Mohawk: Why it's awesome and why you should go Sunday

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Mohawk: Why it's awesome and why you should go Sunday

Fair City Fire has a headlining set at Mohawk coming up Sunday night.  We thought we'd take some time to reflect on some of our favorite memories from Mohawk.  Ya know, to just kind of let you know some of why playing there really means something to us!  It's one of the best rock venues on the planet.  Sunday show starts at 9pm and we go on at 11pm.   It features Sunrise Police (ATX) and Vicoda (Denver, Co).  Support Austin original music and let's show these crazies from Denver a good time!

 SUNDAY NIGHT

SUNDAY NIGHT

Clint- A fond memory I have at Mohawk was my first time checking out Free Week as an Austinite. It was January 2013 and Whiskey Shivers was playing on the outside stage. The crowd was great and the band crushed it. The atmosphere and energy encompassed the great live music vibes Austin is renowned for. Seeing a local band in a setting like that was inspiring and the show was a blast!

 WHISKEY SHIVERS

WHISKEY SHIVERS

Brian- Free Week- 2014 maybe 2015?  Watching Lowin and Otis the Destroyer open for Surfer Blood on the outdoor stage at Mohawk.  I remember the weather was just perfect that night. The sound was on point there as usual and it was packed.  Lowin came out and lived up to their namesake. (Lowin is the German word for Lioness). It was an absolutely kickass rock and roll set.  Otis the Destroyer then took the stage and I felt this enormous sense of Austin pride. Song after song… Otis the Destroyer made themselves (to this day) my favorite local band.  The energy, the riffage, the songwriting.. It’s everything a rock and roll kid could want (ok, so I’m 30... whatever). What was really funny to me was the national headlining act, Surfer blood, trying to follow those two local bands that left it all on the stage… with their mid tempo alt-rock thing.  They were a good band, don’t get me wrong, but they were majorly overshadowed by Austin that night.

 OTIS THE DESTROYER AT MOHAWK

OTIS THE DESTROYER AT MOHAWK

Joe- My favorite night at the Mohawk was one night when we were playing on the inside stage and we had a lot of fun and a great night but on the outside stage was one of the craziest shows I have ever seen. We heard something that sounded like Black Sabbath but when we went outside what we encountered was Mac Sabbath. A Black Sabbath cover band but the musicians were the McDonald's characters after they were dumped it a pool of toxic sludge and Black Sabbath records and the lyrics were changed to focus on Mickey D's!! It was a crazy show but it got us pretty pumped to play our set inside. It was a good night at the Mohawk inside and out.

 MAC SABBATH AT WHEREVERTHISIS

MAC SABBATH AT WHEREVERTHISIS

Brett- That time Matt Jones threw that chicks phone charger that was plugged into Wolff mans pedal board was awesome! Then she straight up punched him in his face knocking his glasses off.

 Clint and Brian getting chummy on stage

Clint and Brian getting chummy on stage

 Brett and Clint getting chummy on stage

Brett and Clint getting chummy on stage

 Joe getting chummy with himself on stage

Joe getting chummy with himself on stage

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Fair City Fire's 2017: A Rebuilding Year

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Fair City Fire's 2017: A Rebuilding Year

So one year ago around this time there was still quite a bit of uncertainty about the band’s future.  Shortly before 2017 began.. We got the news that our good friend and founding band member, Derik, was leaving the band.  He was such a force to be reckoned with both on stage and off.  So what were we to do?  Could we keep FCF going?  Could we really call it the same name even though we felt such a huge change in our identity?  Well I don’t know, but we did and I’m glad for it because this year has been special.  I’m going to do my best to do a concise recap about what happened in FCF world this year!

 

  • We began rehearsing multiple times a week as a 3 piece as we auditioned guitar players.  We had a fierce determination to find ways to maintain our sound the best we could… even being short a member for an undetermined amount of time..    

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  • In early February we added phenomenal guitar player, Jeremy Stein.  We were back in business.  The dude could shred.  Shred city, USA
  • South By Southwest in March of 2017 was a busy time with 7 shows all over town.  We were busy and we were motivated more than even to show off our new sound.  Our week included a very flattering writeup on Cuepoint ranking “The 30 Freshest Sets at SXSW”. https://medium.com/cuepoint/the-30-freshest-sets-we-saw-at-sxsw-9914d5812546. SXSW came and went with Jeremy Stein on guitar and he was killing it, but unfortunately we had different goals and values that didn’t quite line up with what he had in mind so we split ways, very amicably of course, but it was time to start auditioning more players.   

