Adam Ostrar Featured on WXPN’s The Key Playlist

Adam Ostrar has been featured on WXPN’s The Key (a monthly music column) Spotify playlist for 2017! Here’s what they had to say about Adam’s latest album, Brawls in the Briar. The Spotify playlist can be found here and the full article is posted here:

11. Adam Ostrar – “Warlock”

 

Have we had enough with the weirdos?  This likeably low-key, apparently well-adjusted songwriter has been kicking around for quite some time – I first encountered (and wrote about) him over fifteen years ago, as the driving force behind the nifty Chicago-based indie outfit Manishevetz, and he’s had several other bands over the years – but the just-released Brawls in the Briars is his first solo project to see wide release.  In fact, it’s the first record ever credited Adam Ostrar: he’s always used his original surname, Busch, until changing it recently so as to avoid confusion with a different Adam Busch.  How mild-mannered and non-confrontational!  That may just be a coincidence, but the record does have a certain sense of freshness about it; like a hopeful new beginning.  It’s nothing revolutionary – just some sweetly tuneful indie folk with a few jazzy flourishes here and there – but Ostrar/Busch has a fine way with melody, and several numbers here – including this one, which gives the record its title – are more than liable to lodge in the old cranium.

Lung Letters Named Local Band You Should Listen To

Lung Letters were featured in volume 27 of Do512’s ‘Local Bands You Should Be Listening To’. Check out what they had to say below (article posted here originally):

Lung Letters

PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK

Taking members from local face-melters A Giant Dog and Flesh Lights, Lung Letters make vicious, raw punk rock that seeks to eradicate the genre’s limitations. On Passing Days, the band’s newest EP, Lung Letters blaze through three tracks of angular guitars, Biafra-inspired vibrato, thunderous percussion, and apocalyptic imagery. In this way, Lung Letters recall punk titans of the 1980s—the names Jack Grisham, Harley Flanagan, and the aforementioned Jello Biafra all come to mind. And the EP’s messy cacophony certainly reminds one of the industrial orgies found in Flipper and Scratch Acid songs, two bands namechecked on Lung Letters’ Bandcamp page. But Passing Days is not merely an exercise in nostalgia; the EP masterfully achieves a balance between messy cacophony and jagged punk rock melody, finding the equilibrium between noise and harmony.

“With a gritty and energetic attitude, Lung Letters proves that punk rock is still alive and thriving in Austin.” – Super Secret Records

When: Saturday, December 9th at The Lost Well & Saturday, January 19th at The North Door

GIGsoup Reviews Adam Ostrar’s Brawls in the Briar

Originality80
Lyrical Content75
Longevity70
Overall Impact70
Reader Rating0 Votes0
74
Ostrar mixes referential and autobiographical themes, confirming definitely that the most amazing feature of an author is how music, but also art in general, could be a personal way to cure and release ourselves

Songwriter and veteran band leader of the last twenty years Adam Busch alias Adam Ostrar has released his second solo alternative-folk record ‘Brawls In The Briar’.

The opening is with the melancholic ‘Enemy’. During all this piece, the bass guitar seems to predict that something is happening, that someone is coming and we can only wait for in a state of fluctuating suspension. Maybe, is it truly the enemy?

Closing eyes while listening to ‘Warlock’, it’s easy to go back until the vintage folk of 50’s-60’s American western movies, watching a cowboy with a white horse riding to discover the horizon and beyond (“And now you are riding into the great beyond”).

With ‘Cossacks in the Building’ the author deals with political matters straight lived by his family: “I remember my grandfather telling me who the Cossacks were and what a pogrom was. I know there was a pogrom history on his side of the family, and his parents and aunts and uncle ultimately immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s because of persecution.” (Supersecretrecords.com). The reference is about the Russian meddling in U.S. elections and of course, you if you’re from a family that has already felt the heavy hand of Russian authoritarianism and racist scapegoating, this is doubtless a little more creepier for you.

On Supersecretrecords.com, Ostrar also talks about the recording: “Point being, there aren’t any distractions. We recorded it live, all in the same room. I guess I made a record the way lots of people have made records, but it was a first for me. I’m used to piecemeal recordings and piecemeal recording budgets.” And also: “I wrote the bulk of the songs in 2016, which was collectively an awful year for obvious reasons. I was also experiencing cognitive dissonance unrelated to the election, personal stuff. All of it worked itself into the material. I suppose the backdrop of 2016 is the briar. The songs are the brawls.”

Ostrar mixes referential and autobiographical themes, confirming definitely that the most amazing feature of an author is how music, but also art in general, could be a personal way to cure and release ourselves.

This album feels like a secret album that people make, in some way, as their own.

‘Brawls In The Briar’ is out now via Super-Secret Records

Adam Ostrar

New Lung Letters EP Review

Lung Letters-Passing Days EP (2017)

Country: USA
Genre: Punk, Noise Rock
Label: Self-Released
Tracks: 3
Length: 9.20′

Lung Letters are a four piece band from Austin, Texas who formed in early 2017, from the looks of things.  Lung Letters feature members of Total Abuse, Nazi Gold, and Flesh Lights, so going on that alone, you know you’re in for some really awesome music.  Lung Letters play a killer style of Flipper/Scratch Acid influenced punk and noise rock.  Passing Days is the band’s debut EP, which was released on March 18th, 2017.  On Passing Days, Lung Letters offer up three tracks of off-kilter and weird sounding punk and noise rock. Overall, Passing Days makes for a killer listen and definitely should not be missed.  Highly recommended!  Enjoy!

