Independent Record Label | Est. 2009
Wilmington, North Carolina



Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Illumination Opening at Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington NC

Celebrate artistry and light at Cameron Art Museum’s 9th annual artist-made lanterns exhibition, Illumination 2023. Interpreting the light that shines from within, artists from across the United States and Canada have created traditional and contemporary lanterns. This display marks the transition of the season’s change and the year’s end as we begin our return to light. The installation can be enjoyed inside the museum or outside the Studio One windows.

Friday, December 1st is the official opening event for Illumination 2023, featuring Fort Lowell Records LET'S SHINE Vinyl DJ Set, from 6:00-9:00pm.

CAM Members: Free
Not-Yet Members: $15
Students: $5

Monday, November 27, 2023

New album: Jon Rauhouse & Blaine Long || One Day Will Never Come Back

[Repost from Add to Wantlist; by Dennis, November 17, 2023]

Fans of soulful Americana take note. Jon Rauhouse and Blaine Long have written seven beautiful songs, collected on their new LP One Day Will Never Come Back. The personal lyrics of the title track clearly reflect how light and dark go together here: “Feels good, I’m OK, it’s alright, there should be a little pain // A broken heart, some cry, some laugh.” The skilled musicians do what they do best – poetic sophistication, graceful guitar melodies and magical dark vocals – but the superb line-up of guests bringing their best game takes these tracks to an even higher level. Especially the horn arrangements are a tasteful addition, but if you start a song with the words “Living like Bukowski will get you dying like Bukowski” (from Thanksgiving) you’ve already won me over anyway.

One Day Will Never Come Back, produced by Jon Rauhouse and recorded by Darren Baum, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Fort Lowell Records. Featuring Jon Rauhouse (electric guitars, pedal steel, triangle), Blaine Long (vocals, acoustic guitar), Lindsay Cates (bass) and Frank Rowland (drums), joined on selected tracks by Steve Berlin (saxophones), Ty Bailie (Hammond B3), Betsy Ganz (vocals), Raquel Denis (vocals), Paula Tesoriero (vocals), Rachel Flotard (vocals), Jesse Valenzeula (guitar), Megyn Neff (violin, viola) and Emily Hunt (cello).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Fort Lowell

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Time-lapse with Summer Set: Indie rockers debut album, return to local music scene

Summer Set; photo by Shea Carver

Summer Set has a long history on Wilmington’s music scene and have relaunched as of late. Friday, Nov. 3, marks the official release of the self-titled, 10-track “Summer Set,” now available on streaming services and vinyl through Fort Lowell Records.

WILMINGTON — It was the early aughts when two musicians came together by happenstance over a beer at Blue Post to form what would become a quintessential sound on Wilmington’s indie rock scene.

“I needed a bass player,” Brian Weeks recalled Tuesday.

“And I happened to be living with a guy who had a bass, so it worked out — besides the fact I never played bass,” Robert Rogan added.

Summer Set was born. 

The band performed on the local music scene up until 12 years ago. However, Weeks and Rogan were sitting on multiple tracks they recorded throughout the years before being approached in 2018 about turning the songs into a finished album.

Friday, Nov. 3, marks the official release of the self-titled, 10-track “Summer Set,” now available on streaming services and vinyl through Fort Lowell Records. 

Both Weeks and Rogan are English professors at Cape Fear and Brunswick community colleges respectively and have been the steadfast hands in the band. Its lineup has consistently rotated with well-known Wilmington musicians and friends throughout the years: Jeff Reardon (Rodeo Boy), Seth Moody (The NoSeRiDeRs), Jonathan Bass (The Rosebuds), Tripp Cox (Onward, Soldier), Anthony Polcaro, and Ivan Howard (The Rosebuds). 

“Summer Set” is a retrospective of its 22 years of existence. The vinyl form will be for sale at the band’s Saturday show, wherein Summer Set is playing with Tercel at Sandspur.

It’s Summer Set’s second show in two months, an uptick from a decade-long hiatus. Aside from releasing a Christmas song last holiday season, Weeks and Rogan have been involved in other side projects, such as De La Noche, featuring Ivan Howard of The Rosebuds. They also play in Feather with a group of friends, focused on yacht rock tunes.

Over the summer, Weeks and Rogan reinvigorated Summer Set. Its new iteration consists of John Manning on guitar and Dustin Codair on drums. Manning is from Thunderlip, Coverlip and Mountain Thrower, while Codair has been playing with the two Summer Set founders for a while in Feather.

Saturday’s show will pepper in a few new tracks, but the focus will be on the songs of yore, as featured on the newly released album.

