Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sado-vaudevillian punks Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat debut declares, Take That!; Marlene Deitrich, Dresden Dolls, Cramps fans take heed.

Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat is the naughty brainchild of Stephanie Stephens and Adam Sultan, two musicians and actors and from Austin, TX.

Initially a cabaret act influenced by Weimar Republic Berlin, Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat soon expanded into what one critic calls “Sado-vaudevillian punk.” Their diverse sound combines everything from classical music to classic rock, performed with outrageous style and irreverent humor that touches on half a century’s worth of history.

Their debut CD, Take That! (Pressing Records) ranges along the German countryside from Marlene Deitrich to Kraftwerk, then crosses the border into Eurotrash dance, punk rock theater, and even Texas swing. The CD’s dozen songs attack everything from synth pop to polka, without fraying the strands from Mistress Stephanie’s proud whip. The CD’s sound is brought to life in the band’s always memorable stage shows—in which the brazen Mistress humors and challenges the audience, while her “Kitty” contrasts with sneering insouciance and manic guitar slinging.

Adam Sultan began his musical career as a guitarist for Sony Recording artists Poi Dog Pondering, the eclectic folk dance group that currently resides in Chicago. Since then he has performed solo and with his own bands, while also working as an actor and composer in the Austin theater scene. He has ventured into several improvisational and jazz-tinged ensembles including Golden Arm Trio and Spank Dance Company.

Stephanie Stephens is a singer and an actress who has performed in numerous Austin plays, musicals and operas. She has produced avant-garde recitals and shows, and performed with various artists including Golden Arm Trio and The Walter Thompson Orchestra. Ultimately though, she is the Mistress – a sultry chanteuse with a punk rock heart and a guitar-slinging pussy. Meow.

Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat In The Press:
02/07 Austin, TX @ End of An Ear Record Release Show
02/11 Austin, TX @ Beauty Bar
02/21 Austin, TX @ Red 7

Artist: Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat
Title: Take That!
Label: Pressing Records
Release Date: February 10th, 2009

01. Weimar
02. Get Off My Chest
03. Shake Your Dance Stick
04. Too Hard
05. Heaven
06. I Hate Cabaret
07. Awfully Confusing
08. Grey
09. Little Death (MP3)
10. Down Boy
11. Johnny Gewürztraminer
12. You Say You Love Me

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Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat In The Press:

Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat navigate the waters between cabaret and sadomasochistic pop candy.” – Greg Beets, Austin Chronicle

“When I saw Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat for the first time last summer at the Chain Drive, it was one of those right place, right time moments. The Mistress, with her jet-black bob and bustier, was Louise Brooks with Norma Desmond’s sense of dark comedy. She ignored, berated, and sung in perfect harmony with Her Melodic Cat, stage left with a guitar, baring ass cheek and wearing a half-interested sneer as their cabaret punk was thrown out with Weimar vitriol. I desperately wanted them to play a cover of The Doors’ “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar),” which is actually a cover of a Kurt Weill song, which is appropriate, as some of the set was in German. And this was at a gay leather bar.” – Audra Schroeder, Austin Chronicle

Mistress Stephanie succeeds in spicing everything-vaudeville, hard rock, holly-jolly-pop-with a dose of S&M.” – Dante,

“They dress up in costume (Mistress Stephanie in lingerie, the guitarist/cat in cat ears) and play German Cabaret music. This, gentle readers, was spectacle… Definitely enjoyable in a very weird sort of way.” – Evil Sponge

“The local duo known as Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat takes Weimar-era cabaret and throws it down the velvet goldmine. The Cramps would be proud. There will be leather. There may be guns. You will submit.” – Audra Schroeder, Austin Chronicle

“The find of the night was Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat. They're a cross between Kraftwerk and Cabaret, which sounds weird, but works really well, especially in a live setting.” – Tim Trentham, Austin Metroblogs

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Reigns deals in epic, daydream-dizzy atmospherics that send chills down the spine on debut album for Monotreme Records (65daysofstatic, Barzin).

“A treat of dirty surrealism and sumptuous coastal eccentricity.” – Plan B

“Sinister, yet sublime… Reigns are the soundtrack to inspiration. (4/5)” – Drowned In Sound

As with all Reigns recordings after listening please do not drive, exercise or operate heavy machinery.

Operatives A & B began recording for the Reigns organization in 2002. Their first album, We Lowered A Microphone Into The Ground, was a series of recordings made within a seemingly “bottomless” hole found upon the Somerset Downs. Their follow-up, Styne Vallis, was recorded in and around a submerged village that had been evacuated and strategically flooded in 1970 to make way for a new reservoir. The House On The Causeway is their third long player.

