-NEW LP RECORDED AT ECHO MOUNTAIN, SLATED FOR SPRING 2014 RELEASE
Cleveland rockers Filmstrip have just recorded their second full-length LP, Moments That Matter, at Echo Mountain Recordings in Asheville, North Carolina. Brothers Dave Taha (guitar, vocals) and Matt Taha (bass, vocals) have been making music with Nick Riley (drums) over the last seventeen years, since they were in middle school, and formed Filmstrip in 2009. Making waves locally and nationally over the last few years, Filmstrip issued their debut LP, Everything Can Change, in 2010, and have toured extensively across the US, including a trip to the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. They were featured in Transworld Japan's May 2012 Video Magazine, and were featured in the 2011 film Long Way to Oblivion, which debuted at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Filmstrip also composed theme music for the 2012 Theatre Ninjas production, Marble Cities.
Focusing on promoting the new record, Filmstrip toured the Eastern U.S. for a month in summer 2013, and released three videos. They are available on Youtube:
Stuck on Explode- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEVAIRa6il4
MMS 1970s- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9yQ2q0d26M
The press reviews of Filmstrip have been favorable; they've garnered high praise and some very flattering comparisons.
Cleveland Plain Dealer: "For fans of Neil Young, Band of Horses." "New Music We Love: (Moments of Matter) doesn't disappoint. It's full of all the best parts of the late-1990s, post-grunge turn toward more melodic pop without letting go of the big-guitar wall of sound."
Brooklyn Vegan says: "Cleveland's Filmstrip make a similar kind of post-slowcore indie rock to Pedro the Lion."
Artvoice Magazine: "Filmstrip is the type of band you would expect to see on the front page of Pitchfork. Singer Dave Taha sounds a lot like David Bazan, their songs are as depressing as the National’s, and their guitar tones are as stressed out as the Deerhunter’s. These days there is only one thing that could make a band like this cooler than being featured on Pitchfork though, and that is not being featured at all. The hype machine and the automatic haters have not tainted the three-piece band from Cleveland, Ohio yet. You can still discover this band on your own, and that feeling of discovery is a rare one these days."
The Ohio Authority: "Filmstrip's sound recalls Zen Arcade–era Hüsker Dü, with some of the beautiful dirge of Nirvana and some 90s slacker rock thrown in for cool points." Scene Magazine: "Filmstrip turn out unassuming garage-rock gems."
Filmstrip are planning a tour of the US in Spring 2014 in support of their forthcoming LP. Booking info can be obtained by email at email@example.com. Check out the existing catalog on the web at filmstrip.bandcamp.com and look for the new record and live performances across the US in Spring 2014.
-WE HAVE OPENED FOR THE FOLLOWING (FRIENDS, LEGENDS AND ROAD TALES)
The Fugs, The Lemonheads, Best Coast, Frankie Rose, Tapes n Tapes, Bass Drum of Death, Oberhofer, Grass Widow, Gross Relations, Royal Bangs, Those Darlins, Martin Bisi, Shark?, A Place To Bury Strangers, Peelander Z, and fellow Clevelanders Cloud Nothings.
Dave Taha - Vocals, Guitar
Matt Taha - Vocals, Bass
Nick Riley - Drums
"Everything Can Change" 12" LP, CD, and Digital
"Feeling Like Infinity" Digital (bandcamp)
"Moments of Matter" Spring 2014
Filmstrip @ Death by Audio
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Cleveland's Filmstrip make a similar kind of post-slowcore indie rock to Pedro the Lion, as you ...Cleveland's Filmstrip make a similar kind of post-slowcore indie rock to Pedro the Lion, as you can hear in two of their recently released tracks, "Stuck On Explode" and "Up On The Promenade," which are streaming below. They're on tour now, and swinging through NYC for two shows this week: Death by Audio tonight and Cake Shop tomorrow.
Filmstrip putting finishing touches on 'Moments of Matter'
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The first time the members of Filmstrip shared a stage was 17 years ago, when Dave Taha opened for C...The first time the members of Filmstrip shared a stage was 17 years ago, when Dave Taha opened for Comfort of Misery, a band featuring his brother, Matt, and Nick Riley, in the back yard of the Tahas' Lakewood home.
