Thursday, August 30, 2007

Illegal Art’s first release of Fair Use mayhem following Girl Talk’s Night Ripper is the latest from artist James Towning, aka Realistic.

“Following the aesthetic of Negativland and John Oswald, Realistic borrows material from every possible source: classic rock, disco, self-improvement records, soap operas [and more]. Towning demonstrates a knack for unconventional looping, sonic accumulation, and a good joke.” – All Music Guide

Realistic's third album, Perpetual Memory Loss, features sixteen tracks of intricate sample-based compositions – a beautifully sophisticated celebration of found sound, recorded media, technology, and electronic composition. Slices of field recordings mesh with surreal electronic melodies, which creates enjoyably odd multi-layered musical fun. Realistic is the guise of sound collage artist James Towning, by day a Brooklyn-based motion-graphics designer.

With this release, the Illegal Art label continues to challenge the restrictions of copyright as perceived by the larger music industry. The uniqueness of Realistic in comparison to other artists on the label (Girl Talk, Oh Astro, Steinski) further illustrates that sample-based music is strikingly some of the most original, innovative, and exciting music being made in the 21st century. Illegal Art claims Fair Use for all of its releases and has professional legal counsel nearby if needed.

Towning has been a fan of electronic music since his college days, mostly the UK scene. Artists like Human League, Soft Cell, Cabaret Voltaire, Wire, Art of Noise, and Meat Beat Manifesto were early influences, while Mu-ziq and Kid Koala can be counted as contemporary ones. In a recent interview Towning says, “I also go off on binges of Queen, ELO, XTC, The Beatles, and Bowie.

A recurring source in Towning's compositions is the nostalgic sounds of 70's and 80's techno-pop and rock artists that were personally influential over the years. As well as using computer-based waveform editing and sampling, Towning carries a portable digital recorder to capture various audio environments on a daily basis. Whether the source samples are found around the house, on TV, on a busy Chinatown street, or a crackly sound effects record, Realistic's juxtaposition of head-spaces always creates something surreal and altogether new.

“There's such a rich texture of sound and visuals in New York. I'm constantly entertained with the sounds that I record,” said Towning in a recent interview. An ever-increasing collection of thrift-store records and cassettes is another likely source of audio inspiration. “I love composing little sound pieces using whatever source material I choose. It's a cathartic, fun, and essential part of my life.”

With Perpetual Memory Loss, the Realistic sound has evolved into a tighter and more structured mesh of musical patterns and mangled beats. Tiny rhythmic patterns and subtle textural layers are revealed upon repeated listening. Sampled dialogue is used more sparingly than in previous Realistic releases allowing the musical voices to be heard more clearly. Each complex track is its own self-contained little world, with disjointed characters, funky grooves, and odd but familiar musical samples. Throughout the 45-minute album, expressionistic patterns of sound twist and fold into one another as the tracks evolve. At times the entire audio spectrum degrades and distorts in groovy syncopation. The tracks on Perpetual Memory Loss are more complex and refined, but what remains is the underlying sense of humor, rich production, and an offbeat composition style that is distinctively Realistic.

Regarding the album’s unique artwork, Towning explains, “The CD art was designed by me. It consists of many thumbnails of snapshots I've taken over the past three years or so. That timeframe coincides with the production of the audio tracks, too. The snapshots represent memories in a very literal way. They vary in subject matter from pictures of my cats, still-lifes, industrial landscapes, detailed textures, and random found art. The inside artwork reveals more snapshot thumbnails in varying degrees of clarity.”

Towning further elaborates, “Beneath the CD, a collage of found images and photographs explodes and bleeds over into the snapshots. The technique of collaging with found and personal imagery reflects the style of the audio tracks too. The primary colors of red and green that I chose were inspired by and derived from a vintage Christmas card I received from a friend a few years ago. Again, a nostalgic reference.”

As for the title Perpetual Memory Loss, Towning says it “speaks to the process of growing older and the mind's ability to store, lose, and constantly distort memories. And how sometimes those memories are recalled in a random and overlapping order. As we get older, more and more memories are stored while others are buried deep or lost. The title also references the similarities between the ever expanding human mind and a computer's finite hard drive and its ability to retrieve random and corrupt data.”

Videos From Previous Realistic Releases:
"Private Moments"
“Music for Voyeurs”
"Angel 2001"
"Spectacle of Slop"

Perpetual Memory Loss Tracklisting:
Release Date: October 23, 2007
01. The Camera Track (MP3)
02. Music in the Round
03. Conversation Hearts
04. Post-Corporate Fantasy
05. Amazing Fall
06. Welcome to Heaven
07. Brand Name Sunday
08. Library Music
09. Wandering Aimlessly
10. Have a Nice Trip
11. April and August Sixth
12. There is Always More
13. In Loving Memory
14. Snowday Plaything (MP3)
15. The Numbers Test
16. Uneventful Fall

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Madison’s Sleeping In The Aviary to bring its Kinks/Buzzcocks brand of spastic, brainy basement pop on the road this fall in support of debut album.

“Hard, fast, noisy and addictive indie-pop at its finest. It is such an absolutely joy to hear something as jarring and as exciting as this. I'm not lying when I say I spilled tea all over myself lunging for the volume to turn it up up up.” – The Roaring Machine

“I just like these kids because they make short pop songs. There's a lot to be said about a song that is under two minutes and engaging enough to get you dancing alone in your bedroom...” – It's The Money Shot

Thanks to intense, highly entertaining live shows and its addictive, spastic pop songs, Sleeping In The Aviary has in short order become one of Madison, Wisconsin's most intriguing young bands. Its sound could be described as The Thermals vacationing with the Violent Femmes, sharing hot tubs with The Kinks and saunas with Nirvana - often sounding frenzied or angry, but strangely good-natured about it. Flashes of rock and roll's history percolate throughout its authentic brand of catchy songs which are of the kind that immediately become implanted in one's brain upon listening.

Sleeping In The Aviary was formed in 2003 and underwent a few lineup changes before founding members and long-time friends Elliott Kozel and Phil Mahlstadt finally found their perfect match in Eyebeams songwriter and drummer, Michael Sienkowski. The band recorded its debut album, Oh, This Old Thing? with Ricky Riemer at Science of Sound, a basement studio in Madison where they felt they could achieve what they were looking for – a crisp and full recording while maintaining a DIY ethic. Now the band will take this sound and these songs on a month long tour of the US where fans can find out exactly what is making this group the most talked about act in Madison, Wisconsin.

