AlternativeNation.net Review Of Sleeper Agent’s Show In San Diego

By AlternativeNation.net Reader LJ Marchica
Review of Sleeper Agent at The Irenic, San Diego, CA, April 29, 2014

Approaching The Irenic in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego, I noticed a particularly eclectic group of characters a few blocks away. I strolled inside after being handed a free Sleeper Agent sticker and coaster from two smiling greeters and got my first look at one of the areas most debated venues.

Part of a church, this auditorium hosts a variety of shows with a professional-grade sound system. Immediately in front of the stage is a slightly elevated crescent-shaped dance floor allowing the performers’ sweat to hit you, without a barricade to get in the way. The result is a more intimate club vibe.

Being an all-ages show, I noticed many young high-schoolers in the crowd, along with college kids and aging hipsters rounding out the mixture. The show began at around 7:00pm, and unfortunately, I did not make it in time for Pagins, the opening group which ended its set before 7:30.

The next act, Holychild, took the stage at 8:00pm. A relatively new band, fresh off of the release of their debut EP, Mindspeak emerged with explosive energy. The female lead vocalist, wearing a long, flowing white dress, jumped, crawled, and climbed across the stage like an 80s-era Madonna. The three other band members pounded primal drums, often all at once, on a huge and continuous “U” shaped kit stretching from one side of the stage to the other. Interestingly, all members, singer included, would share job duties on their respective synths, making for a hulking quantity of decibels. Toward the end of their set, Sleeper Agent, donning various animal masks, joined them on stage to pound away on drums. Their sound was unique but echoed somewhere between Foster the People and Sleigh Bells and thanks to the showcasing of their talents as a live band; I am looking forward to hearing an LP soon.

Next up was the headliner, Sleeper Agent. Just before they took the stage, comic Doug Benson suddenly emerged from the backstage area and meshed into the crowd. As the band began to take their places, I recognized them as the same people I had seen wandering the surrounding neighborhood before the show!

While the performance was itself excellent and powerful, one small annoyance, a matter of contest particular to The Irenic itself was that the acoustics were becoming lost in a jumble. When close to the stage, it was difficult to hear the dueling vocal harmonies that the group is known for. The band mentioned after the first song that the on-stage monitors were not audible which may have been responsible, and I noticed toward the rear of the venue, the sound was sharper.
The set was a solid mixture of hits from their 2011 LP Celebrasion, in particular, overwhelming audience sing-along dominated “Force a Smile”, “Get it Daddy”, “Be My Monster”, and “Far and Wide”. New songs from their current record, About Last Night, filled the rest of the set, with an instant crowd favorite being “Waves”. With the setlist visible, I counted seventeen songs and before the final four, they surprised the crowd and added another from the new album, bringing the total to eighteen. For the finale, all members of the two opening bands crept onto the stage in a conga line; banging triangles, tambourines, cymbals, and cow bells, and continued to dance and play through the end of the show with everyone present dancing and rocking until the last note.

Afterwards, members of all bands, and Doug Benson, hung out, and were available for pictures and chatting with fans. It is a quality that many bands lack nowadays.

Video: Scott Weiland Performs New Song “Beach Pop Rock”

The first ever live video of Scott Weiland performing his new track “Beach Bop Rock” has surfaced from his show last night in Monroe, LA. Weiland also performed the new tracks “Red,” “Circles,” and “The Way She Moves.” Weiland clarified that “The Way She Moves” is not the STP B-side but actually a new song. Good to see Scott showcasing some new material.

Video: Clip Of Scott Weiland Performing New Song “Circles”

The first ever live video of Scott Weiland performing his new track “Circles” has surfaced from his show last night in Monroe, LA. This track is unrelated the the unreleased Wondergirls track. Weiland also performed the new tracks “Red,” “Beach Bop Rock,” and “The Way She Moves.” Weiland clarified that “The Way She Moves” is not the STP B-side but actually a new song. Good to see Scott showcasing some new material.

