Superet: The Best Band You’ve Never Heard Of

It’s something you hear for years, but it appears to be an inevitability: no matter how much you try, it’s just harder to get into newer bands when you get older. It’s something that has had a slow build-up in me for the last few years. There are a crazy amount of up-and-comers that have potential, but at 30 years old, it takes more than teenage angst to catch my attention.

Another inevitability is the feeling that the best albums you’ll ever hear are already behind you. There are some magical works of art that come out every year, but it has been half of a decade since something has shattered my world the way that The Fratellis’ Costello Music did when it forced me to park my car and finish a song because I couldn’t focus on anything else. Nothing has fueled my system with the energy of hearing Green Day’s American Idiot, or truly found my soul like The Wonder Years for so long.

But every now and then, you find something truly amazing.

A month ago, I attended the Chicago show for Dreamcar, the supergroup of AFI’s Davy Havok and the members of No Doubt filling out the rest of the band. It was truly a great show. But what I took away from it, arguably more than anything is that a month later, I am still reliving their opening band’s set, even though I literally only know one of their songs.

Superet is a band I had never heard of before that night. They took the stage as the only opening band, with two keyboards on either side of the stage, and fuzzy haired vocalist Matt Blitzer sporting a tight jacket. From the very start, they shattered my world.

The only way I know how to describe their sound, from memory, is that it was as if Jack White had penned his own version of Costello Music. The energy, the hypnotic percussion and the attitude paid off in ways that would seem hacky for a lesser band. It’s as if the indie rock of 2006 had been maturing like a fine wine, finally exploding with the craze of Hot Hot Heat and the temperament of Jon Fratelli.

No instrument or talent felt wasted. Guitarist Isaac Tamburino jumped instantly from guitar to tambourine to keyboards and back within a single song. Every song was more impressive than the one before it, with one breakdown reminding me of a more frantic rock version of the second half of Motion City Soundtrack’s “Time Turned Fragile”.

It took a long time to realize just how obsessed I was with the band, mostly due to noticing just how often I was Googling their name for a release date of any music. Currently, there is only one single, “Pay It Later”. It was my least favorite of their songs, and my current play count for that song alone is nearing 60 after just a few weeks.

It’s a relief to find a band that reaffirms your love of music from time to time. Age can wear down enthusiasm, but it can never kill it. And I am enthused. I am hunting for any information about an EP, or an LP, or even another single.

I truly believe that a band that is, with one single, represented by the same press company as Green Day and Panic! At the Disco (literally the only information I could find other than a Facebook page), Superet is on the verge of becoming either one of the most talked about under-the-radar bands out there, or one of the biggest.

Check out the band’s new seizure-infused video for “Pay It Later” and get a free download of the song at their site. Just thought you should know.

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago is a creep. Really, what a no good person. Throw apples at his face if you can.

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Forecastle 2014: Keeping Louisville Weird

forecastle_splash

Keep Louisville Weird. It’s the unofficial slogan of a city that prides itself in being different – championing its local shops and eateries, embracing its odd and quirky layout, and advocating its diversity and idiosyncrasies.

It’s not surprising that the city’s own Forecastle Festival, started just over a decade ago, embraces all of the above. Once the little brother of the summer festival circuit, Forecastle has quickly grown from a small local music celebration to a full-blown art, activism and music extravaganza, complete with bigger names, brighter lights and crazier crowds.

Although the scale of the event has changed dramatically since its 2002 inception, one thing has remained unsurprisingly static: Forecastle is undeniably Louisville.

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forecastle onlookers

The great lawn

As a former Louisvillian who resided in the city during many of Forecastle’s growing years, I was always impressed with the festival’s diligence to keep things local. As Forecastle’s lineups have continued to balloon, marked this year by the inclusion of Outkast, Jack White and Beck, I was intrigued to make a return and observe the fully realized event.

If you were to classify Forecastle in years past, you might be inclined to label the festival’s musical focus as indie, folk or bluegrass. No more. While those genres are certainly represented, the full lineup spans an array of musical sounds, from electro-pop (St. Lucia, Kygo) to hip hop (Outkast) to punk (Against Me!, The Replacements) to country (Dwight Yoakam).

