Common Blah is the debut full-length by Portland, Maine’s Weakened Friends. Founded by songwriter Sonia Sturino, bassist Annie Hoffman, and drummer Cam Jones in 2015, the trio is a low pressure outlet for emotionally volatile music. Engineered and produced by Hoffman and perfected over the last year, the record broadcasts heavy feelings amid screech and feedback with little more than a distortion pedal to clog up the signal chain.
For Sturino, writing in Weakened Friends is more of a physical process than a mental one. “I have to feel the vibration or sound coming out of my body. I need the physicality to do it, to enjoy singing it,” she says. “People probably hear the vocals and think, ‘she just puts on that weird voice,’ but it’s really just what comes out. It’s my body making that sound.”
Many of the songs reckon with deep mid-20s malaise — with the feeling of being young, stuck, and settling for less. “Sometimes, things look good on the outside, but they’re not working. That’s how it used to be for me. I’d hear, ‘You have a really cool job. You live in a cool city. Your band is cool.’ It was ‘Common Blah’ though because I was miserable. I didn’t care. Now, I’m at the other end of the spectrum. People do something that they think they’re supposed to do when it’s not what they should be doing and it doesn’t make them happy. In a lot of ways, this is the first time I’ve found happiness. I wrote the lyrics about the time before that happiness.”
On Common Blah, Weakened Friends use volume — instrumental and emotional — to reassert a sense of control in a time when daily life has slid out of tune. The album also features guest shredding by peer and kindred spirit J Mascis on the song “Hate Mail.” Common Blah will be out on CD, LP, and digital download via Don Giovanni Records on October 19th. The band will tour the US and Europe throughout the fall, including stops at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris and The Fest in Gainesville.
8.30 - Halifax, NS @ The Seahorse Tavern 9.01 - Bar Harbor, ME @ Lompoc 9.13 - Syracuse, NY @ Spark Art Space 9.14 - Waterbury, VT @ Zenbarn 10.12 - Bangor, ME @ Bangor Arts Exchange 10.19 - Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall * 10.20 - Brooklyn, NY @ Trans-Pecos * 10.21 - Richmond, VA @ The Capital Ale House * 10.24 - Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade * 10.25 - Asheville, NC @ Fleetwoods * 10.26 - Atlanta, GA @ Smith's Olde Bar * 10.27 - Gainesville, FL @ THE FEST * 10.30 - Paris, FR @ Pitchfork Music Festival 10.31 - Brighton, UK @ The Hope & Ruin 11.2 - London, UK @ The Old Blue Last 11.8 - Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen * 11.9 - Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx * 11.10 - Toronto, ON @ The Monarch * 11.11 - Montreal, QB - Casa del Popolo * 11.14 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Showroom * 11.15 - Boston, MA @ Great Scott * 11.16 - Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits * 11.17 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd *
Out today on Don Giovanni Records, Live at the Nick documents Lee Bains & the Glory Fires' two night stand at The Nick late last year in their hometown of Birmingham, AL. Taped at the culmination of more than six months of touring for their 2017 2xLPYouth Detention, these shows took place at a tense moment for the band, personally and also politically -- with Roy Moore then still in the running for a US Senate seat.
In August, the band will embark on a tour of the UK and Europe followed by a jaunt through the southeast joined by Bad Moves and Nana Grizol. Find the full list of dates below.
Lee Bains on Live at the Nick:
In November of 2017, we played two nights at The Nick in Birmingham with some of our favorite Alabama bands -- \\GT//, Shaheed & DJ Supreme, Bad Example, Dommel Mossel, Me & My Knife, and Snacks, and raising attention for our friends at Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice and Hometown Action. Tension was in the air. While Trump's deportation squads, racial vitriol, and anti-worker policies were strafing the country, Alabama was caught in the most heated U.S. Senate race of our lifetimes. Roy Moore, whose reign as a Christian-supremacist homophobic judge had spanned most of our lives, was in great danger of being sent to D.C. as Alabama's senator. Meanwhile, our former Senator Jeff Sessions was implementing and excusing the worst of Trump's policies as Attorney General.
