Cool Happenings

Finally home from tour and feeling really great about life in general. This tour was so refreshing and life affirming, exactly what I needed. I will never not be inspired and in awe of the power of the DIY community. I feel so incredibly lucky to get to tour and play tons of cool places, and it feels so good to meet awesome people all around the country who are doing cool stuff and who are helping other people do cool stuff.

I just released a brand new split with my friend Kyle Kaos via Already Dead Tapes that I am super excited about! A bunch of weird songs that for the most part turned out neat. I really highly recommend checking out Kyle’s half of this split, his songs are fucking brilliant and I’m tbh sort of embarrassed to even be on the flip side of this tape cuz his are a lot cooler than mine.

Also, cassettes of Mall Of America are now available for order from Double Double Whammy! Check out all the releases they have out right now, not a bad tape in the bunch, seriously honored to be in the company of these awesome music makers.

Playing 2 wildly divergent sets at 2 really cool shows coming up in Brooklyn this month. 1st up on the 12th is a solo set at the DDW showcase at Shea Stadium. Seriously sick lineup with 2 of my favorite bands Crying and Quarterbacks, plus Generifus and Frankie Cosmos! Stacked bill. Next up is a full Rad Hos rock band set on the 22nd at Baby’s All Right for MarSher’s bday party, the Indie Pop Prom! Another truly insane lineup with the tightest of homies Places To Hide, Pity Sex, and Bad Banana! Life is fucking tight.

OK I think that’s it for now… Stay tuned for more info on tours and new records and more dumb junk. Also I promise really soon that t-shirts will be available online…

And as I am making a tradition, here are all the records I bought on tour. Not as much of a buying tour as I’ve had in the past but still got a lot of killer stuff.

Records:

Windbreakers- At Home With Bobby And Tim

Windbreakers- Electric Landlady

Windbreakers- Run

Grapes Of Wrath- September Bowl Of Green

Grapes Of Wrath- Now And Again

Velvet Elvis- s/t

Stevie Nicks- The Wild Heart

Miracle Legion- You’re The One Lee single

Let’s Active- Big Plans For Everybody

Zeitgeist- Translate Slowly

The Figgs- Banda Macho

Thin Lizzy- Jailbreak

Oh Ok- Furthermore What (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Paul McCartney- McCartney

The Silos- About Her Steps

Reddy Teddy- s/t

Chris Stamey- Instant Excitement

Todd Rundgren- Hermit Of Mink Hollow

Cassettes:

Matthew Sweet- Inside

Fleetwood Mac- Tusk

Steve Wynn- Kerosene Man

Chris Stamey- Fireworks

Richard and Linda Thompson- Shoot Out The Lights

Steve Earle- Guitar Town

John Wesley Harding- Why We Fight

John Wesley Harding- The Name Above The Title

CDs:

The Figgs- Low-Fi At Society High

Smoking Popes- Born To Quit

Plus a bunch of records, tapes and CDs from awesome bands I played with like Ovlov, Potty Mouth, Priests, Spacemen Saturday Night, Guilt Mountain, Comfy, Free Cake For Every Creature, and more!

-Sam

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Last leg of this tour!

Hey I definitely should have posted these already but I didn’t! Facebook events linked where I got ’em.

1/27 Hartford, CT

1/28 Utica, NY

1/29 Cohoes, NY 

1/30 Holyoke, MA 

1/31 New Paltz, NY

All of these shows are SOLO. I’m also playing a cool show in Brooklyn at Shea Stadium on January 12th! Seriously stacked lineup of DDW bands: Frankie Cosmos, Crying, Quarterbacks, Generifus, and me. Pretty dreamy gig right there. 

Also I just put out a brand new tape that you can order here. Gonna post it for stream/download next week sometime.

Also life is tight, will give a detailed tour recap when it’s all done. In love with the world, in love with rock and roll.

-Sam

Updated dates and junk!

Here are updated dates with facebook events linked where I have them! First 5 of these shows are with the band, rest are solo. Still working on the last leg of this tour which will be some more east coast solo stuff, will update when it’s all worked out.

1/5- New Brunswick, NJ* @ Circuit City

1/6- Brooklyn, NY* @ Glasslands

1/7- New Haven, CT* @ Cafe Nine

1/8- Washington, DC* @ DC9

1/9- Philadelphia, PA* @ Boot & Saddle

1/10- Richmond, VA

1/11- Greenville, NC

1/12- Charlotte, NC @ Area 15

1/13- Atlanta, GA @ The Cottage

1/14- Athens, GA

1/16- Birmingham, AL @ Transylvania

1/17- Memphis, TN @ Crosstown Arts

1/18- St. Louis, MO @ Lemp Arts Center

1/19- Chicago, IL @ Bric-a-Brac Records (early show)

1/19 Chicago, IL @ The Grim Reefer (later show)

1/20- Grand Rapids, MI

1/22- Indianapolis, IN @ Hoosier Dome

1/23- Nashville, TN

Yeah plus working on another week at the end of the month! Will update once it’s all worked out.

