National Site

The Roulettes are back in NYC - Live at Surreal Estate, 09.03

Born in an Oberlin, Ohio basement, The Roulettes practiced on borrowed equipment next to a leaky washer/dryer combo and grew up playing living room parties. After moving to Portland, the Roulettes met up with label Lucky Madison to record the first ever LM release, their self-titled EP, at Portland's Jackpot! Studios with engineer Larry Crane (Sleater-Kinney, Stephen Malkmus, etc.). Later, unreleased Roulettes tracks saw them moving into darker territory with songs like "2:1," "Do it Again," and “Snow Day 2004/Moon Over Miami” (their meditation on volcanoes, false promises, and WMDs). But the band continued to pay tribute to nights at Chopsticks karaoke bar, the Fred Meyer Can-Do Machine, and the ever-popular montecristo sandwich. Long ago and far away, the Roulettes graced the cover of the Willamette Week and played all over their beloved Portland, from Ash Street to Slabtown to the original Rock’n’ Roll Camp for Girls. In New York, they played at the long gone Meow Mix. The Roulettes are back in NYC, where they played at CMJ in 2009 and at venues such as Cakeshop, Santos Party House, Union Pool (w/Class Actress and Rebecca Schiffman), Bruar Falls, and Bowery Electric. The band is currently writing new songs and working on pre-promotion for their "Hot Ticket" video. Look for video spots in a couple months with writers like Rob Sheffield (of Love is a Mix Tape), bands like Duty Free, a stray ship’s captain, and... you? See them live at Surreal Estate on September 3.


Where Is My Mind?: Terrible Things’ Fred Mascherino

To Fred Mascherino, Coatesville is more than just his hometown - it’s still his home, even though he’s lived in West Chester for the past two years. So when the depressed steel mill town was ravaged by a rash of fires from 2008 to 2009, the ex-Taking Back Sunday guitarist, and mastermind behind the new rock powerhouse, Terrible Things, couldn’t help but be distraught, frustrated, outraged and moved to put his feelings into words. What came out of that is Terrible Things’ self-titled debut (releasing on August 31 via Universal Motown) - a commanding, emotionally gripping concept album that explores themes of isolation, trepidation, heartbreak and aggravation. For the record, Mascherino and co. (which includes Coheed and Cambria’s Josh Eppard and Hot Rod Circuit’s Andy Jackson) will play two CD release parties - one tomorrow Friday, August 27, at First Unitarian Church and the other, Wednesday, September 1, at The Note with an in-store performance at FYE in Broad Street earlier in the day. They’ll also be heading out on a two-month stateside tour with Mae starting October 1. We had a chance to chat with the Terrible Things frontman about the fires, getting politically involved and his favorite fake meat in a deli. You can read the interview here! (Photo by Ryan Russell)


Tanlines play at the Whitney Museum on 08.27

During my first trip to New York, circa about eight years old, my parents took me to the Whitney Museum to check out a (very) contemporary art exhibit. In hipster retrospect, this is cool; yet all I remember from this freaky exhibit was a television screen of a white painted dude eating the bloodied flesh of a buffalo. Call me a little bitch, but ever since then, I have stayed away from the Whitney during my yearly museum visits. However, since the start of the “Whitney Live” this summer (concerts “with upstarts in experimental pop, tropicalia, chill-wave, beach music, garage rock, post-punk, and globe-trotting bass-inflected DJ beats”) I have decided to put aside my irrational fears of cannibalistic art forms in order to rock out for free. On that note, Brooklyn-based Tanlines, will be performing this Friday for your dance floor pleasures! Incorporating hints of African percussion, ritualistic chanting and a mix of instrument-heavy-vocal-steady beats, this duo produces music with sun-drenched, poppy life. Who knew the Whitney could put on a hella fun beach party? Anyways, it’s totally worth it. Just don’t forget your Bull Frog. - Alex Daly


Larkin Grimm plays Knitting Factory on 09.02

If Devendra Banhart was a little older, Larkin Grimm could be his rebellious love child (unsurprisingly, the two share the same record label, Young God Records). There is just enough of an artistic personality crisis in Grimm’s music that moves her beyond the folk-Appalachian-meets-avant-garde we’ve heard before. The soft acoustic notes and simple melodies of “The Butcher” and Eastern-inspired, high-pitched strings and chanting rhythms of “Durge” are equally accessible. Grimm’s life reads like a modern fairy tale, from her childhood in a cult to being a former member of Dirty Projectors, and her raw talent and creative urges should only continue to develop. Catch one of her intense live shows on Sept. 2 at the Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY with Birds Fled from Me. - Whitney Phaneuf



The Attic Youth Center Benefit w/Dangerous Ponies at WCL Aug. 26

Cheerful troubadours Dangerous Ponies craft carefree anthems that scream “fun!” Known for outrageous outfits and catchy hooks, their debut EP Dr. Ponie, Medicine Ponie is an audible pick-me-up. Sincere and sanguine vocals are paired with earnest riffs, resulting in the short but sweet “We” and shining swirl of “Honey Trap”. Near sing-a-longs with buzzing guitar and synth, songs like “Honey Trap” start small then bloom. Harmonized woah-oh-ohs open the realistically romantic “When You’re in Town”, charming listeners with hopeful outcomes and posy vibes. Their forthcoming full-length is currently scheduled for release in October so this will probably be the last time Dangerous Ponies will be performing in town until then. They’ll be downstairs tonight at World Café Live for a cause in support of QueerChannel Philly’s Celebration of the Diversity of LGBT Art, Culture and Expression benefit for the Attic Youth Center, our city’s only independent LGBTQ youth center to date. If you don’t mind paying for another admission or just cheaply chillin’ by the bathrooms upstairs, Toy Soldiers will also be in the house for an Origivation showcase. World Café Live (Downstairs), 3025 Walnut St., 6pm, $18, All Ages (Photo by Sarah Green) - Dianca Potts