Thursday, December 23, 2010

Second Story Man - Jan 22 @ Headliners

Live at Skull Alley series out now

The first two 7"s of the Live at Skull Alley series have just been released. You can pick them up at Ear-Xtacy, Skull Alley or via the Shirt Killer website. The first volume features 2 songs each from Coliseum and Straight A's and one cut from ZCFOS. Volume two is filled out by Fork In Socket, Rest Assured and Houses in Motion. The final show at Skull Alley takes place on New Year's Eve. Lemuria, Reading Group and Black God will be helping Jamie close up shop. Doors at 7pm.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Trip Barriger interview online

Trip Barriger of Studio K was interviewed for the Leo Music Cast this week. Trip and Jessie at Studio K have been pillars of support for the Louisville punk scene for the past couple years and are all around awesome dudes. Trip has been an invaluable contributor to many recent Noise Pollution projects including the albums by Metroschifter, Straight A's, Cerebellum, Minnow as well as the upcoming Hal Dolls CD. In the Leo Music Cast, Trip talks about getting his start in recording and his plans for a new recording studio. We also get treated to some of his recent work such as Lee Van Cleef and Reading Group (and also a snippet of brand spanking new Straight A's material!)

Second Story Man news

Second Story Man has two shows coming up. The first will be on December 10th at Al's Bar in Lexington with The Nativity Singers and Real Numbers. $5, doors at 10pm. The following night SSM will be playing Skull Alley for the last time along with Supertruck and Bu Hao Ting. $5, doors at 8pm. The sets at this show are being recorded for inclusion on an upcoming 7".

And two more reviews of SSM's Screaming Secrets album...

"Just the sort of off-kilter punk rock that made Louisville famous oh-so-long ago. Second Story Man is more tuneful than its predecessors, but the eclectic (and generally bone-breaking) approach to these songs does ring a bell. A fine set from a band that just might have something exceptional going on."
- Aided & Abetted

"If The B-52s were a power pop band with loud guitars...they might something like Louisville, Kentucky's Second Story Man. The folks in this band have been around for about eleven years now and during that time they've pretty much remained intact...the only change being that they switched bass players in 2004. Screaming Secrets is the band's third full-length release. Though the band has been around awhile their music still sounds fresh and exciting. The songs are strong and very melodic...and the rhythms drive hard and heavy. Ten fun cuts here including "Want Within the Need," "Quietly," "The Mav," and "Bottom Line."
- Baby Sue

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Teeth!


SHIPPING NEWS will be guests on the FRIDAY NIGHT SOUNDCLASH on Nov. 12th (yes, tomorrow night!). They will talk with DJ MATT ANTHONY and play records that have inspired their new album. You can listen to it (in the Louisville area) on WFPK 91.9FM. There's also a live online feed ( - 8PM Eastern Time (USA)

The new Shipping News album "One Less Heartless to Fear" is now available as a digital download through Think Indie where it is one of their picks of the week.

There will be an album release party at Ear-Xtacy on Friday, November 26th at 7pm. The event will be curated by Shipping News' Jason Noble and will feature performances by The Obscure Handsome Brothers (Joe Manning/Nathan Salsburg/Glen Detinger) and The Sandpaper Dolls plus a special guest! The members of Shipping News will be raffling tons of VINYL giveaways, T-shirts, and random RSMN artifacts throughout the evening. A most awesome time to be sure.

And more reviews:

Dusted review of the new album...

Leo Weekly review of the new album...

New Chime Hours track up

CHIME HOURS have posted a new song titled "Maize" on their Facebook page. It was recorded by Trip Barriger at Studio K last month. Chime Hours will be playing next Saturday (Nov. 20th) at MINNOW's farewell show at Skull Alley.

Friday, November 5, 2010

More Shipping News news

Shipping News launched a brand new website (designed by Ron Jasin) this week which can be found at

More reviews of "One Less Heartless to Fear" are rolling in...

"Shipping News has returned with easily the most powerful album of its career"
Aided and Abetted

"a nasty, lo-fi, aggressive pummelling of the ears and brain"
Echoes and Dust

"uncompromisingly raw and lyrically lush"
Blow the Scene

"This newer assembly of songs shows the band at their most immediate state, almost completely contradicting their entire discography..."
Olive Music

"a gritty, crisp-sounding collection that sits brilliantly somewhere in-between Slint and Fugazi"
The Skinny

"it shows off not only the bands song writing, but their ability to perform their material with enough energy and passion that it comes across perfectly on a recording"
Tasty Fanzine

"In these days of post rock synthesis, it is refreshing to hear a band that kicks the proverbial ass"
Blue Bunny

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shipping News review from Alternative Press

There aren't many bands who would dare mimic the unique sound of Shellac. There are even fewer who would undertake a drastic change in songwriting like Shipping News have this late in their 16-year career. Who knew Shipping News, known for their tectonic pace and under-the-breath lyrical acuity, had it in them to play uptempo, dynamic (and most definitely Shellac-influenced) post-rock? With jarring barbs excreting from guitarist Jeff Mueller's newly found voicebox, the new upbeat nature of things makes him sound for all the world like Steve Albini on some songs. But it's little more than an oddity on this nine-song live album (seven songs of which are brand new) that in the canon of Shipping News records, stands atop the pile, or at least near it. Full of power and their trademark delicate storytelling, Shipping News' latest is their greatest.
- Oakland Childers

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Self Help" review from Life Is Noise

Review of STRAIGHT A's Self Help from Life is Noise...

What would happen if Battles and Fantomás decided to tag-team an album? More than likely, this would be the result. Freaked out, whammy-laden guitars tweak out over tight, razor-sharp bass lines and some fantastically creative drums that would do quite well in a Swing Kids track. Overall the production on this album is great; everything seems to get a chance in the limelight. The vocals spend most of the time buried in distortion, but the melodies ring out almost despite this fact, just another display of how on-point the vocalist really is.

This album really is a smorgasbord of sound and while the main backline of drums/guitar/bass remains, everything from horn sections to pianos to freaked-out oscillator action seems to fit in comfortably. “Awkward Silence” sounds like a ska tune from Hell, while tracks like” Electric Candelabra” and “Trestles” show that sometimes music speaks louder than words. The instrumentation all through the album is flawless, with the drums becoming increasingly more involved as each track passes, especially shining through in the jazzier sections.