In other news, Not only is Mall of America coming out as a tape very soon on Double Double Whammy, it’s also going to be a 10″ record coming out of Forward Records! Super stoked for this. Also the show 1/19 in Chicago is the release for a brand new split tape with Kyle Kaos, 6 new songs for your listening pleasure. Plus working on at least 2 other separate releases for 2014, hope you are ready for Rad Hos Overload ppl. Also it appears someone at the New York Observer has a crush on me 🙂

Ready to rock with you! Let’s rock, rockers! -Sam

Rad Hos January Tour AND MORE

Starting 2014 off with a BANG! Doing some dates with Rad Hos Rock Band and then going on a solo Megabus jaunt. * dates mean shows with the band, non-* dates mean just lil’ ol’ me. Added the venue for shows I know the venue of, will update as I get more info and junk.

1/5- New Brunswick, NJ* @ Cooler Ranch

1/6- Brooklyn, NY* @ Glasslands

1/7- New Haven, CT* @ Cafe Nine

1/8- Washington, DC* @ DC9

1/9- Philadelphia, PA* @ Boot & Saddle

1/10- Richmond, VA

1/11- Greenville, NC

1/12- Charlotte, NC @ Area 15

1/13- Atlanta, GA @ The Cottage

1/14- Athens, GA

1/16- Birmingham, AL @ Transylvania

1/17- Memphis, TN

1/18- St. Louis, MO

1/19- Chicago, IL @ Bric-a-Brac Records

1/20- Grand Rapids, MI

1/22- Indianapolis, IN @ Hoosier Dome

1/23- Nashville, TN

… And back to Philly in time for the best show of the year, Waxahatchee/All Dogs/Cayetana/Heavy Bangs on 1/26! Then some more shows in the north east to finish out the month! Will post those dates when they are solidified.

Also stoked to announce the release of a split c20 with my main dude KYLE KAOS to be released by ALREADY DEAD TAPES. The Chicago show 1/19 is the tape release show. The tape is called TOTAL REQUEST LIVE and we are both really stoked about it. The idea was, we would each pick 5 or 6 song titles for each other to write songs to. I think we both came up with some pretty cool songs to fit some pretty cool titles.

Also in January, Mall Of America is being released on tape via DOUBLE DOUBLE WHAMMY! I’m super stoked to work with them, DDW is consistently putting out the raddest releases lately, including one of my TOP faves of 2013, Get Olde by Crying.

Anyways, see you out there America! Stay gold, Ponyboy- Sam

Mall Of America Update or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love #Yolo

Earlier this year, prior to the release of Something Wild, I was having a lot of feelings about where I fit into the greater musical landscape. This was by far our highest profile release on the biggest label we had worked with, and our highest fidelity production (all pretty laughable ideas considering we did no PR/pomp-and-circumstance, the label is a high school teacher in Detroit working out of his apartment, and the record was made at home). I was thinking about what it means to make music my “career” and it was all pretty daunting and intimidating. I found myself feeling less creative and more jealous. I saw other bands around me, friends and otherwise, doing things that were bigger and better and getting more attention, and I sort of felt like, “What’s the point?” No matter how much I stuck with my ideals of how things should be, or how much I reminded myself that it’s about making music you actually care about and not about people paying attention, I still found myself concerned with how to top this record, how to be better, and bigger, and get more people listening.

…And then something really nice happened. It wasn’t a conscious decision, and I really feel like this was in me the whole time and I just lost sight of it for a little while, but I just stopped giving a fuck. I guess it’s not that I stopped giving a fuck, I guess I just shook myself out of this fear of topping myself and fear of doing something people love and started doing things for ME. Now I’ve always made music for myself, but it’s a lot easier to do that when no one is actually listening. After the record came out and more people were paying attention, it was a lot harder to only think about making something that I cared about. But now that I’ve shook that fear, and realized that after the initial excitement about the record, i’m still here living my life and making music, I’ve been more creative than I had been in a long time. I’ve been writing a ton and recording a ton and playing more shows and booking tours and really feeling good about everything.

The fruits of this creative patch are presented to you here: Mall Of America I personally feel that a lot of these songs are better than songs on Something Wild, albeit recorded worse and less punk. I also realize that the average person who only has “Our Song” on their ipod is never going to give this stuff the time of day. That is an incredibly liberating feeling. Obviously I am stoked, honored and humbled that anybody cares about any of the songs that I write, whether they like 1 of them or 100 of them. And if you truly do enjoy the music that I make, then please do give these songs a listen. You might like them. It’s ok if you don’t.

