Thursday, January 25, 2018

Song Exclusive: Samuel St. Samuel (of Call Me Bronco)

Samuel St. Samuel stands like a Kodiak bear covered in tattoos like the type of bad-news stereotype in an 80s action film. Standing up against the counter at Mag Bar -where he works part time- He seems like the type of old school Old Louisvillian you might want to cross the street to avoid, until you talk to him.
On the night we met in Old Louisville, criss-crossing the streets from Mag Bar to late night bodega and back, Samuel took the time to politely speak to anyone who ambled our way; there wasn't a single soul that night who wasn't given the same curtesy as anyone else. He was the same pleasant teddy bear I met years ago on the corner of 2nd and Magnolia under the bright red neon bar lights; when a mutual friend was getting bounced out of the bar amid threats and fists and a revolver. Samuel kept calm and leaned up against a brick wall, lit a cigarette and said "We chose this life, you and I. We didn't have to be here. A couple years ago I had a good paying job and gave it up to be right here."

And choose he did. For the last 8 years St. Samuel has been playing his special brand of cow punk filled with anger and vengeance wrapped up in drugs, and soaked in bourbon. There are two sides to St. Samuel, as the rough and grumble acoustic side, such as the brand new track he recorded just for us here:

And the wild and raucous side backed by his band Call Me Bronco, who just released a full length, Beating A Dead Bronco, on Rusty Knuckles Records in August. It could be easy to pigeonhole Call Me Bronco as tattooed pretty boys playing 'bad boy' for fashion appeal, but St. Samuel and company come by it honestly. During the filming of their latest music video, 4 a.m., there was a strict "No Cuts' rule, banning club patches on set.

Despite choosing this path instead of another, the rough and tumble nature of this culture weighs on him. Call Me Bronco is slated to record a new album this year, and the first album idea was scrapped due to the pain attached. "I doubt the average pastel wearing American has to deal with death as much as us."  Speaking about the large amount of friends in this culture who die prematurely. "It's easier to not have to deal with it and move on, but then another one comes along and hits you in the face. And it's constant and you know it'll happen again. And the worst part is, it gets easier every time."

Despite not facing the brutal nature of the drug and booze Old Louisville punk scene head on, the new album is still filled with suicide, overdoses, and pain.

Call Me Bronco plays the 6th annual Groundhog Day Fest Friday, February 2nd, at Mag Bar with On The Bang, and GRLwood. Keeping with the theme of Bill Murray's Groundhog Day, the bands play the same set 3 times in a row, creating the same show 3 times... in a row. (9 sets total). 

Call Me Bronco plays the 6th annual Groundhog Day Fest Friday, February 2nd, at Mag Bar with On The Bang, and GRLwood. Keeping with the theme of Bill Murray's Groundhog Day, the bands play the same set 3 times in a row, creating the same show 3 times... in a row. (9 sets total). 

Call Me Bronco plays the 6th annual Groundhog Day Fest Friday, February 2nd, at Mag Bar with On The Bang, and GRLwood. Keeping with the theme of Bill Murray's Groundhog Day, the bands play the same set 3 times in a row, creating the same show 3 times... in a row. (9 sets total). 
Event info here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Review: Bully at Zanzabar

Nashville's Bully played to a sold out crowd at Zanzabar on Sunday, January 21st, with Louisville's Brenda opening and Cincinnati's Tweens playing second. 

Unlike Bully's Nü Grunge aggression, Tweens embody the lighter side of the tribute to the original grunge movement, with glossy sounds of that of Kim Deal's Breeders, or even the late arrivals The Donnas (or a co-ed version of White Reaper), with squeals and cheerleader type chants by guitarist/vocalist Bridget Battle. 

The inclusion of beloved Louisville band Brenda was a wise choice as their brutal and yet highly upbeat sound proved to be a fine middle ground between the mid-nineties brat-rock sound of Tweens and the early nineties angst ridden clamor of Bully.

Cincinnati's Tweens (Photo by William McAlister)

Bridget Battle (Photo by William McAlister)


Bully hit the stage shortly before 10pm after Tweens fully prepped the crowd in a post-grunge pop feedback explosion. 

Clayton Parker of Bully (Photo by William McAlister)

Moving in and out of their post-nirvana scream rock to their slightly more polished and poppy songs reminiscent of a post-Radiohead America; as found on both their 2015 release 'Feels Like' and their newest, and impressive 2nd album 'Loosing' the crowd lovingly soaked in the howls and ear splitting feedback dished out by front woman and Minnesota native Alicia Bognanno, regardless of her penchant to hide behind her hair while singing. The Bully frontwoman has garnered a reputation for exuding extreme emotion while letting her hair completely cover her face, which didn't seem to bother the at-capacity crowd on Sunday.
 Alicia Bognanno's hair

 In fact Bognanno seems to have gotten a teeny bit more chatty than at previous louisville shows; most notably at Forecastle 2 years ago when the crowd was addressed once and at Guestroom records in store performance on October 21st, 2017, the day after Loosing was released, where the crowd was addressed twice. This could be due to the massive amount of touring in support of the new album, as well as all the positive reviews it garnered.

Shifting in and out of tracks from both albums, such as the angsty 'Blame' from Loosing (I wonder if sometimes you think that you've created a monster, a bitch who can't even blink) to the almost nostalgic  'I Remember' From Feels Like, with the lines 'I remember my old habits, I remember getting too fucked up and I remember throwing up in your car. I remember showing up at your house and I remember hurting you so bad', the crowd enjoyed each offering, all the way through the encore exactly one hour later with a powerful rendition of 'Trying' from Feels Like, and ended the evening by addressing the crowd one last time with the slightly backhanded compliment "This is the most fun we’ve had in Louisville by far” to the applause of a super grateful Sunday crowd.