“The album's opening salvo dominates, suggesting early Thermals via mid-western garages and basements. From there its 20 minutes of kick-ass lo-fi power pop laced with strains of Buzzcocks crunch, Kinks hooks, and I swear, a dash of Ruins grandiose spazz.” – Necromuncher

“It's sloppy, low-fi and as catchy as anything that you are going to come across... The garage rock-esque undertones of the thing could probably carry it on its own but the raw vocals of Elliott Kozel and the way that they are thrown about in the most pop-punk of fashions are what really make this such a good listen.” – Side One: Track One

Sleeping In The Aviary Live:

09/01 Minneapolis, MN Soap Factory
09/09 Madison, WI King Club
09/14 Milwaukee, WI Linneman’s
09/15 Chicago, IL South Union Arts
09/16 Peoria, IL TJ’s
09/17 St. Louis, MO Way Out Club
09/18 Little Rock, AR Vino’s Brew Pub
09/19 Shreveport, LA 516 Soundstage
09/20 Denton/Dallas, TX TBD
09/21 Houston, TX Rudyard’s Pub
09/22 Austin, TX Trophys
09/25 Albuquerque, NM Space Maybe
09/26 Tucson, AZ Vaudeville Cabaret
09/27 Los Angeles, CA Knitting Factory
09/28 Fresno, CA The Exit
09/29 Sonoma, CA The Shop
09/30 San Francisco, CA TBD
10/02 Portland, OR Brainstains
10/03 Seattle, WA Sunset Tavern
10/04 Portland, OR Red Room
10/05 Boise, ID Neurolux
10/06 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
10/07 Denver, CO Three Kings Tavern
10/09 Wichita, KS Kirby’s Beer Store
10/10 Manhattan, KS PJ’s Pub
10/11 Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews
10/12 Chicago, IL Cal’s Bar
10/13 Dekalb, IL TBD

Oh, This Old Thing? Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE

01. Face Lift Floats
02. Pop Song (MP3)
03. Another Girl (MP3)
04. Gloworm
05. Sign My Cast
06. Maureen
07. Drug Suitcase
08. No Socks
09. Only Son
10. Lanugo
11. Love Song
12. Getting Thin

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bridgeport elementary school teacher moonlights as musician Cannonball Jane with help from Adrock of Beastie Boys.

“Cannonball Jane is the coolest one woman band I’ve heard in a long time. This is what Carole King would sound like if she had a sampler and was really into Francoise Hardy. I love her recordings and can't wait for more!” – Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill & Le Tigre

“Cannonball Jane purveys an inventive mishmash of hip hop beats and day-glo '60s pop that suggests a female Beck weaned on The Ronettes and The Raincoats.” – Time Out London

“Frothy, infectious sampledelica...dreamy doo-wop oohs and aahs with old-school breaks and could all be a musical car crash, but charm and sassy beats win the day. And to complete this mini-masterpiece's feel good credentials: by day Jane is a music teacher, Miss Hagopian, and she recorded it in her bedroom.” – The Times (UK)

By day she’s mild-mannered Bridgeport, CT based elementary school music teacher Sharon Hagopian, but by night she's smart and sassy electro-pop underground darling Cannonball Jane, maker of a mind-bendingly brilliant mix of hip-hop samples and sixties girl group pop. Her first musical go was the album Street Vernacular, released last year in the UK (and to be released in North America September 25th) to rave reviews in Time Out London, NME, Uncut, The Independent and many more besides and now comes her latest EP, Knees Up!, that features remixes of the hit “Take It To Fantastic” by Adrock of Beastie Boys and UK producer DJ Downfall.

Sounding more like the work of a group (sleeps-in-his-leather-jacket guitarist, banned-from-the-academy maverick multi-instrumentalist, recently-diagnosed-schizophrenic drummer, typewriter-sampling-avant-garde keyboardist, etc.) the reality is rather different. It’s just hard to believe that there's not more than one of her!

Recorded entirely at home, Hagopian’s studio set up of beatboxes, samplers, tambourines, guitars, turntables, piano, synths, various noise gadgets and effects shines through, creating an innovative retro-modern mix, elegant and sweetly beguiling but still rough enough to handle something bigger than a moped! From the Spector-soul of “Take it to Fantastic” (MP3) onwards, Knees Up! combines such diverse influences as Run-DMC, The Aislers Set, Solex, The Shangri-La’s, The Go-Go’s, Luscious Jackson and Devo, while remaining fresh, exciting and original at all times.

On top of this is Sharon’s singing – her truly lovely and pleasing voice polishes off each mini pop masterpiece on Knees Up!. Hagopian has previously taken the Cannonball Jane sound out on the road with support slots for The Go! Team, Gravy Train!!!!, E.S.G. and super-fans Le Tigre and has plans for more shows upon the release of Knees Up! this fall.

“…a concise summary of her aesthetic: cartoonish hip hop breakbeats, elegant piano chords, twinkling chimes, girl group melodies and a swirl of miscellaneous musical elements that fill out every available space in her songs without weighing down their buoyant grooves. Hagopian comes across as the world's most ideal music educator -- someone endlessly enthusiastic about a wide range of music who's open both to old fashioned instruments and cut-and-paste sample-based compositions “ – Matthew Perpetua, The Associated Press

Knees Up! Tracklisting:
Release Date: October 9, 2007

01. Take It To Fantastic (MP3)
02. Slumber Party
03. Breaker Breaker
04. Take It To Fantastic (Smallstars Remix by Adrock)
05. The Secret Handshake
06. Bossa Tug
07. Take It To Fantastic (DJ Downfall Smash Hit Radio Remix)

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Fans of Tom Zé, Fela Kuti and Dub will find reason to rejoice in the music of Puerto Rican-bred musician Mofongo.

mo·fon·go (m_-f_ng'g_, m_-f_n'-)

1. A Puerto Rican dish made of mashed plantains, garlic, and pork cracklings.
2. A Puerto Rican electro-acoustic composer with a penchant for plantains and Dub.

Unbound by intellectual convention, the music of Jose Ayala a.k.a Mofongo balances the past and future, assembling a vivid collage of musical influences that transforms customs while preserving their essence. His new EP, Tumbao, from Aagoo Records (Au, Zemog El Gallo Beuno) combines found sounds, samples and field recordings with a rhythmic complexity influenced by traditional Latin music.

Growing up in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Ayala was inspired by Salsa, Tom Zé, Fela Kuti, Varèse and Dub. He moved to Boston to study classical guitar at the New England Conservatory, but was sidelined by tendonitis. He returned a year later to study classical composition and improvisation under Joe Maneri and Ran Blake and began playing in the experimental salsa band, Jayuya.

The physical and interpersonal demands of playing live for fours years took its toll and Ayala soon began to experiment with electronic music. His roommate at the time, Keith Fullerton Whitman, introduced him to bedroom production and with access to Whitman's huge record collection, Ayala began making music in a completely different way. Ayala’s process can begin with anything — a stray sound, melody or drum track. Slowly, he adds, subtracts and re-shuffles, trying not to force anything and letting the sounds find their place among themselves.

At times abrasive, the music confronts the listener and commands attention. Ayala continues to move forward as an artist and experiment with new technologies. He is currently designing “The Plantain Maker,” live-looping software that will allow him to use large library of evolving sounds in live performances, pushing further the improvisational aspects of his eclectic and personal music.

Tumbao Tracklisting:
Stream The EP HERE
01. Tumbao (MP3)
02. Loco (MP3)
03. Vermont
04. Paper Towels 2006

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Greg Summerlin’s All Done In Good Time is this fall’s answer to The Who’s rock opera, Tommy.

“Wherever his influences call home, there's no denying the appeal of sunny, upbeat, and beguiling pop tunes which are guaranteed to stay in your head for days.” – The Big Takeover

“What this record will do is grow to become the sleeper hit of the year.” –

Two years after releasing the heralded The Young Meteors, Greg Summerlin is once again behind the microphone for his most epic and poignant album to date, All Done In Good Time: The Life and Times of Polly Shields. Leaving behind the warm Alabama fall, Summerlin joined producer Ed Ackerson (The Replacements, Golden Smog, Brian Setzer, Juliana Hatfield) in a cozy Minneapolis studio. Together, with grandiose Who-like execution, Summerlin and Ackerson triumphed in delivering a sincere album with songs to hook you into a sing-along or embrace you in an epic tale. Unafraid to wrestle with his own inspirations, Summerlin uses personal tragedy and triumph to unite four characters in a fluid album that plays like a 50-minute symphonic melodrama incorporating philosophy, theology, the meaning of life, and rock and roll.