This album definitely keeps you on your toes – no two songs are alike, and there’s rarely room to relax. It’s definitely one for those of us with a short attention span, and a liking for the more eclectic side of music. Drop in at any point in the album and you’ll immediately get hooked, if not by a melody then definitely by wanting to figure out how whatever is going on happens. Like a musical chemistry experiment gone horribly right, Straight A’s Self Help keeps you guessing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

MINNOW "Hello Hubris"

MINNOW's new album Hello Hubris will be released at the band's final show on November 2oth at Skull Alley. Joining Minnow on the bill to help give them a rousing send off will be labelmates Straight A's and Chime Hours along with young whipper snappers The New Mexico. Flier and show info will be coming soon, but in the meantime check out "We Don't Talk About It" from Hello Hubris:

MINNOW - We Dont Talk About It by NoisePollution

CHIME HOURS EP out now (Jason Noble benefit)

The debut six song CDEP by Louisville, KY's CHIME HOURS is now available through our website as well as locally through EarXtacy. You can also download it directly through Think Indie here.

CHIME HOURS is comprised of Louisville music veterans Greg Livingston (OUT., Hedge), Thommy Browne (By the Grace of God, Black Cross), Duncan Cherry (Late Ones, Straight A's), Sean Roberts (Straight A's) and Keith Sampson. CHIME HOURS' sound harkens back to mid to late 90's Gravity Records, but with a frantic energy all their own. 100% of the sales of this record (physical or digital) go directly to benefit Louisville musician and artist Jason Noble with his medical expenses. Great band. Great cause. Please spread the word.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pre-order the new Shipping News CD now

The new Shipping News CD "One Less Heartless to Fear" is now available for pre-order. All pre-ordered copies will be mailed out in advance of the official release date (November 9th). Go here to pre-order the CD for only $12.

Shipping News "One Less Heartless To Fear" is the band’s first new full length album since "Flies The Fields" (2005) and a helluva lot has happened over the last five years. Two weddings, fatherhood, serious illness, a presidential election, multiple wars, city moves... these things have inspired the band to make their most rowdy, aggressive and adolescent album to date. Shipping News has jettisoned the long songs (and glacial tempos) of the past and is concentrating on energetic blasts of noisy rock (with a little gallows humor thrown in). While slipping into a slightly more sympathetic mood once or twice, the new songs are stripped down and pretty much nasty.

Working for the first time with the kind folks at Karate Body and Noise Pollution (and AfricanTape/Ruminance in Europe), this album marks the 14th year of the band’s existence. "One Less Heartless To Fear" features seven brand new songs and two "oldies" recorded live on a digital multitrack system at the all-ages venue Skull Alley (Louisville) and The O-Nest (Tokyo).

Friday, September 24, 2010

Rodan, Endpoint and Shipping News shirts

Shirtkiller is now selling Endpoint, Rodan and Shipping News shirts as a fundraiser for Jason Noble. Hit the link up to check them out. And speaking of Rodan, music blog Sweet Georgia Breezes just posted a completely boss video of Rodan performing their epic "The Everyday World of Bodies" from way back in 1994.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chime Hours EP now available

The debut CDep from CHIME HOURS is now available through our website and at EarXtacy. All proceeds from this release will go to assist Jason Noble and his family with their medical expenses. Chime Hours is comprised of grizzled Louisville veterans from bands such as Hedge, By the Grace of God, Straight A's, OUT., etc. Six blistering tracks for six bucks and all for a good cause. Check it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Second Story Man shirts

Second Story Man has new t-shirts available exclusively at Dot Fox (1567 Bardstown Rd.). Illustration by Jonathan Hawpe and design by Jeremy Irvin.

Shipping News - Take a Deep Breath

Shipping News has posted the unreleased 2003 song "Take A Deep Breath" as a Digital Single. It was written during the "Flies The Fields" sessions - and has only been presented previously as a free audio stream on their myspace. The proceeds from this track will go to the Red Cross / Red Crescent disaster relief fund in Pakistan.

"As you know - many nations have experienced terrible losses this year... Haiti and Chile have been working to recover from devastating natural disasters. The situation in Pakistan is a very drastic, and an enormous humanitarian effort is underway. The Red Cross / Red Crescent is on the ground in all these places - and we hope you will feel comfortable making a contribution with the $2 purchase of this unreleased Shipping News song."

For more information:

Straight A's to play Cropped Out fest

Straight A's will be playing the exciting new music fest Cropped Out this year which is being organized by Ryan Davis and James Ardery. Here's their press release for the fest followed by the full lineup/schedule:

Cropped Out is a locally and independently developed music festival set to take place in Louisville, KY on the first weekend of October 2010. The fest is designed to highlight the creative efforts of Louisville natives, friends, family, and fellow thinkers from Nashville to Chicago to Brooklyn and beyond.

Since the earliest baby breaths of punk from within the walls of the now-defunct Louisville School of Art in the late ‘70s, from local proto-punks like No Fun, Babylon Dance Band, and the recently re-issued Endtables, it is no secret that Louisville’s cultural contributions have long served as a significant influence on national underground art and music scenes. One must not forget, we are still a force with which to be reckoned. This festival, specifically, intends to celebrate a renewed sense of enthusiasm about Kentucky’s cultural offerings by pairing a few of our favorites from the Derby City with similarly exciting examples handpicked from around the country.

For one weekend, Cropped Out aims to celebrate a select fistful of contemporary musicians, artists, and artisans whom we feel reflect a greater undercurrent of sonic, visual, and conceptual exploration. It is our intention for the festival to turn heads, if only for one weekend, toward the talents of those often omitted, overlooked, or cropped out of “the big picture.” These are the minds most interesting to us, the minds most capable of emerging from and quickly returning to their lightlessness, if only to be briefly met by a niche appreciation. Aside from a pleasantly temperate and generally fun fall weekend, free of any injury or legal conflict, it is our primary goal to award these artists with the opportunity to be seen, heard, and ultimately, to prevail

KINGFISH (3021 Upper River Rd.)

