Uglyography is a Hampton Roads VA based trio that plays quirkadelic rock music. Quirkadelic rock is a new genre that was actually coined by Uglyography and describes the eclectic sounds and influences that the band projects. Borrowing from They Might Be Giants, The Pixies, Ween, early East Bay pop-punk, and countless others, the songwriting style of band leader Matt Thomas is undeniably unique, catchy, and thought-provoking. More importantly, the energy and fun that the band has on stage trickles down into the audience. Happiness ensues.
The members of Uglyography were each transported from the 19th Century to the 2010’s through various means of time travel, all accidental. Albert Dimaggio (Drums, Bass) was sucked into a vortex while busking on the street when a silver dollar landed in his cigar box and balanced upright on its edge. DJ Blake (guitar, drums) was installing a weather vane to his Amish barn when he was struck by lightning and plunged into a wormhole. Matt Thomas (bass, iWood Quirkatronic) was running audio tests on the mentally ill, when he hit a magic frequency combination which cured his patient and sent him spiraling to the 21st century. Convinced that the magic frequency could be struck once more with the help of an ensemble, Thomas recruited Dimaggio and Blake to join him in a musical quest to get the three of them back to the 1870’s through the power of audio.
Uglyography was named Best Local Band 2012 by Virginia Living Magazine and received three nominations at the Veer Local Music Awards in February 2012 for Best Band, Best Album (2011’s Undercover New Machine), and Best Video (My Brain). They have also been named Defenstration WHRV’s Band of the Month and have been broadcast regularly over the airwaves on 96x’s Local Music Show and WHRV’s Out of the Box, including a live radio performance. Television appearances include WAVY 10’s Hampton Roads Show, Cox Channel 11’s Sound Check, and Johnson City Tennessee’s Tha Soundboxx. The band also makes regular appearances on the music podcast YourMusicShow and has been written up on several occasions by newspaper publications The Daily Press, The Virginian Pilot, Veer Magazine, Pulse, and many others both in print and across the world wide web.
Three full-length albums have been released by Uglyography and a brand new EP will be released by the end of 2013. The trio stays very busy between touring, performing at festivals and conventions, recording, creating original music videos, regular local performances, and trying to adjust to 21st Century living. They are one of the hardest working and most captivating bands in the 757 and their enthusiasm and passion is reflected in their ever-growing ardent fanbase.
A CONDENSED LIST OF PLACES UGLYOGRAPHY HAS BEEN FEATURED AS OF AUGUST 2013:
ConTemporal Steampunk Convention, The Daily Press, WAVY TV 10, MetaFest Music Festival , Hampton Summer Street Fest (Block Party), YourMusicShow, The American Theatre, Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie Music Festival, AltDaily, Mekos’s Skate Shop, Veer Magazine, Hampton History Museum, The Jewish Mother, WHRV 89.5 FM Radio, Hampton and Norfolk Taphouse, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Christopher Newport University, Old Dominion University, Olde Towne Tavern, Virginia Living Magazine, Fantasy, Pulse/VA Pilot, Mojo Bones, Meridian Coffeehouse, Geared Up Rock Bar, County Grill, Toured to 7 states in 2009 and 2012 including NY, OH, WV, TN, NC, SC and of course VA.
Matthew Thomas - Vocals, Bass, iWood Quirkatronic
Al Dimaggio - Vocals, Bass, Drums
DJ Blake - Vocals, Drums, Guitar
Four Shafts are Uglier than One (LP, 2013)
Undercover New Machine (LP, 2011)
Love Boat (LP, 2006)
Uglyography Record Review
[+ Show ]
Uglyography's newest release, Four Shafts are Uglier than One, is a rather interesting piece of ...Uglyography's newest release, Four Shafts are Uglier than One, is a rather interesting piece of work. The title of the record insinuates, well, besides the obvious, the movement towards a more democratic compositionalstyle, as writing had previously been the purview of frontman Matt Thomas. Sonically, the album infuses the melodic elements of pop-punk with oldschool rock and roll and places it all within a hardcore punk framework. The eclectic mixture contains musical motifs normally resevered for progressive acts, one such being the employment of asymmetrical time-signitures. It's an eccentric and exuberant album, and it gets better on repeated
The record begins with an acoustic intro wishing the audience a Happy NewYear, which transitions quite seamlessly into their lead song, Hookey. Fans may recognize this one from their most recent video. Hookey has obvious potential to be a centerpiece, but as the album progresses, the band beginsto showcase a few of their more unconventionalstyles. The following song in particular, entitled Universal (It's You), contains a five count interlude with a pleasantly disjointed beat. Theramin Flu departsfrom the formula yet again, this time with sickly sounding, atmospheric psychedelia, the sound itself cleverly winking toward the song's title.
Corner Sweeper follows, a straightforward punk rock chugger incorporating a 50's-era keyboard riff, all set to an entertaining narrative about delivering a ransom.
Proposition 19, as its name suggests, is a brief but impassioned plea to introduce legislation in Virginia fully legalizing marijuana. The seventh song of this album is entitled Oh Ezmerelda, and it combines a vivacious beat with a sweeping rotary organ. The final three tracks are actually re-imaginations of songs which had appeared on previous Uglyography releases. Still and On the Ground, respectively, are both remixes, the latter featuring an appearance from local alternative rapper Shakespeare's Ghozt. The album then closes with an energetic live performance of Marcel's Foil.
At the time that I initially obtained the record, two of the band members sat down with me personally to chat informally about their influences, trace their musical progression, outline their plansfor the future, and of course, to discuss the many bloodsuckersin the industry.
The influences they cite are multivarous, ranging fromThey Might Be Giants to the Pixies to the Dead Milkmen, and just about everything in between.
Matt Thomas described to me briefly how Uglyography found its voice over the course of three records. It began with tinkering, as so many projects do, mainly learning the capabilities of his home studio. For his first release, he learned to manipulate the drum machine, to layer tracks effectively, and to replicate some of the left overs from his previous band.
In the second record, Thomas took a different approach. He played an actual drum set, but in a novel twist, differentiated the tracks, necessitating using his set like a sequencer. It was here in this sophomore record that he began envisioning his compositions' arrangements assomething that could be accomplished by a live band.
Thematically, this third album is all about collaboration: it isthe first to feature the entire lineup in the recording itself, also novel in that it represents a departure from Thomas's solo compositions; everyone's influences are represented here, resulting in a comparatively heavier, more ponderous sound. The inclusion of Shakespeare's Ghozt nods as well towards this overarching theme of teamwork and change, as this new album even contains reworkings of older work.
When asked about promotion and their plans for the future, what they expressed to me is a desire for conservative growth; they have aspirations to be known regionally, but not necessarily to sign with a major label. Money is not their primary motivator. Freedom is. I'm told they have tentative plansto create a new video, as well as to jump back into recording. It's possible this new project may take the shape of an EP-style release intended for digital distribution. Then again, nothing is set in stone, and anything can happen. For better or worse, that's part of the fun.
Steampunk event at Hampton History Museum drew fans, the curious
[+ Show ]
Participants and organizers at this past weekend's event Steampunk: Visions of Futures Past say ...Participants and organizers at this past weekend's event Steampunk: Visions of Futures Past say they saw strong interest in a thriving subculture that mixes history with a strong dose of science-fiction fantasy.
"It was very well received," said Seamus McGrann, promotions director for the Hampton History Museum, which hosted the miniature, first-time festival. "We had people from near and far. Probably, over the course of the weekend, about 1,200 people came to see the displays and event."
Seven artists or inventors displayed or demonstrated their wares. Steampunk enthusiasts traveled from Richmond, Fredericksburg and North Carolina to be part of the festivities, which lasted through Sunday.
Local bands Uglyography and The Framers played the event's opening ceremony on Friday.
What is steampunk? I talked to several of the artists who displayed their work in Hampton for a story published on Friday.
"Everybody was thrilled that there was something like that in Hampton," said Matt Thomas, who leads the band Uglyography. "I had a lot of fun performing and watching everyone's reactions to what they were seeing, these displays with huge inventions. People walked in there having no idea what to expect. People were saying, 'Wow that was really cool, I'm glad we came in.'"
McGrann said folks who wandered in from the concurrent Hampton Blackbeard Pirate Festival were pleasantly surprised.
"I overhearded people saying, 'Oh, this is great. Now, I know what steampunk is.' The public had an opportunity to see some great work and it definitely energized the local steampunk community."
McGrann said he foresees the Hampton History Museum serving as a hub for local steampunk activities, including model airship races.
Defenestration Benefit at the Wesley House
[+ Show ]
Located on 49th street across from the Old Dominion University campus, the Wesley House hosted a sho...Located on 49th street across from the Old Dominion University campus, the Wesley House hosted a show on Saturday, February 9. Half of the profits helped benefit, “Defenestration,” a WHRO Public Media Internet Radio program (http://defenestration.net). The Wesley House is a non-profit music venue hosting shows for local, regional, national, and international touring musicians. It is sponsored by the United Methodist Church, the Tidewater Wesley Foundation, and True-Indie.Com.
Local alternative/indie/acoustic artist, Cody Pearce, opened up the show, which promptly began at 6pm. I was happy to arrive just in time to catch his set. Steven, founder of Muzik Lounge, had put my name on his guest list, but I paid the $5 admission fee since I knew the money would go towards a good cause. Cody played a few originals, and covered one of my personal favorites by the band, Brand New. At the end of his set, he encouraged audience members to ask him for a free CD. I was lucky enough to receive a copy to add to my collection of local music. Cody’s single, “Is Mayonnaise an Instrument?,” is now available for purchase on iTunes.
This was my second time attending a show at the Wesley House. My first time was last October when I helped out at Wesley’s outdoor homecoming concert, and had the opportunity to meet the next act, Kelsey Vivien and the Clouds. Kelsey describes her music as a “delicious mix of jazz, soft rock, and pop.” She and her band played several covers of songs ranging from pop artists, such as Bruno Mars and Carly Rae Jepsen, to legends like Alanis Morissette and Fiona Apple. Although I enjoy a good cover, Kelsey’s originals were what I looked forward to the most. “No, no, no” is definitely my favorite, so far. You can find the video for her other original song, “Play Pretend,” on YouTube (http://youtu.be/h94mwSAefkc).
It’s always a great show when local alternative/indie/acoustic artist, Matt Mason, is on the line-up. I first saw him live at Peabody’s in 2011, and was instantly hooked. His lyrics are beautifully written, and the emotion he conveys seems to captivate his audience. It was nice to see Cody Pearce and other members in the crowd singing along with him, including myself!
Straight out of the 1870’s, “quirkadelic” rockers, Uglyography, were next to take the stage. The younger audience members especially enjoyed the sounds, and started a small dance party in the middle of the room. The band recently released their new album, Four Shafts are Uglier than One. I was invited to Matt Thomas’ house during the engineering and mixing process–we worked on the song the band uses for sound check, “Proposition 19.” It was an awesome opportunity watching Matt perfect the track, while learning a little about Pro Tools, and all the work that goes into the making of an album.
DJP and MrT closed out the show. By the end of the night, the crowd decreased in size, but those who stayed were blown away by the trio. By chance, I’ve seen them live a few times before, but never in such an intimate setting. Jackie, Tyler, and Charles are three of the most talented people in Hampton Roads. Their abilities to switch between instruments, use samplers, and sing simultaneously, simply had me in awe. The only question I’ve been pondering is, what does the name DJP and MrT mean?
At the end of the show, I couldn’t help overhearing nothing but praise of the performers. The Wesley House is a smaller, more intimate venue, but the show had a great turnout–about 35 people. I look forward to attending more shows there, and hearing more from Cody Pearce, Kelsey Vivien and the Clouds, Matt Mason, Uglyography, and DJP and MrT.
What's New with Uglyography?
[+ Show ]
Hampton-based Uglyography, comprised of Matt Thomas (vocals, bass, iWood Quirkatronic), Albert Dimag...Hampton-based Uglyography, comprised of Matt Thomas (vocals, bass, iWood Quirkatronic), Albert Dimaggio (drums, bass, vocals), DJ Blake (guitar, vocals, drums, Theremin) and Jack Morgan (guitar, drums, vocals, bass), start off their new album, Four Shafts are Uglier than One, with the 40 second serenade Happy New Year, a moment of acoustic charm filled with pleasant backup vocals and tambourine before they shift things into full on “Quirkadelic” mode for the remainder of Four Shafts are Uglier than One, their first album as a powerhouse quartet for Steamy Attic Records.
The song “Hookey” jumps right in next with all the catchiness of Beelzebubba-era The Dead Milkmen. A fast paced punk anthem about, you guessed it, playing Hookey. Two minutes of bouncing bass, crunchy guitars and nice shout it out chorus perfect for those days you just don’t want to be a part of the rat race. Catch Uglyography’s low budget, hi-octane video for Hookey on YouTube.
The album moves by quickly, never staying in one place too long, the longest song being just around four minutes. These aren’t cookie cutter pop songs and that’s refreshing. Short songs just means they’ve cut things down to the most important things they wanted to say. All killer No filler as the saying goes.
Songs like “Theremin Flu,” “Oh Ezmerelda” and “On the Ground (featuring Shakespeare’s Ghozt)” benefit greatly from the new members and their skills. The previous Uglyography albums, including 2011’s Undercover New Machine, was less fanfare and a bit more stripped down in comparison.
“Jack, Al, and DJ bring a wide variety of styles to the table, generally a heavier influence than my solo work but it works really well and feels fantastic” says lead singer and main songwriter Matt Thomas, who also engineered, produced, and mixed the album in his home.
Jack adds, “We recorded in Matt’s music room. Drum tracking was done on my drum kit and a mix of cymbals that Al, DJ and I have. The music was done on way too many guitars and basses to count. Matt did all of the recording and producing and was really great for bouncing ideas off in the studio.”
Maybe the home recording is what gives the album such a relaxed atmosphere. Throughout the album you hear a band in a comfortable place with no polish.
No layers upon layers of Protools magic. Just a band playing their hearts out for the love of it.
When I asked about their favorite songs on the album, Albert surprised me with his choice, “Corner Sweeper.” It’s the one song that we haven’t played live yet, and it features our alternate arrangement of me on bass, Jack on drums and Matt on keys. For that reason, it sounds different than most of our songs and the recording came out better than I could have ever imagined.”
The album definitely has a punk vibe to it, but you hear the influence of fearlessly nerdy bands like Pixies, Jawbreaker and They Might Be Giants as well.
