Thursday on the Terrace: Smoking Popes w/ Trapper Schoepp & The Shades

Smoking Popes

The one and only Smoking Popes is playing the Terrace this Thursday night along with the utterly excellent Trapper Schoepp & The Shades. The action kicks off at 9:30 p.m., which is valuable information because judging by the lineup you won’t want to miss a minute of it.

Formed in 1991 in the ‘burbs of Chicago, pop-punk band Smoking Popes is sure to deliver the all-around fantastic performance one might expect from this rather legendary band. Core members (and brothers) Josh, Eli and Matt Caterer have cranked out six studio albums since the group’s formation around two decades ago. The band’s most recent full-length album This is Only a Test was released in 2011 through Asian Man Records and was the first to feature current drummer Neil Hennessy. Delivering both teen-themed tracks with a punk-rocker twist, This is Only a Test depicts adolescent life in a silly kind of way. In May the band released Complete Control Sessions, a five-track EP on SideOneDummy Records. Having performed with bands such as Green Day and Bayside, and at various festivals including Lollapalooza in 2006, it’s safe to say Smoking Popes is a talented band that will rock the Terrace.

Milwaukee’s own Trapper Schoepp & The Shades will indulge us this Thursday evening with some of the heartfelt rock/country/pop that they are just so good at creating. Recently signed with SideOneDummy Records (Flogging Molly, Big D and the Kids Table), Trapper Schoepp & The Shades’ debut album Run, Engine, Run is scheduled for release this September. You can preview the track “Tracks” and pre-order the album over at their bandcamp. Before the big release and tour thereafter, the band plans to perform with Minneapolis rock band Soul Asylum at the Troubadour in LA on August 2.

This is an opportunity you won’t want to miss! Rock out to Smoking Popes’ “Need You Around” below.



Friday on the Terrace: Royal Headache, Heavy Times, and The Lonesome Savages

Let’s take a moment to appreciate what it took to make it possible for the fine fellows above to be appearing on the Terrace tomorrow night. First, the meteoric rise: Hailing from Australia, Royal Headache had to gain a large enough following in the U.S. while based on a different side and hemisphere of the globe to be able to have a successful American tour. The fact that they were able to do so is all the more impressive when considering that their debut self-titled LP wasn’t originally released outside of Australia when it dropped in 2011. Despite that fact, the album managed to make such a buzz in the U.S. that it was re-released here last month after being one of the most highly-anticipated releases of the year. The critics have been overwhelmingly positive, including Pitchfork who gave it an 8.0.

Having gained an audience in the U.S., there was an unexpected obstacle that could still stop the band: visas. All packed and ready to go for this tour, they received notice that the State Department needed extra time to review their application for visas, which forced them to cancel the first dates of the tour. Thankfully, they were able to sort it out and make it out here and have reportedly been destroying at the ensuing shows.

So now they’re closing in on the isthmus, but you should in no way feel obligated to see them just because they came all that way… you should see them because they’re awesome. They deliver energetic, lo-fi garage punk with jangly guitars and catchy hooks. Listening to five seconds of “Girls” (mp3 and video below) will undoubtedly convince you that it’s going to be a party, but if that’s not enough then consider that each of the members goes by a different one-word nickname: Shogun, Shortty, Law, and Joe. Could a frontman who goes by “Shogun” possibly be boring? I didn’t think so.

Using logic, you’d probably assume the supporting bands would also be energetic, fun dudes. You’d be absolutely right, so you can tell your dad to stop telling that joke about “what assuming makes out of ‘U’ and ‘Me.'” HoZac Records describe their own Heavy Times as “Chicago’s most lethal band of fast-rising noise pop neurotics.” When you listen to “Skull Hair” bowl you over with sound, you definitely know what HoZac is talking about. Madison’s own The Lonesome Savages will supply punk-infused rockabilly that makes you want to move, even if you’re unsure whether to shake your hips like Elvis or stage-dive like Iggy Pop. Check out their bandcamp page for evidence.

This will be a fast-flying show you surely won’t want to miss. It starts at 9:30, free as usual. In event of inclement weather on the Terrace it will be moved indoors to Der Rathskeller. Download “Girls” and check out the music video below.

