Hailing from north of the ATL, in the suburbs of Gwinnett County, Georgia, comes Southern rapper Jonathan McCollum, aka Rittz. With a quick, sharp tongue and dexterous rhymes, McCollum had a few close calls in the music industry, winning a battle contest on Hot 107.9, and nearly following in the career path of Eminem, but unfortunately, he was unable to lock down a record deal due to disputes in management and contract deals. Soured by the experience, and just on the verge of giving up rap entirely, Rittz was recruited by Yelawolf to guest on "Box Chevy" from the 2010 album Trunk Musik 0-60. More collaborations followed, and so did two mixtapes, 2011's White Jesus and 2012's White Jesus: Revival. Strange Music signed the rapper late that year, and released Rittz's studio debut, The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant, in 2013. ~ Jason Lymangrover
Click Image To EnlargeThursday28May Fitzgerald's07:00 PMAll Ages$13.00 ADV $15.00 DAY OF$17.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
A ghoul is a folkloric monster associated with graveyards and consuming human flesh and playing bone-snapping splatterthrash, often classified as but not necessarily undead.
Not much is known about Ghoul as they are always seen wearing masks. The members go by the stage names Cremator, Fermentor, Digestor, and Dissector. The band has a large line-up of characters in their lyrics, including the four of themselves. Most of the information about them comes from the "Curio Shop Owner" one of the many characters mentioned in their songs. They claim to be mutants that came from Creepsylvania. Ghoul was signed after self-releasing a demo. Their musical style is best described as a blend of thrash and death metal with death metal vocals and lyrics.
Click Image To EnlargeThursday28May Fitzgerald's08:00 PMAll Ages$12.00 ADV $15.00 DAY OF$17.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
In the summer of 2005, after a series of deaths in the family, Michael Deni left his hometown in New Jersey for San Francisco. He spent the next several months with his guitar and a synthesizer, turning that tragedy into the songs that would soon become the foundation for Geographer. With the additions of cellist Nathan Blaz and drummer Brian Ostreicher, Geographer spent the next year cutting their teeth in the Bay Area, winning over crowds with the heart-pounding epics that make up their debut record, ‘Innocent Ghosts'. After being selected one of three ‘Undiscovered Bands You Need To Hear Now' by SPIN Magazine and garnering considerable word-of-mouth praise from their energetic live shows, the band signed to San Francisco-based label Tricycle Records, releasing a 7" single for the song ‘Kites' in October 2009. ‘Animal Shapes' follows up ‘Kites', building on the synth-driven aesthetic of the single, while irting with darker, more esoteric underpinnings. The record merges Geographer's aptitude for crafting beautiful, haunting melodies with textural sounds and polyrhythmic energy, marking an evolution of their distinct style. With the overwhelming response to the release of ‘Kites' and ‘Animal Shapes', punctuated by a dynamic and engaging live set, the band has already begun to make an indelible mark on the ears of music fans worldwide.
Click Image To EnlargeThursday28May Walter's Downtown08:00 PMAll Ages$16.00 ADV $18.00 DAY OF
The Rentals will take to the road in North American starting May 5 with Rey Pila and Radiation City, in support of their 2014 full-length album, Lost In Alphaville, released on the Polyvinyl Record Co. The album is a landmark return from songwriter Matt Sharp, who assembled another great and eclectic collection of musicians to create, "a wonderfully endearing and otherworldly future-past melancholy vibe, and a bevy of memorable and infectious hooks", said the esteemed Jim DeRogatis for WBEZ.
On September 5, 2014 the main collaborators from Lost In Alphaville came together at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. For the very 1st time Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig (Lucius), Ryen Slegr (Ozma), Lauren Chipman (The Section Quartet) joined Sharp along with Jared Shavelson subbing in for Alphaville drummer Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) to perform songs from the newly celebrated release.