“It’s basically different eras of our music,” Weeks said. “The eras are defined by the drummer we had — or the lack of drummer — at the time.”

During those absences, a drum machine was used or Weeks sat behind a kit here and there if needed. He is also the primary songwriter and will bring a lyric or riff to Rogan to flesh out a song.

“I hope to add something good occasionally,” Rogan quipped. 

The partnership is simpatico, according to Weeks: “Bobby hears really good harmonies.”

Laid back and self-admitted perfectionists, the two said they would often spend copious amounts of time on one track while recording Summer Set’s music years ago, between 2000 and 2012. The recordings took place in various places: at Michael Swart’s studio, in Week’s bedroom and a place he dubbed “The Music Box” — a room in the backyard of an old residence 20 years ago. 

“Other than Mike Swart, I don’t know if we ever actually recorded in a real recording studio,” Rogan said.

“We would just kind of get in there during the day when it was quiet, and record the drum tracks, and then I would take the tracks to my house and add the guitar and bass,” Weeks said.

Back then, aside from being on a compilation album produced by Durham label Pox World Empire in 2005 and 2006, which featured North Carolina artists, Summer Set put out independent releases. Weeks would push one-of-a-kind CD-Rs he burned at CD Alley.

“That was pre-internet,” Weeks said. 

CD Alley was quintessential to downtown Wilmington, once located where Black Cat Shoppe is now at the foot of Market Street. Fred Champion — the owner of the record shop and a stalwart of Wilmington’s music scene in his own right — often hosted shows in his third-floor apartment on Princess Street, now Monteith Construction (the company has named one of its conference areas “Fred’s Room” in homage). Champion brought in the likes of My Morning Jacket, David Dondero, Benji Hughes, and multiple other up-and-comers of the day. Summer Set opened for Dondero and Huges throughout the years.

They also did a show with local band Glow in the Dark Scars, which was Champion’s rock outfit. It stands out as one of Champion’s favorite memories, hosted at the now-defunct The Whiskey (Seabird is located where the bar once was).

“It was pretty packed,” Champion remembered. “This was the early days before Whiskey even had a stage, so everyone was on the same level. It felt more intimate, like a private party.”

Champion calls Summer Set’s sound quintessential indie rock, as relevant today as it was when it was first recorded years ago. Though to answer how and why is a bit of a “mystery,” he said.

“It is a certain aesthetic that is difficult to put into words,” Champion elaborated. “I can easily tell you what it is not, but I would have a hell of a difficult time telling you what it is. I believe Summer Set is a band that could have been equally as successful as other Wilmington acts, like The Love Language, The Rosebuds, and Tift Merritt.”

According to Weeks, in its heyday the band played about every other month locally. They were the first, he said, to take the downtown stage at the shuttered Soapbox Laundro Lounge, which operated from 2001 to 2013 in what’s now a Waffle House on North Front Street.

Looking back, Weeks said he wished the band was more productive — perhaps more ambitious and driven.

“We were always pretty laid back and, you know — things change, things come up, but it would have been cool to continue to play more over the years,” Weeks said. “It’s just hard with full-time jobs and families to find the time to stay creative. It can be done, it’s just kind of tough."

‘Summer Set was ahead of its time’

No new music was created for the Fort Lowell Records release. Instead, it’s a time-lapse with Summer Set into Wilmington’s early-to-mid-aughts indie scene.

James Tritten of Fort Lowell began reaching out about putting together the project five years ago. Tritten calls Summer Set’s sound “timeless,” in that it spans various genres and includes traditional melodies that make for infinitely catchy earworms.

“In the early 2000s, Summer Set was ahead of its time,” Tritten said, “merging country-twang with the edgy dissonance of indie rock.”

The band’s infectious pop melodies embrace dreamy ethereal soundscapes, soul and R&B. Summer Set featured “Comfortable Town” on Fort Lowell Records’ 2020 release “GROW: A Compilation in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

When Tritten and his wife, Tracy Shedd, first heard the band’s 2012 song “Camouflage,” they said it was immediate affection.

“We were asking ourselves: ‘Why is this song not available on vinyl?’” Tritten recalls. 

The song starts with stark bass piano notes, leading into a whisper of lyrical melodies, backed by shoegaze-y instrumentals and a soulful rhythm.

Tritten said it took everything in his power not to kick off the album with the track. Instead “Camouflage” appears toward the end, so listeners can fully understand the band and its power.

“When it hits, it hits hard,” Tritten described, “and feels so good. It’s the kind of song that stops you in your tracks, and makes the world stop spinning for a brief moment."