Bungalo Betty's Blades in front of Zanzabar

Bully Merch Booth

Friday, January 19, 2018

1/21 Bully @ Zanzabar

Everybody's favorite Nashville grunge outfit Bully will be heading up the I-65 on January 21st on tour in support of their new LP Losing and hitting the stage at Zanzabar. 

Show info and other tour dates here.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Interview: John Pedigo, of Plum Hokum and The Village Ordinary

Louisville Folk/Nü Country musician John Pedigo is releasing an album on Feb. 2nd with fellow musician Chad Acton under the moniker The Village Ordinary. Both play in Plum Hokum, which has a track on this year's Louisville is for Lovers compilation called Sissy Don't.

The Village Ordinary's The Needle Spins album cover.
above: John Pedigo (left) and Chad Acton (right)  

 37- When does the album come out and where will it be available?

JP-  There is a presale for the digital album up now at but it will be available on itunes and amazon as well, with physical copies at shows. If we people want it, we'll consider a vinyl release down the road. You can get the album on the second of February.

37- How long have you and Chad Acton been writing and playing music together?

JP- Chad and I have been writing and performing together for over sixteen years now. We met when we were ten or eleven and totally hated each other. We met again in high school where I think my sparkly green Ibanez and sick metal chops inspired him to get his first guitar. He's a much better guitar player than I am, by the way. Long story short, we both moved to the Louisville area around the same time after high school, and I asked him to learn a few of my songs, so we could go play an open mic night at Twice Told Coffee that used to be on Bardstown Road. We've played together since then pretty consistently.

37-  Who else plays with you and Chad in The Village Ordinary?

JP- The Village Ordinary is Chad and I. We have our friends Ryan Payton and Eric Baldwin playing as our rhythm section on the album. Chad and I had been spending so much time playing with other people for a few years, that we felt like we needed something semi-official and basically permanent as a catch all for our songs, and really just to make sure we kept playing together and making the kind of music we've been making for so long.

37- Outside of the core group of The Village Ordinary, Who else have you performed with?

JP- I spent a few years playing with Joan Shelley in her band, The June Brides. I recorded on her album, Electric Ursa as well. Knowing Joan led to me playing with Daniel Martin Moore on a number of occasions, too. For a few years, I was in an annual Gram Parsons tribute with Johnny Berry and Steve Cooley. I miss that one a lot actually; those two are kind of my heroes. Chad has recorded and performed with Nick Dittmeier. He's also a full-time member of The Family Secret. We've both recently recorded an album with the band, Elk Hound, which is a little more rock and roll than what we're used to doing. Lastly, we're both members of Plum Hokum, our country band with Joe Manning, Sean Johnson, and Anna Krippenstapel, all of which were in the June Brides with me.

37- Your new album The Needle Spins definitely has a Louisville New Folk sound similar to Joan Shelley and Nick Dittmeier, what other Local acts do you follow?

JP- Chad and I are big Johnny Berry fans. Honestly, there is so much music in Louisville worth loving. The Other Years are great. I've always been a big fan of I Am Is and I really loved the Debauchees when they were around. Squeeze Bot is another one of my favorite Louisville bands. Wax Fang rules. We both enjoy Relic and Hog Operation. Stephen Couch. Joan, too, of course.

37- How would you describe the current Appalachian/New Folk scene and what do you see for the future of the genre?

JP- Chad and I are both Hoosiers, unashamedly, I'll add, that live in and love Louisville. We have a lot of friends who are very involved in Old Time music, and it ends up coming through their original music in a way that feels very respectful to their roots here in Kentucky. Our lens is a little different, I guess. With no sort of planning, our filter is mostly country and maybe some bluegrass, with more of a rock band approach concerning arrangement and delivery. All the same, I hope that any genre, be it New Folk or otherwise is pointed in a forwardly direction. Tradition is important but so is the future. Use what you have but add what you can.

37- What is planned in the future for you and the Village Ordinary?

JP- This album has eight of our songs. Chad and I have written over a hundred songs over the years. At least twenty of them might be worth listening to. We'd like to record some more of them sooner than later.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2/2 Frederick The Younger & Brenda live at Guestroom

The 2018 edition of the Louisville Is For Lovers Valentine's compilation will be released on Feb. 2nd with 22 all new love songs by Louisville bands. It is available digitally and on CD here and locally at Better Days, Guestroom, and Matt Anthony's Record shops.
At 7pm on Friday Feb. 2nd there will be an album release instore performance at Guestroom Records (1806 Frankort ave) with Brenda and Frederick the younger. The event is free and all ages.

Monday, January 8, 2018

1/13 Vibrolas @ Kaiju

Hailing from Science Hill, Kentucky's most celebrated and longest running Hot-Rod-Oil-Pan-Sludge-Rock band The Vibrolas will be pointing their trademark Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser (named The Vista Bruiser) towards Kaiju on Jan. 13th and will be bringing with them Doom-Jazz group North By North from Chicago.  Louisville's Retro-Hippie-Glam-Jam group  Dead Room Cult will be opening.

Event info here.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

1/14 Girls Rock Louisville Album Release at Guestroom

The 2nd Annual Girls Rock Louisville album will be released  on Sunday,  JAN. 14TH, with an album release party at 11 AM- 2 PM at Guestroom Records (1806 Frankfort Ave). The cost to attend is free and the 9 track CD will be available for $8. The songs are the end result of the Girls Rock Louisville music camp. At the end of the camp the girls' bands recorded their songs at La La land recording studio. To learn more about Girls Rock Louisville, please visit: