Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Dean Engle

2015: A Year’s Worth of Memories (Jessi Frick)

jessi frick

Few people have had as direct of an effect on this site’s coverage as Jessi Frick and the work she does with Father/Daughter Records. For the past few years we’ve been locked in a never-ending battle of vocal support and have frequently fought on behalf of the same bands and records. She’s seen me at my most enthusiastic (the Northside showcase), my most exhausted (the CMJ showcase), and a few stops along the way. Always an inspiration and a source of strange comfort, she’s fiercely protective of the artists on her label and the people she loves (for example: every artist on her label). With that in mind, it’s probably unsurprising that for her piece as a returning contributor to A Year’s Worth of Memories focuses on an act that meets that criteria. Here, she talks about the enormous impact one band had on her 2015. Read it below and then find a way to celebrate the family you’ve built.

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2015: Year of the Cig

When you run a record label, it’s essentially like being the matriarch (in my case) of a big ass family. You love your children equally for their enduring and sometimes unique qualities, and are always there to love and nurture them as well as disciplining them when they get out of line. Their lives are my life and my life is their life and together we are a wildly dysfunctional congregation of misfits.

In late 2014 I received an email from Dean Engle, a musician whose work I highly admire. In the email he tipped me off to a band from his hometown of New Paltz, NY called Diet Cig. I clicked the link. It took all of five seconds for me to fall helplessly in love with them. I needed this band in my life. It turned out their personalities nearly outshone their music — Alex & Noah immediately became the ying to my yang. They are everything I wanted to be and do when I was in my early 20’s. They are spontaneous and reckless and FUN.

Luckily, they welcomed me into their world, thus kicking off what was to be the most insane year in the history of this label. Everyone went ballistic and it was the ultimate. Diet Cig are a band that literally leaves it all out on the stage. They work hard for you have the best time of your life. Offstage, Noah and Alex are caring, dedicated people who are a joy to be in the same space with.

Now, a year later, we talk almost every single day. When I don’t hear from them in over 48 hours, I get nervous like a mom. I literally can’t imagine a time in my life when we weren’t best buds. Basically 2015 was the best.

-Jessi Frick

2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. 3

Idle Bloom

Throughout the course of 2015 I’ve been fortunate enough to attend upwards of 100 shows, festivals big and small, and spend approximately half a year living in a city that hosted a mind-boggling amount of quality shows on a nightly basis. To that end, it’s probably unsurprising that I wound up taking over 10,000 photos this year alone. Over the course of the next few days, this site will be running seven volumes of the shots that stood out as personal favorites, whether that was due to their composition, sentimental attachment, or an intangible emotional or intellectual response. It’s been an honor to be able to take even the smallest part in the ongoing sagas of the artists in the photographs below and an additional thanks is due to the venues that allowed me to shoot (as well as the people who encouraged me to keep shooting).

Enjoy the gallery.

 

2015: A Visual Retrospective, Vol. 2

Girlpool I

Throughout the course of 2015 I’ve been fortunate enough to attend upwards of 100 shows, festivals big and small, and spend approximately half a year living in a city that hosted a mind-boggling amount of quality shows on a nightly basis. To that end, it’s probably unsurprising that I wound up taking over 10,000 photos this year alone. Over the course of the next few days, this site will be running seven volumes of the shots that stood out as personal favorites, whether that was due to their composition, sentimental attachment, or an intangible emotional or intellectual response. It’s been an honor to be able to take even the smallest part in the ongoing sagas of the artists in the photographs below and an additional thanks is due to the venues that allowed me to shoot (as well as the people who encouraged me to keep shooting).

Enjoy the gallery.

Quarterbacks – Pool (Stream)

quarterbax

Continuing on with tonight’s coverage of last week’s events in music, this will be the second post dedicated to showcasing the very best single streams that emerged last week (there were technical complications that disallowed much of anything being posted).  With music videos already having earned their showcase and nearly a dozen songs being included in the last post, it’s time to double down on the songs that make up the remainder of last week’s haul. A few of the songs on display here rank among the best these bands have ever produced and deserve quite a bit of attention on their own merit- so, enough talking, let’s cut to the recap.

Dirty Dishes came charging out of the gate wild-eyed and swinging with the vicious post-punk burner “Red Roulette“, Kagoule set about achieving something similar via the decidedly off-kilter (and subtly menacing) “Gush“, and Happyness closed the 2014 chapter of the year’s best series- Art Is Hard’s Pizza Club- with the appropriately scuzzy “Jelly Boy (Jesus, Baby)“. Murder By Death made their return to the fore by virtue of the swirling “Strange Eyes“, Munroe made a deep impression with the starkly arresting “Bloodlet“, and Cloakroom advanced previous hints- in support of the increasingly problem claim- that Further Out will be one of 2015’s finest records via the unveiling of “Starchild Skull”. Mope Grooves cooked up the perfect sub-minute basement pop tune with the helpfully instructional “Don’t Sleep In Your Jeans“, Dick Diver released the triumphantly laid-back “Waste The Alphabet“, and site favorites Girlpool continued their impossibly winsome streak with the surprisingly searing “Alone at the Show“, one of the duo’s strongest songs to date.

Today’s feature falls to another site favorite, Quarterbacks, and their newest track, “Pool”. Quarterbacks had previously carved out a name for themselves via their excellent Double Double Whammy release, Quarterboy. Back when that was released, Quarterbacks (led by Dean Engle) was still very much a solo project but, somewhat curiously, for the project’s upcoming self-titled effort, it’s gone the full band route. Adding even more intrigue to this is the fact that the two songs (“Pool” and “Center“) to have been released from Quarterbacks so far already appeared on Quarterboy. Both songs take on a new vitality in the full band setting, though, rendering all of that background information fairly meaningless. “Pool”, in particular, is accentuated in fairly thrilling ways, with the rhythm section playing up the song’s manic neurosis. In typical Quarterbacks form, the whole thing’s over in under 90 seconds- but it still feels resoundingly complete. With the rate Engle & co. have been going, it’s well within the bounds of reason to fully expect Quarterbacks to emerge as one of 2015’s richest treasures. February 10 can’t get here soon enough.

Listen to “Pool” below and pre-order Quarterbacks from Team Love (who are releasing it in association with Double Double Whammy) here.