Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Before I go in to all the exciting stuff for this year, very quickly: if you've covered Noise for the Needy in the past, thank you tremendously for helping to make the previous years such glowing successes. Honestly. Thank you. It's people like you getting the word out about the amazing work that NFTN does that helps each year's fest grow and grow--and this year aims to be no exception in terms of expansion on previous awesomeness.

If you're unfamiliar, Noise for the Needy is a Seattle, WA-based non-profit organization that raises money for charitable causes through the production of live music shows. This year's NFTN recipient charity is the incredible Teen Feed, a secular agency that provides meals to young adults (25 and under) five nights a week in the University District of Seattle. They average about 40 to 50 guests each night, serving over 11,000 meals per year. They also provide crisis intervention and help homeless youth gain access to case management, healthcare, and shelter. Teen Feed is hoping that the money from this year’s Noise for the Needy festival will allow them to provide meals seven nights a week and make connections with even more homeless youth to help facilitate the transition out of homelessness. Good stuff.

Noise for the Needy is really excited to announce its Festival Kickoff benefit shows, and we'd love it if you could help spread the word. Details are below. As always, thanks--and I'll be in touch soon with more NFTN news!


Noise for the Needy and House of Hands present:
NFTN 2010 Festival Kickoff benefit$12 JOINT COVER AVAILABLE!

Buy joint cover tickets here:

300 Fairview Ave N
7PM | $10/ADV | 21+ | Cash bar
All bar proceeds benefit NFTN
Performances by:
DJ sets by:
Buy tickets here:

609 Eastlake Ave E
8:30PM | $8 | 21+
A portion of bar sales benefit NFTN
Performances by:
Buy tickets here:

Noise for the Needy presents: An early evening with Dan Bern (his first Seattle performance in four years).
Sunset Tavern
5433 Ballard Ave NW
7PM | 12 ADV/$15 DOS | 21+
Dan Bern
Common Rotation


Typhoon set to open for Yann Tiersen for a string of dates in April!

It's true, our favorite Portland big-band is growing up fast! They head out on tour next month with the esteemed Yann Tiersen...

Tour dates:

04.14.10 - Visalia, CA @ Cellar Door

04.15.10 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall

04.16.10 - Santa Cruz @ Rio Theatre

04.19.10 - Tucson @ Rialto Theatre

04.21.10 - Austin, TX @ Mohawk

04.22.10 - Dallas, TX @ Granada Theatre

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jared Mees & the Grown Children shake the blues away with Magnet!

Jared Mees & the Grown Children are featured in Magnet magazine for the amazing single "Shake" off of their 2010 tour ep! If you missed them on this last tour, do not worry... the band has some major plans that we'll be announcing soon!

Jawbreaker in Vanity Fair!

Read Michael Hogan's awesome Vanity Fair piece on today's reissue of Jawbreaker's "Unfun" HERE. HERE.


HOLY HAPPY RELEASE TUESDAY, EVERYONE! Today marks the release of Patrick Bower & The World Without Magic's incredible "The Dark Lord (of Love)" (FunFact) and the reissue of Jawbreaker's seminal "Unfun" (Blackball Records). Congrats, all--and get in touch with us for your review copies if you don't already have 'em! Very limited number of Jawbreaker left.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Riot Act @ SXSW on Thursday - Nathan's take

Thursday came up with tons of sun and tons of emails, wait I have to work on this work trip?

Yes, yes I do. After answering about a bazillion emails, Joan and I headed out to Jaime's Spanish Village for a lunch with all of you internet friends! Margarita and taco in hand, I proceeded to come across so many new faces that I can barely remember all their names. Sorry, I'm bad at that! It was a rad time and we wrapped up just in time to head over to Waterloo Records to catch Visqueen and Shellshag doing an interview and acoustic set in the Clear Wireless mobile studio.

Well, well, well google maps. You are full of shit. Joan and I proceeded to have the most lovely walk over Ladybird Johnson Lake where we saw turtles and all sorts of bird and then proceeded to some sort of strip mall where Waterloo Records most definitely was not. The temperature was climbing and I was burning, thankfully Joan had sunblock. We quickly realized, if you want to look cool in Austin, you've gotta wear shades and you've gotta know where you're going.

We arrived just in time to see Shellshag load into the green bus and take off. We laughed our butts off as we watched them translate their songs into an acoustic set on the big screen tvs in the parking lot. Shell even managed to unbuckle and throw some stage antics into the set.

It's hot, we've walked way too much and we need showers. Back to the hotel! Walk, walk, walk... which way is the hotel? Lost again!! We arrive at the hotel and we can either run to the KRS Showcase in sweat and pain or we can catch a break and go to dinner looking and smelling human again. We opt for the latter...

Dinner with friends from K Records at the cuban restaurant was fun and tasty! Paying $5 for lone star beers was a little bananas though. It was midwest flavor and alcohol content coupled with Pac Northwest prices, what?

It's now 9:00 and I'm yet to see a single band today. Still, when Davey Brozowski from Black Whales (in town playing percussion with Broken Bells) asks me if I want to grab a drink out of the mayhem, I can't resist. $4 for a 32 oz shiner bock, yes please! After relaxing for an hour or two, Davey has to head off to a private Broken Bells performance that I'm decidedly not invited to.

Walking down the strip of mayhem I saw a few truly horrible things that have no place here and I was fortunately whisked off by a friend to see Cubic Zirconia play a set in some loft space. MIA delivery with a live drummer, crammed into a tiny space. It was great... followed up by some average breakers and then, sleep. For a music festival, I didn't catch much music on Thursday.

Riot Act @ SXSW on Wednesday - Nathan's take

Oh man, out the door at six am and Joan and I are off for Austin... my first, her 14th? We've managed to coerce the notable Jessica Hopper into believing that we'll be suitable roommates in her room at the hotel and the bags are packed. The flight into Dallas was unremarkable with the exception of a puking, naked four year old girl in the seat next to me. SXSW PARTY!

Arriving in Dallas and awaiting our flight, you sensed the excitement in the air. Fact: I had the audio book version of "Our Noise" the Merge Records story on my iPhone for the trip and who do we have lunch with, the drummer from Superchunk. Fact two: I'm rereading "Our Band Could Be Your Life" and as we line up at the gate, the author is in line behind us. I was waiting for Neil Young to come on board wearing his I Heart Nathan Walker shirt to make the circle complete.

We arrived at our hotel safely to have our taxi door ripped open by what we thought to be the bellhop. It was not. Instead it was an incredibly intoxicated, suburban male wearing a "kiss me I'm Irish" pin who blurted out "Wellll excushe mmeee!" as we looked at him in horror. As Joan paid our friendly driver, I unloaded our luggage to the sweet sounds of a ska version of "Take On Me" while I watched the partyman buckle at the knees repeatedly and hold back puke with each belch. SXSW!! We are here!

We had a whopping thirty minutes to freshen up and rush to see Visqueen at Stubb's as part of the NPR showcase! Wow, what a trip seeing Rachel and team blast out powerful song after song. They started the show with "So Long" and to see them on that giant stage after all the work everyone's put in and to hear those lyrics... well, I can't say my eyes were dry.

After the show, Joan and I parted ways as I had an in at the artists' free backstage bar with my friends in Finn Riggins and, one of my favorite writers, Emily Youssef. Apparently, when you're around free booze, time flies and it was time to rally my energy to see K Records, Jeremy Jay. It was a stellar end of the night as we bore witness to a whole room of folks at the Beauty Bar couples dancing! Seriously, it had all of the innocence of a high school dance and, yet again, I was standing at the back having had too much too drink!


