Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Washington Post can't stop talking about Peel.

“…an album which deftly proves that rock has at least 35 more minutes to live, and moreover, it is alive and kicking.” –

“It all makes for what is sure to be one of the best power pop albums of the year.” – Popmatters

“Austin indie-rock revivalist act Peel is a throwback to the heady post-Pavement days of the mid-'90s… The band's debut album, Peel (Peek-A-Boo), would've been a standout then, with catchy oddities like ‘Oxford’ and ‘1949’ sounding simultaneously vintage and immediate.” – The Onion

“…like if Wayne Coyne had a dream that Brian Wilson contacted Keith Moon from beyond the grave to start a band with a couple of zombies that would only play skewed renditions of Daniel Johnston tunes.” – Omaha City Weekly

Peel has recently become a favorite among bloggers after the release of its self-titled debut album. Popular music sites like Lost At Sea, PopMatters, All Music Guide, Idolator and Gorilla Vs. Bear among many others have all shown their approval of the group’s rambunctious brand of power pop. Peel’s self-titled debut has also received an exorbitant amount of press love as well – and even the usually snarky Vice Magazine has shown approval.

The Austin band recently returned home from its first nationwide tour which left new fans buzzing with excitement and critics hailing the band’s ability to rock as hard live as hard as it does on the record. In fact, the Washington Post wrote Peel up no less than three times! Stay tuned for more tour dates and a possible digital EP of Peel demos in the near future.

Peel Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. Oxford (MP3)
02. Bells
03. In The City (MP3)
04. Sliding Doors
05. Workers, Wake Up!
06. 1949
07. Moxy Blues
08. Love Soaked in Blood
09. Someone’s Cousin
10. Tejax
11. Navy Waves

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

65Daysofstatic to support The Cure on fall tour.

“Kicking off with their trademark electric crackle, it's clear that with their third album 65daysofstatic have resisted the urge to tone down their quite frankly mental tsunami of noise and make a play for the mainstream sales potential of an ever scene-conscious world. Instead, they have done what they've always done -- thrown the rulebook out the window and grown organically. With such clinical conviction 65DOS are utterly peerless in their chosen field of post-rock.” -- Razio Rauf, Kerrang Magazine

“65daysofstatic have made their masterpiece, or something close to it; three albums in, in the most dirty, shallow decade of music we’ve known, who else can say that? A handful, not enough. The Destruction of Small Ideas is a weight, a tower of babel, a journey, learnings, understandings, communication, evolution. I’ve been waiting. I was promised this or something like it. The rise and fall. All so deep, so rich, so comically dynamic and detailed and powerful for it that it makes me want to cry. How to make a record. Play loud.” -- Stylus Magazine

British post-rock quartet 65Daysofstatic has been hand-picked by goth-pop legends The Cure to support its entire North American tour this fall. The tour begins September 13th and runs through October, taking the band to arenas and amphitheaters nationwide -- including the legendary Madison Square Garden in NYC and Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles (see complete dates below.)

But, that won't be the first chance for American audiences to experience the band that's been all the rage in the UK, Europe and Asia for several years now. 65Daysofstatic launches its first U.S. tour on July 18th (see complete dates below) with co-headliners Fear Before the March of Flames.

In the first week of its release, 65Daysofstatic's new album The Destruction of Small Ideas sold out of its first pressing, forcing the label to scramble to meet the overwhelming demand. Likewise, press response overseas for the album has been phenomenal, with Kerrang magazine deeming the Sheffield, England quartet's latest “utterly peerless” in the post-rock genre, awarding the album a 4/5 K-rating.

The new video for the first single from the album, “Don't Go Down to Sorrow” has been posted online. Click HERE to watch.

The Destruction of Small Ideas is the highly-anticipated followup to its massively popular sophomore album. The 12-song collection released worldwide on April 30th via Monotreme Records. A three-song single “Don't Go Down To Sorrow” preceded the album on April 9th, building upon the critical and commercial success of One Time For All Time in the UK, Europe and Japan which catapulted the band to festival stages and pages in the NME, The Wire, Rock Sound and many more since its release in 2005. That album was released in the U.S. in fall 2006.

65daysofstatic made its American live debut to an enthusiastic audience at the SXSW festival this past March at the Fanatic Promotion showcase. (We don't want to gloat, but we've been telling the press for a year now that they'd be huge and it now looks like 65Daysofstatic's ascent has begun!) Stylus magazine calls the album a masterpiece and American press has begun to pick up on the band, including forthcoming coverage in Magnet, Paste and Harp magazines.

In the past year, the group has packed venues and headlined festival dates overseas, as well as recording three radio sessions for BBC Radio One. Recently, MTV Asia aired an interview and live set from the band's performance in front of more than 10,000 fans in Tokyo at the 2006 Summer Sonic festival.

During much of last year's activity, 65daysofstatic's UK label Monotreme Records inked a deal for an American release of the refreshing gene-splice of electronic glitch and guitar girth heard on One Time For All Time for fall 2006. The album's futuristic tone makes for a seductive score for an unwritten sci-fi epic that melds cutting guitars and electronic tones with sampled beats, live drums and computer glitch. But where IDM culture cuts out in the low end, 65daysofstatic delivers a thunderous wall of guitars that's reportedly still shaking some festival grounds since last summer's performances.

Following the European release of its acclaimed 2004 debut album The Fall of Math, 65daysofstatic spent several months touring the UK, playing to packed venues and festival tents. With the UK release of their second album, One Time For All Time in October 2005, 65daysofstatic further cemented its position as one of the most innovative bands to emerge in the UK, with its groundbreaking blend of drum'n'glitch beats, walls of guitar noise, broken laptop clicks and overwhelming melody. A relentless touring schedule in the UK and mainland Europe has seen the band share stages with the likes of Mono, Wolf Eyes, Hundred Reasons and Mogwai. The group headlined the Kerrang! Stage at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, followed by a headlining Kerrang! 'Most Wanted' sponsored tour.