It was fitting, then, to find ourselves in the heart of Birmingham's Southside, the neighborhood that so many young Alabamians have found as a sanctuary, and inside the pine-box walls of the Nick, where many of us ordered our first beer, or saw our first indie rock show, or watched our first bleary-eyed sunup. While the world roiled beyond the slanting, sun-bleached front porch, we felt together and strong inside. We still do. We sent Roy Moore packing, and we're working on Sessions and Trump, too. This record is about raising hell for and from your home-place and your home-folks. Let's keep on working.
LEE BAINS ON TOUR
8.22 - Bristol, England @ Tunnels 8.23 - Winchester, England @ Railway 8.24 - Nutley, England @ Bylines Festival 8.25 - Amsterdam, Netherlands @ BlueMoon Fest 8.26 - Kettering, England @ Greenbelt Festival 8.27 - Kettering, England @ Greenbelt Festival 8.28 - Newport, Wales @ LePub 8.29 - Edinburgh, Scotland @ Leith Depot 8.30 - Glasgow, Scotland @ Hug & Pint 8.31 - Newcastle, England @ Cluny 9.1 - Halifax, England @ The Lantern 9.2 - Sheffield, England @ Greystones 9.3 - Brighton, England @ Prince Albert 9.4 - London, England @ Brixton Windmill 9.23 - Waverly, AL @ Standard Deluxe (Lee solo) 10.11 - Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern 10.12 - Fayetteville, AR - Smoke and Barrel 10.13 - Tulsa, OK -@ Colony 10.14 - Norman, OK @ Opolis 10.15 - San Antonio, TX @ The Mix 10.16 - Austin, TX @ Beerland 10.17 - Lafayette, LA @ Pearl 10.18 - New Orleans, LA @ Santo's* 10.19 - Birmingham, AL @ The Firehouse (early show, all-ages)* 10.19 - Birmingham, AL @ The Nick (late show)* 10.20 - Nashville, TN @ East Room* 10.25 - Augusta, GA @ Soul Bar 10.26 - Macon, GA - Creek Stage @ the Rookery 11.2 - Charleston, SC @ Royal American 11.3 - Greenville, SC @ Radio Room 11.4 - Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern 11.9 - Gainesville, FL @ Loosey's 11.15 - Charlotte, NC @ Milestone 11.16 - Whitesburg, KY @ Summit City 11.17 - Chattanooga, TN @ JJs Bohemia
Out September 28th on Don Giovanni Records, 10,000 Hours is the fifth full-length by Houston-bred Nigerian-American rapper, Fat Tony (born Anthony Lawson Jude Ifeanyichukwu Obiawunaotu). The album was recorded in Los Angeles throughout 2018 and produced by Tony’s longtime friend, HevIn.
“The album title is about where I am in my career,” says Tony. “I’m not a novice. I’ve dedicated a decade in my life to doing this.” If you need proof, look no further than the haggard looking selfie that adorns the record cover, which was snapped following an all-night mix session. It’s Tony’s most personal work to date -- unguarded, but frequently light-hearted -- conceived in the company of his closest friends.
Fat Tony on "Texas":
“Texas” is interesting because it plays on my punk roots musically, as the production is an homage to Le Tigre and Devo. The song also speaks on my outlook regarding the NRA and gun violence, Texas politicians, the gross underpay of SXSW, and my hometown pride.
9.14.18 - Houston, TX @ Satellite Bar 9.27.18 - London, ON @ London Music Hall * 9.28.18 - Kingston, ON @ Grad Club * 9.29.18 - Ottawa, ON @ 27 Club * 10.2.18 - Regina, SK @ The Exchange * 10.3.18 - Calgary, AB @ Commonwealth Bar+Stage * 10.4.18 - Edmonton, AB @ The Buckingham * 10.5.18 - Kelowna, BC @ Fernando's * 10.6.18 - Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club * 10.10.18 - Saskatoon, SK @ Amigos Cantina * 10.11.18 - Winnipeg, MB @ The Good Will Social Club * 10.13.18 - Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village * 10.14.18 - Detroit, MI @ El Club * 10.18.18 - Fredericton, NB @ The Capital Complex * 10.19.18 - St. John's, NL @ The Ship Inn * 10.20.18 - Halifax, NS @ Halifax Pop Explosion * 10.24.18 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd * 10.25.18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie * 10.26.18 - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter * 10.27.18 - Durham, NC @ The Pinhook * 10.28.18 - Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory * 10.30.18 - Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Upstairs * 11.1.18 - Montréal, QC @ La Vitrola * 11.3.18 - Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground *
After several successful deployments of “rock domination” across the US and Europe, NJ’s own Screaming Females are back on the road. Riding high off 2018s critically acclaimed All At Once, the trio have set their sights on a greater trip around the country. “Idaho?” You know it bud. “Ohio?” You bet! “California?” It’s on the list, toots. “Arkansas?” Uh huh, there too. “NY?” Sure.
