Black Keys Cancel European Tour After Patrick Carney ’s shoulder injury.


Patrick Carney of The Black Keys performs in Kansas City, Missouri on December 21st, 2014. The group was forced to cancel their European tour following Carney’s shoulder injury.

The Black Keys have been forced to cancel their upcoming European tour after drummer Patrick Carney sustained a serious shoulder injury in early January. “We are very sorry to have to cancel our upcoming performances through March 10th. Patrick needs time to heal,” the band said in a statement. “We thank all of our fans for their support and we’re looking forward to getting back on the road.”

While the band hoped to simply postpone the European gigs, due to “prior scheduled commitments and venue availability,” the Turn Blue duo were “unsuccessful” in rescheduling the trek and were forced to scuttle the European leg entirely. In total, 17 concerts were cancelled, including six shows in the United Kingdom highlighted by a March 3rd performance at London’s O2 Arena. Three concerts each in Germany and France, most notably a pair of shows at Paris’ Zenith, were also cancelled due to Carney’s dislocated shoulder.

A rep for the Black Keys confirmed to Rolling Stone that the band will also be unable to perform at the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute to Bob Dylan. That all-star concert is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on February 6th, two days before the Grammys, where the duo are nominated for three awards: Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance for “Fever” and Best Rock Album for Turn Blue. The band’s Australian tour, set to kick off April 2nd in Brisbane, and their subsequent summer music festival appearances, including a stop at Governors Ball, are currently unaffected by the injury.

On January 3rd, Carney was taken to a hospital on the island of Saint-Barthélemy after slamming his shoulder on the ocean floor while swimming. The drummer was rushed to the hospital and administered anesthesia so doctors could reset his dislocated shoulder. Carney, who was still in significant pain following the accident, poked fun at the situation by posting photos of his messed-up shoulder in the hospital on Instagram.

Governors Ball 2014 – NYC


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1. Rain nearly spoiled last year’s Governors Ball, a muddy weekend ultimately redeemed by a closing set by Kanye West. This year’s acts didn’t have to battle Mother Nature for attendees’ attention: Festival-goers were treated to three days of beautiful sun and loud music, featuring headlining sets from Outkast, the Strokes and Jack White. Here are the 30 best things that caught our eyes and ears, featuring everything from hip-hop buddy comedies and nostalgia-triggering rock bands to cuddly R&B and Madonna-approved EDM. By Cady Drell, Claire Lobenfeld and Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

2.  On a bill packed with riveting performers, Phoenix were an undisputed standout. Frontman Thomas Mars was a reckless force of nature for 90 straight minutes, bounding up to the front of the stage and bouncing around like he fronted a punk band rather than an oft-contemplative French alt-pop group. The massive crowd went particularly wild for tracks off the band’s 2009 smash Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, and the band generated a frenzy by closing the night with three of its tracks: “Armistice,” “1901” and “Rome.” In the middle of these, Mars jumped off the stage, crawled over the railing and proceeded to capably surf the crowd for an impressive distance. It was a little terrifying, but mostly it was badass. C.D.

3. The crowd that choose to see Damon Albarn instead of Outkast made the difficult choice to forego a duo of hip-hop royals  but only for about 20 minutes. At one point in between tracks, Albarn joked that he was attempting to “conjure” Maseo – the De La Soul member whose iconic laugh can be heard at the beginning of Gorillaz’ “Feel Good Inc.,” and when the recorded laugh cued, the former Blur frontman was joined onstage by De La Soul’s Trugoy and Posdnuos. After ending the set with Blur’s “All Your Life,” Albarn encored with Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood,” joined by Chicago-based rapper Vic Mensa filling in Del the Funky Homosapien’s verse. C.D.

4. Over a decade after the release of Is This It, the Strokes are still as New York as Zabar’s and the Empire State Building. But before Governor’s Ball, it remained to be seen whether they still had the same chops after going three years without playing live together. Though a show at the small-capacity Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, at the end of May served as a warm-up, this performance felt like both a reunion and a homecoming. After opening with “Barely Legal,” the band played a hit-packed set – complete with audience participation – that included “Razorblade,” “12:51” and “Someday.” They closed with the perennially cool “Last Nite,” and encored with B-side “New York City Cops.” Julian Casablancas’ vocals radiated emotional intensity, even when it kind of looked like he’d forgotten some of the words. Judging by how much the crowd was screaming along, New York is mostly just glad to have them back. C.D.

