Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Real Tuesday Weld’s Stephen Coates wows the critics, prepares for the release of his Tin Pan Alley explorations of drugs, death and spirituality.

“Imagine an English - speaking Serge Gainsbourg rolling around Tin Pan Alley with synthesizer in hand.” – The New Yorker

“Pairing Portishead’s dark theatrics with Serge Gainsbourg’s dirty-old-man mirth, Coates’ melancholic take on love is devilishly good!” – Wired

The first thing that strikes you about any album by Stephen Coates (aka The Real Tuesday Weld) is the fact that every element in his compositions seems to be drawn from sources many decades old. The second thing that strikes you is that his music sounds completely new.

For Coates, the breakthrough in his professional journey came in the form of a pair of surreal dreams in which he was visited by the legendary English music hall singer Al Bowlly and the late actress Tuesday Weld. These experiences convinced him to focus on a career in music and eventually led to the recording of an EP (The Valentine EP), which would be followed shortly by the full-length When Cupid Meets Psyche.

His sophomore album and debut on Six Degrees is a deeply complex and lovely full-length CD titled I, Lucifer. The album is a conceived soundtrack to Glen Duncan’s (Coates’ friend and former flatmate) book of the same name about the Devil’s take on humanity.

Coates’s follow-up release on Six Degrees, The Return of The Clerkenwell Kid, continued to develop what Coates has come to call his “antique beat” sound, putting modern technology to the task of creating new music out of a kaleidoscopic array of old sound sources. The sound of The Return of The Clerkenwell Kid was somewhat different from that of its predecessor, but the modus operandi remained basically the same and no one would ever mistake it for anything other than a Real Tuesday Weld album.

Which brings us to his latest, and anxiously awaited, album for the Six Degrees label. The London Book of The Dead may sound at first like a startlingly morose title, but in fact it’s more whimsically humorous than morbid. It refers to the Bardo Thodol (or Tibetan Book of The Dead), which describes the passage of the soul from the end of one life to the beginning of another.

“I thought it would be funny if there were a book like that for the English,” says Coates. “The album felt like that to me – a way of moving from one state to another, and all set against the backdrop of this city.”

Amongst the whimsy and humor are lyrical concerns drifting between such weighty topics as death, religious faith, honesty, drugs, and disease. The songs are informed in part by Coates’s own recent passage through several significant events: “Last year I became a father, and then two weeks later my own father died,” he says. “So I was in this kind of psychic spin between birth and death, and this album came out of that in some way.”

The Real Tuesday Weld’s music has fascinated more than just listeners and critics – it has also drawn the attention of major advertisers, and has been licensed to accompany ads for Cherry Coke (you may have seen the commercial in which cherries fall from the sky onto a bewildered but eventually delighted urban crowd, while Coates’s “I Love the Rain” plays in the background) and for TV shows like Weeds (Showtime), Gilmore Girls (WB) and Nip/Tuck (FX). All of this speaks to not only to Coates’s finely wrought sense of irony, but also to his “anything goes” musical approach: asked about his often unusual instrumental choices, he responds, “banjo, kazoo, potato peeler, you name it – I’ll stick anything in.”

The London Book of The Dead is just one more example of how a wildly open attitude and a slightly mystical bent can result in a distinctly personal and wonderfully warm musical personality – one that uses technology enthusiastically and happily turns it against itself to create something that sounds more deeply human than most of the music made by analog means elsewhere.

“…oddball electronica-goes-Tin Pan Alley... a hit of aural Ecstasy with a champagne chaser.” – W Magazine

“With one foot in Tin Pan Alley, one in electro-jazz and a third unspecified appendage dangling somewhere in the vicinity of '60s French pop, The Real Tuesday Weld's Stephen Coates scrapes his magnetic whisper across a variety of whip-smart, sardonically lovelorn ditties.” – Paste

The London Book of The Dead Tracklisting:
Release Date: August 27th, 2007
01. Blood Sugar Love
02. The Decline and Fall of The Clerkenwell Kid
03. It's A Wonderful Li(f)e
04. Cloud Cuckooland
05. Kix
06. Love Sugar Blood
07. I Loved London
08. I Believe
09. Song For William
10. Waltz For One
11. Ruth Roses and Revolvers
12. Dorothy Parker Blue
13. Last Words (MP3)
14. Into The Trees
15. Bringing The Body Back Home
16. Aparte

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Hello Stranger to launch tour with Rooney and Chicago rockers The Hush Sound, wraps up new tracks with Eminem, 50 Cent collaborator Mike Elizondo.

“The indelible pop melodies on their debut album, plus their glammed out performances, have made Hello Stranger a sensation in Atlanta and L.A., plus their sassy, long-legged singer is wicked sexy.” – Penthouse

“The band’s eponymous debut features a timeless musical formula: an ultra-tight rhythm section, a dazzlingly good guitar player, and a pin-up worthy lead singer (Juliette Commagere) with jazzy vocal chops and an intuitive sense of pop melody.” – The Onion

After taking some much needed time off from touring, Hello Stranger recently announced that it will be supporting fellow Los Angeles band Rooney and Chicago rockers The Hush Sound on a string of dates, including a stop at New York City’s Irving Plaza.

Up until now, the band has been holed up in L.A., recording new material with super producer Mike Elizondo. Elizondo is best known for his work with such diverse artists as Dr. Dre, Eminem, Fiona Apple, 50 Cent, Maroon 5, Nelly Furtado, Pink and Rilo Kiley, and has contributed to hits like “The Real Slim Shady” and “In Da Club.”

“Our new stuff does not sound anything like these people, but it does sound fucking awesome. My friend Amir who has a way with words said it is ‘not subtle’ and ‘raunchy’, but I think it's witty and then also sensitive and sweet,” Hello Stranger frontwoman Juliette Commagere revealed on the band’s infamously potty mouthed MySpace blog (LINK).

Hello Stranger also recently unveiled the long awaited music video for “Take it to the Maxx” which was directed by famed film/TV producer Michael Mann’s daughter Aran. Cult films like Xanadu and Barbarella come to our minds when watching the video, but you can decide for yourself (VIDEO). Aran Mann has also worked with Bonnie Prince Billy and was the assistant art director for the Sundance hit Me and You and Everyone We Know written and directed by Miranda July. Aran and her sisters Becca and Jesse are long-time friends of Hello Stranger and are credited with most of the band’s artwork, photos and amazing stage ensembles.

Never one to lack exciting news, the band is also contributing a track to the upcoming Wong Kar Wai film, My Blueberry Nights (LINK), starring Norah Jones, Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Ed Harris and Tim Roth.. The film is scheduled to hit theaters later this year and will be the Chinese director’s first in the English language.

“Led by the ├╝ber-pretty vocals of Commagere, Hello Stranger applies just enough sci-fi psychedelia to its discolike verse-chorus structures to situate the band outside the mainstream box.” – Remix

Hello Stranger Live:
* w/ Rooney & The Hush Sound
08/13 Boston, MA The Roxy*
08/14 New York, NY Irving Plaza*
08/16 Asbury Park, NJ Stone Pony*
08/17 Philadelphia, PA The Trocadero*
08/18 Towson, MA The Recher Theater*
08/20 Pittsburgh, PA Rex Theater*
08/21 Toledo, OH Headliners*
08/23 Chicago, IL House of Blues*
08/24 Urbana, IL The Canopy*
08/26 Milwaukee, WI The Eagles Club*
08/30 Cleveland, OH Agora Ballroom*
08/31 Cincinatti, OH Bogarts*

Hello Stranger Tracklisting:
01. Take It To The Maxx (MP3 | VIDEO)
02. Robody
03. Here We Go Again (MP3)
04. Her In These Lights
05. Kubrick Eyes
06. Learn Again To Feel
07. We Used To Talk
08. Which Side Is Mine
09. Plain And Simple
10. Es Tu Vida
11. Everyone Comes Here
12. Dancing For No One
13. Let It Ride

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Boston post-punk quartet Junius to release EP collection in October, cut new studio album with producer Kevin Mills.

“The most engaging dark rock to come out since Joy Division last graced a stage.” – Disclosure Magazine

“Genius as far as contemporary new wave/cinematic art-rock goes... An epic audio masterpiece.” – The Big Takeover

Boston post-punk / post-rock (let's call it post-wave) quartet Junius has slowly built up a strong following over the course of a pair of EPs and some very impressive live shows. Soon, the band's epic, dark sound will spread even further with the October release of a self-titled disc compiling the two previous records on Radar / S.A.F. Records. Junius is currently touring across the U.S. and Canada en route to record its debut full length in September at Henson Recording with Tom Syrowski and Kevin Mills (AFI, Weezer, The Bravery) under the working title The Martyrdom of A Catastrophist.

Boston has long been known as a breeding ground for renowned political dissidents as well as mind-expanding sonic adventurists. A legacy of great progressive labels (like Hydra Head, Tortuga and Big Wheel Recreation) and a harbor full of Earl Grey attest to that. Carrying in that tradition is Junius - at once an enigmatic letter-writing historical footnote (and political critic from the 1700's) as well as a rainy, Brit-inflected supernova of gigantic guitars, entrancing lights and erudite lyrics founded by drummer Dana Filloon, singer/guitarist Joseph E. Martinez and guitarist Mike Repasch-Nieves.

The New England coast was first illuminated by Junius on Friday, February 13, 2004 at a sold out show at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA. Drawing upon influences as diverse as Failure, Hum, Sunny Day Real Estate and The Cure, Junius electrified the rapt audience with the spellbinding walls of dreamy guitars and alluring lights that have continued to define the band's signature aesthetic. Together with fellow Bostonians Seneca and Constants, they formed the core of the Radar Recordings collective-a community of self-funded progressive artists founded in 2002 -- which filled a void left behind when the aforementioned labels uprooted and expanded to warmer climes.

Shortly after releasing their first EP, the post-wave pioneers began a relentless touring regimen of multiple headlining and co-headlining North American tours to fan the flames of an already relatively blazing press. Of the EP, Disclosure Magazine wrote, “One of the most engaging dark rock albums to come out since Joy Division last graced a stage.” Junius played over 200 shows in 2005 alone, and spent nearly 9 months on the road that year.

The songs which make up Junius's self-titled album (Radar / S.A.F. Records) were recorded by Will Benoit (of Constants), and mastered by Nick Zampiello (Isis, Converge, Pelican, Cave In.) Hailed as “genius” by The Big Takeover, Junius' work is borne of experiments in isolation and ascetism, including month-long stints in remote places including a storage facility in Texas, a farmhouse in Vermont, a cabin in Pennsylvania and a small room in the swamps of Louisiana. It's this austere approach that adds a weighty foundation of authenticity to the members of Junius as credible artists. Themes of forbidden knowledge, supernatural and extra-terrestrial phenomena, and religious mythology permeate singer Joseph E. Martinez's esoteric lyrics, while the group's music pushes sonic boundaries.

In addition to the release of the eponymous compilation, 2007 finds Junius as tireless as ever, with a new 7-inch (Radar / Anchorless Records), further touring and plans to begin recording The Martyrdom of A Catastrophist this Fall. The forthcoming record is based on the life of controversial scholar Immanuel Velikovsky. Martinez, along with illustrator Matt Gauck, will also be releasing an accompanying graphic novel for the record. Junius' brutal itinerary extends well into 2008, with plans to hit Europe, Japan, as well as more North American dates to solidify their already solid fan base. Appearances on MTV's On the Rise and scores of “Most Anticipated Album” nominations have all but catapulted Junius to the forefront of the world's sight line. With this self-titled release, as well as the impending album, the specter of the Junius enigma will loom heavier in the public's mind than ever before.

Junius Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. [Elan Vital]
02. Hiding Knives
03. From The Isle of The Blessed
04. [Elan Fatale]
05. Forcing Out The Silence
06. [The Annunciation]
07. Blood Is Bright
08. A Word Could Kill Her
09. In The Hearts of Titans
10. At The Age of Decay (MP3)

On The Web:

Quotes From The Press:
“Genius as far as contemporary New Wave / cinematic Art-Rock goes... [an] epic audio masterpiece.” – The Big Takeover (review of Blood Is Bright)

“One of the most engaging dark rock albums to come out since Joy Division last graced a stage.” – Disclosure Fanzine (review of Forcing Out The Silence)

“This fiery Boston quartet displays the potential to emerge as the bridge between post-grunge and the future of alternative rock.” – Amplifier Magazine

“Breathtaking atmospherics and dark sensibilities deserved of being likened to The Cure's Disintegration punctuate this EP. Vocalist Joseph E. Martinez deadpans a brooding style that clashes at the perfect angle with the swirling sounds that rise around his words. Without straying into anything too heavy, Junius manages to maintain an intense presence that is as stylish as Interpol but carries a sincerity and distinction not found in enough young acts. This band seems to have borrowed just enough from previous decades to build and shape something all its own. This Boston-based quartet approach New Wave tendencies with a shield of spacey guitars and artistic vocal stylings to create something that is not soon forgotten. With high energy emanating out of a pensive sound, Junius punctures each track with unshakable singularity until it turns into something addictive and encompassing.” – Exclaim! (review of Blood Is Bright)

“Ever since Junius started rocking our headphones, we've been in a good place. This is dramatic stuff, kids; the kind of sound that takes us back to The Cure, the mainstay of our callow youth. If we admit to becoming addicted to the sound of lead singer and guitarist Joseph Martinez's voice, does that make us sound like some kind of weird stalker?” – The Boston Globe

“They wear their brooding Eighties swirling darkness on their sleeve, yet still manage to conjure something fresh, majestic and uplifting. The vocal drips onto a textured canvas of chiming echoed guitars and a throbbing backbeat reminiscent of Pornography-era Cure, with the bombastic crunch of My Bloody Valentine.” – The Noise (2006)

“Nothing short of a revisioning of the art of the shoegazer. Junius is artful, thoughtful, and textured while also being heavy, intense, and impactful. Not since Cave In's album Jupiter have I been this taken with a rock band! If you want your brooding art rock to rock hard again, then Junius is your new favorite band. It has become mine!” – The Noise (2004)

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Russian rapper Ivan Ives teams up with Cappadonna, Vast Aire and others for sophomore album, Iconoclast.

Mother Russia has churned-out more than her fair share of wordsmiths who are swelling with passion, and deeply entrenched in heavy analyses of human behavior; finding inspiration in the drab, surroundings of their icy landscape. Following the footsteps of such Red luminaries as Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Ives imports a flowing dose of his Russian roots to the LA hip-hop scene. With Iconoclast, Ives' second full-length, released under the wings of his own No Threshold imprint, the street-savvy emcee brings an outsider's view to the Capitalist migraine that dominates so many of hip-hop's affairs. Indeed, Ives possesses the qualities and skills of “indie” hip-hop's articulate style and DIY convictions, but the staccato and glitch-laden production of songs, like “Carpe Diem” (featuring 2MEX), “Honor” (feat. Cappadonna of Wu-Tang) and “Revenge” come together with an adventurous and old school flare. His songs are catchy on a level that transcends the experimental leanings of collegiate beats and rhymes.

And though his writing is informed by his early experimental days when he went by the name Nicotine, Ives knows that in order to break the rules, one most first know the rules. This West Coast by-way-of Brooklyn by-way-of the former U.S.S.R. immigrant has more in common with the auditory appeal of such acts as Kanye West, Jay-Z and 50 Cent thanks to the accessible beats by his longtime producer and collaborator Fresh aka The Hitman. Ivan Ives manages to keep his underground credibility while flirting with mainstream sensibilities - and that's a tough line to walk. His words are strong, and long is the way and hard is the road that leads out of hell into the light. For Ives, the beauty is in this dark ride on the mean streets.

His inspiration comes not from blingin' and big pimpin' but by thriving on integrity in the shadow materialism in a cut-throat world. Love lost, the great beyond and personal improvement are part of the game as Ives composes a body of work that shines with honest-to-goodness talent. Like Bob Dylan, 2Pac and Grandmaster Flash, Ives' songs are his own stories and his own commentaries shaped by his unrestrained style.

He doesn't mince words, nor does unleash a torrent of expletives to underscore the immediacy of his message. He understands that the pen is mightier than the sword and his seamless lyrical transitions from English to Russian and back unfold with a poetic surge that will have you rushing to rewind. He's a salt-of-the-Earth man, and his subdued accent, informed by his bi-coastal upbringing culminates in a sound that's smooth and angst-ridden, energetic and hard, but never stoops to a simple thug vibe. His shit is for real, and the epic Rusky tone that rises up in the anthemic “Victory” (feat. Vast Aire) (MP3) informs Iconoclast, forging an album that is as stoic and eloquent as the Eastern land in which his roots are planted.

Iconoclast Tracklisting:

01. Got It
02. Victory (feat. Vast Aire) (MP3)
03. Mad Game
04. Carpe Diem (feat. 2MEX)
05. Olivia Josephs
06. Soul (feat. O.C. of D.I.T.C.)
07. How It Is
08. The Recipe
09. Honor (feat. Cappadonna of Wu-Tang)
10. Worldwide Hits (feat. Fresh aka The Hitman)
11. Lay Low
12. Rap Ethics
13. Revenge
14. Zzyzx Road
15. Life Is A Bitch

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Atlanta lady post-punks The Coathangers to release self-titled debut full-length.

“… womanly post-punk that evokes pre dub-era Slits sounds.” – Creative Loafing

“…simple punk-rock songs that are fun, catchy, vulgar and perverse… simply it’s awesome.” – The Yellow Stereo

The Coathangers are newcomers to Atlanta’s vibrant punk, pop and experimental music scene, but the group has risen quickly through the ranks to become one of the city’s most talked about acts. Since July of 2006 Julia Kugel (guitar/vocals), Stephanie Luke (drums/vocals), Candice Jones (keyboard/vocals) and Meredith Franco (bass/vocals) have hammered out a bat cave crunk-punk dirge that explodes with energy and creativity.

Don’t be fooled by playful early song titles, like “Nestle In My Boobies” and “Don’t Touch My Shit!” These women are real deal feminists, armed with a brash and irreverent sense of humor. They’re more likely to be caught cracking jokes with Andrew W.K. than sharing tea and vegan cookies with Kathleen Hannah’s crew. Simply put, The Coathangers get the party started. They say what they want to say, do what they want to do, and they write songs because they want to have fun.

Imagine if you will a marriage of the Beastie Boys circa Some Old Bullshit and The Slits when they were still a punk band and you’re in the right ballpark. The group’s manic pep rally chants in “Wreckless Boy” morph into the sneering caterwauls of “Tonya Harding” over simple and powerful rhythmic plods. “Bloody Shirt” transcends the power of three-chord tension with the sounds of ratchets and a sparkling piano slurring to the tune of heartbreak and revelation. And an accordion has never channeled so much punk melancholy as it does in “The Missing Letter.”

Raucous live shows as well as the group’s early CD-R demos, packaged in hand-stitched and decorated sleeves and a definitive 7-inch released by The Black Lips’ Die Slaughterhaus Records have rallied an army of loyal fans. The group has shared stages with like-minded locals The Carbonas, The Selmanaires and Deerhunter, as well as nationally touring acts, The Gore Gore Girls and Casper & The Cookies. They even played a SXSW after party in Austin, TX – the now infamous party featured in The New York Times’ video expose on ‘the hardest working band at SXSW’ (The Black Lips.) The Coathangers were chosen by Chunklet Magazine to be one of four Atlanta bands to appear on a limited edition 7-inch / Whirly Ball ticket, and have received lip service by everyone from Pitchfork to CMJ. Expect to see the band on the road touring the east coast and Midwest in October and November in support of the forthcoming CD/LP.

The Coathangers Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. “Why This Record” Intro
02. Tonya Harding
03. Wreckless Boy
04. Haterade
05. “A Real Honey”
06. Shut the Fuck Up
07. Parking Lot (MP3)
08. Buckhead Betty
09. Don’t Touch My Shit!
10. “Roll Dem Dice”
11. Parchezzi
12. Where The Hell Were You?
13. “Fatty Pad”
14. Nestle in My Boobies
15. Bloody Shirt
16. The Missing Letter
17. “Larger Success” Outro

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Old Time Relijun sounds ‘war cry’, delivers new K Records album Catharsis In Crisis.

“This is a war cry” declares Old Time Relijun. Can you hear it?

If not now, then soon, very soon the rest of the world will hear the urgent call of Catharsis In Crisis, the Portland, OR quartet’s forthcoming album.

Old Time Relijun continues to further shatter rock’s imperious formalism with its latest K Records release. 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 OTR’s most fully realized album to date. OTR + 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 OTR’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 OTR’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 OTR is known and loved, Catharsis 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.

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. Arrington (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 Arrington’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, OTR recorded its 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 Bryce 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 OTR’s second of many lives began. Phil’s caveman beats and undeniable production savvy helped launch the first three 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, Phil 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 Arrington 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 Arrington and Aaron had time to reevaluate the direction their band would take.

During his travels, Arrington 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:
7/20 Seattle, WA Comet Tavern
7/22 Anacortes, WA What the Heck Fest!
7/27 Portland, OR Ground Kontrol
8/10 Missoula, MT Total Fest

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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The Lodger’s Slumberland debut Grown-Ups blows up the blogosphere and receives outstanding approval from the UK Press.

“A promising debut indeed, and worth the wait - it's definitely time to treat yourself to a good Lodgering.” – Playlouder

Grown-Ups is an album full of classy indie-pop numbers set against wistful and occasionally biting lyrical content. With this release The Lodger certainly aren't going to be moving out anytime soon. (4/5)” – Leeds Music Scene

“The beauty of this debut is how well it works as an album - if the singles have passed you by, take forty minutes out of your life to let The Lodger lament in their understated, but magnificent, way. (4.5/5)” – Clickmusic

“A very complete and accomplished album that should be an inspiration to all those who are truly operating in the world of independent releases. Buy this. (4/5)” – Manchestermusic

“It's such a pleasure to sit down with an album that delivers such a wealth of intelligence and emotional luxury with such economical precision. (9/10)” – Whisperin & Hollerin

The Lodger’s debut album Grown-Ups, released on the respected Oakland label Slumberland Records, has the UK press convinced that the Leeds act has nowhere to go but to the Top of The Pops. This is Fake DIY (a site which holds a similar influence in the UK as Pitchfork holds in the states) raves, “Full of glittering gems, Grown-Ups is proof that the best things come in small packages. You won't hear a better album this year, we promise you that.” The Lodger has also seen overwhelming response from stateside bloggers as well, bouncing in and out of the Top 10 at music blog aggregator elbo.ws several times over the past few weeks.

The Lodger’s single for the album track “Many Thanks for Your Honest Opinion” was an NME stereo favorite, and the magazine also has spoken highly of the band’s live performances on multiple occasions. With the legendary status of Gang of Four, The Wedding Present and most recently The Kaiser Chiefs on the town’s side, it seems that Leeds is now ready to offer up another classic band to America in The Lodger.

Grown-Ups Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
01. Many Thanks For Your Honest Opinion (MP3)
02. Kicking Sand (MP3) | (VIDEO)
03. Getting Special
04. You Got Me Wrong
05. A Free Period
06. Simply Left Behind
07. My Advice Is On Loan
08. Let Her Go
09. Watching
10. Unsatisfied
11. The Story's Over
12. Not So Fast
13. Bye Bye
14. Let's Make A Pact

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Former Swervedriver frontman aims Bolts of Melody nationwide, collaborates with Interpol drummer in Setting Suns project.

“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 man enjoying his music.” -- No Ripcord

Adam Franklin spent the 1990s as singer, guitarist and main songwriter for London-based Swervedriver, 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. Now, in support of his solo debut, Franklin has announced a string of tour dates.

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 has 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 forthcoming seventh post-Swervedriver solo album, Bolts of Melody is his first under his own name.

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 a Black Mountain seven inch and a Shifty Disco download-only release respectively. Fans of Franklin’s Setting Suns project can check out a few tracks posted on the duo’s MySpace page (LINK).

Adam Franklin Live:
07/15 Portland, OR Jackpot Records (In-store)
07/16 San Francisco, CA Cafe du Nord
07/17 Los Angeles, CA The Echo
07/18 San Diego, CA The Casbah
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 Club

Bolts of Melody

Stream The Album HERE
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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People Noise continues seemingly endless six-month U.S. tour.

Louisville, KY quintet People Noise is on a mission. Just like in the days before the Interwebs when the only way for a band to build a fan base was consistent touring, the band led by former VHS or Beta guitarist Zeke Buck set out on a seemingly endless tour last April with dates stretching into late September this year. ...And the tour itinerary keeps stretching onward.

“There’s so much lost time to cover,” says Buck in a recent interview with The Louisville Eccentric Observer’s Mat Herron. “Basically, I’m trying to start anew.” After a successful 10 year run in VHS or Beta – which included a national arena tour with Duran Duran – Buck now devotes his time and talent to People Noise, the band he started with good friend and ex-Boom Bip member Matt Johnson. With Johnson on drums and Buck on, well, everything else, these Louisville natives have produced an epic, drone-laced rock album reminiscent of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Spiritualized and Interpol.

Although we never heard him sing a lick during his years in VHS or Beta, Buck’s resume would lead us to ask the question, “why the hell not?” From the ripe age of only four years old he was belting out opera all over the country until the inevitable struck: puberty. Unfortunately for him, it struck in the middle of a performance. It wasn’t until only recently that Buck began to sing again. For a number of months he studied under Turley Richards, a blind Louisville musician with a vocal range that would impress Whitney Houston, and eventually regained the confidence that was lost long ago. On People Noise’s debut album Ordinary Ghosts, Buck sings about everything from reincarnation to thoughts on his former band.

Johnson, a guitarist turned drummer with an experimental electronic music background, boasts quite a resume himself. During his time in Boom Bip, he toured extensively across Europe and has shared the stage with notable acts like LCD Soundsystem, Yo La Tengo, Pinback and Matt Pond PA. Johnson has also performed at London BBC Peel Sessions, Centre Pompideu, Royal Festival Hall and The Renne Music Festival in Renne, France. Not to mention he studied the djembe under Yaya Diallo for a number of years. Quite an accomplishment for a guy who wrote and performed all of the drum parts on Ordinary Ghosts on a rural Kentucky farm with no internet and no cell phone service!

For its live shows, Johnson and Buck are joined by Rahman McGuinnis on guitar, Woody Woodmansee on keyboards, and Sam Marino on bass. People Noise's debut album Ordinary Ghosts album hit stores on June 12th. And, considering its crazy tour schedule, the band might be available to deliver its album straight to your door.

People Noise on Tour:
07/16 Montgomery, AL Off the Wagon
07/17 Jackson, MS Swell-o-Venue
07/18 Little Rock, AR Sticky Fingerz Rock-n-Roll Chicken Shack
07/19 Lafayette, LA The Grant Street Dance Hall
07/20 Houston, TX The Meridian Room
07/21 Austin, TX Beauty Bar
07/25 Salina, KS Lucky's Bar
07/26 Kansas City, MO El Torreon Ballroom
07/27 Tulsa, OK DFest
07/28 Oklahoma City, OK The Conservatory
07/29 Aurora, CO Wyatt's Torch Bar
07/30 Boulder, CO The Trilogy Lounge
07/31 Denver, CO 15th Street Tavern
08/01 Albuquerque, NM Atomic Cantina
08/04 Phoenix, AZ Casa Blanca
08/06 Pomona, CA The Glass House
08/07 San Diego, CA The Jumping Turtle (All Ages)
08/09 Davis, CA KDVS 90.3 (In-Studio)
08/12 Eureka, CA The Boiler Room
08/15 Seattle, WA The High Dive
08/18 Boise, ID Neurolux
08/19 Salt Lake City, UT Monk's House of Jazz
08/20 Riverton, WY Fremont County Fairgrounds
08/24 Missoula, MT The Badlander
08/25 Fargo, ND The Nestor
08/27 Omaha, NE The Slowdown
09/01 St. Louis, MO Lucas School House
09/02 Clinton, IA Zabbies
09/03 Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews
09/11 Augusta, GA The Mission
09/26 Durham, NC Duke Coffeehouse
10/11 Bloomington, IN Live From Bloomington

Ordinary Ghosts Track Listing:
Stream The Album HERE
01. The Killing Fields (MP3)
02. A Million Lives (MP3)
03. Turn Around
04. Sedation
05. Ordinary Ghosts
06. The Sun & The Moon, The Moon & The Sea
07. The Nothing Place
08. Pretty Things
09. Harrison Bergeron
10. Older

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Michael Jordan, Cuba Gooding Jr., Handsome Boy Modeling School, Head Automatica... what do they all have in common?

San Francisco's Jim Greer is a man with so much going on in his professional life that he could easily fill a book -- or at least your headphones. The man who comprises one half of the production team and music makers, The Rondo Brothers, has plenty to keep him busy behind the boards, as well as a new Rondos record out now called Seven Minutes To Midnight. This is, of course, in addition to Big Bad Beautiful Dreams, his latest solo record as Diamond Jim, one third of "The Bedroom trio" of singer-songwriters that includes Trevor Childs and Herman Jolly.

As if all of this weren't enough, to compliment Greer's prolific and accomplished musical endeavors as a producer and artist, he is kept very busy with his music composition work for commercials, his state-of-the-environment recording facility, and his record label group, Citrus To Citrus. Between artists Head Automatica, Galactic, and Handsome Boy Modeling School, Greer appears on 250,000+ records sold as a session player, writer, or producer, etc. Greer has also toured with and opened for The Rapture, Interpol, and The Cure.

It all begs the question -- When did Jim Greer become such a mogul? And how? Greer started a label in 1996 and the first band he produced (The Gun & Doll Show) landed on the cover of BAM Magazine. Greer later made a record with Bill Bottrell who has worked with artists as diverse as Shelby Lynne and Sheryl Crow (while also producing Thomas Dolby and co-writing Michael Jackson's “Black Or White”). Greer later hooked up with famed producer Jack Douglas who produced John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy. Douglas heard Greer playing piano at a session and immediately started hiring The Rondo Brothers for mixing and production gigs as he connected with the duo’s amazing source material and technological skill and finesse. Whew! That’s enough for all of you scribes right there, eh? Well -- here's how it all breaks down...

The Rondo Brothers: “Another gloriously uncategorizeable record from the Rondos. Weird, melodic pop and subtle funk featuring a slew of guest vocalists and players. This makes me want to drink wine coolers on a sailboat...” – XLR8R

When Greer and musical partner Brandon Arnovivk make Rondo Brothers music, they treat it as a simple, fun process of layering ideas that sometimes come in five minutes, and other times gestate for months. The duo also has a roundtable of friends who drop in. Letting other bad-ass musicians and singers put a stamp on a Rondo Brothers track is par for the course. The artists that The Rondo Brothers work with are people that they would like to hang out with regardless.

“It's our version of Dark Side Of The Moon, more or less,” Greer says of the new Rondo Brothers album. “We've both been feeling the world sort of spinning to the dark side of terrorism and the war in Iraq and all this fear mongering being spread around.” He elaborates saying, “Here we are, trying to just live happily and merrily and do fun things, it gave us the image of two people having a picnic in the foreground while the world is exploding in the background, so the art depicts that, and the songs are kind of loosely based on that concept.”

A record release celebration for Seven Minutes To Midnight will take place at San Francisco's Independent on Sept. 14th. Frequent DJ Shadow/Quannum Projects collaborator Bing Ji Ling (LINK) who appears on the Seven Minutes to Midnight track “Until We All Fall Down” (MP3) will join the Rondos at this special show. Need a “Rondo Reminder” the day of the gig? The band was recently featured by Virgin Mobile, so go ahead and grab a Rondo Brothers ringtone! (LINK). The Rondo Brothers will also join Galactic onstage in San Francisco at the Independent on July 25th and 26th. Be there!

In addition to Bing Ji Ling, the Rondos are known for collaborating with, producing and remixing artists such as Handsome Boy Modeling School, Dan The Automator, The Killers, Peeping Tom, Galactic and The New York Dolls among others. In this capacity, the Rondos are known for enjoying challenges. Producers generally know that the Rondos will try something really cool because they always put out an energy that says they're up for anything. The duo also likes to maintain the vibe of “casual music aficionados” who don’t just sit around studying old records, but instead investigate thoroughly, like when they lived in New Orleans while making a record with Galactic. They used the time to soak in the great Afro-Cuban, Jazz and Brazilian music that New Orleans has to offer – it was a serious education that no doubt had influence over their work in the city. When the Rondos made their Hawaiian record, they bought stacks of records of old, ancient, Hawaiian music, along with plenty of Don Ho and Arthur Lyman, and learned a whole new genre.

This tradition of exploration and collaboration continues on Seven Minutes To Midnight. Two featured tracks from the album that show this off include “Crazed” (MP3) and “Hard Rocks The Roof.” (MP3). “Crazed” is a collaboration with Craig Bonich from Head Automatica and “Hard Rocks The Roof” is a love song enhanced by the vocals of Pedro Shanahan, who also sings lead on the Rondo tracks “Dune Stalker” (MP3) and “In The Valley” (MP3). *Side note – Shanahan was recently profiled in the San Francisco Weekly for his long running work in the LA-based play “Eavesdropping”(LINK).

And what of Greer's Rondo Brothers work vs. his persona as the singer-songwriter Diamond Jim? Just where does he draw the line between these sounds anyway?

Diamond Jim: First – some fun facts! Did you know that “Falcon To A Friend” (MP3) from Diamond Jim's Big Bad Beautiful Dreams is actually Greer fronting the band Galactic? The track was recorded at Galactic's studio in New Orleans. Did you know that Greer recently sat in on piano with Buddy Wakefield for two nights at the sold out Sage Francis shows in San Francisco? It's true!

When asked to describe Diamond Jim, Jim Greer simply states, “That's me - I'm Diamond Jim.” And then hilariously, “That means when I DJ, I'm DJ DJ.” Greer has been making records as Diamond Jim since 1996. He first recorded in a real studio in 1990 in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Greer has played in bands since he was 14-years-old and started four-tracking that year, as well. It became a necessity in his life.

“If I don't write and record a 'personal' song [like the ones on this record], every week or so, I get really weird and depressed, so I just keep doing it,” he says. “I made three records before as Jim Greer and I called this one Diamond Jim because that was my name on the Handsome Boy Modeling School and Dan The Automator tours. But, it's just another Jim Greer record.”

In describing the album's content in detail, Greer explains, “The songs on this record were the result of a whole bunch of songs, probably 50, that I've been fighting with for a couple years, and I recorded all over the place, and wrote all over the place. I read that someone said the first song sounded like ‘Super Mario Cart’ and that's exactly what I wanted. Then it gets into what are my versions of just classic songs, songs that I'd like to hear Bob Marley or Paul McCartney cover. My favorite song on this album seems to be ‘Under A Half Moon’ (MP3).”


At first reluctant to shine the spotlight too much on this aspect of his artistry, Greer is now okay with it, joking, “Now that Wilco has sold their whole album to Volkswagen and Sonic Youth is doing a Starbucks record, fuck it.” It all means that Greer is happy to mention that he has just completed the music for a Haynes commercial featuring Michael Jordan and Cuba Gooding, Jr. which will also includes some Rondo Brothers tunes as part of the online marketing campaign. Rondos music was also recently featured in several commercials for the NFL just to mention the tip of the iceberg. Check out The Rondo Brothers NFL ads “Bigmouth” (LINK) and “NFL Town” (LINK).

The Rondo's commercial work situation presents an environment where they are literally being asked to write a 60-second song every day. While their clients usually have something in mind, they also want a really original piece of music. To accomplish this, Greer generates a bunch of ideas, edit himself quickly, and at the end of the day (if he has that long!) trusts his judgment.

He explains, “This process can only be likened to that of a portrait painter – you know that when it's all over it needs to look like the person, but you also need to make quick choices along the way. Quick planning and execution are the essential elements for success – sometimes jobs come in and music is literally needed within six hours. That's very different from the album process – you make an album, and then you wait forever for it to slowly seep out into the world. With the commercial work, it goes out instantly to millions of people. It's really bizarre how that happens – on one hand, you can get paid to make music that goes out to all these people, but in the record industry, you're basically begging for a break... probably from the same companies!

The Studio and Citrus To Citrus:

And where is all of this music being made anyway? In Greer's custom built, environmentally conscious studio of course. Greer is green -- make no mistake.

He emphatically states, “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.”

Greer is referring to his preferred mode of transport -- the golf cart that he tools around town in. “We just filmed a video (LINK) 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,” he says.

Greer's recording facility is equally environmentally friendly. In describing the room to BPM Magazine recently, he commented that 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.

While your head is spinning, don't forget that while Greer is doing all of the above, he also has time to run the Citrus To Citrus label group which recently released the Rondos and Diamond Jim records as well as that of Herman Jolly (Bunker Life) and Trevor Childs (Terrified). And if you think it's only Greer getting all of the attention, take note of the fact that Childs video from Terrified for “Deathwish” recently received over 120,000 plays on YouTube (LINK).

Director L. Kenyon is the man who helmed the popular Childs clip, and he has also directed a couple of killer pieces for The Rondo Brothers as well, including one for “Until We All Fall Down” (LINK) and another, recently completed clip for “Crazed” (LINK). Remixes of these tunes are available, too. Check out remixes of “Crazed” – Collette Remix (MP3) and “Until We All Fall Down” – Cubismo Grafico Pea Coat Remix (MP3).

Jim Greer – what more is there to say about this insanely talented and hard working man? He is equally at home in a singer songwriter session as he is on the road with rappers cutting impromptu tracks in a hotel room. He lays down the grooves and creates them for others with The Rondo Brothers, quietly conjures and performs affecting singer-songwriter material as Diamond Jim, pops out television commercials on a moment’s notice in his Earth-conscious studio and finds the time and resources to release records by other talented friends. Obviously, Greer has deftly navigated many facets of the music industry, all with supreme skill, and will continue to do so until he decides to take it easy for a minute or two (which is doubtful!)

Seven Minutes to Midnight Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE

02. Crazed (MP3REMIXVIDEO)
03. Dune Stalker (MP3 VIDEO)
04. El Corazon
05. Liberation
06. Hard Rocks The Roof (MP3)
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 (MP3REMIXVIDEO)
14. La La La (Get Out Now)
15. In The Valley (MP3VIDEO)
16. Come Down To Me
17. Apologists

Diamond Jim – Big Bad Beautiful Dreams Tracklisting:
Stream Selected Tracks HERE

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 (MP3)
06. Wash It Out
07. Falcon To A Friend (MP3)
08. Walk You Home
09. Broke A Lover
10. I Can Hear You Laughing
11. A House Made of Dawn
12. Save Me

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

HEALTH offers full-length prescription -- no insurance necessary.

It seems like everyone's talking about HEALTH these days.

No, we're not referring to the hot-button political issue or the subject of Michael Moore's new film. We're talking about the all-caps HEALTH: the unique and inspiring Los Angeles quartet that's making the idea of people making refreshing and experimental music exciting again.

The word-of-mouth excitement lately about HEALTH has been surging throughout the L.A. area like a series of rolling blackouts. Its shows are sweaty, packed fits of beautiful noise that could perhaps be best compared to Liars, Animal Collective and latter-period Black Dice. At long last, the group's self-titled debut full length on the ultra hip Lovepump United label is set to bring, um, universal HEALTH to America on September 18th.

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 LA 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 and will be released the same day as the split 7” on the UK label Trouble Records.


A UK will commence this week and a full US tour for the fall featuring appearances at CMJ and Pop Montreal is in the works.

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 Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: Sept. 18, 2007
01. Heaven
02. Girl Attorney
03. Triceratops
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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Friday, July 6, 2007

The Octopus Project Announces Details of New Album and Tour.

“The lovely Theremin lead, like Florian Schneider's processed flute on the second side of Kraftwerk's Autobahn, suggests that technology just might save us after all. – Pitchfork on ‘I Saw The Bright Shinies’ (MP3) from the upcoming album by The Octopus Project.

Coming off of such recent successes as playing Coachella, several sold-out nationwide tours, an incredible showing at the Austin Music Awards (Best Instrumental Band, Best Indie Band, Best Miscellaneous Instrument -- Yvonne Lambert on Theremin! -- and top ten placement in nine other categories!), and a proclamation by David Fricke as one of Rolling Stone's stand-out artists at SXSW, Austin's The Octopus Project will release its third proper full-length on Peek-a-Boo Records October 9th, 2007. The as-yet-untitled record is the follow-up to the band's collaborative album with Pittsburgh's Black Moth Super Rainbow, The House of Apples and Eyeballs (E-CARD), released last year on Graveface Records.

The band's new album (title and artwork to come!), was recorded and co-produced by The Octopus Project and Ryan Hadlock (Blonde Redhead, The Gossip) at Bear Creek Studio in Seattle during February, 2007 and was mixed by Erik Wofford (Voxtrot, Explosions In The Sky). Guest musicians include Stacy Meshbane (Cue) on Violin, Jherick Bischoff (The Dead Science) on upright Bass and Violin, and Nick Smith (Nick and The Six Sick Sticks) on Trombone. The band will kick-off three months of touring in Huntsville, Alabama in mid-August and will introduce material from its new record this weekend at a special performance in Brooklyn, NY headlining one of the now-annual McCarren Park Pool Parties (LINK) with Dan Deacon, and Erase Errata on Sunday, July 8th at 2PM.

With ragged, furious distorted guitars at one end of the spectrum and the pure, luminescent tones of the Theremin at the other, the members of The Octopus Project mine a staggering variety of sounds in between (via synthesizers, drums, violins, glockenspiel, trombones, etc...) to fill their songs with brilliant contrasting colors and cascading waves of sonic bliss. Although Josh Lambert, Yvonne Lambert and Toto Miranda each have their instrumental specialties, they spread their ideas out on as many instruments as possible, each writing for and performing on any sound-maker they can find. And as if the instruments themselves weren't enough, many sounds on the band's upcoming record were manipulated to push them even further - inhuman drum breaks three layers deep piled over the live drum track, a heavenly four-Theremin choir from a Wizard of Oz soundtrack that never existed, guitar parts mulched into bits and reassembled into a tiny action figure of Prince.

This time around, The Octopus Project wanted to achieve the perfect blend between high-end studio trickery, and lo-fi home experimentation. Partially tracked to tape, partially to Pro Tools, lots of sounds were taken from the band's original demos - sequenced beats, edited loops, practice space recordings etc. Parts of the album track “Upmann” were recorded on a friend's front porch (listeners will note the sounds of passing cars.) As The Octopus Project's Yvonne Lambert has continued to gain notoriety for her expert Theremin-playing skills (see her demo the instrument for Austin schoolkids HERE), the band decided to develop its multi-tracked-Theremins concept to its fullest extent -- something the group first tried on last year's The House of Apples and Eyeballs. The experiments yielded amazing results as can be heard on the album track “I Saw The Bright Shinies” (MP3).

With its new record waiting in the wings and several trips around the country on the calendar, The Octopus Project is ready to make the coming months its busiest and most productive yet -- stay tuned! Note: the attached image of The Octopus Project was created by Austin-based embroidery expert Jenny Hart (LINK). Download a hi-resolution version of this image HERE.

The Octopus Project
New Album (Title TBA) Tracklisting:
Release Date: October 9th, 2007
01. Snow Tip Cap Mountain
02. Truck
03. Bees Bein' Strugglin'
04. An Evening With Rthrtha
05. Black Blizzard/Red Umbrella
06. Upmann
07. Mmaj
08. I Saw The Bright Shinies (MP3)
09. Hello, Avalanche
10. Vanishing Lessons
11. Exploding Snowhorse
12. Loud Murmuring
13. Queen

The Octopus Project Live:
* = w/ Cinemechanica
+ = w/ Stereo Total
# = w/ Aesop Rock
08/17 Huntsville, AL Bottle Tree *
08/18 Athens, GA 40 Watt *
08/19 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506 *
08/21 Washington DC Rock and Roll Hotel +
08/22 Baltimore, MD Ottobar +
08/23 Philadelphia, PA TLA +
08/24 New York, NY Webster Hall +
08/25 Boston, MA Middle East +
08/26 Ottawa, ON Babylon +
08/27 Montreal, QC La Tulipe +
08/28 Toronto, ON Lee's Palace +
08/29 Pittsburgh, PA Andy Warhol Museum +
08/30 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom +
08/31 Chicago, IL Abbey Theatre +
09/01 Minneapolis, MN Entry +
09/03 Seattle, WA Chop Suey +
09/04 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom +
09/06 San Francisco, CA Bimbo's +
09/07 Los Angeles, CA El Rey +
09/08 San Diego, CA Beauty Bar
09/13 Chicago, IL Metro #
09/14 Madison, WI Barrymore #
09/15 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theatre #
09/16 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue #
09/18 Detroit, MI St. Andrew's or Blind Pig #
09/19 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop #
09/21 Baltimore, MD Ottobar #
09/22 Providence, RI Living Room #
09/23 Boston, MA Middle East #
09/25 Northampton, MA Iron Horse #
09/26 Burlington, VT Higher Ground #
10/04 Houston, TX Numbers
10/05 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
10/06 New Orleans, LA House Of Blues
10/07 Tallahassee, FL Beta Lounge
10/08 Orlando, FL Back Booth
10/09 West Palm Beach, FL City Limits
10/10 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbit's
10/11 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn
10/12 Knoxville, TN Pilot Light
10/13 Charlotte, NC Milestone
10/14 Raleigh, NC Duke University
10/15 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel
10/16 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
10/17 Philadelphia, PA John Brenda's
10/18 New York, NY High Line Ballroom
10/20 Boston, MA Great Scott
10/21 Montreal, PQ La Sala Rosa
10/22 Toronto, ONT Horseshoe
10/23 Buffalo, NY Icon
10/24 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop
10/25 Columbus, OH Art House
10/26 Chicago, IL Logan Square
10/27 Chicago, IL Abbey Theater
10/28 Milwaukee, WI Mad Planet
10/29 Minneapolis, MN Entry
10/30 Omaha, NE Sokol Underground
11/01 Lawrence, KS Replay lounge
11/02 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge
11/03 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
11/05 Seattle, WA Chop Suey
11/06 Vancouver, BC Richards on Richards
11/07 Portland, OR Holocene
11/09 San Francisco, CA Bottom Of The Hill
11/10 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy
11/11 San Diego, CA Casbah
11/12 Phoenix, AZ Modified
11/13 Tucson, AZ Congress Theater
11/14 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
11/15 Lubbock, TX Jake's
11/16 Dallas, TX Palladium
11/17 Austin, TX Emo's

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