Fielded (Chicago, IL) 8-8:30
Sapat (Louisville, KY) 9-9:40
Julianna Barwick (Brooklyn, NY) 10-10:40
The Phantom Family Halo record release show (Louisville, KY) 11-11:40
Moon Duo (San Francisco, CA) 12-12:45

AMERICAN TURNERS (3125 Upper River Rd.)

The Highlife (Brooklyn, NY/Chicago, IL) 4-4:30
Rabble Rabble (Chicago, IL) 4:50-5:20
LUSHES (Brooklyn, NY) 5:40-6:10
Slow Horse (Chicago, IL) 6:30-7
Prideswallower (Louisville, KY) 7:20-7:50
Wishgift (Chicago, IL) 8:10-8:40
Straight A’s (Louisville, KY) 9 9:40
Parlour (Louisville, KY) 10:05-10:45
CAVE (Chicago, IL) 11:10-11:45
Young Widows (Louisville, KY) 12:05-12:50
Pissed Jeans (Philadelphia, PA) 1:10-2

AMERICAN TURNERS (3125 Upper River Rd.)

Alex Barnett (Chicago, IL) 1:45-2
Learner Dancer (Indianapolis, IN) 2:15-2:40
Nzambi (Louisville, KY) 2:55-3:20
SKIMASK (Boston, MA) 3:35-4
DAD (Chicago, IL) 4:15-4:45
Geffika (Chicago, IL) 5:05-5:35
Life Partner (Louisville, KY/Chicago, IL) 6-6:30
Natural Geographic (Louisville, KY) 6:50-7:20
MEAH! (Chicago, IL) 7:40-8:10
PC Worship (Brooklyn, NY) 8:30-9:10
CACAW (Chicago, IL) 9:30-10:10
Ga’an (Chicago, IL) 10:30-11:15

AMERICAN TURNERS (3125 Upper River Rd.)

Brett Sova (Chicago, IL) 3:05-3:30
Sean Walsh & The National Reserve (Brooklyn, NY) 3:50-4:20
Heavy Cream (Nashville, TN) 4:40-5:10
Animal City (Chicago, IL) 5:30-6
Idiot Glee (Lexington, KY) 6:20-6:50
Warmer Milks (Lexington, KY) 7:10-7:40
Rude Weirdo (Louisville, KY) 8-8:30
FLIGHT (Taylor, MS) 8:50-9:25
Golden Boys (Austin, TX) 9:45-10:20
JEFF The Brotherhood (Nashville, TN) 10:40-11:20
Magik Markers (Brooklyn, NY) 11:40-12:40

AMERICAN TURNERS (3125 Upper River Rd.)

Softcheque (Louisville, KY) 12:25-12:55
Reading Group (Louisville, KY) 1:10-1:35
Gangly Youth (Louisville, KY) 1:50-2:15
Spectre Folk (Brooklyn, NY) 2:35-3:05
Tinsel Teeth (Providence, RI) 3:25-3:55
PUJOL (Nashville, TN) 4:15-4:45
Giving Up (Garner, IA) 5:05-5:40
State Champion (Louisville, KY/Chicago, IL) 5:55-6:30
Catherine Irwin (Louisville, KY) 6:45-7:20
Spider Bags (Chapel Hill, NC) 7:40-8:20
King Kong (Louisville, KY) 8:40-9:20
Sic Alps (San Francisco, CA) 9:40-10:35

Young Scamels news

Earxtacy will be hosting a listening party for The Young Scamels CD "The Tempest" on Tuesday, September 21st at 6pm. For those of you unaware here's the lowdown on The Young Scamles via their Facebook page:

The Young Scamels are Christian Frederickson, Greg King & Jason Noble. The band was created in 2007 for a production of Shakespeare’s "The Tempest" at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The album collects music that was played live during forty one performances of the show.

The Young Scamels “Tempest” album combines classical, electronic and punk music... including banging on scuba tanks, bells and gongs when suggested. The album features the work of vocalist Amber Estes (Liberation Prophecy / Invaders) and drummer Kyle Crabtree (Shipping News / Shannonwright). The limited edition CD comes in a full color digipak with artwork by Jonathan Hawpe. Also available as a digital download.

Also, Magnet Magazine is having an online poll to vote for the your most anticipated release for next week in which The Young Scamels are included. To vote for them go here.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trophy Wives release digital live album

Trophy Wives' set at their seven inch release show a couple weeks back was recorded for posterity. The band liked it so much they have made it a live album available for digital download at their bandcamp page. It's 17 songs for $5.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Web to play Boomslang Fest

THE WEB will be performing at this year's Boomslang Festival in Lexington, KY. The band will be on Saturday, September 11th's bill along with Death (from Detroit), Warmer Milks, Thee American Revolution and Phantom Family Halo among others. The Web will be playing the front room of Buster's around 7 or 8pm. Rumored to be joining the band on this performance are the wonderfully talented David Bird and Mike French. Also, the first edition white vinyl pressing of The Web's new album Clydotorous Scrotohendron is almost gone, but we now have fancy "coke bottle green" vinyl available. Check it out the awesomeness...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Shipping News - One Less Heartless to Fear

photo by Chris Higdon

Noise Pollution is honored and beyond stoked to announce that we, along with our pals at Karate Body Records will be releasing the U.S. version of the new SHIPPING NEWS album titled "One Less Heartless to Fear." The release date will be November 16th, but the first single "The Delicate" will be available as a digital download starting on August 16th. You can check it out in the video clip below. The album was recorded by our old friend and longtime Noise Pollution compatriot Brian Lueken along with Tim Iseler and Kevin Ratterman (the vinyl was plated by Bob Weston). Album and single artwork was created by the most excellent Dan McCarthy. The official press release is as follows:

Shipping News will release a new LP/CD called "One Less Heartless ToFear" on November 16th, 2010. It's their first new full length album since "Flies The Fields" (2005) and a helluva lot has happened in the last five years. Two weddings, fatherhood, serious illness, a presidential election, multiple wars, city moves, two Batman films and lots of time with friends playing songs. These things seem to have inspired the band to make their most aggressive and adolescent album to date. Shipping News has jettisoned the long songs (and glacial tempos) of the past and is concentrating on energetic blasts of noisy rock (with a little gallows humor thrown in). While slipping into a slightly more sympathetic mood once or twice, the new songs ares tripped down and pretty much nasty.