Between Black Ven and Golden Cap, a slim, man-made promontory of granite cobbles extends unnecessarily a half-mile out into the English Channel. Nothing of note lies at its end nor at any point along its length. This apparent futility has ensured that the causeway has, over the years, been excluded from all but the most painstaking of cartography. Even to the naked eye it seems to elude detection for the almost perpetual gathering of fog that seems to hover over its entire reach, and its brief moments out from under this oppressive vapor are instantly curtailed by the ravening attentions of the tides. Only the briefest window of opportunity arises to explore this altogether pointless finger of slimed and stinking rock.

It was during one of these rare moments that Reigns Operatives A & B came to record a perplexing audio phenomenon captured here on The House On The Causeway. It is said that the fog that so vigorously clings to the causeway has an inexplicable irregularity: that when it reaches a certain density, purportedly when light can no longer penetrate it, it emits a high pitched ringing similar to the onset of tinnitus. Apparently, it is this ringing that generates in the listener a temporary but profound befuddlement of the senses that has caused many an excursionist to wade, disorientated, into the sea.

Unfortunately, despite an abundance of fog, the Operatives heard nothing but the slow lapping of the glutinous, clotting water. Furthermore, due to the fog’s impenetrability and their vehicle’s inability to negotiate the cobbles, the Operatives tarried too long and were roughly ushered by the tide to the causeway’s furthest point. Stranded upon a raised and wooded tumulus they found themselves face to face with a most unexpected sight: a house; a house that had most assuredly not been visible from land. The house was unlocked and uninhabited, but in no way abandoned for its chambers were in a state of high expectancy, as if visitors had been, for a prolonged and industrious period, eagerly awaited. The Operatives, for want of anything better to do, entered the house and, for reasons that still seem to elude them, moved from room to room, taking photographs and recording the strange resonations that seemed to emanate from the walls.

They left the house almost two days later in a state of high distress and with the recordings you now have before you. It was only as they made their way back to the mainland and the house was out of sight that they were at last aware of an insistent high pitched ringing...

Artist: Reigns
Title: The House On The Causeway
Label: Monotreme Records
Release Date: March 17th, 2009

01. (Frontplate)
02. Bad Slate
03. Everything Beyond These Walls Has Been Razed (MP3)
04. Mirrors At Night
05. Crex, Crex, Crex
06. Vaulted
07. Mab Crease
08. Take It Down
09. Your Tiny Hand Is Frozen
10. The Black Cramp
11. (Endplate)

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Reigns In The Press:
Reigns describe their sound as ‘pastoral electronica,’ but it’s a whole lot more human based than that description lets on. ‘Corners & The Straights’ / ‘Recurring Attic Dream’ has one side that combines keys and strings in a semi gentle acoustic way that makes me think of the pastoral prog segments of Kevin AyersConfessions of Dr. Dream. But instead of Nico’s voice rifling in through the hedges, what you hear is a loop of something sad and pre-literate. Very cool.” – The Wire

“Another masterpiece of eerie ambience and ghostly electronics… this record’s underlying majesty shines brilliantly. (8/10)”. – Rock Sound

“Now this is a real treasure chest, a glowing pastoral delight, and an album you must not miss out on…” – Organ Magazine

“Surely one of the most ‘complete’ albums I’ve come across this year…. Highly recommended. – Boomkat

“Really quite enchanting stuff.” – Rock-A-Rolla

“...a spellbinding mix of ethereal post-rock, combined with folk guitars, chiming glockenspiels, and fragile electronics, with spoken word and computer-manipulated vocals… This is a perfect winter album; engrossing and warm.” – White Noise Revisited

“Ultimately this is a highly intriguing concept for an album and strikingly the musical content is just as interesting, atmospheric and otherworldly throughout.” – Progressive Ears

“Exceptionally beautiful…The overall feeling is one of understated grandeur…Call this music folk, electronica, whatever you like – the fact of the matter is that there won’t be a better release of its kind all year, and that’s the opinion culled from many, many listens. If any of those envelopes prove me wrong, I shall publicly eat my words. Unless those ghosts take me first... (4.5 stars)” – Drowned In Sound

“[A] magnificent album … make sure to check this sublime release without delay. Beautiful music.” – Boomkat

We Lowered A Microphone Into The Ground is a truly intriguing piece of work, so fragile and delicate it threatens to collapse at any time, but holds on with style. Reigns’ music feeds on dreams and illusions, and trying to rationalize it is pointless. This established, the bottomless hole becomes once again a very attractive reality. (4.6/5)” – The Milk Factory

“A brilliant debut single.” – Penny Black Music

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bruce La Bruce helmed gay zombie flick Otto; Or, Up With Dead People to be released on DVD next month following MOMA debut and national run.