The last song here I wrote and recorded last night and I feel like it’s a good summation of the work as a whole. It’s called Venus Of The Avenue. It’s about chasing inspiration, the flirty muse begging us to come after her. The title is inspired by the Mink Deville song “Venus of Avenue D.” I sort of like the idea that maybe me and Willy Deville are chasing after the same girl, like maybe none of it is real and art and music exist in this dream space in our heads where Billy Jean and Bobby Jean and Bobby McGee and Jackie and Judy all live and know each other. Follow that desire to create something. Make music and art for the sake of doing it and feeling alive. I sound like a broken record.

MALL OF AMERICA

So before I left on tour in September I released an EP online called MALL OF AMERICA. It was originally intended as a tour EP, but I didn’t get it done in time to have physical copies with me, so I just threw it up online. One of the many fascinating things about music in 2013 is, I can make a record in my room or basement, and never leave the house before people are singing along to it at home. It’s amazing and inspiring and terrifying and really interesting. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the differences between a “real” record and a demo/online-only release.

Anyways I thought it would be sort of fun to extend MALL OF AMERICA beyond an Extended Player Single and into Long Player territory. I’m in talks with a label to eventually release it on tape, and I’ve decided it would be fun to keep adding songs until that day comes. They may be demos of songs that will eventually be turned into something completely different by the band, or they may be just the way they will always be, or they may be a silly cover or a throw away nothing jam. Basically it boils down to, I’m bored a lot, spend a lot of time by myself, and Rad Hos the band is currently on hiatus while Jeff Bolt Plays Drums around the world with his “side project,” the immortal SWEARIN’. Plus I just really like the idea that, if the nature of the album as we know it is changing, I can participate in that change in a fun way. 

So watch MALL OF AMERICA fill up and become a full-length before your eyes. The first addition was Love and Death. The second was a cover of Simple Man by Graham Nash. The third and most recent is called Cut Your Bangs. Do you think it’s gonna make him change?

 

In related news our guitar player Cynthia is an awesome songwriter in her own right and has started doing this awesome band called Heavy Bangs with our other awesome friends. you’d be wise to check these songs out. 

-Sam

TOUR RECAP

I’m back in Philly, sitting in my room, and still reeling with excitement from the past few weeks. This tour has been absolutely incredible. It was almost too good to be true. I’m getting really excited to do more Megabus touring in the future, traveling alone is really fun, it’s just a style of touring that really suits me well. I would recommend it to anyone who thinks it sounds cool. Not to mention if you book it decently in advance, it’s so cheap that it’s almost silly not to. One thing though, don’t do it in the summer! I’m thinking of doing more in the winter and spring, but I ended up walkin’ around towns with a bunch of merch and crap strapped to me, and in hotter weather that would blow.

I will never be able to express enough gratitude to everyone who set up a show, drove me around or picked me up, loaned me a guitar, hung out with me. Makes a dude like me feel so proud to be playing music in such and incredible DIY community. Played with so many cool bands, every show was awesome. Like I said, too good to be true.

Really the whole point of writing this was so I could brag about all the cool records I bought on this tour. My favorite part of tour is always hitting record stores, and a lot of times I got to places really early and had plenty of time for it. This has easily been the best record buying tour I’ve ever been on.

LP’s:

Graham Nash- Songs For Beginners

Bobby Sutliff- Only Ghosts Remain

Game Theory- Lolita Nation

Todd Rundgren- A Cappella

Jack Frost- selt titled

Billy Bremner- Bash!

True West- Drifter

Lemonheads- Favorite Spanish Dishes

Will Rigby- Sidekick Phenomenon

Salvation Army (aka the Three O’Clock)- self titled

Holly Beth Vincent- Holly and the Italians

Real Kids- Outta Place

Flamin’ Groovies- Jumpin’ In The Night

Rain Parade- Emergency Third Rail Power Trip

dB’s- Like This

Emmit Rhodes- Selt titled

Dumptruck- Positively Dumptruck

Dumptruck- For The Country

Windbreakers- Terminal

Various- Who Put The Bomp? (Bomp Records comp)

Various- Luxury Condos (Coyote Records comp)

CD’s:

Velocity Girl- Copacetic

Velocity Girl-  6-song ep

Velvet Crush- Teenage Symphonies To God

Velvet Crush- Soft Sounds

Papas Fritas- Passion Play ep

Papas Fritas- Helioself

Apples In Stereo- Science Faire

Apples In Stereo- Her Wallpaper Reverie

Jason Falkner- Author Unknown

Jason Falkner- Can You Still Feel?

Jason Falkner- Necessity

Tall Dwarfs- Stumpy

Liz Phair- Whip Smart

Tuscadero- My Way Or The Highway

NOT TO MENTION killer tapes and records by bands I played with like KYLE KAOS, KITTEN FOREVER, VALENTEENS, FRONTIER RUCKUS, and more. I’m a lucky boy indeed.

I leave you with this, recorded by me and Spoony on the last night of tour in DC. I hadn’t really slept in 2 days and we had just eaten a bunch of pizza fries, which is my new favorite DC delicacy. Enjoy: https://soundcloud.com/spoonboy/the-longest-time-pizza-fry