After the release of a handful of stellar singles over the past few months— “Oh My God Here It Comes Now,” “You Got Nowhere To Go But You’re Going There Tonight,” and “Running Thru The Rave” — Rustbelt (the solo project of artist John Chiaverina, formerly known as Juiceboxxx) finally unveils his brand new EP, You Got Nowhere To Go But You’re Going There Tonight, out today via Dangerbird Records. The EP’s release also marks the arrival of one last single, “Gimme A Sign.”
As Chiaverina wrote on his newest project:
“These are songs I had to write and get out into the world. I spent 20 years making music under the name JUICEBOXXX and I still feel pretty unresolved about the whole thing. This EP is about growing up and freaking out and working hard to keep going. These are songs about the past, songs about the present, songs about the future looking back at the past, songs about playing at bloghouse parties… I’m working within a tradition of American Underdog Pop Music, everything from DIY singles to Top 40. Within that, I’m trying to squeeze out something catchy and weird and my own.”
Ambition exists at the edge of a hopeful cliff, acknowledging the possibility of failure without falling all the way into the abyss. Rustbelt’s John Chiaverina knows about this dance of endurance, and his new EP, You Got Nowhere To Go But You’re Going There Tonight encompasses the variety of perspectives he’s experienced along the way.
“All your hopes and all your dreams / they never really die,” Chiaverina sings on the title track. He’s been working on the song for over ten years, which means it’s been sitting on his hard drive as he continued to write and perform as Juiceboxxx, but this song kept pulling him back in somehow. “With Rustbelt, I’m trying to give myself room to move outside of my narrative a tiny bit,” he says. “These songs are like alternate timelines for myself.”
In some songs, he’s looking back at his life, and in others, like, “Oh My God Here It Comes Now,” he’s imagining a different version of it, one outside of the complexities of big city ambition. “I wanna live by the airport / I wanna watch the planes go by,” Chiaverina sings, and you can almost feel the weight of his desires falling off him. He continues, “It’s been a life caked in failure / I’ve seen enough dreams up and die.” Rustbelt documents both the absurdity of aiming for greatness as well as the beauty of trying anyway.
But even within this fantasy of giving up and living a “normal” life, Chiaverina knows he’s destined to strive, even when he’s not sure what he’s striving for. Chiaverina makes what he calls Underdog Pop. The music itself is singular and energetic, but there’s a tension between the lyrics and the music, which draws on Chiaverina’s love of the broader American pop continuum—everything from radio hits to scrappy DIY singles.
Chiaverina says listening to rap music while growing up in the Midwest introduced a theme of dissonance that’s played itself out in his music ever since. Rap was about flaunting ambition, while the Midwest underground scene he came up in was skeptical of it. He says that his lyrical world in Juiceboxxx was more about creating an “amplified, funhouse mirror version” of his life. Rustbelt lyrics make more room for narrative freedom.
Each Rustbelt song begins on Chiaverina’s computer before getting reverse engineered with a band, this time in Chicago. Willy Dintenfass, a collaborator of Chiaverina’s for over 20 years, plays bass and guitar. Dan Didier from The Promise Ring plays drums, Jeff Graupner from The Hecks contributes piano and synth. Lily Konigsberg of Palberta sings backup vocals on “Runnin’ Thru The Rave.”
On Rustbelt’s Instagram, you’ll see several photos of Chiaverina posing with custom Rustbelt disposable cups (he had 2,000 made; it was the minimum order). He explains that this kind of “truck stop design language” contains an element of vernacular Americana he’s influenced by. This likely has something to do with his history of touring on Greyhound buses, showing up at DIY venues to perform with only an iPod, and even, somehow, making his own energy drink. There is a sense of loneliness in these songs, a questioning: Why do I do these things to myself? But by the end of the EP, the listener understands the answer is simply: there is no other option.
You Got Nowhere… is quintessentially American music. We don’t know exactly where we’re going and we don’t even know what we’re hoping to find, but we move forth regardless.
You Got Nowhere To Go But You’re Going There Tonight Track Listing:
1. You Got Nowhere To Go But You’re Going There Tonight
2. Oh My God Here It Comes Now
3. Gimme A Sign
4. Running Thru The Rave
Craft Recordings Thrilled to Announce Titles for Record Store Day 2024
Craft Recordings announces their titles for Record Store Day 2024 available at participating independent music retailers on April 20th.
Craft Recordings is thrilled to announce its titles for Record Store Day 2024. This year’s lineup—available at participating independent music retailers on April 20—includes eight exclusive releases that span a variety of genres—from chilling cult-classic soundtracks and long-sought-after alt-rock reissues to jazz, new age, and beyond.
Among the offerings is a 25th anniversary pressing of Collective Soul’s Platinum-selling fourth album, Dosage (featuring the mega-hit “Heavy”), At The Drive-In’s electrifying sophomore album, in/CASINO/OUT, and the first-ever vinyl pressing of Filter’s The Very Best Things collection. Also making its debut on wax is the chart-topping Inner World album from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama—a first-of-its-kind release from the Tibetan spiritual leader, which blends his spoken-word meditations with music from a renowned collective of artists, including Anoushka Shankar.
Other highlights include a sought-after mono edition of Everybody Digs Bill Evans on 180-gram vinyl, while film buffs will delight over the return of two cult-classic soundtracks, 1972’s Black Girl and 1977’s Orca. Finally, the acclaimed Jazz Dispensary Series returns with The Freedom Sound! The People Arise—an empowering setlist of deep cuts by Joe Henderson, Gary Bartz, and Azar Lawrence, among others.
