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Arcade Fire: PLENTY of seats left in Pittsburgh

Written by Scott Mervis on .

Arcade Fire is an indie darling that headlines major festivals like Coachella and has scored two No. 1 albums in a row -- Grammy winner "The Suburbs" and follow-up "Reflecktor."

Considering the Montreal-based band hasn't played Pittsburgh since 2004 (Rex Theater), you'd think the demand for tickets would be huge. Based on the Consol Energy Center seating chart, it doesn't look like that's the case.

arcadefSo far, the Arcade Fire show on March 12 is looking more Jay-Z than Billy Joel in terms of attendance. The chart would indicate that the 200 level is closed (gray) and that there are plenty of seats on the floor and 100 level (blue). There was already a half-off Groupon deal.

What's the problem with AF in Pittsburgh? Could be we just don't know them as people.

"They have not paid their dues," says a local insider. "That sounds insane to most people, with No. 1 album after No. 1 album, indie darlings, critical press, international festival headline act... However, they never pounded away at the heartland over and over on their way up and didn't play all the midsize markets like Pittsburgh three to four times."

Or maybe people just don't have the right "formal wear or costume" the band suggested they wear to the show ...

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The Gotobeds headed to SXSW with Fear-ful new single

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

gotobedsTexas weather will feel better than it ever has to the Pittsburghers heading to Austin next week for the SXSW music festival.

Garage-pop band The Neighbours will be joining the mighty Cynics for the Get Hip Records showcase at the Lit Lounge on March 14. (The Nox Boys can't get out of school.)

Among others representing Pittsburgh will be Badboxes, Cello Fury, Drowning Clowns, Sharon Needles and The Gotobeds.

It’s the first trip there for The Gotobeds which features two members of defunct punks and SXSW vets Kim Phuc: guitarist Eli Kasan and drummer Tom Payne.

“It’s basically an advertisement for your band, pretty much the whole point of the fest, which is cooler than CMJ or some [b.s.],” the guitarist says. “The idea is you go down when all this scattered media attention has all converged and try to catch the biggest fish.”

The Gotobeds debuted in late 2012 with a cassette and are working on a May/June LP release for 12XU, a label owned by Gerard Cosloy of the esteemed Matador Records.

“We got on Gerard’s radar after we played live on WFMU in Jersey last August,” Kasan says. “He called in to ask who the hell we were. I sent him a record and the demo tape, and he wrote back saying, ‘I immediately went online looking for the single when I heard it and couldn’t find it. Congrats on costing yourself a sale. What do you think I can do for you you can’t do for yourself?’ ”

The Gotobeds are timing their trip with the release a 7-inch single on the local Mind Cure Records called “New York’s Alright (If You Like Sex & Phones),” a twist on the old Fear song “New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones.”

“We basically bite every popular NYC band for the music — Sonic Youth, The Strokes, Television, Parquet Courts — and made a vague diss-track outta the lyrics just saying it’s ‘alright’ which in itself is like a Lou Reed joke of just saying ‘alright’ in about every song.”

You can catch the Gotobeds at Gooski’s at 10 p.m. Friday, March 7 with The Beagle Brothers. Admission is $6. The SXSW show is March 13 at Beerland. For band info, visit the Gotobeds facebook page.

 

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Squirrel Hill Sports Bar will launch with Tommy Osh Benefit Concert

Written by Scott Mervis on .

 

osh3Two weeks ago, Pittsburgh rocker Tommy O’Shanick, better known as Tommy Osh (from Trash Vegas, Ultimatics, etc.) was telling us how he wanted to bring the old Decade vibe of the ’80s to a new spot on Forward Avenue called the Squirrel Hill Sports Bar.

He was booking the music lineup there for new owners Barry and Kevin White, of Penn Hills, and was set to launch it last weekend with Tom Kurlander & PaleBlueSound, a band he played in.

Sadly, the 47-year-old bassist from Oakland was killed in an early morning car accident on the South Side on Feb. 20. Plans for the Sports Bar's music lineup were put on hold.