Film’s co-star Gio Black Peter appears on cover of Italy’s HOT, requests remixes of title track from new It’s F**ked Up EP.

Download tracks from the Otto soundtrack, Black Peter Group EP, new Black Peter Group remixes and remix-ready acappella track now.

Canadian director Bruce LaBruce, the man behind such gay-themed, controversial films as Hustler White and The Raspberry Reich recently premiered his latest and most accomplished film to date, Otto; Or Up With Dead People (TRAILER) at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art in October, 2008. Obviously, John Waters was in attendance.

The film is a brand new, exceptional addition to the zombie genre that renounces the most obvious clichés, with LaBruce letting his protagonist – gay punk zombie Otto – ramble and roam the streets of Berlin until he finds himself cast for a low budget flick. Wrapping up a traveling nationwide theatrical run this month, Otto will make its debut on DVD in February.

While watching the film, music fans will notice more than 50 international tracks and sounds! After careful selection, Berlin-based label Crippled Dick Hot Wax presents the movie’s official soundtrack (featuring 14 tracks and available on CD or 2XLP), taking us on a truly crazy acoustic rollercoaster ride. Despite the artists glaring differences, the result is a surprisingly coherent, compact and homogeneous compilation.

Weaving classical, electronic, drone, avant-garde, pop and punk/disco into a well-balanced whole, the soundtrack introduces cinema and music lovers alike to the weirdly wonderful world of Bruce LaBruce.

Download two tracks from the Otto soundtrack below and click HERE for the rest of Bruce LaBruce’s story behind the music of Otto!

One musician that does not appear on the Otto soundtrack, but does appear in the film itself is co-star Gio Black Peter who plays the role of Otto’s boyfriend, Rudolph. Gio’s New York and London based band, Black Peter Group recently released its debut, the It’s F**ked Up! EP. Co-written and produced by Andrew “Friendly” Kornweibel, It’s F**ked Up! is a cornucopia of sonic delights, taking in influences from electro, rock, punk, rockabilly, country and funk. The EP features the addictive title track with its frenetic accompanying video (MP3 VIDEO) and “Goody Two Shoes” (MP3), a cover of the Adam Ant 50’s-inspired rockabilly pop tune, which suits Gio’s distinctive vocal perfectly.

Now, to celebrate the release of the EP and Gio Black Peter’s recent appearance on the cover of Italian magazine HOT (sporting a black eye thanks to an unfortunate encounter on the streets of Manhattan), Black Peter Group and Gulp Communications invite fans and producers alike to submit their own “It’s F*ked Up” remixes. Download Gio’s acappella vocal track HERE as well as two recently submitted interpretations of the track. When you’re finished, be sure to send your remix to

The Black Peter Group has been around the globe in 2008 with its “Flesh Show” tour – see a YouTube short documenting this HERE. From New York’s infamous Ruff Club, Miss Shapes, and Kill Whitey parties to London’s notorious All You Can Eat, Nuke Them All, Trailer Trash and Collapsing New People parties. In addition to Gio’s acting and music, the artist is an accomplished painter and philanthropist, as well. Best known for works produced on NYC subway maps (LINK), Gio’s paintings are currently being shown in Norway and Berlin with a show in NYC planned for the near future.

Gio also recently had the honor of participating in NOBODY WA S THIRSTY, a collaborative project created by Australian denim label NOBODY and Ivan Kane’s CAFE WA S in association with charity: water (LINK) with the goal of bringing clean water to the children of Africa. At the moment 4,500 children die every day due to the lack of clean water. Each NOBODY WAS S THIRSTY tee-shirt sold gives two African children clean water for 20 years. For more info and/or to purchase a NOBODY WA S THIRSTY tee-shirt, visit

For additional info about the Black Peter Group, read an in-depth interview with Gio Black Peter at the East Village Boys website HERE. Black Peter Group has been featured in I.D. Magazine, Super Super Magazine, K48 Magazine, Pavement Magazine, Cake Magazine, TETU Magazine, BUTT, and Zoo. Download a full packet of Gio Black Peter press clippings HERE.