Understanding that this may be the only time that this unique collection of musicians would be able to come together, the band's label decided to document the entire day by filming from the set up, soundcheck, pre-show, main concert, post-show and everything that came in between the bookends of loading-in and loading-out. This intimate look into the beautiful chaos of "a day in the life" with The Rentals became the basis for Alphaville's 1st official music video "1000 Seasons". Elegantly shot by JDVVC and edited by J. Santos the infectious video gives the fans of the album perhaps the one and only opportunity to watch the album's main musicians collaborate and celebrate together - watch via YouTube.
Keeping the musical-collective tradition that Sharp has always employed with the band, the ever evolving, ever revolving door of guest Rentals collaborators will feature Shawn Glassford (Starfucker) on bass and synthesizers, Lizzy Ellison & Patti King (Radiation City) on vocals and synthesizers, Ryen Slegr (Ozma) on guitar, Ted Gowans (Tegan & Sara) on guitar, Jared Shavelson on drums which all swirl around Sharp's deadpan vocals while he wildly conducts the onstage analog synth madness.
Click Image To EnlargeFriday29May Fitzgerald's08:00 PMAll Ages$10.00 ADV$11.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Royal Thunder is a four-piece rock band based out of Atlanta, Georgia that seamlessly blends the timeless elements of heavy classic rock, 90's grunge and forward thinking progressive rock. Propelled by the powerfully emotional voice of frontwoman Mlny Parsonz, guitar heroics of Josh Weaver and dynamic drums of Evan Diprima, Royal Thunder has been described by NPR as "a revved-up Southern hard-rock that howls like Led Zeppelin astride a psychedelic unicorn.", "magnificently compelling rock music" by Decibel Magazine. Formed in 2004 by Weaver his brother and his best friend, the band went through several lineup changes over the years until settling on their current lineup which also added second guitarist Will Fiore as of 2015.
Since Diprima joined in October 2012, the band has been heavily touring the world including full North American / Euro Tours with Baroness and North American Tours Monster Magnet, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Pallbearer, Enslaved, Corrosion of Conformity, O'Brother and many more. The group has also played high profile festivals including SXSW, Bonnaroo, Scion Rock Fest, Bragg Jam, Roadburn, and numerous others.
In 2007 Royal Thunder self-released their debut EP and started touring with Jesse Stuber on drums. By 2010 Relapse Records took notice and signed the band starting with an official re-release of their self-titled EP and later in 2012 releasing their full length debut, CVI. Stuber left the band after CVI was complete and Lee Smith joined at that time on drums and also played on the last track of CVI, "Black Water Vision". The band toured with Lee Smith and Josh Coleman (who also joined during the making of CVI on second guitar) for a few US tours.
CVI was widely praised by critics including Rolling Stone's David Fricke who said Weaver's playing has "the meaty, base elements of early-Seventies British blues" and Metal Hammer Magazine who stated "Through the powerhouse vocals of Mlny Parsonz and a refusal to keep their sound boxed, Royal Thunder look set to be the underground's next big breakout stars". Other publications like SPIN called the album "stunning" while Revolver Magazine described it as "essential" and The Guardian called them "elegantly powerful" and compared them to prime Led Zeppelin.
In between a heavy touring schedule during 2013 the band recorded CVI: A; an acoustic rendition of three songs from CVI. The band then entered the studio once more in January of 2014 to begin their sophomore LP, Crooked Doors which was once again recorded, produced, and engineered by Joey Jones of Aria Recording Studio; whom the band has a long standing working and personal relationship.
Crooked Doors is set to be released worldwide in April of 2015 via Relapse Records and has already appeared on numerous anticipated albums lists.
Born to Jamaican parents in London, on January 14, 1965, Slick Rick, born Ricky Martin Lloyd Walters, is the most successful British-American rapper in music history. Brilliant word play, the effort-less ability to bring life to the stories he rhymed about, dead on pop-culture references and hilarious one-liners make him the wittiest rapper of all time.