65daysofstatic Live:
* Supporting The Cure
07/18 Allston, MA ICC Performance Hall
07/19 Washington, DC The Rock and Roll Hotel
07/20 Brooklyn, NY Europa Club
07/21 Richmond, VA Alley Katz
07/22 Greensboro, NC Greene Street
07/23 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
07/24 Orlando, FL The Social
07/26 Houston, TX Meridian Red Room
07/27 Corpus Christi, TX House of Rock
07/28 San Antonio, TX White Rabbit
07/29 Dallas, TX The Door
07/31 Tempe, AZ The Clubhouse Music Venue
08/01 West Hollywood, CA The Troubadour
08/02 San Diego, CA Soma
08/03 Fresno, CA The Exit
08/04 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
08/05 Portland, OR Satyricon
08/06 Seattle, WA El Corazon
08/07 Boise, ID The Venue
08/08 Salt Lake City, UT Avalon Theater
08/10 Denver, CO Marquis Theatre
09/13 Tampa, FL - St. Petersburg Times Forum *
09/15 Atlanta, GA - Gwinnett Civic Center *
09/17 Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Bobcats Arena *
09/19 Washington, DC - Patriot Center *
09/21 Philadelphia, PA - Wachovia Spectrum *
09/23 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden *
09/25 Boston, MA - Agganis Arena *
09/26 Montreal, Quebec - Bell Center *
09/27 Toronto, Ontario - Air Canada Centre *
09/29 Chicago, IL - Allstate Arena *
10/02 Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheater *
10/04 Salt Lake City, UT - E Center *
10/06 Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheater (Download Festival) *
10/08 Seattle, WA - Key Arena *
10/09 Vancouver, British Columbia - General Motors Place *
10/11 Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl *
10/13 San Diego, CA - Cox Arena *
10/14 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl *
10/16 Houston, TX - Toyota Center *
10/17 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center *

The Destruction of Small Ideas Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. When We Were Younger & Better (MP3)
02. A Failsafe
03. Don’t Go Down To Sorrow (MP3 | VIDEO)
04. Wax Futures
05. These Things You Can’t Unlearn
06. Lyonesse
07. Music Is Music As Devices Are Kisses Is Everything
08. The Distant & Mechanised Glow Of European Dance Parties
09. Little Victories
10. Primer
11. White Peak/Dark Peak
12. The Conspiracy of Seeds

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Taxi Taxi live tonight at Union Pool in Brooklyn!

In anticipation of Taxi Taxi's performance tonight at Union Pool with Denmark's EPO-555, Fanatic is proud to make available a third MP3 from the band's amazing new record Maps & Legends. "Family Doctor" (MP3) is the lead off track from the record. Download it now!

SEE! Taxi Taxi LIVE! Tonight, June 25th at 9:30PM at Union Pool (702 Union St., Brooklyn, NY.)

Maps & Legends can now be purchased via iTunes HERE.

More Info about Taxi Taxi: Taxi Taxi is the brainchild of musician and producer Terence Bernardo. The band serendipitously met in the back of a shared cab during the fabled New York City transit strike of 2005. Small talk ensued as driver fought through the morning rush hour and soon the passengers discovered a shared affinity for the sounds of Stax Records and varied artists such as ESG, Harry Nillson and Big Star. Within a month, the newfound friends were capitalizing on their luck, rehearsing in Bernardo's Brooklyn studio and recording what would eventually blossom (after some time in Kid Koala's Montreal studio), into Maps & Legends. With roots firmly planted in strong songwriting and inventive production, Taxi Taxi's sound defies easy classification. The band serves up classic pop tunes that are by turns rocky and melancholic, experimental and nostalgic.

Maps & Legends Tracklisting:
Stream the Album HERE
01 Family Doctor (MP3)
02 Hide and Seek
03 X Marks The Spot (MP3)
04 Anna
05 Shoot The Dog, Chop The Tree (MP3)
06 Maps and Legends
07 Man Overboard!
08 Oyster Bay
09 Nakano
010 Empty Handed
011 Hold the Line

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Village Voice, Blender praise The Clutters.

The Clutters are Nashville's answer to The Ramones. Their anthems, power-chord punchy and usually dispatched in three minutes or less, are similarly full of choruses memorable if only for their simplicity. Take, for instance, Don't Believe a Word's “Rockaway”—both its title and its ‘Hey, hey’ refrain can't help but evoke you-know-who; meanwhile, The Clutters' evident distaste for segues and slow songs, a bias first flaunted on their 2005 debut T&C, is Ramones-ian to the core. One major difference, though: This particular quartet features two females, one on big-beat, cymbal-heavy drums and the other on Farfisa, a toy-sounding keyboard that adds nuance to the band's blitzkrieg bop. And while singer-guitarist Doug Lehmann's nasally voice at times recalls Frank Black, echoes of the B-52's are evident when he and his mate on bass harmonize with the girls, as on opener ‘9999 (Ways to Hate Us)’ or ‘Radio,’ whose chant “We stole/We stole the radio” makes you hope they never give it back.” – The Village Voice

“They call Tennessee home and named themselves after a real–life Kansas family whose slaughter was detailed in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. Thankfully, though, there’s nothing rootsy or folksy (or dead) about these trash & rollers. On the Clutters’ second album, every garage–revivalist cliché — Farfisa organ, handclaps, taunting snarl — makes an appearance. Yet the music has a fearless, untamed energy that shames most of their too–cool–for–rock–school, retro contemporaries. When guitarist Doug Lehmann and organ player Ali Tonn throw themselves into the sing–songy chorus of ‘Radio,’ abetted by one of many slobbering metal–guitar hooks, The Clutters seem to honestly believe they have a chance of getting airplay on pop radio — and bless ’em for it.” – Blender

Nashville garage outfit The Clutters recently complted a short tour with fellow Nashville cow-punks and Yep Roc recording artists, The Legendary Shack Shakers. The members of The Shack Shakers are big fans of The Clutters, and singer J.D. Wilkes, AKA The Colonel tells us, “The Clutters are the kind of catchy, garage blues that needs to be on the radio everywhere. They're like The White Stripes, but with a bassist, good songs and a chick-drummer who can actually play. On second thought, they're nothing at all like The White Stripes. Thanks guys!”

