidelines as entry requirements are subject to change. 

Kennyhoopla

Based on the latest local guidelines, attendees are no longer required to provide proof of negative COVID-19 test AND/OR vaccination for entry into this event. Other shows on our calendar may still have specific health and safety requirements based on artist request.  Be sure to check our venue website for the latest updates and guidelines as entry requirements are subject to change. 

Buckcherry

Ask Josh Todd about the inspiration behind Warpaint, Buckcherry’s eighth studio album–and indeed, the frontman’s goal in making music–and he’s got a ready response: “I want to connect with people, host the party, and give people a night they’re never going to forget,” Todd says. As he sings in Warpaint’s title track, “I wanna have fun blowing out your eardrums keep it rocking state to state.” The Los Angeles-based lineup has been doing exactly that since the 1999 release of their self-titled album. Hits including “Lit Up,” “For the Movies,” “Crazy Bitch” and “Sorry,” not to mention Grammy nominations, international touring and Platinum sales, have solidified Buckcherry’s rock ‘n’ roll bona fides. Warpaint, produced by Mike Plotnikoff (Halestorm, All That Remains), with a March 8, 2019 release date, adds to that impressive legacy, boasting the dynamics and immediacy of the band’s incendiary live show, coupled with Todd’s personal, no-holds-barred lyricism.

Recorded at West Valley Recording Studios with Plotnikoff, who also helmed the band’s 15 album, Todd’s goal for Warpaint was for it to be “sonically current. We didn’t want it to sound retro.” Going into the studio in late 2018 with an arsenal of 30 songs written by Todd and guitarist Stevie D., the band worked around the clock for several weeks to capture the energy of the 11 cuts ultimately chosen for Warpaint. The first single, “Bent,” is anthemic but raw, with big drums and even bigger guitars. And, of course, Todd’s relatable, agro lyrics, as he snarls: “the chaos always turns to rage and now I feel so alone and I’m always insane,” before ultimately “breaking all the rules” and emerging as triumphant and “bulletproof” as the song itself.

Todd and Stevie D. had written together on a few side projects prior to Warpaint: An electronic EP for the Spraygun War project, and songs for Josh Todd and the Conflict. “So when we came to the table for a new Buckcherry album, we were in full song. It was a great foundation to launch this great record,” Todd explains. Following the 2015 release of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Todd was faced with issues “both business and personal. And I’ve grown a lot. I can’t say that it’s been joyous. But any time that happens, I get to a new level, and expressing it through song is something I’ve done my whole life.”

The lyrics of “Right Now” speak to Todd’s goal of living in the moment. “There is no past and there is no future… If you really think about that, it’s heavy,” he says. While rock ‘n’ roll is a spiritual catharsis, the singer also works to stay in that state offstage.  “I’m coming up on 24 years of sobriety. I meditate 45 minutes a day, and I focus on the now. So much of society is really ‘contempt prior to investigation,’ and I try to be present and non-judgmental and not come from a place of resentment. So many of the songs on Warpaint reflect that.”

The tune “Warpaint” is about Todd’s own heavily tattooed warrior self—but also much more than that. “When I was a little kid I was fascinated with Native Americans and warpaint. People paint themselves or tattoo themselves to not only show up for battle, but to mark really amazing times in their lives. It’s a celebration. I like people who cut off the lifeboat and go for it, and not look back. I feel Buckcherry is that band. It represents perseverance and passion, and not censoring yourself. Sometimes it’s worked for us and sometimes against us, but we always put our best foot forward.”

Buckcherry is the rare band whose talent has allowed them to get away with using F-bombs in their biggest radio hit—‘Crazy Bitch.’” Yet Todd didn’t hesitate when it came to looking at all sides during the creation of Warpaint.  “I don’t censor myself when I write,” he understates. “I use profanity in my everyday life and it’s all around me, and us. So, on this record, I looked at all my lyrics, and if I felt swearing might be overdone, I changed it. But if it was needed, I left it, because, ultimately, I have to be happy with it.”

