I've been bored and adding features to my own CMS (or rather blog script). Today I've added support for plugins, and so - here's the new section on my blog, Last.fm labs. As for now, Last.fm labs only have the "Power Level" toy.
Fred Mascherino is rocking harder than ever these days. The accomplished musician is mostly known for his tenure in Taking Back Sunday from 2003-2007 as lead guitarist and co-vocalist while the band was at the height of their game (2004′s Where You Want to Be [Victory Records] debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts and Louder Now [Warner Bros. Records] earned the band all sorts of appearances- like one in an episode of Degrassi that was named after the first track of the record)… but Fred has been making music for far longer than that stint. He was in the Pennsylvanian band, Brody, from 1992-1999 and then in the trio Breaking Pangaea, which eventually got signed to EQUAL VISION RECORDS. In 2003 Fred saw the first release of a solo song, “Heading Back East,” under the moniker “Basic Design.”
The two had never really spoke before, though they both appeared on Say Anything’s In Defense Of The Genre LP [J Records]. It was even widely rumored that Andy Jackson was going to fill the void in Taking Back Sunday when Fred left. But this chance encounter resulted in both men exchanging mutual appreciation for each other’s previous endeavors and expressing an aching desire to start something fresh.
Hayley Williams also contributed her voice to a song for Andy’s most recent project (before Terrible Things) which appears in an acoustic version on Death In The Park‘s EP [END Sounds]. It was just announced a few days ago that the DITP LP will be available for digital download on August 24th. September 14th is the actual CD release date. Andy is also performing Death in the Park material solo acoustic at the AP tent on the 8 Warped Tour dates that Terrible Things are performing in 2010.
When Fred got home from that solo acoustic tour, he emailed Andy a few demos. As the story goes, Andy couldn’t even get through a full song before he shut it off to call Fred up. “I love it. As long as we’re writing songs like that, I want to be a part of this,” (AltPress.com Exclusive: Fred Mascherino and Andy Jackson introduce Initials) Andy told Fred. They were both ready to stretch out from the genres that have constricted their music. No matter what project either artist has pursued they have been branded, “emo,” despite Fred’s degree in jazz Performance. The bassist they initially connected with, Steve Lucarelli, has a love of jazz music like Fred. Also like Fred, Steve has yet to play in a jazzy band. Steve Lucarelli is known as the bassist of the self-proclaimed Blue-Collar-Metal band, Once Nothing [Solid State / CI Records]. Founding VersaEmerge drummer, Anthony Martone, also found he had great chemistry with Fred and Andy. In October 2009 the quartet announced their project, Initials.
Fred, Andy, Anthony and Steve played a handful of shows in the Northeast as Initials… 2 in October (The Note in West Chester, PA & Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn, NY) and 2 in November (The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY & 7 @ 7 in Cherry Hill, NJ). We didn’t hear from the group again until they posted a video on December 2nd, announcing that Josh Eppard was now part of the group.
“We’d been trying out a bunch of drummers looking for the right fit. We had some shows coming up and Anthony Martone took the time to do us a huge favor and learn the songs and play them with us. Since the lineup hadn’t been totally solidified yet, and Anthony had other projects coming up, we wanted to makes sure we were all committed to Initials, and that’s when Josh [Eppard] walked in and the chemistry was solid. Anthony is a good friend and an amazing drummer, and we wish him well on his other projects!” -Fred Mascherino (AltPress.com Exclusive: Initials reveal new drummer Josh Eppard)
Josh Eppard is most known for his drumming and songwriting (and back-up vocals) in the “new prog” genre-defining band, Coheed and Cambria. He first sat behind a drum kit when he was 11. Josh’s older brother, Joey Eppard, and their friend, Chris Bittner, were inspired to start a band… only, they needed a drummer. So with the help of dad (and seasoned musician), Jimmy Eppard, the boys set little Joshy behind a snare drum and high-hat. Legend is, Josh inherently kept good time.
After about a year of honing their skills in the basement the younglings gave themselves a name and began playing shows around Kingston and Woodstock, New York. They called themselves, 3.