The Clutters recently became a three piece, making it easier for the band to tour. Although Ali Tonn’s Farfisa parts rounded out the sound of Don’t Believe A Word, journalists such as Raoul Hernandez of The Austin Chronicle say the new line-up is “an improvement, pure and simple…no offense to the other gal,” and Mike Dickinson of the band’s Chicken Ranch label agrees that The Clutters rock harder live as a three piece.

Don’t Believe A Word Tracklisting:
Stream the Album HERE
01. 9999 (Ways To Hate Us) (MP3)
02. Radio
03. Living Thing
04. Rockaway
05. Fire
06. The Way Home
07. On Repeat
08. The Short One
09. Aww, Cmon
10. Let It Roll
11. Temperature (MP3)
12. Surrender

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Copperpot, KRS-One, members of Tortoise and other special guests want to know: What're You Looking At?

“...easily stands up to other noted producer discs of late, like Prefuse 73's and RJD2's. – Time Out Chicago

“...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.” –

Chicago DJ/producer/multi-instrumentalist Copperpot, aka Daniel Kupyers, is notorious for his stage fright. His condition spawned the name of his newest album WYLA?, an acronym for What're You Looking At? (EV Productions.) WYLA? is Copperpot's second full-length, and the follow up to 2005's Chapter 7. The stage shy artist called upon hip hop peers and legends such as KRS-One, Prince Po and Braintax, to help construct WYLA? and extended unlikely invitations to prog post-rockers like Dan Bitney and Jeff Parker of Tortoise and Matthew Lux of Isotope 217 to help him overcome his fear of being the sole man in the spotlight on the upcoming album.

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.

Copperpot will release his sophomore album WYLA? On August 7th, 2007 on the EV Productions label. Check out one of the album's lead tracks “Let It Go” featuring Truth Enola (MP3).

Copperpot Live:
08/08 Chicago, IL Sonotheque

WYLA? Tracklisting:
01. Come Back Home feat. KRS One (MP3)
02. Let It Go feat. Truth Enola (MP3)
03. Demo feat. Braintax
04. I Am A Banana
05. I Put A What feat. Valeska Jakobiwicz
06. Art of Rap ft. 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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Monday, June 18, 2007

Coyote Bones gets featured on and NPR’s “Song of The Day.”

“‘Grand Eclipse’... is just a glimpse into Coyote Bones' atmospheric state-of-mind. Fans of Death Cab For Cutie's epic moments... will soak up Coyote Bones' earnest simplicity.” –

“The low-fidelity Gentleman On The Rocks sounds like something Sebadoh's Lou Barlow would have released in the early '90s, but that's not to say that its songs feel out of date... the tracks add up to an ideal and addictive mix tape — the kind that never gets old or goes out of style.” – National Public Radio

Trying to spot the members of Coyote Bones amongst the hullabaloo that is going on in the band’s video for “Living Breathing Demons” (VIDEO) is like trying to find Waldo. The clip stars Dev Hynes of Test Icicles, Craig D and Kianna Alarid of Tilly and The Wall, and Joe Knapp of Son Ambulance dancing around and generally acting like fools alongside other friends of the Coyote Bones-run CoCo Art collective.

Of course, the video also features Coyote Bones members David Matysiak, Greg Edds, Dan Krueger, and Chris Rivera. The clip, created by frequent Saddle Creek collaborator Nik Fackler, was made on a budget of $18 which went towards spray paint for the video's graffiti extravaganza (courtesy of Bright Eyes visual collaborator Joey Lynch), and a box of wine to loosen up the cast. The track “Living Breathing Demos” is culled from Coyotes Bones' debut album Gentleman On The Rocks which features contributions from members of The Anniversary, Tilly and The Wall, Neva Dinova, Jet By Day, Art In Manila, Flowers Forever, and Little Brazil.

In addition to the video, other tunes from Gentleman have been circulating around the internet as well. recently featured the song “Grand Eclipse” (LINK) and NPR's “Song of The Day” did the same with fan favorite “39 Forever” (LINK).

The memebrs of Coyote Bones have also recently affirmed their love of winged creatures, what with the owls that are predominently displayed on the cover of the band's album and in the aformentioned “Living Breathing Demons” video. Furthering this notion, the group also recently modeled the “Tiny Toy Talons” T-shirt design (LINK) for the Threadless t-shirt company, and has now taken to giving away copies of its album at shows to fans who show up with “owl objects.” In fact, the group collected quite a few owls on its recent tour. In Athens, Ohio, a fan brought the band a vegan owl cookie while another decorated the venue with owl pictures from coloring books. The Bones say the owls will be used later as part of a bigger project they have yet to unveil.

Gentleman On The Rocks Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. Expire In Style
02. Lightweights Drinking
03. Grand Eclipse (MP3)
04. 39 Forever (MP3)
05. Buzzing Below
06. Let the Burden Be Mine
07. Arlington Curse
08. Don't Lose Your Cool
09. Living Breathing Demons (VIDEO)
10. Paint On Your Jeans
11. Fated To Fail
12. Your War

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Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears U.S. tour continues.

"Bryan Scary's debut album rocks the candy shop, pillaging it for as many audio confections as possible. It's adventurous, fully fleshed, and catchy as hell.” – Pitchfork

“Do yourself a favor and give this a listen.” – Filter

“One of our favorite tracks is the grand “Desdemona's Leaving”, a rocking yet hyper romantical tune with ohhhs and ahhhhhs.” –

The -- ahem -- Scaryville, USA based quintet, Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears, is currently in the midst of a full-scale nationwide tour sponsored by Filter Magazine. The band's debut album The Shredding Tears evokes the spirit of Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Roald Dahl and H.G. Wells, and also incorporates sinister elements of macabre and epic fantasticism reminiscent of early Alice Cooper Band, the Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack and Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie. But, it's not all campy darkness and theatricality -- fans of late-period Beatles, Electric Light Orchestra, Queen, XTC and The Kinks are also noting its huge hooks, stories, dynamic arrangements and strangely infectious lyrics. Check out “Desdemona’s Leaving Town”, a tune from The Shredding Tears HERE.