5. The Strokes’ performance on the Governor’s Ball mainstage was packed to the gills, but there was still a sizable group of people who did not give a nan about these New Yorkers: Childish Gambino fans. For many rap critics, Gambino is considered a somewhat baffling outlier, a sort of backpacky, not-great hip-hop project of a man whose dayjob is a comedian, but for his fans, he is on par with God and Neil deGrasse Tyson, worth seeing regardless of his unfortunate timeslot. They are young, they are wild, they are carefree, they are Childish Gambino’s gigantic fanbase. They are our future. J.E.S.

6. Are they together or aren’t they? We’re just going to bank on the fact that New York audiences will likely never again get to see reunited Outkast in our hometown, particularly on the Governor’s Ball scale, but oh, was it a glorious send-off. They opened with “Bombs Over Baghdad” opened with it! and did not let up for a good hour and a half, impeccably running through hits from every album and seeming extremely happy to do it. The duo traded single tracks from Speakerboxx/The Love Below and seemed to be aware they were weeding out the true fans when Three Stacks dropped “Hey Ya” halfway through the set, with Janelle Monáe appearing onstage as a backup dancer.

Some people left after that pop sing-along, but more stayed, and when Killer Mike came out for Big Boi’s perennial club banger “Kryptonite,” everyone still on the island lost their minds. Not a hit went unturned: “Elevators (Me & You),” “Player’s Ball,” “ATLiens,” “Ms. Jackson,” “Hootie Hoo,” etc, with a surprise appearance by forever-underrated R&B giant Sleepy Brown, who sang the “Way You Move” hook in silk pajamas. Andre 3000 reminded us of the 1995 Source Awards incident in which they were booed for not being from New York, back when regionalism still mattered, but to this crowd of New Yorkers going bananas and rapping back every bar, it was clear Atlanta is always welcome at the table. They ended on the brilliant “Int’l Players Anthem” and “The Whole World,” an epic outro and that felt like a giant hug. Bye, Outkast. Come back again some time. J.E.S.


7.  The problem with introducing new material at a festival is that a band can never be entirely sure how many of their die-hard fans – the ones that actually care to preview this stuff  are in the crowd. Just a few days after announcing that their first album in four years, They Want My Soul, will be released on August 5th, Spoon figured out how to please everyone: In the middle of a hits-packed set that included career-spanning tracks like “Don’t You Evah” and “The Way We Get By,” Britt Daniel and Co. slipped the chugging, slightly psychedelic, undeniably catchy “Rainy Taxi” into the mix, then they went right back into the hits, playing “Turn My Camera On” as if they were wrapping a bow around the whole set. C.D.

8.  “I don’t wanna say we’re icons,” El-P said in the middle of Run the Jewels’ Friday afternoon set, but he and Killer Mike represent something deeper than a buzzworthy rap duo: They’re the guys who have stuck with what they love forever, located their artistic soulmates and attracted more attention than ever before.


But that’s last year’s story. The two were already bursting with collaborative chemistry when they started touring as Run the Jewels, and a year later, that machine is well oiled and unflappable. These days, they not only rap more intently and with higher energy, they goof off more, high-fiving during the “high-five!” ad-lib and Riverdancing during “36” Chain.” The performance included one new track, likely their upcoming song for the Adult Swim Summer Singles Program (El announced that it was not from Run the Jewels 2), and the tune was proof the their potency increases the more they work together. Let’s hope there’s more than just a sequel. C.L.


9.   Janelle is known for her blistering live sets: Her band is tight, her backup singers can wail, and she has a swaggering groove that guides the whole vibrant ship. Singles like “Electric Lady” and “Tightrope” turned the Gov Ball into the kind of party that makes you wonder why she isn’t selling out stadiums like Bruno Mars, particularly because her music is wholly her own. But even when she took the energy level down to perform the Pixies-inflected love song “Primetime” (without Miguel), there was an unshaken buoyancy throughout the crowd. “This is a song for lovers,” she said as the band began. “And if you don’t have a lover, I’ll be your lover.” It was one of the only appropriate times at the festival to nuzzle your mate or, with Monáe’s olive branch to the lonely, to feel some kind of love. Even the broiest of bros were swaying their hips as she belted the words. C.L.

