Thursday, July 31, 2008

|7.31| Gathering of the Vibes + Review + XPN Festival Set Stream


Gathering of the Vibes is tomorrow and we are really excited to be playing with so many great bands. Come check us out at the Solar Stage on the beach at 6pm!

JamBase: Go See Live Music

Here is a link to a review of Tale of Two Cities from, by Dennis Cook. It's a great check it out!

NPR Music

The Brakes set from the XPN festival is up on and is available for streaming. Click Here

to stream...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

XPN Broadcast/Webcast of Xponential Festival Set Tomorrow @ 5pm!

Four Days, 3 Stages, Over 40 Arts XPoNential Music Festival July 10-13, 2008!

Hey guys, I wanted to let you know that our set tomorrow at the XPN festival is going to be broadcast ON-AIR at 5pm on 88.5 FM WXPN.

So if you can't make it to the festival to see us rock the Mainstage, tune in to XPN at 5pm!

If you are outside Philly you can also hear the set streaming online:

Don't forget.

Listen Live

Gathering of the Vibes


We are also going to be playing at Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport, CT on Friday August 1st. A lot of people have been asking me when our set time is going to be, and I found out that we are playing at 6pm, On the Solar Stage which is right on da beach, boyee (samson simpson).

Other people playing the festival include: Phil Lesh and Friends, The Black Crowes, Taj Mahal, The Neville Brothers, Derek Trucks and others.

We are pretty excited to play this festival, and the line-up is pretty make the trek with us!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Memorial Service for Josh

The service for Josh the other day was a beautifully fitting tribute to our friend. People from all over the country came to pay their respects, and we filled the chapel (and adjacent rooms) to the brim with love and support. It was the type of outpouring that reaffirmed how special he really was...and a sight that I will not soon forget. Thank you so much to all of you who came, and all who have reached out to us these past couple days.

As we are faced with the task of going back out on the road so soon after losing our brother, we have decided to cancel all shows until May 13th. Sorry to those of you who are in Texas, we will be back soon.

People have been asking us about the song we performed at the service. It's called "To the Other Side" and was written by our good friend Chris Kasper for his band "The Lowlands". You can find it on their myspace page .

I have also been asked to make the eulogy I wrote available to read, so I've decided to post it on our blog.

For Josh

In music, there are these rare moments of transcendence, a feeling of unity of the soul with its surroundings. It is an emotion of sublime joy, to know that you are not alone in this world, that everything is bound together. For me, this is as close as it gets to proof of a higher power, and I feel that when we experience these moments of enlightenment, our souls are connected to the place where all came from and we all will return.

For the past 7 years, I have been fortunate enough to have the privilege of these experiences with my best friends in this band, The Brakes, and together we have formed an irrevocable bond. Music is a conversation on the most basic level, and in those moments of fleeting brilliance I have found peace. Now that Josh, my friend and brother has been so cruelly and abruptly taken away from us, it leaves us all devastated. However, in this energy flow, found in music and nature and other expressions of the soul, will be Josh, bound by this benevolent force that connects us all.

Josh was a lover of life's simple things. He loved being outside, reading, good beer, listening to music, smoking pipe tobacco, and a good laugh. He was also a hopeless romantic, and his love for women and their companionship was very important to him. Now that his life has been cut short by this horrible cancer, I just wish we could have given him all of the experiences he has now been robbed of. He was so young and so passionate and I loved him like a brother.

I had a dream last week, and in that dream was Josh. We were all riding in the van, traveling the country together on another tour, another adventure. It was summer and he was driving across the open landscape, so happy, and full of life. He looked tan and healthy, with a full head of hair. In the dream, we didn't really talk to each other but he looked at peace. It's there; on the road together where my fondest memories of him live. It was a time where we were young and free of responsibility; a naïve fantasy, where everything turns out right.

I used to think about us all growing old together; we would visit each other's families, and reminisce about being young and stupid; about the experiences we shared together. I imagined Josh and I as old men, talking about the good old days outside on his porch, him smoking his pipe and remembering us traveling across the country, playing for thousands of people and for handfuls, figuring things out on our own. Now that he has passed, this callow dream of mine will never be a reality, but his memory will remain strong in all of us.

As a musician, Josh was incredibly gifted. He learned very quickly, and his analytical mind was powerful and open. He was able to play any instrument he could get his hands on, and few people know this, but in addition to being an excellent drummer, he was a great bass player and teacher.

About 6 months before he got sick, I noticed a huge leap forward in his drumming. He was able to achieve a level of musicianship on the drums that few reach. He seemed to become the drummer that we all thought he would be someday and it was a great joy to see. I always knew he had great potential, and to see it realized made me very happy. It seems fitting that all of those performances were documented and an album was made to remember that incredible time in our histories. His playing was so steady and confident; I used to tell him that he had achieved "Bonham" status. He shrugged it off humbly like I knew he would, but I knew it meant a lot to him.