The song Proposition 19 could easily sneak right onto the album “Flood” without being caught. And my personal favorite song on the album, “Still” might just be the spawn of a Frank Black and Stephen Malkmus (Pavement) jam session.
The album lyrics do not get too serious, but aren’t disposable either. For example, this little gem from “Theremin Flu:”
“And yeah I know my words are slurred up strange
And object dyslexia is rulin’ my brain
I’d rather have it this way all day
Than shiver and scratch my skin away.”
The lyrics are defiant and playful, much like the band itself, who make outrageous claims of being time travelers from the 19th century. Yes, you read that last sentence right, the members of Uglyography (Matt, Al, DJ and Jack) all have full sci-fi back-stories including vortexes, lightning bolts and H.G. Wellsian time machines. Once in our time period they assembled as a band. Kind of like a steam-punk Traveling Wilburys.
The time travel angle makes for one interesting live show and has given Uglyography fan-favorite status. DJ explained that time travel also ties into the title for the album.
“Well, Four Shafts are Uglier than One, while it might sound sexual in nature, is not meant that way at all. Since we are all are time travelers, we decided that using the term “shafting” is appropriate when referring to our path traveled to make it to the present day. And when an accidental shaft appears and someone is forced down that path, it can be quite ugly. Now imagine that, times four. Hence, Four Shafts are Uglier than One.”
The band tours relentlessly and have garnered much local success including radio and tv appearances, countless write-ups, and regular appearances on the music podcast “YourMusicShow.”
Not ones to rest on their new-found success, the band has more in store for 2013.
“We plan to ride out the excitement for several months, continuing to play locally and regionally, and have even tossed around the idea of another tour in the Fall. I look forward to having a little more leisure time on my hands to hang out with friends and family, write and learn new material, and see where the music takes us.”
Uglyography and The UnXpected, two Peninsula-based bands, both unveiled new releases at separate weekend events
[+ Show ]
Musical tribes were gathering over the weekend in both Hampton and Virginia Beach. Two separate CD-r...Musical tribes were gathering over the weekend in both Hampton and Virginia Beach. Two separate CD-release parties -- one for indie-rockers Uglylography, the other for youth blues act The UnXpected -- drew robust crowds.
Both events were enriched by supportive communities of musicians, participants told me this morning.
"It couldn't have gone better," said Matt Thomas, a Hampton bassist and singer who leads the self-described quirkadelic rock band Uglyography. The event, marking the release of the band's CD "Four Shafts are Uglier Than One," was held Saturday at The Hampton Taphouse. About 80 people attended, many of them musicians involved in some facet of the Hampton Roads underground rock scene.
"I'm speechless at all the support we've gotten," Thomas said. "It's really a good feeling. Hopefully we'll feel the effects from all this for awhile."
The Taphouse show was the climax of a busy month for Uglyography. The band released a video for its new song "Hookey," played live on local television through WAVY-TV's "Hampton Roads Show" and was featured on Paul Shugrue's "Out of the Box" program on WHRV-FM.
Thomas said once exhaustion lifts, he'll be working one new material for his band. "We're also talking about touring in the fall, but we need to save some money. It costs money to tour, unfortunately. We'll see what happens."
Right now, though, he's basking in the afterglow of a satisfying CD release party.
"The musical community has been very supportive," Thomas said. "Based on looking out and seeing who was in the crowd on Saturday, I'd say at least 10 bands were represented in the audience. That's cool."
At the Jewish Mother in Virginia Beach Sunday evening, a similar scene unfolded as Peninsula-based blues act The UnXpected released a self-titled EP and prepared for an exciting trip to Memphis, Tenn.
Nearly 200 people crowded The Jewish Mother, a participant told me. The crowd included a who's who of the region's blues community. Players came to either jam or simply show support for the group, which travels to Memphis this week to be part of the International Blues Challenge. Members of the group range in age from 11 to 15.
"It was fantastic," said Scott Salsberry, father of UnXpected guitarist Zachary Salsberry. "The most amazing thing to see was that so many local musicians -- with really nothing to gain -- came out to support these kids on their CD release night. That's a pretty powerful statement."
Participants included Bobby "BlackHat" Walters, Ron Fetner and Anthony Rosano. Many more were part of a jam at the evening's end.
"It was such an uplifting experience for these kids who are trying to find their way," Zach's father said.
The UnXpected is set to perform Friday, Feb. 1 in Memphis, one of at least 20 youth acts chosen to play the International Blues Challenge in showcase mode. They won't be competing as the adult acts do, but they'll get a healthy dose of national exposure.
Zach, a 13-year-old student at Hines Middle School in Newport News, said he's more excited than nervous about playing on or near legendary Beale Street.
"We're all hoping it will open up doors for us, make this a bigger career than it already is," the young musician said. "We're hoping just to get people to notice us."
Uglyography, left-field rockers from Hampton, prepare for record release, TV appearance
[+ Show ]
January will be a big month for the Hampton-based indie rock band Uglyography. Already, the group ha...January will be a big month for the Hampton-based indie rock band Uglyography. Already, the group has released a new seasonally appropriate tune. It's also gearing up for a Jan. 26 record release party and a live appearance on local television.
In honor of the flipping of the calendar, the band unveiled a new song titled "Happy New Year." Listen to it here.
The song is the first track on the band's upcoming album, "Four Shafts are Uglier than One," to be released Jan. 26 with an event at the Hampton Taphouse. Bassist and songwriter Matt Thomas told me the group is also putting finishing touches on a new video. The band is also set to appear on WAVY-TV's "Hampton Roads Show" on Jan. 11 and on Paul Shugrue's "Out of the Box" on WHRV-FM on Jan. 24.
"The television, radio, newspaper, and media industry in Hampton Roads is under an unofficial state of emergency," the band announced in a tongue-in-cheek press release. "The time-traveling quirkadelic rock band Uglyography’s siege of local media is now under way in an attempt to publicize the release of their new album, "Four Shafts are Uglier than One."
The album "Four Shafts ..." will contain 10 tracks and is the first album to feature Uglyography as a full band as opposed to a Matt Thomas solo project. The band now consists of Thomas, DJ Blake, Albert Dimaggio and Jack Morgan.
Local alternative hip-hop artist Shakespeare’s Ghozt is featured on one of the album's tracks, a remix of 2011’s “On the Ground.” There will 100 limited-edition CDs produced for the first run, according to a press release.
Official Press Release for Four Shafts are Uglier than One
[+ Show ]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Local Media Under Attack as Quirkadelic Rockers Force New Album Down Every...FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Local Media Under Attack as Quirkadelic Rockers Force New Album Down Everyone’s Throats
Hampton Roads, VA - January 2013 - The Television, Radio, Newspaper, and Media industry in Hampton Roads is under an unofficial state of emergency. The time traveling quirkadelic rock band Uglyography’s siege of local media is now underway in an attempt to publicize the release of their new album, Four Shafts are Uglier than One.
The album will be released on January 26, 2013 with a party and show at Hampton Taphouse, but the attacks/festivities will begin much earlier in January. When asked why the third album is being used as a springboard to launch this siege, front man Matt Thomas replied “The time is now. We are a quartet in full force. This is the best music anyone will ever hear in the history of the world and therefore we have no choice but to shove it down everyone’s throats until they buy a copy, even if it is just so we’ll stop talking about it.”