Although Summerlin has always been a huge fan of The Who, that interest was rekindled when he read the Keith Moon biography "Moon” by Tony Fletcher. He then bought the remixed and remastered CD of Tommy and became somewhat obsessed with the record and with The Who as a band. Summerlin’s amazement at the genius behind Tommy, and the enormity of the record’s concept, continues today. Musically speaking, however, the influences on Summerlin’s latest effort are much more diverse, and include what Summerlin cheekily calls “classic alternative,” like New Order.

About the time Summerlin was immersing himself in Tommy, he woke up in the middle of the night and started writing the All Done In Good Time track “Please Don't Tell,” and thinking about making a record with a storyline centered on a frustrated, disillusioned girl who rebels against her father. Although Summerlin had already written several songs that appear on the record, he retooled some of the lyrics to fit this storyline and started writing the rest of the album which now centers around four main characters: “Polly“ (the name taken from Keith Moon's daughter), “Mr. Shields”, “Johnny” and “Timmy.” Summerlin wrote more than 24 songs for All Done In Good Time, and eventually settled on the fourteen which make up the heart of the tale and appear on the finished record.

More about Greg Summerlin:
After leaving the groundbreaking alt-country band, The Quinsonics, and their loyal fan base in the late 90's, Greg Summerlin has steadily developed a following as a solo artist across the country and worldwide. Helping to raise Summerlin's profile was Paste Magazine, which selected Summerlin's last record for the “Paste Recommends” program. Summerlin's first two records have also been licensed for use by MTV and A&E programming. Mixing business with pleasure, Summerlin is also the founder and owner of Superphonic Records, which has quickly become one of the leading indie labels in the Southeast. In 2007, Summerlin will help see the release of several highly anticipated albums including those of AA Bondy (Verbena), Louis Schefano (Regia / Remy Zero) and John P. Strohm (The Lemonheads, Blake Babies.)

More about the story at the heart of All Done In Good Time:
Mr. Shields is a single father raising Polly. Polly’s mother leaves the family for unstated reasons (“Shine On Where You Want”). Mr. Shields is overbearing and controlling for fear of Polly being corrupted by the world, and instead of protecting her, he ends up driving her away (“Just Listen Tonight”, “This Darkened World”.) Polly becomes bitter and rejects her father and his beliefs. We then meet Timmy, who enters the scene and falls in love with Polly (“Atmosphere”.) Simultaneously, Polly’s good friend Johnny develops feelings for Polly that he can’t bring himself to confess. Johnny thinks Timmy is a bad guy and wants to warn Polly but never does (“He's A Faker”). Polly eventually has a baby by Timmy, who eventually leaves her and the child (“Please Don't Tell”, “It's My Life”.) Polly becomes more depressed and bitter (“A New Birth”, “Plastic Roses”.) Then God comes into Polly’s life to make her aware that He sees everything that has happened (“The Paintaker”.) At this time, Johnny reappears and reestablishes a friendship with Polly (“Unlucky In Love”). Polly then begins to work at coming to terms with everything that has happened to her, and trying to understand it all, all while dealing with the situation with Johnny (“Redemption”.) Summerlin purposely don't have a tidy, clean ending to the story, but the essence of the album’s closing track (“The Final Plan”) is that both Mr. Shields and Polly have made mistakes that they hope to learn from, and that God is in control.

All Done In Good Time Tracklisting:
Release Date: October 2, 2007
01. A Warning
02. Shine On Where You Want
03. Redemption
04. This Darkened World
05. Unlucky in Love (MP3)
06. Just Listen Tonight
07. Please Don't Tell
08. A New Birth
09. The Paintaker
10. Atmosphere
11. He's a Faker
12. Plastic Roses
13. It's My Life
14. The Final Plan

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Old Time Relijun welcome praise by rock-crit legends for upcoming album, Catharsis In Crisis. Band begins seemingly endless tour in support.

“Unless I read them wrong (and I may; the music itself is the opposite of describing it: it’s wet, and bloody, and it smells like fresh earth and red cinders, and it’s a good goddamn time, is what it is) Old Time Relijun’s theory is that ‘the underground’ (I know. I know. I know.) isn’t an identity that reinvents itself once or twice per generation, but a permanent place within a culture – maybe within all cultures – where styles don’t go in and out of fashion but are always floating around in the air just above our heads.” -- John Darnielle, Last Plane To Jakarta

“The music kicks ass: brutal, fluid, funky, spasmodic, violent, sexual…I wish there were more visionaries like Dionyso around.” -- Everett True, Village Voice

The Pacific Northwest’s beloved, esoteric uprooters of rock’s antecedents, Old Time Relijun has already received an impressive outpouring of premature critical praise months in advance of its K Records meisterwerk Catharsis In Crisis. Legendary music scribe Everett True -- he who put Sub Pop and myriad others on the map with his writing in NME and Melody Maker, as well as current author and Plan B editor -- rated Catharsis In Crisis #1 in his “Top 5 Antifolk Songs” column in the Village Voice. A couple of weeks later, True followed that article with a column raving yet again about Old Time Relijun. Read the entire colorful passage HERE.

Likewise, esteemed critic and musician John Darnielle (singer/songwriter of The Mountain Goats and Last Plane to Jakarta editor, et al.) writes one of the most eloquent and flowing prose pieces about the latest Old Time Relijun disc in his latest zine. The review (clumsily quoted above) must be read in its entirety to be fully appreciated. Read it HERE.

Part of the reason for this early excitement about the album is due to the band’s return to the road, beginning with a Western states jaunt running from August 24th to September 8th, followed by a full U.S. tour beginning September 29th. Dates are still being confirmed for the fall, but all current confirmations can be found below.

Old Time Relijun continues to further shatter rock’s imperious formalism with its forthcoming latest K Records release, due October 9th, 2007. Song after song, the ferocity of vocalist/guitarist Arrington De Dionyso draws listeners deeper into a world where language, rhythm and unrepentant libido collide. The music is temperamental, unwieldy and unyielding; aimed to cut listeners to the bone.

Catharsis In Crisis was written and recorded at Calvin Johnson’s fabled Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, WA, over four inspired days and nights. Legendary producer Steve Fisk was recruited to mix this raw material into Old Time Relijun’s most fully realized album to date. Old Time Relijun + Calvin Johnson + Steve Fisk = a magical alchemy of sound and light. But don’t worry folks, it’s still terrible background music.

Arrington de Dionyso’s electrifying vocal delivery retains the blood-soaked risk of a true underground visionary, while showcasing his mastery of over-the-top nuance. Aaron Hartman (contrabass) and Germaine Baca (drums) propel the album forward with relentless bump-and-grind. Catharsis In Crisis is the first album to reveal Old Time Relijun’s new secret weapon, subversive “saxophonista” Benjamin Hartman, who uses and abuses his classical training to drive the band further into the spheres.

Often lazily compared to a No Wave version of Captain Beefheart, Old Time Relijun’s subversive -- dare we call it sadistic -- mashing of world folk music styles sounds brutally fresh. No Wave? Forget that. Catharsis In Crisis is Yes Wave for the young millennium. “Daemon Meeting” (MP3) blazes through a bizarre convocation of underworld creatures, to conclude with the query, “what does it mean to be human?” A tenor saxophone throttles the dub-infected “Liberation” with propulsive urgency through a zone of “young life and decay,” while songs such as “In the Crown of Lost Light” and “Invisible New” confront infinity with their bright shimmering sound. Even Dante is given a run for his money with the Ennio Morricone influenced junk-disco centerpiece “Veleno Mortale,” actually an Italian “re-translation” of the brutal “Burial Mound” featured on Old Time Relijun’s album 2012.

Taken as a whole, the three discs of “The Lost Light Trilogy“ (in reverse chronological order: Catharsis In Crisis, 2012 and Lost Light) are a tour-de-force of myth, dream and autobiography. "We wanted 'The Lost Light Trilogy’ to be a kind of rock opera,” de Dionyso says. “But with a non-linear development of plots and characters. Every song on each album contains musical or lyrical fragments of other songs within the trilogy, like broken shards of mirrors reflecting each other infinitely, the way a cubist painting presents multiple perspectives of the same subject, or the labyrinthine twists in a Borges story.”

Catharsis In Crisis, while concluding the trilogy, also stands on its own. Like the confrontational, compulsively danceable live show for which Old Time Relijun is known and loved, Catharsis In Crisis is a record and a testament to the oscillations of opposites. Darkness and Light, Water and Fire, Spirit and Matter struggle within Old Time Relijun’s alchemical oeuvre. From this elemental battle, the music emerges, dripping and triumphant.

More about Old Time Relijun:
Olympia, Washington. New Year’s Day, 1995. A dark and smelly basement. Three young musicians gather to tackle the vast songbook of Arrington de Dionyso. They had heard his self-recorded cassettes. The songs were wild and lovely. de Dionyso (the rebellious son of Methodist ministers) played every instrument with the soul of an outsider artist who didn’t know any better. He knew he needed to bring his songs to life.

The original trio was brought together for one show. Just to see what would happen. They called themselves Old Time Relijun. Arrington played a $20 guitar and a beat up bass clarinet. He sang with a mixture of piss and vinegar that exploded with naive charisma. Bryce Panic harassed the drums. Aaron Hartman beat on a two-string upright bass with a microphone taped to its bridge. They communicated with the clairvoyance of long-married ninjas.

That first show, everything went red: strings broke, the bass was a solid mass of feedback, the PA was blown. They used de Dionyso’s songs as a template to meld shock-ritual with a mad-tea-party-dance-vibe. They barely noticed the college kids in full Riot Grrrl gear screaming, they had no idea that punkers and hippies were dancing together. Something awful happened that night. A band was born.

Soon they were playing full sets to friends and taste-making Olympia hipsters alike. They played every show they could - whether or not they were on the bill. They developed the kind of intuitive free-jazz rapport of which most bands could only dream.

In 1996, Old Time Relijun recorded their first album, Songbook Volume One. They released it themselves, financing the production by tricking a friend out of his meager inheritance. The CD was packaged in stolen popcorn bags.

In 1997, Calvin Johnson invited the band to record a song for the “Selector Dub Narcotic” compilation for his K Records label. At that point, a beautiful relationship was born.

After Panic left to pursue a life of dance and yoga in India, one of the band’s younger fans, Phil Elvrum, asked if he could join. He moved to Olympia, and Old Time Relijun’s second of many lives began. Elvrum’s caveman beats and undeniable production savvy helped launch the first three Old Time Relijun albums K would release. Uterus and Fire (1999), was a bombastic exercise in recording in the red. Serena de Pecera (2000) was a one-night multilingual wonder, acting as a coda to the unyielding momentum of Uterus and Fire. Then came the band’s first true masterwork, Witchcraft Rebellion (2001), an album as deep and bizarre as anything you’ll find on your record shelf. A retelling of the first chapters of Genesis from the serpent’s point of view.

After a couple U.S. and European tours, Elvrum’s decided to focus his energy on his recording projects and his own band, The Microphones. Old Time Relijun continued in a variety of mutated formations, with various lost souls sitting behind the drum set.

The group experienced a brief lull in activity as de Dionyso began a vagabond period that would take him hitch-hiking across the United States and back and forth between Italy, France and Argentina. A compilation of unreleased oddities, Varieties of Religious Experience, was released in 2003, and both de Dionyso and Hartman had time to reevaluate the direction their band would take.

During his travels, de Dionyso composed an outline for what would become “The Lost Light Trilogy”. The first two installments, Lost Light (2003) and 2012 (2005), recorded with the help of drummers Rives Elliot and Jamie Peterson, respectively, saw extensive touring, a wider audience for the band, as well as high praise from critics world wide.

Old Time Relijun Live:
w/ AIDS Wolf
08/24 Eugene, OR John Henry’s
08/25 San Francisco, CA The Knockout
08/26 Santa Cruz, CA Blue Lagoon
08/28 San Diego, CA Casbah
08/29 Upland, CA Baldy Brewery
08/30 Los Angeles, CA The Echo
08/31 Los Angeles, CA The Smell
09/01 Oakland, CA 21 Grand
09/04 Davis, CA Delta of Venus
09/06 Eureka, CA Accident Gallery
09/07 Portland, OR Satyricon
09/08 Seattle, WA Atlas Clothing
09/29 Missoula, MT Badlander
09/30 Bozeman, MT The Filling Station
10/02 St. Paul, MN V’s Club
10/03 Iowa City, IA Picador
10/04 Chicago, IL Ronny’s
10/05 Bloomington, IN Bear’s Place
10/07 Columbus, OH Bourbon St.
10/09 Oberlin, OH The Sco
10/10 Pittsburgh, PA Garfield Artworks
10/11 Middleton, CT Wesleyan
10/13 Brooklyn, NY Southpaw (WFMU event w/ Oneida)
10/14 Montreal, QC Divan Orange*
10/15 Quebec City, QC Bal du Lezard*
10/16 Halifax, NS The Seahorse*
10/17 Sackville, NB Mount Allison*
10/19 Brooklyn, NY Soundfix Records (Fanatic CMJ Party)
10/19 New York, NY Knitting Factory (Panache CMJ Showcase)*
10/21 Annandale on Hudson, NY Bard College*
10/24 Hartford, CT Charter Oak Center*
10/25 Poughkeepsie, NY Vassar College*
10/26 Jamaica Plane, MA The Milky Way*
10/27 Providence, RI as220*
10/28 Philadelphia, PA COPY Gallery
10/30 Washington, DC Velvet Lounge*
10/31 New York, NY TBA*
11/01 Hoboken, NJ WFMU Live Performance
11/02 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506
11/03 Charleston, SC Cumberlands
11/04 Athens, GA Secret Squirrel
11/06 Birmingham, AL Bottletree w/ Don Caballero
11/07 New Orleans, LA Circle Bar
11/08 Houston, TX Proletariat
11/09 Austin, TX Emo’s
11/11 Oklahoma City, OK Conservatory

Catharsis In Crisis Tracklisting:
Release Date: October 9th, 2007

01. Indestructible Life!
02. The Tightest Cage
03. Daemon Meeting (MP3)
04. Liberation
05. Garden of Pomegranates
06. Akavishim
07. Dark Matter
08. The Circular Ruins
09. Veleno Mortale
10. Dig Down Deeper
11. A Wild Harvest
12. The Second Day of Creation
13. In The Crown of Lost Light
14. The Invisible New

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

West Coast psychedelic noisemakers Clipd Beaks sign to Lovepump United, label to release band’s debut, Hoarse Lords, this fall. U.S. tour to follow.

"Profoundly psychedelic…makes you feel grateful just for being alive.” – XLR8R

“Supermax-tight monolith monsters of psychedelia.” – L.A. Weekly

“Dark and noisy and messy. Which is cool, if you like strange shit.” – Vice

Groundbreaking record label Lovepump United (HEALTH, Ghengis Tron) announced today the upcoming release of Hoarse Lords, the debut full-length by Clipd Beaks on November 6th, 2007.