  • Clint Manning stepped up and won the job handily.  He came ready to go with lots of experience with previous bands, tours and countless releases over the span of his personal music career.  Not to mention… the dude is a guitar wizard who is always performing “with lightning shooting out from the frets of his machine” (Nathalie Phan, Vinyl List)  and he can sing with the best of em.  We are so happy to say that we found a winner and that he’s still in the band and on board with plans set for 2018.  He performed his first show with us at our tour sendoff at Stubbs which also marked the release of our first single of the summer, “Attack”.  
  • We embarked on “The Radio Attack Tour” in June as a 3 piece.  It was a great time out there on the road.  We missed Clint, but we had this tour planned for shortly after he joined.  It was just too short notice to ask someone to uproot their life and tour for over 2 weeks.  We had great shows in all 10 (maybe? Who counts anymore?) cities.  Including, but not limited to Nashville, Charlotte, Carrboro, Philly,  NYC,  Binghamton, Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis, etc.

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  • Something absolutely worth mentioning is the progress the "Say It Loud" podcast has made.  Not only have we had some incredible guests... we seem to have just gotten better at it.  It feels that way when I listen back to them anyways.  Matt Jones is the man for running that show.  http://www.faircityfire.com/podcast 
  • Next came the second annual “Too Damn Hot Affair”.  This time it fell on August 18, 2017 and it was to be held at THE LEGENDARY ANTONE’S!!!  Seriously, it was such an honor to be on that stage and to think we got to orchestrate an event that took place on a Friday night there was quite an honor.  We had a great bill again with Finite Fidelity, That Girl Dre and Dr Joe.   It marked the release of the 2nd and final single release of 2017, “No Promises”.  We also raised some money for one of our favorite nonprofits in Austin, The Sims Foundation.  Check out what Vinyl List had to say about the event!  http://vinyllist.com/2017/08/antones-too-damn-hot-affair-fires-up-the-end-of-summer/ 

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  • After the big Antone’s show we decided to focus our energy on writing and finalizing songs for the next album.  With the fairly quick progress of the writing.. We were able to start the actual recording a few weeks ago.  We’re looking at an April 2018 release!  Please keep an eye on all of our social media stuff for more specific announcements.  All I can say is… we are in for a hell of a year in 2018!

End of Year Questions for Each Member

What was your favorite moment in 2017?

Joe: Playing a venue we had never played before, Antones. It was amazing to partner with Sims and have a great crowd at a legendary venue. 2017 was also the year of adjustment for us but we came out the other end a more cohesive and better band.

Brian: Had to be at Craft Pride when that guy yelled “Free Bird” like a jerk and I Game of Thrones style shamed him and the whole place started waving their hands and this guy and yelling SHAME!!! SHAME!!! SHAME!!!  There was something special about that level of support for us from mostly strangers who were only connected to us through enjoying the night and the show.

Brett: Writing our second album as a band

Clint: Playing the first show with FCF at Stubbs on June 16!  

What are you most looking forward to in 2018?

Joe: I can't wait for our new music that I think showcases our changing direction and of course hitting the road again 🙂 I'd also like to check out more shows in the next year because there is some great talent in this city.

Brian: I’m just generally excited to see where all our hard work in 2017 leads to.  We really made it a point to redefine ourselves this year.  Of course, I’m very excited to take the show on the road again after we put out this new record.

Brett:  Releasing a new full length album and touring in 2018 with Brian, Joe, Clint and Matt Jones as we document this tour and record podcast all over the country.

Clint: Looking forward to the album and tour, thats prob the same for all of us.

What was your favorite album in 2017?

Joe:  Malibu by Anderson.Paak, (it didn't come out in 2017 but I discovered it this year and it was the one I listened to the most all the way through)

Brian: Prisoner by Ryan Adams.  Got to see him perform a lot of the songs at Austin City Limits this year too and it was amazing!

Brett: I don't have a favorite album that came out in 2017 but I do have one that came out in November of 2016 that i must have listen to about 200 times in 2017. The Canvas People : City Boy Slump.

Clint: Mr. Finish Line by Vulfpeck

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Fair City Fire's Song "Strong" and How It's Being Used to Help Houston

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Fair City Fire's Song "Strong" and How It's Being Used to Help Houston

Written By: Brian Wolff

I wanted to take a brief moment to talk about the history of “Strong” and what it means to me.  This is something I’ve kept close to my chest for a long time because it always felt so deeply personal.  I’ve had so many people tell me how much this song means to them at this point going through whatever they have had going on… I don’t feel a need to keep this side to me private anymore.    

