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THE ACOUSTIC GUITAR PROJECT AUGUST 2014

Have you noticed any of our #EvilJordan pictures on Instagram recently? Believe it or not, those images were photoshopped to make it look like Jordan was in those places, even though he wasn't. The original photo, with Jordan holding a guitar over his back, is from a set we created for the Pittsburgh chapter of The Acoustic Guitar Project (like the photo above). While you've been goofing off all summer, we've been working on this cool acoustic guitar-based project called The Acoustic Guitar Project. This thing was founded by a man named Dave Adams in NYC in 2012 and since then it's expanded to over 25 cities nationwide, from Detroit to Hanoi. The basic premise is this: we give a local musician an acoustic guitar and one week to create a completely original song. When their week is up, they pass it on to the next musician. They each repeat this process until we have ten local musicians with ten new songs, all written and recorded on the same guitar. So...why do that? Because it's fun. Because it's a cool opportunity. Because it's good to be invested in the songwriters in your city. And because, honestly, there's something bizarre and pointless about this project that we really like. That's not an insult. The Acoustic Guitar Project is songwriting for songwriting's sake. No matter what, we knew it was going to be worth it. We first got involved with TAGP after hearing Jenny Owen Youngs' TAGP song from the NYC project and immediately needing to know what the hell the "Acoustic Guitar Project" was. Frankly, it sounded made up. But it wasn't. After a few back-and-forths, AltarTV signed on to curate the Pittsburgh chapter. Soon after, MinorBird sent us a beautiful guitar, D'Addario sent beautiful strings, capos and various guitar knick knacks. Dave sent us a beautiful Zoom handheld recorder. All that was left was choosing the artists. We knew this was a tough task. Pittsburgh's scene sometimes feels very fragmented and we were worried we'd miss out on some gems, or have trouble convincing people to participate, or piss people off with our choices. So we did our best. We asked a lot of people we knew to refer other candidates. We reached out to open-mic hosts and songwriting organizations for their recommendations. In the end, we had a list of ten musicians we were proud to work with. That being said, it's not an end-all list. There are almost certainly wonderful songwriter/guitarists we missed. But we're thrilled with these ten humans and their involvement in the project. It's a brave thing to write a song in a week and share it with the world. Here are the names of those brave folks: 6/11 - 6/18 Roger Harvey of Roger Harvey & The Wild Life. Roger's band makes gritty understated indie-rock (we recorded one such gritty understated track called "City Deer" a few months ago, keep an eye out for the full-length in September). Their bio says Roger Harvey & TWL sound like the music Jeff Mangum would make if he grew up in the 90s. We agree with that on the best of terms. Roger was the first to go Week 1, here's his final product, "Trouble" 6/18 - 6/25 Ricardo Iamuuri Ricardo is an electro-acoustic artist with roots in classic hip-hop. His website shows his electro-acoustic side while his 2012 release 'Conversations w/ Shepherds, Sheep, Guinea Pigs, and Monkeys​.​.​. Nursery Rhymes For The Underfed Minds Vol. 1' displays a more intimate, minimal folk approach. We knew Ricardo would be perfect for TAGP. 6/25 - 7/2 Paul Luc Luc is a solo rock musician. He recently teamed up with Straub to make a short video about his love of beer, music and old bikes and it's pretty rad. Luc recently took on the challenge of composing the music for an indie screwball comedy film, 'All Raccoons Are Bandits'. Pretty cool. 7/2 - 7/9 Andre Costello of Andre Costello and The Cool Minors. They make a sort of indie folk that doesn't get made enough these days: minimal but substantive, weird but not quirky, emotional but not sentimental. Excited to see where they go next. The band is set to release a full length album at the end of the summer at The Andy Warhol Museum. In a recent music video, they set a piano on fire. Yikes. 7/9 - 7/16 Seth Milly Formerly of The Composure, Milly now plays in a six piece rock band called, well, Milly. They just played at the PGH date for Vans Warped Tour. On the Warped site, Milly was described as "The Beach Boys on Steroids" and I have no idea what that means but I love it. From what I've seen, there's only one acoustic song released and it's catchy as hell. Anyways, Seth is a great songwriter and we're looking forward to seeing what he comes up with for TAGP. 7/16 - 7/23 Lianna Ankney Vocalist in Household Stories and Diamond Shapes. Diamond Shapes is Lianna's solo music project in which she plays lead guitar and vocals. (sidenote: it's funny, whenever you type in "band" after the band name, google usually becomes less confused. "Diamond Shapes Band" makes google more confused.) Lianna is also a vocalist for the fabulous group Household Stories based out of Greensburg, PA, but also a standby at PGH music eventery (listen to their tunes ASAP) Check out her finished song, "I'm Headed East" 7/23 - 7/30 Jon Bindley Bindley is a solo, acoustic, Americana musician. He definitely has some country influences. Bindley recently came out with a video for his song "Three Rivers" that has a lot of great Pittsburgh shots. We came to know Jon as the guitarist in Blue Of Colors, but this dude has something about him that makes him stick out. Jon doesn't have much released as of yet (aside from this killer 3-song EP), so we're thrilled to have him contributing a song to TAGP. 7/30 - 8/6 Brooke Annibale Brooke is an earthy, solo singer-songwriter with introspective lyrics with a knack for smoky nostalgia. She's had plays on a few television shows like One Tree Hill and Vampire Diaries, plus a win at the Independent Music Awards in Best Adult Contemporary in 2012, which is pretty damn cool. Brooke is a badass and we're thrilled that she's contributing a song. 8/6 - 8/13 Nathan Zoob of Wreck Loose. Wreck Loose is a soulful, piano-based indie pop band, and a solid staple of Pittsburgh music. He's also in a band called Broken Fences, who falls a little closer to straight-faced folk (check out "Half Asleep" and "Call Of The Zoob" on their bandcamp). 8/13 - 8/20 Morgan Erina of Broken Fences. Morgan is the lead singer of Broken Fences (ever heard of it? are you not paying attention?). Morgan also works as a solo musician, with a knack for haunting, sensitive compositions. Her first album Whatever was released in 2009 and it looks as if she's working on another. In the meantime, we'll have her TAGP contribution. The Acoustic Guitar Project culminates on August 22 at the AltarTV offices in the North Shore, where we'll host/film these folks for a performance/interview about their experience with TAGP. Stay tuned for that video. Thanks to Dave Adams, Roger Harvey, Ricardo Iamuuri, Paul Luc, Seth Milly, Andre Costello, Jon Bindley, Lianna Ankney, Brooke Annibale, Nathan Zoob, Morgan Erina, Jesse Prentiss, Kyle Smith, Phil Atkins, Jordan Tomb, and Alex Gordon.