Lung Letters on Bandcamp
Listen Here

C-Ville Weekly Reviews Brawls in the Briar

Album reviews: Adam Ostrar, Jamila Woods, Gun Outfit and Soundspecies & Ache Meyi

Album reviews: Adam Ostrar, Jamila Woods, Gun Outfit and Soundspecies & Ache Meyi

Adam Ostrar

Brawls in the Briar (Super Secret)

Adam Ostrar, né Busch, former Charlottesville resident and WTJU DJ, was also a main mover behind Curious Digit, Manishevitz and SONOI. On Brawls in the Briar, Ostrar is joined by members of Califone and White Rabbits, and combines characteristics of all those bands. The tracks gently stir, rooted in acoustic guitar and Ostrar’s genial croon, adorned with countless touches—early-Floyd organ, triangle, borderline Frippertronics guitar, etc. Ostrar issues plenty of enigmatic lines, but also achieves emotional liftoff, as on the coda of “Another Room”: “The day is ending / the sun is setting in the spoon / I don’t want another room / I want yours, dear.” Understated and beguiling, Brawls in the Briar feels like a secret album that people share and bond over. Ostrar returns to Charlottesville, appearing at Low Records on October 23.

Chicago Reader Praises ‘Brawls in the Briar’

Adam Ostrar, also known as Adam Busch - GEORGE MCCORMACK

  • GEORGE MCCORMACK
  • Adam Ostrar, also known as Adam Busch

It’s not unusual to have your identity stolen on the Internet. What happened to Adam Busch is a little less common, a lot less sinister, and a bit more complicated. Busch, who moved to Chicago in 1999 from Saint Louis, lived here until 2014, and during those years he fronted two excellent bands, Manishevitz and Sonoi. Shortly before leaving for Austin, Texas, he made his first solo record, River of Bricks, with assistance from another former Chicagoan who’d headed south, Michael Krassner of the Boxhead Ensemble. As Busch started playing out under his own name and readying the album for release on his Meno Mosso label, he discovered he had an identity problem: there was another Adam Busch.

“I noticed the omnipotent Internet presence of ‘LA’ Adam Busch,” he recalls. “I don’t seek fame or anything, but I was just buried in Google searches and on Youtube.” The other Busch has been acting since his late teens, with recurring minor roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the USA Network’s Colony, among other series; he played one of the leads in TBS’s Men at Work and the character “Indie” on the YouTube series MyMusic. Earlier this year he appeared in Rebel in the Rye, a film about the wartime experiences of J.D. Salinger. He also makes music, sometimes with people Busch knows.

“Turns out he’s a good friend of Tim Rutili and played on Califone’s Stitches, which caused some folks I know further confusion,” Busch says. Fortunately he had another identity to fall back upon. “Ostrar was my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. She was a concert pianist early in life and taught at the Chicago Academy for the Arts until retirement. I’ve always used Ostrar for my publishing name.” Brawls in the Briar, the first record Busch has recorded since moving to Texas, is credited to Adam Ostrar. For clarity’s sake, I’ll switch to that name too.

For Brawls, Ostrar is working with a label besides his own for the first time since 2007, when Catbird Records released Manishevitz’s swan song, East to East. Richard Lynn of Austin’s Super Secret Records came to one of his solo shows. “He bought a copy of my last record and ended up inviting me to play one of the music series he runs, called Austin Jukebox,” says Ostrar. “He became an advocate and was quick to say ‘yes’ when I asked him about releasing my next record. He’s all about you making the record you want to make, where you want to make it, and when you want to make it.”

With a label backing him, Ostrar says, “All I had to worry about was writing good songs, figuring out who I wanted to record with, and where and when I wanted to record. We made a better record because of that.” He demoed the new record at Michael Krassner’s home studio in Phoenix, Arizona, with Krassner on guitar. Along with keyboardist-bassist Wil Hendricks, drummer-keyboardist Stephen Patterson, and violinist Josh Hill, they repaired to Sonic Ranch, a studio in the border town of Tornillo, Texas, where the likes of Swans, Mountain Goats, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top have recorded. “It’s very secluded and you stay on the property and have all your meals there,” Ostrar says. “Point being, there aren’t any distractions. We recorded it live, all in the same room. I guess I made a record the way lots of people have made records, but it was a first for me. I’m used to piecemeal recordings and piecemeal recording budgets.”

With its uplifting melodies and atmospheric arrangements, Brawls in the Briarsounds like a logical extension of River of Bricks. But where the earlier record exudes a warm sense of wonder, the new one conveys unease. “I wrote the bulk of the songs in 2016, which was collectively an awful year for obvious reasons,” Ostrar says. “I was also experiencing cognitive dissonance unrelated to the election, personal stuff. All of it worked itself into the material. I suppose the backdrop of 2016 is the briar. The songs are the brawls.”

The video for “Spare Me,” the new album’s latest single, debuted this week.

The standout track “Cossacks in the Building” layers bright piano accents over gamboling acoustic fingerpicking. Its verses allude to an impotent CIA and bonfires built from tires, and the chorus poses the question, “There’s Cossacks in the building, who let them in?” Ostrar doesn’t come right out and say it, but Russian meddling in U.S. elections doubtless feels a fair bit creepier to you if you’re from a family that has already felt the heavy hand of Russian authoritarianism and racist scapegoating. “I remember my grandfather telling me who the Cossacks were and what a pogrom was. I know there was a pogrom history on his side of the family, and his parents and aunts and uncle ultimately immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s because of persecution.”

Ostrar’s first tour under his new professional name will be solo, not with a band. But since one of the opening acts at Sunday’s Hideout show is multi-instrumentalist Joe Adamik, who used to play with Ostrar in Manishevitz, we might get to hear a bit of their collective past as well.