Native Sons, Native Sound

Interview by Josh Matthews and Kaydee Mulvehill

Photo by Brent Thompson

Dirty Lungs grew up in Birmingham and has helped to cultivate the defining sounds at the center of the evolution of the live, local music scene. We talk to the band about their upcoming album, Look Expensive and Smile, and how it captures their dynamic, live energy that local fans have appreciated for nearly two decades. 

We’re here with Ronnie Lee Gibson, Carson Mitchell, and Ra-Jaan Parmley of the Dirty Lungs. And you guys have a new album on the horizon.

Carson: We have a new album coming out in a couple of months. We’re still trying to work out the distribution. There’s already a single out on Spotify and iTunes, Dumps like a Truck. You can check it out.

What’s the name of the album going to be?

Carson: Look Expensive and Smile. It’s a title track. I saw this Vice article about this 24-hour strip club in New York City that doesn’t close. The law there is that… [read more…]

Editor’s Letter

Editor's Letter

By Josh Matthews

Photo by Brent Thompson

Why print? In this convoluted digital age that we live in, much is lost when there is so much information, quite literally, at our fingertips. Nothing against the use of our mobile devices, tablets or computers. I rely on them daily. But there is something special about a more tangible experience like that of a book, magazine, paper or album. It’s more memorable because it requires a slightly different energy and focus, and depending on what medium you enjoy, it can provide us with a break, or a bit of solitude, from the digital world. I look forward to those days when the new Rolling Stone shows up in my mailbox. I look forward to those nights when I can put on a record and listen to an album in its entirety while exploring the art and words within its cover. And I loved when I could pick up a Black and White at Rojo, pull up a stool to Kip’s bar, and read the music section over margarita and some tacos. 

Here at MusicBham Monthly, it is our… [read more…]

Local Mash

Local Mash

Ready for Local Explosion

By Rebecca Scott

Photo by Josh Matthews

The Information Age has been proof positive that the adage “too much of a good thing” is accurate, and this is especially ubiquitous in the ways we listen to and filter our music. We just want to listen to what the cool kids are listening to – music that’s fresh, soulful, and relevant. Well, if you live in Birmingham, it doesn’t get much more relevant than the music that’s being written, performed, and even produced right here, locally. And that’s what Local Mash is serving up. They’re the cool kids, and every week they let the rest of us listen in on their playlist. 

Local Mash, co-hosted by Brad Lyons and Daniel Long, airs weekly on Birmingham Mountain Radio on Sunday nights from 7-9 pm. For an hour and a half, Lyons and Long showcase regional music, music written and performed by Alabama artists, most of whom live and work in Birmingham. This bastion of local talent has two formats; the first is long sets of music curated and arranged by Lyons and… [read more…]

Sublime with Rome

Sublime with Rome

Sublime with Rome Counts Their Blessings

By Rebecca Scott & Josh Matthews

Photo by Andreas Ramirez

While Sublime is forever cemented in music culture, Sublime with Rome is writing their own story with an already rich history and a future that is looking brighter than ever. We caught up with the band’s lead singer of twelve years, Rome Ramirez, while touring across the western US en-route to perform at Avondale Brewery on July 29.

Rome, you were only 18 years old when you became the catalyst for reuniting the most famous ska-punk band of all time. The story of how you became the frontman of Sublime is the stuff of rock n’ roll legend. How did this come to be?

I was living in Los Angeles, and I started recording with some musicians, and one of them was a girl who was working at a studio in Orange County. The owner of that studio was really good friends with the bass player of Sublime. I just met him by chance one day at that studio, and then I started… [read more…]

Standard Deluxe

Standard Deluxe

Music Finds a Home in Waverly, AL

Words and photography by Jones Willingham

The first thing I noticed about Waverly, Alabama, is that it takes forever to get there. You’re on Highway 280, the hell among highways, for a solid hour and a half — ebbing and flowing through towns like Childersburg and Sylacauga and eventually hitting a whole lot of nothing. Then you turn off of the highway, seemingly in the middle of nowhere; little do you know that you’re about to enter an oasis for live music.

15 minutes northwest of Auburn, Standard Deluxe exists as a peculiar but incredible institution for live music, art, and so much more. Established in 1991 by owner and president Scott Peek, the halcyon property seems like your grandfather’s friendly farm in the country. However, Standard Deluxe offers much more than initially meets the eye; for nearly two decades, Standard Deluxe has hosted artists such as Jason Isbell, Charles Bradley, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and countless others that have made the pilgrimage to Waverly, AL for the Old 280 Boogie, which is a festival that brings hundreds to… [read more…]

Frank Foster

Frank Foster

Family Business

By Brent Thompson

Photo courtesy of the artist

Frank Foster’s musical style is characterized by honest lyrics and a straightforward country sound. Equally key to his story is the manner in which he has forged his career. The singer/songwriter is fiercely independent, acting as his own manager, publisher, publicist and record label owner. The formula has translated into both chart and critical success for the Louisiana native and Tennessee resident. In September 2018, Foster released ‘Til I’m Gone, his seventh album and fourth release on his label, Lone Chief Records. On FRIDAY, JULY 26, Foster will perform at IRON CITY. Recently, he spoke with us by phone from his Lynnville, Tenn. home.

Frank, you reside on a farm outside of Nashville – that setup sounds like the best of both worlds.

Yeah, man, it’s perfect. I grew up in North Louisiana, way out in the country, and I gravitate towards that kind of living. Nashville is cool, but that’s a lot of lights . 

‘Til I’m Gone, may be new to the public, but you have… [read more…]

Kendall Street Co.

Kendall Street Co.

Capture A Moment: A Conversation with Kendall Street Company

Charlottesville, Va. has a rich musical history and Kendall Street Company is a band that has grown its fan base beyond the city’s fertile scene. Formed by two University of Virginia students in 2013, the sextet has garnered a following in the Mid-Atlantic states and now has its sights set on the Southeast. The band – including Birmingham native, Andrew King is also made up of Louis Smith, Brian Roy, Ryan Wood, Ben Laderberg and Jake Vanaman – release its third full-length album, RemoteVision, last fall. On Saturday, June 29, Kendall Street Company will perform at Zydeco. Brent Thompson of Birmingham Stages and MusicBham Monthly spoke with Kendall Street Company about writing, recording, modern technology and blurred genre lines.

Are all of the band members University of Virginia students?

Andrew King: All of us went to UVa. but Jake, our saxophone player, and I are still there and doing our best to get out as soon as possible.

How do you balance student life and touring life?

King: During the summer it’s not an issue – we hit it hard… [read more…]