NEXT TUESDAY IS AN EPIC ONE! Both Patrick Bower & The World Without Magic's "The Dark Lord (of Love)" (FunFact) and the remastered, bonus track-laden reissue of Jawbreaker's classic "Unfun" (Blackball Records) come out on Tuesday! Stay tuned for exciting updates....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


"It's what you do. You soldier on. That's rock and roll." INDEED.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Riot Act Media in Tape Op

Not only did we get the chance to spend an afternoon with the amazing folks at Tape Op and all of the magazine's fans, but we had the opportunity to have Larry Crane (Tape Op's main man) hand us a copy of the newest issue with our advertisement in it! Such an amazing magazine... look for more news from us on Tape Op in the near future.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Due to a string of delays, everyone here at Riot Act didn't get back until this morning's wee hours--but we're now stretching our stretches and getting ready to ROLL. This year's SXSW was a doozy, and a full report of the action will be up soon. For now, we'd love to point you towards listening to the first crazy shit we saw: our very own Visqueen at the NPR Music showcase at Stubb's on Wednesday playing with Spoon, Broken Bells, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and The Walkmen. Obviously, they killed it dead. LISTEN HERE!

Visqueen blew minds at Stubbs on Wednesday!

Seriously, writers have been going bananas at the stellar show Visqueen played for the NPR showcase on Wednesday:

"I've wanted to see Rachel Flotard and her band play live pretty much since I first listened to their album Message to Garcia last year, but got waylayed a few times en route to the NPR showcase at Stubb's tonight. I slipped in just in time to hear them close the set, playing this song to a nearly-capacity crowd in the amphitheater behind the BBQ joint. It was tight and fierce and totally generous in the way most Visqueen songs are and all I wanted was for the band to just keep on playing. All the hundreds and hundreds of day parties and showcases that didn't book these guys for the rest of the week are absolute failures." Rachel Maddux, Paste

The group only had time for five songs, but they were five winners: “Capitol” was flat-out blistering, and Flotard’s powerful voice filled the amphitheater on “Ward.” Visqueen ended with “Fight for Love.” Eric Danton, Listen Dammit

"Visqueen was able to make it bring their unique four-to-the-floor brand of rock ‘n’ roll to SXSW. “I can’t believe that my band is actually here,” gushed Flotard." Darren Ressler, Limewire

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jared Mees & the Grown Children gambled it all in Vegas...

...and won!!!!

"As the night roared on, you wouldn’t believe the kind of sounds coming out of Jared Mees and the Grown Children, also from Portland. Earlier, the lead singer was just a guy standing quietly, listening to all the bands,. But when Mees and his band hit the stage, the atmosphere exploded.

Mees’s lyrics came off as informational pop, as he lamented how hard a year everyone’s had on the song “Tallest Building in Hell.” On “Grave Robbers,” the band switched gears and hit some great rockabilly rhythms that had the crowd dancing en masse. Trumpet player Javier was an underlying current in the whole affair. His high-blasting sounds channeled Herb Alpert.

Mees was thankful to the whole crowd and spoke of supporting local music, and received a huge ovation as a result." Aziz Bawany, Las Vegas City Life

Archeology release new video for "By the By"

Archeology | By the By | Music Video from on Vimeo.

Archeology "Memorial" out today!

If you're yet to hear this wonderful slap of thoughtful indie pop, please do get in touch now!

"The brainchild of Oregonian musicians Jason Davis and Daniel Walker,Archeology crafts harmonic, lush pop with a sharp lyrical edge."Leigh Belz, Teen Vogue

"If you’re not from Portland, this is probably the first time you’ve heard of the band, but I suspect it won’t be the last." Abbey Simmons, Sound On The Sound

"Minimalist folk roots and vocal harmonies that rival Fleet Foxes permeate the record. The quality of the work grows more and more apparent the more times you listen to it, until songs like the triumphant "White Walls" become irresistible." Peter Kearns, Snob's Music

"The band shines when they steer away from the dreary, though, and show their fun side, like in the drum-heavy “White Walls” and the catchy “New San Salvador.” Deeanna Uutela, the Deli Magazine

"Their backgrounds make for some predictably ripe lyrical territory: sins, faith, heaven and hell provide the ruminative fire behind the hand-claps and gentle instrumentation." Matt March, In Forty

Monday, March 15, 2010

SPINNER interviews Shellshag!

Brooklyn-based musical duo Shellshag isn't your typical girl/boy band. Jennifer Shagawat beats away on the drums, playing next to John Driver (Shell), who belts out the lyrics, and the duo is also a couple off-stage. Before Shellshag embarks on a trip to SXSW, Spinner recently caught up with Jen Shag (with Shell sometimes piping in with an answer or two) while the band was camping out in Florida getting to ready to perform at the Harvest of Hope Festival.