In 1993 it seemed as if the trio hit their big break… Michael Lang, co-creator of the original 1969 Woodstock Festival, wanted to represent the band and give them a prime performance slot at the Woodstock 1994 Festival. Joey, Chris and Josh signed a contract with Lang along with Jimmy Eppard and Michael Birnbaum as co-managers of the teenagers. A movie was even made about them. Unfortunately, everything fell to shit. Their prime time-slot ended up being noon the first day of the festival and the movie never saw the light of day. Needless to say, they ended the contract and continued to write, grow, and perform.
In 1998 their efforts and creativity were about to pay off. 3 was picked up by universal records…. but amidst recording their debut, Universal went through a merger and dropped 75% of their acts and staff. The trio soldiered on, just trying to get their music heard. Eventually they crossed paths with Tom Benton, who personally funded the completion of their debut record and created a record label [Planet Noise Records] to get it out. 19 year old Josh, however, couldn’t escape the burning desire to play on as much music as he could. Against the advice and will of his family and friends, he left the band that turned him into a musician, and pursued a career in studio drumming. He was replaced in 3 by his mentor and local legend, Chris “Gartdrumm” Gartmann (of Peacebomb).
In the next 3 years Josh began to work with his friend, David Parker, who built a studio in his parents’ basement, but they didn’t form a rock band. Josh did get studio work at Applehead drumming for musicians such as R.A. the Rugged Man and Hesher, among others… but this project Josh was working on with his buddy, who he called “Wavis,” was hip-hop. Going by the name of Lil’ J, Josh spent a year putting together an album with Bobby Delicious and Wavis at the helm. They called it, Newborn, but the record remains unreleased.
In 2001 Josh’s favorite local band, Shabutie was having issues with their drummer, Nate Kelley. He immediately jumped at the chance to rock on stage again. The band changed their name to Coheed and Cambria, scored a record deal with Equal Vision, put together an album that included some reworkings of the Shabutie demos as well as a tune that featured a guitar solo by Dr. Know of hardcore-punk pioneers Bad Brains (Second Stage Turbine Blade) at Applehead (with Chris Bittner and Michael Birnbaum) and began performing in areas they hadn’t before. Breaking Pangaea brought Coheed and Cambria out on their first package tour. Josh with Coheed and Cambria, put out a platinum selling record, a gold selling record, and a gold selling DVD… a total of 3 albums and 2 DVDs. Mid 2006 Josh left as a result of creative constriction.
After taking some time off, Josh hooked up with Wavis to work on a Weerd Science LP. In 2005 Equal Vision put out a compilation of some of Josh’s rap songs that were recorded whenever he was home from tour with Coheed and Cambria, called Friends And Nervous Breakdowns. This time around the duo recorded a cohesive record featuring more live instrumentation and the story of Josh Eppard. Sick Kids has yet to see a release.
In 2008 Josh showed up at some of 3′s hometown shows (the band now signed to Metal Blade Records) and sat in for a few songs. One thing lead to another and eventually Josh joined up with his brother to put on a few Eppard Brothers shows. The first show was billed as just the duo, but they pulled all sorts of friends on stage. Chris Bittner, who had not performed since he left 3 in 2001, was pulled up as well and they had an impromptu “original 3″ reunion. Coheed and Cambria’s Mic Todd even sat in for a set at an Eppard Brothers show. Jimmy Eppard began to hold down the bass with his sons and eventually the group evolved into the trio, E-Males. According to Jimmy’s myspace, the E-Males recorded an album at Applehead with Chris Bittner and Mike Birnbaum. There’s no more information about that.
“Josh Eppard is my favorite drummer,” Fred gushes in just about every interview about the band. A strong supporter of Weerd Science, Fred made it out to the first Weerd Science tour date at The Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA and mouthed every word out in the audience!
