"People don't want other bands to get out of the city," Black Moth Super Rainbow leader Tobacco remarked in May's Rolling Stone. "They just want them to stay stuck, unhappy, in Pittsburgh." Those sentiments had some on the local music scene crying foul -- or for Rainbow blood. But if Tobacco did accurately describe some locals, pity the poor bastards: They must be truly miserable now. Over the past few weeks, Pittsburgh's music has received quite a bit of recognition beyond our borders. Here's a quick roundup of those artists who are getting awesome:
For starters, there's BMSR's controversial "Artist to Watch" feature in Rolling Stone -- which, hey, is more interesting than making controversial remarks in a chat room or at your local bar or something. Another former "Artist to Watch" from Pittsburgh, rapper Wiz Khalifa, has spent the past week in Los Angeles, where Rostrum Records head Benjy Grinberg says Wiz is recording and negotiating a major-label deal with Warner Bros.
In another story that's flown a bit under the radar, local indie power-pop outfit The Takeover UK just inked a deal with Rykodisc, a label known primarily as a reissue clearinghouse. "They were the first label that started to take interest," says singer and guitarist Nick Snyder. The deal went through three weeks ago, after several months of negotiations, he says.
Already, the band has returned to New York City studio Monster Island, and is currently holed up for 11 days, tracking its Rykodisc debut, a jump-start that surprised even its A&R rep at the label. "We knew we were going to sign, so we booked studio time," says Snyder, matter-of-factly. The as-yet-untitled album should be released in January 2008; Snyder expects the band to begin touring this fall.
And let's not forget Girl Talk, who kicked off his recent set at a sold-out Mr. Small's with a slice-and-dice of Wiz Khalifa's single, "Pittsburgh Sound." Girl Talk's rising popularity seems to have caught many of his regular fans off-guard, who found themselves shut out of the show. But if some loyal listeners couldn't make it into the club, he seems to have picked up a new demographic: There was an undeniable white-hat frat-boy presence in the venue. Something tells me that Night Ripper is even now spreading, one keg-stand at a time, through the world of Delta Kappa-whatevers. Though who knows what they make of a pasty shirtless dude humping a laptop.