Artist: Various Artists
Title: Otto: Or, Up With Dead People Soundtrack
Label: Crippled Dick Hot Wax

01. Mikael Karlsson - Descent
02. Jean-Louis Huhta – Halfway Between The World And Death
03. 4th Sign Of The Apocalypse – Ascending The River
04. All My Friends – Theme From All My Friends
05. Pandas Of Black Metal – Kill Your Gods
06. Misty Roses – Mario And Dario
07. The Living Dead Boys – Discohell
08. No Bra – Doherfucker (MP3)
09. Brittle Stars – On The Cusp Of Infinity
10. Eyes And Teeth – Sonicize
11. Othon with Ernesto Tomasini – Metalipsis
12. La Jovenc – Going Home
13. Ultra Milkmaids + V – Load
14. The Homophones – Everyone’s Dead (MP3)

Artist: Black Peter Group
Title: Its F**cked Up EP
Label: Gulp Communications

01. Goody Two Shoes (MP3)
02. Its F**ked Up (MP3 VIDEO)
03. Kamakaze Kid
04. Its F**ked Up (12” Version)
05. Its F**ked Up (Humpday Project Remix)

Additional Remixes and Acappella Track:
01. Black Peter Group - It's Fuckt Up (The Johnnpluse Skinny Jeans Feck Off Mix) (MP3)
02. Black Peter Group vs. Mr. Oizo - This LFO Is Positifely Fucked Up (Tvyks Remix) (MP3)
03. Black Peter Group - It's Fucked Up (Accapella) (MP3)

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Living legend Vic Chesnutt commences two months of US and EU shows with E6 band Elf Power this week.

Dates in support of collaborative album Dark Developments include stop at Carnegie Hall for REM tribute night.

Athens’ musical mainstays Vic Chesnutt and Elephant 6 originals Elf Power will hit the road again this week with dates stretching around the globe and into the spring in support of their collaborative release, Dark Developments on Orange Twin Records. One special stop on the tour includes a March 11th performance at the legendary venue Carnegie Hall in NYC as part of a night tribute performances to REM.

A tuneful collision of Athens institutions found fruition in the fall of 2008 when Orange Twin Records released Vic Chesnutt’s collaboration with Elephant 6 psychsters Elf Power, Dark Developments. As intriguing as this combination may seem for hardcore fans of either act, the final sonic results reveal a daunting sum much greater than even the involvement of such esteemed parts would imply. The Elves’ lived-in dexterity as a live band goads Vic’s vocal delivery to a menacing new muscularity, imbuing this batch of songs with a sinister vibe not dissimilar to John Cale’s black classic Fear, the harsh, articulate sleaze of Lou Reed’s Street Hassle or the defeated low key soul-music of Nick Lowe’s last few records. As useful as these benchmark-records are in identifying Dark Developments’ own unique spirit, this record truly stands on its own as a brilliant statement, a classic addition to Athens’ legendary pantheon, and, most importantly, as an organic meeting of two separately-evolved and vital musical entities that never feels forced, flashy or false. This is an important album endemic of a natural partnership, and a great way to spend an afternoon.

Vic Chesnutt’s songwriting retains its trademark literary bent, as a tune like “Stop The Horse,” or the withered gallows-stroll of “The Mad Passion of The Stoic” flash the narrative weight, sturdy construction and lexical mystery of a long lost Raymond Carver story. And Chesnutt can still woo you with the odd, beautiful chord-change, the compelling melody and the strange sonic turn in the road. Album opener “Mystery,” moves from a desperately wordless lullaby into a torchy, fragile folk-waltz and back again in about three minutes time, all the while supporting an intuitive rumination on loss and the passage of time. There’s a reggae stutter buried in the bridges and verses of “Teddy Bear,” an oddball keyboard vamp suturing them all together, and a chorus of strange beheaded whispers orbiting just outside the elemental and poignant refrain: “He ain’t never comin’ back.” Again, this all transpires within the pop-sanctioned three-minute borderline, and the song stands as a totem for just how action-packed this record is on all levels.

Recorded over the course of a winter by Vic and Derek Almstead in Chesnutt’s own attic studio, Dark Developments revels in the intimate, home-recorded atmosphere you’d expect from an Athenian union like this. And Elf Power sounds characteristically powerful in this setting: there’s the crack rhythm section of Almstead and Josh Lott (making his final appearance as an Elf) to anchor the affair, the subtle and tremulous interplay of guitarists Andrew Reiger and Jimmy Hughes, and the esoteric whimsy supplied by Laura Carter’s improvisational Moog and accordion. Indeed, the band’s famously-honed instincts and Day-Glo pop-smarts provide the contradictory musical notions that never allow the album to sway too far in one bleak direction or another: it’s that friction extant between Chesnutt’s shadowy worldview and the inventive bounce and bray of Elf Power’s euphonious intra-band chemistry that buoys Dark Developments, provides its freshness, and makes for rewarding repeated listening.

