We Go To Shows

Month: January 2018

Pachyderm Worth Checking Out On New Teaser EP

Consider this the fresh-faced first entry of the new year in Pittsburgh Single of the Year territory.

The oft-engaging Pachyderm channels The Sea and Cake and the emotional heft of a romantic relationship gone awry on “I’m Not Happy, I’m Just High,” a new two-song EP now available on Bandcamp. It does this, and this is no small feat, with a shimmering, lullaby-ish guitar motif on the title track that’s positively buttery in the most post-pop of senses; it will utterly force you to reconsider the singer-songwriter’s line between lament and regret. (The song, in short, is the stuff that makes Sam Prekop blush.)

The Burgh-based quintet also pulls off the decidedly ironic sugar-sweetness of the title track seemingly so casually (the vocals are delivered, at times, in almost an adenoidal dead-pan), which only heightens the sense of excitement. Definitely worth the price of “name your price.”

The “B-side,” which Pachyderm coins a “bee-side,” features the biting lyrics and quirky pop- and blues-isms of “Songs About The Beach,” lamenting “your people,” the nature of extroverts and, of course, “shitty music” and “shitty beer.” Yes, the lyrics – sometimes forked, sometimes tongue-in-cheek – try to steal the show but my ear kept wandering back to that electric guitar, played seemingly through an old tube-amp, once unassuming and once scene-stealing, and featuring (at different times of course) a little doo-wop funkiness and some scorching, manic guitar solo-age. Impressive!

If this is any indication of what’s coming on the soon-to-be-released Verge LP, which this release most definitely teases, I am in.



Show Review: Night Night Boy, the Lopez, and Shin Guard @ Café Verona (1/13/18)

This guest post was written by Steven W. Allen

Basement shows are the best shows, especially when they feature three local bands with completely different sounds coming together on a common ground.  Last Saturday, 1/13/18, I had the pleasure of witnessing Shin Guard, The Lopez, and Night Night Boy play in the basement of a DIY venue, known only as Café Verona (“msg a friend for the addy” type of venue), and I had an incredible time.  Admittedly, I mainly went to see my friends in Night Night Boy, but what I experienced was so much more than that.

Shin Guard

First up was Shin Guard.  This energetic four-piece beautifully blended loud, fast punk and hardcore undertones with mathy, dynamic grooves that seemed to take you out into space, only to be brought right back to Earth with a hard-hitting self-assurance.  They had really fun interactions between all the instruments with harmonic 2-part guitar solos intertwined with impressive drum and bass chemistry.  Their set had a dynamic flow to it, coming in with an unexpected burst, and ending in an entropic dissonance as the lead singer walked straight into the crowd, guitar in hand, laying it down on the ground, letting that last note ring out.

The Lopez

Now, switch gears for The Lopez, a two-piece composed solely of an electric guitar and keyboard/electronic output setup.  It might not sound like much, but they were able to accomplish a lot with so little.  They brought their own energy to the room, filling that basement with noisy, yet catchy jams, where at multiple times during their set I would find myself dancing along without even noticing I was doing so!  These two people had a great musical harmony, and it showed in their performance, which was really fun to experience.

Night Night Boy

Last up: Night Night Boy from Braddock. As seems to be rather common in the Pittsburgh-area music scene, two of the members of this band (singer/guitarist Brandon Carnes and bassist Cassie Staub) are also in another local band Looming, and for Night Night Boy, they are joined by Dan Holway on the drums.  This band mixes all the good parts of rock ‘n’ roll and pop punk, while not quite fitting one specific mold, but instead blending their sound into an amalgam of their own.  With intricate yet effortless guitar and bass interplay, Brandon and Cassie complement each other perfectly over lines like, “It feels so lame. There’s nothing else to do but drink ginger ale and watch TV in my bedroom.” Meanwhile, Dan is sitting in the back holding it all together.  Being a drummer myself, as I watched Dan play, I was thoroughly impressed with how tight he was, playing exactly what needed to be played right where it needed to be played. Never too showy, but never wavering from that ever-sought-after pocket. All in all, Night Night Boy is a powerful trio that you should keep an ear out for.

Unfortunately, the touring band, Sass from Minnesota, had to cancel due to weather and road condition, but honestly it’s okay, because this DIY basement show definitely held its own.  There was a great crowd attending, and these three bands gave them a show worth remembering.


