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THE SHIVAS BY TAYLOR HUSAK

The Shivas have been called “the hardest working band in show business”. While that is
impossible to measure, it’s also not far from the truth.
Since their humble beginnings as high-school best friends almost two decades ago (the band
formed in 2006), they have been grinding away tour after tour – visiting over 25 countries – and
album after album – this is their 10th LP. Their sound has always evolved as they have grown,
and worked with different labels and producers, but it has always stayed true to the psychedelic
vision those kids had years ago at the very beginning.
They say their new album Can’t Stop Coming Around (Tender Loving Empire Records) is their
favorite, and represents their sound the best of any in their discography. It makes sense
considering they recorded it themselves at their home studio ‘FFF’ in Portland, Oregon. Teaming
up with Collin Hegna (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Federale – someone the band has worked
with on and off since 2010), they say this is the closest they’ve ever come to hitting the bullseye
in the studio.
Now with Can’t Stop Coming Around slated for release this summer, the band will embark on
tours of Europe (one in June and another in September), then in the USA hitting the West Coast
in July and August, and the East Coast later this fall.
As a group that has always tried to lead with honesty and to shake off any airs of pretense, The
Shivas have come into their own. They know who they are, and here they are showing us
clearly that they’re not slowing down any time soon.

Family Worship Center

Family Worship Center

Origin Story

In a time when he was spiritually and artistically aimless, Family Worship Center’s shamanistic figurehead Andy Krissberg took a brief hiatus from creating music. He embarked on a freewheeling, soul-searching journey inspired by the late ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax. Krissberg visited remote places across the country, creating field recordings of musicians he met straight to vinyl on a 1940s record lathe.

His adventures led him to fleabag motels, sketchy back alleys, lonely restaurants, and dive bars. His crusade had him rummaging through old record stores, antique stores, swap meets for long forgotten albums, singles, artwork, and books. On one of his expeditions, in a now-defunct record store in Nashville, Tennessee, Krissberg stumbled upon a 21-page bible for a strange cult-like collective that billed themselves as Family Worship Center.

Leafing through the yellowed pages, he felt a strange resonance with the Family’s communal quest for Groove enlightenment. Family Worship Center proposed a simple prescription to achieve a utopian existence: Surrender material possessions. Walk to the beat. Never hurt another Family Member. In a private mystical moment, Krissberg vowed to adhere to these beliefs, and is now eager to share the message with others through song as the band, Family Worship Center.

The Music

Family Worship Center specializes in a strain of redemptive, 1970s-styled rock n’ roll that recalls the Rolling Stones, Leon Russell, The Band, and Delaney & Bonnie. The band formed in 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee founded by prophetic visionary, singer-songwriter and keyboardist Krissberg, but it has since relocated to Portland, Oregon. In 2020, Family Worship Center released the EP Sunday A.M. (2020) recorded by Grammy-winning producer Eddie Spear (Rival Sons, Blackberry Smoke, Lukas Nelson), and featuring musicians associated/who have played with The Band, Deer Tick, Ringo Starr, James Brown, Keith Richards, and Foxygen, among others. The Family’s latest offering—released September 2023—Kicked Out Of The Garden, features a core band of devoted musicians, and was produced by Portland go-to producer Cameron Spies (Spoon Benders, Shivas) who specializes in what he calls “mid-fi.” Kicked Out Of The Garden was tracked in Portland with additional recording done in Philadelphia and Ukraine.  Kicked Out Of The Garden topped the NACC 200 college radio charts for 8+ weeks, was featured on the nationally syndicated NPR program Live Wire Radio, landed on multiple 2023 “Best Of” lists, and has gained hundreds of thousands listeners worldwide.

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Aka Belle

Following their muse has made Aka Belle hard to categorize  – from bittersweet folksy protest pop songs, to heavy guitar driven feedback mixed with sultry, retro tropicalia jazz
vibes, they’ve been anything but predictable.

At the core, Aka Belle remains the same (Catherine Merrick, Sam Merrick and Michael P.Waite), but now with two new members who push this Boise band towards “Supergroup” status:Gina Gregerson (of much lauded Dirt Fishermen and Lovey fame) joined as backing vocalist andguitarist, and was followed closely by the addition of Troy Wright, on drums. Troy also plays inHand of Doom (a Black Sabbath tribute band); as well as being a member of Troyject,Treepeople and State of Confusion.

“Don’t be afraid of time or change – it’s constant-” Aka Belle sing in their 2021 release, “New Highs in Leadership;” clearly acknowledging and prophesying their own organic transformations as well as pushing their own boundaries.

Aka Belle are known for their DIY shows, mixing their quirky, glittery onstage performances, and catchy songwriting with haunting, passionate calls for love, resistance, equality for all, and reminders that we are all part of this beautiful Universe we all call home – they make you want to dance, hug, cry, sing along, and raise your arms to the sky.

They opened Treefort Music Festival #9 (September 2021), after the festival was postponed for two years due to the Covid 19 pandemic – the first sounds of the festival were Aka Belle triumphantly welcoming people in to the main stage area!

They have headlined Hyde Park Street Fair; shared the stage with both Portland’s Roselit Bone and Federale; Sera Cahoone, Brett Netson (Caustic Resin, Built to Spill); Eilen Jewell; Jesse Dayton; John Doe & Exene Cervenka (X); Holly Golightly, Lydia Loveless, Lindi Ortega, and collaborated with some big names in music including Iggy Pop, Doug Martsch (Built to Spill), and even Curtis Stigers.

“I caught a few minutes of Boise’s aka Belle, whose darkly jazzy country, augmented by bursts of loud guitar, would fit in great at Pickathon.” — Matthew Singer, Arts & Culture Editor, Willamette Weekly

“…jazzy swing, raw guitar and sultry vocals have been a welcome part of the local scene. The release of a.k.a. Belle’s new EP, I Hear It Now, which features guitar work by Brett Netson – should make for an exciting new chapter.”

— Benjamin Schultz/Boise Weekly

For more press/quotes click here

For live reviews click here

To see the full Aka Belle discography and online store, click here

More History:

In June 2016, the band brought a 4 track EP into the world, “I Hear It Now,” their 3rd release to date.  “I Hear It Now” features guest guitarist Brett Netson (Caustic ResinBuilt to SpillSnakes) on “Crooked Path,” an epic 7 minute song that has become one of the most exciting parts of their live shows. Michael Deeds of the Idaho Statesmen referred to it as having the “meteor shower  power of an old school Built to Spill jam.”

“I Hear It Now” made it into Boise’s independent record store The Record Exchange’s Top Sellers of 2016, in a year when mega releases such as David Bowie’s “Blackstar,” Sturgill Simpson’s “A Sailors Guide to Earth,” and Leonard Cohen’s “You Want it Darker” dominated the charts.

In March of 2016, they released “Mustangs,” a track from “I Hear It Now,” as a digital download, with proceeds benefitting Wild Love Preserve, a 501(C)3 non profit whose mission is to rescue, protect and preserve Idaho’s wild horses.

The band have previously released two albums – “Disappearing Night”  (2012) was in the Top Ten Best Selling Local Albums at independent record store The Record Exchange, coming in a sweet #6; and “The Devil Loves You,’ released in February 2014, entered the Top Ten Best Sellers at #3 and remained in the top twenty several weeks after it’s release.  Tracks from “The Devil Loves You” are particular favorites of local radio stations KRBX and KBSU (“Mess You Up,” “HG Wells is Alive and Well,” and “Collecting Songbirds” being the most played).

Please contact us for more information – we’d love to hear from you. Wander freely on our site, check out our tunes, join our mailing list.