10. Best Madonna-Filled Dance Party: Disclosure. Why? Because Madonna was actually there. After hitting up their DJ set at Williamsburg dance club Output the night before, the Queen of Pop visited Randall’s Island to watch the brothers Lawrence perform their live show, leading many to believe that a collaboration might be in the works. It would make sense, as the group worked with Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, for the “F For You” remix that they used to open their set.


It’s interesting seeing Disclosure become so huge in the States – the bros in the crowd singing along with Aluna Francis when she appeared for “White Noise” were a strange sight indeed – but at gigs like this they probably win over some new fans by playing their tracks live with rototoms, electric drums and bass guitar, demystifying dance music for people who aren’t that into dance music. (Or for people who think house is just nerds on laptops.) Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re two attractive young men with good ears for pop hooks. J.E.S.


11.  The morning after Outkast’s set, Nashville rockers Diarrhea Planet got the day off to a frenzied  and disgustingly named – start. The foursome played tracks off of 2013’s very good I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams with the intensity of a punk show, and ended with eloquent fan-favorite “Ghost With a Boner.” Toward the end of the song, however, the band shifted into a killer version of Outkast’s “Hey Ya.” It’s worth noting that D.P. did the same thing at Alabama’s Hangout Fest in May, where Outkast were also headlining, but no word yet on which headliner they’ll cover at Bonnaroo, where Outkast will not be performing. Fingers-crossed that they take a whack at an Elton John ballad. C.D.

12.  jenny Lewis is known for her killer thrift store finds and well-put-together looks, but she may have topped herself this time: For her Friday daytime slot the singer-songwriter donned a white pantsuit that seemed to be custom-painted with gradient rainbows and stars from shoulder-to-waist, with starry pink boots and blue cat-eye sunglasses to match. The look signified her every dreamy intent, driven home when she took to the keyboards to play “Head Under Water,” the first song from her new solo record. It was a sweet pop hook with a longing pre-chorus: “There’s a little magic, everybody has it,” she sang. “There’s a little bit of fight left in me, yeah.” Couldn’t see her eyes, but no doubt they were twinkling. J.E.S.

13.  After opening with a particularly heady take on the White Stripes track “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” that turned into Lazaretto single “High Ball Stepper” mid-way through, White’s headlining set dove into long stretches where snarling guitar solos nearly entered jam session territory and Lillie Mae Rische mesmerized with her violin and mandolin accompaniment. A twangy “Hotel Yorba” incited so much excited jumping that the ground shook, and “We’re Going to Be Friends,” performed as a duet with Rische, had most of the audience singing along in perfect unison, with White acting as encouraging bandleader. The setlist itself wasn’t a huge departure from that of his last tour, yet its execution post-Lazaretto represents a new high-water mark – bluesier, friendlier and more experimental, all at the same time. C.D.

14. Placing the Strokes and Interpol in second-tier headlining positions provided a firm reminder that about 15 years ago, New York was still a beacon of rock & roll innovation. Julian Casablancas wearing a Hawaiian shirt on Saturday night was a stark reminder that those days are over, but Paul Banks rocking a black suit at Sunday’s Interpol set made it feel like they never left. A Vampire Weekend-anticipating crowd had thinned out the audience for Interpol’s encore, but even in an ocean of tired festival-goers, their 2002 cut “PDA” still felt brand new. C.L.

15.  The Kills’ Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince are reliably cool no matter what they’re doing, but on Sunday afternoon the duo outdid themselves, keeping chatter to a minimum – kind of their M.O., lest they ruin the mystique – and playing in the middle of the stage, flanked by two sets of percussionists who, when not hitting their single respective drums, held their sticks in an “X” shape above their heads. It looked ominous, which is probably what they were going for. C.D.

16. Vampire Weekend checked every box on the “Good Headliner” form and played a varied, occasionally exciting and consistently strong set on Sunday. Playing to their hometown fans like they knew them well, they even laughed when two girls jumped up onstage and started dancing during the encore of “One (Blake’s Got a New Face),” with frontman Ezra Koenig telling a security guard in pursuit that it was alright. They played flawlessly, if a little predictably, and ended with the upbeat fan-favorite “Walcott,” what Koenig described as a “goodbye song.” Then everyone sprinted away so as not to wait in line for the ferry, because that thing took hours. C.D.