Working for the first time with the kind folks at Karate Body and Noise Pollution (and African Tape in Europe), this album marks the 14th year of the band's existence. "One Less Heartless To Fear" features seven brand new songs and two "oldies" recorded live on a digital multitrack system at the all-ages venue Skull Alley (Louisville) and The O-Nest (Tokyo). Please enjoy the first single "The Delicate"
here or by viewing the clip below.

A's video from Late Seating at Actor's Theatre

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Straight A's at Actor's Theatre

Straight A's will be performing this Saturday (August 13) as part of Actor's Theatre of Louisville's Late Seating concert series. The performances take place on the parking garage roof of Actor's Theatre in lovely downtown Louisville. Tickets are $10. Also performing will be Armaedy, RedShadeBlue and The Pass.

Second Story Man returns

Second Story Man will return to the stage on Saturday, August 28th at Zanzabar (2100 S. Preston) for their first show with new bassist Michael Snowden. SSM will be teaming up again with labelmates Straight A's for this show along with the excellent Lee Van Cleef. LVC will be releasing their new album "Terror, Blood" (Dunkenstein Records) at this show as well. At 3pm on the day of the show, Second Story Man will be performing a special acoustic set at EarXtacy as part the newly relocated record store's anniversary celebrations. A purchase of SSM's Screaming Secrets album at EarXtacy during the instore will get you free admission to the Zanzabar show later that night plus a free copy of their 2006 release Red Glows Brighter. Righteous deals abound!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Glasspack / Trophy Wives split 7" release show

Noise Pollution will be releasing a split seven inch with The Glasspack and Trophy Wives on Saturday, August 21st at a show featuring both bands at Zanzabar (2100 South Preston). The record will be on orange vinyl and contains The Glasspack's "If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say" (which features Peter Searcy on bass) and Trophy Wive's "Firecracker". Also included in the record will be a download card with both bands' songs from the record plus bonus tracks including a remastered version of Trophy Wive's debut EP, their cover of Crain's UFO Song, live stuff from The Glasspack's set from the 2008 Roadburn Festival in Holland and the 'Pack's cover of Bobby Rush's "Mary Jane". In all, fifteen tracks will be included on the download card. That's a hell of a deal for a measly $5. The show will also celebrate The Glasspack's 10 year anniversary, so the band will be performing an extended set with guest appearances by Adam Neal, Brett Holsclaw, Peter Searcy, Mark Abromavage and more. Cover will be $6, doors at 9pm.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cerebellum review in Velocity

Cerebellum "Cerebellum"

Born as a punk band in the late 1980's, Cerebellum gained a huge following in Louisville before evolving into Crain, a math-rock/punk band that gained a similarly huge following. Crain still has its legion of followers - it's album "Speed" is still available via the Temporary Residence Limited label - but Cerebellum's music has faded, until now available as a few stray tracks on compilation CD's. Louisville's Noise Pollution Records is doing punks a favor by releasing this forceful anthology of pure punk rock - aggressive guitars, driving beats and Joey Mudd's shouted lyrics about teen life and angst. Not every song is a winner, but you'll understand why aging punks miss this band - and the world it inhabited - after listening to "House", "Calm" and "Crawl Out of the Water."

- Joseph Lord

Straight A's review from Velocity

Straight A's "Self Help"

It's a curious conundrum, a frustrating puzzle of heavy music. With so many finite rules - driving beats, ferocious guitars, shouty lyrics - how can heavy metal be creative and original and, most importantly, interesting to listeners who want more than a soundtrack to knock people down to? This debut LP works from a formula that may solve the riddle. Straight A's are not there yet, but the band experiments enough with tempo, sounds and melodies to be interesting outside of the hardcore scene. This doesn't mean "Self Help" is accessible to everyone, nor is it different enough to be a landmark record. But it's a good start from a promising band.

- Joseph Lord

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dusted reviews Brett Eugene Ralph's KCR

Photo by Jodi Shapiro

Great review from Dusted...

Traditional sounding, with its stately fiddles, close harmonies and Americana-rooted melodies, Brett Eugene Ralph’s Kentucky Chrome Review is, like all country worth listening to, nonetheless wildly unconventional and rebellious. There’s no moral certitude, no just desserts in these songs. It’s country without the god and patriotism, a non-judgmental peephole into landscapes of teenage strippers, abusive fathers, murderous boyfriends and unfettered, unglamorous dissolution. “Kentucky Chrome,” the first and best of these songs, compresses a novel’s material into its terse, hard-bitten lines. Its down-and-out heroine haunts stripper joints and biker bars, her downscale native habitat drawn in bleak lines and edged with a certain black humor. The girl, who is never named, is doomed from the start (“She could have used a few more years between teddy bears and tittie bars/she could have used a lock on her bedroom door”) but the song wastes very little sentimentality on her. Even when she tries to kill herself and fails, late in the song, the emotional temperature stays mordant and sardonic. In a life that’s a continuous failure, failing to OD is just one more setback, which Ralph marks by advising, “Don’t sweat it, baby, it ain’t like we’re building Rome.”

Ralph, who got his start in the Louisville hardcore band, Malignant Growth, is a poet as well as a songwriter, and his lyrics often pull you up short, as good poetry does. He uses plain-spoken words in combinations that seem, at first, to be unstudied as speech, rough, echoing the dialects of rural Kentucky poverty. Take any line of “Grandpa Was a Hobo” and the language sounds workmanlike and unremarkable. Yet take the song as a whole, and you begin to see how these short lines coalesce into a psychologically nuanced description of three generations of family dysfunction. There is the boy, the narrator, who wonders why his father beats him. There is the father, left at a young age with a woman not his mother and unable to express love for his own son. There is the boy’s mother, making excuses for a distant father to her son. Finally there is the near-mythical grandfather who started the whole story. None of them get more than a few lines or merit flowery description, yet the song is exact and accurate and all the more powerful for what we are left to assume.