Shocking New Kurt Cobain Death Scene Note Refers To Courtney Love As A ‘Money Siphoning Bitch’

cobainwalletcropped

A cropped version of a note found in Kurt Cobain’s wallet at the scene of his death has finally been released by the Seattle Police Department 20 years after Cobain’s 1994 suicide.  The note seems to mock wedding vows stating: ‘Do you, Kurt Cobain, take Courtney Michelle Love to be your Lawful Shredded wife, even when she’s a bitch with zits and siphoning all yr money for doping and whoring…”

It is unknown if Cobain or Love wrote the note, or if it was intended as a serious note.  It is written on The Phoenix hotel stationary, which is located in San Francisco.

Scott Weiland Refuses To Discuss Stone Temple Pilots & Velvet Revolver In Interviews

Dallas’ Central Track reports that they recently had an interview scheduled with Scott Weiland, but were told he would not discuss his past in Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. He only wants to discuss his upcoming third solo album. Weiland was supposed to called the interviewer and ultimately no showed and never called. Weiland and the Wildabouts are currently on tour, with a couple new songs in the setlist.

Mark Lanegan Rips Donald Sterling, Attends Clippers Playoff Game

Long time Los Angeles Clippers fan Mark Lanegan has responded on Twitter to the recent controversy regarding the racist comments made in an audio recording of team owner Donald Sterling, and his subsequence lifetime ban from the NBA. Lanegan also attended last night’s Clippers playoff game. View the tweets below:

Rage Against The Machine & System Of A Down Members Guest On New Linkin Park Album

Linkin Park’s upcoming sixth album, The Hunting Party, will feature guitar contributions from Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, System Of A Down’s Daron Malakian, and Helmet’s Paige Hamilton. The Hunting Party promises to be Linkin Park’s heaviest album to date. The new album is set for U.S. release June 17th. Linkin Park headlines the Download Festival in England on June 14th where they will play 2000’s Hybrid Theory album in its entirety.

Of their new guitar heavy single, frontman Chester Bennington comments in a trailer for the new album (featured below): “When I heard the opening riffs  of ‘Guilty All The Same’, I hadn’t felt that excitement in a long time.”

On the concept behind their new album, turntablist Joseph Hahn says: “At first it was as simple as ‘Let’s write some heavy stuff’.”

Co-frontman Mike Shinoda says: “There was a point last year where I was making stuff and I realized that it was just wrong. I was making stuff that I wanted to listen to, not something I wanted to be making.”

The Hunting Party tracklist:

‘Keys To The Kingdom’
‘All For Nothing’ (featuring Page Hamilton)
‘Guilty All The Same’ (featuring Rakim)
‘The Summoning’
‘War’
‘Wastelands’
‘Until It’s Gone’
‘Rebellion’ (featuring Daron Malakian)
‘Mark The Graves’
‘Drawbar’ (featuring Tom Morello)
‘Final Masquerade’
‘A Line In The Sand’

[youtube id=”7r7r_qU8Eow” width=”620″ height=”360″]

 

Band Spotlight: Soda Pants, Exclusive Debut Single Premiere “Amarillo”

AlternativeNation.net has been honored to release the exclusive premiere of Soda Pants’ debut single “Amarillo.” The folk-rock catchy anthem is filled with country-tinged vocal harmonies and is similar to the indie acoustic minimalism of acts such as Mumford & Sons or Noah and the Whale. “Amarillo” is the tenth track off their upcoming self-titled full-length album, which will be released on May 9th. You can check out the band’s bio and single below:

Soda Pants is a group of young, talented folk-rock virtuosos influenced by classic rock legends such as Paul Simon, The Band, and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. The group formed at UCSD in March 2012 when musicians Erin Bower, Will Chapman, Mike Sierks, and Grady Kestler met and entered the Battle of the Bands. The folk rock four-piece began touring across the west coast, opening for eclectic acts such as Matt & Kim, Capital Cities, Portugal the Man, Andrew McMahon, the Mowglis, Youngblood Hawke, Run River North, and many more. Soda Pants was later given the San Diego Music Award for Best New Artist in 2013, opened for Conan O’ Brien during a visit to UCSD, and received airplay on 102.1 KPRI, 94.9 FM, and 88.1 KPFZ.

