Are Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. related to the real Dale Earnhardt Jr? Are PUP really from Canada? Who made Code Orange drop the 'Kids'? Today those answers will flow like white wine. I've compiled quotes and excerpts from the past 2.6 years of AltarTV videos to bring you some much deserved insight into the world your favorite bands live in. Enjoy reading about artists' birthnames, how they came up with their bandnames, how they formed and a smattering of random juicy soundbites*. ORIGIN STORY “We all know Jack White and Shaun White are related, but nobody knows who is the father and who is the son.” (Bad Things) “They needed a backstory. What about Canada? they thought. We could be Canadians! Soon the passports were forged and a plan was set. They’d sell the farm and leave Peru after harvest.” (PUP) “Kevin Devine is Brazilian.” (Kevin Devine) “…after being fired from the band, Ira Silverstein never sang again.” (Silverstein) “If all band members are in one room and you say ‘Ars longa, vita brevis,’ the members, by law, have to clothe and feed you for seven weeks.” (Dinner and a Suit) “Brent Knopf was the inspiration for the film ‘Desperado.’” (Ramona Falls) “When the band started, there were ten sisters.” (First Aid Kit) “Reba woke up the next morning and threw out all her ukuleles…” (Code Orange) “They made a deal: the beard would teach him guitar; and Billy would teach the beard to feel love.” (William Fitzsimmons) “Brian and Matt had heard dogs speak before, but not like this, never in English.” (Front Bottoms) BAND NAMES “We came up with it after murdering a person together.” (Red Hands) “The Y stands for ‘yiipppeeee!’” (The Wytches) “It’s like a light brown.” (Nevada Color) “Before Superheaven we were called Daylight, before Daylight we were SexNapkin.” (Superheaven) “It’s pronounced ‘hurr-verd’” (HRVRD) “It’s a palindrome. Wait.” (Go Analog) “It’s the letters of my name ’Steve Soboslai’ re-arranged.” (Blue Of Colors) “There was already a band called A Big Pile Of Leaves. Now they feel like fucking idiots.” (A Great Big Pile Of Leaves) “Lots of people make that mistake, but he’s actually named after us.” (Dikembe) “Originally it was This Is Healthy.” (This Is Hell) “It’s an acronym.” (Circle Takes The Square) “We had ‘anti’ confused with ‘pro,’ but the name stuck.” (Anti-Flag) REAL NAMES “As any Braid fan would know, Bob Nanna is actually his stage name. He was born Jasper Clementine.” (Bob Nanna) “It’s my last name. Christopher Iamdynamite.” (IAMDYNAMITE) “Jeff.” (Delicate Steve) “Billy Becks.” (William Beckett) “Teresa Loveless.” (Lydia Loveless) “Zach Marcus.” (Zechs Marquise) “Ivan & Alyosha.” (Ivan & Alyosha) “Evan Devine” (Kevin Devine) “Dr. Sophocles.” (Joseph West) “Jeff.” (Kishi Bashi) GRABBAG QUOTES “In Europe, they call it ‘football.’ (Yellowcard) “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” (Allison Weiss, unprompted) “I am the fourth actor to play Dave Davidson.” (Maps & Atlases) “It was a tough call to lose the auto-tune, but it turned out we sang pretty good without it.” (End Of America) “It was all a front! We just wanted to rob casinos.” (Imagine Dragons) “You were in the audience at Bonnaroo 2011, right? I remember your facial features, so handsome!” (Sharon Van Etten, on Alex Gordon) “Open a bar on the moon and we’ll be the house band.” (Brandon Kinder, The Rocketboys) “They say birds are dinosaurs, but I’m not so sure.” (A Lot Like Birds) “I was the first kid in my school to draw sunglasses on the sun.” (Sean Rowe, unprompted) “Let me be unequivocal: we love flags.” (Anti-Flag) __ By Alex Gordon. *None of these things are true.