Several of these songs could be short stories — or even the basis for novels — but one of the strengths of this album is that they are not. Instead they are fully realized songs, whose music is nearly as striking as the lyrical content. For this recording, Ralph gathered more than 20 musicians, many of them considerably better known than he is. It’s Will Oldham’s voice, unmistakably, singing the lines in “Kentucky Chrome Review” that describe the girl’s failed overdose, and Catherine Irwin of Freakwater entwined in harmonies with Ralph, in the closer “The Whole of the Law.” Jason Loewenstein from Sebadoh plays drums on all 10 tracks, and wherever you hear a country fiddle, it’s Paz Lenchantin from A Perfect Circle. Eleventh Dream Day’s Wink O’Bannon kicks in a couple of smoldered blues guitar solos.

Despite all the big names, the arrangements sound loose and casual, like a bunch of old friends playing together (which, in fact, many of them are). There’s a sweetness in the arrangements that wraps around the songs, easing their tensions and making these masterfully unsettling narratives into something that is, at least on the surface, reassuring. It’s the wild intelligence and burnt-black humor that pulls you into the songs, but the musical warmth and homeliness that invites you to stay.

By Jennifer Kelly

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Glasspack 10 year anniversary story in LEO

There's a fairly lengthy piece on The Glasspack's 10 year anniversary in this week's LEO. Check out the story online here. The Glasspack will be celebrating their anniversary with a show and split seven inch release (with Trophy Wives) on August 21st at Zanzabar.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Free Noise Pollution sampler now available

In partnership with, this FREE digital download is a 17 song sampler of what we've been up to the past few years. Songs by Evergreen, Metroschifter, Straight A’s, Second Story Man, Lucky Pineapple, The Web, The Teeth, Minnow, Brett Eugene Ralph's Kentucky Chrome Revue and more. Download it and pass it along to your friends. Go to

Monday, June 14, 2010

Minnow in the studio

Just got word that the new Minnow album will be titled "Hello Hubris." Look for it October 2nd.


We're very stoked to report that Minnow began recording the followup to 2008's Thirteen Wrongs this past weekend. The as yet untitled 8 song album is being recorded by Trip Barriger at Studio K and will be released in October. We had a chance to hear a few tracks in progress and it is sounding awesome. More details to come soon...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another Screaming Secrets review

From John Carswell at the Sweet Georgia Breezes blog:

Having grown up in Louisville, I’m astonished to say that while I have known of Second Story Man for years now, their third long player SCREAMING SECRETS is my first full length exposure to the band. I’m not really sure why. As a 90′s scene kid, I was a fan of the members’ work in bands like Itch House and The Flats, but for whatever reason, Second Story Man have managed to hover just below the national radar for 12 years now. While they have toured occasionally with the likes of Shipping News and Sebadoh, they have otherwise contented themselves with churning out apparently masterful noise pop records whenever the mood strikes them. So unfortunately, I can’t really speak to Second Story Man’s growth as a band, but I can attest to the fact that this is a marvelous record that will most likely go tragically under-recognized. SECRETS succeeds by finding a Beatles-esque middle way between the ultra-dynamic river city indie of hometown greats like Slint and Rodan and the scrappy indie pop of early 90′s Chapel Hill bands like Superchunk and Polvo. While opener “The Want Within the Need” and A-side closer “Traffic Jams” attest that the band can rock at full-power, I find myself continually drawn to the lilting and lush “Quietly” and the pastoral acousti-pop of “Suicide Dream.” Elsewhere, the dissonance of “Flies” recalls Murray Street-era Sonic Youth, and “The Mav” best exemplifies the band’s powerful dual vocal approach. Given the overall quality of SCREAMING SECRETS, I’ll definitely search out the band’s back catalog. Having grown into this record over the last few months, I can entusiastically say that it’s high time the world get to know Second Story Man.

The Web in this week's Leo

photo by Tim Furnish

Make sure to check out the feature article on The Web's album release in this week's Leo.

Louisville Music News review of Kentucky Chrome Revue

From Kevin Gibson/LMN:

Former Punk's New Clothes Fit Nicely

Brett Eugene Ralph made his initial splash in Louisville back in the 1980s as lead singer of the punk outfit Malignant Growth (still one of the great punk band names of all-time, by the way) before taking time off to get a college degree and reinvent himself artistically.

Ralph became a poet and is now a writing instructor with a book of poetry on the market. His new musical persona, however, is decidedly folk-country, and the new britches fit Ralph nicely. According to the band's press notes, the goal when forming Kentucky Chrome Revue was to blend Rolling Thunder Revue-era Bob Dylan with 1970s outlaw country effectively enough to be considered "the MC5 of country music." Nice.

With all that noted, it's no surprise to pop a CD in one's player and hear songs like "Grandpa Was a Hobo" and "Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell."

Interestingly, the beautiful arrangements herein are matched by the musicianship presenting them and the sparkling, sweet production. It's quite an aural pleasure. But it's best enjoyed when listening carefully to Ralph's lyrical poetry. While he isn't the smoothest singer in town, he delivers his stories with warmth and intent.

Songs like "I Cry Easy" sound like radio hits in the making thanks in part to the hook, carefully arranged vocals and guitar work. But the soft chorus is interspersed with some startling lyrical imagery and clever and subtle humor. It's a complete package.

It doesn't hurt matters that the project is a star-studded affair with contributions by Will Oldham, Catherine Irwin, Peter Searcy and Jolie Holland, among many others. A definite win for the punk-turned-poet. Expect more to come.

OMG Vinyl review of Screaming Secrets

From the fine folks at OMG Vinyl...

