Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Steve Smith set to DJ with Paul Oakenfold tomorrow night at the Winter Music Conference in Miami.

“If you find yourself a fan of bands like Coldplay, Death Cab For Cutie, or even Travis, you should check out what Steve Smith has created. Underneath this DJ lies a musician who had a calling to record this CD, a dream about one of the songs, and the enthusiasm to go through with it. These are the types of musicians I respect.” – Brian McIrish, Blog Critics

Two-time Grammy award winning Dirty Vegas front man Steve Smith is a busy gentleman and a really nice one, too. Whether promoting his debut as a singer-songwriter, This Town, or spinning Dirty Vegas DJ sets around the globe, Smith always has an open ear and a kind word. It’s a refreshing attitude that contradicts what one might think of a platinum-selling entertainer and it permeates the heartfelt songs on Smith’s debut album as a singer-songwriter, This Town.

If you’re curious to check out what Smith’s all about and you’re enjoying the rays in Miami, then head out tomorrow night when Smith will DJ alongside the legendary turntable master Paul Oakenfold as part of the annual Winter Music Conference. The event will take place at Club Mokai (235 23rd St, Miami Beach).

Steve Smith’s many personas are the basis for his recent work. One a wild, house party DJ who rode the hit “Days Go By” (VIDEO) to stardom; the other a gentle, down to earth family man (Smith is the new father of a baby girl) and singer-songwriter with a knack for melodies and words that come straight from, and cut straight to, the heart.

In addition to his ubiquitous appearances as a DJ, Smith recently performed songs from This Town at South By Southwest, taking the stage armed with nothing but his acoustic guitar and voice and also appeared earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival where he launched the promotion of This Town.

The record is out now and includes collaborations with Claudia Gonson of The Magnetic Fields, Anthony Saffery of Cornershop, Rob Swift of X-ecutioners and actor John Savage, among others. Since This Town is a self-released record created on a limited budget, all of these fine performers appeared for free -- another testament to Smith’s endearing ways. On a personal note, Smith even walked an hour in the Austin sun to see Fanatic’s Josh Bloom perform songs in a parking lot. What a sweetheart, eh?

Other upcoming activities for Smith include the UK release of a remix of the This Town album track “Restless” on which he collaborated with Brian Viglione from The Dresden Dolls and Anthony Saffery of Cornershop (MP3). Smith also is an in-demand Latin percussionist and will appear as such on new albums by Cornershop and Jules Shear. Stay tuned for an announcement of upcoming UK dates as well! Like we said -- Smith’s a busy guy, but not too busy to share a smile and a song.

Steve Smith Live:
03/27 Miami, FL @ Club Mokai w/ Paul Oakenfold (DJ Set)
04/14 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge

This Town Track Listing:
Stream The Album HERE
View Album Trailer HERE
Release Date: February 18, 2008

01. This Town
02. Hit Me Up (MP3)
03. Restless (Radio Edit MP3)
04. Universe
05. Morning Jane
06. Smile
07. Comedown Queen (MP3)
08. Sleep Like A Lover
09. Better Off That Way
10. That Town (MP3)
11. Bonus Track: Late Nights & Street Fights (Theme from the FOX-TV show Standoff)
12. Bonus Track: Days Go By (Steve Osbourne Acoustic Mix)

More about Steve Smith and Dirty Vegas:
14-year-old Steve Smith was waiting for his piano teacher to arrive when he spotted the school drums and jumped on the kit. He was lost in the moment when the door burst open and the horrified teacher asked, “wouldn’t you prefer to sign up for drum lessons instead?!” Cue a cheeky grin!

Born into a South London working class home in the early 70’s, Steve was the youngest of five. He grew up with his ear pressed to his elder siblings’ doors where he gleaned everything from Marvin Gaye to Pink Floyd. As his teenage devotion to percussion grew, so did his passion for Latin musicians, specifically Santana and Tito Puente.

In 1988, acid house exploded in the UK and Steve found himself swept up in a wild new era of electronic music. He began to experiment with sampling the classic tracks he loved his whole life. A well-known house DJ, Andy Nichols, started a band that aimed to blend house music with live musicians. Steve instantly had the perfect introduction to playing live shows in front of huge crowds.

In the late 80s, rabid dance fans flocked to the illegal South-East England rave scene despite frequent raids by police and scaremongering stories in the papers about the supposed “drug culture.” But that did not concern Steve, who devoted every weekend to playing with Andy Nichols’ band or as a live percussionist at house clubs. He began to receive invitations to recording sessions and playing on club tracks. He became increasingly fascinated with the world of samplers and 909 kick drums. Still, while completely immersed in electronic music, he always held tightly to his childhood love for the Bruce Springsteen songs that had come from his sisters’ bedroom, and the sweet tones of Stevie Nicks that had blared from his brothers’ old stereo.

Steve steadily built a reputation as an excellent Latin percussionist and held residencies at legendary clubs, including Ministry of Sound. He toured alongside DJ’s like Sasha and Paul Oakenfold, and was ultimately offered a residency at the world famous ‘Pacha’ on the clubbing mecca island of Ibiza.

It was the summer of 1999. Steve had just split with his long-term girlfriend. With nothing to lose he packed up and drove from London to Ibiza with everything he owned. Days were spent with an acoustic guitar on stunning beaches, and nights in the infamous ‘Manumission’ and ‘Space’ clubs. He played alongside the top DJ’s in the world - studying how certain tracks caused reactions in crowds unlike those at any rock concerts he’d ever attended.

Inspired by the island of Ibiza as creative artists David Bowie, Mike Oldfield, Mario Testino and Errol Flynn before him, Steve spent the summer composing songs. As 1999 drew to a close, Steve headed into the studio for a session with Paul Harris, a DJ friend, who had been playing around the London ‘Milk Bar’ scene since 1990. Paul had just started working with a young producer named Ben Harris (no relation). While they were recording, Steve picked up an acoustic guitar and played them a song he called, “Days go by.” Paul and Ben loved it, and started to play around with the tempo. They recorded the song, called themselves Dirty Vegas and pressed 1500 vinyl copies. The track spread like wildfire through clubland - suddenly Steve had an Ibiza dance anthem.

Steve, Paul and Ben found themselves swept up in a rock and roll dream world of major label signings and world tours. “Days Go By” climbed the charts, and was licensed to a television commercial for Mitsubishi, ultimately garnering the band three Grammy nominations, and the award for best electronic song, in 2003.

Throughout his years with Dirty Vegas, Steve continued to write songs on his acoustic guitar. He knew that one day he would record his own album. Personal, sweet and intimate, some of those songs finally make an appearance in the track-listing of his first solo effort, This Town.

Dirty Vegas disbanded and Steve reunited with his girlfriend. He felt it was time for a radical change. Boston always had a magnetic energy for him when he played there and he felt a need to encourage that feeling. A move to the USA in 2006 got his creativity flowing and just like Ibiza a few years before, Steve started to soak up the musical heritage of his surroundings.

Semi-biographical songs, such as “This Town,” are about his move from London, while “Smile” (dedicated to Steve’s late father) came to him in a dream. In an amazing coincidence, Steve saw violinist Jay Ungar play at a local church in the small town where he had recently taken residence. After the performance he asked Jay, who has appeared on many famous movie scores, if he would play on the song. He told Jay it would be an honor since his father’s favorite piece was James Horner’s score for the film Legends of The Fall, on which Jay had played violin.