17.  Claire Boucher, better known as Grimes, has never been shy about her love of pop music. Her breakout full-length, Visions, was beaming with off-kilter, skittering production pre-dating the alt-pop she has helped make popular. With hula-hoopers and mimes on stage, Boucher delivered three new cuts: “David,” “Sleepwalking” and “Go,” a track she and fellow Canadian producer Blood Diamonds crafted together for Rihanna. All three suggested that the singer is ready to embrace a more mainstream sound, but “Go,” like “We Can’t Stop” before it, sounded exactly like what it is: A Rihanna reject. While clearly not the point, it was bizarre proof that Rih’s perfectionism is often underestimated: Her attitude and seeming frivolity must make people believe that she hasn’t cared to re-up on the fucks she supposedly ran out of so many years ago. Grimes provided, at best, dancehall pantomime that wasn’t sharp-tongued enough for the bad gyal.

18.  It’s not just because he plays from the inside of a spaceship: Skrillex really does not get enough credit for being the nuanced, open-eared music fan that he is. Of course the former emo screamer coats everything in hefty globs of his addictive wobble, but he pays respect to the origins of dubstep in ways that many of its big-name creators have abandoned, playing a mix of dub, dancehall, jungle and UK garage  wait, was that a snippet of Jeff Mills’ “Changes of Life”? Blink and you’ll miss his references, which also include Miami bass, trap, R&B, his own extreme bangers and, improbably, happy hardcore. Skrillex is one of music’s finest polyglots, and he gets better with every set. Anyone who still denies it is, quite simply, missing out. J.E.S.


19.  Axwell and Ingrosso, formerly of Swedish House Mafia, opened their flashily visual set with a new song that let fans know their exact intent. An ethereal voice from the speakers proclaimed: “This time we can’t go home, it’s a new beginning.” A 3D puff of smoke pulsed behind the Stockholm-bred producers, and in came the style of glossy, strobe-ready thump that has made them world-famous: progressive house music with a slight pop bent, but throbby enough to vibe out to.


That first song was titled, as you might have guessed, “This Time We Can’t Go Home,” but they also brought a whole host of new tracks from their forthcoming album, including the excellently titled “We Come, We Rave, We Love,” “Musique Doing Doing” and “Sun Is Shining and So Are You,” interspersed with older Swedish House Mafia tracks (and Steve Angello’s “Payback,” no beef!). They also gave us a taste of “Hold Us Down” and “On My Way” from the new album, which means that Gov Ball festivalgoers probably got to hear a good quarter of their forthcoming release – one of the perks to being truly about that #ravelife and staying out late on a Sunday. J.E.S.


Watch: Pearl Jam Cover the Dead Boys With Joey Ramone

Via Rolling Stone

Pearl Jam have toured with a lot of amazing opening acts over the years, sharing the stage with Iggy Pop, Sleater-Kinney, the Buzzcocks, Cheap Trick and many, many more. But nothing is likely to top four American shows in September 1995, when the Ramones were on the bill. The punk icons were on a farewell tour that year, playing a career high 73 gigs. Their last gig together was September 17th at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans.

During the encore, in a moment that Ramones super fan Eddie Vedder is likely to never forget, Joey Ramone came onstage and sang the Dead Boys classic “Sonic Reducer” with the band. This was obviously before the era of smartphones, but camcorders were rolling in the audience. Here’s the best available video, which was spliced together from two sources.

Despite pledging that they would break-up following their 1995 tour, the Ramones got a big money offer to headline Lollapalooza in the summer of 1996, so the tour kept going. They played their final show at the Palace in Hollywood, California. Eddie Vedder joined them for the final encore, a cover of “Anyway You Want It” by the Dave Clark Five.

Six years later, Eddie Vedder inducted the Ramones in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He spoke for 17 minutes. “They were armed with two-minute songs that they rattled off like machine gun fire,” he said. “It was enough to change the Earth’s revolution. Now it’s Disney kids singing songs written by old men and being marketed to six- and seven-year-olds, so some kind of change might have to happen again soon.”

