CRITERIA: Preventing the World, Tour
Remember that awful Jell-o wrestling party I dj'ed a few weeks back? The one where the natives (mostly drunken females) werre getting restless and demanding I play Petey Pablo? At a few points in that evening, my friend Brian had to act as my head security officer/attorney and yell at the people surrounding my table. After a barrage of "Fuck you, man"'s from the final group, I decided to just play a 20 minute block of music that would ruin their party... shit like The Clash, old Weezer, AC/DC and Thin Lizzy.
The last song I played -- the real barn-clearer and the definitive end to my DJ stint that night -- was CRITERIA's "Prevent the World", from their new album "WHEN WE BREAK." Why? Because the lyric "You're preventing the world from hearing my songs" never seemed more poignant to me then after the moment the big-boned girl with the halter top demanded my laptop because she knew what everyone wanted to hear.
Brian and I both thought frontman/guitarist Steve Pedersen would be pleased to hear his song ruined that girl's party for 3 minutes. I know Steve through Brian, although I had previously cleaned an entire high school football stadium with him a decade ago, when we both worked for Omaha Public Schools and he was in a band named SLOWDOWN VIRGINIA. That band eventually became CURSIVE, one of the more successful Omaha bands on the Saddle Creek label. Cursive broke up in the late '90s and Steve went to Duke law school. Cursive got back together, added Ted Stevens and eventually went on to sell a bunch of records.
In the meantime, Steve had a few musical projects: his North Carolina band THE WHITE OCTAVE, and his current project Criteria (which he started after returning to Omaha a few years ago). Steve has had the good fortune of having his new album released on Saddle Creek, who will also be re-releasing Criteria's first album, "EN GARDE." He and his band are about to embark on a pretty impressive Fall tour that begins in Chicago on September 12th.
If you're a fan of good old mean n' potatos indie-riff-rock like Quicksand, Weezer, Fig Dish, and Seaweed (and obviously, Cursive), you should check them out while they're on tour with bands like Minus the Bear and the Headphones (David Bazan's side project away from Pedro the Lion). Steve's a hell of a nice guy, and his band is especially fun to see in concert. If you like that first single or the other two tracks I'm posting here, go buy his album or check out a few more songs on iTunes. I recommend "Ride the Snake."
I normally wouldn't post 3 songs from a new album, but all three of these songs are also hosted elsewhere on the Saddle Creek website and a site hosting a contest to make the band's next video (see Criteria's site for more info). I'm putting them up here to save those sites a little bandwidth.
"Kiss the Wake"