I have to say, we get unbelievably lucky with the quality of records that show up for review. Second Story Man is a Louisville band that has been around for over 10 years, and you can hear the experience in their music. Having toured with bands like Sebadoh and Shipping News, you can hear the wonderful 90’s sensibility that us old folks all yearn for in our rock music. It’s basically a record full of lush, awesome male/female rock and pop, and who doesn’t need more of that?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Leo review of Straight A's "Self Help"

The best album to come out of Louisville since Young Widows’ Old Wounds. Deft songwriting coupled with a penchant for fuzz, electronic sounds and guitar pedals somehow doesn’t end up sounding like your high school jam band. Self Help showcases a unique knack for ruckus indie-core along with a penchant to experiment, but without straying uncomfortably far from the Louisville hardcore heavy syncopated bass/drums sound. That said, this album is heavy in a whole new way, with arrangements a la Dischord, horns and choruses that verge on the divine (see “Up All Night”). Straight A’s aren’t trying to vie for your attention; they deserve it, because of their weird, squealy message and a grip on exactly how to say it.
- by Pawl Schwartz

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Web album release show (less than two weeks away!)

2010 Electrical Audio PRF BBQ

Trophy Wives and Brett Eugene Ralph's Kentucky Chrome Revue perform on Saturday. Phantom Family Halo will perform on Sunday. Go here for full details.

Velocity review of KY Chrome Review

Kentucky probably has more poets who dabble in music than is desirable, but Ralph wouldn't be on the list of poet-singers to cull. In Kentucky Chrome Revue, the writer with roots in the Louisville punk scene has a first-rate, twangy bluegrass band backing his tonally challenged singing. The singing isn't pretty, but it's passable. Imagine a college lit professor drunkenly improvising lyrics to a country standard, which is pretty much what this album is. He smartly builds stories of mundane lives, lonely and quietly desparate. ("It came to me / that he was ashamed to be / the son of a hobo," nicely sums up the tone of the album.) Ralph is supported by a who's who of grown-up Louisville punks: Catherine Irwin, Will Oldham, Paul Oldham, Todd Brashear, Peter Searcy and Jason Loewenstein. It's music to listen to on a porch, preferably on a muggy day, with a beer and a book you're barely reading.

- Joseph Lord

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

more love for Screaming Secrets (and Carrie, too)

From LEO's 20th anniversary issue...

Did you know Carrie Neumayer can scream? Not some like-omg-I-just-went-to-the-mall-bought-a-new-top-and-it’s-sooooo-fab scream. I’m talking about an all-you-testosterone-meatheads-can-bow-down caterwaul. For the chorus on “Clocks” alone, she deserves to be credited as Louisville’s first, true riot grrl. She’ll probably kill me for saying this, but the art students of Meyzeek should feel fortunate to have an intelligent, thoughtful human being as a teacher and mentor, and Louisville’s music scene is less of a boys club because she is here. The lady is a champ.
- Mat Herron

We couldn't agree more. Carrie rules.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Endpoint to play 3rd show on Sunday

ENDPOINT announced last night that they will be playing a third show this Sunday (May 16) at Skull Alley. Also playing will be Coliseum and Straight A's (!). Not sure on times or price.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A's and KCR at Forecastle

Straight A's and Brett Eugene Ralph's Kentucky Chrome Revue have been invited to play this year's Forecastle Festival. They will both be playing on Saturday's lineup which also includes fucking DEVO. Also of note would be Cake, Cap'n Jazz and locals Lucky Pineapple, Frontier(s), Wax Fang, The Children, The Broken Spurs and The Deloreans among others. More info here.

Screaming Secrets Review in LMN

From Louisville Music News...

It sounds as if Second Story Man was able to consume, digest and even spit up its rushing brand of rock to create it's newest album, Screaming Secrets. Kevin Ratterman's production assistance can be heard throughout and his Funeral Home recording studio proved to be a fitting sonic battlefield for Second Story Man to wage its own musical war.

Screaming Secrets is able to pin swollen waves of grinding tones against swift melodies and swooping harmonies. Warm, oozing textures trudge forward through nerved guitars, restless drums and erratic vocals ("Want Within the Need" and "Clocks"), only to be blinded by clouds of reverb and lofty dynamics on tracks like "Oompa Loompa" and "Traffic Jams."

Violins and banjos are spread across several tracks in a strangely tasteful way. While a host of influences are evident, Second Story Man quickly and firmly plants its own impression of what it means to rock and how to do so.

Second Story Man manages to build and keep control of a creatively energetic rock sound. It's a comfortable chaos amplified by big production that's not easy to achieve. With Screaming Secrets, the band has raised the bar for themselves and other post-punk indie rock bands.

Want more? It's at

by Hunter Embry

May the 'Horse Be With You

RISE: A Louisville Lip Records Tribute to Kinghorse is now available at Earxtacy. It will also be on sale at this weekend's Endpoint reunion shows. The cross section of bands on this compilation is really a testament to the wide ranging influence of the 'Horse that is still being felt today. Lots of great stuff on here (especially NP's own Second Story Man, Straight A's and Glasspack!)

Complete Track Listing:
Scully - Awaken
Rude Weirdo - VS
E-Flat - Dogs at Play
Montag - What am I Supposed to Do?
Antikythera - Freeze (pre lp version)... See More
Stonecutters - Red
Second Story Man - Lay Down and Die
Catherine Irwin - Razor
Lords - Clayfist
Emperyan Asunder - Spinning
Straight A's - Charge!
Manson Family Feud - Brother Doubt
Absence of Faith - Greatest Gift
Brother Doubt - Freeze (lp version)
Black Church - Myth
Porosus - Seven Sisters
Glasspack - Going Home
+ one not so hidden extra track

Kentucky Chrome Revue from LEO Weekly

Former punk-rock frontman (Fading Out, Rising Shotgun) and current poet and creative writing professor Brett Ralph turned his back on rock (more or less) a few years ago when he mounted the Kentucky Chrome Revue. Here, with a fluctuating pool of talented friends (Catherine Irwin, Will Oldham, Todd Brashear etc.), Ralph has explored his country muse, often incorporating lap steel and fiddle.

As a country songwriter, Ralph leans toward the outlaw tradition of David Allan Coe and Waylon Jennings, but his poetry renders his songs considerably denser than even the most complex compositions offered by those two towers of the genre. Too, Ralph’s wordplay is occasionally more intentionally playful; “Kentucky Chrome,” for instance, is slang for duct tape (a throwback to Ralph’s punk roots, perhaps?), but that little bit of info isn’t explained within the story (in the title track) of a tragic young woman who runs away from home to a life of sexual misadventure that is interrupted by a suicide attempt.