Describe your sound.

Minimal rock. Indie punk. Warm and fuzzy, recorded. Loud and unpredictable, live.

How did your band form?

We lived together, and love playing music. Not sure how the band actually formed.
Were you a band before a couple or a couple before a band?

Couple before a band. When we met, we really didn't want to become a couple. We tried to ignore each other, because we liked each other so much. We've been a couple for 12 years. We have recorded as Shellshag that long too, but only been doing it live for five years.

Who are your musical influences?

The Breeders, This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, Pavement, Sonic Youth, 50 Million, Kung Fu USA, Static Faction, to name a few.

How did you pick your band name?

John's nickname is Shellhead, my last name is Shagawat ... get it?

Beatles or Rolling Stones?

Jen: Beatles.

Shell: Beatles.

What's your biggest vice?

Cigarettes, green tea and honey.

What's in your festival survival kit?

Jen: My pillow.

Shell: Right now, the autobiography of Lemmy from Motorhead.

What's your musical guilty pleasure?

Jen: Eminem.

Shell: The Darkness.

What's the craziest thing you've seen while performing?

During one of our shows at mission records in San Francisco years ago, we passed out lighters with little American flags, so when you lit the lighter, the flag would go up in flames. So a guy in the middle of our set bent over and stuck the flag up his (butt). And that was really memorable. The flag was about 10 inches, and it had a red ball on the end of the stick. Later on, the guy came up to us and said that when he pulled the flag out, the little red ball got stuck, so he was walking around with the ball stuck up his bum all night.

Kelly Rose is a contributor from

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PARTY! We're heading down to SXSW and hosting a massive showcase!

It's going to be a wild time and we'd love to see you there! Did we mention it's free?

Event Details:

Riot Act Media / Smoke Signals / Tender Loving Empire Presents
The Portland Indie Industry Party

Saturday, March 20th
The Liberty
1618 1/2 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
FREE / 21+ / 11am - 6pm

White Fang - 11:00 Portland, OR - Gnar Tapes

World's Greatest Ghosts - 11:40 Portland, OR - Luck Madison

Shellshag - 12:20
Brooklyn, NY (aka Portland East) - Don Giovanni

Boy Eats Drum Machine - 1:00
Portland, OR - Tender Loving Empire

Wampire - 1:40
Portland, OR - High Scores & Records

Carolyn Mark - 2:20
Victoria, BC (aka Portland North) - Mint Records

All Smiles - 3:00
Portland, OR - Small Aisles

Blunt Mechanic - 3:40
Portland, OR - Barsuk Records

Finn Riggins - 4:20
Boise, ID (aka Potato Portland) - Tender Loving Empire

Jared Mees & the Grown Children - 5:10
Portland, OR - Tender Loving Empire

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tender Forever "No Snare" coming June 8th!

It's with great, massive joy that we can tell you that there's a new album from Tender Forever coming out June 8th from Olympia's esteemed K Records. Be prepared for No Snare!

Watch the video for "How Many" from her previous release Wider:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010



Blackball Records presents the 20th anniversary edition of Jawbreaker's beloved 1990 debut album Unfun--twelve groundbreaking tracks (sixteen on the CD) that captured the very inception of emo's big band and launched a galaxy of young, earnest bands and the scenes that love them.

Unfun has been remastered by John Golden from the original analog tapes; the increased sampling rate boosts some of the bottom end and mid-range. It sounds fucking awesome. The vinyl version is available for the first time since 1992, and the CD and download versions of the record include the three-song Whack & Blite EP, as well as the 7-inch mix of "Busy" as an unlisted bonus track. This reissue features restored original artwork, and all formats include additional band photos from the time of recording. The CD comes with a 24-page booklet with the Whack & Blite insert reproduced in its entirety.

"Want" and "Fine Day" were in heavy rotation on college radio back in the day, and remained set list staples throughout Jawbreaker's run. Unfun wound up on a lot of fanzine top ten lists, and even the mainstream press took notice. Rolling Stone called it "a feast of heavy melody and righteous braying that roars along with all the spit and spirit of Husker Du's New Day Rising."