Another coincidence brought him together with Anthony Saffery, the former sitar player from the UK band Cornershop, who had also relocated to the Boston area and had become a producer. Together they booked time in the legendary studio, Camp Street (formerly known as Fort Apache) and began long and intense recording sessions: the outcome of which are the tracks that are Steve’s first solo effort, meaningfully titled This Town.

On his album, Smith collaborates with an assortment of talents, including producer Anthony Saffery (Cornershop, The X-ecutioners), Claudia Gonson (The Magnetic Fields), Terry Barber (New York Symphony Orchestra), Jay Ungar (James Horner Orchestra), and Rob Swift (The X-ecutioners, Quincy Jones).

Steve can still be found spinning electro house sets at clubs around the country and around the world, but these days he might be just as likely to be strumming a guitar in a coffee shop, or playing percussion on a rock stage, in support of his new solo path. This Town is set for release on Smith’s own label, G.A.S. Records (named for his late father, George Albert Smith) on February 18, 2008.

Tools and Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web:

Subscribe to Fanatic:
New Media:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Legendary hiphop collage producer Steinski announces Illegal Art career retrospective - What Does It All Mean?: 1983-2006.

Steve Stein is one of the most influential producers in hiphop, sampling, and cut & paste. Better known by his nom-de-tune Steinski, his legendary Tommy Boy Records releases known as “The Lessons” are cited as definitive influences by DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist and Fatboy Slim, among others. This spring, Illegal Art will release the first and only definitive Steinski collection, What Does It All Mean?: 1983-2006 Retrospective.

The comprehensive 2xCD set features 14 retrospective tracks on disc one, and the 28-track “Nothing To Fear” on disc two. The second disc (along with “The Lessons”) is perhaps the most obvious precursor to Girl Talk’s Night Ripper and was described by Salon as “The closest thing to a masterpiece the mashup genre has yet produced.” The packaging includes a 20-page booklet featuring liner notes by Hua Hsu (The Wire, New York Times, Village Voice, Slate, etc.) and Steinski himself.

Steinski, along with partner Double Dee (Douglas DiFranco) co-produced the series of records known as “The Lessons,” “The Payoff Mix” (MP3), “Lesson 2 (The James Brown Mix)”, and “Lesson 3 (The History Of Hiphop)” for the Tommy Boy label in the early 1980’s. The first lesson won a nationwide remix contest run by Tommy Boy Records and judged by Afrika Bambaataa, Shep Pettibone, Jellybean Benitez and Arthur Baker. The record subsequently became a Top 10 request on urban radio nationwide. These analog tape cut-and-paste collages, still widely bootlegged (and wildly illegal), are generally acknowledged as three of the most influential works in the world of hiphop and dance music production.

Steve Stein has freelanced as a creative consultant to MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, Showtime, and The Movie Channel. He’s produced TV commercials. He’s spent all his disposable income on records and women. As a solo producer, he crafted “The Motorcade Sped On,” turning historic broadcasts of the Kennedy assassination into a hiphop record. The British tastemaker music tabloid NME gave away a quarter-million copies of the song as a Flexidisc stapled to the cover of the magazine.

Steinski also produced “We’ll Be Right Back” for Island Records, an advertising satire whose music and video components were immediately licensed by Ovaltine UK for television advertising . His solo productions for Ninjatune include “It’s Up To You” and “I’m Wild About That Thing,” a satire on sex licensed to Pretty Polly Bras (UK) for a TV advertising campaign. For Tommy Boy’s 10th Anniversary, Steinski reunited with Double Dee after 10 years to produce “Jazz,” a remix of “Jazzy Sensation” by Afrika Bambaataa and The Jazzy Five. This remix was also illegal, also widely bootlegged.

A two-time college dropout (Temple U, Franconia College), Stein worked as an advertising copywriter for six years, with clients like Polaroid, Volkswagen, and Atari. He taught copywriting at The School Of Visual Arts, promoted and DJ’ed dances in Brooklyn, and hung out at early downtown Manhattan hiphop clubs Negril and the Roxy. Soon thereafter, he quit advertising.

Other Steinski highlights include:

Numerous 12” remixes and collages.

Remix of “Relax” (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) for the film Zoolander.

Burning Out Of Control, an album length mix of the Sugarhill Records catalogue for the Antidote label (UK)

12” collage “Ain’t No Thing” for the Stone’s Throw release of The Third Unheard: Connecticut Hip Hop 1979-1983 compilation.

Composed and produced dozens of soundtracks for various TV and radio commercials and industrial films.

Featured in the documentary film Scratch.

What Does It All Mean?
1983-2006 Retrospective Tracklisting:

Release Date: May 27th, 2008

CD 1 (Retrospective):
01. The Payoff Mix (MP3)
02. Lesson 2 (James Brown Mix)
03. Lesson 3 (History of Hip Hop)
04. Jazz
05. Voice Mail (Sugar Hill Suite)
06. The Motorcade Sped On
07. It’s Up To You (Television Mix)
08. I’m Wild About That Thing
09. The Big Man Laughs
10. Vox Apostolica
11. Is We Going Under?
12, Ain’t No Thing
13. Everything’s Disappeared
14. Number Three On Flight Eleven

CD 2 (Nothing To Fear):
01. Tonight From NY Intro
02. Swingset
03. Opening Credits
04. Greatest Man Alive
05. The Id
06. Let’s Get It On
07. Hit The Disco
08. Lolita
09. Hot Spot
10. It’s A Funky Thing Pt. 1
11. Bboy Breakdown
12. B-beat Classic
13. Funk Construction
14. Them That’s Not
15. Swan Lake
16. Here We Come
17. Product Of The Environment
18. By Any Means Necessary
19. The Art Of Getting Jumped
20. I Like It Like That
21. Solid Air
22. Country Grammar
23. Let’s Get It On (Reprise)
24. Muscles
25. Easin’ In
26. It’s Time To Testify
27. The Acid Test
28. Silent Partner

Tools and Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web: (unofficial)

Subscribe to Fanatic:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Don’t Stop Believin’ records featured in The Stranger, issues new albums by The Pharmacy and Pleasureboaters as well as a new EP by The Terrordactyls.

“Yeah, it’s from the Journey song,” Don’t Stop Believin’ Records proprietor Megan Birdsall explains in the pages “Seattle’s only newspaper” The Stranger. The publication recently featured Birdsall in its pages, detailing the Vashon Island native’s achievements with her one-woman record label, including the recent release of records by local and Seattle-affiliated bands The Pharmacy, Pleasureboaters and The Terrordactyls. Read the article HERE.

All three bands are on the road doing separate tours right now. See below for dates, album info, MP3s, links to streaming e-cards and more!

More about The Pharmacy:
Scott Yoder and Brendhan Bowers made plenty of noisy racket in the local garages and teen centers growing up on Vashon Island. They moved across the Puget Sound to Seattle and booked their first tour as The Pharmacy (with then-member Joey Seward) in 2003 and have kept the show pretty much on the road ever since. In 2006 Joey left for more metal pursuits and classically trained pianist and fellow Vashon kid Stefan Rubicz joined on keyboards. Since then they’ve transformed from the synth-heavy overdrive of their 2005 debut album B.F.F. through the drizzly sunshine of the “Overcast Summer” 7-inch at last landing on the off-kilter psychedelic pop of Choose Yr Own Adventure. Replete with epic instrumentation - viola, violin, cello, harpsichord and horns all make an appearance - Choose Yr Own Adventure has been years in the making, re-vamped re-recorded and re-written over time.

They have played Bumbershoot, the Capitol Hill Block Party, every club in town and every basement in the country. They have played with the Moldy Peaches and toured with Kimya Dawson (as her opening and backing band), Jeffrey Lewis and Matt & Kim. The nationwide spring 2008 trip with Japanther is being booked right now. If they could live on tour then they would.

The Pharmacy
Choose Yr Own Adventure Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE

01. Choose Yr Own Adventure
02. Black Ice Cream
03. Mirror (MP3)
04. Tropical Yeti
05. Warm and Untorn
06. My Friends
07. Little Toys On A Shelf
08. Try To Explain
09. Five Five Five
10. Turned Into Granite
11. Old Man And The Sea
12. Adieu, Adieu (MP3)

Tools & Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web:

The Pharmacy In The Press:
“ tunes combined with earworm-worthy pop sensibilities and rhyming Seuss-like lyrics ready for blissful sing-alongs.” – Natalie B. David, Spin

“...a crazy, quirky blend of punk, synthesizer-driven pop and arty, retro rock” – Gene Stout, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“...quirky, Beatles-informed tunes filled with quick tempo changes, fuzzy vocals, and cowbells. It’s cluttered like a scrapbook and yet catchy as hell.” – Brian J. Barr, Seattle Weekly

“...a drunk, less intellectual They Might be Giants” –

“[The] wonderful new video for The Pharmacy’s “Little Toys [on a Shelf]” proves that the band is having much more fun than you are.” – Seattle Sound Magazine

“ hooks and dirty punk together in a delightful kaleidoscope of bandanas and pearl necklaces.” – Performer

The Pharmacy is the band that won’t die. Thank Christ. Their new record, Choose Your Own Adventure, is finished... it’s the strongest stuff the band has done yet—weaving their less polished, basement sensibilities with playful keyboards and harmonies.” – Megan Seling, The Stranger

The Pharmacy Live:
03/21 Pensacola, FL @ Sluggo’s
03/22 St. Augustine, FL @ TBD
03/23 Lake Worth, FL @ Klein Dance Studio
03/24 Jacksonville, FL @ Shanty Town 21+
03/25 Athens, GA @ Fag Farm
03/26 Richmond, VA @ Nara Sushi
03/27 Baltimore, MD @ Lo-fi Social Club
03/28 College Park, MD @ WMUC Show!
03/29 Brooklyn, NY @ Market Hotel
03/30 New York City, NY @ Cake Shop
03/31 Brattleboro, VT @ The Tinderbox
04/01 New Paltz, NY @ TBD
04/02 Hudson, NY @ The Garage
04/03 Columbus, OH @ Monster House
04/04 Detroit, MI @ Trumbullplex Theatre
04/05 Western Springs, IL @ Church of Rock
04/07 Madison, WI @ Project Lodge
04/10 Pierre, SD @ The Jam Spot
04/12 Missoula, MT @ The Lab
04/13 Spokane, WA @ The Blvd.
04/19 Seattle, WA @ King Cobra 21+

More about Pleasureboaters:
Kent and Renton (cities so similar one could scarcely tell the difference) are just two of Seattle’s neighboring havens of mediocrity. There grew up Tim Cady, Ricky Claudon, and Erik Baldwin.

Each of them cultivated a taste for the absurd and fractured underground music that became comprehensively available during the advent of internet file-sharing programs. They became obsessed with the process of gathering this “new” music that challenged the conventional musicianship learned over a short lifetime of piano lessons, band classes and church choir.

In Seattle they reconvened deciding to start a music group- calling the group Pleasureboaters. Over the span of three years they have built an audience and released a full length album.

Pleasureboaters have now realized that fame begins with sublimated displays of a self-destructive nature and have used the audience’s sensational predisposition for this spectacle to their advantage.

¡Gross! Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. State of The Union
02.Elliptical Realism (MP3)
04.Cigarette Song
05.Deckhand Paterson (MP3)
06.Unrivaled Subjectivity
10.Leopard Print Babyware
12.Alt Tuning

Tools & Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web:

Pleasureboaters Live:
03/21 Asheville, NC @ Gourmet Perks
03/22 Virginia Beach, VA @ Blue Carpet Garage
03/23 New Brunswick, NJ @ Junkyard Palace
03/24 Allston, MA @ Great Scott
03/25 Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire
03/26 New York City, NY @ Death By Audio
03/27 New York, NY @ TBD
03/28 Doylestown, OH @ Siren Records
03/29 Indianapolis, IN @ indy cd and vinyl
03/30 Chicago, IL @ ewl house
03/31 Minneapolis, MN @ 400 bar
04/01 Rapid City, SD @ TBD
04/02 Missoula, MT @ Missoula Free Cycles
04/03 Spokane, WA @ Empyrean
04/18 Seattle, WA @ King Cobra

Subscribe to Fanatic:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bridges and Powerlines to release debut album Ghost Types helmed by Les Savy Fav, White Rabbits and Asobi Seksu producer Chris Zane.

Album includes a diverse collection of conflicted protagonists: a depression-era film director, a Bangladeshi cab driver, the captain of a doomed steam ship, and a host of others.

Inside every man dwells the ghost of a boy.

Writing the songs for their debut full-length, Bridges and Powerlines began to notice a recurring theme: the male struggle for maturity despite the persistence of boyhood impulses. The stories that populate Ghost Types elaborate this idea and include a diverse collection of conflicted protagonists: a depression-era film director, a Bangladeshi cab driver, the captain of a doomed steam ship, and a host of others.

The words came easily; shaping this lyrical bent around their own brand of slightly quirky indie-rock was more difficult. The resulting record is a collection of upbeat, literate, often dramatic, sometimes complex songs.

The members of Bridges and Powerlines met in New York City in late 2005. Geographically diverse in their upbringing, they had spent their formative years glued to nineties college radio. Drawing heavily from a set of musical heroes that included Guided by Voices and the wistful Elephant Six Collective, they worked to set themselves apart in the crowded NYC music scene.

A debut EP followed shortly, bearing many stylistic references to the post-punk resurgence that gripped New York. Meeting with critical acclaim, the energetic record was described as “an exhilarating racket,” (Six Eyes) and “a taught example of why [Bridges and Powerlines] should be added to your list of bands to watch.” (

The success of their EP attracted producer Chris Zane, who had helmed recent breakout records by Les Savy Fav, White Rabbits and Asobi Seksu. The band spent much of 2007 writing and recording while further developing their sound. The completed 11-song record is equal parts nineties-styled indie-rock, psych-influenced harmony and analog synth intricacy.

Their ideas committed to tape, the band closed 2007 with a successful East Coast tour, a sold-out show at NYC’s Mercury Lounge with Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s and a showcase at the CMJ Music Marathon. They will release Ghost Types on their own imprint Citybird Records in April of 2008.

Ghost Types Track Listing:
Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: April 22nd, 2008

01. Uncalibrated (MP3)
02. Floods and Fields
03. The Golden Age
04. The Thieves, They Are Everywhere
05. Half A Cent
06. Middle Child
07. The Ghost Types
08. New Mexico
09. The Great Fire
10. The Maine
11. This Last Equation

Bridges and Powerlines Live:
03/21 New York, NY @ Lit Lounge (CD Release Show)

Tools and Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web:

Subscribe to Fanatic:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Flat Duo Jets unveil soundtrack to documentary film, groundbreaking garage-blues duo influenced Jack White, Chan Marshall, Neko Case and many more.

From the late ‘80s to mid-90s, the intrepid garage-blues duo -- that’s right, such a thing did exist before the White Stripes -- the Flat Duo Jets paved a rollicking path with its raw intensity and soulful charm. While the band is now long gone, the duo has announced release of Two Headed Cow, the soundtrack to the 2006 documentary of the same name. The disc contains seventeen unreleased tracks recorded in 1986, ranging from early FDJ favorites (“My Life, My Love”, “Mexicali Baby”) to jaw dropping cover tunes (The Collins Kids’ “Hoy Hoy”, Ray Charles’ “Mary Ann”).

Two Headed Cow is a movie about roots rocker Dexter Romweber and his music. His original band the Flat Duo Jets was one of the most influential bands of the last two decades and has been an inspiration for many other musicians from Jack White and Cat Power to the Rev. Horton Heat and Neko Case (White, Chan Marshall aka Cat Power and Case appear in the film along with Exene Cervenka and Jason Edge of the Original Sinners.) Visually stunning and filmically poetic -- and featuring original black and white footage dating back to 1986 -- Two Headed Cow traces the formative years of the band through their signing to a major label through the break-up and Dexter’s life today. It tells the story of an artist who never compromised and never backed down. The film was directed by Tony Gayton (Athens, Ga. - Inside/Out, Murder By Numbers), produced by Emmy winning casting director Lisa Wells Fincannon and Bill Cody along with executive producers Craig Fincannon and Frank Capra, Jr. premiering at the Full Frame documentary film festival in Durham, NC April 8th, 2006.

With origins dating back to the mid-80s, Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Flat Duo Jets finally made the leap to a major label in 1998. However, it was not coincidental that the label they moved to, Outpost Recordings, was overseen by highly esteemed alternative rock forefather and R.E.M. producer Scott Litt. He had seen the band develop over a 10-year period and considered the duo (vocalist/guitarist Dexter Romweber and drummer Crow) to be “phenomenal’. Their energetic revival of early rockabilly had first come to prominence after featuring in the 1986 music documentary, Athens, Ga. - Inside/Out. They subsequently released a series of independent albums for a variety of local labels, with highpoints including 1990’s self-titled long-playing debut and 1993’s White Trees.

For Flat Duo Jets’ Outpost debut, Lucky Eye, Litt contracted dB’s alumnus Chris Stamey, who worked alongside him as co-producer. Sessions were completed at the Muscle Shoals Sound studios in Alabama, and over 18 tracks explored roots rock, traditional R&B and surf guitar with Romweber’s distinctive playing being influenced by old rockabilly records, and Charlie Feathers in particular. A 12-piece orchestra, arranged and conducted by Susie Katayama, contributed to songs such as “New York Studio 1959” and “Lonely Guy”. Other contributors included Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher, the horn players for the Squirrel Nut Zippers. By 1999 the band had broken up. It was nevertheless stated that there was a “strong possibility” that the duo would work together again in the future. Romweber carried on the Flat Duo Jets mix of rockabilly, blues and surf music on a number of well-received solo releases.

Two Headed Cow Tracklisting:
Release Date: February 12th, 2008
Stream The Album HERE

01. Intro
02. Hoy Hoy
03. Rawhide (MP3)
04. Everybody’s Movin (MP3)
05. Frog Went A Courtin’
06. Tidalwave
07. Never No More
08. Mr. Guitar
09. Rock House (MP3)
10. Mary Ann
11. Torquay
12. Itty Bitty Everything
13. Golden Strings
14. Rockin’ Bones
15. My Life My Love
16. Mexicali Baby
17. Rock Boppin’ Baby
18. Bonus Track: Burning Bridges

Tools and Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web:

Subscribe to Fanatic:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bing Ji Ling impersonators spotted around Manhattan -- see the real deal onstage in NYC this week. New EP June Degrees In December out now.

“I saw Bing Ji Ling riding a bike near the Bedford stop in Brooklyn.” – Jenn de la Vega, Fanatic Promotion

“I saw him at the bus stop at 11th and A, and then the next day at Whole Foods.” – Josh Bloom, Fanatic Promotion

“I wasn’t at either of those spots... I was on tour with Lynard Skynard.” – Bing Ji Ling.

The Bing Ji Ling sightings mentioned above are not isolated incidents. This occurrence seems to be a daily thing with Quinn Luke who claims there are several folks impersonating him throughout New York City. And why wouldn’t there be?

For a man described as “funkier than Fudgie the Whale with a blunt in his blowhole” by Pitchfork and so talented that he “tickles the keys and channels early Prince, Mick Hucknall, and Earth, Wind & Fire, while bringing his funk squarely into the 21st century” (XLR8R), who wouldn’t wanna jack his style?

Bing Ji Ling’s new EP June Degrees In December is out now. See below for a full EP stream and MP3s and if you’re in NYC, check him out live tonight at the 105 Club (105 Rivington St.).

June Degrees In December Track Listing:
Stream The EP HERE
Release Date: March 4, 2008

01. Kathalina (MP3)
02. June Degrees In December (MP3)
03. Be Here With You (MP3)
04. This Song Is For You
05. Home

More about Bing Ji Ling:
As stated, Bing Ji Ling is the nom de plume of one Quinn Luke, a NYC-based producer/musician with a rich legacy of work behind and in front of him. His new EP, June Degrees In December, a work of stunning, soulful talent, marks the finest chapter in his career. He’s the man with The Vintage Sound and Modern Appeal.

As a member of legendary skater-cum-musician Tommy Guerrero’s group, Luke has toured the world, wowing crowds at festivals such as Fuji Rock in Japan. As Coppa, a duo comprised of Luke and legendary crate-digging haven Groove MerchantsChris Veltri, Luke has also produced a series of 12-inch singles that have earned the praise of Space Disco tastemakers such as Prins Thomas and Todd Terje. Recently, he produced art funk outfit Tussle’s critically hailed Telescope Mind after which he formed the duo Expanding Head Band with Tussle songwriter Alexis Georgopoulos. The duo’s first releases are to appear on DFA, Smalltown Supersound and Lo Recordings. He has also remixed Honeycut and Curumin (Quannum Projects) and Romanowski (Trouser Trout) and has collaborated with The Rondo Brothers (Fortune Records) and Tommy Guerrero and Blackalicious (Quannum Projects). Luke also DJ’s regularly at NYC hotspots such as 205 Club and the Gold Bar and has recently joined NYC’s Band of Thieves on keyboards.

As Bing Ji Ling, Luke has released two full-length albums on his and former production partner Merkley’s Kreme Kul Records. June Degrees In December is the first release on his own To The Curb Productions. If the aforementioned projects have been hypnotic abstractions of funk and soul, as Bing Ji Ling, Luke brings the real deal. Bing Ji Ling reveals honeyed vocal stylings with a range that would impress Mariah. Hear his cover version of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” (originally released on Ubiquity Record’s Rewind 3 compilation) on MySpace for proof. Stylistically, one can detect traces of Prince, Shuggie Otis, Rare Groove, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind & Fire, D’Angelo, Maxwell and Beck.

Named for the Chinese words for ice cream (Luke spent a year in Shanghai and became fluent in Mandarin during his residency), Luke’s performances took this concept to legendary lengths. Live shows at venues such as Bowery Ballroom and Knitting Factory (NYC), Viper Room (LA), the Warfield (SF) and Liquid Room (Tokyo) included a small army of “Ice Cream Ladies” handing out the sweet treat, Bing in full regalia, and the band in 1950’s era Good Humor Ice Cream Man uniforms. The debut Bing Ji Ling album included contributions from No Doubt’s drummer Adrian Young and Luke’s right-hand man Merkley. Press coverage included XLR8R, Swindle, and ReUp Magazine.

In 2007, Luke relocated from San Francisco to New York. And with that came a renewed sense of purpose. June Degrees In December marks both a continuation of Luke’s pure “soul pop” ecstasy and something of a departure. If vintage soul and funk and an over-the-top persona defined Luke’s first releases, June Degrees finds Luke bringing his taste for yacht rock and 80s R&B into the mix and a tempering of the extreme aspects of his persona.

Appropriately titled, it’s the equivalent of a warm breeze during these winter months. A reverie for future good times. Opener “Kathalina” (MP3) coaxes an island sound that would make Michael McDonald and Maroon 5 blush. The sultry jam that is the title track is a summer between-the-sheets classic in the making. “Be Here With You” (MP3) suggests a meeting of Elvis Costello’s “Every Day I Write The Book” and Freddy Jackson or perhaps Luther Vandross.

Luke has the kind of melodic sensibility most would kill for (which says nothing of his musical chops and taste for vintage instruments.) Utilizing a small arsenal of gear which includes Fender Rhodes piano, analog synthesizers, all manner of percussion and bass, drums and guitar, Luke coaxes a warm, familiar sound that sounds fresh.

The cover art features one Luke’s favorite painters, Black Dragon. As a collector of outsider folk art, Luke has developed an idiosyncratic palette. It’s the perfect cover for June Degrees and is another striking example of Luke’s unique and visionary sensibility.

Bing Ji Ling recently wrapped up a seven-day Florida cruise playing with Band of Thieves on their tour with Lynard Skynard and a string of shows at South By Southwest. More live dates at the annual Winter Music Conference will be announced soon.

Bing Ji Ling Live:
03/22 New York, NY @ 105 Club
03/27 Winter Music Conference TBA
03/28 Winter Music Conference TBA
03/29 Winter Music Conference TBA
04/12 Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool

Selected Discography (
Bing Ji Ling
Fire and Ice Cream (Krëme Kul)
Doodle Loot Doot Doodle A Doo (Krëme Kul)
Rewind 3! (Ubiquity)
Soul Mosaic (Ubiquity)
Tommy Guerrero From The Soil To The Soul (Quannum)
Future Primitive Party In My Pants (Future Primitive)

Tools and Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web:

Subscribe to Fanatic:

Monday, March 10, 2008

You won’t hear a debut as original and exciting as this all year: Cleveland duo mr. Gnome finds unique alchemy of Cat Power, Celebration and Pelican.

“Boy does this Ohio duo make a lot of noise. Such is the overwhelming nature of the twosome’s aggressive-yet-beautiful sound.” – Paste Magazine

“The duos’ aggressive yet melodic style is catchy and very innovative. The group is sure to become one of the top most new acts in the country.” – Chicago Flame

The music of mr. Gnome has been described as utilizing elements of AltRock, Metal, Post Punk, and Prog, but lands in a realm of their own making, crafting a compelling sonic-psychedelic melange of indie rock. Since its conception in 2005, the Cleveland duo has released two EPs, receiving wide-ranging and honorable comparisons to Massive Attack, PJ Harvey, Tool, Portishead, Cat Power, Pelican, Death From Above 1979, Celebration and Blonde Redhead. Above all else, mr. Gnome’s compositions work -- and in very unusual and clearly soon-to-be-influential ways, where truly adequate descriptions aren’t yet available.

While comparisons vary, one thing is certain - the duo’s unique sound explores unpredictable shades of violence and intensity, while meshing the sludgy, reverberating monsoon of hardcore with the feminine. Its debut full-length CD, Deliver This Creature, hits stores May 6, 2008 on El Marko Records.

Guitarist/vocalist Nicole Barille and drummer Sam Meister began experimenting a few years ago with a sound based on minimalist instrumentation and the rigid dichotomy of soft vs. loud and masculine vs. feminine. Within a year, the two released their first EP, Echoes on the Ground, and were touring the regional circuit. Their second EP, self-titled, was released in November of 2006 and the two, having hooked up with Lost Barrio Artists, a booking agency based out of Tucson, AZ now found themselves touring nationally. After completing their first two national tours, Barille and Meister found it hard to go back to the daily grind and felt an immediate urgency to continue traveling the countryside.

With the road calling, Nicole and Sam ditched their belongings in a storage space and temporarily parted ways with the Midwest. mr. Gnome, an officially homeless band, began touring the United States, living out of a van and sleeping on random couches for the second part of 2007. With a handful of new material in their setlist, the two used practice spots along the way to complete the writing of their new creation and by the force of their journey, discovered both Larry Crane’s Jackpot Studios (Elliott Smith, Cat Power, The Shins, The Decemberists) in Portland, Oregon and Craig Schumacher’s Wavelab Studios (Calexico, DeVotchka, Neko Case, Animal Collective) in Tucson, Arizona where they recorded their first full-length album with engineers Kendra Lynn, and Chris Schultz. mr. Gnome headed back to Cleveland to put the finishing touches on their album at Ante Up Audio (Bone Thugs N’ Harmony, Tori Amos, Guided By Voices) working with Michael Seifert. The album was then mixed at Butch Vig’s Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin by Beau Sorenson (Death Cab for Cutie).

With four national tours under their belt within the last year and countless regional dates, mr. Gnome, with the support of El Marko Records, will continue to tour the countryside in spring of 2008, with dates nationwide being scheduled for May.

More Quotes From The Press:
“mr. Gnome glides through catchy and crunchy hard rock arrangements, thanks to big sonic blasts of aggressive elegance. The Cleveland duo showcases a knack for squeezing big hooks into hard driving numbers.” – Amplifier Magazine

“Intense, singer-ly vocals are set against distorted guitar and huge drums, and it’s hard to believe all that noise comes from just two people.” – Tucson Citizen

“Two Midwestern kids who play the kind of rock ‘n’ roll you thought no one played anymore.” – Tucson Weekly
“Cleveland rocks, indeed: This Midwestern two-piece manipulates easy rock cliches and uses deliciously off-balance, schizophrenic time changes of their songs to make enviable and glorious noise.” – Las Vegas City Life

“A mix of Death From Above 1979 with the intense vocal wail of Diamanda Galas, while Kurt Cobain sits in on guitar. In short, mr. Gnome makes a lot of beautiful noise.” – Albuquerque Journal

mr. Gnome Live:
03/15 Detroit, MI @ The Belmont
03/21 Fort Wayne, IN @ Kaysan’s 5th Down

Deliver This Creature Tracklisting:
Release Date: May 6th, 2008

01. Pirates (MP3)
02. Rabbit
03. Deliver This Creature
04. The Machine
05. Night of the Crickets
06. I'm Alright
07. Silhouette
08. Thief
09. After the Sun
10. Tied

Tools and Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web:

Subscribe to Fanatic:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

HEALTH to headline shows while vocalist of tour-mates Crystal Castles nursed back to, um, health. Resuming tour after individual SXSW performances.