With the ferocious Minneapolis trio Kitten Forever in tow, Screaming Females make it clear that the mission is never complete. What mission? Total rock annihilation, with songs that steal yr heart and jams that steal yr face. Make no mistake: it’s all there on the stage for you, kind fan. For you to take and be inspired! To be included! To follow your dreams! To fight the good fight, in the names of “sweet freedom” and “rock action.”
“But Don Giovanni, I live across the pond, where all this US talk means nish!” Well frien...sorry, mate, you’re not gonna be left out in the cold. Before the wheels can even hit the ground in Pennsylvania, Screaming Females will be in The U.K.! Eleven stomps through the Queen's backyard —Birmingham! Dorset! Dublin! Oxford! Manchester! and more!
Get your freshest outfit, your most efficient earplugs, your best manners and your insatiable appetite for primal hard rock together for another night of true magic. Only from Screaming Females!
SCREAMING FEMALES ON TOUR
8.25 - Lincoln, NE @ Skate Art Music Anti-Gala 9.01 - Dorset, UK @ End of the Road 9.02 - Birmingham, UK @ Hare & Hounds 2 9.03 - Newcastle, UK @ The Cluny 2 9.04 - Edinburgh, UK @ Mash House 9.05 - Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club 9.06 - Dublin, IE @ The Grand Social 9.07 - Manchester, UK @ Band on the Wall 9.08 - Bristol, UK @ The Exchange 9.09 - Cardiff, UK @ Clwb ifor Bach 9.10 - Oxford, UK @ The Cellar 9.11 - London, UK @ 100 Club 9.28 - Lancaster, PA @ American Bar & Grill* 9.29 - Columbus, OH @ Ace Of Cups* 9.30 - St Louis, MO @ Off Broadway* 10.01 - Kansas City, MO @ RecordBar* 10.02 - Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge* 10.03 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court* 10.04 - Boise, ID @ Neurolux* 10.05 - Seattle, WA @ Vera Project* 10.06 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios* 10.07 - Arcata, CA @ Outerspace* 10.09 - San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop* 10.10 - Albany, CA @ Ivy Room* 10.11 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place* 10.12 - Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater* 10.13 - San Diego, CA @ Casbah* 10.14 - San Pedro, CA @ Recess Ops* 10.15 - Pomona, CA @ Characters* 10.16 - Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space* 10.17 - Las Cruces, NM @ Art Obscura* 10.18 - San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger* 10.19 - Bryan, TX @ Grand Stafford Theater* 10.20 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon* 10.21 - Hot Springs, AR @ Low Key Arts* 10.23 - Birmingham, AL @ Saturn Bar* 10.24 - Charlotte, NC @ The Milestone* 10.25 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar* 10.26 - Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw*
Out August 31st, God Makes Junk: 2001-2016 is a digital boxed set and rough working history of New Jersey's Roadside Graves. A hodgepodge collection comprised of almost 40 tracks, the set includes unreleased live recordings, radio sessions, remixes, demo and alternate versions, and some random nonsense recordings taped during the first period of the band's existence.
"To be clear, we don’t hold such high opinions of ourselves that we think the whole world wants to hear our outtakes and demos," writes the band. "But... there’s a chance that there might be a few people in those wonderful pockets still thriving in Longview, TX., Moscow, ID, Maquokueta, IA, Reno, NV or Metuchen, NJ who do and maybe some places and people who have yet to listen."
The band will perform a release show on September 1st at the Asbury Park Yacht Club in Asbury Park, NJ.