The award for the “Biggest Buzz Created by a Local Band on a National Level” goes to Tampa’s industrially noisy post-punk trio Merchandise, which earned a full-length Q&A feature spotlight on Pitchfork.com as prompted by the release of their 2012 full-length, Children of Desire. The writer called Merchandise “exceptionally well-formed and ambitious, especially for a band that, just two years ago, was recording with a Wal-Mart keyboard.” Members Dave Vassalotti and Carson Cox name-dropped Bob Suren in the story, discussed Tampa’s DIY scene and local musicians’ penchant for performing in storage spaces, and reminisced about Monday nights at the Castle, among other enlightening topics, and generally made Tampa look kind of cool. Now, if we can get them to actually play here …
Tallhart, the local alt-rock band formerly known as Marksmen that signed to Equal Vision Records in February, recently parted ways with drummer Reed Murray. A rather surprising move, considering everything seemed a-okay when CL talked to the band — and Murray specifically — for a story we printed in May. Apparently, Murray didn’t see it coming, either: “…Although my time in Tallhart has been brought to an unexpected and confusing end,” he remarked in his official statement, “my passion for music remains. I will continue my involvement with the band, Carrollhood, along with Nate Young and Tim McTague, and I will pursue other musical & artistic endeavors … One may not always achieve their goals through the means or within the timeline that they had envisioned. It is time for me to adapt and move forward.” The rather heated public outcry from fans following the announcement on Tallhart’s Facebook page has since been removed. No word yet on who will permanently take Murray’s place.
Speaking of drummers, rootsy shoegazers Sleepy Vikings played their last official show with drummer Ryann Slauson, also a wicked good visual artist who hit the road for New York not long after her Antiwarpt III gig to attend fine arts grad school at SUNY Purchase. Sleepy Vikings is currently seeking a beat-keeper to take her place, and will continue to play out sans drummer until the slot is filled. Personally, I think the obvious answer is staring us all in the face — Reed Murray, anyone?
Antiwarpt may have been one of the last live gigs for catchy melodic post-grunge trio Palantine. According to frontman/guitarist Vinnie Cosentino, the band will only be playing rare gigs, perhaps opening for the right touring bands and in festivals as drummer Jeff Fox finishes up school and Brian Johnson starts law school in the fall. “I think ending on Antiwarpt after a six-year run and five albums is walking out on top,” Cosentino remarked in a recent email. He’s also drumming for Spiller and plays with Palantine spinoff Mother Winslow, and said he has yet another side project in the offing: “An entirely new band where I play guitar. I have been collaborating on the material with my friend John Smith (yes, he is a real person) and even one song with former Lukali bandmate Scott Becker. This band is a complete departure from Palantine or Mother Winslow. Very little distortion, carefully crafted melodies and basic song structures. Total focus on catchy melodies. Fans of Built to Spill, Fleet Foxes and maybe even New Pornographers should likey.” (Reported by Julie Garisto)
Several bands are closing fan-direct fundraisers on Pledge.com and Kickstarter.com in support of their respective creative endeavors. At the time of this writing, King of Spain has reached 65 percent of their goal and additional donations must be received no later than Fri., Aug. 10. Fifty percent of the targeted amount goes to the National MS Society; the rest pays for a professional firm to handle the PR campaign for King of Spain’s new album (All I Did Was Tell Them the Truth and They Thought It Was Hell?, out Aug. 28) and tour. Member Daniel Wainwright has promised to dance the Macarena in his underwear, on video, if the band reaches their goal. So far, November Rush has drummed up $1,454 in pledges toward their $6,000 goal to record a new EP (campaign ends Sun., Aug. 19). And finally, From This Fire seeks help to record their sophomore album; their goal is $7,000, they’ve hit $491, and still have 26 days to go. Visit each bands’ Facebook pages for info on how to donate.
And finally, we have some intriguing concerts on the horizon. Recent additions to the Bay area concert markets include: Built to Spill, Sept. 12, State Theatre, St. Petersburg; Elton John, Sept. 14, USF Sun Dome; Arrested Development 20th Anniversary Tour, Sept. 14, State Theatre; William Elliott Whitmore, Sept. 22, New World Brewery; Florence + the Machine, Sept. 25, USF Sun Dome; Fiona Apple, Sept. 29, Ruth Eckerd Hall; Metric, Sept. 29, The Ritz Ybor; Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Oct. 1, Jannus Live; Victor Wooten, Oct. 7, State Theatre; Andrew Bird with Here We Go Magic, Oct. 9, Straz Center for the Performing Arts; Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Oct. 20, Capitol Theatre, Clearwater; WHY?, Oct. 28, Crowbar, Ybor City; Black Moth Super Rainbow Halloween Extravaganza, Oct. 31, Crowbar; Primus 3D Tour, Nov. 9, Hard Rock Live, Orlando; Weezer, Nov. 9, Mahaffey Theater; Dr. Dog, Nov. 10, State Theatre; A$AP Rocky with Danny Brown, Nov. 10, The Ritz Ybor; Regina Spektor, Nov. 15, Ruth Eckerd Hall; Dan Deacon, Dec. 15, Crowbar; and Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour with Carolina Chocolate Drops, Feb. 15, Straz Center for the Performing Arts.
Tyler- I can't believe how talented of a writer you are. This article was beautifully…
Great interview! Give the interviewer a full time job! He's great!
The DJ was actually The Castle's very own DJ Tom Gold :)
Fabulous review Gabe! Too bad I missed it.