Another city; another gig, but not just another band. If you haven’t already heard about Fake Problems, then now is the time, as the boys from Naples, Florida are doing what they do best and releasing their new album, Real Ghosts Caught on Tape, on September 21. Fake Problems define modern punk with an optimistic, melancholy attitude, all the while staying true to their punk roots with addictive guitar riffs, catchy beats and yes, of course, a whole lot of wailing. I recently chatted with vocalist/guitarist Chris Farren and got a reality check about the true definition of a rock and roll band. Farren also set the record straight about the thrills of life on the road and what really happened on the interstate on that memorable day in 2008 in Tennessee.
Not one to disappoint within the realms of easy listening/pop rock music, Little Beirut shines again with an outstanding, solid third album. The band consisting of Hamilton Sims, Edwin Paroissien, Alex Inman, and John Hulcher released Fear of Heaven on September 4 and are fast establishing themselves as, possibly, the next biggest band from the indie rock universe – Portland, Oregon.
Having already won the hearts of critics with their second album, High Dive, Little Beirut explodes again with FOH. It is an album easily played over and over with beautiful, mesmerizing melodies and sensitive rock ballads. With the direction of producers Jeff Stuart and “the Stephen King of indie-pop,” Chris Robley, FOH elevates Little Beirut as a stronger, assured musical unity that’s staying true to their sound.
Little Beirut, a rock/pop quartet hailing from Portland, Oregon, is breaking new ground with its new album, Fear of Heaven, due for release September 4. I recently got to chat with bassist John Hulcher and, contrary to the band’s provocative name, was met with an awesome down to earth attitude and witty sense of humor, and discovered why “Little Beirut: Not weirding you out since 2005” may very well be the band’s motto in the future.
Q: To start, how and when was Little Beirut born, and why did you choose that name?
A: To start, we were born just like any other band, having been dropped on a doorstep by a stork. Our stork was a serious rocker, though a real good dude. Edwin and Hamilton have been writing together since college. Their previous incarnation moved to Portland because they heard it was a great town, dragging twenty people and some cats and dogs with them.
Where else in the world would you rather have been on Saturday, July 31 than in Montreal, where the annual Osheaga Music and Arts Festival went down? Over twenty bands shared this eminent day, as music junkies gathered from across the country for this unforgettable experience of talent debauchery.
My heart was pulsating and I could feel the adrenaline creeping as I arrived at the gates of Osheaga 2010, all the bands running through my mind – Jimmy Cliff, Stars, The National, K’NAAN, Arcade Fire – what an amazing day it was going to be! The weather was flawless: sunny, slight breeze, and immaculately warm. I entered, much to my surprise, without any wait, digging out my map to see where I was bound and the first show to see. Beautiful people littered the grounds, everyone eyeing one another up and down – I give kudos to those who braved the show with kids in tow.