A host for DJ events at Satellite Bar and Lounge every Tuesday, Tritten has been closing out sets with “Camouflage” as of late. Before, he said he and his wife were “selfishly” tuning into the recording Weeks shared with them years ago, just waiting for the right time to compel a “Summer Set” release on vinyl. Talks had been circulating, but forward movement stalled, especially when Covid-19 hit and obligations shifted.

“James and Tracy pushed this into existence really,” Weeks said. “Some of our last songs were written eight years ago and nobody ever heard them because they weren’t released, so it made sense to put them out now.”

The Fort Lowell crew spent 72 hours choosing the arrangement of tracks on the album, with Weeks and Rogan having final approval. Tritten said he approached its pecking order the same way he would deejaying a set.

“As someone who curates music for an audience’s listening enjoyment, you often find yourself either telling a story with the selection of songs you choose to play back-to-back, or you create an ever-evolving mood with what you play at various points in the evening,” he said. “I always like to start off easy, then get into music with more energy, and take it down a notch toward the end of my set.”

The sequencing of “Summer Set” kicks off with the band’s most popular song, “Center of Attention,” from the early aughts. It’s an Americana-bent track underscored by poppy rhythms.  

On the release, it’s followed by the shoegaze rock of “Financial District” from 2002. A few more experimental-forward pieces, like “The Jetty” (2012), featuring Weeks on drums, and a key-heavy “Red Wine” (2012), with the raindrop effects heard on Toto’s “Africa” looped in, are included. Weeks called “Red Wine” more of a dance song, a different output than the band’s earlier roots sound.

“That was fun to make,” he remembered. “We were just learning how to use electronic software.”

Weeks compared it to an earlier snapshot of what he and Rogan did with Ivan Howard in the poppy, ambient-heavy De La Noche on 2019’s “Blue Days, Black Nights.”

“We’re getting a lot better at it, for sure,” he added about the advancement of technology and refining their craft.

The only change Weeks made to Summer Set’s tracks came with an additional lead guitar recorded over “Red Wine.” He then turned over the recordings to Tritten and Shedd. 

When Rogan listened back to the release for the first time, he said it brought back a swell of memories. He also was pleased with the way the project turned out.

“Surprisingly, I was really impressed,” he said. “I think why the songs stand the test of time or whatever is because we always worked pretty slowly, meticulously, in recording them.”

He called some of the songwriting sheer “magic,” in how swiftly it came together, despite how long it took to release.

“It’s interesting because I’ve been in other bands in my past, where I’ll listen back to a recording and be kind of embarrassed or something,” Weeks added. “But I didn’t get that cringy feeling here."

‘It definitely has that fairy dust’

Weeks played in Reverse locally before moving away from Wilmington for a short stint, only to return and start Summer Set with Rogan. The band’s last show was roughly 10 years ago — until recently. 

They joined the stage with their new crew on a joint bill with the Paper Stars in September at Bourgie Nights. They played to a packed crowd of familiar faces. One fan described it as “an old high school reunion you wanted to attend.” 

Rogan and Weeks agreed. 

“It was great to see Fred [Champion],” Weeks said. “It was my favorite part of the show, running into all of these old-school, cool people.”

The band’s sound hadn’t weathered, nor had the performances. Rogan said getting back on stage as Summer Set felt somewhat effortless.

“It’s really weird, like a muscle memory thing,” he said. “But it definitely brings me back to writing songs on Seventh and Grace — it transports me to a great time in my life.”

Summer Set performed new tracks at the show, including “My Isolation” and “Better Days.” Weeks wrote the former during the Covid-19 pandemic, a reference to being stuck without anywhere to go.

“It just kind of came together very quickly,” he said.

“That one’s a fun one to play,” Rogan added. “It definitely has that fairy dust or whatever on it, in the same way ‘Center of Attention’ did.” 

“Better Days” harkens back to a country sound the band leaned into during its early days. “It has more of a gallop to it,” Weeks described. Yet, the band’s newest additions with Manning and Codair are also bringing a more forward-rock sound. 

“I think it’s cool playing with two guitars,” Weeks said. “You know, we used to play with Seth Moody and he could play guitar and keyboard at the same time — like literally in the same song simultaneously. He’s an awesome musician.”

Moody moved to Memphis almost a decade ago. But Rogan’s holding out hope the keys will make their way back to Summer Set eventually.