Warpaint delivers an aural punch, a refreshing boldness even on the ballads, and stellar lead guitar work (check out the fretwork on “Vacuum”) and the album closes with an unexpected kick.  Todd explains: “’Radio Song’ is introspective look at myself my part in things. And ‘No Regrets’ is so heavy for me to listen to. Stevie came in with this music, saying he wanted to write a punky, Social Distortion-type song. It was amazing, so I went back to my 15-year-old punk rock self and what was going on with me. I thought about the independent records I listened to then, and what they meant to me, plus all the dysfunction that was going on in my home when I was growing up. And it all came out of me in this song.”

The raucous “Devil in the Details” ends Warpaint with “a fiery burnout. I like to put songs like that deep on the record so that people who are really into your band–for more than just the single–get to discover something cool. Just a little thank-you for sticking around to the end.”

Then, of course, there’s the wild-card on Warpaint: Buckcherry’s take on Nine Inch Nails’ classic “Head like a Hole. It was just done as a lark, live in the studio, but came out so cool it made the album. “Yeah, it was very organic. I don’t know Trent [Reznor] but I really admire him,” Todd says. “He did his own thing and created a sound for himself–and a brand–and really stuck to it. When I listen to Nine Inch Nails, I admire the honesty, and no rules.”

In fact, those “no rules,” are what he judges Buckcherry by: Is there unbridled, reckless honesty?  “That’s what I ask myself when I listen to Buckcherry: Would my teenage self-put a stamp of approval on it? If the answer is yes, I can go out and represent and feel great about it. I want to compete at the highest level,” Todd concludes. “Keep the integrity, but still please people. If you can do that, great things happen. I feel like we’ve done that on this record.”

BUCKCHERRY DISCOGRAPHY

Buckcherry, 1999

Time Bomb, 2001

15, 2006

All Night Long, 2010

Confessions, 2013

Rock ‘n’ Roll, 2015

Warpaint, 2019

HIGHLY SUSPECT

Festival-storming trio Highly Suspect returned with second album The Boy Who Died Wolf on November 18th, 2016. The moving, jubilant LP from the Brooklyn alt-renegades follows two Top 10 Mainstream Rock hits (“Lydia,” “Bloodfeather”) and two Grammy nominations (Best Rock Song, Best Rock Album) just one year from the release of their 300 Entertainment debut, 2015’s Mister Asylum. For the follow-up, the band —  Johnny Stevens (guitar/vocals), and fraternal twin brother rhythm section Rich (bass/vocals) and Ryan Meyer (drums/vocals) — are reappearing stronger, livelier and more mature. The effort earned the boys a third Grammy nominated for “My Name Is Human” (Best Rock Song.)

“The title The Boy Who Died Wolf, it’s like, we were so young and now we’re adults,” says Stevens. “I went through a lot of issues that I had to sort out and sometimes I can’t believe that I’m alive. And now here I am traveling the world with my best friends, making music, and living the exact dream that we had set out to accomplish a long time ago … We’re learning a different lifestyle. And it’s good, it’s positive. But it’s also hard to let go of everything that happened in the past.”

That new lifestyle comes in the wake of success that’s snowballed since 2014, featuring Grammy nods; radio smashes; stops at major festivals (Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Reading and Leeds and so on); tours alongside Scott Weiland, Chevelle and Catfish & the Bottlemen to name a few; tours around the world including Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the UK as well as multiple headlining tours in the United States one of which is currently underway. The feeling of celebration infuses The Boy Who Died Wolf, while still heading into haunted regions of Steven’s past, yowling somewhere between the metronomic robot metal of Queens of the Stone Age, the bluesy wallop of Jack White and the feedback-shrieking noise-pop of In Utero-era Nirvana.

To record the LP, the band traveled far from their New York comfort zone to Bogotá, Colombia, recording with Mister Asylum producer Joel Hamilton (The Black Keys and Wu-tang, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello,).

“Normally we would record in New York or L.A., and when we’re in those places we just have too many distractions, too many friends,” says Stevens. “When you’re trying to make art.. pure art, it’s good to be secluded. So we were literally in a fortress, 20-foot walls all around this compound in the middle of Bogota.”

