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The Orwells at Rough Trade NYC (February 16, 2017)

By Will Oliver, March 13th 2017

Chicago garage rockers The Orwells returned last month with their brand new album, Terrible Human Beings, which was released via Canvasback Music/Atlantic Records on February 17. Just one day ahead of the album’s release, the band played a special instore performance at Rough Trade NYC for fans who bought the album from Rough Trade.

Unlike many instore performances at Rough Trade which can be as brief as 30 minutes, this was more or less a full show from the group who played a 14-song set, encore and all. They played most of the new album, as well as favorites such as “Let It Burn” and “The Righteous One” from their 2014 breakthrough album Disgraceland, the latter of which also included a bit of The Raconteurs’ “Steady as She Goes” to end the show.

Find the setlist posted below, along with some more photos from their performance.
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The Orwells at Irving Plaza (October 15, 2014)

By Will Oliver, October 29th 2014 — with 1 comment

1_The Orwells_Irving

A few weeks ago The Orwells played their biggest show in New York City to date, a headlining gaunt at Irving Plaza. It was a great bill, rounded out by Skaters, as well as relatively newcomers The Johnnys.

01_The Johnnys_Irving

The Johnnys were up first. They’re a fairly new 4-piece out of New York who warmed up the very young crowd that filled in early for the show. There set breezed on by, but showed promise for sure. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from these guys very soon.


It seems like Skaters have been touring non-stop all year, already playing New York at Bowery Ballroom in February, and Governors Ball in June. This time around Kirk Schoenherr has replaced Myles Matheny in the live lineup, and the band had a few new songs to share. Otherwise, they delighted with the best cuts from their debut album Manhattan, which has been one of the more delightful rock offerings of the year.

Until this show, I somehow had never seen The Orwells live (but we’ve covered them on here, Daniel Topete shot them last year at Shea Stadium). It was long overdue, but worth the wait. The show was a part of the final leg of their tour for Disgraceland, which is one of the better rock albums 2014 has seen.

2_The Orwells_Irving

Live, the group chug along with a youthful intensity, led by frontman Mario Cuomo. The band’s young spirit is seen through their dirty garage-rock licks which can go from chugging riffs to an almost blues-like saunters. Cuomo doesn’t hold back his goofy side on stage, when he’s not climbing speakers or going into the crowd. These guys are young, and do show their age at times, but do more than enough to put their talent on display, proving that the future of rock and roll is that much brighter with bands like The Orwells coming around.

Find photos of The Orwells, Skaters, and The Johnnys posted below. Read the rest of this entry »

[new]: The Orwells – Let It Burn

By Will Oliver, March 25th 2014

The Orwells - Discraceland

The Orwells will release new album Disgraceland on June 3 via Canvasback/Atlantic Records.

To celebrate the announcement, the young Chiacago rockers have let loose of the video for “Let It Burn”, a great youthful anthem featured on the album. The video features some footage of their recent tour in the UK. I have yet to see these guys live but the video does a good job of making you feel like you’re there.

Catch it below. Read the rest of this entry »

The Orwells – Who Needs You (Live On Letterman)

By Will Oliver, January 20th 2014

Orwells Letterman

The Orwells performance of “Who Needs You” on Letterman has been making the rounds online for a reason. It’s pretty wild.

The young Chicago band’s performance was attention grabbing due to the antics of frontman Mario Cuomo who got down and dirty on the ground during the performance, giving a few pelvic thrusts along the way. He also sat in one of the guests seats near Letterman’s desk. It was a wild performance, but one that was definitely exciting to watch.

After the performance, the fun continued on. Dave came over and thanked the guys, even going as far as asking for an encore. The band didn’t know what to do, so Dave’s band starting playing “Who Needs You” themselves with bandleader Paul Shaffer even copying Cuomo’s moves. It seemed like Letterman and the gang really dug the performance.

Rolling Stone asked the band about the performance, find that here. The performance video is posted below. Read the rest of this entry »

The Orwells – Halloween All Year

By Will Oliver, November 16th 2011

The Orwells are a band hailing from the suburbs of Chicago. They recently released their third album, Remember When.

A track that really stood out to me is “Halloween All Year” an awe inspired epic jam that calls to mind a mix of Edward Sharpe and The Horrors. It’s got a big heart and kinds of ambition. It’s a song that would sound right late at night after you’ve had a few, when you’re desperate and hungry enough to go get what you’ve been searching for.

If Halloween sounded like this, it would be fine to make it a year long holiday.

Stream the whole album here.

Recap: Governors Ball 2017 [Day 3]

By Will Oliver, June 15th 2017 — with 1 comment


The third final day of Governors Ball (Day 1 coverage, Day 2 coverage) had the strongest chance of rain out of the entire weekend, but aside from some light drizzle early on in the day, the weather held out. Based on the acts that I caught on Sunday, this was the “rock day” of the festival, featuring a heavy dose of bands with guitars. There was still of course plenty to see in other genres, but it’s safe to say that any day that is headlined by Tool is probably heavy on the rock.
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Governors Ball 2017 Announces Set Times

By Will Oliver, May 18th 2017 — with 1 comment

With Governors Ball just a mere two weeks away, the festival has finally revealed the set times for this year’s edition of the festival. With so many artists that you want to see playing at the same place, there’s naturally going to be some rather unfortunate conflicts.

Here are some conflicts (at least in my mind) that will force some people to make some tough choices:
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Governors Ball 2017 Announces Lineup

By Will Oliver, January 4th 2017

We may be only a few days into the new year but that means it’s time for all the music festivals to reveal their 2017 lineups. Here in New York there’s quite a few festivals starting to emerge, but there’s only one that we have relied on year in and year out: Governors Ball.

They’ve announced this year’s edition of the festival (at Randall’s Island as usual), and it’s as varied and eclectic of a mix as ever. Headlining the festival is Tool, Chance The Rapper, Phoenix, and Childish Gambino. Then you got Lorde, Flume, Wu-Tang Clan, Wiz Khalifa, Logic, Cafe The Elephant, and Mark Ronson vs Kevin Parker. From there, highlights include Beach House, Schoolboy Q, Air, The Avalanches, Franz Ferdinand, Phantogram, The Head and the Heart, Banks, Local Natives, Mac DeMarco, Parquet Courts, Royal Blood, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Danny Brown, Michael Kiwanuka, Warpaint, Car Seat Headrest, The Range, The Orwells, Ron Gallo, and even former BBC radio host Zane Lowe.

We’ve been covering Governors Ball every year since the second edition, and are excited to hopefully return this year to see what new memories this years edition of the festival brings. Tickets for the festival go on sale this Friday at noon, with early bird pricing starting at $275.

See you at Randall’s Island this summer!
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Best Songs of 2014

By Will Oliver, February 20th 2015 — with 1 comment


(artwork by Dana Pacifico)

Apparently I got Chinese New Year confused with the end of 2014, as it took me until now to finally share my list of favorite songs from 2014. It’s late, but you better bet it’s a true indication of my favorite songs of 2014. These are the 100 songs that I played and enjoyed the most and are still playing on regular rotation. They came from the most established artists like Beck, as well as newcomers such as Alvvays, Leon Bridges and Flyte. It’s a bit all over the map stylistically, which is a good thing if you ask me.

I’ve posted the list of songs below from 100-1. I’ve turned the entire list into a spotify playlist (keep in mind some tracks weren’t on spotify so if that’s the case, just come back here and you can click the song it will take you to the tracks soundcloud/youtube page). Head to the bottom of the page for the spotify playlist, or just head here.

With that said, here are my favorite songs that were released in 2014, finally:
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