You can find Shin Guard’s music on Band Camp and Spotify. Their next show is January 31st at Black Forge Coffee House with Looming, Pale Lungs, Captain the Sky, and FoxwellThe Lopez has music available on Band Camp and Spotify. Their next show is February 28th at the Mr. Roboto Project with ShellshagBat Zuppel, and The Zells. Night Night Boy has a demo up on Band Camp.

This show was hosted jointly by Don’t Let the Scene Go Down on Me! Collective and Fine, I’ll Do It Booking. They’re always putting on rad shows, so make sure you check ’em out! 

Barlow LP To Be Reissued Monday By Pittsburgh Label Crafted Sounds

Lo-fi fuzz-pop – think The Cure coalescing around the guitars of Les Thugs – is the name of the game on In A Stranger’s Car, the 2017 outing from Pittsburgh’s Barlow that gets the re-release treatment on cassette and streaming formats from Crafted Sounds Monday, 1/22. The new edition features outtakes and promises of things to come.

But what can we say of the original recording, which was quietly released last summer? Barlow has never been keen on fidelity in most senses of the word – sometimes, in fact, they seem diametrically opposed to it, stopping and starting sections of their songs at will, or blending them together in a haze of takes and retakes. But the songs here have a surprising amount of depth and dimension to them, even in the most cut-and-pasted of moments. In A Stranger’s Car, recorded mostly to four-track from 2011 to 2017, sounds, indeed, like a labor of dictating tender affectations – there’s clearly care to how the crunch of a chorus is taped, how a sound or sentiment loops (evidence: the hypnotic “Throwing Star”), or how frontman Ethan Olivia’s plaintive wails occasionally cut through the murkiness of it all.

There’s lot of fuzz, to be sure, both of the distorted and recorded varieties, but there’s also a lot of color. The drums point and plod in various directions, and guitars — sometimes underwater-reverby, sometimes ’92-grunge-enraged – swirl and then wrap notes around you like a warm blanket. The incredible “False Eye” where pseudo-perked verses lead into a rousing chorus, is a classic example of how the band writes songs that don’t stop and start so much as fall into your arms and then vanish into hushed breaths. The act of listening, therefore, is rather immediate and blood-pumping vital. When you let down your guard and search for a formula, they throw a post-punk closer like “Time Man” – epic stuff! – at you, just to make sure you’re paying attention. This stuff keeps you on your goddamned toes!

Barlow isn’t just a garagy Pittsburgh monster, though; the group also knows its hooks. To that end, I suggest you look no further than the beautiful, too-short “Highway” or the 80s-shimmer of “c.o.l.” which is period-perfect and captures the glowing naivete of some of the era’s best guitar pop, as well as the underground strutting of purveyors like Beat Happening. Or, as if to one-up themselves, Barlow posits “Go For It” as the next track on the release, complete with jangly acoustic guitars and a buzz-worthy drive into the horizon-line.

This is beautiful music, recorded in an ugly fashion. Barlow’s lo-fi sensibilities place it at stern odds with much of the overproduced cotton-candy that’s considered pop these days; but the group’s heart is a pop diamond. On the newly new In A Stranger’s Car, they let that diamond shine.


Punksburgh Playlist “The Lost Time” Final Chapter: December

We’re updating the archive with a Spotify playlist of all bands reviewed / interviewed / mentioned on Punksburgh.com in December.

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Punksburgh Playlist “The Lost Time” Part 4: November

We’re updating the archive with a Spotify playlist of all bands reviewed / interviewed / mentioned on Punksburgh.com in November.

Not on Spotify:

Liverball – Bullet for Your Thoughts
Paris Green (formerly Sub Rosa) – Real Live Redhead
Buildings – I Don’t Love My Dog Anymore
Glow Worm – Vapid Age
Unreliable Narrator – A Dream Deferred Is a Dream Denied
The Existential Gentlemen – On the Far Side of Hell
156/Silence – Inundated by Memories
The Sea, Like Lead – a new mythology
The Scratch ‘n Sniffs – Scraping By…
Paradise Kitty – Sweet Child O’ Mine (cover)
The Shadow Event – Footsteps
Burned – Hate to See You Go
Horehound – The Dead Don’t Lie
Choir – Eat Your Heart Out
Dead River – save you
JC Nickles – Tone Deaf (acoustic)
fuck yeah, dinosaurs! – Raptors on Acid
Supercharger – I Want It Bad
Cultivator – Tied In Knots
Bernies – Bernie Mac Attack is Back, Jack
Derider – Fail By Example
Sam Pellegrino – Male Bonding Over Women
Look Out Loretta – WKND GTWY
Slugss – Bone
Garter Shake – Alpha Creeps
Good Grief – Sang You to Sleep
Knight Terror – Bonefire
Peace Talks the Electric Word Life Band – Demonstration
Bending – Cycles
Perverts Again – My Accident
Tiny Engines – Paws
Rue – Star Swimmers
Lorenzo’s Oil – Trying Too Hard
DICEY – Vol. 149
Tears of Joy – Liquor Store
Birds – Falling
Soda Club – Turn Me Down
Milly – Throw It Away
Whitethrash – New World
Dead on the Streets – Early Grave
Silver Car Crash – Seeing Lightning
Video Tapes – Personal Favor
fake friends – Finally Found

Not found online, catch them at a show!:
The Steelhouse Pickers
The Candescents
Dylan Rooke and Red Coal
Almost Extinct
Gas Tiger
Old Man Rob
Duquesne Light Orchestra
Lullaby Engine
Jetpack Audible