In early 2010 Initials recorded their debut full length at Synchromesh Studios in Birmingham with Jason Elgin. Some songs were written by Fred Mascherino prior to the formation of the project (such as “Revolution,” “Lullaby” which is originally a Breaking Pangaea song, “Terrible Things” which is a The Color Fred Song), some were written by Andy Jackson before he met Fred, and a few songs they wrote together. The previously written songs have been rewritten to reflect where the individuals are today as well as refer to the events that greatly inspired Fred. There were a series of about 50 house fires started in Fred’s hometown of Coatesville, Pennsylvania in January 2009. The band changed their name to avoid a lawsuit with another band of the same name. They were looking for other names, but couldn’t fight the feeling that the band name and the album name sum up the story perfectly. Terrible Things, oddly enough, are signed to Universal-Motown Records. The album art was done by Ryan Russell (who has also taken all of the band’s promotional photographs) and features Fred’s son and daughter. Terrible Things Terrible Things (mastered by Roger Lian) will be released August 31st, 2010. On April 17th Terrible Things put out a 7″ with demos of “The Hills of Birmingham” (which was the first tune they “initially” posted on myspace) and “Up At Night”. The band has released their first single, “Revolution” and have already been touring extensively… in a van… with only one other person (it’s Fred, Andy, Josh, bass player, sound guy/tech- Tom Martin). The “young” band has toured with Minus the Bear, Circa Survive, The Offspring, Story of the Year, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, and have performed with Dashboard Confessional, Evolett, The Queen Killing Kings, 30 Seconds to Mars. July 19th the song, “Terrible Things” was revealed on Ragged. July 12th “Wrap Me Up” was exclusively posted on AbsolutePunk. July 6th “Lullaby” was exclusively posted on Alternative Press. June 28th Terrible Things posted “Up At Night” on their PureVolume page. April 26th “Revolution” was posted on MySpace and was released to iTunes and ShockHound on May 25th.
Vans Warped Tour Jul 29 – Marcus Amphitheatre – Milwaukee, WI [event] Jul 30 – Comerica Park – Detroit, MI [event] Jul 31 – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre – Tinley Park, IL [event] Aug 01 – Canterbury Park – Shakopee, MN [event] Aug 02 – Sandstone Amphitheatre – Bonner Springs, KS [event] Aug 05 – Northlands Park – Edmonton, Alberta [event] Aug 07 – Utah State Fairgrounds – Salt Lake City, UT [event] Aug 08 – Invesco Field – Denver, CO [event]
Terrible Things with Circa Survive, O’Brother Aug 12 – Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO [event] Aug 14 – House of Bricks – Des Moines, IA [event] Aug 15 – Chubby Rain – Poplar Grove, IL [event] Aug 17 – Musica – Akron, OH [event]
Terrible Things with 3 Aug 28 – Bearsville Theater – Woodstock, NY [event]
Terrible Things with Mae, Windsor Drive Oct 01 – The Canal Club – Richmond, VA [event] Oct 02 – The Casbah – Charlotte, NC Oct 03 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC Oct 05 - Vinyl - Atlanta, GA Oct 06 – The Social – Orlando, FL [event] Oct 07 – Club Downunder – Tallahassee, FL [event] Oct 09 – The End – Nashville, TN [event] Oct 12 – The Historic Southgate House – Newport, KY [event] Oct 13 – Musica – Akron, OH Oct 14 – Water Street Music Hall – Rochester, NY Oct 15 – The Space – Hamden, CT [event] Oct 16 – Middle East Downstairs – Cambridge, MA [event] Oct 17 – School Of Rock East – South Hackensack, NJ [event] Oct 20 – Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY [event] Oct 21 – Eleanor Rigby’s – Jermyn, PA Oct 22 – World Café Live – Philadelphia, PA Oct 23 – Chameleon Club – Lancaster, PA Oct 24 – Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA [event] Oct 26 – The Eagle Theatre – Pontiac, MI Oct 27 – The Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL [event] Oct 28 – Off Broadway Nightclub – St. Louis, MO Oct 30 – The Record Bar – Kansas City, MO Oct 31 – The Waiting Room – Omaha, NE Nov 02 – The Marquis Theatre – Denver, CO Nov 04 – The Electric Theatre – St. George, UT Nov 05 – Avalon Theatre – Salt Lake City, UT [event] Nov 06 – The Venue – Boise, ID Nov 07 – El Corazon – Seattle, WA Nov 10 – Bottom Of The Hill – San Francisco, CA Nov 11 – Downtown Brewing Company San Luis – Obispo, CA Nov 12 - The Glasshouse - Pomona, CA [event] Nov 13 – El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles, CA [event] Nov 16 – Nile Theatre – Mesa, AZ Nov 17 - The Launchpad - Albuquerque, NM Nov 19 – The Door – Dallas, TX