The creation of Hoarse Lords began in the summer of 2005, when Clipd Beaks relocated from Minnesota to Oakland, California. Influenced by hobo culture, the drugged-up hyphy sounds currently dominating Bay Area airwaves, and underground “Neu San Francisco” warehouse parties where techno bangers fade into tribal noise jams, everything on Hoarse Lords is turned up to 11. Harsh and distorted, it's a fitting new sound for a band that references “clipping” in their name, and feels every bit as sick and violent as a severed, bleeding beak.

Formed in 2003, Clipd Beaks started off with little more than a battered Arp Axxe synthesizer and a microphone but quickly set about marking off its own turf at the intersection of psychedelic post-punk and futuristic noise. Bassist Scott Ecklein and drummer Ray Benjamin met at age seven and have played music together ever since. The nascent Beaks rhythm section met guitarist/synthesist Greg Pritchard inadvertently when, during his “reactionary prepubescent punk” phase, he violently beat on one of Ray’s drums while calling them wankers due to their pre-teen band’s sonic similarities to Smashing Pumpkins.

After graduating from high school, where they experimented with mind-altering substances such as British rock and San Diego art-core, the three boys played in an epic instrumental post-rock/prog band. Singer Nic Barbeln was in a different band, whose delayed vocal loops and jam band tendencies they secretly admired from afar. When Nic’s band’s drummer ran off to Woodstock to become a Buddhist monk, he was invited to join the other boys for an impromptu jam sesh, and on a sub-zero January night in a loft above a metal bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Clipd Beaks was born.

Its first record -- which the band recorded and released itself -- came out that July. It was called Gang Caves and it was about caves near the Mississippi River that gangs used to hang out in. Incorporating lo-fi orchestral samples, liberal use of the aforementioned analog synth, and effected vocals á la Vincent Price’s cameo on “Thriller”, the record still stands as a bizarre testament to the young Beaks’ insatiable appetite for experimentation.

In March of 2006, Tigerbeat6 released the Preyers EP featuring the song “Messed up Desert” which will appear on the soundtrack (alongside Broken Social Scene and Madlib among others) to the upcoming film Gardens of The Night (LINK) starring John Malkovich. Recorded while the band was packing its bags in preparation for an epic cross-country move to California, Preyers documented the anxiety of five boys growing into men in the strange last days of American Empire, leaving their placid Midwest homes behind to venture into the unknown.

Now happily settled in Oakland, Clipd Beaks sounds like they're pushing themselves further and further into some unknown and terrifying black hole. On Hoarse Lords, song titles like “Melter” (MP3), “Wrathscapes”, and “We Will Bomb You” set the scene: these are the end times, and Clipd Beaks is right there with you, banging their drums in a tornado. As the record builds to a ferocious conclusion, there's a light at the end of the tunnel, a feeling of peace beyond the point of pain. We can't escape, so we submit, and are consumed. Hoarse Lords will be released by Lovepump United on November 6th, 2007, and followed by an extensive U.S. tour.

“The West Coast's equivalent of our beloved Deerhunter… strangely hypnotic.” – Creative Loafing

“Groovy… abrasive with the synthesizers. It's like, if you can't see the direct lines between This Heat and DJ Screw, then maybe you need to do a little more homework.” – The Fader

Hoarse Lords tracklisting:
Release Date: November 6th, 2007
01. Melter (MP3)
02. Wrathscapes
03. Manipulator
04. High on Charms
05. Hoarse Lords
06. We Will Bomb You (We Will)
07. Woo Melodies
08. Black Glass
09. Let It Win

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Former Swervedriver frontman Adam Franklin launches national tour in October. Franklin’s solo debut, Bolts Of Melody, receives stellar reviews.

"It’s truly thrilling to hear Franklin amped up again and belting out urgent guitar anthems like opener 'Seize the Day' and 'Shining Somewhere.' The vocals certainly sound more weathered, and the effects rack has most likely been trimmed down a little from his Swervedriver days, but these two immediate standouts are unmistakably the sound of a man enjoying his music.” -- No Ripcord

“Swervedriver fans who've missed the band's molten guitar-pop sound ought to perk up immediately at 'Seize The Day,' the first song on Adam Franklin's debut solo album, Bolts Of Melody... When Franklin dips into the trippy, syrupy surf-rock instrumental 'Theme From LSD,' or the spacious, whammy-afflicted ballad 'Morning Rain,' his trademark crumbling sound is still transporting. It's good to have him back, and on point.” -- Noel Murray, The Onion AV Club

Adam Franklin spent the 1990s as singer, guitarist and main songwriter for London-based Swervedriver (LINK), the genre-breaching Creation Records rock band. Since then, he's collaborated with friends (most recently, a project with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino called The Setting Suns) and led the ambient/experimental Toshack Highway. This week, in support of his recently released solo debut, Franklin launches a short East Coast tour for the end of August with Hopewell as support. The singer/guitarist will commence a nationwide tour in October (See complete tour dates below.)

Franklin's former band, Swervedriver, remains a widely lauded, albeit confounding musical legend. Was it dream pop? Was it shoegrunge? Listeners could always shuffle the words “dream”, “grunge”, “pop”, “shoe” and “melange” to their own tastes, but what remains consistent even to this day is the diehard dedication of Swervedriver fans. Certainly the group's heavy melodies incorporated traces of The Stooges, The Velvet Underground, Husker Du and Sonic Youth, but it never fit conveniently into a singular genre. Swervedriver's live shows were known for being loud and hypnotic with soaring, hook-laden tunes about UFOs and driving through the desert in the middle of the night.

Since Swervedriver went into orbit in 1999, Franklin experimented with a number of stylings on six releases under the name Toshack Highway and one appearance on a compilation album under his own name. Franklin's seventh post-Swervedriver solo album, Bolts Of Melody is his first under his own name. The album has received considerable critical praise since its release this summer.

Franklin's newer work alternates between a full band sound with acoustic/electric guitars, electric keyboards and bubbly moogs played through guitar effects pedals -- someone described the first album as “Spacefolk.” Sometimes, it's a much more back-to-basics affair -- just Franklin on his own playing simple melodic pop songs accompanied by the warm glow of the compression of the tape machine. Bolts Of Melody is occasionally a little electronic and sometimes a little bit psychedelic, a little bit country, a little bit rock'n'roll.

Bolts Of Melody features Franklin's recent “Syd's Eyes” single and “Birdsong (Moonshiner Version),” which were previously only available as Black Mountain seven-inch and Shifty Disco download-only releases respectively.

In addition to his Toshack Highway and forthcoming albums, Adam Franklin's collaboration with Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino, The Setting Suns is in the works. The power duo has posted a few new tracks on its MySpace page (LINK).

Adam Franklin Live:
* w/ Hopewell
08/21 Allston, MA Great Scott *
08/22 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell's *
08/23 New York, NY Cake Shop *
08/24 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda's *
08/25 Arlington, VA IOTA Cafe *
10/02 Norfolk, VA The Boot
10/03 Chapel Hill, MC Local 506
10/04 Mt. Pleasant, SC Village Tavern
10/05 Atlanta, GA The Earl
10/06 Birmingham, AL The Bottletree
10/07 Baton Rouge, LA TBA
10/08 Houston, TX Proletariat
10/09 Austin, TX The Mohawk
10/10 Dallas, TX The Cavern
10/11 Memphis, TN Hi /Tone
10/12 Nashville, TN The Basement
10/13 St. Louis, MO Bluebird
10/15 Kansas City, MO The Record Bar
10/16 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
10/17 Minneapolis, MN 400 Bar
10/18 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
10/19 Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club
10/20 Ypsilanti, MI Elbow Room
10/21 Columbus, OH Andyman's Treehouse
10/22 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
10/23 Pittsburgh, PA Club Café
10/24 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place
10/25 Toronto, Ontario Drake Hotel
10/26 Ottawa, Ontario Zaphods Beeblebrox
10/27 Montreal, Quebec The National

Bolts Of Melody Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: June 26th, 2007

01 Seize the Day (MP3)
02 Sundown
03 Morning Rain
04 Song of Solomon
05 Theme from LSD
06 Shining Somewhere
07 Birdsong (Moonshiner Version)
08 Canvey Island Baby
09 Syd’s Eyes (MP3)
10 Walking in Heaven’s Foothills
11 Birdsong
12 Morning Rain (Return)
13 Ramonesland

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Copperpot grabs more national attention for WYLA?, moving album to Top 5 at CMJ with help from KRS-One, Members of Tortoise, and others.