He began his career in the late 80s, where he released a series of acclaimed recordings such as, "Children's Story", "La Di Da Di" and "Hey Young World." Slick Rick is best known for his British accent and his story telling innovations. His music has been frequently sampled and interpolated by other artists such as TLC, Talib Kweli, Eminem, Mos Def, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and many others; with many of these songs later becoming hit singles. Slick Rick is known as one of the architects of Hip-Hop.
These days, much of Slick Rick's story remains untold. The articles about his legal troubles may sell magazines, but they tend to overshadow the rapper's impressive and influential body of work.
Despite life's setbacks, Rick continues his commitment to his craft. Above all, Rick is very dedicated to his community. He regularly mentors the youth whenever he is given the opportunity to do so.
Slick Rick uses the power of music as a universal tool to enrich the lives of everyone around him.
Click Image To EnlargeSaturday30May Fitzgerald's08:00 PMAll Ages$10.00 ADV$11.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
All of the elements that places Lost Element in the forefront of the many talented bands contending to become the next major headlining band on the rise, are clearly present, and can be heard all throughout Lost Elements upcoming debut full length album to be released in early 2015. Describing those differences and elements, Lost Element's sound delivers nothing less than and alternative drive with a new wave indie feel. Very masterfully written compositions, with extreme excellence in both the music structure and lyric content.
Lost Element has worked extremely hard over the last few years touring nationally with 10 years and UK favorites Young Guns, and regionally with everclear, eve 6 and more. They spent most of 2014 writing the new album with producer, Bryce Bordone, and his mentor Serban Ghenea from Mix Star Studios in Virginia Beach, VA. Lost Element has gained much attention from local Radio station 94.5 the Buzz, being added to big festival dates and events, along with with possible radio play. Lost Element plans to hit the road hard in 2015 to push their new album on the road as well as the airwaves. Be on the lookout for them in 2015!
Click Image To EnlargeSunday31May Fitzgerald's07:00 PMAll Ages$18.00 ADV$20.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
In 1981 GBH's album Leather, Bristles, Studs and Acne exploded out of nowhere and forever changed the sound of both punk rock and heavy metal. Originally clocking in at a little over 22 minutes the album launched the genre of hardcore punk and its brutal yet melodic sound has been a key influence for punk and metal bands ever since. The band is proud to announce that they will perform Leather, Bristles, Studs and Acne in its entirety as part of their September 2014 North American tour.
The idea of opening the set with Leather, Bristles, Studs and Acne originated in a San Diego hotel room in 2012. "We were sitting around on a day off," said vocalist Colin Abrahall, "and ‘State Executioner' came on one of the crew's computer. Ross said ‘who's this, they're pretty good'. The crew guy says ‘it's you!' We all had a great laugh but the idea got planted that it had been far too long since some of these songs had been in the set."
With over 20 albums and EPs to their credit GBH could be forgiven for forgetting a track or two but their fans remember every note. "We tried it out back home," says Abrahall, "the response was incredible. People were singing every word". Coupled with classic early tracks like "City Babies Attacked By Rats" and "Diplomatic Immunity", as well as newer favorites like "Cadillac One" and "Kids Get Down" from 2010's critically acclaimed Perfume and Piss on Hellcat Records, the iconic band's current set cements their legacy for old and new fans alike. "What's great", says Abrahall, "is when people bring their kids to our shows. The dad might like ‘Sick Boy' but his kid wants to hear ‘Unique'".
Looking back on playing a record originally released in 1981 Abrahall confesses "we didn't think it'd last a week when we first got together. None of us could really play our instruments or do our specific job within the band." Nevertheless, GBH's unique sound, born in the Crown pub in Birmingham, UK – the same working class watering hole where Black Sabbath got their start – immediately influenced just about every punk and metal band from that point on. "I don't like metal," Abrahall declares, "but it's cool that metal kids like us. We share the same attitude…and that's what good rock and roll has always been about. "33 years later, GBH still tour constantly, playing everywhere from major rock festivals to illegal tenement squats. "It's what we live for -- the main purpose of each and every day is to get to the gig; that's the raison d'être."