Fittingly, it now begins on Friday with a benefit concert for Osh’s family featuring Ford Thurston, of the Vibro Kings and Bear Cub, who is coming up from Nashville, and members of The Dirty Charms, Fungus and the Southside Allstars.

Vinni Belfiore, who leads the Southside Allstars, is taking over the booking at the venue. There will be a weekly jam night led by the AllStars either on Wednesdays or Thursdays (still to be determined), bands on Fridays and Saturdays, and a monthly Purple Tuesdays jam night.

“Tommy’s vision was to bring back the true rock club,” Belfiore says. “Live music and a place for musicians and fans to gather. More than just a venue. We had some good things happening before the old venue closed. He wanted to build on that. The location is easy to get to and the size is just right for local band shows.”

Admission is $5 on Friday. The venue is at 5832 Forward Ave. Info about the bar at www.facebook.com/pages/Squirrel-Hill-Sports-Bar/201037513437414

 

 

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Everclear bringing Summerland Tour to Stage AE in June

Written by Scott Mervis on .

everclear2It's safe to say that any package tour with the word "summer" in it is welcome right now.

The 2014 Summerland Tour, named for an Everclear song, has the '90s alt-rock band best known for "Santa Monica" headlining once again with Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog.

It stops at Stage AE Outdoors on June 20. Tickets are $25 advance and go on sale Friday at all Ticketmaster locations, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.

Last summer, Everclear split off from Sugar Ray's Under the Sun Tour to do its own thing.

'It didn't work for me," Everclear frontman Art Alexakis told the PG about Under the Sun. "I didn't have fun. I had fun sometimes, but it was too poppy. It wasn't the kind of bands I wanted to do. I wanted to do something that was more rock. That's what I liked about the era we all came out of, even though I liked Sugar Ray back in the day. Even though they had some pop hits, they were more of a rock band. That wasn't what was going on last year. So I told them I wanted to do my own thing."

Both tours played Stage AE last summer, with Sugar Ray's bash with Smash Mouth drawing a much bigger crowd.

Here is the info they sent out about the Summerland bands:

EVERCLEAR: With hits like the modern rock radio staples "Santa Monica," "Everything to Everyone," "I Will Buy You a New Life," "Father of Mine," and "Wonderful," Everclear has sold more than 9 Million albums globally. Fronted by Art Alexakis, Everclear remains a potent force on the touring circuit. Two years ago the band released Invisible Stars (2012), their first album of new material in six years.

SOUL ASYLUM: Soul Asylum is an American alternative rock band that formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1983. The band recorded three albums with Twin/Tone Records and two with A&M Records to little commercial success. However, in 1992, they released the triple-platinum album Grave Dancers Union, featuring their Grammy Award-winning single "Runaway Train". They also scored a platinum record with the album Let Your Dim Light Shine three years later. In 1998 they recorded Candy from a Stranger. In 2006 they released The Silver Lining. Their most recent effort is entitled Delayed Reaction, which was released July 2012.

EVE 6: Eve 6 is an American rock band from Southern California, who are most well known for their hit singles "Inside Out" and "Here's to the Night". They signed to Fearless Records in the spring of 2011, and released their long-awaited fourth album Speak In Code, containing the singles "Victoria" and "Curtain", in April 2012.

SPACEHOG: Spacehog mixed glam rock influences, including David Bowie and T. Rex, into their wall-of-distorted-guitars sound, a combination that helped the band make a modest dent in the late-'90s alternative rock scene. The quartet formed in New York City in 1993, following British drummer Jonny Cragg's move from Leeds to the Big Apple. Almost immediately after the lineup coalesced, Spacehog attracted the attention of Sire Records and their debut album, Resident Alien, was released by the label in 1995. "In the Meantime" became the band's first hit; attracting audiences in several countries while becoming a number one rock single in America. Three years later, Spacehog issued a third effort, entitled The Hogyssey.

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RIP Porky Chedwick: What people are saying

Written by Scott Mervis on .