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WE LOVE WAVVES' "POST ACID" VIDEO JULY 2014

Videos We Love is our weekly video-loving blogpost. Today's is Wavves' "Post Acid." On a strangely cold summer day in Pittsburgh like today (Ed. note: this was written on a strangely cold summer day, not like today 8/1/14), it's absolutely necessary to find some music that makes you think of warmer times. Naturally, Wavves' King of the Beach LP is perfectly anthemic for dreaming of sunny days, and there's no better visual for the hazy heat of summer than the psychedelic adventure that is the video for "Post Acid." The look of the video is hazy and dreamy from the start, with heavily filtered shots and coloring. But the really charming thing about this video is its hilarious plot. Now, I don't know about all of you, but alien jokes and alien fascination are some of my favorite things. In the midst of this sweaty day of skateboarding and presumed usage of hallucinogens, the men of Wavves are visited by an extraterrestrial (portrayed by an actor in a green spandex suit with a spot-on kitschy paper mache head) who comes in peace and can shred a skateboard. With sporadic mirrored shots, stuttering images and cheesy visuals, the video carries a heavy air of trippiness and playfulness, to match the over-the-top acting. As the alien homie tries on various outfits to wear to the Wavves performance, the visuals turn full psychedelic, dizzying almost. The noticeable layering of shot under nearly transparent illustrations of planets keeps the eyes busy too. While it sounds kind of overwhelming, it's also very fun, because every time I watch the video I find some new little touch I missed before. All of this fun culminates to a raging house show where the alien leads Wavves in a riotous performance fraught with crowd surfing and dancing and chaos. It's visually stimulating and oozes fun; so much fun that you're equally sad when Wavves must say a teary goodbye to their new friend. As they wave, they too disappear, leaving viewers to wonder just what happened to the crew. I'm less concerned with what happened to them, and more concerned with how I too can find a cool alien pal. Visually embodying summer is a task effortlessly captivated by the song and its video, so you should probably go watch it now and enjoy it for yourself. -- Read more Videos We Love.

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CABIN FEVER JULY 2014

BADBOXES' Cabin Fever (JSMN) is up on Substream right now. The second track from BADBOXES' Cabin Fever is on AllThingsGo right now. Get the full set, including an unreleased new song called "Here and Now" right here. Music written and performed by BADBOXES. Concept and production by Phil Atkins, AltarTV.

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WE LOVE JUSTICE'S "STRESS" VIDEO JULY 2014

Videos We Love is our weekly video-loving blogpost. Today's is Justice's "Stress" video, loved by our very own Quinn Wirth. The video for "Stress" by Justice, Directed by French director Romain Gavras is a 6:46 look into what the potential future could look like for the youth of our society. To be quite honest, I wouldn't be surprised if people were currently getting away with some of these acts in certain parts of the world (which is terrifying). It also stands as a testament to what our world has become and I think that is part of the message that Gavras is trying to get across. Gavras wants you to feel worried, afraid, ashamed and ultimately leaves you asking yourself, "Why is this happening?" and "What would I do in the same situation?" which unfortunately, I don't have an answer for and I'm assuming you don't either. But the reason this is delivered so well is largely due to the camera work. The "Amateur" camera style is what makes Gavras's message so successful. The constant quick zooms, hand held movement and elementary use of shallow depth of field are what makes this video seem so real. He also goes as far as making the cameraman an actual character to make the video seem realistic, which I think works fairly well. The fast paced editing also helps to keep your eyes moving constantly, which allows the form and content of the video to achieve the same goal and keep the audience (you) on your toes, wondering what is going to happen next. I also found it interesting that a song with no lyrics could have such a strong message. I think the video compliments the original song and helps to intensify the feeling that the original artist wanted you to feel in the first place, which... yeah, I don't know that's pretty much the point of music videos now that I think about it, but yeah, no lyrics, strong message, good shit. The video is 6:46 long, but as I said the fast paced editing and camera work will more than likely make it the shortest 6:46 you've experienced as well as put your heart rate through the roof. Gavras also did a music video for M.I.A's "Born Free" which you can find here (http://vimeo.com/11219730), that has a similar feel, if you were into this one. Enjoy the video, and yo, let's start looking out for one another and try to end the violence, amiright? -- Read more Videos We Love.

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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 (info@altartv.com).

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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.