Thursday, September 9, 2010

News: Netherfriends - RVA Magazine - Daily Fix 9/8/10

DAILY FIX: Netherfriends, RVA, 4/19/10

Posted by: Andrew – Sep 08, 2010

This truly excellent video of the Netherfriends performing at a house show in Richmond on April 19 of this year was shot and put together by Graham Ohmer. We've talked about the Netherfriends before, but coming upon this video this morning was my first real experience with their music, and I was absolutely entranced. As the video depicts--with surprising fidelity, considering the circumstances of its filming--the Netherfriends have a loud, rough, but overwhelmingly melodic and catchy sound. Filling in for the lack of a bass player with keyboard drones and outstanding, funky drumming, they transcend source limitations on this video, as well as the fact that they were clearly playing in a room not designed for live music, to blow the crowd away. At one point (4:30), during a lull in the music, someone in the crowd screams, "OH MY GOD!" then babbles something indistinct. "What?" singer Shawn Rosenblatt asks into the microphone. "You guys are SICK!" the guy yells, just as the band slams right back into the song at full volume.

This video captures more than just the excellent music of the Netherfriends, though. It's also a great document of the best, most unique parts of attending house shows in Richmond. You can just feel the cramped nature of the room during the video, the way the band members and their instruments have been tightly fitted into a space that is, strictly speaking, smaller than they'd generally need. When touring guitarist Andy Molholt shakes a percussion instrument at the beginning of the video, you feel like he's going to bop you right in the face. During the most exuberant parts of the set (5:00-5:15), kids dance despite the cramped nature of the room, and the camera gets knocked around, winds up pointing at the backs of people's heads, or at nothing in particular. It's just like actually being there--you want to watch the band, but whether you'll be able to at any given moment is out of your control. You might have to just close your eyes, put your head down, and dance.

The Netherfriends were in Richmond as part of their 50 Songs In 50 States Project, an extremely ambitious year-long effort put into motion by bandleader/only constant member Shawn Rosenblatt back at the beginning of April, and which still continues to this day. The goal of the project is to write and record one song in each of the 50 states in one year's time. Having forsaken the lease on his apartment in Chicago, Shawn left for a tour that will stretch on until next spring, playing shows with whatever musicians he can find who are willing and able to make the journey with him. In the Richmond video, it was Hop Along drummer Mark Quinlan and the aforementioned Andy Morholt, but by now both have returned to their hometowns. Shawn soldiers on, currently in the company of an apparently excellent Irish drummer named Michael. Tomorrow night, they will play in Sacramento. By the end of the month, they'll have traveled across the northernmost regions of the United States, hitting Alaska, Idaho, both Dakotas, and even Montreal. After all of that is over, they'll return to Richmond as part of their October leg of shows, performing here (if all goes according to plan) on October 11. Here's hoping that they draw an even bigger crowd this time.

The first Netherfriends full-length, Barry And Sherry, will be released on vinyl November 8 by Chicago's Lateral Records. It can be preordered here, or obtained in digital form right now at Lateral will also be releasing the first EP documenting the 50 Songs 50 States Project, which will include the song that the Netherfriends recorded in Richmond.

By Andrew Necci

Friday, August 20, 2010

News: Netherfriends Tour Update

Updated Aug 23rd:
Aug 23 2010     9:00P  Sunset Tavern     Seattle, WA    
Sep   3 2010     9:00P  Berbati's Pan     Portland, or    
Sep   4 2010     9:30P  The Space     Salem, Oregon    
Sep   5 2010     9:00P  Milk Bar     San Francisco, California    
Sep   6 2010     7:30P  Mama Buzz Cafe     Oakland, California    
Sep   7 2010     9:00P  Silverlake Lounge     Los Angeles, California    
Sep 10 2010     9:00P  The Closet     Reno, Nevada    
Sep 12 2010     9:30P  Rendezvous/JewelBox Theater     Seattle, Washington
Sep 18 2010     9:00P  University of Alaska Fairbanks Pub Fairbanks, Alaska