“When I listened back to the Summer Set stuff, the keyboards, I never really thought of it, but that was a big part of the sound — and I would love to add those back in,” he said. “But I’m really happy with what we’re doing now. When I think about what I would do differently, it comes to enjoying the moments that we had more and not taking them for granted. Being more grateful — that’s the word I’m looking for — ‘grateful.’”

The band began practicing over the summer and are focused on recording new music now. They are polishing the tunes, with the intent to release an album of original music, perhaps next year, but no one is setting a firm timeline just yet.

“Sooner rather than later,” Rogan said. “But you know, based on our track record…”

“Hopefully, it won’t be another 20 years,” Weeks chimed in.

Summer Set’s show with Tercel will be free and takes place at the Sandspur in Carolina Beach on Saturday at 7 p.m. The band will be playing in the outdoor area behind the restaurant and bar at 103 Lake Park Blvd. S.

“Summer Set” Track Listing

  • Center of Attention // 2001-2005
  • Financial District // 2000-2002
  • The Jetty // 2012
  • The Empress //  2000-2002
  • Red Wine // 2012
  • An Invitation // 2012
  • Favorite Places // 2001-2005
  • Crackhead In My Car // 2000-2002
  • Camouflage // 2012
  • Coast to Coast // 2001-2005
Listen to the album here.

Friday, November 24, 2023

OUT NOW: Common Thread "Smoldering Black"

Common Thread’s sophomore album Fountain is a holy grail of northeastern Florida indie rock. Originally released in 1993 on cassette tape, Fountain breaks sonic barriers. Melding influences from Echo & The Bunnymen to The Flaming Lips to Ride to Sonic Youth, Common Thread delivers a wall of dazzling dissonance unto their own. “Lydia Elle” and “Smoldering Black” convey astute lyrical poetry backed by extraordinary melodic hooks that set in deep. Fountain is a time capsule that has preserved nine incredible audible gifts, commemorating Common Thread’s ability and authority.

Today — Black Friday "Smoldering Black" has been made available as the second Digital Single from Fountain on all music platforms. Check it out now, and be sure to reserve your copy of Common Thread Fountain on vinyl record before they are sold out!

Thursday, November 23, 2023

15 great new songs by Wilmington-area artists that you need to listen to right now

[Repost from StarNews Online; by John Staton, November 22, 2023]

It's been a banner year for new music in Wilmington, a corncucopia overflowing with good songs, if you're feeling the Thanksgiving vibes.

It helps that we've got two tiny but mighty labels punching above their weight and cranking out new tunes — sonic veterans Fort Lowell Records and indie upstarts Suck Rock Records — but there's been plenty of good self-released stuff, as well as a couple of former Wilmingtonians shining from afar. From rock and pop to folk and hip-hop, it's not just one scene, either.

Take a listen, and keep in mind there's plenty more where this came from. Keeping the list to 15 was a challenge, which is a good problem to have.


New single from Wilmington-based Fort Lowell Records' "This Water Is Life: Vol. III," a series of albums split between local rappers and indie rockers designed to draw attention to our area's significant water quality issues. Cydaddy's "Cheers (Water Mix)" is a sweet piece of lo-fi indie pop, suffused in melancholy and regret but also tinged with hopefulness.

Doggy Daycare "ACID WALK"

That intro, man oh man. Doggy Daycare's new single is big and bold and fuzzy and psychedelic, like a slice of the coolest grunge that somehow escaped your notice back in the '90s. According to a social media post by the band, "acid walk" is "an ode to being in love and definitely not (about) doing drugs while hiking."


New single from Wilmington-based Fort Lowell Records' "This Water Is Life: Vol. III," a series of albums split between local rappers and indie rockers designed to draw attention to our area's significant water quality issues. Sheme's laid-back delivery and raw subject matter about the things we do to get by are set to some soulful samples, with a guest spot from D$5.

Summer Set "THE JETTY"

Longtime Wilmington indie rock band wrote this song some years ago, but it's new to us, as it just came out Nov. 3 on their new, self-titled album for Fort Lowell Records. Definitely has the beachy sheen of classic Summer Set, with some boom-bap drums and hazy vocals about not losing your grip on the jetty, or on life for that matter.

Tracy Shedd "LET IT RIDE"

Wilmington singer Shedd's latest single, a groovy, moody meditation on patience and trust, came out in August on Fort Lowell. Shedd's vocals are pristine here, sweet and understated.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

inifinitikiss US Tourdates

Nov 22 at Flight Gallery in San Antonio TX
Dec 5 at Yes We Cannibal in Baton Rouge LA
Dec 22 at Drip Coffee in Columbia SC
Jan 6 at LoFi Brewing in North Charleston SC
Jan 12 at The Orange Spot in North Charleston SC

A Gunslinger Gone Bridge Tender: Jon Rauhouse & Blaine Long LP Review

[Repost from Blood Makes Noise; by Taylor John Salvetti, November 17 2023]

One Day Will Never Come Back by Jon Rauhouse & Blaine Long is someone looking backward and opening the waterways for a safer passage.