The direct victims of the band are growing, and their notoriety in the community sends a strong message.
Television news station WAVY 10 has surrendered to allow Uglyography to play live on The Hampton Roads show on Friday January 11 at 11am, but with the truce that no wormhole experiments occur within the walls of their broadcast studio.
On Thursday January 24 the hoo-haa will continue with a live performance on WHRV 89.5 Radio during Paul Shugrue’s show, Out Of The Box. Shugrue only gave in partially to the band’s demands. The original request would have required a regular segment of the show have its name changed to “Shot of the Quirk.”
Also in January, the band will invade and perform in one of its own members’ kitchen. DJ Blake (left guitarist) hosts the local music podcast YourMusicShow at his home in Hampton, and the show is streamed live for all of the interweb to hear and watch. Uglyography will be live on YMS on Sunday January 20 at 2pm. When asked how it felt to force his own music down his own throat, Blake just replied “I’m used to it.”
Continuing the internet side of the attack, The Hampton Roads local music site Muzik Lounge will feature Uglyography as its spotlight artist beginning on Wednesday January 16. Muzik Lounge found it very difficult to continue lounging while Uglyography's music was playing and after a slight struggle gave in to the 19th Century antics and persuasion of the band. (www.muziklounge.com)
Along with the blitz for Four Shafts are Uglier than One, a brand new video for the song “Hookey” will be released on the internet in early January. Concerning the production, Thomas offered the following: “This is our secret weapon. I don’t know why I am even mentioning it in a press release because it is such a powerful enigma that will not be contained with or without publicity. It will take the world by surprise … I just need to stop talking about it right now.”
Four Shafts contains 10 tracks and runs about 26 minutes. It is the first Uglyography album to include a full quartet band rather than a solo effort. The band now consists of Thomas, Blake, Albert Dimaggio, and Jack Morgan. Local alternative hip-hop artist Shakespeare’s Ghozt is featured on a remix of 2011’s “On the Ground.” The album will be released on Steamy Attic Records January 26, 2013. There will only be 100 limited edition CDs produced for the first run.
A riot and frenzy is expected to break out over these limited quantities if care is not taken. To avoid uproar in the streets of Downtown Hampton, a pre-order form has been set up at www.uglyography.com. Using this form, a member of the public can own a copy of the new CD, get a digital download code for the entire album, and get a free wristband into the Album Release Party, all for only $10. The release party will feature live performances by Uglyography and special guests The Gloom! If the buyer is not present at the January 26 party to pick up their CD/download code, it will be shipped to them on January 28 at no extra cost.
If your media organization has received this press release, please consider allowing Uglyography to attack your outlet! Have us on your program, let us write about ourselves, interview us … anything! …or else …. muaah haaaa haaaaaa!
A Summary of Currently Planned Attacks:
Friday January 11 – Hampton Roads Show, WAVY TV 10, 11am
Sunday January 20 – YourMusicShow, 2pm, www.yourmusicshow.com
Thursday January 24 – Out of the Box with Paul Shugrue, 89.5 FM, WHRV, 7pm
January 26 – Album Release Party at Hampton Taphouse, 17 E. Queen’s Way, 9:30pm
Rock You Can Believe In
[+ Show ]
Broken Mouth Annie's official album release party took place at The Jewish Mother in Norfolk, VA on ...Broken Mouth Annie's official album release party took place at The Jewish Mother in Norfolk, VA on Nov. 3 around 9pm. It was a show featuring the bands, Uglyography and Sicman of VA. First off, I just want to thank Joe from Sicman of VA for allowing Muzik Lounge to come and check out the show.
There were few local faces at the show including Larry from the band The Dahus, Lisa Perez, and Justin and his wife from Your Music Show. It's always a great feeling to see other music enthusiasts at local shows supporting the the local music scene.
Uglyography and their "Quirkadelic Rock" style is led by lead vocalist, Matt Thomas. The band captures their audience with a quartet sound mixture of melodious guitars, bass, drum and even a keytar. While performing a handful of their own original hits, Shakespeare's Ghozt made a guest appearance and played a song with the band.
After a short intermission, Broken Mouth Annie took the stage. Broken Mouth Annie is a six-piece rock band with a very distinct Americana sound. They played songs from their new album, and even had some crowd participation with one of their songs. Their set truly captured the American spirit.
Last, but not least Sicman of VA appeared onstage and closed the night out with their psychedelic, space, punk rock music. Most of the crowd had left when Sicman played, which was a lost for them since they didn't get to experience the epicness of the journey it felt like you took when listening to Sicman of VA. Indeed a very great band that everyone should know about.
The album release party and show was a great turnout with bands that played their hearts out. Thanks to Uglyography, Broken Mouth Annie, and Sicman of VA for the awesome show, and enlightening us locals with your unique music!
Metafest local music event set for Saturday, Sept. 22, in Phoebus
[+ Show ]
Folks at ProTones in Newport News and Your Music Show have put together a day-long live music event ...Folks at ProTones in Newport News and Your Music Show have put together a day-long live music event featuring nine local artists of various styles. Called Metafest 2012, it's set to take place 2-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, in the parking lot behind Olde Towne Tavern in Phoebus.
Set to perform are Broken Mouth Annie, Car Seat Headrest, Creek Don't Rise, Gentleman Bastards, Professor Marvel, Shakespeare's Ghozt, Uglyography, Glass Pennies, KDINOS and The Gloom!
"The primary goal of the event is to provide education and awareness about local music/businesses throughout the Hampton Roads area," the event website explains. "At Metafest, music is what will connect us, but it is your participation and interaction that will enrich our community. Together, we can drive awareness to all the Hampton Roads community has to offer!"
Mike Menichino, owner of ProTones Audio Productions, is a key organizer. "Noticing what's going on the local music scene, I've taken it on myself to create a music festival for local artists and local vendors," he said Monday. "I want to give local artists a platform to express themselves and do it in a professional atmosphere."
He said the event will include bands and performers that specialize in rock, hip-hop, folk, metal, acoustic and electronic music. "It's a way to bring the community together," Menichino said. "I want to create a musical environment and have it be reproduced and grow for years to come."
Admission will be $10 at the door or gate.
Pfac to host free concert with Uglyography, Shakespeare's Ghozt, Broken Mouth Annie
[+ Show ]
Peninsula Fine Arts Center will present another blast of live music Sept. 20 when Art After 5 return...Peninsula Fine Arts Center will present another blast of live music Sept. 20 when Art After 5 returns with a "Fall Music Extravaganza" featuring Uglyography, Broken Mouth Annie and Shakespeare's Ghozt & The HMC.
Broken Mouth Annie -- a rootsy, alternative rock act -- played Pfac earlier this year as part of a live music series created with help from your Sound Check reporter.
However, Uglyography and Shakespeare's Ghozt are two original music acts from the Peninsula who are about to make their art center debut.
"Shakespeare's Ghozt is for people who don't like their music in pretty little boxes," a posting on the artist's Facebook page explains. "We take rap and twist it, bend it, and blend it until even don't know what it is sometimes ... but one thing we do know, It's Dope."
Uglyography is the brainchild of Hampton songwriter and bassist Matt Thomas. His band, now a quartet, trades in catchy, oddball, punk-tinged rock. The band has been recording and is scheduled to release an EP early next.
I'm told the music will take place outdoors on the grounds of the arts center.