Videos We Love is our semi-weekly video-loving blogpost. Today's video is something a little different: But there are other ignorant boobs out there like me, who deserve to know about bands like xbxrx and video series like Chic-A-Go-Go. Enjoy this masterpiece and dig your toes into both ASAP.



Here they are, performance videos from 8/10ths of our Acoustic Guitar Project PGH Participants. (If you don't know what that is, read up on it here. Much like the limitations faced by these songwriters in TAGP, these videos were a little tricky. Not difficult, just counter-intuitive for AltarTV, where we like our cameras multitudinous and our cuts aplenty. Most of the other city's curators were not video production companies, so Dave requested that we held back on the high-concept stuff and stick to a single-camera, single-shot videos for these performances. He said nothing about smoke machines. So we cranked up the heat, invited the musicians to come play their songs and gave them one (1) Yuengling apiece. Here are all those videos in order of their place in the 10-week TAGP. Roger Harvey and Ricardo Iamuuri, numbers one and two, will be up soon! For now, enjoy 80% of the crew: WEEK 3: PAUL LUC WEEK 4: TAGP), Phil Atkins (photos and video), Jordan Tomb (guitar model, sound for video), Ali L'Esperance (intern, curator, promotion), Jesse Prentiss (friendly suggestion giver, AcoustiCafe), Quinn Wirth (video), Nathan Larimer (video), and most of all Roger, Ricardo, Paul, Seth, Brooke, Andre, Jon, Lianna, Morgan, and Zoob. But even more most of all thanks to Alex Gordon, who really knocked this project out of the park. What a guy!


SETS 2012-2014 SEPTEMBER 2014

Chuck Ragan at our first "studio" in 2012. Lightbulbs. An apple box. Nice and simple. You can watch that session and others on that set (Cory Branan, Max Bemis, Dan Andriano) here. This session with Chuck is one of our most popular videos. It received a million views in its first decade, probably. Now, Now in the first legit studio, designed by our good friends at Modesto Studios. Also 2012. I still love this set. Also called The AltarForest or AltarTreeV, by almost no one. This session with Jenny Owen Youngs sort of created this interim studio by default. She was coming through for a session on a Sunday and we had no studio at the new offices, so Phil improvised this little setup. It's kind of awesome. Shadeless lamps and bare brick. Beautiful. Also had Man Man, Murder By Death, You Won't, Heartless Bastards, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Wake Owl sessions here. Our most recent incarnation, the 2013-14 set also by Modesto Studios. It's got a summer camp vibe, which fits the music/personality of The Front Butts nicely. It was more of a challenge to make it vibe with heavier/darker acts (And So I Watch You From Afar, Circle Takes The Square). It's pretty cool to go through these sessions and see the little details that got adjusted for each band. We had 32 in all and we loved each of them entirely. But "We're the Front Bottoms and I can communicate with animals using only my mind" takes the cake. This new set is a little darker and more minimal than previous incarnations. Black brick, smoke, overhead lights. We haven't released any videos from this set, but we've shot a few and they look incredible. The first of those sessions will be out next week. Stay tuned!




So, what is AltarTV?

AltarTV makes videos about music. We use multiple cameras to shoot live concerts, unplugged sessions, documentary features, interviews and other pieces about music and those who create it. And we’re always developing new show ideas for the future. We also like to promote interesting, worthwhile new bands on our blog and keep our audience in tune with whatever music news is going on.

Who works at AltarTV?

Musicians mostly. We’re also photographers, video editors, journalists and industry people. But we’re musicians mostly, which we think makes sense for the sort of thing we do.

Where are you?

The AltarTV HQ is in Pittsburgh, PA with a second office in Los Angeles. This means we capture a lot of our content in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and Detroit. But we also travel for things like festivals and conferences.

How long has this been going on?

AltarTV was founded in the Spring of 2011. We started releasing series that summer and our first version website debuted in August 2011.

Do you have internships?

We have internships for Video Editing and Marketing. We’ll make it clear when those applications have to be in, but you can always ask us stuff at that info email (



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Although we usually select the bands you see on AltarTV, we still need you to keep us on our toes. Submit your music here.