Local H

Local H will release their seventh studio album, titled Hallelujah! I'm a Bum on September 18th through Slimstyle Records. The 17-track, double-album was produced by Chicago metal guru Sanford Parker (Yakuza, Bloodiest, Pelican) and showcases the pioneering, two-man band rocking harder than ever. The album will be available digitally, on CD and on limited-edition double-vinyl. The first leg of Local H's U.S. tour begins on release day with a hometown gig at The Bottom Lounge in Chicago. Full itinerary below.
Video of Local H in the studio with Sanford Parker at Engine Studios, set to a track from the new album - "Night Flight to Paris" -- can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlMemzaOZyA

Hallelujah! I'm a Bum is an epic concept record that sees frontman Scott Lucas setting his sights on the deeply divided political climate that exists in the U.S. and around the world, using the Windy City as a backdrop to sardonically comment on how this polarization personally impacts people. From the El-train inspired "Blue Line," in which Lucas sings "It's getting hard to realize / A sense of self in other eyes / It's us and them" to "Another February," which uses the city's brutal winters to paint a picture of anxious desperation within a family to the Peter Gun-riff of "Paddy Considine," a song that mocks the middle-aged Travis Bickles and the hotheaded "conspiracy of toughs" roaming the streets of his hometown's neighborhoods, the album examines how the national political discord affects people within their communities, their neighborhoods and even within their relationships.

"The last couple of records I've been involved with have been pretty inward-looking and navel gaze-y," Lucas confesses. "And with so much going on around us - to keep making records like that is not only kind of embarrassing, but borderline irresponsible. On the other hand it's still rock and roll - and no one wants to hear a bullshit polemic from me. The trick was to make the global as personal as possible and make it something everyone could relate to - regardless of who you vote for. We're on the same side we've always been on - the people's. Fuck - I don't think a band can get much more blue collar than us…..unfortunately."

Lucas often uses hot and cold to illustrate the divide. "Feed A Fever" skewers FOX News specifically and irresponsible media in general, while "Cold Manor," the album's first single, addresses giving in to cynicism and "checking out" politically, while the ruling class uses that apathy to push through its agenda.

A dog theme runs throughout the album, making it a fitting companion to the band's widely praised 1998 concept album Pack Up the Cats, which earned a spot in SPIN magazine's top 20 albums of that year. Hallelujah! I'm a Bum is Local H's first album of new material since 2008's critically acclaimed 12 Angry Months, for which the Chicago Tribune named them "Chicagoans of the Year," more than a decade after their breakthrough hit "Bound for the Floor" ruled the Modern Rock charts.

Despite a four-year hiatus from recording, Local H has kept busy with two releases in the interim -- Local H: The Island Years (a quasi-greatest hits that is part of Universal Music's ICON series) and Local H's Awesome Mix-Tape #1, an EP of covers. And, they've continued to bring their gut-quaking live show to audiences all over the country. In 2010, they put together the "6 Angry Records Tour," during which the duo -- Lucas covers both guitar and bass through an extra pick up in his guitar while drummer Brian St. Clair pounds out the rest of the sound -- allowed a fan to blindly select the name of one of their six studio albums from a hat at the start of the show and then played the album chosen on the spot that night. To complement that, they embarked on "The Singles Tour: All the Hits All Night" in 2011, playing only songs they had released as singles, a contrarian move to the "play a classic album in its entirety" fad that was just heating up. Lucas has also spent time performing and recording country-ish, alt-rock for people who like metal with his seven-piece solo band, Scott Lucas & the Married Men, who guest on this album on the country-western sounding track "Look Who's Walking on Four Legs Again."

Monkey Paw

Hailing from Chicago, this three-piece band has had its share of ups and downs.
The life of the paw started out on a high note. Their first ever recording, "Big Shooter," was included on Too Much Scratchie Makes You Itch (Scratchie/Mercury) along with such bands as The Frogs and Fountains of Wayne. The song charted #1 on six college radio stations and reached the top five on several others.