“The energy around you, the culture that you’re taking in, will affect the songs,” he continues. “We were really enjoying ourselves. So I think there’s a little more step to this album. There’s happier tones. There’s some dark stuff too but there are simply more uplifting moments on this album.  I think we finally realized we are supposed to be here making music. That people like what we do. We had more trust in ourselves and each other and just let the music come out.

The upbeat vibe begins to show its face lyrically in the lead single “My Name Is Human” (“I’m feeling the way that I’m feeling myself”), and then appears full force on the blazing desert-rock dynamite of “Postres” (“I’m havin’ fun for the rest of my days”), but takes a back seat in their dreamy cover of Real Life’s 1983 new wave swooner “Send Me an Angel” and on the anthemic “Little One” which reminds us all of the hopeless, lovelorn pangs that most have undoubtedly felt in the pit of their guts somewhere along the lines. But even the more serious songs are steeped in an unrelenting optimism. A great friend of theirs took his own life while the band were in Colombia, to which they responded with “For Billy,” a beaming post-grunge burst.

“The song is not a downer, it’s sad, but it’s a charged up anthem,” explains Stevens. “It’s what he would have wanted. It was a really sad moment but he was such a happy person. So that song is something he can blare through his Harley speakers wherever he is now .”

Johnny describes Billy as an “original crewmember” of MCID, the collective shouted out on Highly Suspect’s jackets, hats, lyrics and tattoos. “That’s our ethos,” says Johnny of the acronym that stands for “My Crew Is Dope.” “We’re trying to invite any and all positive people to what was once exclusively for us. We’ve realized its bigger than us; as long as you’re not a racist, not a homophobe and you have good intentions then we welcome you to join the family and spread the love.” In turn, Wolf’s “Viper Strike” namechecks MCID in a venomous, knives-out attack on bigots: “We’re all equal except for you/’Cause you’re an asshole with an ugly point of view”
“It’s a family of positivity that we’re really trying to build,” says Johnny. “Our whole purpose is not just about being some famous fuckin’ band, but kind of making a movement. Making a difference for our generation who are so constantly misled. We barely made it out of the wrong mentality. We want to help. We’re no fuckin hippies, those days are gone. The irony is that now you have to “fight” for positivity. Which is crazy but so be it. We’re strapped and ready to defend free thinking. When you come to our shows, it’s kind of like this family affair.”

THE PUSH STARS

Boston alternative popsters The Push Stars are led by songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Chris Trapper, with bassist/keyboardist Dan McLoughlin and drummer Ryan MacMillan rounding out the lineup. The band debuted in 1996 with an album for the now-defunct Imago label, “Meet Me at the Fair”; from there, they self-released the 1997 EP “Tonight” and landed a spot on the soundtrack for the popular romantic comedy, “There’s Something About Mary” with the song “Everything Shines.”

As the buzz grew on the band, Capitol Records signed them up, issuing their major-label debut album “After the Party” in 1999. “Opening Time” followed in spring 2001. As each member of the band approached 30, The Push Stars took complete creative control. They signed to the San Francisco imprint 33rd Street and joined producer/engineer Greg Collins (No Doubt, Matchbox Twenty, Jewel) in spring 2003 to begin recording The Push Stars’ fourth album. Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas heard the band’s work in progress and was so impressed, he brought the Push Stars on the road for Matchbox Twenty’s fall tour of North America.

In March 2004, the band released “Paint The Town” to much critical acclaim and fanfare. After more than a year of touring in support of the album, the band decided to go on indefinite hiatus. Since that time, Chris Trapper has recorded and released nine albums and toured the world over as a solo acoustic performer. Dan McLoughlin currently owns a recording studio in Hoboken, NJ and is much sought after as a producer and engineer. Ryan MacMillan now works as a session drummer/drummer for hire and has toured and recorded with several high profile bands, most notably Matchbox Twenty and Tonic.

While the band never officially broke up, live performances have been few and far between in recent years. However, talk of a new album and fresh tour dates have re-energized the trio’s still-passionate fan base, demonstrating the band’s lasting appeal and enduring legacy.