“HEALTH make extremely pleasant noise music.” -- Vice Magazine

“It’s a challenging, loud vision of rock yes, but it’s not nearly as tough as it at first seems.” -- 8/10, NME

HEALTH, L.A.’s beautiful-noise quartet will continue on playing all shows as scheduled while the vocalist for tour-mates Crystal Castles recovers from two broken ribs. Alice Glass of the Toronto electro-punk duo is expected to be able to rejoin the tour with HEALTH following each band’s individual performances during the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, TX later this month. The much-ballyhooed tour has been an incredible success for HEALTH -- such that promoters are enthusiastic about the group headlining the next week of west coast dates (please see complete dates below). Check out Pitchfork’s photos and review from earlier in the tour HERE.

The spry noisemakers have been hand-picked to play the Village Voice Media day party during SXSW on Friday, March 14th, alongside the Black Keys, The Cribs and Soundtrack of Our Lives. More details HERE. The band will also play the Fanatic Promotion daytime party on March 14th. See HEALTH’s complete SXSW schedule below.

HEALTH has also been nominated for the illustrious 2008 Plug Awards (LINK) in the “Avant Album of the Year” category. The annual event will be held tonight, Thursday, March 6th in New York City. Also, Pitchfork picked the video clip for “Heaven” (LINK) off of the band’s self-titled debut for its Top 50 Videos of 2007 (LINK) feature.

The band has also set up a separate MySpace page (LINK) from its regular band site for all of its myriad remix/collaboration projects. Check it out HEALTH//DISCO HERE. The impressive word-of-mouth excitement about HEALTH has quickly become an international phenomenon. In late summer, the band ripped a swath across the U.K. -- garnering praise from the NME, BBC radio and many more -- and healed cynical souls all across the U.S. throughout fall 2007 and winter 2008. The touring continues after this spring fling with Crystal Castles, as the band heads back over for another round of the UK and Europe this May. The band’s live shows are sweaty, packed fits of beautiful noise that could perhaps be best compared to Liars, Animal Collective and latter-period Black Dice.

HEALTH’s self-titled debut full length on the ultrahip Lovepump United label hit shelves on September 18th, 2007 while L.A. based Cold Sweat Records (Battles, Phantom Family Halo, This Moment in Black History) issued the vinyl version of the album in early December.

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.

* w/ Crystal Castles
03/06 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
03/07 Portland, OR @ Backspace
03/08 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
03/09 West Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy
03/10 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
03/11 Phoenix, CA @ The Rhythm Room
03/12 Albuquerque, NM @ Launch Pad
03/14 Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa 1 PM
03/14 Austin, TX @ The Side Bar 4 PM (Fanatic Day Party)
03/14 Austin, TX @ The Flamingo Cantina 11:30 PM
03/15 Austin, TX @ Austin Convention Center 2 PM
03/15 Austin, TX @ Volume 4 PM
03/15 Austin, TX @ Mrs. Bea’s 7 PM / Todd P Party
03/16 Denton, TX @ Hailey’s *
03/17 Springfield, MO @ Randy Bacon Studio & Gallery *
03/19 Dekalb, IL @ House Cafe *
03/21 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop *
03/22 Philadelphia, PA @ Transit *
03/23 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar *
03/24 Annandale on Hudson, NY @ Bard College
03/25 Brooklyn, NY @ Studio B *
03/26 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge *
03/27 Montreal, PQ @ Musee Juste Pour Rire *
03/28 Toronto, ON @ Circa *
03/29 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
03/30 Purchase, NY @ Suny Purchase
04/02 Providence, RI @ As220
04/03 Philadelphia, PA @ Danger Danger Gallery
04/04 Washington, DC @ Velvet Lounge
04/05 Baltimore, MD @ Wham City
04/06 Richmond, VA @ The Camel
04/07 Raleigh, NC @ Downtown Events Center
04/08 Columbia, SC @ 112 Huger St (House Party)
04/09 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
04/10 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
04/11 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
04/12 Houston, TX @ The Mink
04/13 Austin, TX @ Emo's
04/15 Denton, TX @ Rubbergloves
04/16 Lubbock, TX @ Bash Riprocks
04/18 Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space
04/19 Claremont, CA @ Kohoutek Festival at Pitzer College
04/20 Los Angeles, CA @ The Smell
04/25 Troy, NY @ EMPAC
05/07 London, UK @ TBD
05/13 Brussels, Belgium @ Les Nuits Botaniques *

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

01. Heaven (VIDEO)
02. Girl Attorney
03. Triceratops (MP3) CFCF Remix (MP3) Acid Girls Remix (MP3) Live Video (LINK)
04. Crimewave (MP3)
05. Courtship
06. Zoothorns
07. Tabloid Sores
08. //M\\
09. Glitter Pills
10. Perfect Skin (MP3)
11. Lost Time
Bonus: The Problem Is – THRUST LAB Remix (MP3)

Tools and Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web:

Subscribe to Fanatic:

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fine Dutch label Excelsior Recordings announces SXSW showcase featuring Hospital Bombers, Do-The-Undo and Alamo Race Track.

New Hospital Bombers album set for US release in May -- New Yorkers and Chicagoans can catch the band live this week.

Amsterdam’s Hospital Bombers keep it short and sweet. From its tunes to its bio. These three boys and a girl claim to play “stadium folk,” utilizing vocals, guitar, violin, philicorda, bassguitar, and drums. They know only three chords. They do not know where you can buy weed around here. They all love peanut butter, The Velvet Underground and The Mountain Goats (the band’s name is also the title of a Goats tune.) Listen to “The Devil’s Music” (MP3).

The band’s first EP, Satan’s Fingers, was released in 2006, and the group’s new album (which may have been titled Maybe We Will Have World Peace, or You Will Never Hear Surf Music Again, or Will You Look At All That Water? but is actually titled Footnotes) is out in the US on May 13th, 2008 on Holland’s premier indie label Excelsior Recordings.

The label will present several of its Amsterdam-based artists including Hospital Bombers, Do-The-Undo (the band’s self-titled album is out now, with a follow-up scheduled for October, 2008) and Alamo Race Track (STREAM) whose upcoming performance has already been singled out by the Austin Chronicle – “Come for the quirky, gravely folk of Black Cat John Brown but stay for the versatile indie rock” (LINK).

New Yorkers and Chicagoans who won’t be attending Austin’s yearly festivities can catch Hospital Bombers this week starting tonight with a performace at Lit Lounge. See below for complete dates and SXSW showcase lineup.

Minty Fresh/Excelsior Showcase at SXSW
Habana Annex (708 E 6th St) (INFO)
07:00PM Hospital Bombers (Amsterdam THE NETHERLANDS)
08:00PM Beangrowers (St Julians MALTA)
09:00PM Do-The-Undo (Amsterdam THE NETHERLANDS)
10:00PM We Are Standard (Basque Country SPAIN)
11:00PM Ezra Furman & The Harpoons(Boston MA)
12:00AM White Shoes & The Couples Company (Jakarta INDONESIA)
01:00AM Alamo Race Track (Amsterdam NETHERLANDS)

Hospital Bombers Live
03/05 New York, NY @ Lit Lounge (Andy’s Birthday Party)
03/07 Brooklyn, NY @ The Market Hotel
03/08 Cleveland, OH @ Front Room Gallery
03/09 Chicago, IL @ Ronny’s / South Union Arts
03/10 Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s
03/12 Austin, TX @ TBD SXSW
03/13 Austin, TX @ TBD SXSW
03/14 Austin, TX @ TBD SXSW
03/15 Austin, TX @ Habana Calle 6

Footnotes Tracklisting
Release Date: May 13th, 2008

01. Theme
02. Neighbourhood
03. Jackoff
04. The Devil’s Music (MP3)
05. Godwin’s Law
06. Kittens
07. Punk’s Not Dead
08. Plan B
09. Black Box
10. Tighten The Knots
11. Thunderstorm
12. Footnotes
13. fromuphere

Tools and Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web:

Subscribe to Fanatic:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yip-Yip to cover Nirvana’s “Very Ape,” discusses its own upcoming Ape original, explains to CMJ why Ms. Pac-Man is better.

“It’s lighthearted, not particularly complicated music…it’s also off-kilter and engaging and fun, smart and weird yet not overly concerned with itself or its image, unpretentious in a world of pretense.” – Marissa Brown, Allmusic

Having just wrapped up national tour playing with HEALTH, The Locust, Sleeping People, Zs, and Melt Banana for its latest record, Two Kings of The Same Kingdom, Brian Esser and Jason Temple, the duo behind Yip-Yip, recent discussed an upcoming project with us.

Says Esser, “Yip-Yip will be one of six bands to cover Nirvana songs on a split 7-inch record, to be self-released in approximately May. We will cover ‘Very Ape’ off of Nirvana’s In Utero album. The song will include a new addition – vocals, added by synthesizer.” Esser further explained that to be on the safe side, the record is being self-released releasing it to be on the safe side. If there’s any trouble, “well then we can just pull them off the shelves or whatever,” he explained casually.

The pair is also working on its next project in a unique roundabout way. Esser and Temple first came up with song titles and then went on to create music around them. Esser elaborates, “Jason gets these weird stickers at his [photo lab] job that are basically three to four letter words… they always seem to be funny, especially if you put two of them together. So by doing that, we have come up with probably 15 song names already that give you this goofy idea in your head of what they might sound like, like ‘Apes Ahoy.’ ”

And if you think the eccentricity stops there, you haven’t checked out the live shows. Paul Heibing of Metromix explains saying, “It’s hard to categorize what exactly Jason Temple and Brian Esser, the duo behind Yip-Yip, accomplish on stage. Dressed head-to-toe in identical checkered costumes, the two look more like manufactured clones, an impression that’s reinforced by their spasmodically electronic yet strangely organic music.”

When asked about the possibility of a costume change, Esser replied “I don’t know when we are going to change the checker thing… I’m down with checkers. It’s our first good costume idea.” Check out some live Yip-Yip footage HERE.

Temple and Esser recently sat down with CMJ who asked all of the questions any Yip-Yip fan would want the answers to, including their preference of Ms. Pac-Man over her male counterpart. Check out the whole nationally syndicated interview HERE.

Two Kings of The Same Kingdom Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: 02.05.08

01. Anarchist Clog
02. Sprinkle Council (MP3 VIDEO)
03. Genius Beast
04. Humanly Wanderers
05. Car Picnic
06. Jazz Rats (MP3 VIDEO)
07. Gender Changers (MP3 VIDEO)
08. Club Mummy
09. Audacity Beach
10. Outer Tomato
11. Heavies Go Odd
12. High Heel To Mammal

More about Yip-Yip:
Yip-Yip is Brian Esser and Jason Temple, two 25 year-old “writhing costumed beanpoles” from Orlando, Florida. They have been making music together since they formed in 2001. They have also been roommates for much of this time, annoying neighbors in apartments until moving into “The Reptile House” in 2004. The house provides Yip-Yip with the space they need to continue making all of its music, recordings, art, videos, and costumes at home.

Yip-Yip started as a recording project and has, in its six years, resulted in two self-released full-length albums and an EP, two handmade art zine/CD singles, the CD-R-turned-international-release Pro-Twelve Thinker, and two more “real” releases, In The Reptile House and Two Kings of The Same Kingdom. Two Kings of The Same Kingdom is Yip-Yip's fourth full-length album and comes in at just under 25 minutes. Its twelve new tracks were recorded by Yip-Yip in its house in Orlando, Florida over the summer of 2007.

New additions to the Yip-Yip arsenal of musical instruments on Two Kings include an organ, cymbals, a gong, and a real saxophone, a noticeable departure from the digital horns heard on its previous album. Yip-Yip also experimented with video for the album (a DVD is included with the CD), making a music video for every song using newly acquired, cheap, used equipment. Esser and Temple try to push themselves to their musical limits with each new album, resulting in a sound that is increasingly complex, yet still fun to listen to. The same goes for their live show.

Esser and Temple started playing live shows in 2003 and since then have experimented with incorporating everything from videos and strobe lights to rollerskates and goodie bags. At the beginning, they played scattered shows around Florida with friends and soon after began opening shows for various touring acts. A year or so of this led to their first tour in 2004, after which they've done eight tours with two more planned before the end of 2007. During this time, Yip Yip has played nearly 300 shows, played with many of its favorite bands, made a lot of great friends, and seen most of the United States and parts of Canada -- this after serving a one year ban from the country in 2005 after trying to enter without work permits.

This year, Yip-Yip has stayed busy making new music, trying to push its sound into new musical territories. Their live show is a constantly growing, portable multimedia event, including costumes, video projections, and matching backdrops with every hand and foot being used to play the music on various analog synthesizers, an organ, a saxophone, cymbals, and effects.

Tools & Photos:

On The Web:

Subscribe to Fanatic:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Record Collectors brace for possible drop in value of rare singles, The Local Anesthetic compilation collects 11 legendary punk records on one disc.

For over 20 years, record collectors have bought and sold copies of extremely rare and highly-sought-after punk singles with legendary songs like “My Dad’s a F*cking Alcoholic” and “Drunken Sex Sucks.” Now, these classic releases by the Denver label Local Anesthetic are available to us all on CD/LP at a considerably lower price. Included in this bargain compendium are rare recordings -- the likes of which inspired REM’s Peter Buck and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore to later seek out details on how they were engineered -- by The Frantix (featuring members of later Sub Pop grunge co-founders The Fluid), Bum Kon, The Nails (later to score a Top 40 hit with “88 Lines About 44 Women”), Defex and more.

In 1981, Denver’s Wax Trax Records co-owner Duane Davis formed the in-store label Local Anesthetic and released the debut single by Denver band Gluons featuring part-time Colorado resident Allen Ginsberg on vocals.

Local Anesthetic pushed forward as the only continuous independent label in Colorado, staunchly documenting the underground music scene of the early ‘80s. In tribute to the long-gone label’s influential releases, Smooch Records has compiled all the 7-inch singles released by the label, along with three other CO punk gems released prior to Local Anesthetic’s launch. This release arrives as part of a triad of Smooch archival reissues from early Mile High City bands which includes the Soul Merchants double-disc collection and the forthcoming studio discography by 80s thrash punks Bum Kon (authors of the aforementioned “Drunken Sex Sucks” masterpiece.)

Although all the singles fall under the punk umbrella, Local Anesthetic features a diverse collection of hardcore, new wave, ‘77 punk, artsy fartsy, goth, and experimental recordings from 1977-1983. Ginsberg may be the biggest name on the compilation, but “My Dad’s a F*cking Alcoholic” by The Frantix was and is the biggest hit released by Local Anesthetic. Drug-damaged punk played through broken amps, the catchy little number caught the attention of record collectors across the country and even Peter Buck from REM and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth hunted down Denver producer Bob Ferbrache (Soul Merchants) to learn every detail about how it was recorded.