1 Want
2 Seethruskin
3 Fine Day
4 Incomplete
5 Imaginary War
6 Busy
7 Softcore
8 Driven
9 Wound
10 Down
11 Gutless
12 Drone
13 Lawn
14 Crane
15 Eye-5
16 Busy (7" mix) (Bonus Track)

Joan Hiller Depper, Nathan Walker, Riot Act Media.
Joan AT
Nathan AT

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Lights new album, Failed Graves, out nationally on April 27th!

Holy crap! I can't tell you how stoked we are to work with one our favorite bands of all time, the Lights! Their full length album, Failed Graves, is out everywhere at the end of April on Wäntage USA and shit is going to get heavy around the Riot Act Offices... stay tuned for more, way more, on this trio.

"In pre-anesthesia times when Doctors performed brain surgery, patients threw back whisky and bit down on leather to cope with the pain. Conscious, with their skulls opened, they encountered so much pain that they entered a trance like state of suspended hallucinatory shock where all was beautiful, no pain. This is what happens when you listen to the Lights." Trent Moorman, Seattle Weekly

"The coolest thing about the Lights is how they are able to take their UK post punk influences, travel up to the mountains to some isolated shack and boil them down in a still and come up with something that sounds like wild mountain men doing angular punk rock. Listening to the Lights reminds me of stuff like Gang of Four, Johnny Horton, Neil Young, New Model Army and Eleventh Dream Day, but they don’t really sound like any of those. The Lights have done something that many before them often fail to do, distill their influences into something acerbically unique." the Finest Kiss

"The Lights' sound has grown from the starker efforts of the past to a lusher and more detailed document that embellishes the band's angular, aggressive sound with sharper pop sensibilities." Hannah Levin, Rocket Queen

Here's a video from their last album from none other than Lynn Shelton, director of Humpday and MTV's upcoming $5 Cover Seattle (which the band costars in!), for the song "Setting Sun."

Jared Mees & the Grown Children shake the blues away and offer up their newest studio effort "Shake" from their 2010 Tour Ep!

Kicking off their March tour tomorrow (dates here), the band shares this six minute rave-up where the band attempts to shake off winter's grip. Around the 3:00 minute mark, the band splits open into the joyous celebratory sound we know and love them for...

Feel free to share "Shake" on your site, blog, radio show or podcast and, as always, get in touch for interviews, guest list or anything else you may need. This is easily the most fun band on our roster.

New Boy Eats Drum Machine album, Hoop & Wire, out now!

"His latest, Hoop + Wire neatly balances his charming exuberance with an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to musical composition." Ezra Ace Caraeff, Portland Mercury

"On Hoop + Wire, Ragel meticulously builds up sounds, layering chunky guitar chords, drum breaks, bass synth, turntable scratches and saxophone blurts over warm, hummable melodies. Despite his collage-like approach, Ragel is actually playing all the instruments, not sampling from other sources." Michael Mannheimer, Willamette Week

"Boy Eats Drum Machine is danceable, humable, singable, driveable, relatable and at times relentlessly catchy. There are tunes on "Hoop+Wire" that will lodge in your brain and won't be annoying. These are melodies that take work." Ryan White, the Oregonian

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Saturday, March 20th.
1618 1/2 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
FREE / 21+ / 11am - 6pm

Finn Riggins (BOISE, ID)
Jared Mees & the Grown Children (PORTLAND, OR)
Boy Eats Drum Machine (PORTLAND, OR)
World's Greatest Ghosts (PORTLAND, OR)
Blunt Mechanic (SEATTLE, WA)
Shellshag (BROOKLYN, NY)
Carolyn Mark (VICTORIA, BC)


Monday, March 1, 2010

Sea of Bees last night in Portland

Well, well, well... Joan and I had our mind's blow last night when we had our first chance to see Sea Of Bees live. Her voice is from another dimension! Sorry for the poor video quality, if you need to, close your eyes and be swept up in the magic of this song.