You’ll hear a certain tremor in Blaine Long’s vocals, it’s become canonized with this certain style of vocals and poetic delivery. But it feels different here. It’s no surprise that Long’s voice is appropriate—no, crucial—to the pairing of Jon Rauhouse’s instrumentation and work on the pedal steel. Some might hear it as a lonesome instrument. Still, even the likes of Lloyd Green and Jimmy Day (the great steel players of the past) were cutting through up-tempo songs and party favorites just to get to the ones that were slow and low, the ones where pedal steel can do what it does best: weep in an open tuning. 

The instrumentation on One Day Will Never Come Back is Rauhouse waving you down the stream, just having opened the bridge for you and yours to sail safely through. He’s not gone, no, but a fettered few years of quarantine and chemotherapy have put him in a state of obligatory reverie. He’s still making music and touring when he can, but this album feels like a live-in-the-moment manifesto. “I’m 64 and older than Elvis and Jesus,” says Rauhouse on “Thanksgiving.” It’s an ego death, it’s a call to action, it’s that feeling of impending doom that is immediately followed by beautiful acceptance.

“I’m an earthbound angel stuck on this merry-go-round,” sings Long on the lead single, “Hey Babe,” released in October of this year. One can’t help but see the tenderness of existence in these songs. It doesn’t leave you wanting much. The bases are covered, the sun has set over an arid landscape, and this rings true in the final track, “The Queen is Dead.” It’s a low and slow melodic instrumental with a sweeping chamber orchestra, a delicate guitar lead, and a click of snare rim that feels like it’s keeping time for something larger.

One Day Will Never Come Back is an album of accumulation. It feels like time and life, bundled into seven tracks, like we’re all sitting at the same table, a fine meal shared between friends. Our wish is that there could be more: more friends, more food, more time, and more life. But we can only get so lucky.

Jon Rauhouse & Blaine Long One Day Will Never Come Back will be released by Fort Lowell Records on Friday, November 17th.  PRESAVE / LISTEN NOW:

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Summer Set - “Center of Attention”

[Repost from more than adequate; by Matty Monroe, November 5, 2023]

RIYL: 70s soft rock/power pop revival with a little bit of twang, Dr. Dog, Fruit Bats, Woods, Kurt Vile

This one was a last minute addition to the show as I had to cut some tracks due to FCC violations, but God am I glad to added it to the show as this song is just charming as hell. While I wrote my own RIYLs for this one, here’s the list the band/label provided:
FOR FANS OF: Beulah, Beachwood Sparks, BRONCHO, Destroyer, Devendra Banhart, Dr. Dog, Drug Cabin, Girls, Good Morning, Grandaddy, Irving, KITIMOTO, MGMT, Helado Negro, The Nude Party, Pavement, The Radio Dept., R.E.M., The Replacements, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, The Sea and Cake, Spiritualized, Spoon, Small Black, Steely Dan, TOPS, Kurt Vile, Wilco, Wild Nothing, Woods, Yo La Tengo

That’s a lot of band with some pretty disparate sounds, yet I do hear all of this somehow in this track, as at the end of the day: it’s some great porch beer music. Special thanks to my good friend Taylor Grimes from Swim Into The Sound for recommending this one on Twitter!

Friday, November 17, 2023

OUT NOW: Jon Rauhouse + Blaine Long 'One Day Will Never Come Back' [12inch LP]


“Hey babe.” Anyone who’s ever spoken with pedal steel guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Jon Rauhouse has heard his signature greeting, at once playful and genuine. It’s just the way Rauhouse sounds when he says it: affable, anachronistic, hep, like a man from another time. 

The catchphrase informs one of my favorite songs on One Day Will Never Come Back, Rauhouse’s new album of bruised and tender songs with singer/songwriter Blaine Long. Titled, you guessed it, “Hey Babe,” Long wrote the song with Jon—deep into treatment for cancer at the time—at the front of his mind. “I’m an earthbound angel stuck on this merry-go-round/We take it day by day, night by night,” Long sings with plaintive resignation in his voice. 