Initials reminded me of an era that’s near and dear to my heart. The songs performed at Bam Margera’s bar were drenched in emotion, but much more mature and intricate than what’s presently perceived as “emo.” It was Josh Eppard’s first show with the band, playing with so much energy I thought he was going to pass out before the set was finished! His drumming wasn’t like in 3, Coheed and Cambria, Counterfeit Disaster, Eppard Brothers, Mours or even Weerd Science. It sounded like a whole different animal, yet still had the familiar feel of Josh Eppard. Fred Mascherino (The Color Fred, ex-Taking Back Sunday, original Breaking Pangaea) announced from the stage that they were to fly down to Alabama today to record their album which will apparently come out on a major label in Summer 2010. I absolutely cannot wait to hear the recordings after that moving performance! In this article I read that Fred and Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit) have been referring to their sound as, “American Rock Revival Music.” Allegedly the forthcoming record will be a concept album about a couple experiencing a “turbulent time” inspired by the fires in Fred’s hometown (Coatesville, Pennsylvania) last year. Deeply intriguing! The next tour dates I could find seem to be the mid-west leg of Warped Tour.
To quote Josh Eppard,
“no matter what project I’m committed to, Weerd Science is always at the forefront of my creative mind.”
Josh will be back home this weekend for his hometown show. It’s been 5 years since he’s played his material in Kingston, New York. That last show was entirely last minute (“booked” a mere hours before doors) at The Forum on 744 Broadway and completely packed in. This show will have no openers and will be at the same spot (note: it has a new name- The Basement). I’ll be selling merch and spinning the entire “Sick Kids” record at the end of the set for the crowd to preview while hobnobbing with each other and Weerd Science. Also, I’m going to run a live stream before doors open- from my laptop where anyone anywhere can tune in and chat with Mr. Eppard. I can’t promise a solid time since we’ll be running around trying to get everything in order… but it should be some time between 7pm EST and 8:30. I’ll update the status of it on my facebook and twitter. We’ll be going live on http://www.ustream.tv/channel/butterflies-and-butcher-knives, so I hope to see you there!
In more Josh Eppard news… The E-Males have also been in the studio (that Josh Eppard is one busy bee!). E-Males = Eppard Brothers plus half of what made them- their father, Jimmy Eppard. I can’t share any more about that though! We’ll see what happens with that…
When Coheed and Cambria appeared on MTV’s TRL in January 2006, Michelle Nolan (Straylight Run) performed the female vocals of “The Suffering” with the band. Breaking Pangaea took Coheed and Cambria out on their first few tours. Coheed and Cambria will not be taking Initials out this summer.
Initials will be performing their first show with this line-up on Saturday, January 9th, 2009 supporting Straylight Run’s John Nolan (original Taking Back Sunday) with Gabriel the Marine and Ocean Is Theory at The Note in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
It’s all one colossal, constantly churning circle.
1. Nightmares For A Week - Feelin’ Blue | myspace.com/nightmaresforaweek 2. Urban Fetch - The Shots | myspace.com/urbanfetch 3. Dan Blackburn - It Remains to be Seen | myspace.com/blackburned 4. Session 606 - The Great Act of Failure | myspace.com/session606 5. Moving Mountains - With One’s Heart In One’s Mouth | myspace.com/movingmountains 6. Rick Whispers - Case of the Mondays | myspace.com/rickwhispers 7. Animals Like Us - Machines | myspace.com/animalslikeus 8. My Only Escape - Mayor of Party (It’s Hard to Measure When You’re Drinking Straight from the Keg) | myspace.com/myonlyescapex 9. Weerd Science - Dear S.A.M. (UnRapped) | myspace.com/weerdscience 10. Thieves And Villains - Settle New York, Settle | myspace.com/thievesandvillains 11. The Ricochet - Runaway Getaway | myspace.com/thericochetny 12. PUGS - The Last Hope | myspace.com/pugs845 13. Walking Bombs - + Side For Eos | myspace.com/walkingbombs 14. Evazan - Flow | myspace.com/evazan 15. Weerd Science - I Wish I Went to College | myspace.com/weerdscience 16. White Out - Love For Haters | myspace.com/whiteoutlw 17. Spineless Thug - Phineas | myspace.com/codenamemorocco 18. Cosmonaut - Sleepless | myspace.com/cosmonautnyc 19. Mours - Christmas From Hell | myspace.com/theMours
This free digital sampler was compiled to give a glimpse into the diverse musicality that dwells in Hudson Valley, NY. New York is a vast state… there’s so much more to it than just the city. Here’s a bit that goes on from Westchester to Albany. Many many thanks to the musicians for taking part in this project and keeping the music alive!