The folks at MySpace have also taken note, as Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears was one of the site's featured artists in June. Not to be outdone, the celebrity blogger turned music tastemaker, Perez Hilton also had some choice words about Mr. Scary (LINK). Scary fans unable to catch one of the band's shows on this tour can find the group online. The band recently performed on GTFU Radio on June 11th for a live webcast (LINK). Keep your eyes peeled to for an exclusive session to be recorded June 18th.

Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears Live:
06/18 Rock Island, IL Daytrotter Session
06/19 Louisville, KY Ear-X Tacy In-Store
06/19 Louisville, KY Pour Haus
06/20 Nashville, TN 12th and Porter
06/21 Atlanta, GA Star Bar
06/23 Washington, DC Velvet Lounge
06/24 Philadelphia, PA Manhattan Room C
06/25 Richmond, VA Hyperkink Cafe
06/27 Boston, MA Middle East

The Shredding Tears Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. A Stab At The Sun
02. The Lessons I Learned
03. Operaland
04. The Ceiling On The Wall
05. Macedonia Hotel
06. The Little Engine Who Couldn’t (Think Straight)
07. The Up And Over Stair Well
08. Shedding Tears (All Over The Place)
09. Mrs. Gracy’s Revenge!
10. The Blood Club
11. Misery Loves Company (MP3)
12. Bottom Of The Grave
13. Desdemona’s Leaving Town (MP3)
14. The Tumbling Of Marguerite / Hold On George
15. Riding The Shadow

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Los Angeles bloggers hail Frankel as one of the city’s best kept secrets.

“Absolutely an artist to watch out for in 2007.” – Aquarium Drunkard

Lullaby For The Passersby is going to remind you of a lot of great bands but never borrows a single lick. Frankel's songwriting holds its ground because there are so many quirky bits stapled to the melodies without ruining the feel. For an album that is so refreshing, I'm dumbfounded that a city ‘buzzing’ with multitudes of forgettable indie-pop-folk bands hasn't discovered Frankel's obvious musical talent.” – Little Radio

Frankel’s first full length Lullaby For The Passersby is a shimmering listen that has bloggers buzzing with excitement about the promising Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter. If record reviews show any indication of what is in store for Frankel, otherwise known as Michael Orendy, he will soon be hailed nationally as one of the city’s most promising acts. Lullaby For The Passersby was mixed by Aaron Espinoza of Earlimart and mastered by Dave Trumfio (Wilco, Grandaddy, Built To Spill) fame and will be released on producer Raymond Richards’ Red Rockets Glare label.

Orendy himself played all of the instruments on Lullaby, from the Theremin to the Twirly Whirly. Aside from being a multi-instrumentalist, Orendy also proves his talent through his songwriting. “Wilco, Elliott Smith, and hints of The Flaming Lips shine through on Frankel’s debut album, Lullaby for the Passersby”, says Little Radio.

As for the unusual name Orendy chooses to record under, it refers to a piece of orthodontia he had to wear when he was young. According to Orendy, it was “a giant retainer that filled your whole mouth-huge, kind of like what a boxer wears in the ring”. Orendy embraced his Frankel into his adulthood and made it his nom-de-tune. The name suits Orendy’s music perfectly, as it turns out. Because, like the apparatus he was fated to don, his songs strive to make lemonade out of life’s lemons.

Frankel is supporting Lullaby For The Passersby with a round of hometown dates followed by a US tour later in 2007.

Frankel Live:
06/16 Los Angeles, CA Sea Level Records
06/18 Glendale, CA - The Scene
06/20 Live Performance on Little Radio
06/26 Hollywood, CA - Boardner's
07/09 Los Angeles, CA The Echo
07/13 Live on KXLU, Los Angeles
07/19 Los Angeles, CA Tangier

Lullaby For The Passersby Tracklisting:
01. Thermostat (MP3)
02. Tooth Decay (MP3)
03. Dressed in Uniform
04. X Marks the Spot
05. New Authority
06. Found Out
07. Previous Life
08. Red Part of Town
09. Lullaby
10. Curtain Calls
11. Becoming You

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Three solo artists - Diamond Jim, Trevor Childs and Herman Jolly - team up as The Bedroom Trio, a triad of unique albums with interconnected threads.

What does a Frank Black type of esoteric backwoods - New-Wave songwriter, a Jim O'Rourke - meets - Daniel Lanois producer / songwriter and a Bay Area Sufjan Stevens - meets - Bill Hicks musician have in common? The three disparate artists, who are also longtime friends and collaborators, comprise The Bedroom Trio.

The Bedroom Trio is not a band. It's a group of solo artists collectively spearheading its own genre called “bedroom music” -- the sound of home recording fanatics, songwriters working casually at home crafting songs more confessional, more genuine and generally more creatively adorned and arranged than typical “lo-fi” or whatever other categories are employed to ghettoize indie solo artists. And, while the Bedroom Trio's members each have very different musical styles from one another, they all share a common dedication to craft. Being released simultaneously this month under the Bedroom Trio banner are albums from Diamond Jim, Trevor Childs and Herman Jolly. Listen to tracks from each album HERE.

Diamond Jim is the nom-de-tune of Bay Area producer/songwriter Jim Greer, also of The Rondo Brothers. Having released three records under his own name, and worked as a session player and songwriter on a variety of other records (Galactic's Ruckus, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Head Automatica, MC Lars, Scissors For Lefty, and more), Diamond Jim decided it was time to go undercover. Big Bad Beautiful Dreams is Diamond Jim's fourth album crisscrossing styles and touchstones ranging from Air to Alex Chilton to Stereolab.

Greer clearly was under the spell of his muse for all these things -- and as an accomplished producer, he was able to let some songs go as a live take, while others are created clearly at the hands of a skilled producer. Kicking off with a quirky instrumental “Pretty Little Zombies All In A Row”, the record then launches hard with “Little Heartbreaker”, a driving rock song that recalls Blur, Tom Petty, and ELO at the same time. Clever arrangements, universal themes and John Lennon influences abound. Songs recorded live like “Duck, Little One” and “Save Me” are classic piano ballads with universal themes and no studio trickery to fill in the gaps. But, tracks like “Walk You Home” and “Under a Half Moon” incorporate Greer's ability to bring out the best in a song through production that recalls Air, Beck and Stereolab. Instrumentals are featured as well: the trip-hop jam “Wash It Out,” recorded live at Tiny Telephone studios in San Francisco with a 10 piece band and “House Made of Dawn” is an ode to early 70's film music blended with an off-kilter big beat and creepy slide guitar. Guest appearances from vocalists Herman Jolly, Latrice Barnett and actor Pedro Shanahan round out the record making it Diamond Jim's expressionist, multi-influenced masterpiece.

Trevor Childs' Terrified album is equally the product of working without interlopers, where the Oakland, CA songwriter spits forth social commentary with the humor and vitriol of Bill Hicks and Lenny Bruce set to the sounds of antique folk-pop like The Turtles and someone named Bob Zimmerman. His love of The Zombies, Beach Boys, Syd Barrett and other late 60's pop artists shines through, but is also paired with some good old fashioned Berkeley liberalism and an overall sense of witty outrage and insight. The album opens with the title track (MP3), in which Childs sneers, “anybody who's got God on their side, makes me terrified.” Watch the YouTube featured video for the track “Deathwish” HERE.

Those familiar with Bay Area wunderband The Lovemakers already knows a little bit about Trevor Childs. Before The Lovemakers, Scott Blonde had a band called Applesaucer, which was led by Blonde and co-songwriter Childs. Applesaucer was well known in the Bay Area for its huge live sound and ripping live shows, and before its untimely demise played regular gigs at Slim's, the Fillmore and other respected local venues. Ultimately calling it quits, both Blonde and Childs went on to make music on their own terms: Blonde formed The Lovemakers, signed with Interscope and brought 80's pop music back with a hit record, and Childs hunkered down in his studio to write songs and record on his own time. Both very talented, they affected each other - The Lovemakers definitely took a little bit of Trevor Childs with them, and Trevor definitely learned a thing or two from Scott Blondes' top notch hook writing abilities.

Herman Jolly is a Pacific Northwest native and major label music machine renegade whose Bunker Life album is a compact collection of clever wordplay, skilled-yet-simple song craft rife with emotional render. Having had his taste of the big time with his band Sunset Valley back in the late 90's, headlining big shows and living the rock star life got tiresome for Jolly and he moved to Montana with his wife and child, as any authentic backwoods type would do. Settling down there e continued to make records and release them at his own pace, occasionally regrouping with Sunset Valley for a show or new recording here and there, Jolly knew that the music business would welcome him back when he was ready, and it has.

Known for his skill with wordplay, Jolly is relentlessly good at it and will always leave you with a gem or to think about long after you heard the song. Bunker Life is an interesting record in that Jolly can't keep the New Wave element out of his music -- the early Elvis Costello, The Pixies -- but as a “bedroom” record those influences are coming through in a sort of lo-fi way, a distorted microphone, a dirty guitar, but direct pop songs coming through loud and clear.

During the golden age of Sunset Valley, Jolly released two albums under his own name. The songs spanned from sparse, haunting alt-country to heavy pop. It was clear that he could not keep up with his own writing anymore; dozens of four-track demos during this period never made it to the many records that were actually released. Armed with a boatload of new tunes and a certain retinal fire, Jolly has returned to the great Pacific Northwest, this time to Seattle. The lost album from that lost weekend, Bunker Life is due out this month. He has joined forces with long time friends, bassist Grant Badger and drummer Rob Lloyd, and northwest gigs are becoming more and more frequent, as well as new material being rehearsed for upcoming studio dates. Jolly's new band lends a certain gentle power to some of the songs that were lost in the atmosphere when performed alone with an acoustic guitar, making some of the rock songs become more plausible as live performances.

Diamond Jim – Big Bad Beautiful Dreams Tracklisting:
01. Pretty Little Zombies All In A Row (MP3)
02. Little Heartbreaker (MP3)
03. China Hill
04. Duck Little One
05. Under A Half Moon
06. Wash It Out
07. Falcon To Friend
08. Walk You Home
09. Broke A Lover
10. I Can Hear You Laughing
11. A House Made of Dawn
12. Save Me

Trevor Childs – Terrified Tracklisting:
01. Terrified (MP3)
02. Don’t Get Old (MP3)
03. Deathwish (VIDEO)
04. Get Real Gone
05. Golden Arches
06. Mass. Wind
07. Wondering Song
08. This Modern World
09. Freeway Radio
10. Teacher’s Pet
11. Just Close Your Eyes
12. Pray
13. Eskimo

Herman Jolly – Bunker Life Tracklisting:
01. Key On A Kite (MP3)
02. 1,000,000 Feet Below (MP3)
03. Negative Blues
04. Sewer Train
05. Yesterday
06. Glowing Wires
07. Days Are Long
08. Candy Stairs (VIDEO)
09. Get Dizzy
10. Captainette

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Wired likens The Berg Sans Nipple to Mum covering Godspeed! You Black Emperor, band continues tour with The Faint.

The Berg Sans Nipple has been drawing quite a bit of attention from the press lately in conjunction with its current tour with Saddle Creek electro-rockers The Faint. The Parisian based duo – it’s name translates to “a mountain without a top,” released its most recent record Along The Quai on Conor Oberst's Team Love label back in January.

Critics have been coming up with interesting ways to try to put a finger on The Berg Sans Nipple's unique blend of electronica and afro-beat drumming. In a recent “Listening Post” feature, some of the songs were likened to Mum covering Godspeed! You Black Emperor (LINK). Other journalists have had an equally frustrating though exhilarating time pinning the band’s sound. Download Along The Quai’s title track (MP3).

“...The Berg Sans Nipple played an amazing set last night at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. The half-French, half-Nebraskan duo had a setup that could have easily belonged to a pretentious noise band; each member sported drums, keyboards, and a host of other various electronics and instruments (a steel drum, a melodica, cornet, etc.). However, The Berg Sans Nipple use these elements to create beautiful, sweet melodies.” – CMJ

“Inherently weird from their name straight through their whole sound, they're more like a psychedelic soundtrack to a cult film that was never made than the label's accessible folk/pop fare. There are shades of post-rock grandeur, avant-garde melodicism, Animal Collective freakiness and even allusions to Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western scores all vying for speaker time...” – Ink 19

The Berg Sans Nipple holed up last year in a house in a remote Parisian suburb with producer Antoine Gaillet (NTM, Johnny Halliday, M83) to create Along The Quai. The end result somehow manages to effortlessly blend dreamy electronica, percussion-heavy afro-beats, layers of feedback, pop melodies and dub blankets, creating a cohesive collage of everything that's influenced the duo since birth. While the duo’s organic sound lends support to the rumor that they are actually Siamese twins separated at birth, the reality is that they are two kids both best known for their skills as drummers, trapped in a tangled mess of cables, keyboards, samplers, horns, bells and machines.

The Berg Sans Nipple is finishing out its tour with The Faint, ending up with a homecoming show at Omaha's Sokol Auditorium. The Berg Sans Nipple’s Shane Aspegren is originally from Omaha and has collaborated on several Bright Eyes records and tours. Later this summer, Aspegren will return to Europe with bandmate Lori Sean Berg to start work on the band’s next album.

The Berg Sans Nipple Live:
(* w/ The Faint)
06/11 Boise, ID Big Easy*
06/14 Omaha, NE Sokol Auditorium*

Along The Quai Tracklisting:
Stream the Album HERE
01 Ghost
02 Mystic Song (MP3)
03 Aquarium Life
04 Of the Sung
05 Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
06 Along The Quai (MP3)
07 Carnival Days
08 Nonante-Trois

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Rondo Brothers Talk to BPM about thinking globally and acting locally.

The Rondo Brothers spoke to BPM Magazine recently for an article in the magazine's upcoming “Green” issue about how the duo contributes to environmental consciousness.

“We just filmed a video of us driving all around San Francisco in our electric golf cart. It’s incredibly easy to park, fun to drive and just kicks ass,” Jim Greer, one-half of the San Francisco-based production team, tells BPM. “We want to lead the charge in converting every American urban area to small electric cars only,” he continues. “You wouldn't pour oil on your roses, or have an air conditioner rotting in your living room, so why spew lots of exhaust into the air? It's just common sense.”

The speed limit around the Rondo's studio, which is located in Bernal Heights, is 35 mph or less, so the golf cart is street legal wherever they need to go. They love giving people rides in the golf cart and see it as a fun and globally conscious way to get around. The above mentioned video for “In The Valley” which features the Rondo's ride can be seen HERE.

Greer also tells BPM that when the Rondos aren’t riding around in their golf cart, they can usually be found in their studio, which has been specially modified to be energy efficient. In addition to using as little heat and air conditioning as possible and keeping water usage low, the Rondo's gear – which is a hybrid of the best of digital and analog technology – is designed to run on low levels of power.

“You can be running as little as a single laptop at any point while working,” Greer says. Also, most of the acoustic treatment in the studio was created out of recycled materials.

The band's low energy studio certainly yeilds some high energy tracks. The record release party for the band's upcoming album Seven Minutes To Midnight will take place at the Independent in San Francisco on July 14. Remixes of two tracks from the album are available for download now:

The Rondo Brothers – “Crazed” – Collette Remix (MP3)
The Rondo Brothers – “Until We All Fall Down” – Cubismo Grafico Pea Coat Remix (MP3)

More about The Rondo Brothers: 2006 allowed The Rondo Brothers to reach some of their widest audiences yet -- thanks in part to laptop prodigy rapper MC Lars (Nettwerk) who tapped the pair to produce his underground hit “Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock” and their contributions to the hit single “World's Gone Mad” from Handsome Boy Modeling School. Other projects include the Rondos' contributions to a 2006 remix by Dan The Automator (Gorillaz, Deltron 3030) for The Killers as well as a recent collaboration with him on a Peeping Tom track and Galactic's Ruckus. The Rondos also worked on a New York Dolls remix for last year's release on Roadrunner Records, commissioned by legendary producer Jack Douglas (Cheap Trick, John Lennon, Aerosmith). Artists seen working at the Rondo’x studio recently have included seminal guitarist Luther Dickinson from the North Mississippi All Stars, keyboardist extraordinaire Ivan Neville (Neville Brothers, Rolling Stones), F. Sean Martin of Hatebreed, and Casual from Hieroglyphics.

Seven Minutes To Midnight Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. Intro
02. Crazed (MP3 | REMIX)
03. Dune Stalker (MP3 | VIDEO)
04. El Corazon
05. Liberation
06. Hard Rocks The Roof
07. I Fell In Love
08. Still Your Ghost
09. Sing Into The Machine
10. Houston
11. New York Kid
12. Hooked On hookers
13. Until We All Fall Down (REMIX)
14. La La La (Get Out Now)
15. In The Valley (VIDEO)
16. Come Down To Me
17. Apologists

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Socalled builds hip-hop out of old Klezmer records on new album Ghettoblaster. Live dates across the US to begin this week.

My God is going to kick your God's ass!!!

...that's how Socalled's new record Ghettoblaster begins. A call to arms – or really – a call away from arms, to set the tone for this thoughtful, yet ridiculous album. Religious systems are fair game, as are crazy combinations like 92-year-old lounge lizard Irving Fields (Google “Bikinis and Bongos”) and underground MC C-Rayz Walz, or James Brown trombonist Fred Wesley and a choir of Hasidic children.

So what better a way to kick off Ghettoblaster than to go on a cruise with a bunch of old Jewish people and get the prestigious National Film Board to film it?

Montreal filmmaker Garry Beitel tapped Canadian hip-hop beat maker Socalled (aka Josh Dolgin) to star in a feature length documentary based on his journey down the Dneiper River in the Ukraine, on the first ever Klezmer cruise. From Kiev to Odessa, Socalled shares his love of music and culture with the 150 other 'Klezmer enthusiasts' on the cruise in the aptly titled, “The Socalled Film.” Along the way, an additional camera crew documents the unique experience of filming on the ship on the daily updated video weblog (LINK).

Building hip-hop out of Klezmer on the open seas - top that Kanye West!

Upon completion of filming, Socalled arrives in the United States for a handful of live dates across the country. In Los Angeles, he'll be joined on stage by gospel singer Doris Glaspie, who is also featured on Ghettoblaster track “You Are Never Alone” (MP3) and Wax Tailor – cinematic French hip-hop at it's best. In New York, he'll be joined by Tim Fite (LINK) who puts on the best show you've ever seen ever. Other activities at the NYC show include live T-shirt silk-screening and group comic making (comic frames on the walls, lots of pens, lots of fun).

Special offer! Pre-order Ghettoblaster from JDub's webstore (LINK) and be entered to win a Nintendo Wii (which pretty much every store in NYC at least is sold out of).

More about SoCalled: Socalled is an accordion wielding, MPC pounding, rhyme twisting Klezmer hip-hop maestro. His sophomore album, Ghettoblaster, features a vast palate of over 40 guests including Theodore Bikel (the original Fiddler On The Roof!), 92-year-old Bikinis and Bongos legend Irving Fields, underground hip-hopper C-Rayz Walz, Gospel singer Doris Glaspie, hot shot producer b, and James Brown’s brass master Fred Wesley. Basically he builds hip-hop out of old Klezmer records and puts on the kind of variety show Al Pacino would go see nightly at the Babylon Club.

Socalled Live:
06/05 Boston, MA Great Scott (LINK)
06/06 Washington, DC DC9 (LINK)
06/07 New York, NY Knitting Factory (LINK)
06/09 Los Angeles, CA The Echo (LINK)
06/10 San Francisco, CA Hemlock Tavern (LINK)

Ghettoblaster Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. Ghettoblaster Intro
02. (These Are The) Good Old Days (MP3 | VIDEO)
03. Let's Get Wet
04. You Are Never Alone (MP3)
05. Slaughter on 10th Ave.
06. Ich Bin a Border by Mayn Vayb
07. (Rock the) Belz
08. Rece Cice
09. Slaughter Interlude
10. Heart Attack Feeling
11. Baleboste
12. Bikel Family Nigun
13. Let's Get Wet (Louder Remix)

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Monday, June 4, 2007

Dark pop group Southerly prepares to launch U.S. tour.

“As the best releases usually are, Storyteller & The Gossip Columnist is inspired by a whole bunch of different genres and artists. Imagine shoegaze at it's finest, made more orchestral but at the same time a bit folky, and then steered in a traditional pop song direction and fleshed out quite a bit, and you're close to the sound of Southerly. The sound itself is painted a bit dark and introverted, but at times it explodes and delivers a surprisingly upbeat, almost happy song... All of this makes for a very interesting album, one that makes clear the talent inherent in its creation. So many artists have tried to combine such disparate elements, but most of them have failed miserably and come off sounding scattered. Kreuger's compositions, however, approach sheer genius, a fact that can't be mentioned enough.” 9.5 / 10 -- Daniel Svanberg, Lost At Sea (LINK).

Portland, OR's soon-to-be widely heralded dark pop group Southerly launches its summer tour this week in support of its sophomore album, Storyteller & The Gossip Columnist. Southerly is the the nom-de-tune of Krist Krueger and is often compared to fellow moody pop artists The National, Brendan Benson, Richard Ashcroft and The Weakerthans. Complete tour dates are listed below.

There are few true auteurs in pop music. The closest most so-called pop auteurs come to multi-tasking is mustering a balance between singer and songwriter. However, not only does Krueger sing, write and arrange the music of Southerly, he's a seasoned recording engineer, record label manager and professional booking agent. He remains hands-on in all aspects of his music.

Krueger recorded the second Southerly album Storyteller & The Gossip Columnist, with his own full orchestra and horn arrangements. The arrangements of sweeping and swooning violins, horns and backing vocals that surround Krueger's every note flesh out the songs, which center on Krueger's otherwise intimate singing style.

Southerly's sophomore release is the latest edition in Krueger's catalogue of ornamental and skillfully crafted albums. As with Best Dressed and Expressionless (2004), Krueger's debut, Storyteller plays as an entire album keeping with the tradition of conceptual musical works. Storyteller was recorded in two separate rounds (necessitated by Krueger's rigorous touring schedule) at Haywire Studios in Portland, OR in 2006 and 2007. The release sees the close of 3 1/2 years of full-time touring, both as a solo artist and full band.

Recently dubbed “a one man musical army” by Skratch magazine, Southerly revisits the golden era of lush pop orchestration. His songs include signs of great craft while finding a way to stray far outside the traditional verse/chorus structures often dictating the final product of too many modern artists. Krueger started the project in 2003, tracking songs with a hand-me-down microphone and an Otari four track reel-to-reel in bedrooms and basements, releasing short runs of hand-packaged cassette tapes on his own imprint (dharmakayamusic/DKM). Southerly meddles with antifolk, rock and alt country roots while taking cues from old-timers like Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers and Bill Monroe for his gypsy-like touring habits (he's actually even part Hungarian Gypsy.)

Storyteller & The Gossip Columnist features an array of players including Ryan Heise (System and Station, Protest Hill), Cory Gray (Desert City Soundtrack, Laura Gibson) and Ryland Bouchard (The Robot Ate Me). The album was engineered by Robert Bartleson (Wilco, Desert City Soundtrack) and co-produced by Krueger and Bartleson.

In 2006 Southerly became a full band. No longer a solo singer/songwriter project, the band features players from the recordings including Bartleson on bass guitar, Heise on drums and Casey Montgomery on guitar, accordion, organ and more. In July and August of 2006 the band embarked on the Kill Rock Stars’ The Sound The Hare Heard Tour in support of the compilation of same name which Southerly appears alongside players such as Sufjan Stevens, Colin Meloy (of The Decemberists) and Laura Veirs.

If there is one word or term that would entirely define Storyteller & The Gossip Columnist and Krist Krueger's writing style, it is not “singer/songwriter,” “indie,” “folk” or otherwise. It would be that Storyteller is, in its entirety, an “album”, from start to finish, over and over again on repeat.

Storyteller & The Gossip Columnist is Southerly's first album for the Portland, OR based Greyday Records, which will be released worldwide on May 15th, 2007.

Southerly On Tour
05/30 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
06/13 San Francisco, CA Makeout Room
06/15 Los Angeles, CA Knitting Factory
06/16 Tucson, AZ Plush
06/17 Phoenix, AZ The Paper Heart
06/19 Dallas, TX Palladium
06/20 Austin, TX Emo's
06/21 Houston, TX The Proletariat
06/22 Lawrence, KS Jackpot
06/23 St. Louis, MO Off Broadway
06/24 Dekalb, IL Otto's
06/25 Chicago, IL The Note
06/27 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock Social Club
06/28 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
06/29 Denver, CO Hi Dive
06/30 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
07/01 Boise, ID Visual Arts Collective

Storyteller & The Gossip Columnist Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. Visage Sans Expression
02. Close to the Crime
03. Soldiers (MP3 | VIDEO)
04. A Coarse Design
05. Taking Stock
06. For the Speechless Coward
07. How To Be a Dreamer
08. If We All Forget
09. Pistols in Paradise
10. Cold Caller
11. Dreams That Make Men Free (MP3)
12. Breath of My Youth
13. When We Have To Go
14. Simple Simon

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Drummer Ian McCutcheon confirms Mojave3 hiatus. Asserts priority status for new group, The Loose Salute. Debut album Tuned To Love set for release.

As it turns out, The Loose Salute is not an amazing Mojave3 side-project, but just an amazing project in itself. According to a statement by The Loose Salute founder and Mojave3 drummer Ian McCutcheon, “There are no plans what-so-ever to record another Mojave3 record.” McCutcheon went on to assert that his main concern and only musical concern presently is The Loose Salute.

The Loose Salute is essentially a pop group, with both folk and country overtones that draws songwriting influences from the likes of The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Mamas and The Papas, The Eagles and Leonard Cohen.

“Basically the albums in my parents’ record collection when I was growing up,” McCutcheon laughs.

Some of the more contemporary comparisons include the work of Elliott Smith, The Beachwood Sparks, The Tyde, Wilco, The Shins, Midlake and Dr. Dog.

“You could say The Loose Salute sound borrows from all of these bands,” says McCutcheon.” The vibe is different from Mojave3. We’re more of a pop group. It’s a little more fun in places.”

See for yourself – view the video for Tuned To Love’s “The Mutineer” HERE and download an iPod compatible version at iTunes (LINK).

The English band’s debut album Tuned To Love is a record full of summer sounds and nostalgia. These are songs that make you want to go out, find some friends and dance the night away. The songs are about all the facets of life: falling in and out of love, break-ups, partying, wanderlust, home-cookin’, surfing, travel, fields, beaches, stars and bars.

“The general weight of the world,” explains McCutcheon.

Chicago’s Graveface Records – home to releases by Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Octopus Project and The Appleseed Cast – will release The Loose Salute’s debut album on June 12th, 2007. Tuned To Love was recorded with engineer Gareth Parton (The Beta Band, The Go Team, The Pipettes, Mojave3) and McCutcheon’s school-yard buddy, producer Pritpal Soor.

Tuned To Love Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. Death Club
02. Photographs and Tickets
03. From Head To Sandy Toes
04. The Mutineer (MP3 | YOUTUBE | iTUNES)
05. Turn The Radio Up (MP3 | YOUTUBE)
06. Why’d We Fight?
07. Ballad of The Dumb Angel
08. Through The Stratosphere To The Bars
09. Cold Water
10. Tuned To Love
11. Ship On The Ocean

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Friday, June 1, 2007

Win Tickets To See Black Moth Super Rainbow at Irving Plaza, NYC!

Want to win a pair of tickets to see Black Moth Super Rainbow live in NYC with Architecture In Helsinki at Irving Plaza on June 8th?

Fanatic,, and Graveface Records Present: The Black Moth Super Rainbow Dandelion Gum Bubblegum Blowing Rumble!

It's easy to enter! Contestants must simply document the biggest bubblegum bubble they can blow in a photograph. Submit your entry to Entrants MUST be listening to BMSR's "Sun Lips" while bubble blowing (MP3).

The winners will be chosen by our crack team of judges. Extra consideration will go for those who document and submit the post bubble explosion. Who knows - your photo just may be used as the artwork for a BMSR digital EP!

The Grand Prize:
1. Two tickets to see Black Moth Super Rainbow Live at Irving Plaza on June 8th in NYC opening for Architecture In Helsinki.

2. A CD and Vinyl copy of the now out-of print Black Moth Super Rainbow Lost Picking Flowers EP on Graveface Records.

3. A Black Moth Super Rainbow T-shirt (JPG).

4. A Black Moth Super Rainbow Poster.

5. A CD copy of Black Moth Super Rainbow’s Dandelion Gum.

Five runners-up will receive:
1. A CD copy of Black Moth Super Rainbow’s Dandelion Gum.

2. A Black Moth Super Rainbow T-shirt.