One Day Will Never Come Back is a slim volume, only seven songs, but like At Fillmore East, Giant Steps, and Maggot Brain before it, it packs a lot of life and death into the proceedings, alternating between black comedy, celebratory rave-ups, and warmhearted expressions of thankfulness. Weaving together touches of desert twang, Byrdsian chime, and soulful horn arrangements and into its Americana contours, it represents a deep friendship and connection between Long and Rauhouse. With Rauhouse acting as producer, they cut the album at Sonic Piranha Studio, a familiar zone to both songwriters, who record their podcast The Musicians Guide to Everything podcast there, exploring the ins-and-outs of the industry with guests like Jakob Dylan (The Wallflowers), Billy Bob Thornton, and Neko Case, all of whom Rauhouse has accompanied on record.

Best known for his three-chair turn on The Voice in 2016, Blaine has shared the stage with artists like Beth Hart, Clint Black, Jonny Lang, and Nils Lofgren. He and Rauhouse found themselves sharing stages together after Long invited Rauhouse to join him for a “Christmas” or “New Year’s” gig at Tarbell’s years back. One Day Will Never Come Back finds them joined by a close-knit roster including Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, Rachel Flotard (Visqueen), Jesse Valenzuela (The Gin Blossoms), and Lindsay Cates and Megyn Neff, Rauhouse’s compatriots in the SunPunchers. 

Trading lyrics and musical ideas all along the way, Rauhouse and Long cut into a soulful racket with “Thanksgiving,” an ode to the life of a gigging musician that includes Rauhouse in a rare vocal turn, confessing in a groggy voice: “64 and I’m older than Elvis and Jesus.” Bad role model Charles Bukowski makes a lyrical appearance, as do “The Garden of Eden,” alongside “tombstone stop signs” and “bad girls and long nights.”

On “Pretty Love Song,” the duo welcome Valenzuela to sit in. For Long and Rauhouse, who grew up in the Phoenix metropolitan sprawl, it was heavy with meaning.  “Growing up, I couldn’t listen to non-Christian music, but somehow I got a hold of The Gin Blossoms first album, Up and Crumbling,” Long says. “I had to hide that cassette, when you’re a sheltered little kid, you hold onto those items like gold, they're little scriptures. It was a big moment. He just turned our song into a Gin Blossoms song in seconds.” 

Rauhouse–whose doctor has since deemed his cancer “treatable, not terminal”—also found himself drawing from his own background, including a harrowing scene from his youth in which Rauhouse witnessed the shooting of a friend in a mobile home. 

“I’ve never written autobiographical music before,” he confesses. “But I have a completely different view on the whole world now.” Zooming far enough out, he knows that the moment we have is fleeting. I like to read the title One Day Will Never Come Back as a recognition that the only moment we really have is this one. These seven songs, about near misses and second chances, find Rauhouse and Long living in that moment, open to the pain, open to the laughs, open to it all. 

~ Jason P. Woodbury

Jon Rauhouse + Blaine Long One Day Will Never Come Back is now available on all digital platforms.


Thursday, November 16, 2023

Common Threads

Common Thread; photo by Jody McFarland

[Repost from Folio Weekly; by Amiyah Golden, November 1, 2023]

With the emergence of new sounds being birthed from the inspiration of musical innovators every day, it would be a disservice to not pay homage to the artists who have paved the way by experimenting with and tinkering the sounds we appreciate today.

Jacksonville is the birthplace of so many reputable names in the music industry but one band in particular has escaped much of the mainstream recognition they deserve. So I decided to “throw-it-back” for this month’s Local Artist Spotlight and feature the ’90s band, Common Thread, who originally hail from Orange Park.

Common Thread was formed by two friends, Joe Parker and Travis Taylor. The two skateboarders found an interest in guitar — on their own, originally — but one day, Taylor suggested the two come together to form a band.

“It seemed far-fetched to me that anyone would be willing to play with us as neither of us demonstrated a tremendous facility for the instrument,” said Parker, “We had enthusiasm and tastes, though, that proved to be enough to get the ball rolling.”

Although doubt factored into Parker’s mind initially it didn’t stop the duo from expanding to a full-fledged group by Christmas of 1989. The pair recruited bass guitarist Joey Zimmerman and drummer Donald Kilpatrick.

Now a solidified band, the group was determined to break through into the world of music.

By the following year, Common Thread had enough music to record, and with the help of aspiring engineer Scott Whitter, the band made it happen resulting in the birth of their album, “Six Marbles and a Bowl of Mud.” Whitter is also credited for engineering and helping produce their praised project, “Fountain,” which will soon be available on vinyl and all streaming platforms.