  1. Mike Watt – Against the 70’s
  2. Guided By Voices – A Salty Salute
  3. Sonic Youth – Kool Thing
  4. Derketa – Until Our Death
  5. R.E.M. – Strange
  6. Throwing Muses – Bright Yellow Gun
  7. The McCoys – Hang On Sloopy
  8. The Beatles – All My Loving
  9. Leprosy – No Podran Parar el Tren
  10. Klaymore – Decisive Battle
  11. Lady Beast – Lone Hunter
  12. Defy the Tide – Upon the Looking Glass
  13. Dethlehem – Oathbound
  14. Solarburn – Because Fuck You John
  15. Only Flesh – Put My Love in You
  16. Einsturzende Neubauten – Zuckendes Fleisch
  17. Neurosis – Locust Star
  18. Godflesh – Xnoybis
  19. Helmet – FBLA II
  20. Wire – Pink Flag (2006 Remastered Version)
  21. The Jesus Lizard – Mouth Breather
  22. Calyx – Money Blood
  23. Wiz Khalifa – Letterman
  24. Don Caballero – Railroad Cancellation
  25. Rodan – Shiner
  26. Rolo Tomassi – Balancing the Dark
  27. Phat Man Dee – Adam and Eve
  28. Ishtar – Center of Your Soul
  29. Rockin Bones – Something’s Goin’ Wrong
  30. VISTA – Inside Anxious
  31. Vertigo – But They Share the Same Sky
  32. Victoria Morgan – Know Better
  33. Kahone Concept – Forefront
  34. The Cryptkeeper Five – The East Horizon
  35. Children of October – Riverside Suicide
  36. The Big Bad – We Own This Town
  37. Ego Likeness – Sirens and Satellites
  38. The Rain Within – Thunderheart
  39. Adoration Destroyed – Voices Carry
  40. Red Lokust – Speechless
  41. Tragic Impulse – Broken Glass
  42. The Delaneys – The Line
  43. Curse the Son – Gaslighter
  44. Brimstone Coven – Black Magic
  45. Vacation – Pyro Hippies
  46. Bat Zuppel – Away to Drown
  47. Swim Team – Reanimator
  48. Molly Alphabet – Lickin’ The Windows
  49. Crooked Cobras – Terrible Things
  50. Mala Sangre – Picando Piedra
  51. Jeff Betten – Small Doses
  52. Wreck Loose – I Do Right
  53. Zoob – Dirty Mind
  54. Andre Costello and the Cool Minors – Took Our Cause
  55. Seedy Players – Julia
  56. Searights – Wave of Love
  57. Manic Soul – You Better Run (Live)
  58. Morgan Erina – I Promise I Won’t Call
  59. Chet Vincent & The Big Bend – Dirty Money
  60. Zack Keim – Sweet Memories
  61. Dan Getkin and the Twelve Six – In the Grey
  62. Trash Boy – Lizard People
  63. Action Camp – War at My Side
  64. Like No Tomorrow – Side Effects
  65. Weapons of Choice – All I Want
  66. The Homisides – A.T.A. (Anti-Trump Army)
  67. Divine Tragedy – Flesh and Blood
  68. Alter the Design – Nothingness
  69. Dead Bars – Earplug Girl
  70. Playoff Beard – Bad Ideas
  71. The EFFECTS – Anchors Aweigh
  72. TR3 – See You In Your Dreams
  73. Tim Vitullo – Pretty Good
  74. The Deep Vees – Shutdown
  75. The Promise Hero – Sorry About That
  76. Sleepy Limbs – Sweet and Sour
  77. Selfhelpme – Road
  78. Murder for Girls – Christina R.
  79. Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
  80. Bratmobile – Gimme Brains
  81. Calamity Jane – Miss Hell
  82. Kim Deal – Walking With a Killer
  83. T-Tops – Wipedown
  84. City Steps – Procrastination Game
  85. Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
  86. Stereolab – Brakhage
  87. delicious pastries – Radial Blur
  88. The Applies In Stereo – Strawberryfire
  89. of Montreal – Lysergic Bliss
  90. Elf Power – A Grey Cloth Covering My Face
  91. Beulah – Popular Mechanics for Lovers
  92. The Bryan Ferry Orchestra – Virginia Plain
  93. Lofi Delphi – Aimshoot
  94. Wreck Loose – I Do Right
  95. The Telephone Line – I Already Know
  96. Essential Machine – Paper and Stars
  97. Jeremy Caywood – Over and Under (Live)
  98. The Danger of Falling – Her/Being
  99. Shotgun Surgeon – Advent
  100. Born Without Bones – The Camera Turns
  101. Super American – Missing Pieces
  102. In Motion – Attention Addict
  103. Bindley Hardware Co. – Alright, All Ready!
  104. Pale Waves – There’s a Honey
  105. Lawn Care – Biddy Lounge Song
  106. The Sonder Bombs – End of My Daze
  107. Sikes and the New Violence – Low Expectations
  108. BBGuns – Willow
  109. The Dark Lines – The Knife Song
  110. Stone Cold Killer – Locked and Loaded
  111. CKY – Flesh Into Gear
  112. Worst Kept Secret – Second Take
  113. Blackbird Bullet – Sideways
  114. Today Is the Best Day Ever – Laugh More, You’re Dying
  115. Curse Words – Cigarettes Don’t Grow on Trees
  116. Mikey Erg – Comme Si About Me
  117. The Ergs! – Kind of Like Smitten
  118. Worriers – Future Me
  119. Save Ends – Surf Bed
  120. Black Numbers – Love Me Like I Do
  121. The Lopez – Sea Babies
  122. Old Game – Ah!pathetic
  123. There You Are – Perfect Crime
  124. Winter Makes Sailors – I Want to Sing It Loud
  125. David Bazan – Both Hands
  126. Michael Nau – Love Survive
  127. Bleep Bloop – K-9 Unit
  128. Sayer – Human Error
  129. Stuyedeyed – Funeral
  130. Tremoravia – Mars
  131. Karma To Burn – Fifty Seven
  132. Doctor Smoke – The Willow
  133. The Long Hunt – The Sparrow
  134. St. Dude – Shellshock
  135. Pixies – Here Comes Your Man
  136. ABBA – Take A Chance On Me
  137. The Weird Paul Rock Band – Garage Band
  138. The Danzas – High on the Hog
  139. Jill Sobule – I Kissed A Girl
  140. Liverball – Chicken Hawke
  141. Greywalker – Sinking Ship
  142. False Profit – Fuck You
  143. Crash Academy – Sad State
  144. Getaway Car – Ex (Yeah I’m Not the Same)
  145. Distant Futures – Post Office
  146. String Machine – Go to Canada
  147. Surf Bored – The World Unseen
  148. Anarbor – Rock To My Roll
  149. Sundressed – Beck and Call
  150. Vertigo – Do What You Will
  151. Super Fun Time Awesome Party Band – Dialated Poop Holes
  152. Johnny and the Razorblades – Seventeen
  153. Old Lords – Buried at Sea
  154. Iron Jawed Guru – Black Fortress
  155. Fruit & Flowers – Out of Touch
  156. Hearken – Sure Shock
  157. OC45 – Smoke and Mirrors

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