The idea for this sampler was inspired by the combination of the 10 year anniversary of Error 404 - Not Found compilation and the release of the “So Much For Us” book. Both archive the underground rock scene of Kingston/Woodstock in the late 90’s leading me to believe that I’m not alone in or crazy for feeling such passion toward the music to emerge from this area.
Most of these songs are unmastered. Some are rough mixes. Some are personal/basement recordings. One is live.
Still attempting to recover from the phenomenal night before, I began to worry that the 3/4 original members of Slimy Penis Breath had flown from the west coast back to shitty Kingston for no reason. We got hit with our first real snow of the year, but it seems as if someone was looking out because about half hour prior to the slated start time of the Eppard Extravaganza- all precipitation ceased. I arrived at The Basement about 45 minutes to 9. I could hear a very familiar tune from the moment I stepped foot out of my car. It was a jam of “In America.” As I headed into the building, I realized the music was coming from The E-Males (Jimmy Eppard, Joey Eppard, Josh Eppard) and that this premium jam was merely a soundcheck! Hell, they hadn’t even taken off their winter gear yet.
The night really kicked off with an intimate performance from the eldest Eppard. It was just Jimmy, his guitar, and the microphone. It’s so incredible experiencing first hand just where the Eppard Brothers’ talents come from and hearing stories about them through the art of song. Jimmy’s set was so captivating as he decided, on the spot, which songs out of his 30 years of writing to share. If my memory serves me correctly, he started off with a song he’d written as a very young man about his tenure in Kingston High School. He even shared a song he’d written when he found out his wife was pregnant with his eldest son, Joey. That was wonderful, but my favorites were the one about… sheep… and his retort to “Paint By Number.”
Next up was one of the newest additions to thefamily3, Ant Masington’s Session 606, featuring the debut of his drummer from Delaware, Bryan Mills. They had some technical difficulties as the equipment they used was borrowed, but it was eventually ironed out and the duo rocked the crowd with some of Ant Mas’ greatest songs.
Third up was the elder Eppard son, Joey. He was so in the zone, I could feel his emotion. I’ve been a tremendous fan of Joey, his acoustic guitar and voice since… well I think I saw him play at that same venue in 2005, under its previous management. Time and time again I rack my brain for words that can at least somewhat do justice to his aura… but nothing feels remotely close. Joey Eppard is a living legend.
Their passion and humility still floors me. The set started off with the stupidly underlooked, “Endless Alibi.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard it sound so good! I certainly never heard Josh Eppard sound so damn good. He somehow manages to get better each and every performance. I took notice of this back when he was in Coheed and Cambria, witnessed it with the few shows he played with Counterfeit Disaster, and has been very much so evident in the Eppard Brothers shows. Maybe it’s because he just joined a new band (Initials), or because it was his birthday. Maybe it was the presence of his uncle John or the news of an impending Eppard… but I’m pretty sure it’s just because he’s a fucking killer drummer! That dude is without a doubt, my hero. He was in the dark for a while, but he’s coming back better-than-fucking ever. If Mours and Sick Kids are any implications of the impact Mr. Weerd Science will (continue to) have on the world of music… hold on to your fucking panties, cause they’re about to be blown-the-fuck off. He murdered that set, so much so, that they couldn’t bring John up for JEppardy, cause he had no more sticks! But that “In America…” Man, I’ve never heard that song the same way twice. I almost want a studio version to never emerge. The vocals were incredible! Then “Blood Lust Tusks…” Joey was so into it that he began to scream the lyrics! It brought me back to the intense vocals he did on Math’s InsertYourNameHere record. “Trail Of Tears” prevented me from going to the bathroom. Though I could hear just fine in the bathroom, I was so mesmerized. It’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. It’s criminal that musicians of that caliber perform around the corner (literally) from the home they’ve spent their lives in.