Here's a news release about the event.
Art After 5 - Fall Music Extravaganza Edition
Presented by BayPort Credit Union
Thursday, September 20, 5:30-8:30 pm
Free to Pfac members, donations suggested for non-members.
There’s just one Art After 5 this fall, and Peninsula Fine Arts Center is going to make it big! Featuring three of the area's most up-and-coming original music acts: Uglyography (Quirkadelic Rock); Broken Mouth Annie (Down Home Rock n Roll); Shakespeare's Ghozt and the H.M.C. (Rap/Alternative HipHop). Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Hampton rockers Uglyography share tales of recent East Coast tour
[+ Show ]
Most creative rockers know the adage, as articulated by singer and writer Henry Rollins: Get in the ...Most creative rockers know the adage, as articulated by singer and writer Henry Rollins: Get in the van. If you want to build an audience, make connections and share your music with the world, you've got to hit the road, Jack.
It's easier said than done. Touring the nation as an independent, largely unknown rock band can be expensive, frustrating, even dangerous. So, maybe it's no wonder that so few groups take that giant leap.
Uglyography, a quirky, punky rock band from Hampton took the plunge earlier this month. On March 4, the band packed up the van and set off to do shows in Richmond, Brooklyn, Columbus, Ohio; Charleston, W.Va; Johnson City, Tenn.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Charleston, S.C. With seven shows in as many days, it was an ambitious schedule.
Here are a few thoughts from Uglyography founder, singer and bassist Matt Thomas about experience. Below, you'll find video shot at one of the band's gigs.
I understand this was the first regional tour for Uglyography as a full band. Why take that step now?
I’ve got three other guys who are excellent players and all around friendly and hilarious. Everyone seems grounded and serious about the band so it seemed like the right time to do this. During planning I realized how many ways this would benefit us. We met a lot of other bands and made great connections and fans regionally. We realized we wouldn’t kill each other after a week and we’re all still friends, better ones. And perhaps best of all, it made us very tight as a band to perform seven nights in a row. It was like clockwork by the end, never felt better. We have stepped up our game. We were very close before and maybe the tour is what we needed to get us there.
What was the major obstacle to touring?
I think the continuous killer has been the sheer amount of planning and frustration involved in so many aspects. There were literally hundreds of emails and phone calls and voice messages involved and that was just for the booking. Unreturned calls and messages, detail conflicts, routing, finding local support, it all becomes frustrating and you find clumps of hair in your fist. Then there’s the transportation, pre-promotion (an attempt to make it worthwhile), and many other logistics. The tour itself costs money despite the money that comes at the end of some nights. I have actually booked one other tour for myself solo as Uglyography back in 2009, but lessons I learned from that still didn’t make it much easier this time around. Since 2009 I have attempted to book a couple of other tours but quickly lost steam over of the volume of work. I felt confident enough with these guys to take it all on this time around.
Where did you get the best response?
I believe our best response was in Raleigh NC at Deep South The Bar. We were lucky enough to be squeezed into the beginning of a 4 band local show for a quick 30 minute slot. So we kept it high energy, the crowd was decent sized enough for a first act, and their response and attention was most warm. We also sold a decent amount of merch that night. So we wanna go back to Deep South and Raleigh in general soon, it is only 3 hours away.
Any painful misfortune strike the band during the trip?
Actually the opposite! We were very lucky on our entire trip. A mistake in our van rental reservation got us upgraded for free to a brand-new 12 seater so we had none of that van-breakdown stuff you hear about all the time and plenty of room. There was little to no traffic, no troubles whatsoever with any venue or band, and everyone at every location was very accommodating. If there was a painful misfortune … The Trash Bar in Brooklyn had an 8–9 p.m. open bar before our performance to an audience of three. Not our most shining moment but a memorable one (to some of us).
Describe the smell of the van after a week on the road.
Hmmm, well that depends on how accustomed we may or may not have become to it! It didn’t seem to smell so bad actually. That being said there was one point where none of us had showered for three days. Did the van smell? Not to us! And, Jack had the mind to spray febreeze every now and then (which he was constantly scorned for).
What do you think you learned from the experience?
Well, one word everyone can agree on is “exhausting.” Touring is extremely taxing in many ways, at least without high dollar management and big busses involved. That being said, I think everyone can also agree it was a lot of fun. We learned how welcoming so many people can be and that it isn’t always the size that matters … the crowd that is. We had great crowds even if there were only 10 – 15 people watching us.
Q&/A w/Matt Thomas of Uglyography
[+ Show ]
When WVRockscene was in its infancy, an important discussion was had between the H.M.I.C. here, and ...When WVRockscene was in its infancy, an important discussion was had between the H.M.I.C. here, and another nice dude who ran an alternate, West Virginia-based site dedicated to covering local (and beyond) music. Haha it’s crazy to think that you can’t find my name hardly at all on this site, the first thing you see on this site when you revisit it now, is the true identity of your host, narrator blogging, guy.
But as far as West Virginia-based sites dedicated to covering local music went, it was an important philosophical chat. Should WVRockscene focus more on covering local bands, or expose readers to bands we like who might not ever even play here?
Well, for what it’s worth, the first approach kind of won out. But since “the dark ages” of mid-2007 or so, not really blogging or doing stuff for newspapers, up to now, we’ve kind of just naturally fell into the habit of being in touch with bands who might pass through periodically. Exposing these bands, and more importantly developing kindly acquaintanceships, to our fellow Mountain State residents is something we take seriously, and really like.
So, speaking of time periods, the “quirkadelic,” Hampton, Virginia-based act Uglyography came across our radar. Time travelers they may (or may not, hilariously) be, we caught up with front man and bassist Matt Thomas in advance of their stop at the Glass Wednesday. Seriously check out the tunes and their site, you will laff…
WVRockscene: You guys set to hit the road for a week or so? Got everything packed? Is this your first big out-of-state run of shows?
Matt Thomas: Yes, I believe we are all set and ready. Booking and preparing for this tour has been one of the most challenging tasks I’ve taken on for a long time, being a relatively unknown band at most of our stops. Now that all the booking and logistics are worked out, we just gotta pack our bags (and not forget Tums, Band-aids, vitamins and all that other necessary rock star stuff) and we will be rolling!
This will be the first time that Uglyography’s current lineup has played outside of Hampton Roads. In 2009 I toured Uglyography as a solo act and went out of state but nowhere near as far and wide as we are going this time. We hope to do as many out of town shows as in-town from here on out.
WVRockscene: What is up with you guys not being from this century? New Uglyography fans will literally rofl when they even dare to begin to read DJ Blake’s hilarious bio. Does that make it tougher for you guys to fit in, not being from this time period?
Thomas: DJ’s time traveling beard has gotten him into a lot of trouble. Jack was the only one who actually wanted to time travel, and the rest of us got here by chance happenings in the universe that have a one in a billion chance of occurring. Since we were all spit out into this overpopulated and overbuilt time together, we figure if we bond together we could give audiences a taste of when we came from and hopefully find our way back there.
We’re not sure what to make of the current state of the music industry but we do hope that audiences will lend a sympathetic ear to a bunch of outcasts who are trying to figure out what it is that people want to hear in this time. This overwhelming dependency on electricity that society has adopted is making it easier for us to play to larger audiences than back in the 1870’s so I do feel we can use that discovery to our advantage. All we really wanna do is find the magic frequency to send us back to our various home times, and so the more audiences we play for, the better chance that magical frequency will be hit. And, we hope the frequency will ring strong with our audiences as well.