Tragically, Joey Ramone wasn’t around to receive the honor. He passed away the previous April (Cancer claimed punk legend and Ramones founder). . Dee Dee Ramone died of a heroin overdose just three months later, and Jonny Ramone died of prostate cancer in 2004. Eddie Vedder spoke at his funeral.

With no support other than CBGB owner Hilly Kristal, the Ramones became the first of the New York punk rock and New Wave bands to land a major-label record deal. Their first four records, The Ramones, The Ramones Leave Home, and Road to Run are widely considered the blueprint for punk rock. The band’s legacy was further assured with its starring role in the Roger Corman cult-film, Rock and Roll High School in 1979. A year later the band wore their Sixties pop influences on their sleeves when they enlisted Phil Spector to produce their fifth studio album, End of the Century. The album featured a cover of the Ronettes’ “Baby I Love You,” their biggest hit in either the U.S. or the U.K.

Flashback: The Clash Rock Against Racism in 1978

The Clash – White Riot Live (1978 Victoria Park London)

Taken from the film Rude Boy


In August 1976 a heavily intoxicated Eric Clapton blurted out some very unfortunate remarks onstage at the Birmingham Odeon in England. “England is overcrowded,” he said. “I think we should send them all back.” He went on to add that England was in danger of becoming a “black colony.” Around the same time, David Bowie caused an even greater uproar when he shared some surprising political beliefs. “I believe very strongly in fascism,” he told Playboy. “The only way we can speed up the sort of liberalism that’s hanging foul in the air. . .is a right-wing totally dictatorial tyranny. . .Rock stars are fascists, too. Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.”

Black Keys Plan Massive North American Tour This Fall


Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys performs in Quebec City, Canada. Photo: Scott Legato/Getty Images

Band will be joined by Cage the Elephant, Jake Bugg and St. Vincent at various points during the trek.

The Black Keys will spend this fall hoofing it across North America on a massive tour behind their new record Turn Blue. After a headlining slot at Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores, Alabama and a stretch of dates in Europe, the band will kick off their North American tour at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio on September 5th and wrap things up at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO on December 21st.

The band has also tapped various openers for the multi-leg trek: Cage the Elephant will join the group between September 5th and the 27th, up-and-coming UK rocker Jake Bugg will open shows from October 24th to November 16th and St. Vincent will take over from December 4th to the 21st.

You can check out a full list of dates below, as well as a silly tour announcement video in which a disgraced Dan Auerbach tries to make amends but receives only laughter and cheers, while the mere site of Patrick Carney elicits a swarm of boos.




The Black Keys’ video game has been on point, per usual, during the lead up to Turn Blue. After teasing the record with clips featuring a wackadoo hypnotist, the band went to church in the new video for “Fever,” with Auerbach preaching the gospel as a sweat-drenched televangelist.

Turn Blue, which follows up the Black Keys’ 2011 LP El Camino, sees official release on May 13th, but you can stream the album in its entirety now.

9/5 Columbus, OH – Schottenstein Cente
9/6 Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena
9/7 Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena
9/9 Milwaukee, WI – BMO Harris Bradley Center
9/10 Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center
9/12 Detroit, MI – Joe Louis Arena
9/13 Pittsburgh, PA – CONSOL Energy Center
9/14 Rochester, NY – Blue Cross Arena
9/16 Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre
9/18 Montreal, Quebec – Bell Centre
9/20 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
9/21 Boston, MA – TD Garden
9/24 Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
9/25 Washington, DC – Verizon Center
9/27 Chicago, IL – United Center
10/24 Minneapolis, MN – Target Center
10/25 Winnipeg, Manitoba – MTS Centre
10/27 Calgary, Alberta – Scotiabank Saddledome
10/28 Edmonton, Alberta – Rexall Place
10/30 Vancouver, British Columbia – Pacific Coliseum
10/31 Portland, OR – Moda Centers
11/1 Seattle, WA – KeyArena
11/9 San Diego, CA – Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl
11/10 Phoenix, AZ – US Airways Center
11/12 Salt Lake City, UT – Maverik Center
11/13 Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
11/15 Houston, TX – Toyota Center
11/16 Dallas,TX – American Airlines Center
12/4 Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Arena
12/5 Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena
12/6 Richmond, VA – Richmond Coliseum
12/8 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
12/9 St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
12/11 Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
12/12 Charlotte, NC – Time Warner Cable Arena
12/13 Greenville, SC – Bon Secours Wellness Arena
12/15 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – BB&T Center
12/16 Tampa, FL – Tampa Bay Times Forum
12/17 Orlando, FL – Amway Center
12/19 Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center
12/20 Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
12/21 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center