"I was hooked from that moment on. We had a party; everybody had a great time; let's do it again next week," recalled Dave Taha, who played a guitar Matt had gotten from a man who was picking through the garbage in front of their house.
Now, almost two decades later, the brothers Taha and Riley are shopping around their second LP, recorded over six days late last year at Echo Mountain Recording Studio (Band of Horses, Avett Brothers) in Asheville, N.C.
The band put down 33 tracks that members culled to 17 rough mixes. They just got the masters for 15 of those and will put 11 or so on the finished record, aimed for a fall release.
Which 11 will make the final cut all depends on whom you ask. "Got a Guitar" and "Stuck on Explode" seem to draw consensus; the others are up for discussion.
"I think if we all had to pick separately, you'd get three different records," Dave Taha said.
"They're all like our babies -- how do you pick which 11 go on the record?" added Matt Taha.
Riley wants "Waiting on a Train" ("My favorite song to play live"). Matt Taha would pick "Is You Is" ("Dave brings it home"). And Dave? "Pride of Cleveland."
"Part of that process is putting the mixes up [at filmstrip.bandcamp.com] and hearing the feedback. And it's been all over the place. The same three songs one person will say you have to include . . . another will say you have to leave those off," said Riley. "As soon as someone says something bad about one, someone else steps up and says that's they're favorite."
Recording at Echo Mountain Studios, which features the same EMI preamps as the famed Abbey Road studio and the board Jimi Hendrix recorded on in Seattle, wasn't the cheapest way to do things in the era of bedroom studios, but it was important to the band.
"In the end, a couple of years ago, I think we all realized that it was something we wanted to do full time," Riley said. "So that's why we said [expletive] it, let's put down a really nice recording and try to get somebody to put it out, instead of just saying, 'Oh, it'd be nice to do that.' "
Pride and Despair in Cleveland: Filmstrip Pens a Moving Ode to the Band's Hometown
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Filmstrip pens a moving ode to the band's hometown Pride and Despair in Cleveland by Chri...Filmstrip pens a moving ode to the band's hometown
Pride and Despair in Cleveland
by Chris Parker
Charleston City Paper
The most arresting moment on Filmstrip's new album Moments of Matter is also its quietest. Amid the Cleveland trio's collection of punchy, chunky rock, it's the tender resignation of "P.O.C." that stops the listener in their tracks. Accompanied by nothing more than an acoustic guitar, frontman Dave Taha waxes philosophical on a Saturday night: "We left the party when they ran out of beer, which got me to thinking, what are we doing here?" he sings. "You don't want to understand my plight, so crack another can and let's get on with the night."
It's the figurative moment when Saturday night becomes inextricably linked with Sunday morning. The song is an acronym for "Pride of Cleveland," and it has the same kind of benumbed, Midwestern alcoholism that lies at the center of the Replacements' great tune "Here Comes a Regular." On that track, Paul Westerberg wonders, "Am I the only one who feels the shame?"
However in a Rust Belt city like Cleveland, decay and dissolution are just one of those things that showcase the town's odd mix of resilience and despair. Or as Taha sings, "This would all be fine if I'd just do what I'm told, for the people of Cleveland it never gets old."
It's a song he wrote years ago and the band has never been able to properly put it on tape until now. When Taha and his Filmstrip bandmates went to Asheville, N.C.'s Echo Mountain Studios to record the new 15-track disc, his brother and bassist Matt Taha had an idea.
"Dave's most comfortable moment is him on his acoustic guitar," Matt says. "That's how he personally first moved me by his music. So I said, 'Can you play a couple of these acoustic? I really want to see how it sounds through this awesome equipment that we were working with.' It was like, 'Alright that sounds amazing. Let's just go with that.'"
The result is a heart-tugging ode to the specter of learned helplessness and opportunities forsaken. "We usually play that song live super-jammed out, with a big swooping Dinosaur Jr.-style riff," Dave says. "That song to me is just my way of saying thank you Cleveland for making me who I am — resilient, austere, and ready to live on the road because I practically live on the road anyway in a shitty apartment in Cleveland."