Most of the songs, including “I Cry Easy” (a confession of sentimentality) and “Charcoal Grey” (an homage to a man’s best suit), embrace a fairly traditional, structural appreciation for country conventions. Elsewhere, “The Whole of the Law” and “Happened to Be” are nakedly confessional, offering a voice to a generation of misguided aging punks looking back on our third and fourth decades.

- Paul Curry

Movie Confidential

Noise Pollution alumni, former Bodyhammer vocalist and Last Call Film Festival curator Andy Schanie can now add author to his list of credits. His first book Movie Confidential, a skewed look at the seedy underbelly of the film industry across the years, has now been published. Congratulations, Andy!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Summer Release Schedule

STRAIGHT A's Self Help
Straight A's will be releasing their debut 18 song album this Thursday at Skull Alley. Also playing will be labelmates The Teeth and Sightings (from NY). Show is at 8pm and costs $5. Straight A's recorded this album last summer with the esteemed Trip Barriger at Studio K and worked for months with him tweaking everything. The results sound fantastic. Self Help features guest spots by Lucky Pineapple's horn section, Sue Crocker and Dan Moore, and extra percussion by Thommy Browne. Cd's are in now and we hope to have the LP's in time for the show. Straight A's will also be playing an Ear Xtacy in-store on Saturday, May 15th around 4pm. This is the afternoon of the Endpoint/Cerebellum show, so come on out to the store before the big reunion show.

Coinciding with their upcoming reunion show (with Endpoint on May 15), Noise Pollution will be reissuing Cerebellum's classic five song cassette from 1989 (originally released by the Slamdek Recording Company). The reissue will be on LP and will include a digital download of the album. Side one will contain the remastered 1989 cassette (Fire, House, Winter, Marble, Calm) while side two will contain five newly recorded versions of classic Cerebellum songs that were never previously recorded (Begin, Guard, Hurt, Brighten, Crawl Out of the Water). It has taken a truly collaborative effort from everyone involved to make this project a reality. Much thanks to all the guys in the band and to recording engineer Trip Barriger for all their hard work to pull this crazy idea off. In addition to their performance with Endpoint, Cerebellum will also be playing a follow up show at Skull Alley on July 31st to celebrate the album's release. More details on that to follow soon.

THE WEB Clydotorous Scrotodhendron
Completing their slow reemergence from the abyss, the enigmatic Louisville legends THE WEB will be releasing their (very, very) long awaited third album, Clydotorous Scrotohendron, next month. The seven song album will be released on LP with letter pressed covers by Dexterity Press. The album will also include a free digital download. The release show will take place at Vernon Club (1575 Story Ave) on Saturday, June 12th. Opening for The Web will be Phantom Family Halo and Softcheque. Doors at 9pm. Cost is $6. 18 and over. As huge fans of The Web for many years, we are thrilled and honored to have them on the label.

In partnership with, Noise Pollution will making available a sampler of our output from the past several years in the form of a FREE digital download. 17 songs from such kick ass artists as Lucky Pineapple, The Teeth, The Web, Second Story Man, Brett Ralph, Straight A's, Cerebellum, Metroschifter, Minnow, Evergreen, VRKTM and more. We hope to have this available sometime next week.

Chime Hours were active for a brief period last year and was comprised of members with roots in bands such as Hedge, OUT., By the Grace of God and Straight A's. Chime Hours had begun recording an EP to be released on Noise Pollution, but subsequently broke up which caused the release to be canceled. Well, Chime Hours have reconstituted themselves and the EP is back on! This EP contains six songs which serve as an introduction to the band's abrasive, Gravity Records-esque sound and will be available in very limited quantities. No release date has been set yet, but we expect to see it out by mid summer.

The Glasspack will be belatedly celebrating their 10 year anniversary with this split seven inch with fellow road warriors Trophy Wives. The record will feature one song from each band: The Glasspack's "If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say" and Trophy Wives' "Firecracker" along with a bunch of bonus tracks by both bands included as a digital download. It's gonna be a steal really. The release show will be Saturday, August 21st at Zanzabar (2100 Preston St.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Burn to Shine to premiere (finally)

And more from Peter Berkowitz...

The Louisville volume of Brendan Canty and Christoph Green's Burn to Shine DVD series will be making it's premiere on May 22nd. The DVD will feature performances from Lucky Pineapple, Will Oldham, Lords, Shipping News, VRKTM and more. For all the details, check out Peter's post.

The Glasspack interview

Peter Berkowitz recently interviewed Dave Johnson from The Glasspack. Check it out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Second Story Man bassist Justin Davis will be playing his last show with the band on April 16th at Skull Alley. Also playing will be The Shondes, Adventure and Laura Borealis. Come on out and give the fine gentleman a proper send off.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jason Noble article in Velocity

Nice piece on Jason Noble in Velocity's music issue this week. Jason talks about his time in King G and J Krew, Rodan, Rachel's and Shipping News.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kentucky Chrome Revue

Brett Eugene Ralph's Kentucky Chrome Revue will be celebrating the release of their first album with a show at the Nachbar (969 Charles Street) on Friday, March 5th. Also on the bill for the release show will be Black Nasty out of Austin, TX and Thomas A. Minor & The Picket Line. Tickets are available now at the Nachbar for $8, but will be $10 day of the show.

We've had the pleasure of working with Brett, albeit in a limited fashion, on the Bold Beginnings project a few years back and are thrilled to now be helping the Kentucky Chrome Revue album see the light of day. The album features a host of guest performers including such luminaries as Will Oldham, Catherine Irwin (Freakwater), Jason Loewenstein (Sebadoh), Jolie Holland, Wink O'Bannon and Peter Searcy. It was recorded with Paul Oldham at his farmhouse studio in Shelbyville and features ten songs including a honkytonk version of Iggy & the Stooges "Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell." Brett's debut book of poetry, Black Sabbatical, was also released this past year and can be ordered from Sarabande Books.

