((Features)) - Oh My Rockness

April 15, 2014

This is a good song.

Recommended Show
April 14, 2014

Written by Patrick McNamara

Gates are five guys from New Brunswick, NJ who make muscular emotional music (i think there’s an abbreviated genre term for emotional music like this but can’t recall its name right now) that reaches for the stars. It’s soaring and pretty and shreds. Sometimes it gives me goosebumps too.

This band brings a whole lotta heart to their work. I know this to be true. Gates mean what they say and believe what they play. There’s nothing casually detached here. There’s no wry humor or silly absurdity in their repertoire. These climactic melodies mean serious business, friends. This isn’t about puppy dogs and ice cream. This is about stepping out from the shadows and “seeing the light,” man. And when Gates’ guitars get triumphant and reach their euphoric peak, things really do look a little brighter around here - which is impressive because as of this writing (11:04 am in the Year of the Perdue Wonderchicken) it is yet another cold grey ass day outside and winter hasn’t even started yet. Sigh. So it goes.

I’ve probably listened to Gates’ new (too short = left wanting more = perfect) album “You Are All You Have Left to Fear” about twenty-five times in the last week. And that’s no exaggeration. I’ve told you a million times before that I don’t do that. The album has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise super sucky week for me. I’ll tell you about it sometime. When are you free to discuss my darkness? How’s 7pm tonight? If that doesn’t work, how does any night between now and forever work for you?

Go ahead and stream this album below. Just do it. You will either really like it or realize immediately that this ain’t your thing. And if not, that’s fine You don’t like to feel? No problem! I’m OK. You’re OK. And everyone is still chill. Forever and Ever. Amen.

Gates don't have any scheduled upcoming shows - but save them to your free My Rockness account and as soon as we know the band is playing - you'll know. Cool? Cool.

Band We Like
April 14, 2014

Written by Patrick McNamara

Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bam.

Yeeoww! Plague Vendor is a super solid post-garage-punk band (sure why not) from Whittier, CA (home of the ghost of Tricky Dick and the exterior Hill Valley high school scenes in "Back to the Future" - yeah - I do #research for these things - I'm not just talking to myself on here - a music blobber prepares). This band is anguLAR and rocks the wailing SWAGger. And I’ll tell you this much, bub. If you go see Plague Vendor live, you’re gonna laugh your ass straight to the BANK (?).

Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bam. Buh-Boom-Bam.

Named after a Mexican folktale called “The Pulque Vendor” (#research), these four dudes - Brandon sings! Luke drums! Michael plays bass! Jay’s got the guitar! - have been at it for a few years, playing the small dark places that would have them. However, things currently are on the up-up-and-away for these guys. Plague Vendor recently signed to the mighty Epitaph Records and are set to release their debut album, “Free To Eat.” You're going to want to listen to that. It's really good. And oh yeah. Plague Vendor will play the 2014 WARPED Tour. Which is weird. Because they don't suck.

Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bam.

Below is a great song off that debut album. It's called "Black Sap Scriptures" and you need to stick with it. Wait for the Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bams. And then wait some more for their return. Because the Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bams pull everything together. You won’t regret it.

Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bam.

(P.S. they also sound similar to Detachment Kit on just about every song on "Free To Eat" except this one - and for this muzik blobber - that's called #praise.)


Just Announced
April 10, 2014
Random Rockness
April 10, 2014

This show we did with Soundcheck on WNYC was so good. It was an hour long exercise in musical goodness. We know. We were there.

If you missed it, it's cool. You were busy living your life. But good news. You can watch the whole thing below at your leisure. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart + Parquet Courts play brand new songs off albums so good, they haven't even been released yet.

Stream this goodness. And do so merrily. For life is but a dream.

Band We Like
April 07, 2014

Written by Patrick McNamara

NYC’s Shorts are a brand new brightly free pop band I know next to nothing about (as the above picture suggests - among other things) except that they are good. And really, what else does one need to know?