The rest of the album's a mix of tuneful, upbeat rock of the type and breadth you'd find on college radio. There's jangle-pop nostalgia ("Partners in Crime"), slashing Sebadoh-esque alt-rock ("Up on the Promenade"), ambling folk-blues ("Wild Abandon"), and creamy, sardonic post-rock ("Opportunism"). Another highlight beyond "P.O.C." is the droning slow-burn ballad dedicated to our loud, unforgiving culture, "Stuck on Explode."
"On this record we wanted to almost cultivate an album that was kind of a mix of everything we have done and can do," says drummer Nick Riley. "Some of these songs Dave wrote over 10 years ago. Some of them are brand new that we haven't even played since we recorded them."
They went into the studio with 35 songs and let the chips fly. "Bands these days get sucked into this one-dimensional vacuum and just start putting out the same exact record," Matt Taha says. "I feel this is an opportunity for us to show what's on our minds."
Riley has been playing with Taha since their eighth grade summer, and they played together in various combos for more than a dozen years before starting Filmstrip four years ago. Their 2010 debut Everything Can Change is much more distortion-laden than their forthcoming album, and there's no mistaking the fact that the band owes a deep allegiance to late-'80s/early-'90s underground acts like Hüsker Dü, Superchunk, and Jawbox.
Though they've finished recording and have posted rough mixes on their Bandcamp page, they're still shopping the final mix. If nothing exciting presents itself, they'll self-release the album later this fall.
The album's completion has been accompanied by a renewed sense of purpose, coupled with a decision to book longer tours than anything they've ever attempted before. Now in their 30s, they've decided to go all in. "They say everything happens for a reason," Matt Taha says. "Now we're comfortable enough to go out on the road for a long period of time and go for our dreams."
His brother Dave adds, "We have a chemistry that really can't be broken. We have a really strong bond just from having been in and out of bands since we were teens. The timing felt perfect, especially the opportunity to go down to Echo Mountain and record. It all started falling into place for us, and it was like, alright, things are lining up, why not go for it?"
The guys in Filmstrip are hoping to follow in the footsteps of several bands that have broken out of the fertile Cleveland scene like Mr. Gnome, Cloud Nothings, and Sweet Apple. It's a hard, head-down life in Cleveland, but that doesn't mean you can't ever rise up.
"[The song "P.O.C."] is half this weird vent about Cleveland because the odds are stacked," Dave says. "There's a sense because we've been doing it for so long and doing different things. We've even thought about moving. We've thought about doing all this other stuff under the sun, but we finally realized we really love Cleveland and I think there's a certain sense of owning something here."
Matt has similar sentiments. "It's like when you analyze your heritage and you find it's full of good and bad," he says. "That's how I feel about Cleveland. You give thanks for the good and bad because they made you who you are."
Moving Pictures: “Stuck On Explode” by Filmstrip
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I still think of the Cleveland band, Filmstrip, as drummer Nick Riley’s scrappy, little punk band wh...I still think of the Cleveland band, Filmstrip, as drummer Nick Riley’s scrappy, little punk band who’d play shows when his other band, Mystery of Two, weren’t active. It’s been a few years since Mystery of Two have been active. And, Filmstrip are no longer a scrappy, little punk band. Once we get to the video, you’ll see what I mean.
“Stuck On Explode,” comes from Moments of Matter, Filmstrip’s, forthcoming, second album, and shows a trio who have undergone tremendous growth. If this track had been released 20 years ago, during the time when anything vaguely grungy got the notice of major labels, Filmstrip would have a regional, if not national hit on their hands with A&R reps elbowing each other at their gigs.
Even in 2013, its merits are obvious, from the sly, winding guitar work to the clean production, and the keen sense of control the trio displays. “Stuck on Explode” sounds if it could explode into a fury of guitar crunch and uneasy feedback at any moment. Others would have certainly taken the more obvious route. And, others would have a lesser song on their hands.
- Bill Lipold
June 23, 2013
Rust Belt Rock: Local Music Industry Vets Weigh in on the State of the Cleveland Music Scene
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Cindy Barber Owner, Beachland Ballroom and Tavern The most exciting local act right now is...? ...Cindy Barber
Owner, Beachland Ballroom and Tavern
The most exciting local act right now is...?