And so what would the GBH of 1981 think about the GBH of 2014? "I think they'd be pretty speechless that we're still together, doing what we're doing," Abrahall says, noting that 3 of the 4 original members still play in the band. "We used to live for the day. We never used to think about the future that much. We're still true to our roots."
Click Image To EnlargeMonday1June Fitzgerald's07:00 PMAll Ages$13.00 ADV $15.00 DAY OF$17.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Regardless of the style he is working in, Sam Prekop's music is always imbued with a sense of wide-eyed discovery and exploration. As the singer and guitarist of The Sea and Cake, Prekop has incorporated elements of traditional styles from around the world, expanding the public perception of what it means to be the leader of a pop band. In recent years, he has also established himself as a modular synthesist, building his instrument meticulously to find the perfect combination of oscillators, sequencers, limiters and filters to create a system that allows him to create sounds that are surprising and inviting. His new album The Republic is his latest synthesizer work, following 2010's Old Punch Card, and showcases Prekop's talent for creating expressive music through mechanical patterns, repetitions, and chance. Prekop's innate gifts of melodic turns of phrase that have made him a revered songwriter are transferred into new forms in his synthesizer work, aided by the unpredictable melodic capabilities of analog sequencers, and The Republic is an exciting new chapter in his development as an accomplished synthesist. The first half of The Republic consists of songs that were originally created as a score for a video installation of the same name by David Hartt, which was shown at the David Nolan Gallery in New York. These pieces strike an impressive balance between control and spontaneity, seamlessly transitioning from abstraction and discord into passages of blissful harmonic consonance. The second half of the record consists of some of Prekop's most warm and inviting synth work yet, built using ideas that worked better on their own as opposed to accompanying the installation. These songs have a sense of forward motion that is often missing in many recordings by modern modular synthesists, which Prekop attributes to his incorporation of the instrument into his writing process for The Sea and Cake's acclaimed 2012 album Runner. The Republic is an entrancing album that moves Prekop's synthesizer compositions further into the realm of the accessible without abandoning the experimental legacy of the instrument. The Republic was recorded in Prekop's home studio in Chicago during the early months of 2014. Although he has primarily only performed synthesizer sets in Chicago, in part due to the extensive process of setting up and dismantling the instrument, he plans to perform works incorporating elements of The Republic throughout the US in 2015.
Click Image To EnlargeFriday5June Fitzgerald's08:00 PMAll Ages$15.00 ADV$17.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
The Damnwells are an indie rock band originally from Brooklyn, New York. The band formed in 2000 and has released four full length albums, Air Stereo (2006, Epic Records/Rounder Records), Bastards of the Beat (2003, Epic Records), One Last Century (2009, self-released), and No One Listens to the Band Anymore (2011, PledgeMusic). The original members of the Damnwells are Alex Dezen (lead vocals, guitar, piano), David Chernis (lead guitar), Ted Hudson (bass), and Steven Terry (drums/percussion). Steven Terry played drums and recorded with Ryan Adams' original band Whiskeytown on the album Strangers Almanac. Over the years, the Damnwells have toured extensively throughout the United States and have had numerous television and radio appearances. Although David Chernis and Steven Terry left the band from 2007 to 2013, the Damnwells, with core members Alex Dezen and Ted Hudson, continue to appear in changing formations. A new record, featuring the original 4 members, is slated for release in early 2015.