I inquired about the song-making process for the band and Parker shared that much of it sparked from the organic jam sessions between himself and Taylor. With one of the two usually sharing a new guitar riff that may be accompanied with cool lyrics, it served as the first layer to the final production of a song. Parker shared with me some of the inspiration for his writing in particular: “If I liked a turn of phrase. If I wanted to relay a shred of a dream. If I wanted to take a shot at someone, If I wanted to seduce a love, I did it there as well as I could.” 

With the two perfecting their songs by sorting out the structure and arrangement, it was a necessary process that resulted in the stellar songs they created.

The band prioritized their practice sessions with the group practicing two to three times a week to allow their songs to feel like “second nature” They wanted to be well-equipped to share their original music.

I was curious about how their new band got along with more established groups at the time, but Parker assured me that so many other local bands like Lysergic Garage Party, Crowsdell, Rein Sanction shared their support. Common Thread played beside many fellow bands at venues such as Einstein A Go-Go, Metropolis and Dockside.

“The music scene was small but vital,” said Parker, “And wildly varied. None of the bands sounded alike.”

With music from the ’90s still having so much influence today, many bands bridged into their very own sound with the subgenre of “shoegaze” music rising at the time and now having its full circle moment today with its new found popularity, many people credit Common Thread for contributing a big part to the sound.

While Common Thread serves as inspiration today, they also credit bands such as,The Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, Sonic Youth, Nirvana and Screaming Trees, as examples of inspiration. The band reside in their own unique sound, but the variances of musical tastes and inspiration served as a “weird blend that we reflected weirdly,” as Parker put it.

James Tritten of Fort Lowell Records — an online forum documenting music — serves as a great example of the impact that Common Thread has had on listeners.

With Tritten knowing Parker and Taylor personally before they embarked on a music career, he can speak to them as people, as well as musicians.

A musician himself, Tritten was a part of the band Sella, recalling their very first show being with Common Thread at the Doctors Inlet Civic Center in Orange Park.

Tritten recognizes Common Thread as being an inspiration in the past, as well as in the present for him as well as his wife, Tracy, who is also a part of Fort Lowell Records.

“They introduced me to new sounds and textures I had never experienced before, which led me down a path to learn about the musicians and bands who were influencing Common Thread,” Tritten said. They also helped me discover new instruments, effects or musical techniques to use myself as a musician. They pushed boundaries and opened doors I was unaware of.”

With Lowell being a huge supporter of the band, as well as the 30th anniversary of Common Thread’s album,”‘Fountain,” it became his mission to make the project available for everyone to hear.

“To hear people who were not even born in 1993 have the same reaction to them that we had ourselves 30 years ago is beyond awesome, and it’s why we are doing this,” he added.

With apps like TikTok and Instagram being a great way to share music, Tritten beams at the ability to use Common Thread’s songs like “Lydia Elle” and “Smoldering Black” on these platforms that did not even exist 30 years ago. It feels very full circle and is the perfect way to carry on the memory of former bandmates Zimmerman and Kilpatrick, who unfortunately passed away.

Tritten reflects on the memories he had with the two:

“I loved going to watch [Joey] race his car up at Jax Raceways, or just talk about cars in general.  I remember his laid-back style and approach to skateboarding, always with a cigarette hanging off his lips barely holding on, and with his blond hair always covering his face just like when he played bass guitar; how the heck could he see the ramp?” recalled Tritten. “Unfortunately for me, I never had the opportunity to get to know Donald to the same degree. I always thought Donald was an excellent drummer, and glad his contributions were documented on ‘Six Marbles and a Bowl of Mud.’ [But] Donald and Joey will always hold a very special place in our hearts.”

While we might not be able to see Common Thread in person, we now have the ability to listen to the band on various subscription-based streaming sites. And if you’re like me and love collecting vinyl, you have the ability to do so as well. So go check out “Fountain” and become transported into the soundwaves or grab inspiration for your next project. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the legacy of Common Thread.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

‘Camouflage’ by Summer Set | New Self-Titled Album

[Repost from It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine; by Klemen Breznikar, October 23, 2023]

Exclusive track premiere of ‘Camouflage’ by Summer Set, taken from their upcoming self-titled album, out November 3rd, 2023 via Fort Lowell Records.

Summer Set’s first official release is a timeless collection of mostly down-tempo captivating indie rock. Frontman Brian Weeks (Reverse, The Rosebuds) is a master at musical production and songwriting. His lyrical content and delivery, backed by an indisputable knack for melody and rhythm, provide an immediate sense of comfort, ease, and familiarity. The group’s self-titled album, Summer Set, is chock full of pop gems that will have you singing along before the record is over.