The Kentucky Chrome Revue will also be performing with the great Antietam at Bruar Falls (in Brooklyn) on March 28th. This will be the first time Brett has shared the stage with Tim and Tara since 1982. We'll post pictures and/or videos here when and if they show up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Leo review of The Teeth's "Clatter & Jive"

Reviewing EPs can be a tricky proposition — does one afford the same considerations of scope and gravity typically associated with a full-length? If you’re dealing with one of the format’s undisputed masterpieces (Signals, Calls and Marches, Chronic Town) you certainly do, and if Clatter & Jive doesn’t quite reach the heights of those landmarks, it’s still an effective, concentrated blast of energy much weightier than its three-track length would suggest.

The band includes Lucky Pineapple guitarist Matt Dodds, but that band’s expansive experimental rock is miles away from The Teeth’s lean, jagged post-hardcore. Best is “Huevos Cubanos,” a down-tempo instrumental that contrasts the band’s other Archers of Loaf-style compositions without stealing their power. Rarely has both a band’s name and the title of their record been so appropriate.

- Eric Condon

Leo review of SSM's Screaming Secrets

Screaming Secrets finds Second Story Man flexing every muscle they have. “Clocks” is my favorite (next to the more personal but more powerful “Traffic Jams”), but that’s because of my hard-rock bias (and Carrie Neumayer’s bad-ass scream). When they want to get loud, you better believe they will, and when they want to fully develop a sound or song, they’ll do that, too.

It isn’t hard to tell that this well-organized, coherent album took more than a year of work: Auxiliary banjos and violins don’t seem haphazard; rather they accentuate each song’s specific goals.
SSM’s service of the song — no matter how different, harmonic or twangy it needs to be — is the band’s most refreshing characteristic. They fill each tune with every twist, turn and texture necessary, make any genre work for them, and tie it together with signature vocal harmonies. This album deserves all the attention it can get.

- Pawl Schwartz

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Endtables coming this Spring on Drag City

Louisville punk pioneers The Endtables will finally be getting the full reissue treatment this April by Chicago's Drag City label. The reissue will be available on CD, LP and digital download and will contain their original 4 song EP, their 2 song posthumous seven inch and some live stuff recorded way back when at the Louisville School of Art. Three of these tracks along with songs by contemporaries such as Babylon Dance Band, No Fun, Blinders and Malignant Growth can also be found on our own Bold Beginnings: An Incomplete Collection of Louisville Punk 1978-83.

SSM perform "Clocks" on Live Lunch

You can listen to the entire audio of Second Story Man's appearance on WFPK's Live Lunch here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Second Story Man on Live Lunch

Second Story Man is playing live lunch tomorrow (Friday) on WFPK!!! If you're free around 11:30, come on down to the Louisville Public Media building at 619 S. Fourth Street to watch the performance. If you can't be there but are near a radio, please listen to them live at 12 noon on 91.9. More information available here: http://wfpk. org/live- lunch

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More for Jason

Buy a $33.00 ticket to this Calexico & Louisville Orchestra Concert and get a FREE ticket to PHANTASMAGORICAL! @ Headliners on Jan. 31stfeaturing Wax Fang, Lucky Pineapple, Second Story Man, Ultrapulverizeand D.W.Box.... TEN DOLLARS FROM EACH TICKET SOLD GOES DIRECTLY TO JASON NOBLE!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Screaming Secrets review from last month's Velocity

In 11 years, a band develops certain characteristics that are difficult to break. In the case of Second Story Man, this has too often meant being deliberate and restrained. The band's previous records, 2002's "Pins and Needles" and the 2006 EP "Red Glows Brighter," offered moments of brilliance — harmonies that made sense, a hooky intro that held you captive. But Second Story Man never went wild, never became excessive. Even when singer/guitarists Carrie Neumayer and Jeremy Irvin raised their voices, it seemed too premeditated. "Screaming Secrets" is a coming out party, then. The guitars go off on tangents, the screams are in earnest and the rhythms are more intense. After a decade of toiling in Louisville, this quartet has found a new gear.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trophy Wives & "Dirty" Dave Johnson performing at Mag Bar reopening

Trophy Wives will be playing a mostly acoustic set this Saturday for the Mag Bar's (2nd and Magnolia) re-opening. Also playing will be "Dirty" Dave Johnson of The Glasspack doing the solo thing.

The Teeth featured on Stumblemix Vol. 3

And speaking of Joe.... The Teeth's "The Generator" from their brand spanking new Clatter & Jive seven inch is featured on Stumblemix Vol. 3 courtesy of the St. Louis based music blog Last Days of Man on Earth. There's a ton of other cool stuff on there as well including fellow Louisvillians Hal Dolls.

Straight A's and Evergreen on Village Voice Top 10 List

Well, actually they both landed on Joe's Stumble's Top 10 Albums of 2009 list for the annual Pazz n Jop Village Voice poll. Thanks, Joe!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Antietam's awesome new website

Antietam have just launched their new website which is chock full of good stuff. In the history section in particular, there is a ton of information on the different eras of the band which also stretch as far back as the days of No Fun and Babylon Dance Band. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SSM on Off the Record

Second Story Man's appearance on WFPK's "Off the Record" aired this week. You can check it out online here. No f-f-f-foolin'.

Pics from Metroschifter / SSM / Frontier(s)

Photos from last weekend's Metroschifter / Second Story Man / Frontier(s) show are now online. All the bands killed it in front of a packed house. Sorry to those who were turned away.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Endpoint Reunion

Word just came out that Louisville hardcore legends Endpoint will be reuniting this May for a benefit show for Jason Noble. That's all we know at this time, but more information will be coming along shortly.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Metroschifter - Second Story Man - Frontier(s)

Metroschifter returns from their European tour with their first Louisville show in a year this Saturday (January 9th). Performing with their classic Ritcher-McClimans-Reinstatler lineup, the band will be playing songs from their recently released album Carbonistas along with all the hits from their 15 year history. Second Story Man will be playing in the middle (after killing it at the Empty Bottle in Chicago last week) and Frontier(s) opens. @Zanzabar 2100 South Preston. Doors at 9pm, music at 10pm. $5. 21+.