Click Image To EnlargeFriday5June Fitzgerald's08:00 PMAll Ages$15.00 ADV$17.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Japanese noise rock band Melt Banana found more success in the U.S. and the U.K. than in their own country, gaining a small but dedicated fan base among American and European punk rock fans. Although their music sounds noticeably different from any sort of traditional punk, it contains some punk elements: shrieking vocals, overdriven guitars, and one-and-a-half-minute songs. Melt Banana's unique style, however, comes as a result of the distinctly piercing vocals of lead singer Yasuko O., as well as the frenzied, effect-charged playing of guitarist Agata. Searing, intense, and mind-blowingly fast are perhaps the first adjectives that come to mind when listening to Melt Banana's music. Try to imagine an even more energetic incarnation of the Boredoms.
But, for many, the appeal of Melt Banana is not entirely limited to their music. Yasuko O.'s lyrics and song titles reflect a Japanese pop culture that is fascinating and strange, yet attractive to many non-Japanese fans. Melt Banana has capitalized on this phenomenon heavily in their merchandising as well as on their albums. As time passes, their overshadowing influence is becoming more and more evident within the cultish following of the noise-core movement. However, it is the band's incredible severity and furious sound that have gained them the most recognition. Their shockingly intense live shows are that of sheer legend, with many fans leaving sweaty and exhausted, and Yasuko O. often persevering through nosebleeds.
Agata and O. joined bassist Rika in 1992, and they played as a trio until later that year when drummer Sudoh Toshiaki joined the group. In 1994 they signed with British label Chocolate Monk, and that label released one title, Cactuses Come in Flocks, which was initially made available only on cassette tape. They later signed to Skin Graft and released their second album that year, Speak Squeak Creak, followed by Scratch or Stitch in 1995. Scratch or Stitch was recorded and mixed by Chicago avant-garde masters Steve Albini and Jim O'Rourke, and showcases some of Melt Banana's best work.
After releasing a large number of split releases on various labels, late in 1997 Melt Banana started their own label, A-Zap Records. Toshiaki quit the band the following month and was later replaced with Oshima from Satanic Hell Slaughter. In 1998, the band released Charlie, with Albini acting as producer again, and elected to up the ante by adding a variety of guests (including Mr. Bungle's Mike Patton and Trevor Dunn). This attracted the attention of fellow Bungle noise experimentalist John Zorn, who captured one of their wild shows for his label Tzadik that year, just before Melt Banana returned to the studio to record the typically crazed Teeny Shiny in 2000.
Six more split records and a Peel session later, they released 2003's Cell-Scape, which focused more on slowly building the wailing screeches into a rocketing ferocity. After their longest recording break, Melt Banana returned in 2007 with Bambi's Dilemma, which reverted back to even shorter, faster blasts of musical adrenaline. Two years later, the band returned with the guitar-less side project album, Lite Live: Ver.0.0. In 2011, the band's recording sessions were stalled after the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant made progress difficult. When Melt Banana did finally return with 2013's Fetch, O. and Agata had stripped the band back to a duo format. ~ Ben Tausig & Jason Lymangrover
Click Image To EnlargeWednesday10June Fitzgerald's07:00 PMAll Ages$15.00 ADV$17.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
American indie pop outfit Other Lives formed as an instrumental project in 2004 under the name Kunek. Based in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Kunek (who eventually added vocals to the mix) released one album (Flight of the Flynns) for Play Tyme Records in 2006 before making the transition to the similarly themed Other Lives. The group's eponymous debut album was produced and recorded by drummer/engineer Joey Waronker (Walt Mink, Beck, R.E.M.) and released in late 2008. After getting a boost by having songs appear on Grey's Anatomy, the band released its second album, Tamer Animals, in May of 2011 for TBD Records. Other Lives gained additional attention in 2012, opening for one leg of an American tour by Radiohead and also appearing at the Coachella Festival. An EP, Mind the Gap, appeared later that year, and the band prepared its second album, Rituals, for a 2015 release. ~ James Christopher Monger
Click Image To EnlargeWednesday10June Fitzgerald's07:30 PMAll Ages$13.00 ADV $15.00 DAY OF$17.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