When I was in the studio mixing the songs, Josh was already in the hospital. I remember thinking how important it was for everyone to hear his superb drumming on these recordings. Now more than ever, I feel it's my duty to have the world hear and remember Josh, for the smart, talented and passionate friend that he was.

We were able to play with him a couple weeks ago, when he came over to hang out with us during a practice for our upcoming tour. As I watched him, he looked a little dazed as he sat on the couch in Derek's basement, conducting the tunes in his head as we played through them. But the moment he stepped behind that drum set, he came alive and the music just poured right out of him. I will never forget the expression on his face as he played; it was one of deep concentration but complete ease and relaxation at the same time. It was if for those brief minutes, he had been set free by the music. All of the pain, and months of chemotherapy disappeared, and there he was filling the missing link in our irrevocable bond. It was a really cathartic moment for all of us. And I don't think that any of us knew that that was the last time we would ever see him, but I am so glad that we got to play with him one last time. I will remember it always.

I want to close by saying that in the wake of this tragedy, I feel I've learned something very important. For me there is definitely a loss of innocence and naivety that will never be regained, but I've acquired a newfound respect for the moments that we usually take for granted. I think we should all lament on that for a second…nothing we do should be taken for granted, because we never know what the future has in store for us. And as we move forward, I think Josh's memory should serve as a reminder to live our lives to the fullest.

I consider myself lucky to have known Josh, and his presence and energy will live on in our fondest memories. To my brother, my friend and my companion…I love you so much and you will be in my thoughts for the rest of my days on this earth.

R.I.P. Josh Sack 1986-2008

With profound sorrow and regret, we're sorry to have to tell you that on Sunday, May 4, The Brakes' drummer Josh Sack lost his battle with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML). Diagnosed last August, Josh bravely fought the cancer, even regaining his strength long enough to tour in October and drum at rehearsals as recently as last week. Funeral services will be held at
Joseph Levine & Sons in Broomall, PA at 11:30, Tuesday, May 6.

The family respectfully requests that contributions in his memory be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Condolences, memories or messages to the band can be sent to

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tale of Two Cities Tourdates!

Here is a more complete list of the dates on our tour...come see us play in your town!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tale of Two Cities CD Release Tour with Carney

We are please to announce the first round of dates from our CD Release Tour! We will be playing with new friends and Interscope recording artist, Carney, from LA. There are many more dates to come, so stay tuned to see when The Brakes are coming to your town!

5.7.08 Sticky Fingers Little Rock, AR
5.9.08 The Cavern Dallas, TX
5.10.08 Warehouse Live Houston, TX
5.11.08 Emo's Austin, TX
5.13.08 Blueberry Hill St. Louis, MO
5.14.08 Birdy's Indianapolis, IN
5.15.08 Redstone Room Davenport, IA
5.16.08The Rave Milwaukee, WI
5.17.08 Kinetic Playground Chicago, IL

Monday, April 14, 2008

Date Change for Highline Ballroom Show

Just to let you know, the date of our NYC show at the Highline Ballroom has changed to SUNDAY APRIL 27th! We are going on at 8pm...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tale of Two Cities Video

Here is a video we've been working on from Tale of Two Cities out May 6th on HYENA Records! It features the song "Into The Ground". Download the mp3 of Into The Ground for free, HERE. Created by Jake Krolick & Matt Kass.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Brakes have the #1 most popular song on indie music blogs!
(according to the hype machine)

according to the hype machine, "into the ground" is the #1 most popular track on indie music blogs right now! Thanks to Hans from "Here Comes The Flood" for posting our first album review...check it out HERE. We've had over 6000 downloads of the track so far...since we released it a couple of weeks ago. Click HERE to download "Into The Ground"

The Brakes - Tale of Two Cities album review on Here Comes The Flood

Popular Tracks on the Hype Machine: (each song gets taken down after 3 days)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

from The Late Greats Blog:

Wednesday, February 27, 2008The Late Greats

My Favorite Song This Week

I swear, I’m not copying XPN’s music blog. I was planning on posting this song by The Brakes long before they posted it.

The Brakes are a Philly band that got picked up by the awesome Hyena Records. Their debut full-length will hit shelves in May. It’s a 12 song opus that was recorded live during a year-long stint of gigging in New York and Philly – hence the title of the record “Tale Of Two Cities”. (Get it, 12 songs, one for each month – not that this is their interpretation of the calendar. It is good ol’ rock and roll a la Springsteen and his E. Street Shufflers.)

The Brakes ∞ Intro The Ground

Further Study:

More MP3s:
Hype Machine

What is your favorite this week? Leave a hullabaloo.

Weekly Favorites

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