Sep 22 2010     7:00P  Flying M Coffee Garage: Nampa (Boise), Idaho    
Sep 26 2010     7:00P  The Aquarium (Dempsey's) Fargo, North Dakota    
Oct  14 2010     9:00P  529     Atlanta, Georgia

27th     Chicago
29th     Detroit

4th       New Hampshire
5th       Boston
6th       New Jersey
10th     Baltimore
11th     Richmond
12th     North Carolina
13th     Atlanta
14th     Atlanta
15th     Atlanta
16th     North Carolina
17th     Virginia
18th     Philly

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Media: Netherfriends - Daytrotter Session, September 26th, 2009

Check out this archived Daytrotter session from September 26th 2009, featuring songs from Netherfriends' first EP, Calling You Out. You can download the entire session by using the Daytrotter Download Manager.

-Words By Daytrotter's Sean Moeller:

"Shawn Rosenblatt, the lone constant in the Chicago band Netherfriends, is some kind of a mastermind. The young man with the slightly slumped shoulders and the ever-changing group of friends and hired guns has such an expert way with indie rock arrangement and with the tricky business of sounding both unfamiliar and like something that we've been intimate with time and again. It's as if we could recall his songs by closing our eyes and checking in with our olfactory sensibilities and we should be able to arrive at a clear picture - like a demented circus train, or a hammer hitting a bullet sending a gorgeous distress signal up from a life raft to explode over a vast and terrifying ocean. He seems to have gone out with a net and corralled all of the tails of every comet that's come close enough to Earth to nab, bundled them and then shocked them into weird motions and dance maneuvers. They are trained to serve his songs loyally and to add some creative energies as well, making the workload less taxing. Netherfriends songs involve a combination of a few things: there are the jumpy expressions of literate aggression, the warm, hollow-bodied guitar work, the louds and the softs, the bridges of gooey ooos and ahhs and baaas, the feelings of desperate continuance and a countenance that most likely pays the closest attention to those gooey bridges when they're spiked with some kind of illicit liquor. From one song, we're led to believe that there's nothing good enough to get out of the shower or the bed, which reminds me of what sounded to be a suicidal disc jockey on the local radio station yesterday afternoon making what he probably thought was an insightful, rhetorical question, "Ever wonder how those little miracles, like how you got out of bed this morning to face the day, happen?" Rosenblatt takes that stance only mildly on "Worean Kar," a song that is partially inspired by the grandfather who helped put all of his grandchildren through college with the money that he made as a professional photographer, shooting the Korean War and as the go-to guy for New York City mobsters when their loved ones were getting married. The jaunty number, which begins with some piano trippings - those artful stumbles of someone so good that there's no reason to care about the frayed ends and pieces - and gallops through like a pissy, but pretty number that Tim Kasher would write. Then the barroom piano's back after a lazy fog storm in the middle of the song, all before Rosenblatt just starts singing," Korean War," over and over. These are songs that all of the young 20-somethings out there can relate to in that the characters are searching for some breaks, looking for a way to make ends meet both mentally and externally. Rosenblatt lets his songs hit you between the eyes, in the guts, across the heart and knife you in the back. They're full of betrayal - personal betrayal and natural betrayal that really just amounts to how the cards fall. He asks for an unknown someone to pour him some slack, which could just be an alcoholic metaphor, or it could be seen as something so easy that it could happen just as a glass of milk is poured into a glass. He sings, "I always wanted something else and nothing more," and it's that unmistakable desire that shines through all of these songs of tough love and tougher skin."

Netherfriends - Daytrotter Session, September 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Media: Stream Netherfriends - Barry and Sherry

<a href="">Brett Easton Ellis Novel by Netherfriends</a>

News: Netherfriends - Barry and Sherry 1st pressing

Netherfriends', Berry and Sharry is being pressed to 150g clear wax in a limited quantity of 500.  The order is almost in and should be available to order around early to mid November. 

Tour: Netherfriends - August Tour


The Project Lodge, Madison, WI

Vaudville Mews, Des Moines, Iowa

Slowdown, Omaha, NE

staging grounds, rapid city, SD

The Nestor Tavern, Fargo, ND

Top Hat Lounge, Missoula, MT

Sunset Tavern, Seattle, WA