WVRockscene: Seriously though “Undercover New Machine” seems to have been warmly received since its release in early 2011. How cool has the warm reception and the favorable coverage been to you guys?
Thomas: We could not ask for a better local reception. Most of the Hampton Roads publications that mention music at all have featured something about “Undercover New Machine.” Our CD release was extremely well attended, reviews have been stellar, and the CD was nominated for Best CD in the Veer Local Music awards. The support from the local industry is very flattering and encouraging. Our fan base is growing slowly but steadily and all this promotion and support is adding hot fuel to the fire.
WVRockscene: You operated as a solo performer until recently, between the whole time traveler angle and theme, how if at all has your vision of what Uglyography is and will sound like changed as you’ve moved it into a band?
Thomas: The songwriting process was very much the same for both albums (2005’s “Love Boat” and “Undercover New Machine”). Both albums were recorded on my own before I met my bandmates. But these guys are much, much better guitarists and drummer than I am, so the songs now have a whole new dimension to them, while keeping the same quirky songwriting style that I have settled into.
As far as the time-traveling thing, that has evolved as time has gone on. I suppose the seed for the idea came when I commissioned the UK lowbrow artist Doktor A. to draw up the album cover artwork for “Undercover New Machine.” I had a very specific idea of what I wanted, and had been a big fan of Dok’s steampunk style and his line of toy characters called the Mechtorians. He provided me with a fresh new aesthetic including the parchment paper background, a slick logo, and a general 18th century feeling that has been present on the website and CD case since early 2011. Not until earlier this year did we take it a step further and build ourselves a steampunk banner stand and start wearing 18th century attire to add to the theme. I think we have found our niche and will be keeping it in mind as we move forward. It is impossible to say where this is going, we don’t know ourselves.
WVRockscene: The lineup, time travelers you guys may be, has just recently changed. How have DJ Blake and Jack Morgan fit into the band since joining late last year?
Thomas: We had the need to replace a former guitarist, and DJ stepped right in and sounded fabulous on his own. About three weeks later, DJ’s friend Jack said he still wanted to try out. My first reaction was that DJ was already set as the guitarist and we would be fine as a three piece since that’s what we had been before the switch. But after hearing Jack play “More than a Miracle” at an unofficial audition, I was sold! The “dueling guitarists” as I like to call them, complement one another perfectly and the sound is really big and full now. And all of my band mates are great guys. And, we all get along and have a great time together, which is probably the most important thing when it comes to making a band successful.
WVRockscene: Anything cool in 2012 you guys are looking forward to? Shows or recording new stuff?
Thomas: We have a project slated to begin in April. We will be collaborating on a couple of songs with a local hip-hop artist called Shakespeare’s Ghozt. He has performed with us one time so far, rapping his rhymes over top of a couple songs from “Undercover New Machine.” We want to perform with him as much as possible and will be producing new recordings of those songs along with him. We will probably record a few others while we are at it and hopefully release an EP later in 2012. So yeah, good things are on the horizon!
WVRockscene: You guys are playing seven states in as many days on this tour, is this your first trip to play in these places? Obviously you’ve never played the Glass, hoping to turn some people onto your band in the current time period?
Thomas: This will be our first time at six out of seven of the venues. I played at The Hideaway in Johnson City back in 2009 and really liked the people and atmosphere there. We are looking forward to meeting all you fine modern folks this time around and hopefully return again to see you before too long! That is, if we haven’t hit the magic frequency and traveled back to when we came from.
--- Uglyography plays The Empty Glass Wednesday with Bad Employees and The Belt Notches…
List of Local Music Award nominees includes plenty of Peninsula acts
[+ Show ]
As previously reported in Sound Check, Jeff Maisey's Veer Magazine is reviving the tradition of a lo...As previously reported in Sound Check, Jeff Maisey's Veer Magazine is reviving the tradition of a local music awards ceremony, with winners picked by Internet voting.
This version of the old tradition includes a few new wrinkles. This time out, Maisey invited a long list of Hampton Roads music watchers -- myself included -- to submit nominees. The prizes will be presented Feb. 15 at the Naro Expanded Cinema in Norfolk.
I'm happy to report that the list of finalists reported in the current issue of Veer includes plenty of performers from the Peninsula.
Here's a quick look at some of them.
The Album of the Year nominees include two Peninsula artists and several other acts with strong ties to this side of the water. Annie Johnson Band, based in Newport News, got the nod for "Tie Dye Army." Hampton's Uglyography joins her for that band's album "Undercover New Machine." Other contenders, Jackie Scott and The Housewreckers, House & Sinnett and The Muckrakes all have members that live on the Peninsula.
The Dharma Initiative from Williamsburg was picked as a nominee in the Song of the Year category for "Confidence Man," joining Annie Johnson Band and Uglyography, among others.
Rockers SiNN (Stranded in Newport News) will compete in the Best Metal/Hard Rock category. The Nerve Scheme from Hampton will compete for Best Garage Punk. Hampton has at least two acts represented in the Best Jazz category, Charles Darden and Osmosis. Blue yodel master Nate Pace of Newport News was named as a competitor in the Best Country class while Newport News resident Paul Norfleet was picked in Best Acoustic Folk.
The Best Blues category includes at least three Peninsula acts, Bobby "BlackHat" Walters, the Blues Empacts and the now-defunct duo of Fetner & Dikon. Newport News sonic mad scientist Feralcatscan was nominated for Best Experimental.
Awards like these naturally breed cynicism, but I'd say the list above is a pretty good overview of musical creativity on the Peninsula. Did everybody who deserved a mention get covered? Of course not. But this is a respectable group of names.
Local bands to play free original music showcase in Hampton May 28
[+ Show ]
Matt Thomas, leader of the local rock trio Uglyography, is working hard to create a more vibrant and...Matt Thomas, leader of the local rock trio Uglyography, is working hard to create a more vibrant and cohesive music scene in Hampton Roads and on the Peninsula.
He and a group of collaborators plan to present a series of showcase shows devoted to original music. The series, being presented under the banner Let's Make a Scene, begins Saturday, May 28, at Olde Towne Tavern in the Phoebus section of Hampton.
Five bands are set to perform: The Nerve Scheme, The Asthmatics, Jon Dubb, 180 Out and Uglyography. Music starts at 8 p.m. Admission is free.
Continue reading to see a full press release about the Olde Towne Tavern:
Original Music Showcase Series Kicks off May 28 in Phoebus
LET'S MAKE A SCENE, a series of music showcases featuring original bands from Hampton Roads, kicks off May 28 at the Olde Town Tavern in Phoebus. The showcases are intended to raise awareness of the original music scene in Hampton Roads. They are also intended to be pretty fun and stuff.
The first LET'S MAKE A SCENE showcase will feature performances by:
The Nerve Scheme (punk rock, Hampton)
The Asthmatics (catchy rock/pop, Newport News)
Jon Dubb (hip-hop, VA Beach)
Uglyography (quirkadelic rock, Hampton)
180 Out (metal, VA Beach)
Between sets, Justin Wilson and DJ Blake of local Internet radio show YourMusicShow will act as MCs and play songs and videos by local bands. Olde Town Tavern is located at 31 E. Mellen St. in Hampton. Entertainment begins at 8 p.m. Admission, like the wind, is free.