The group’s debut self-titled album will be released on May 9th, 2014. The LP was produced, recorded, and mixed by Jeff Berkley at Berkley Sound and mastered at Lurssen Mastering Studios by Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen.

Listen to the single, “Amarillo”:

Tracklisting:
1. All I Can Say
2. Seattle
3. The Fall
4. Mary
5. Coyotes
6. It’s Not Fair
7. To Whom It May Concern
8. Take It Slow
9. Brother’s Love
10. Amarillo
11. Walken

Click the links below for the band’s social media sites:
Facebook
Website
Bandcamp
Soundcloud

Billy Corgan Releases Tracklisting For New Smashing Pumpkins Album ‘Monuments To An Elegy’

Thrilled to report that we now have our album in total, as top songs are arranged and set for drum tracking. So over the next 3 days I’ll be focusing on vocal arrangements, lyrics, and tweaking the overall aesthetics of the record as I hope it shall be. At least then I’ll be able to share a different narrative for a spell, and get off this merry-go-round we’ve all been on.

That said, unless I manage to write another corker in the next month, here lies the tracklisting for ‘MONUMENTS TO AN ELEGY’ (all titles subject to change):

BEING BEIGE (WORLD’S ON FIRE)

ANTI-HERO

TIBERIUS

RUN TO ME

ONE AND ALL

DRUM AND FIFE

DORIAN

MONUMENTS

ANAISE

W.P.C.

AlternativeNation.net’s Interview With Sleeper Agent

Sleeper Agent recently finished their tour opening for Magic Man and New Politics. I got the chance to catch up with Tony Smith, guitarist and vocalist, on February 17th at their San Diego House of Blues show. Smith discussed the band’s hometown, their upcoming LP, and the current state of rock music. You can view and watch the interview below:

How has the tour been so far?

Tony Smith: It’s been great. It’s been crazy every night. Way too many shows back to back. So, it’s been an endurance run, but we’re making it through and we’re having a blast.

As a band who has toured in both small venues and clubs like this tour as well as being a part of large festivals such as Coachella, which do you prefer to perform for?

Tony: I think I prefer the club atmosphere, it’s a little more my style. I know where things are and I know next door this amazing place to eat and there’s probably a shitty bar inside that I can get a drink. And the festivals are a little overwhelming, but I do like them.

When I heard about Sleeper Agent, Cage the Elephant, and Schools, I noticed you all came from a city called Bowling green, Kentucky, which I wasn’t quite familiar with. Do you there is something special or unique about Bowling Green that promotes or encourages creating rock music?

Tony: It’s very small, so your options are either get a job, go to a bar, or sit around and doing nothing, or create a band. So, I think the lack of activity is what inspires so many bands to go forth.

Your third LP release, About Last Night, will be released next month on March 25th. Did you run into any difficulties or pressures while writing material for this album?

Tony: We wrote and demoed about 40 songs and we had a huge team-shift midway through the process. So, everything got pushed back. And we had to meet all new people and get them excited about the band. So, that was our only real setback. But, everybody loved the music we were doing the whole time, it was just about getting it in the right hands.

You guys have previously mentioned influences such as the Beatles, Beach Boys, Pixies, and much more. Were there any artists you were specifically listening to while writing and recording for the upcoming album?

Tony: When we got done with our first album cycle, I would jog to Animal Collective a lot. I was really interested in all the ways that they shaped synth sounds and melodies and harmonies. So, I took a lot of that into About Last Night.

You also released a lyric video for Waves, which will be on About Last Night. Is that similar to the other music that will be released on this upcoming album?