Porky

It's hard to comprehend what Porky Chedwick meant to radio, to music and to the culture when he started pushin' platters back in the late '40s and '50s.

Unlike modern DJs, he was a freewheeler, playing what he wanted, unbound by format, and breaking records for popular and unknown artists.

He played "race records" when no one else did. He played the b-sides. He brushed off the dusty discs. The Bossman was there to get you groovin' and Grind Your Mind.

He died Sunday morning at age 96. And he was on his feet till the end. Just last Saturday he was on stage at the Benedum for the final Roots of Rock and Roll concert, looking a bit frail but sounding like his old self and enjoying the music. Of course, every headliner there, including Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Shirley Alston Reeves (of the Shirelles), sent their love to Porky for helping to make their career.

The snowy Sunday morning has brought an outpouring of respect for the Daddio of the Raddio, who was not only a pioneer and a legend but a very kind and humble man. A true gentleman.

Here's what musicians and radio people are saying on social media:

Pat DiCesare (promoter, songwriter): "Very sad news. Sean McDowell just informed me that Jeannie, Porky's wife just called him to say that Porky chedwick has just passed away. I was just with him last week. The music business just won't be the same"

Frank Czuri (Skyliners, Silencers, Diamond Reo): "I am feeling the loss of Porky Chedwick! His influence on my love for music is boundless. RIP, Bossman."

Rico Gagliano (former Pittsburgher and host of radio show "Dinner Party"): "Would like to hang on the cloud in heaven where oldies DJ bossman Porky Chedwick is now chilling with Myron Cope and all the other 'burgh characters. RIP Porky. Here's him saying stuff like "A real heavy groove goin' there for ya, for two heavy cats."

porky2Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette​Justin Hopper (Pandemic DJ): "The word 'legend' gets used too often. In this case it's not big enough.​"

The Jaggerz: "Rest in Peace my dear friend. Jimmie Ross."

Rob Pratte ‏(CBS Pittsburgh): "The Great Porky Chedwick has passed away.. Thanks Brother for your leadership."

Charlie Batch: "RIP Mr Porky Chedwick, You were truly an Icon!"

​Scott Paulsen ‏(WDVE): "The people old enough to fully understand the colossal impact of Porky Chedwick's radio career are few and far between. #RIP​"

​Joe Grushecky (Houserockers): "God Bless Porky Chedwick. He had a profound influence on Pittsburgh music. It was a huge thrill getting to meet him back in the day​."

Chuck Owston (musician): "A Pittsburgh Music Legend has passed on: Porky Chedwick, the Daddio of the Raddio, the Platter Pushin' Poppa, the Bossman, radio personality at Radio station WAMO. Most folks remember him as preserving the Pittsburgh "Odlies" or Doo Wop sound. However, in the late 60's he had a show called "Pork in the Underground," where he played psychedelic music and real obscure "underground" rock, much like John Peel was doing in the UK. In 1962, I played a show with Porky and hill district r & b group the Volchords at the Orbit Rendevous on Rt. 30 near the Westinghouse Bridge. Also the Tempests played several with Porky over the years. RIP Porky.​"

Kip Ruefle (Callan, ATS): "Rip Porky. Would have nice if he had made it to the Pittsburgh Rock and Roll Hall of Fame"

Rosemary Welsch (WYEP): There are people who define what it means to be a Pittsburgher. #Porky Chedwick was one of those people. RIP ultimate PGH DJ.

Travis Klein (Itzy Records): "I'm sitting here, very sad, with some tears. I know I'm being selfish but I loved that guy. I wanted him to live forever. I feel bad for Jeanie and every other Pittsburgher who will suffer this loss with her."

Randy Baumann (WDVE): "RIP Porky Chedwick. The most important Pittsburgh broadcaster ever. The man who introduced R&B/Rock N Roll to the 'burgh."

Mayor Bill Peduto: "The legendary Porky Chedwick - today we lost The Daddio of the Raddio. I was with him last weekend. Rest my friend"

 

 

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