Listeners can tune in to YourMusicShow every Sunday by visiting www.yourmusicshow.com, or by downloading the episodes from the archives when they’re posted later in the week. YourMusicShow features saucy banter, blocks of music by local artists, a segment called Josh’s Mixtape, and live appearances by local bands. It’s sort of like having your ears stuffed with stardust and baby unicorns.
LET’S MAKE A SCENE is presented by YourMusicShow and Steamy Attic Records. Dates and lineups for future LET’S MAKE A SCENE showcases are yet to be determined, but we’ll let you know as soon we whip up something juicy. Audio, interviews, and up to date information can be found at www.letsmakeascene.net.
For more information on LET’S MAKE A SCENE, contact Justin Wilson (532-8014, firstname.lastname@example.org), or Matt Thomas (723-6080, email@example.com).
Local Band Q + A: Uglyography
[+ Show ]
By Patty Jenkins The Virginian-Pilot © March 24, 2011 Backstage with ... Uglyography Matt T...By Patty Jenkins
© March 24, 2011
Backstage with ... Uglyography
Matt Thomas blames his horrible handwriting and his tendency to look up odd words on the Internet for the name Uglyography. "I came across the word and thought to myself, ‘For anyone that has ever tried to read my handwriting, this would make a good band name,’ " he said.
Uglyography started as a solo project in 2005. Last June, Thomas added guitarist Nate Kofron and drummer Al DiMaggio to the lineup. He plans to add a keyboard player to the mix.
The band recently released "Undercover New Machine" on Steamy Attic Records, its independent label. A song sampling from the 13-track disc can be heard by visiting the band’s website at www.uglyography.com. Thomas, a Web developer for Newport News Public Schools, tags the genre as "quirkadelic rock."
"My Brain" offers up lyrics that encourage listeners to think for themselves. The song got some radio airplay before the CD was completed.
Earlier this month, Uglyography performed a live podcast for the local, Web-based Your Music Show, and has other gigs scheduled through April. "We hope to do a few shows a month locally, then get out of town once a month to branch out," Thomas said.
"There’s strong elements of quirkiness in the melody and lyrics. Then there’s also some ’70s psychedelic British rock in the guitar and keyboard work with some pop/punk thrown in as well," said singer/songwriter and bassist Matt Thomas.
8:30 p.m. Saturday at Goody’s Deli and Pub, 11 Queens Way, Hampton. Free.
Groove Advisory: The Latest in Local Music
[+ Show ]
Uglyography (who are playing the Muckrakes CD release party next week at Hampton Taphouse) also sent...Uglyography (who are playing the Muckrakes CD release party next week at Hampton Taphouse) also sent me some fresh, new tunes. The album has a DIY ska-meets-the-jambands-I-grew-up-with sound. I don’t know if “Virginia Rock” is a real term, but I use it from time to time. DMB, obviously, but also Carbon Leaf, OAR, VACO, et al. These bands incorporate a laid back, feel good ethos into something more interesting than pop, but not fully jam. Judging by their new album Undercover New Machine, Uglyography are poised to take over the reigns as the next up and coming “Virginia” band in this way. The first song’s a pretty simple ballad. The second and third tracks, “My Brain” and “On the Ground” reminded me of 1990s Phish or Moe. Think sing/talk delivery a la “Guyute” with sweet mid-tempo guitar riffs.
I’m most impressed with the work these Hampton dudes have put into their band. They dub themselves “quirkadelic rock” and judging by the below DIY video for “My Brain,” I totally agree.
Hampton's Uglyography celebrates CD release with show at American Theatre
[+ Show ]
On Saturday, Feb. 19, at Hampton's American Theatre, the local indie-rock band Uglyography will cele...On Saturday, Feb. 19, at Hampton's American Theatre, the local indie-rock band Uglyography will celebrate the release of its second CD, titled "Undercover New Machine."
The free, all-ages show will also include sets by The Asthmatics and Popular Vultures. Showtime is 8 p.m. Listen to a track from "Undercover New Machine" here.
With the concert fast approaching, I asked Uglyography mastermind Matt Thomas a few questions about the evolution of his music.
How do you think your songwriting has changed since your days with The Outer Loop?
The vast majority of time spent with The Outer Loop was geared towards an acousic folk-punk sound. Knowing the established sound and spirit of the band, I would usually try to keep them in mind during the songwriting process and lean towards riffs, chord progressions, and lyrics that would suit the rest of our collection of songs. I tried to keep it fresh but suitable. Since the beginning of Uglyography, all the songwriting and arrangements have been done without any outside influence or input, and there hasn't really been an "established" band sound of Uglyography so to speak. The songwriting canvas has been unlimited as far as instrumentation and textures. That will most likely change now that we are playing as a three-piece and I am recognizing Nate's style of playing and Al's style of drumming.
You used to perform solo. What's it been like re-arranging the "Undercover New Machine" songs for a trio?
I have to give the credit to Nate and Al on the trio arrangements. The album mixing was completed in mid-2010, so I was able to give them a completed copy of the album burned to disc. From there they took the music home and worked very hard to learn the songs like champs. Nate even went so far as to transcribe his guitar parts, and many times he would pick up keyboard solos or riffs from the recording and translate them to guitar. He and Al have both added their own style and flourishes to their parts and they really enhance the live experience to make it their own.
What's your goal for this album? Are you hoping for radio play? Do you hope to tour outside Hampton Roads?
My hope for this album as well as all future and past recordings is that the music will be spread as far and wide as it possibly can be, and that someone somewhere will find that the music helps them in some way in their life (as many albums have helped me get through tough times). If someone puts in my CD (or plays it on iTunes etc) while thinking "man, this would make me feel good right now" then my goal is met.
I am not delusional about "making it" in the music business, especially in its current state. I don't have hopes of quitting my day job. I do want to play the music out with a band as much as I can - what better time than now?
Radio play would be fantastic! I know that Paul Shugrue has played it on Out Of The Box at least once, and the weekly podcast YourMusicShow has really been supportive and plays the disc regularly. I'm targeting college stations because I know there is a great amount of politics involved in commercial airplay and I'd rather not complicate things at this point, so I'm not pursuing it, but I wouldn't turn it down either!
As a band, we are currently working on booking out of town and have all agreed to do a regional two week tour this summer.
Is Hampton Roads getting any more friendly for bands that play original music?
This is a tough one for me. It has been about two years since I played out solo with Uglyography, and at that time the Hampton Roads scene stunk. Badly. There have always been a handful of venues that cater to original music, but only a couple that are long-standing (Props to the Taphouse in Ghent!) It seems that most times a venue here really starts kicking it with original bands, they roll for a little while and then collapse or stop having music.
I have no ill-feelings towards cover bands, and I can understand that business owners have to make money. Cover bands have been the vehicle for that in this area and it is about as certain as death and taxes. That being said it is always great to see a venue trying out local original music. I believe there is some amount of extra buzz going for the scene in the past year with so many great bands playing regularly. The challenge is not so much with the venue owners as much as it is to keep the buzz going and growing with the audience and listeners. There are many plans from many people in the works to try and kickstart our scene, but to do that we will need for listeners, audiences, and fans to come out and prove to venues that money can be made just as well from original music as from cover bands.