A full list of participating Record Store Day retailers and more information can be found here.
#1 At The Drive-In – in/CASINO/OUT (1-LP, Purple & Green Smoke Vinyl)
#2 Bill Evans Trio – Everybody Digs Bill Evans (1-LP, Mono, 180-gram Vinyl)
#3 Collective Soul – Dosage (1-LP, Translucent Lemonade Vinyl)
#4 Dalai Lama – Inner World (1-LP, Gold Vinyl)
#5 Filter – The Very Best Things: 1995-2008 (2-LP, Mercury Swirl Vinyl)
#6 Various Artists – Jazz Dispensary: The Freedom Sound! The People Arise (1-LP, Freedom Blue Swirl Vinyl)
#7 Jazz Dispensary: The Freedom Sound! The People Arise
#8 Various Artists – Black Girl – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Reel Cut Series] (1-LP, 180-Gram Clear Black Swirl Vinyl)
Cosmic Ninja Evolve Their Genre Bending Style on New EP ‘Filth’
Bristol rock ravers Cosmic Ninja evolve their genre-bending sound on their brand new EP ‘Filth,’ released earlier this month.
Cosmic Ninja has been taking the UK by storm over the last few years with their eclectic sound and raucous live show. The band has just released their most accomplished and exciting work in their new EP, Filth.
Their energetic appeal, disregard for genre conventions, and punk ethos have made the band stand out in a deeply creative scene. Filth is packed full of tracks that feel distinctive and
packed full of unique character while embedded with Cosmic Ninja DNA.
Recorded with John Mitchell (Enter Shikari, Architects) at Outhouse Studios in Reading, the EP bursts with energy and intensity throughout, melding impassioned political lyrics with dizzying electronics and huge riffs. From the angst-filled raps to the soaring, memorable choruses, the diversity and guile shown on the new EP are staggering, and with their sights set on themes like the political status quo, injustice, equality, and mental health, their message feels clearer and more important than ever.
A track that exemplifies the feel of the EP is “Stone Cold,” a track as dynamic and unpredictable as anything you’ll hear this year. Euphoric synths compliment a sound that skitters from groovy to melodic to spiky before reaching its apex with a colossal metal breakdown. Everything about the track feels laser-focused and precise, embodying everything that Cosmic Ninja is.
Filth is blessed with an abundance of similar highlights and moments of awe-inspiring creativity throughout. The powerful, socially conscious messaging that adorns these tracks feels vital and relevant, and the conviction in the dual vocals makes for a release that feels as authentic and pure as it does all-encompassing.
Plutocracy Planet Announces Debut LP for Summer 2024
Born of the pandemic shutdown, Plutocracy Planet is an experimental sociopolitical super-collective led by Scott Morrow.
Born of the pandemic shutdown and mobilized by the world’s societal ills, Plutocracy Planet is an experimental sociopolitical super-collective led by former Alarm Magazine editor and musical vagrant Scott Morrow.
Fusing post-hardcore sensibilities with electronics, polyrhythms, atypical time signatures, and a far-reaching instrumental palette including strings, saxophone, piano, harp, marimba, acoustic guitar, and more. The ambitious collaborative project utilizes the talents of more than two dozen venerable vocalists and instrumentalists across hardcore, hip-hop, emo, avant-garde composition, pop, and more.
Greed, inequality, and the endless influence of money in politics serve as the project’s thematic focal points. But between a broad-minded approach and a coalition of lyrical voices, the collective’s forthcoming debut LP also touches on the cult of personality, fear-mongering media, police brutality, toxic masculinity, religious zealotry, factory farming, the billionaire space race, and the singularity.
Lead single “This Very Severity,” whose music video premiered at BrooklynVegan and is out now on DSPs, features emo legend Bob Nanna (Braid, Hey Mercedes, The City on Film) playing a slowly unravelling news anchor, relaying stories of our current fractured reality and an increasingly dystopian future.
“I was overjoyed to be asked to contribute to the record as I usually don’t dabble in this genre or subject matter too much, and now I think I should way more often. Being able to collaborate on cool, important projects is something that brings me great joy, so being a part of this record was a tremendous pleasure. Please disregard my lack of dress pants in the video.”
Joining Nanna on “This Very Severity” are a pair of instrumental phenoms, guitarist Jason Schimmel (Red Fiction, Estradasphere, Secret Chiefs 3) and bassist Jonathan Hischke (The Sound of Animals Fighting, Le Butcherettes, Hella, Anywhere).
“It’s unbelievable to me that I get to work with the people on this album. I’ve been a fan—in many cases a super fan—of many of them for 20 to 25 years. It’s a mind-blowing honor that they said yes, and I still don’t really know how the hell I convinced them .”
Plutocracy Planet Track Listing:
2. This Very Severity (f. Bob Nanna)
3. But You Said (f. onelinedrawing)
4. A Simple Refrain (f. Matt Pryor & Swamburger)
5. Commence Mutation (f. Carson Pace)
6. Slaughterhouse Soliloquy (f. Swamburger & Drumcorps)
7. War? (f. Rody Walker)
8. True Crime (f. Angela Mullenhour)
9. Hours and Hours (Work Harder, Not Smarter) (f. Mark Rose)
10. Dance of the Downtrodden (f. Carla Kihlstedt, Nils Frykdahl & Jørgen Munkeby)
11. Remain Silent (f. Emily Jane White, Blueprint & Bruce Lamont)
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