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I was in the process of writing this song in the early summer of 2011.  It was meant to be a reflection on what it took to get through what still remains to be the worst moment of my life.  September 15, 2006 was the day insurmountable health issues took my brother, Michael Anthony Wolff from this world.  He had a really long, very brave fight with something called ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), but at the end of the day… he just couldn’t beat it.  My heart is forever broken.  They say everyone copes with the hardships of life and tragedy in their own way.  My way is and has been to write songs.  I’m just thankful I have such a wonderful platform like Fair City Fire nowadays to share my version of self-therapy to the world.

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In July 2011… floods hit my hometown of Binghamton, NY.   Much like what we’re seeing today in Houston… floods destroyed homes and businesses of some of my friends, family and neighbors in the community that I loved and still love with all my heart.  So right then it hit me like a ton of bricks, I knew what I had to do… the only thing I could do.  Finish this song, “Strong”, and release it as a single to try to raise money to help relief efforts.  

I contacted my favorite producer in Binghamton, Steve Kocich, and told him what I was trying to do.  He was on board without hesitation to help the cause.  He didn’t have a studio space at the time so we had to get creative.  I called up WHRW 90.5 FM in Binghamton because I had heard they just installed a recording studio within their space on campus at my alma mater, Binghamton University.  When I told them about my mission, they were immediately super accommodating.  I rounded up the band, Dan Martin and Roy Clark, and we headed into the studio to get this song out.  Everybody was working hard and working for free.  It was amazing that everybody around this shared the vision I had.  

A little side story.  The chorus at the end.. I knew it had to be big.  So I started walking the halls of the union building searching for people that would be willing to sing on this track.  I asked a few strangers who were really shy.. Then I heard the elite men’s acapella group, The Binghamton Crosby’s practicing down the hall.  What the hell.. I had to go ask.  They jumped at the opportunity to help out.  They learned their parts fast and got it done in one take.  True professionals.  The song was done… we got it out and raised a good amount of money for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

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Well that brings us to today.  In case you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know… Hurricane Harvey has flooded and devastated so much of Houston.  It’s bad.. It’s really, really bad.  As soon as I started seeing footage of the destruction… of course it reminded me of the floods in Binghamton and it hit me again.  We could use the newer, 2016 Fair City Fire version of the song we had included as the last track on our debut LP, The Simple Truth to do the same damn thing.  We’ve set up “Strong” as a single on Bandcamp and are selling it to raise money for The Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts.  100% of the profits are going straight to them. CLICK HERE TO DONATE>>>> Go here to contribute.  While the song is sad in that it came from a sad time of my life.  I’ve been told it’s also uplifting and moving.  I hope the message helps.  Houstonians, you are strong and you will get through this.

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The Too Damn Hot Affair 2017 (2 Damn 2 Hot Affair?? ehh??)

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The Too Damn Hot Affair 2017 (2 Damn 2 Hot Affair?? ehh??)

I thought I’d take a moment to explain what all of this is about in sexy blog form.  Last summer, we had a thought.. Hey instead of doing a bunch of little shows around Austin during the summer… let’s do one big show with some of our favorite bands at one of our favorite venues.  So.. we got Finite Fidelity, That Girl Dre and The Canvas People to join us and we booked August 20, 2016 at the world famous Stubbs!   

We sat around and thought… how can we make this more than just another show… how can we make this an event.  We definitely needed a name.  Well.. it was way too damn hot out as it always is here in Texas in the summer.  So the name seemed super appropriate and everybody was on board.  How can we take it further?  Well let’s get our good friend and biggest support who happens to be a stand up comedian, Matt Jones, to host the whole thing to give the night an even better flow.   

 Sim's Foundation

Sim's Foundation

Okay.. what else?  Let’s make it a community event by raising some money for a local non-profit we believe in.  The Sims Foundation was an obvious choice for us upon finding out what they are about.  Sims is a place where Austin music professionals and their families can go to obtain a wide range of mental health services.  We believe that often mental health issues are often terribly overlooked and are especially present with our musical brothers and sisters.  We all realized it’s an issue that we wanted to do what we could to help alleviate.  Check out http://simsfoundation.org for more information on Sims.  They are amazing.  We ended up making a mural that, for a donation, any members of the audience could contribute a little drawing to.  Also, Sarah White was taking polaroids for people for a donation too.  Of course, anybody could donate at the merch tables as well if they wanted to.  We ended up raising a fair amount of money for Sims and we had ourselves the best turnout for a ticketed Fair City Fire event yet!

 This year's Too Damn Hot Affair!

This year's Too Damn Hot Affair!

That brings us to today.  Well today is exactly 16 days away (who’s counting?) from the 2nd installment of The Too Damn Hot Affair.  There will be some similarities and some changes.  One major difference is… THIS IS GOING TO BE AT THE LEGENDARY ANTONE’S!  The original Antone’s opened its doors in 1975 and despite multiple location changes, it has maintained its legendary status as a haven for Austin Blues Music for all of this time.  In fact, fairly recently, I got to witness Eric Tessmer release his latest EP to a sold out Antone’s crowd.  This is a venue that needs to be seen and appreciated… especially if you haven’t been there.  This is your time to fix that catastrophic situation.