This performance was the entire reason the Eppard Extravaganza happened. The 15 year anniversary reunion of the punk band that influenced a lot of the scene today. Everyone knows John The Baker as a man who speaks his mind and does not conform. Hell, he was arrested in 1994 for cussing in a public performance in Woodstock (does that even make sense?). Fought it, and in turn jump started a private investigation that found several cops (including the arresting officer) guilty of sexually abusing little girls. So anyway, he and two members of the band moved out to California… They still rock their asses off and I guess the reunion performance was like stepping into a time machine. I was still in single digits when the band was around, but the fans from back then who showed up all said it was like nothing changed. It sure as hell was an experience! Josh even cried. And JTB pulled up Morgan Y. Evans to help him out with, “Jesus Was A Punk.” He actually passed the punk rock torch onto him. Sounds about right, since Morgan got himself and his band (Divest) kicked out of CBGBs years ago. I think that may have been the show that scared Josh off from playing with them, haha. Either way, John The Baker is a true fucking inspiration.
The Eppard Family Values Extravaganza was filled with nostalgia and history lessons. It fell into a time of great change within the members of thefamily3. I can’t freakin’ wait for the next one!!!!!!
Um… holy shit. That set was too fucking good for words! The Eppards are so in sync… I can’t wait for the weekend of December 3rd, 4th & 5th!!! Best “Paint By Number” I’ve ever heard. Stories of how they grew up around the corner from the venue brought me back to the first time I saw Joey solo, 4 1/2 years ago at that very spot - when it was the Forum.
I really wish someone could’ve recorded it. Could be the best Eppard Brothers performance - but I can’t let myself say that it was. Each one holds a special nostalgic place in my heart. Can’t be objective… however, I couldn’t peel myself away to take any video or photos. They sounded too damn good!
No Eppard Brothers show ceases to be magical! And The Ricochet and Cosmonaut were fuckin’ wicked too. I look forward to hearing and seeing more from them both.
free MP3 album: Slimy Penis Breath - Fist Fuck The Pope Neeshland
March 22, 2008 - Mariner’s Harbor in Kingston, NY - impromptu original 3 reunion (Joey Eppard, Josh Eppard, Chris “CJB” Bittner) plus Robert “Chicken” Burke, David “Wavis” Parker, Billy Riker, Dave Daw took turns sitting in throughout their two sets.
April 18, 2008 - Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY - with DENT (Joe Stote & Gartdrumm) and Astronauts. Billy Riker, Daniel Grimsland, CJB, Dave Daw all sat in at some point or another. Even Joe Stote joined in on one song!
June 08, 2008 - The Basement in Kingston, NY - with Instant Asshole, Dent, Dead Unicorn. Despite a gruesome skateboarding accident, Uncle John still performed with his band, Instant Asshole. The Eppard Brothers were joined by Billy Riker, Daniel Grimsland, Dave Daw, CJB, and even their dad- Jimmy Eppard; at various points throughout the set.
August 29, 2008 - Mariner’s Harbor in Kingston, NY - Revolving guest musicians were Mic Todd, Billy Riker, CJB, Jimmy Eppard during both sets.
September 4, 2009 - Port of Call in Catskill, NY - The duo for two full sets!
September 11, 2009 - Port of Call in Catskill, NY - Anthony Masington joined the brothers impromptu during the second set, and even played some of his Session 606 material with Joey on drums!
October 01, 2009 - The Keltic House in Fishkill, NY - with Session 606. Dad performed with the brothers (forming the E-Males?).
October 03, 2009 - Keegan Ales in Kingston, NY - with a bunch of other bands celebrating the Hudson Valley brewery’s 6th anniversary. E-Males
November 14, 2009 - Backstage Studio Productions in Kingston, NY - with Elysium Theory. The bassist for the night was Daniel Grimsland.
November 20, 2009 - The Basement in Kingston, NY - with The Ricochet, Cosmonaut. Dad held down the bass.