God. You’re so demanding. Fine. I’ll tell you a little bit more. The members of Shorts are singer/guitarist Michael Caterer of Melbourne band Love Connection and AUS/NYC’s Scott & Charlene's Wedding + bassist Jonah Maurer of Free Time and some band named Real Estate (please don't read that really old and outdated profile I wrote four years ago) + drummer Dylan Shumaker of Woodsman + Adrian Tregonning of Melbourne band NO ZU.

That was a whole paragraph of information. So I guess I knew more than I thought I knew about Shorts. But I’ve gotta be honest with you and shoot it to ya straight from here on out. I’ve only heard two Shorts songs. But they’re really good songs. Especially “Berlin 1971” - the one I have conveniently posted for you below. It’s got that sweet, sweet guitar jingle jangle, baby. And I’ve listened to it many, many times. My neighbors upstairs are starting to sing it too. (my walls are extremely thin)

I would like to close on a more somber note. I want to ask you a tough question. Please give it thought before you answer. This is important. If you had to pick one place in the world that you haven’t been to before that you want to go to - where would you pick? Money is no object.

Think this through. This is not exactly a Sophie’s choice, but it’s a serious one to be sure.

Just so you know. I have already got mine. It's Australia. I really want to go to Australia.

Just Announced
April 03, 2014


4/19 Their / They're / There (6pm), Negative Scanner (5pm), Meat Wave (4pm), Landmarks (3pm), Minor Characters (2pm), Wedding Dress (1pm) @ Saki
5/05 Wolfmother @ Metro
5/06 Joseph Arthur (performing songs by Lou Reed) @ City Winery
5/08 The Milk Carton Kids @ Old Town School of Folk Music
5/09 The Milk Carton Kids @ Old Town School of Folk Music
5/14 Mirah @ Evanston Space
5/14 Young Widows, Helms Alee, Sweet Cobra @ Subterranean
5/15 Suzanne Vega @ Old Town School of Folk Music
5/15 Nothing @ Subterranean
5/16 Tony Molina @ Beat Kitchen
5/16 The Boys, First Base, 999999999, The Man @ Empty Bottle
5/21 Iceage, Uniform, Violent End @ Subterranean
5/21 Panda Bear, Dj Dog Dick @ Thalia Hall
5/30 JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Marrow, Oozing Wound, The O'My's, High on Fire @ Do Divsion Street Festival
5/31 Bass Drum of Death, Screaming Females, JD McPherson, The Weeks @ Do Divsion Street Festival
5/31 Wilhelm Scream, Counterpunch @ Subterranean
6/01 J Mascis, GoldLink, People Under the Stairs @ Do Divsion Street Festival
6/03 Moving Units @ Empty Bottle
6/05 Sage Francis @ Abbey Pub
6/06 William Fitzsimmons, Leif Vollebekk @ Old Town School of Folk Music
6/06 Steve Earle (and Shawn Colvin) @ Thalia Hall
6/08 The Mavericks @ Thalia Hall
6/10 Young and Sick @ Schubas
6/11 Elvis Costello @ The Copernicus Center
6/13 Goat @ Thalia Hall
6/14 Jello Biafra and The Guantanomo School of Medicine, Negative Approach @ Reggie's Rock Club
6/15 Meshuggah, Between the Buried and Me @ Vic Theater
6/17 Presidents of the United States of America @ House of Blues Chicago
6/20 Tigers Jaw, Pity Sex, Loose Planes @ Subterranean
6/21 Foxy Shazam, Larry and His Flask @ Lincoln Hall
7/07 Flobots @ Double Door
7/07 Blackbird Blackbird @ Empty Bottle
7/12 Dengue Fever @ City Winery
7/25 Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, The Beat Junkies @ Aragon Ballroom
7/25 Camera Obscura, Laura Cantrell @ Thalia Hall
7/26 Yes @ The Copernicus Center
9/25 Lake Street Dive @ Thalia Hall

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