WYLA?, the latest album from Chicago's Copperpot (real name Daniel Kuypers) has been steadily drawing the attention of critics and fans alike to not only Pot's unique brand of beat-making, but to the eclectic guests that join in on the effort.

The line-up recently prompted hometown magazine Time Out Chicago to say, “He does the sophomore trump, as opposed to the slump, on WYLA? (short for What’re You Looking At?) with major help from an eclectic, peculiarly Chi-town rotation of guests. Post-rock and jazz musicians (drummers Dan Bitney [of Tortoise] and Frank Rosaly, bassist Josh Abrams, guitarist Jeff Parker [of Tortoise]) commingle with British MCs (Braintax, Rodney P) and conscious underground legends (KRS-One, Masta Ace and TOC fave Psalm One). The live musicians add ripples to each loop’s tranquil surface and flesh out Copperpot’s carnival aesthetic.” Time Out writer Matthew Lurie elaborates by saying, “…the best tracks here come not from the unusually animated KRS but from more unexpected places. The British—but not grimy—MC Braintax, in particular, turns in a hilarious scolding to all the demo-tape authors who bombard him.” Download the Copperpot track “Demo” featuring Braintax (MP3).

In addition to local love from Time Out, The Chicago Reader, and Chicago Tribune, national publications have also rung in with praise for WYLA?, with URB, Remix and noted blog Brooklyn Vegan all buzzing with excitement about the record which is to be released this month on Copperpot's own EV Productions label. The shy Chi-town beatsmith shows no signs of slowing down either as WYLA? recently entered the CMJ New Music Report charts as the #4 most-spun hip hop record at college radio.

Copperpot has been producing hip hop since 2000 when he joined The Phonograph Scientists, a Chicago-based turntable crew. Pot went solo in 2005 with his album Chapter 7 and soon after things got hot when The Chicago Reader ran a feature spotlighting his appearances on local projects from artists like Qwaazar (Typical Cats), Iomos Marad (All Natural) and several acclaimed 12” singles featuring local Chicago emcees paired with lyricists from London.

Now, with his new album, WYLA?, Pot has strayed from the bedroom producer style. Enter Matthew Lux, a member of the experimental group Isotope 217. Lux called upon a slew of artists from all over Chicago to help create of WYLA?, most notably Jeff Parker and Dan Bitney, members of supergroup Tortoise. WYLA? also features many notable guests, including hip hop legend KRS-One and MC Braintax.

“...the Roc's golden boy [Kanye West] has all the accolades, the Grammys, the sales and the buzz. But there's another beatsmith in the Windy City that hip hop fans should be looking out for...” – Elemental

“Rookie Chicago beatmaker Copperpot puts more bounce in the step of underground rap than it has seen in many a moon. [Four Stars].” – Remix

“With many producer projects still on the way for 2007, it would look to be the year of the beat smith. To even be a face in the crowd would be a compliment, but Copperpot surely stands out.” –

WYLA? Tracklisting:
Release Date: August 7, 2007

01. Come Back Home feat. KRS One (MP3)
02. Let It Go feat. Truth Enola (MP3)
03. Demo feat. Braintax (MP3)
04. I Am A Banana
05. I Put A What feat. Valeska Jakobiwicz
06. Art of Rap feat. Masta Ace & EdoG and members of Tortoise
07. Dem Know feat. KRS One
08. Water The Manatee
09. WYLA? feat. Prince Po
10. Blow feat. Psalm One
11. Dem Know (Club Mix) feat. KRS One and members of Tortoise
12. Do You Really?
13. Modern Vampires feat. Rodney P.
14. Clowning Arounding feat. The Time Bandits

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Former Mineral and The Gloria Record front man returns with debut album and new band, Zookeeper. Tour with Umbrellas and The Good Life forthcoming.

“I'm just thrilled to have another entry in Simpson's canon. He's been gone too long and this is a welcome return from one of my favorite songwriters.” –

Sometimes, taking a break can be a very good thing.

Chris Simpson, former songwriter and frontman for two influential late '90s bands, knows a few things about breaking up. After disbanding post-punk emo progenitor Mineral just after the band signed to a major, and taking an indefinite hiatus from shoegazer follow-up, The Gloria Record, midway through recording a fourth record, he virtually disappeared from the music scene for two years.

It is this quiet period of Simpson's career that has proven his most prolific to date. It allowed him time to step back, regroup, and remember what he loved about music in the first place - penning songs and performing acoustically, just as he had done as a teenager in his hometown of Denver. He bought and became enchanted with a piano. He dusted off record albums he hadn't listened to in a decade. He found himself, for the first time in years, brimming with ideas and melodies. Newly inspired, he resumed songwriting, laying the groundwork for a fresh sound that would grow organically out of an informal gathering of new and old friends making music they loved. Eventually the group packed into an Austin studio to record live: loose, impromptu songs replete with shaking tambourines, exuberant horns, honky-tonk keys, and, at alternating turns, lyrical depth and whimsy. They recorded, in part or whole, spanning several months and several studios, over 40 songs. Simpson had fallen in love with music again, simply by stepping away from it.

The new body of work - the recently released Zookeeper EP and this scintillating debut LP, Becoming All Things (Belle City Pop!) – boasts a supporting cast of musicians comprised of former Mineral and Gloria Record members and new collaborators (indie-folk artist Alex Dupree, Sad Accordions, and Zykos), and brings Simpson back to his roots. It is this self-possession gained from solitude, this tipping of the hat to where he's been while moving assuredly forward, that gives Simpson's latest offering its buoyant, timeless appeal. As recently declared of Zookeeper, “It wouldn't be too far off to call this classic rock done in the 21st Century, with the barnyard drums and Heartland chords… A promising restart for a gifted songwriter, definitely hints at great things to come.”

“…some of the jangliest, loose-limbed pop music of the year so far. In just one listen, you'll get a taste for his spirit and passion about music.” – Quick Before It Melts

Zookeeper Dates:
* w/ Umbrellas
^ w/ The Good Life
09/17 Houston, TX Boondocks *
09/19 Denver, CO Marquis Theater *
09/20 Salt Lake City, UT Solid Ground *
09/21 Boise, ID The Venue *
09/22 Seattle, WA El Corazon *
09/25 Roseville, CA The Underground *
09/26 San Francisco, CA Bottom of The Hill *
09/27 Hollywood, CA The Knitting Factory *
09/29 Fullerton, CA The Alley *
09/30 San Diego, CA Soma *
10/01 San Diego, CA Planet Rooth *
10/02 Phoenix, AZ Modified *
10/04 Midland, TX Midland College *
10/05 San Antonio, TX Revolution *
10/06 Austin, TX Emos *
10/07 Norman, OK The Opolis *
10/08 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn ^
10/09 Nashville, TN Exit In ^
10/10 Memphis, TN Hi Tone ^
10/11 Columbia, MO Mojo's ^
10/12 Des Moines, IA TBA ^
10/13 Omaha, NE Slowdown ^

Becoming All Things Tracklisting:
01. Snow In Berlin (MP3)
02. On Madison Way
03. Trumpets
04. Ballad of My Friends
05. Boy and The Street Choir
06. Al Kooper's Party Horn
07. Everyone’s A DJ
08. On High
09. Becoming All Things
10. Born With Things To Do

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pash readies debut album that recalls new hybrid of Be Your Own Pet, Dismemberment Plan, Tsunami and a vocal range to make Kelly Clarkson jealous.