Phoenix Working on ‘Bankrupt!’ Follow-Up

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Phoenix have already started working on their follow-up to 2013’s Bankrupt!, singer Thomas Mars tells Rolling Stone. “The way we tour is pretty unique,” explains the frontman. “We go for two weeks, then we stop for two or three weeks. And when we’re back, we don’t really know how to take vacations, so we usually spend time on the record.”
The new project is still in very early stages, adds Mars. “It’s the beginning of something – the base of the pyramid,” he says. “Right now, it could go anywhere. It’s this moment of pure freedom. The possibilities are endless. It’s very exciting.”

In other Phoenix news, the band will appear on PBS’ series Live From the Artists Den on February 1st. The episode, taped last October, will show the band playing for 500 students in a high school gym in Austin, Texas. “It felt like we were in the ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ video,” Mars says. “The whole high school experience in the United States is very exotic for us. We actually thought about doing a whole tour at some point of high school shows, so this was sort of a test to see if it could work.”

Phoenix have a string of shows in the U.K. and France next week, followed by a break until early March, when they hit Australia.

Closing out a festival is no easy task, and Thomas Mars knows it. “Usually on Sunday night people are really tired,” the Phoenix singer told the Lollapalooza crowd last night, kneeling into the front row of a sea of people gathered for the French band’s superb main stage set. “This,” he said to the thousands still hanging on his every word seconds before his band’s ear-candy intro to “1901” kicked in behind him, “is something different.”

By the time Mars and his band took the Bud Light stage around 8:30 p.m., Lollapalooza had oftered up nearly 150 sets over the preceding three days. Phoenix, though, delivered the best performance of the entire weekend. The seeming ease with which the band played their weekend-topping set proved them to be undeniably worthy of the massive stages – and dollars – they now command.

Via Rolling Stone

Band to Watch: The So So Glos


Brooklyn D.I.Y. leaders mix punk ethics with pop songwriting

The quartet is comprised of two brothers (Alex and Ryan Levine) and their stepbrother (Zach Staggers), who’ve been playing music together since they were kids growing up in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhood. The only non-relative, guitarist Matt Elkin, joined the band in 2008 after the brothers persistently sweet-talked him into it mere days before their first national tour. Since then, the So So Glos have formed a full-fledged North Brooklyn scene around themselves while honing their musical chops. Their second full-length, Blowout, was release on April 23rd through their own label, Shea Stadium Records.

D.I.Y. or Die: If you’ve ever been to an all-ages D.I.Y. show in Brooklyn, there’s a high likelihood the members of the So So Glos had something to do with it. First, they co-founded the beloved Bushwick performance space Market Hotel (now shuttered, soon to be reopened), then moved on to Shea Stadium, a bigger, badder venue that runs co-op style with help from all members of the So So Glos. The venues were created out of necessity – the band couldn’t get shows at first, so they created their own opportunities – but now the So So Glos are the ones dishing out advice to the baby bands looking to navigate the house show circuit.

Punk Ethics, Pop Songwriting: They describe themselves as simply rock & roll, and their simplicity is refreshing. Blowout is tight and well-crafted, with the guys name-checking 1960s Brill Building songwriters and Iggy Pop in equal measure. The album’s themes, on the other hand, are decidedly modern, chronicling 21st-century struggles with identity and technology in an earnest way.

New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down: The band’s perspective lies in its name, which originated as a reaction to the cooler-than-thou New York garage-rock scene of the early 2000s. “The term ‘so so glo’ originally was written into our song ‘Broken Mirror Baby,’ which was a self-critique of a whole generation of narcissists and egotists, inspired by the hip nature of New York City,” singer/bassist Alex Levine tells Rolling Stone. “It’s the apathetic vibe that we encountered when we first started the band, and it became a term that we called each other when we felt like we were being full of ourselves.” His brother Alex adds, “It’s a fight on pretending, but it’s also a self-awareness thing – a fight against your own ego.”

Via votiv