Tony: Yes and no. There are a couple folkier songs like Waves, but there are also some really heavy alternative rock songs. There are some really overblown pop songs. It’s very hard for us to stand in one place for very long. So, there’s a little big of something for everyone on there.

As a band who is beginning to reach radio airplay and mainstream success, what is your opinion on the current state of rock music?

Tony: Rock and Roll is almost non-existent in the mainstream. You have those few bands like Imagine Dragons and Foster the People and bands that just come out of nowhere and blow up. I would prefer to see not just one band every year that has a great year, but like 5 bands a year that have great years. It’s just a really big crap shoot. Hip hop dominates and country dominates. Nothing against those genres, but I just happen to be in the one that doesn’t dominate.

It was also recently announced that you are scheduled to perform in the Firefly music festival in Delaware in June. Are there any festivals or countries you would like to perform in the future?

Tony: Oh yeah, I hope to hit every country on the face of this earth. We haven’t done the Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo yet. Lollapalooza was the first time I ever left Kentucky and saw a bigger city like Chicago, so that would be really great to go play that and have it all come full-circle.

Are there any bands you would like to tour with or any bands on your bucket list you would like to meet?

Tony: Of course, I would love to tour with the Pixies, that would be amazing, with or without Kim Deal. But, I would say really that would be #1. Everyone else are bands we’ve met along the way that I would love to bring on the road with us.

You and Alex share vocal duties in your songs. Do both of you write lyrics or what is the exact writing process for these songs?

Tony: Well, I write the majority of the lyrics. Sometimes, the other guys will pitch a line. Alex will pitch a line sometimes. But, it’s all more-so this filtering process where I’ll come up with this entire concept and theme and idea and then I’ll pitch it to her. And you can just tell by her face if she likes it or not. So, I’ll just go back to the drawing board if she just kinda says, “No, I’m not saying that.” So, she’s kinda like my litmus test.

Well thank you very much for the interview.

You can watch the video form of this interview below thanks to Daniel Alguire of NBD Media:

For a review and photos of the show click here

Billy Corgan Reveals Cover Art For ‘AEGEA’

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has revealed the cover art for his AEGEA release, a collection of rare experimental recordings he made in 2007. Pre-orders will begin in 3 weeks and there will be a listening party/performance at Madame ZuZu’s Teahouse when the album is released. Note that Corgan may have just been using this as the picture for his SmashingPumpkinsNexus.com blog.

aegea

Jane’s Addiction, Arctic Monkeys & Cage The Elephant Announce Summer Tour Dates

Jane’s Addiction

8/20/14 – O2 Academy Brixton
8/21/14 – O2 Apollo Manchester

Arctic Monkeys

8/30/14 Aug Sonic Boom Festival, Edmonton, AB
8/31/14 Aug X- Fest, Calgary, AB
9/3/14 The Great Salt Air, Magna, UT
9/4/14 Sept Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, CO

Cage The Elephant

7/27/14 Albany, NY, Upstate Music Hall
8/30/14 Calgary, AB, X-Fest
8/31/14 Edmonton, AB, Sonic Boom

Scott Weiland Performs Stone Temple Pilots Rarity & New Track At Show In Austin

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts reportedly performed three surprise songs at their show in Austin, Texas last night.

“The Way She Moves” – unreleased (and never leaked) Stone Temple Pilots track
“Beach Bop Rock” – new song
“Circles” – a new slow tempo song with lyrics “ain’t no heaven to save me” and “circles in the kitchen”

Setlist:
Crackerman (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Tumble in the Rough (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Do It For The Kids (Velvet Revolver song)
The Way She Moves
The Jean Genie (David Bowie cover)
Big Bang Baby (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Suckertrain Blues (a capella)
Big Empty (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Slither (Velvet Revolver song)
Vasoline (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Beach Pop Rock
Dead & Bloated (Stone Temple Pilots song)
Circles

Encore:
Unglued (Stone Temple Pilots song)