Immediately, the paw began playing shows around Chicago and filling such venues as Lounge Ax (R.I.P), Metro, Double Door, Schubas and the Hideout. The next logical step was to record a full length album and see the country. The paw released Hating You Is So Easy (4 Alarm), bought their beloved full functioning ambulance off of eBay, and put it to use. Preferring to play live over recording in the studio, the paw would load up the ambulance and play anywhere at anytime. Nothing made them happier then turning on the sirens and pulling up to a new venue. Touring two consecutive years to New York and back for CMJ and three consecutive years to beautiful Austin, TX and back for SXSW, the ambulance received its fair share of abuse. One night the paw packed the ambulance, drove to New York, played a show in front of only about 75 people, repacked the ambulance and drove back to Chicago without any sleep. The paw arrived home tired and salty, but not regretful. Why did they do it? Why the hell not? Between touring and local Chicago shows, the paw has had the opportunity to play with a diverse group of bands including Mike Watt, The Frogs, The Carlsonics, Season to Risk, The Paper Chase, Chainsaw Kittens, Chevelle, Baldwin Brothers, World Inferno Friendship Society, Janis Figure and countless other talented bands.

Hating you is so Easy received a substantial amount of praise from radio and the press. Named one of the best records of the year by New City and WXRT's Richard Milne, being called a band to watch and receiving a 4/5 by Alternative Press, along with favorable reviews from Big Takeover, In Music We Trust, Baby Sue, Juice Magazine, Skratch and countless more, the paw was on a high note.

The band was set to release their follow up CD on a new label (who shall remain nameless). Excited, hungry and armed with several songs, the paw headed to the studio. They decided to record with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago. Recording twelve songs almost completely live (just overdubbing vocals) in just 3 days with Albini refereeing, the paw was ecstatic. The album was tentatively called If Hate Were a Four Letter Word, and all they needed was a release date from the label. They began waiting eagerly and patiently. They soon started waiting eagerly and not so patiently. The waiting continued and the paw kept playing live. Soon they stopped playing live. After a year of waiting, it was time to reevaluate. The band members, tired of waiting, began to drift apart. As New City described it "Monkey Paw at one point had everything lined up...But then the band disappeared" (New City, Dave Chamberlain, May 14, 2003).

The members began playing in other projects that left them unfulfilled. Soon, Eric (vocals, guitar, main songwriter) had a countless number of songs that could, in his mind, only be played with monkey paw. The band began practicing again and came back to play their first live show in over a year, opening for Mike Watt at Double Door. Taking it slow and only playing a handful of local shows, the paw began perfecting songs for a new record. Due to the passage of time and being in a different place in their lives, they dropped several of the songs that were recorded during the Albini sessions and decided to record new ones. The new record, Honkey Kong (4 Alarm), featured four of the songs recorded at Electrical Audio, one live song, and nine new songs recorded by Bryan Mitchell (who recorded Hating You Is So Easy) at The Basement. The songs covered a wide gamut of experiences in the life of the paw. The songs dealt with the drifting apart of the band, the joy of getting back together, personal breakups, new starting points and a new view on life.

Alright Junior

Alright, Junior. is a raw genuine rock trio who has a desire to communicate their collective internal focus. Playing over 350 shows in the past 6 years, covering a vast amount of area in the USA, Alright, Junior. is keen on constantly being on the go, as this band’s live show is what defines them. This musical endeavor has led Alright, Junior. to share the stage with Incubus, Cake, Circa Survive, Flogging Molly, Civil Twilight, Maps & Atlases, Sponge, Our Lady Peace, 10 Years, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Local H, Young the Giant and more. Their music carries ingredients from alternative, indie, rock, grunge, and post-punk, intertwining to create a sound that is Alright, Junior.

“They have endurance, no doubt, extolling their engendered appreciation for the last “good” era of rock music with all the spasmodic moves of an undomesticated bronco”
- Origivation Magazine (That Mag)

“the entire band is all over the stage, thrashing harder than any band I've seen”
- Philly.com

"I would describe Alright Junior as beautiful melodies, mixed with thought provoking lyrics, tied together by the threads of tangled guitars being dragged about by the rhythms of an incendiary drummer."
- Philly Rock Blog

“..Alright, Junior. is a must add to your collection."
- Campus Philly

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