Review of Undercover New Machine from "The Biggest Letdown"
[+ Show ]
Uglyography pops with the enthusiasm that one would expect when listening to a good CD. UNDERCOVER N...Uglyography pops with the enthusiasm that one would expect when listening to a good CD. UNDERCOVER NEW MACHINE is a damn good album. It's enjoyable from beginning to end - there's no doubt about it.
Whenever a new and completely unknown artist's album shows up on my desk, I immediately have two thoughts run through my head:
1.) What is a Compact Disc?
2.) If I listen to this album, am I going to like it, or just lie to everyone?
Well, I'm happy to announce that I've learned what a compact disc is (thank you, DICTIONARY.COM), and I really do like this album.
Some songs of interest to mention here are The Sound I Need, The Chipsters, I Wanna be the One, and Undercover New Machine. Uglyography has a lot of potential. This is the type of band that will gather a lot of fans with their live performances (they're touring this year). If you get a chance, please make sure you go and see them. I think you'll like what you hear.
New rock from Hampton's Uglyography
[+ Show ]
Uglyography is a rock band that springs from the unusual brain of Matt Thomas. The Hampton resident,...Uglyography is a rock band that springs from the unusual brain of Matt Thomas. The Hampton resident, formerly bassist and singer with the acoustic trio The Outer Loop, writes rock tunes that are full of lyrical smarts and left-of-center hooks.
Uglyography released its second album, "Undercover New Machine," this week and it's an impressive collection of tunes, many of which feature Thomas' quirky melodic sense.
This song from the new album ups the quirk factor to 11. Thomas told me that working in I.T. for Newport News City Schools got him to thinking about the connection between the world of technology, where a computer or gadget can become obsolete almost instantly, with the world of indie rock.
"I wanted to compare the two ideas and it came out in a very silly way," Thomas said. The name "Chipsters" is a play on hipsters. "I see a pattern with indie bands that come out with a first record and they're really hot, but then they put out a second or third and nobody cares, they're yesterday's news."
So here's a free sample of the work of Uglyography. Enjoy.
("The Chipsters" by Uglyography)
Uglyography will be celebrating the album's release with a free show 8 p.m. Feb. 19 at The American Theatre in Hampton. Fellow Hampton bands Popular Vultures and The Asthmatics will open the show.
New local rock albums from Uglyography, Muckrakes now in circulation
[+ Show ]
Two rock bands with close ties to the Peninsula have released albums in early 2011, even though the ...Two rock bands with close ties to the Peninsula have released albums in early 2011, even though the full, official hoopla surrounding the albums won't come until later.
First off, Uglyography releases its second album "Undercover New Machine" on Tuesday, Jan. 11. It's a smart, tuneful -- and occasionally experimental -- collection from Hampton resident Matt Thomas (not to be confused with local finger-style, acoustic guitarist Matt Thomas).
On the record, Uglyography is a one-man show, with Thomas writing the songs, playing all the instruments and doing the bulk of the singing. Those who remember Thomas' acoustic rock trio The Outer Loop from years ago will be surprised at how much the musician's writing and recording have grown. His sense of melody remains strong but his sonic scope has widened to include more keyboards and influences far beyond his roots in punk.
While the recordings features Thomas essentially solo, Uglyography live includes Thomas backed by guitarist Nate Kofron and drummer Al DiMaggio.
("My Brain" Video)
Secondly, The Muckrakes, one of the area's top alt-country bands, returns with an album that shows a group starting to stretch beyond its roots. "Grandiphonia" mostly documents a sound that the band has pushed beyond. That's because of personnel changes and natural creative evolution have taken place since many of the tracks were recorded.
Regardless, "Grandiphonia" is a satisfying listening. It is full of fiddles, banjos and is beautifully laden with a glowing rock 'n' roll heart.
The Muckrakes' bandcamp page reports the disc's release date as Jan. 22, but it's available as an $8 download right now.
Official Press Release for Undercover New Machine
[+ Show ]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Uglyography brings Quirkadelic sophomore album to the Mid-Atlantic. Ham...FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Uglyography brings Quirkadelic sophomore album to the Mid-Atlantic.
Hampton, Virginia, USA - January 11, 2011 - After several years of performing solo and touring the region with a CD-R serving as a backup band, Uglyography is now being reborn in Hampton, VA with a full band outfit and a sophomore album. The new disc, Underover New Machine was released on January 11, 2011 on the band's own Steamy Attic Records. The group began making appearances in September 2010 in Hampton Roads and will be celebrating with a CD release show on February 19, 2011 at The American Theatre in Hampton.
Undercover New Machine is a collection of 13 compositions from frontman and bassist Matt Thomas (formerly of The Outer Loop and Lord Bowler). The album blends early punk rock energy and ideas (Descendents, Minutemen) with quirky catchy melodies (ala They Might Be Giants, Ween). The diverse musical blend mixed with rock-opera style lyrics define the essense of the Quirkadelic genre that Uglyography creates.
Guitarist Nate Kofron and drummer Al DiMaggio round out Uglyography's energy driven live ensemble. They are planning extensive regional touring for 2011. Keep abreast of the band's latest ventures at www.uglyography.com and www.steamyatticrecords.com.
3203 Matoaka Rd.
Hampton, VA 23661
Local flavor: Uncompromising, melodic indie rock
[+ Show ]
Roster: Matt Thomas - bass, vocals, songwriting David Brewer - guitar, vocals Preston Tisch...Roster:
Matt Thomas - bass, vocals, songwriting
David Brewer - guitar, vocals
Preston Tischbein - drums
Sounds like: "Underground Punk Rock fell in love and overdosed on poppy bliss. It's a quirky, intricate mesh of sounds with catchy hooks and melodies, sometimes compared to They Might Be Giants, Violent Femmes, and Pavement," explained Thomas and his band mates.
Output: "Love Boat" CD, released June 2006 on the band's own Steamy Attic Records.
Matt - "I've been warned by many that this area has little to no scene for original rock 'n' roll music. I'm sticking around to change that (could Hampton Roads be the next "quirk-punk" Seattle?)
Dave - "Love your neighbor. If that doesn't work, poke him with a meat stick."
Preston - "The only thing in my life that keeps me playing drums is my cat, Bear. My cat has a lot of drive and a huge passion for metal. My goal as a drummer is to play louder harder and faster!"
Matt - The Raconteurs "Broken Boy Soldiers"; Shonen Knife "Genki Shock!"; Ween "Shinola, Vol. 1" and "12 Golden Country Greats"; The Kinks "Face to Face"
Dave - The Pixies "Trompe Le Monde"; Violent Femmes "Add it Up"; Badly Drawn Boy "About a Boy" soundtrack; The Flaming Lips "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots"; Dinosaur Jr. "Whatever's Cool with Me"
Preston - Listening to the drummers: John Bonham, Tim Alexander, Vinnie Paul, Chris Adler, Dave Mello, Raymond Herrera, Stephen Perkins and Keith Moon.
Catch 'em: Look for them live in early/mid September.
90% originals, including but not limited to:
Keychain and Beads
Universal (It's You)
On the Ground
Undercover New Machine
The Sound I Need
August Neighborhood Yard Sale
More than a Miracle
Something to Beat On
Quirkadelic Rock Forever
Happy New Year
There are no upcoming dates at this time.