SoCal Spotlight: Runnner


Welcome to the first edition of the SoCal Spotlight! Being based in the OC, we’re well aware of how many local bands are around. We want to spotlight some of those for you and get to know bands in the scene a bit better. First up is Runnner. Check them out below.

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
When the band formed: 2017
Members: Noah Weinman (guitar & vocals) // Nate Lichtenberger (drums & electronics)

When did you first know you wanted to be in a band?

NW: We had been doing some one-off recording projects here and there just for fun, but in January I came to him with this little banjo song I had written and we decided to get really out there with synths and different drum sounds (which was all new to me because I had mostly just done folky stuff until then). I think hearing that song back for the first time made us think we should start pursuing that more seriously.

How did the current lineup come to be?

NL: We came together just as friends who liked recording together. We both come from jazz backgrounds and have similar tastes so we clicked pretty quickly.

With all the little pockets of music scenes in SoCal, how do you go about checking out the local scene and finding new bands to listen to or even perform with?

NL: I check out the scene mostly from playing locally. I play in a few different groups of varying styles so I get to see a lot of different bills.

What’s your favorite thing about the SoCal scene? What’s one thing you wish you could change about it?

NL: There’s a lot of crazy talent here, a ton of technical skill, though a lot of it goes unseen.

There’s no doubt that this is a crowded place. So do you ever find it difficult to build up even just a solid local following? How does the band go about doing that?

NW: Definitely, and we’re pretty new. Our first album isn’t even out (September 8th though!) so right now we’ve just been trying to put on a great live show. I’ve also done a few solo acoustic shows at my friends’ houses and things like that so that’s been a nice way to connect with people.

How does the band handle their social media presence? Where can the readers follow you?

NW: We’re not the biggest social media people but we’re trying to get better. We’re on facebook and instagram, @runnner_music.

Do you have a favorite SoCal spot to play?

NL: We just did a really fun show at the Hi Hat, which is a cool newer venue in Highland Park.

What is the band working on now?

NW: I’m going to be out on the east coast for the next few months doing some solo shows. We’re also in the early stages of putting together the next album.

Monday Musings: Uber, Pop Culture Hustle, and More

monday musings

Monday Musings returns with some insight from Ben Thompson on Uber, my weekly newsletter, and some things you should listen to. Check them all out below.

The Uber Dilemma

This, I would note, is a lesson founders should learn: Kalanick was resolutely opposed to an IPO, claiming he would wait “as long as humanly possible”; his delay, though, completely flipped the incentives of Kalanick and his early investors. While in most companies the venture capitalists have to worry about their reputation along with their capital, in the case of Uber there is simply too much money at stake: transforming a $68 billion paper return to a real return (and guaranteeing a per partner return in the nine figures) is worth whatever reputational damage is incurred along the way.

Ben Thompson’s weekly article for Stratechery is about Uber this week. It’s a good read with some nice insight into the current dilemma the company is in.

Pop Culture Hustle Issue #1

Last week, I launched a weekly newsletter. It’ll be out every Friday and will hopefully give you some interesting stuff to read or listen to over the weekend. You can subscribe here if you’re interested.

Off Panel #113: That Lenticular Life with Brian Hibbs

On this week’s episode of Off Panel, comic shop owner Brian Hibbs joins the show to talk about the state of comic retail. Hibbs discusses how his shops are performing in 2017, whether Marvel’s downturn has impacted other publishers, the idea that trades can solve everything for a book that doesn’t sell, how Rebirth is holding up in his stores, whether there’s a cyclical relationship between Marvel and DC, customer interest in DC’s Metal and Dark Matter endeavors, the trouble with lenticular covers, the grim outlook for Marvel Legacy, why some shops buy into variants, the gates and discounts of Legacy, the immense volume of titles these days, and more.

Off Panel returns this week with a great episode on the state of comic book sales, what it’s like running a shop, and much more. My local shop closed earlier this year, so it’s nice to hear things from the retailer’s perspective.

Slaughter Beach, Dog – “Gold and Green”

Jacob Ewald is back with another new song. Birdie will be out on October 27 and you can pre-order a copy here.

You can find all previous editions of Monday Musings here.

Playlist: Awake At Last’s Warped Tour Picks

Awake At Last

Awake At Last put together a playlist of some of their favorite Warped Tour jams. Check out the playlist below and why they picked each song.