"[Pash] just exudes this type of wide-eyed wonder that ought to serve as a reminder that life can be OK outside of cigarettes and alcohol. ...glorious post-emo fuzzy guitar work, solid pop beats, and Merideth [Munoz]'s just on the higher side of Velocity Girl-esque vocals.” –

“[The] Dismemberment Plan-meets-Kelly Clarkson brand of pop.” – The Washington City Paper

While the end of most crushes can lead to heartbreak, the end of one crush blossomed into the beginnings of Pash (rhymes with “cash”). Through a chance meeting at their small liberal arts college in a podunk Virginia town, Merideth Munoz's interest in Erik Bruner-Yang quickly turned from romantic to musical. The two began collaborating on a few of Munoz 's solo songs and soon after added Bruner-Yang 's roommate and childhood friend, Jon Bibb on the drums. The bond the three shared was not yet matched with any of the numerous bassists Pash had played with until Bibb invited another childhood friend and frequent musical collaborator, Ryan McLaughlin to play with the band. With McLaughlin on deck, Pash toured the East Coast and recorded its second album, The Best Gun.

Although their youthfulness still shines through, The Best Gun reveals a group of musicians who have grown significantly as songwriters from their dorm room beginnings. Pash elected to go into the studio again with Jason Caddell formerly of The Dismemberment Plan at Inner Ear Studios and came back with eleven stunning new tracks. The Best Gun is indie pop perfection in its purest form. Pash manages to channel the best of '90's pop heroes like Velocity Girl and Belly while at the same time conjuring the likes of late Richmond DIY superstars Marion Delgado and Flashbulb Memory.

Munoz 's vocal and lyric-writing talent has always been undeniable, but, on this latest recording, her development as a musician is simply astounding. Never timid, Munoz's vocal lines are clean and strong, her lyrics both subtle and forward. Bruner-Yang delivers impressive and complex guitar melodies that turn on a dime. McLaughlin provides the underpinning rhythm demanded of him, managing to enthrall with his bass lines while Bibb solidifies the songs by displaying his drumming ability with disciplined intensity.

Pash is one of the most exciting and hardworking bands playing on the east coast right now. Its live show is not to be missed. The band will tour much of the US throughout the rest of 2007.

Pash has shared the stage with many national acts such as Be Your Own Pet, Tilly and The Wall, The Comas, Rainer Maria, Ambulette, Travis Morrison and The Hell Fighters, The Muffs, Beauty Pill, Joe Lally of Fugazi, and Georgie James.

Pash Live:
08/16 Baltimore, MD The Metro Gallery
08/17 Fredericksburg, VA The 3rd Floor Studio
08/19 Philadelphia, PA The Khyber
08/24 Fredericksburg, VA The Great Hall
08/31 Washington, DC The Black Cat
09/02 New London, CT The Oasis
09/04 The Lit Lounge New York, NY
09/05 Brooklyn, NY The Trash Bar
09/12 Columbus, OH Carabar
09/13 Pekin, IL Bricks
09/14 Peoria, IL Peoria Pizza Works
09/20 Philadelphia, PA Fuel (Neighborhood Records)
09/22 Lunenberg, MA Andrew Hall
09/23 Somerville, MA P. A.’s Lounge
10/18 Brooklyn, NY Matchless Bar (CMJ)

The Best Gun Tracklisting:
Release Date: August 28, 2007

01. Swears and Bearings
02. The Best Gun
03. ABCD (MP3)
04. What Do We Always Say
05. Kill the Rich Boys I
06. Kill the Rich Boys II
07. The Promised Land
08. Down
09. Lights’ Outline
10. The Battle Ended There
11. Cosmopolitan

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Monday, August 13, 2007

L.A. underground favorites HEALTH to issue remixes for forthcoming debut. Current U.K. tour and split single with Crystal Castles garners praise.

In preparation for the highly-anticipated release of HEALTH’s self-titled full- length debut on the ultra-hip Lovepump United label on September 18th, the band has announced a slew of commissioned remixes to follow hot on the heels of the album. The impressive list of remix collaborators includes Pink Skull (Minneapolis), David Gilmore Girls (Amsterdam), Crystal Castles (Toronto), Curses! (NYC), Toxic Avenger (Paris), CFCF (Montreal) (MP3), Juiceboxxx (Milwaukee), Narctrax (Tokyo), Lovely Chords (Buenos Aires), et al. Please see complete list and links below.

The word-of-mouth excitement about the L.A. underground quartet that has surged throughout that city like a series of rolling blackouts has quickly become an international phenomenon. While the band currently rips a swath across the U.K. (see dates below) adding to its ever-growing popularity, complete US dates are in the works for the fall. The band's live shows are sweaty, packed fits of beautiful noise that could perhaps be best compared to Liars, Animal Collective and latter-period Black Dice.

The group's surging notoriety is also due in part to the magic of the interwebs. “Crimewave” was the #2 most blogged about song according to music blog aggregator Elbows ( Likewise, HEALTH was recently the #5 most blogged about band according to Elbows, and #9 at the Hype Machine ( Anthem Magazine shot a recent amazing live performance of the song “Glitter Pills” at The Smell in downtown L.A., which can be seen at YouTube (LINK). Additionally, director Nik Mercer shot a collaboration between HEALTH and Aa (Big A Little a) reworking the band's “Crimewave” that also can be viewed at YouTube (LINK). Plus, Paper Thin Walls recently posted a raving track review for “Glitter Pills” as well (LINK).

Regarding the remix onslaught, the band issued the following statement: “HEALTH likes to make scary noises, we like to chant until our faces go red, we like to beat on drums until there's blood on the floor. But we also like to boogie, and sometimes we need help from people we admire. There is a great big world full of music and there is no excuse for standing in the corner with your eyes closed. You can always make friends with the other kids in class, even If your favorite band is Slayer and theirs is Bell Biv Devoe, so let's hold hands.” An MP3 of the CFCF remix is available for download now (MP3).

Instead of finding a room where the only thing one can hear is their heartbeat, HEALTH recorded its debut full length in one of the band's favorite places. The Smell is an all ages music venue in downtown Los Angeles. It is open and brick and dirty and dark, but when you sing a church hymnal or hit a drum as hard as you can the sound is beautiful. They did both of these things on the record. They also went out and found equipment built the same time as The Smell, mostly ribbon microphones designed by the BBC for radio broadcasts in the 1930's, things George Martin liked to use, and other things they didn't know about. The record is 11 songs in less than thirty minutes - on it there is new music with old sounds.

HEALTH was six months old the first time they played for real people. Before that, there was more talk than music, mostly about art, food, sex, animals, records, drugs, politics and sleeping. After two more shows in Los Angeles, the group self released a 7” and went on tour. While they were traveling, people told them their music was weird. When they got back they played on a bill with Ex-Models and Death Sentence Panda. They felt like grown men. After that, people let them play shows more often, mostly at all ages art spaces like The Smell and Il Corral. They became friends with other L.A bands like No Age, The Mae Shi, Mika Miko, BARR, Captain Ahab, Anavan, and Abe Vigoda. Then they went on three more tours and a trip to SXSW.