Hands down Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites! They are just a rapidly moving explosion and Beachland partner Mark Leddy is trying to help them navigate as they all hang on to their day jobs. Others I'm watching and encouraging are Modern Electric who seems poised to take the next step and follow in the footsteps of The Lighthouse and the Whaler, Mr. Gnome and Cloud Nothings, to do more national touring. They have determination, organization and a tight stage show. I'm really liking the new Filmstrip record. Leah Lou and the Two Left Shoes is ready to take off. And Herzog is a songwriting force. And Bim Thomas' punked out project Obnox is getting lots of attention right now.
Vince Slusarz - Owner, Gotta Groove Records
The most exciting local act right now is...?
Again, too many to mention, but among the few we have had the privilege of pressing: Megachurch, All Dinosaurs, Filmstrip, and Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lights.
Filmstrip - Everything Can Change
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Keeping the Cleveland post-punk style alive with HotChaCha, Mystery of Two, and Founding Fathers, he...Keeping the Cleveland post-punk style alive with HotChaCha, Mystery of Two, and Founding Fathers, here is Filmstrip, a quartet of three brothers and one drummer who makes rounds in this town. ”In My Mind” is a driving pop anthem exploding with Cleveland punkiness, alongside the big album closer “Should Have Seen It Coming.” You can find these songs on their debut album Everything Can Change released this summer. You can pick up the 12? LP at a number of Cleveland record stores, including Music Saves, Bent Crayon, and Blue Arrow, or you can buy the CD here, or you can email them at filmstripohio[at]gmail.com to order a 12?. And for you Clevelanders home for the holiday, Filmstrip is on the bill for the “Beachland Home For The Holidays” on December 23rd with headliners Bears!
C.D. Singles Club #83 – Filmstrip – In My Mind
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Filmstrip describes themselves on their Myspace as, “a band from Cleveland, Ohio made up of two brot...Filmstrip describes themselves on their Myspace as, “a band from Cleveland, Ohio made up of two brothers with white blood and an Arabic name (Matt and Dave Taha) who were raised by a catholic, a muslim, and a kuwaiti drop-out, and a guy (Nick Riley) who thinks Allah/God/Krisna/Buddah must be or have been, a drummer." I'm still wrapping my brain around this desription, and have been for a couple of hours. Nonetheless, they're really three irish dudes who are putting a little sheen on their in-your-face garage rock anthems. This track, "In My Mind," begins with fuzzy central riff and maintains a consistent Cleveland thumbprint throughout. We wear the furrowed brow of the blue collar. Our fashion is based on durability and we drink real beer in real bars. Our attorneys shake hands with steelworkers in rustbelt brotherhood. Filmstrip fights right in here. What initially pops off as something infectiously melodic is actually quite a bit more complex. These guys have chops and we're excited to hear the rest of the album. So much regional music rarely bounces out of the local scene that births it. I don't see that happening with these guys. They had the opportunity to play at Sundance recently and have enjoyed the flirtation with national exposure. We'll stamp our approval on it right now. If you're in Cleveland, there's no reason to be out of the loop. If you're from elsewhere, check out their myspace HERE. The band is having their record (self) release party at one of our favorite venues, Happy Dog, and will be supported by local favorites Hot Cha Cha and Founding Fathers.
Filmstrip at The Happy Dog, Saturday, August 7th (w/ Hot Cha Cha and Founding Fathers)
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This coming weekend, you have two chances to check out the local trio known as Filmstrip. The future...This coming weekend, you have two chances to check out the local trio known as Filmstrip. The future sound of punk is led by brothers Matt and Dave Taha. The music recalls Zen Arcade–era Hüsker Dü, with some of the beautiful dirge of Nirvana and some 90s slacker rock thrown in for cool points. Filmstrip are quickly becoming a favorite among Cleveland's ever-growing music scene. Earlier this year, the group flirted with national exposure while performing at Sundance, as drummer Nick Riley was a production manger for the feature film, The Taqwacores. Your first chance to see Filmstrip this weekend is on Saturday at 2 pm, where they will be participating in this year's Lakewood Arts Festival. If that does not jibe with your schedule, then you definitely don't want to miss later that day when they will be playing a headlining gig for the release of their self-titled debut at the Happy Dog. Hot Cha Cha and Founding Fathers will be making this quite a triple bill of local goods.
Recycle Your Tanks
Shells In The Meadow
Everything Can Change
In My Mind
Should Have Seen It Coming
There are no upcoming dates at this time.