Beartooth – “Hated”
Beartooth has been slaying it on this year’s Warped Tour, bringing in some of the biggest crowds of the tour and tons of passion and energy to their performance. The song’s lyrics strike a chord to home especially in today’s world about not being accepted for who you are .

Beartooth – “Loser”
Keeping up the Beartooth vibe, Loser is a song about a rejected teenager growing up. Beartooth’s lyrics all resonate strongly and are very emotional and it’s a groovy song to jam out to

Sylar – “Soul Addiction”
Sylar has come a long way in the last few years and their sound keeps growing and maturing – the choruses on this song are huge and super catchy. The verses have a lot of swagger to them and its an excellent song all around

Memphis May Fire – “Miles Away” ft. Kellin Quinn
Miles Away is one of Memphis May Fire’s slower tracks, telling the tale of Matty and his wife and the struggles of gone on the road touring. It shows a different side to Memphis May Fire and is really heartwarming lyrically

Memphis May Fire – “Legacy”
Legacy is an inspiring track by Memphis May Fire. The crushing instrumentals really push the whole song, but the lyrics are the best aspect here. “They say you were created to do great things, but words only come to life if you believe” is one of our favorite lines and the song is very motivational.

Dance Gavin Dance – “Young Robot”
Dance Gavin Dance is one of the talent bands on this years Warped Tour, with their intricate guitar-tapping lead lines, dual vocalist approach, and hectic instrumentals. They have honed their own unique sound and Young Robot is one of the best tracks off of their new album, showing off the talents of each individual member.

Falling in Reverse – “Coming Home”
Coming Home is the single off of Falling In Reverse’s new album and its way more atmospheric, epic, and spacey than their prior works. The verses are super laid back and electronic, the vocals all sound top notch and this is one of their best songs yet

Too Close To Touch – “Crooked Smile”
Crooked Smile is a great track by Too Close To Touch, with vocalist Keaton Pierce’s vocals going from elegant and smooth in the verses to gritty, powerful, and epic in the choruses. It showcases his vocal dynamic and the instrumentals are all excellent and provide great atmosphere’s and rhythms to keep the song moving.

Blessthefall – “Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted”
Blessthefall’s been a band we’ve all jammed for a while now, and this track is one of our favorites by them. The intricate guitar leads throughout the song and Beau’s vocals blend really well and make them a great band to jam

Hands Like Houses – “Colourblind”
Hands Like Houses was one of our favorite bands at this year’s Warped Tour. Colourblind shows a more mainstream side of Hands Like Houses and song grooves all the way through between the atmospheric instrumentals and the powerful vocal lines.

Hands Like Houses – “I Am”
I Am jams all the way through with driving instrumentals, the momentum of the song keeps going into the huge catchy chorus hook.

Silverstein – “Smile in Your Sleep”
Silverstein’s been in the game for almost 20 years and they still bring it – Smile In Your Sleep was one of the first songs any of us had heard by them and it still holds a special place for us.

Interview: Dead Leaves

Dead Leaves

Elliot Blair, the singer/guitarist of Dead Leaves, took the time to chat with us about the band, their upcoming release, and more. Vultures is due out on Take This To Heart Records on August 25. You can pre-order the album here and check out the interview below.

When the band first formed in 2013, did you imagine you’d be where you are now?

We’re really happy with how things have turned out so far. We’ve played alongside of some of our favorite bands and have had the opportunity to do some small tours. It’s always been a lot of fun performing for people who haven’t heard us before, and meeting new friends all over the place. It’s been an amazing experience. Now we’ve been working on our new record for the last two years and we’re so excited to show everyone.

The Ohio music scene keeps getting bigger and bigger it seems. Do you have a favorite spot to play to your hometown crowd?

The Ohio music scene is amazing. There are so many good bands and we’re grateful that we can be a part of it. We like playing at Mahalls in Lakewood a lot because a lot of that music scene is kind of engrained there. We also like playing at Kling Thing which is this house located in Akron. They have a long history of incredible DIY shows and they’ve played a big part in what the Northeast Ohio music scene has become today.

What was your writing process like for Vultures?

I wrote the first song on Vultures in August of 2015. We wanted to write a full length record for a while and wanted to make sure we did it right, and create something that we would be proud of. The process usually consisted of me writing and recording demos in my room, and then slowly refining the songs as a full band.