The Portland-based duo Helio Sequence is comprised of vocalist/guitarist Brandon Summers and keyboardist/drummer Benjamin Weikel. Debuting in 1999 with an ambient, psychedelic sound that placed as much emphasis on the guitar as Summers' muted vocals, the band issued the Accelerated Slow-Motion Cinema EP before dropping the full-length Com Plex in 2000. Helio Sequence's 100 percent home studio approach allowed for a lot of sonic experimentation, and that aesthetic informed the swirls and layers of their evolving sound. When it did touch the ground, it was at points between My Bloody Valentine, Mouse on Mars, and the weirder side of the Elephant 6 collective. Young Effectuals followed in 2001 before the Helio Sequence jumped from the roster of Cavity Search Records to Sub Pop, releasing the more auspicious Love and Distance in June 2004. The album gave an unprecedented amount of prominence to Summers' vocals, but the singer was unable to keep his throat in shape on the subsequent tour. He returned to Portland, his voice severely damaged, and was forced to relearn the craft through a series of vocal exercises and lifestyle changes. Taking cues from another raspy-voiced singer, Bob Dylan, Summers steadily regained the use of his vocals, and the Helio Sequence returned in 2008 with Keep Your Eyes Ahead. While on tour in support of the album, the duo's rented studio/practice space flooded, wiping out some of their gear and leaving them in need of a new space to record and create. The band's new digs at a remote, disused industrial building offered them the seclusion necessary to experiment and stretch out. The results of these insular experiments informed the more patient, languid sound of 2012's Negotiations. ~ Johnny Loftus
Click Image To EnlargeFriday12June Fitzgerald's08:00 PMAll Ages$13.00 ADV $15.00 DAY OF$17.00 DAY OF BOX OFFICE
Growing up with two blind parents, sound became extremely important in communicating and relating to one another. After growing up around music, he set it aside to pursue his education. William received his masters in counseling and worked as a psychotherapist for several years before turning to songwriting. He truly writes the kind of songs that most songwriters dream about; brilliant, heavy, complex and intensely personal…the songs are nothing short of breathtaking.
Lions is a musical reflection of the personal renovation that's taken place since 2010's Gold In The Shadow. Best summed up by Fitzsimmons himself:
"The last couple years have been…full (kind of difficult to describe years in a single word). They have been wonderful, painful, long, incredibly brief, and more educational and rewarding than any I've ever lived before. ??I finished touring on the previous record feeling very conflicted. The longer I'm given the wonderful opportunity to write and create things, and subsequently share them with others, the more seriously and preciously I take that endeavor and responsibility. It is something I look upon with the utmost gratitude and respect. ??And yet at the same time I find myself making art in a field that is itself quite the opposite of it. I am learning that one of the most difficult things about being human is not merely facing things that you don't generally find comfortable or appropriate or even good, but actually learning how to live in the midst of it and not let it take over who you are. ??When you feel you are on a wrong-headed path, the quickest way to get where you want to go is to turn around, head back, and start again from the point you went askew. ??And so I did.
I returned simply to the things, which have always brought me some measure of understanding, peace, and movement. I began to write and play music without "motive" or "goal" or end result in mind. The way that I wrote when I first began.
There was no cartoon light bulb over my head or kitchen timer dinging to let me know I had gotten somewhere. With the stuff that matters there rarely is I suppose. But after months and months and months (and more bottles of beer and bowls of tobacco than I'd care to disclose), I felt like a necessary distance had been traversed. ??Wanting to continue in this very spirit, I chose to take yet another leap. I made a list of the producers who were making the music and records that most meant something to me. With no expectation I got in touch with the person at the top of the list. And, in a few months, I was on a plane to Seattle to begin working with Chris Walla to turn these songs in a notebook into the collection I wanted them to become.
"Lions" is something I'm terribly proud of and utterly connected to. It's a very personal piece to me (aren't they all) and something that I want you to connect with deeply. And I think you will. I honestly don't want to say too much about the music, because the truth is if music is of any worth, it should be able to speak for itself."