Hailing from Wilmington, North Carolina, Summer Set originally formed at the start of the third millennium with Weeks joined by musical partner Robert Rogan and a revolving cast of friends — Jeff Reardon (Rodeo Boy), Seth Moody (The NoSeRiDeRs), Jonathan Bass (The Rosebuds), Tripp Cox (Onward, Soldier). In those early years, various recording sessions and self-produced releases would document the band’s incarnation. But eventually Summer Set would evolve to become a more-or-less two-man operation in its second decade, foreshadowing what was to come from Weeks and Rogan years later as De La Noche; an Indie RnB project featuring long time friend Ivan Howard from The Rosebuds on vocals. Now, more than twenty years later, this first proper album from Summer Set is a formal testimony chronicling their sheer brilliance.

“The band has been through long spells of inactivity, but it’s still an active band”

How much time and preparation went into making your album?

Brian Weeks: It took over 20 years to make this record. The songs had been recorded and shared online and through CDrs, but were never officially released. Some of the songs were written while I was living in San Francisco in 2001-2002, and most were recorded through home recording methods over the last 15 years or so. Two songs on the record are part of a recording session we did with Michael Swart. The record features songs from three different line-ups of musicians that have played in the Summer Set.

Can you share some further words about the making of the record?

A few years ago, I was fortunate to befriend James Tritten and Tracy Shedd from Fort Lowell Records, and they were interested in putting out a Summer Set record. James and Tracy went through my old recordings and liked what they heard. They were surprised that the songs hadn’t had a proper release. Due to their enthusiasm, I let them pick the songs and sequence for the record. I’m so happy that these songs will finally be available. It’s always been a life-long dream to have a vinyl record of my music.

How did you originally get together and what was the overall vision of the band?

Summer Set started as a 4-track project, a way to keep in touch with my friends back in NC when I had moved away. We would send tapes back and forth of new music and I started sending my own goofy songs. I would title the tapes based on the seasons. I sent a tape called Summer Set because the songs were written in the summer and the name stuck for me. When I moved back to NC, I started a band called Summer Set. Looking back, I’d say that we always wanted to write catchy songs with memorable melodies and lots of guitars. The band has been through long spells of inactivity, but it’s still an active band.

What’s next for you?

The band has begun playing live shows again and we are writing and recording new songs. The current line-up is Dustin Codair on drums, John Manning on guitar, Robert Rogan on bass and me on guitar and vocal. We will be putting out an album of recently written songs in the future.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Doggy Daycare - "acid walk"

[Repost from If It's Too Loud; by Ken Sears, November 9, 2023]

After hearing Doggy Daycare's "(forgetting) sarah marshall" back in July, we said we couldn't wait to hear what they did next. The wait is officially over with the release of a second single, "acid walk." The southern shoegaze band really takes that genre to new levels with this one. The song has all the fuzz required with shoegaze, but the guitars have a distinct if odd twang to them. It's almost like if Archers of Loaf decided to switch up genres a bit. "acid walk" has a fuzzed out laid back vibe you just couldn't get anywhere else but the south. Doggy Daycare have created a new sound that is truly all theirs, and once again, we're dying to hear what comes next.

You can listen to "acid walk" below. I Love My Friends will be released via Fort Lowell Records. For more on Doggy Daycare, check out the band on Instagram and Twitter.

Monday, November 13, 2023

New album: Summer Set || Summer Set

[Repost from Add to Wantlist; by Dennis, November 6, 2023]

Wilmington, North Carolina-based indie pop band Summer Set originally was founded over twenty years ago by Brian Weeks and Robert Rogan, then joined by a revolving cast of friends including Jeff Reardon, Seth Moody, Jonathan Bass and Tripp Cox. Although they released some self-produced work in their early years, we can consider this self-titled overview of ten previous highlights as their first proper album. We are taken on a pleasant journey through time along almost-perfect guitar songs full of hooks and evocative lyrics (from uptempo standout track Favorite Places: “Then we went to the park, tried to get there before dark // Hand on my knee sipping Japanese tea, yeah you”). That Weeks and Rogan have taken a more electronic path in between with their contemporary R&B project De La Noche is reflected in the synth-driven tracks Red Wine (in which Toto’s Africa is sampled) and An Invitation, which shows how versatile they are. All in all, this is a melancholic, atmospheric and dreamy retrospective that leaves us wanting more, and reportedly we don’t even have to wait that long for new tunes.

Summer Set’s self-titled album is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Fort Lowell Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Fort Lowell