It was grunge before grunge. Bum Kon and White Trash played short, fast, and loud hardcore on par with any hardcore band from the era. The Nails and Defex were Boulder-based punk bands from 1977 who were the only two from the early era fortunate enough to release singles (not on Local Anesthetic). Only 100 copies of the Defex single made it out of the basement and existing copies fetch over $400 on eBay.

Two to three decades later, listeners are finally able to discover these landmark releases, record collectors be damned.

The Local Anesthetic Tracklisting:
Release Date: February 25th, 2008
Stream the compilation HERE

01. Frantix “My Dad’s a Fucking Alcoholic”
02. Frantix “Car”
03. Frantix “You’re Ill”
04. Frantix “My Dad’s Dead”
05. Your Funeral “I Wanna Be You” (MP3)
06. Your Funeral “The Abyss”
07. White Trash “Wake Up” (MP3)
08. White Trash “Nazis in My Neighborhood”
09. White Trash “Ballad of Ronnie Raygun”
10. White Trash “I Hate Toes”
11. White Trash “Daddy Warbucks”
12. Young Weasels “Twist & Burn”
13. Young Weasels “Happy Feathers”
14. Bum Kon “Bum Kon”
15. Bum Kon “Forced Away”
16. Bum Kon “Drunken Sex Sucks”
17. Bum Kon “The Draft” (MP3)
18. Bum Kon “Slow Death”
19. Gluons w/ Allen Ginsberg “Birdbrain”
20. Gluons “Sue Your Parents”
21. Frantix “Face Reality”
22. Frantix “Cat Mouse”
23. Frantix “Sharin’ Sharon”
24. Frantix “New Questions”
25. Jeri Rossi “I Left My Heart But I Don’t Know Where” (MP3)
26. Jeri Rossi “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”
27. Rok Tots “Suicide Weekend”
28. Rok Tots “Situation Kid”
29. Defex “Psycho Surfer”
30. Defex “Machine Gun Love”
31. Nails “Cops Are Punks”
32. Nails “Big Star”
33. Nails “Another Lesson”

Tools and Hi-Res Photos:

On The Web:

Subscribe to Fanatic:

Tales of ethical sluts, Daddy’s girls, and hookers with hearts of gold shimmy into KT Tunstall and Janis Joplin territory on upcoming Saint Bernadette

Busy Saint B. singer Meredith DiMenna also teams with Brian Grosz as The Priestess & The Fool to cover obscure duets by Siouxsie Sioux & Morrissey, PJ Harvey & Tricky and others.

“Watch out Shirley Bassey. Meredith DiMenna of Saint Bernadette wields an old-school femme fatale voice that would be perfect for the next 20 years of James Bond themes.” – Harp

After the release of 2007’s In The Ballroom, Keith Saunders and Meredith DiMenna of Saint Bernadette started to hear voices. Newly joined in the bonds of holy matrimony, ending a seven-year stint of living in sin, Meredith and Keith interpreted the sudden appearance of the voices as a sign from on high.

The new Saint Bernadette EP I Wanna Tell You Something was born. Listen to it HERE.

Where the band’s 2007 debut In the Ballroom featured anthems for ethical sluts, Daddy’s girls, and hookers with hearts of gold, I Wanna Tell You Something pays homage to an illusory, impossible love affair. Featuring sing along choruses, twisted circus melodies, and one crushing ballad, the EP’s five songs detail a journey of longing through temptation, despair, whimsy, audacity, and vulnerability.

Kick off track “In Between” is an unspoken come-on, while follow up “Love is a Stranger” suffers the regret that follows the unsaid. Sweet girl group harmonies ornament “One in a Million”, until barn burner, “Hard to Believe” delivers a sonic slap to the face and a shot of tequila. The title track “I Wanna Tell You Something”, a last minute inspiration, is a sweet invitation to stay up all night.

I Wanna Tell You Something, moves past the retro quality of In The Ballroom and its comparisons to Shirley Bassey, Peggy Lee, and Billie Holliday and into the modern territory of the Deal sisters, KT Tunstall and the raw power and unbridled emotion of Janis Joplin.

“There are times when we accidentally might sound like Kelly Clarkson,” says Meredith. “Not true,” says Keith. In truth, the album owes little to the American Idol, but might recall the gymnastic nature of her pipes and some selective Yeah Yeah Yeahs-style guitars. How can a band be channeling both pop princesses and post punk rock? “For the most part, I’m just singing as hard as I can,” says Meredith. “I ain’t ashamed.”

Just as Bernadette changed the future of her hometown of Lourdes forever with her unexplained visions, Saint Bernadette, the rock band, is poised to put their hometown, in the ill-considered state of Connecticut, on the indie music map. The album was recorded again in Bridgeport, with producer Chris Sanchez (The Flesh, Stylofone) at his studio, Sanchez Dos. It was further co-produced and mixed by Keith at his home studio, Running Water Labs.

To paraphrase the 1943 movie The Song of Bernadette: “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”

For those who still have Saint Bernadette’s 2007 debut In The Ballroom on their minds, here are a couple of new goodies: Check out the video for the album track “Pieces” (LINK) which documents the band’s three-day marathon recording session in the abandoned Bijou Theatre ballroom in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Also available, a sweet remix (MP3) of the In The Ballroom track “Money In The Air” by DJ Black Panther (Jean Gray, M1 of Dead Prez, Okay Player) featuring Ever Wonder (Left Field Rhythms, C Boogie).

Also running in tandem is Meredith DiMenna’s side project The Priestess and The Fool with singer Brian Grosz featuring cover songs of classic and arcane duets from Elvis Presley & Ann-Margaret, Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, PJ Harvey & Tricky, Morrissey & Siouxsie Sioux and Earl Greyhound.

Upon hearing the title cut from the soundtrack of the 1982 Francis Ford Coppola film One From The Heart, an epic duet between Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle, Meredith and Brian began to envision retooling the song as a vanity project to keep their hands moving and their chops up. Within a short period of time, however, the two found themselves searching for more classic duets to re-invent -- and thereby their six-song EP, A Minor Work was born. View the EP trailer HERE and download the EP in its entirety (including cover art and PDF booklet) HERE.

Saint Bernadette Live:
03/06 Bridgeport, CT Two Boots (CD Release)
03/12 Austin, TX The Wave (Fanatic SXSW Showcase)
03/17 New Orleans, LA HiHo Lounge
03/19 Spindale, NC Live on WNCW
03/21 Asheville, NC New French Bar
03/22 Asheville, NC Westville Pub
04/06 Yonkers, NY Mr. D’s

I Wanna Tell You SomethingTracklisting
Stream The EP HERE
Release Date: 03.04.08

01. In Between
02. Love Is A Stranger
03. One In A Million
04. Hard To Believe
05. I Wanna Tell You Something

In The Ballroom Tracklisting:
Stream The Album HERE

01. I Own The City (MP3)
02. Bound To Do
03. She’s a Natural
04. Money In The Air (REMIX)
05. Pieces (VIDEO)
06. Sidestep (MP3 VIDEO)
07. Such Ease (MP3)
08. Lay Me Down
09. Universe
10. No Dreams

The Priestess & The Fool
A Minor Work Tracklisting
Download The Full EP HERE

01. You’re The Boss - (Elvis Presley & Ann Margaret)
02. Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You? (Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong)
03. One From The Heart - (Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle)
04. Broken Homes - (PJ Harvey & Tricky)
05. Interlude - (Siouxsie Sioux & Morrissey)