 A look at a small piece of the history of Antones

A look at a small piece of the history of Antones

It will go down August 18th this year.  We will have Finite Fidelity, That Girl Dre and this time… Dr Joe will close out the show.  I could go on and on about why I love each of those local, incredibly talented acts.  I’ll be brief.  

 Finite Fidelity

Finite Fidelity

Finite Fidelity plays the kind of rock and roll that makes me want to break things in the best of ways.  We’ve established a very good relationship with those guys throughout the past couple years playing shows at Stubbs, 4th Tap and Rattle Inn.  We had to keep a good thing going and not to mention they freaking killed it last year.   

 That Girl Dre

That Girl Dre

That Girl Dre, well they are a must.  Dre’s dynamic and all-powerful vocals lead the way coupled with her phenomenal chops on the keys.  I’m not just saying that because she’s one of my best friends in Austin.  I was a huge fan first!!   Their tight rhythm section brings out this very rock and roll vibe… between Tracy pounding out rhythm’s like a beast and Jet’s bass wizardry.   We’re also all excited to see and hear what her new guitar player brings to the team.  

 Rockin some front row hooligans!

Rockin some front row hooligans!

Fair City Fire.. oh man… oh wait… that’s us… next!  

 Dr Joe

Dr Joe

Dr Joe we came across through an awesome video he put out during SXSW 2017 from a showcase at Google Fiber downtown.  His energy and incredible passion for his music were infectious from the first time we saw him.  Then, we got him on board for a charity event we did at 4th Tap a few months back.  What a cool guy.  I’m not as familiar with his band as I’d like to be, but I can definitely say with confidence that they are immensely talented.  We had the chance to get know Joe and bass player, Pat, on our “Say It Loud” Podcast.  I also went to go see Dr Joe at Cheer Up Charlies.  All I have to say is watch out if he comes out into the crowd with a keytar and gives you crazy eyes.  That’s a story for another time.

The point is… we all care so much about this event and we want you to as well.  There’s a great cause benefitting from your support, great music all night and a chance to hang out at one of the most legendary venues in Texas.  The Too Damn Hot Affair 2017 is going to be something special.  Go... to… there...

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The Radio Attack Tour #10: Austin, Texas

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The Radio Attack Tour #10: Austin, Texas

Its damn good to be home!  We had all afternoon to recover a bit from driving through the night, which was a beautiful thing.  We were all ready to go by showtime.  It was great to reconnect with everybody all in one place.  I’m not sure how bands can just up and tour for months at a time.  We were only gone for our usual 2 weeks and it was hard not to miss the comfort and familiarity of home.  I must say, though, touring is starting to feel easier and a bit more normal. 

 Taking it to the streets!

Taking it to the streets!

The first band of the night, Jam Therapy, absolutely tore it up.  It was good to hear that Austin rock and roll again.  Especially at a great Austin venue such as Mohawk.  The last time we played with them was at Spiderhouse a little over a year before that night.. I swear they have only gotten better, as impressive as they were even back then.  It was our turn next.  The room started to fill up and the energy was starting to build by the time Jam Therapy ended their set.  We played our tour standard 40 minute set, but this time with Clint Manning filling out the sound with a 2nd guitar.  While Brett, Joe and myself had been performing these songs every night for the past two weeks.. Clint hadn’t played with us for all that time.  He did great picking right back up on everything.  It was only our 2nd show with him, but I was already starting to get more comfortable with him on stage.  The future looks bright for FCF with Clint on board.  We will be getting him on the podcast very soon so be on the lookout!  

 Jam Therapy

Jam Therapy

We finished our set and Nomad City took the stage.  If you haven’t seen this band yet… change your ways.  At the forefront Britny’s insane rock and roll vocal range and stage presence is undeniably good.  Then you’ve got Ray making that guitar his bitch.  Some of the tones he gets are good enough to stop me in my tracks.  Their rhythm section featured Russell on bass and Alec on drums.  Really tight and really danceable rhythms despite the hard rock vibes Ray was laying down.  What I’m trying to say is… Nomad City is a great band and you should see them.  We hung out there for Black Heart Saints set and enjoyed them as well.  They were a great energetic way to end off the night.   

 Nomad City

Nomad City

Austin, we’re back and we’re ready to get to work writing and making sure we all have a great summer of shows and good times!   Be on the lookout on all our social media pages for updates on shows and recording plans and such.  

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