Brent Shuttleworth is a Nashville-based artist whose music is an effortless mix between Americana and Hip-Hop. He has toured with and opened for such artists as: George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, Pete Yorn, Carlos Andrés Gómez, Sixpence None The Richer, Kellie Pickler, K-Flay, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Emerson Hart (Tonic) and Saul Williams.

NAOMI PUNK

The 25 tracks on ‘Yellow,’ conceived as a 2XLP double album from day one, were self-recorded steadily throughout 2015-2017 at various locations. Much of the material was derived from what the group called ‘The Scorpion Suite’, a state of mind reached only by the alternative version of Naomi Punk they call ‘The Scorpions’ (disambiguated). Many ‘Scorpion Sessions’ were conducted by The Scorpions, each member performing their predetermined roll in a project half-aspiring to the register of licensing music, half-aspiring to musical novelty.

The self-referential musical language of The Feeling (2012) was wrung out into the starker, live-informed Television Man (2014). On ‘Yellow’ this language becomes a means, not an end.

Integrated into the album are glimpses of live recordings, sounds of equipment being pushed around, hard rock sample libraries, sounds of the flapping wings of the album’s host (“I Found My Angel Wings” is embedded in thematic variation throughout), windy field recordings, emulsive synthetic woodwinds, a busted car stereo, a few four-track acoustic ballads, and more than a few puzzles and jokes.

Yellow begins with two introductions. The first sound of the record is a sample of a bass guitar, an instrument that those familiar with Naomi Punk will know doesn’t exist in their lineup. The stage is set with alien props.

The pair ‘Cookie’ and ‘Cardboard’ are hot off the assembly line culminations of the prototypes designed by ‘Television Man.’ They are exceedingly agile pop constructions with drumwork designed to throw off the bots, and guitars assimilated into the machinations of Coster’s notably present, proto-philosophical spoken verse. This is CGI Beefheart resurrected in post-production for a few scenes.

‘Tiger Pipe’ demands the user, “destroy all money.”

Much of the record conjures this notion of the undoing of ‘society’, at least in a western societal sense, and its supercession via the natural world; the revenge of Mother Earth.

‘Gotham Brake’ illustrates this particular crux of ‘Yellow’ in an interesting way — a requiem for humankind’s ‘harmonious’ relationship to the natural world. Industrialized society has reached a level of atrophy so severe that it must be completely dismantled. Walden’s Cesspool. ‘Gotham’ is an advocation for a new way forward. The fourth way. You can hear the sounds of the gears shifting, wheels turning. A narrator’s voice steps in then and again from the vantage of Mother Earth. Breaking out of the stasis.

‘Scorpion Glue’ is a chimera of many of the species encountered in ‘Yellow.’ Its contorted guitars and drums are tangled with synthetic mirrored versions of themselves, in dialogue, neither coming to primacy.

On first listen ‘Chains’ appears like a monolith in the darkness of side-C. On repeat listens its stark minimalism is revealed to be almost crystalline in form, shifting chords beading against a vantablack passacaglia, a trio for the end of time. Coster drags us into the grinding chorus in androgynous deadpan: “Ecology … doesn’t follow your system … so I’m chasin’ … chasin’ my dreams.”

If Rock and Pop music are instruments of the Neoliberal period, then they must be repurposed and reorganized. Not just formally, but politically. Coincidentally, the structure of ‘Yellow’ (in spite of the so-called difficulty of its 2xLP format) is no different than recent confessional documents from Frank Ocean, Solange, Kendrick, etc., thus owing much more to the Pop format than its length would suggest. ‘Rock’ and ‘Punk’ have become so conservative that they are rendering themselves obsolete as they fail to provide new ideas and solutions for anything other than ‘self-expression’ and fake posturing. The ‘Yellow’ structure constructs a three-dimensional listening experience, and while it does not pretend to know all the answers, it at the very least (and perhaps most importantly) posits a serious alternative.

Naomi Punk are from Olympia, Washington.

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