There were times during writing that I would spend hours on a verse, trying different things until something stuck. I would constantly send demos to the rest of the band to get opinions and ideas. I think we ended up with 50 songs in total, and we narrowed it down to 12 for the record, but only chose 9. I ended up writng ‘Wake Me’ later on, while we were recording the record. Overall, we’re very happy with how everything turned out, and Vultures is something that were proud of.

Can you tell us some of your influences or inspirations for the album?

Among many others, two of my big personal musical influences are Say Anything and Jimmy Eat World. I think that kind of reveals itself in my songwriting.

I was inspried to create something from my own personal situations in hopes that someone who listens to the songs can relate. The whole record is about being vunerable, which reflected the way I was feeling at the time.

What was the studio experience like when you recorded? Who did you record with?

We recorded with Dave Piatek at his studio in Cleveland. We had recorded our self titled EP with Dave, so we knew what to expect when going in. He really takes his time as an engineer and producer to make sure everything is perfect. The biggest thing for me was that, Dave seemed as excited about the record as I was, and that was a big insperation for creativity in the studio.

How would you say the band has changed since the self-titled EP in 2015?

In my opinion, I think our sound has matured a lot from our EP. I’ve personally been through a lot since our EP was released and I hope that comes through lyrically on this new record. We’re constantly working on improving our writing and performance, so I think we’re definitely more in tune with each other than we were in 2015. I think the biggest thing though is that our inside jokes have evolved to the point where it’s almost impossible to keep a normal conversation with any of us.

What plans do you have once the release is out in a few weeks?

We’re kicking off our record release with our release show on September 1st, and we’re hitting the road in support of the release until September 10th. Then, in October, we’re doing another small tour and playing Fest 16.

We have a bunch of other awesome shows coming up toward the end of the year as well.

Thanks for taking the time to chat. Where can our readers keep up with the band?

You can follow us on Facebook.

Instagram and Twitter: @deadleavesoh

Also you can keep up with us over at the Take This to Heart Records site.

Monday Musings: Netflix, Apple, and More

monday musings

Monday Musings returns with some news from Netflix, Apple’s new Instagram account, an episode of The Talk Show, and an interview that CBR did with Tom King. Check it all out below.

Netflix Acquires Millarworld

The acquisition, the first ever by Netflix, is a natural progression in the company’s effort to work directly with prolific and skilled creators and to acquire intellectual property and ownership of stories featuring compelling characters and timeless, interwoven fictional worlds. Terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.

Millarworld is the comic book publisher founded by Mark Millar. He created Kick-Ass, Old Man Wolverine, and more. His work is well-known and I’m interested to see how this all plays out. Will we see an uptick in Millar’s work making their way to the small screen? Seems like the chances are pretty good on that now.

Apple creates an Instagram account

Apple’s Instagram account won’t focus on their products, but instead will focus on images taken by iPhone users. They’ve launched with several images already.

The Talk Show – Nancy Reagan Was Right with Glenn Fleishman

Special guest Glenn Fleishman returns to the show. Topics include China forcing Apple to remove VPN apps from the Chinese App Store, Wi-Fi vs. LTE networking, the open workspaces in Apple Park, Glenn’s new letterpress project, the HomePod OS leak and iPhone D22, and more.

It’s always a pleasure to listen to John Gruber talk with his guests about Apple. This episode is a long one, as most of his are, but it’s well worth listening to. The talk on Apple and China is insightful and there’s some fun talk about Wi-Fi. It’s an intelligent conversation as always and if you haven’t checked out this podcast before, you might as well dive in with the latest episode.

Interview: Tom King Tackles New Gods Mythology in Mister Miracle

I’m sure there are going to be some readers here who are meeting Scott Free for the first time in this series. It’s been a while since he’s had a starring role, and he certainly hasn’t had one in Rebirth, so what are you hoping readers take away from your take on this character?

This is the most ambitious thing I’ve ever done. Mitch Gerads and I were literally like — we looked at things like Watchmen, stories that are as good as that, that sort of reflect our time. They’re great comics but they’re deeper than that, they sort of get into the veins. So we were like, “Can we do that?” And the answer is. “No.” You can’t be Alan Moore, but you can try, right? You can be ambitious! What the hell, right?

Here’s a quick snippet from Tom King’s interview about Mister Miracle. The new comic hits shelves on August 9. As someone who doesn’t know much about Mister Miracle, this limited series sounds like a good place to start. I’m a fan of Tom King’s work on BatmanVision, and Sherrif of Babylon so I’ll give anything he does a shot.

You can find all previous editions of Monday Musings here.