Download Royal Headache’s “Girls”

Friday at Der Rath: Lower Dens w/ Yellow Ostrich + Grace Weber Band + 1,2,3

Baltimore’s Lower Dens formed in 2009 and hasn’t stopped makin’ music since. Vocalist Jana Hunter was previously known for her folky experimental work as a solo artist. However, the quartet of Lower Den is something more along the lines of drone-pop/ post-punk. Hunter is known for her haunting and enthralling vocals that are backed up by echoing guitar and bass. Their second album, Nootropics, is set for release on the first of May off of Gnomonsong Records, and with the growing craze over their mesmerizing single, “Brains” (released back in January), it’ll be awesome to finally hear what other alluring beats the band has in store for us. They’ll be at Der Rath this Friday so come hear them play for free!

Formed in Brooklyn, Yellow Ostrich is currently made up of three very talented musicians: Alex Schaaf, Michael Tapper, and Jon Natchez. However, Schaaf started Yellow Ostrich independently back in 2009 as one-man-band project. They just released their second album from Barsuk Records this past Tuesday (March 6) available on iTunes or at your fave record store. On the same label are indie legends Death Cab for Cutie and favorites such as Rilo Kiley and Phantogram.  On the new album you can expect to hear upbeat rockity rhythms that are a bit different from their 2011 album, The Mistress, but excellent and catchy all the same. “Strange Land” will get your head bobbing and heart throbbing so come be one of the lucky few to hear it live at Der Rath on Friday! Also, want a sampler of 9 Yellow Ostrich tracks for free?! Click here!

Did you hit up Starbuck’s sometime this past January? Of course you did—who can resist those holiday-friendly beverages of the gods? While you were waiting in line for your caffeinated goodness you may have heard Grace Weber’s track “Baby Come Down” off her self-released album Hope & Heart. A Milwaukee native and past member of the city’s Inner City Youth Gospel Choir, Weber’s music is both soulful and poppy. With the release of Hope & Heart back in September, Weber made a top ten spot on iTunes singer/songwriter charts and was Billboard Magazine’s “Artist to Watch.” She’ll be hitting up Madison after a show in Milwaukee in which she’ll be opening for Men at Work / singer-songwriter legend Colin Hay at Turner Hall. Weber describes her musical output as a “modern version of soul, in that I try to tell stories through my lyrics that I hope can touch people, and I always try to sing from an honest place.” You can read a full WUD Music interview with her posted earlier this morning by clicking here. With a presence and passion as fierce as Weber’s, it’s obvious you won’t want to miss her show.

Touring the country with Yellow Ostrich is 1,2,3. This up-and-coming band is comprised of four members: Nic Snyder, Josh Sickels, Mike Yamamoto, and Chad Monticue. Last June, the band released its first album New Heaven (it’s on iTunes!) through Frenchkiss Records. This label has discovered some excellent bands, such as The Dodos, Local Natives, and Passion Pit… I wouldn’t mind french-kissing them. Anyway, their music is both soulful and delicious— definitely worth being heard, so come see them along with Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, and Grace Weber Band this Friday 3/9 at Der Rath!

Check out a music video from each band below and check out Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, Grace Weber Band, and 1,2,3 in Der Rath tomorrow with a 8:30 start.

Tonight at Der Rath: Giant People and Myles Coyne & the Rusty Nickel Band

Two great Wisconsin bands will take the stage at Der Rathskeller tonight when Madison garage-punk band Giant People and Milwaukee folk-rockers Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band share a bill. Myles Coyne, whose band will kick off the show, is a veteran on the Milwaukee scene, having created solo music for quite some time. In August, he released his first record with a full band, the self-titled Myles Coyne & The Rusty Nickel Band EP, which has been positively-reviewed by numerous local publications (and lucky for you it can be streamed or downloaded at their Bandcamp). The band’s stop in Madison will be followed by a video shoot for the song “A Hand of Kings & Queens” on Sunday in a barn just outside Madison, which they’re giving fans the opportunity to be a part of.

Giant People will have a far shorter commute to the gig, as their roster includes members whom you may sit next to in class. Don’t be fooled, though; despite their young ages, their sound evokes more memories of 80’s punk bands like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü than Warped Tour punk acts. Their debut, Giant EP, lives up to its name with eight tracks of big sound. Giant People’s album can also be streamed or downloaded at the band’s Bandcamp.

Preview a song by each band below, and be sure to check them out at Der Rath tonight at 9:30.