HEALTH has also had a hand in 8-bit glitch duo Crystal Castles' recent success. In addition to a Crystal Castles/HEALTH split 7” (to be released concurrently on Lovepump United with HEALTH's LP), Crystal Castles highly anticipated CRIMEWAVE EP is named for a HEALTH remix for which the two bands recently shot a video. Head over to YouTube to see it (LINK).


08/14 London Rough Trade East (w/ Crystal Castles)
08/15 Nottingham The Old Angel*
08/16 London Barden's Boudoir (Upset the Rhythm w/ Dan Deacon, PRE)*
08/17 Brighton The Do Club (Upset the Rhythm / 20 Jazz Funk Greats)*
08/19 Bolton The Dog & Partridge*
08/20 Liverpool Korova*
08/21 Leeds Brudenell Social Club*
08/23 Glasgow 13th Note*
08/25 Manchester Fuel (w/ PRE)*
08/28 Sowerby Bridge The Vine

HEALTH Remixes by:

HEALTH Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: Sept. 18, 2007

01. Heaven
02. Girl Attorney
03. Triceratops (CFCF Remix MP3)
04. Crimewave (MP3)
05. Courtship
06. Zoothorns
07. Tabloid Sores
08. //M\\
09. Glitter Pills
10. Perfect Skin
11. Lost Time

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Phantom Family Halo is not a cult. Members of The For Carnation, Slint and Dead Child take to the road this summer in support of debut album.

The Phantom Family Halo may be most immediately notable for its pedigree -- members of indie rock royalty The For Carnation, Slint, Dead Child, et al. But, it's the band's sound that becomes the most remarkable upon first listen: Think Syd Barrett jamming with Hawkwind or the 13th Floor Elevators in the height of the Krautrock frenzy, or The Birthday Party subdued to play a rendition of “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.” Others have described the Louisville, KY quintet as a unique crossbreed of Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Tangerine Dream and Marc Bolan, or Scott Walker fronting Roxy Music.

Curious music fans need not speculate on The Phantom Family Halo's sound, however. The band is currently touring the U.S. in support of the album. Please see complete tour dates below.

The Phantom Family Halo is the product of millions and millions of hours in front of speakers, communicating off of the wave forms of 60s & 70s rock n roll music. Core members Michael McMahan {The For Carnation / Dead Child / Slint (reunion)} and Dominic Cipolla (Hookers / Sapat / Dead Child) have been jamming together for over 13 years and have no fear of angelic apparitions while walking past the skeletons of rock's multi-dimensional idiom. In fact it's embraced and cherished.

The Phantom Family Halo's debut long player The Legend Of Black Six on Cold Sweat Records launches listeners on a journey into other worlds and dimensions of time. The album harkens back to the trailblazers of experimental rock music, while fitting nicely within the nest of neo-psyche brethren Dead Meadow, Entrance, Six Organs Of Admittance or Bright Black Morning Light. The Phantom Family Halo ia the missing link to the past and future, rooted deeply in the present.

Slip inside their house, it's recommended for good health and more hours in front of speakers.

The Phantom Family Halo Live:
08/13 Asheville, NC Static Age Records
08/14 Raleigh, NC Downtown Event Center
08/15 Charlottesville, VA Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
08/16 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel
08/17 Brooklyn, NY Union Pool
08/19 Pitsburgh, PA Garfeild Artworks
08/20 Cleveland, OH Beachland TBA
08/21 Columbus, OH Skylab
08/22 Newport, KY Southgate House Parlour
08/23 Chicago, IL The Note

The Legend of Black Six
Stream The Album HERE
01. Black River (MP3)
02. Slender Head
03. Lady Blue (MP3)
04. In The Back of My Head
05. Broken By The Way
06. Electric God In Your Galaxy
07. Stop The Biting
08. The Legend of Black Six (In 3 Parts)

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Tuba-toting smart rock band SNMNMNM crawls inside your head with new album.

“If the Beach Boys - influenced harmonies and wailing accordion don't get you, the insistent tuba will.” – Entertainment Weekly

“SNMNMNM write succinct, pop jewels that'll have you longing for mellow summer nights spent hangin' out 'til four in the morning.” – Devil In The Woods

There are a few things about the Chapel Hill-based band SNMNMNM that should be pointed out up top.

One: the band's name is not a less-than-subtle reference to a fetish, nor is it a play on the name of a certain rapper, or even an ode to those little candies that melt in your mouth and not in your hand. The S and the M’s are actually taken from the first letters of each of the four band member’s names: Seamus aNd Mark aNd Matt aNd Matt.

Two: Yes, Mark Dauman is playing the tuba. Like The White Stripes, SNMNMNM is missing a bass player. Unlike The White Stripes, the bass has been replaced with an amplified tuba. And, oh yeah, singer Seamus Kenney also rocks the accordion.

Three: SNMNMNM has a deep love and appreciation for the Dewey Decimal System. The first single from the band’s upcoming fourth album Crawl Inside Your Head, “Addy Will Know” (MP3) is in fact a tribute to the librarians of America and even contains something special just for them -- in the song's bridge vocalist Kenny recites the reference numbers of several books without noting their actual titles and authors!

Tuba player Dauman (whose sister-in-law is the “Addy” of the song's title) explains the band's plans for promoting the song saying, “We are compiling a huge network of librarians across the country to help coordinate requests for 'Addy Will Know' seeing as the song is about them. We already have a growing list in place that is connected to all the Library and Information Science schools in the country and the response to the song has been great. They are an untapped community that loves any sort of self reference and are extremely connected to each other. There is also a Wiki and two quizzes in the works, one to find the books referenced in the bridge and the other to find Addy.”

SNMNMNM has spent more than a decade perfecting its intelligent, clever and catchy brand of pop songs. Crawl Inside Your Head is the band's full-length follow up to 2005’s As Best We Can. The record was recorded by Frank Marchand (The Thermals, Bob Mould) and mastered by Grammy award winner Charlie Pilzer.

The group originally formed in Rochester, NY in 1997 when Eastman School of Music students Kenney, Daumen and Matt Vooris joined forces with Seamus’ brother Matt Kenney. Armed with a tuba, an accordion, and a catchy bunch of songs, SNMNMNM set out to conquer the world with its unconventional line up. Having cut its teeth on local coffeehouse mics in Rochester, and already having released its first self-titled full-length, the band moved to Los Angeles in 2000, releasing its Abestos Weekend EP with LA based indie label Skunk Ape Records.

The boys then spent the next two years touring, finally settling down in Chapel Hill, NC where they signed with Unschooled Records (Decomposure, Skates) and launched the two-month long “Revenge of The Nerd” tour with MC Chris (of Adult Swim and Time Magazine’s “The Geeks Shall Inherit Thee Earth” fame.) SNMNMNM will continue to spend life on the road this fall. Be sure to catch the band live in your town -- once SNMNMNM's music crawls inside your head, you’re going to have a hell of a time getting it out!

Crawl Inside Your Head Tracklisting:
01. Lost A Day
02. Addy Will Know (MP3)
03. Crawl Inside My Head
04. For All I Know
05. Back To School
06. No One Is Breaking In
07. It’s Your Loss
08. Pull The Rug
09. Wasted And Trying
10. Overplayed
11. 39 and Holding
12. Out Of Here
13. Braveness Of Alcohol

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