This combination of eclectic music and big name headliners has resulted in larger crowds and increased exposure. However, with crowds flocking from across the country, it’s clear that Forecastle has made no compromises to its overall vision. Instead, the overall feel of the festival itself has been amplified, making it quite possibly the most peculiar and unique summer festival around.

Squallis Puppeteers

Squallis Puppeteers

Louisville’s art scene is in full force, and is not contained to one area, but instead invades the waterfront area from every direction. The Squallis puppeteers venture around the festival grounds with odd creatures and familiar Louisville natives. On day one, a large marooned ship appears to be a prop, but instead becomes an ongoing art project with various artists contributing paint and stylings as the weekend progresses.

Tents are interspersed throughout the grounds featuring artwork for sale, blended with various non-profit and activism opportunities and organizations. The newly added Kentucky Landing offers up the best of Kentucky-made goods and cuisine, putting the best of the Commonwealth on display.

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Bourbon Lodge

Indeed, it’s hard to find another festival with as many eatery options. In place of the typical and often grossly unhealthy fair food found at most venues, Forecastle offers up local eats to satisfy just about everyone (I personally recommend the vegan red beans and rice). Likewise, the drink options are far from scarce. The Bourbon Lounge offers bourbon connoisseurs member-only access to some of the finest whiskey in the area, while Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine serves up options for those more drawn to the sweeter side.

It’s hard to look in any direction and not be drawn to something of a local flavor. This speaks volumes to Forecastle’s overall mission and determination to keep the festival as a beacon of what Louisville has to offer. In truth, the city’s populace likely wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Even though Forecastle is a music festival, one could easily distract himself or herself with the curious surroundings and activities. Nonetheless, the festival’s 2014 lineup is one for the ages and will likely cement Forecastle as a nationally recognized event in the years to come. With an opening night featuring one of the most lauded comeback acts of the year in Outkast, there’s no denying the pull.

Friday’s lineup featured a number of fresh faces for the massive crowd. Against Me! made their first Forecastle appearance with a bang, fresh off the heels of their latest release, Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Local Natives followed on the Boom Stage with their catchy, melodic brand of indie rock, led by vocalist Taylor Rice.

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Twenty One Pilots

Perhaps the most odd appearance of the weekend belonged to Twenty One Pilots, who turned the grounds into a dance party with their indietronica/hip-hop hybrid. While not the typical cup of tea for most Forecastle-goers, it’s evident that the festival is more than willing to widen its doors to the pop world and its fans.

However, it’s no surprise that Friday night belonged to Outkast. Recently reunited, the duo promised a slew of festival dates around the globe to celebrate their return in 2014. Forecastle attendees were treated to an hour and 40 minute set that featured every major song in the band’s catalogue and then some. With one of the most impressive live productions you’ll witness, Andre 3000 and Big Boi lit up the night sky on the waterfront and proved why they’re considered hip-hop royalty.

Jack White

Jack White

Other highlights from the weekend included hour and a half sets from the likes of indie rock giants Band of Horses, country legend Dwight Yoakam and a surprise appearance from Billie Joe Armstrong during The Replacements’ set. Not to be outdone by Outkast’s giant Friday night performance was the one and only Jack White, fresh off the release of his latest solo effort, Lazaretto. White shredded through Saturday night with a setlist filled with newer solo material, White Stripes hits and a few Raconteurs tracks thrown in for good measure.

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It’s hard not to be impressed with the sheer scale of this year’s Forecastle Festival. Even more impressive is that the city of Louisville lies at the heart of every move and every moment. It makes sense that this city would refuse to follow in the footsteps of the other major summer festivals and instead blaze its own trail. The fact that it does so with its own residents, artists and musicians leading the way is truly admirable.

So what lies ahead for Forecastle? One could imagine an ever-growing lineup of big name artists while still making room for the usual suspects and local talent amidst an expanding audience. If the steady growth of recent years is any indication, it won’t be long before Forecastle is mentioned alongside the likes of Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. In the meantime, it’s still a wonderful sight to see this hometown festival liven up the Louisville waterfront more and more with each passing year.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.