Vic Chesnutt and Elf Power Live:
01/21 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
01/22 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
01/23 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
01/24 Boston, MA @ Middle East
01/25 Philadelphia, PA @ North Star
01/26 State College, PA @ Chronic Town
01/27 Pittsburgh, PA @ Garfield Artworks
01/28 Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room at Crofoot
01/29 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
01/30 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
01/31 Minneapolis, MN @ 400 Bar
02/01 Rock Island, IL @ Huckleberry's Pizza Parlor
02/02 Indianapolis, IN @ Local's Only
02/03 Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
02/04 Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
02/05 Columbia, SC @ Art Bar
02/06 Charleston, SC @ Pourhouse
02/07 Athens, GA @ 40 Watt
03/11 New York, NY @ Carnegie Hall REM Tribute Show
03/14 Dag In De Branding Festival - Den Haag (NL)
03/15 Arenbergschouwburg Club - Antwerp (B)
03/16 Café De La Danse - Paris (F)
03/17 La Poudrière - Belfort (F)
03/18 L’ Autre Canal - Nancy (F)
03/19 FriSon - Fribourg (CH)
03/20 Spazio - Turin (I)
03/21 Bronson - Ravenna (I)
03/22 Circolo Degli Artisti - Rome (I)
03/23 2009 : Magnolia - Milan (I)
03/24 Grabenhalle - St Gallen (CH)
03/25 De Kreun - Kortrijk (B)
03/26 Engine Room - Brighton (UK)
03/27 Cluny – Newcastle (UK)
03/28 Arts Depot – London (UK)
03/29 Cube – Bristol (UK)
03/30 Tavastia – Helsinki (FIN)
03/31 Klubi – Tampere (FIN)

Vic Chesnutt, Elf Power, and The Amorphous Strums
Dark Developments Track Listing:
Stream The Album HERE
Release Date: October 28th, 2008

01. Mystery
02. Little Fucker
03. And How (MP3)
04. Teddy Bear (MP3)
05. We Are Mean
06. Stop The Horse
07. Bilocating Dog
08. The Mad Passion of The Stoic
09. Phil The Fiddler

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Bran Flakes return to issue new 100% sample-based album on Illegal Art (Girl Talk, Steinski).

Download three tracks from I Have Hands and check out the video for “What It’s All About” immediately!

The Bran Flakes are my favorite sonic scavengers. Save-the-planet fanatics owe them a debt of gratitude for their imaginative recycling of petroleum-based audio storage media.” - Irwin Chusid, WFMU

The Bran Flakes are back! Six years since their last full release, Otis Fodder and Mildred Pitt are returning with the thrillingly fun I Have Hands on Illegal Art (Girl Talk, Steinski). The duo of audio-collage cut-ups will tour the U.S. this summer and in preparation have begun taking song requests via its MySpace page (LINK). See more about The Bran Flakes truly wild live shows below.

The Bran Flakes have posted the first video from I Have Hands for the song “What It’s All About” on their website HERE and on YouTube HERE. Legendary and groundbreaking radio station WFMU recently posted thoughts about the video. Read about it HERE.

Leading up to the release of I Have Hands on February 24th, 2009, the Illegal Art label will launch a new website that more fully employs the “pay what you want” system they embraced with Girl Talk’s Feed The Animals. Back catalog along with The Bran Flakes new album will similarly be have a flexible price tag for a high quality download.

Formed in 1992 amidst tape and zine trading scenes, The Bran Flakes already have seven releases of zany mashups and poppy audio collages that are more likely to cop a riff from Evel Knievel than anything on the current radio dial. Call them the cover boys of Cool and Strange Music or simply misfits with giant paper-mâché heads, these boys have amassed a cult following for their child-like concoctions that evoke flashbacks of a sugar-induced high whilst watching Sesame Street.

For their cabaret-induced live performances The Bran Flakes bring in Susan DeLint, Th’G’Rd’N’R, Clam Bam The Talking Robot, a dancing chicken and gorilla, and audience members who wear big foam hands that they can take home after the show. Shows include animated videos, marching bands, piñatas, confetti cannons, and whatever else their imagination dreams up. They have shared the bill with Jack Dangers (of Meat Beat Manifesto), The Evolution Control Committee, Lydia Lunch, Steve Fisk, R. Stevie Moore, Puyo Puyo, and others.

Besides their devotion to The Bran Flakes, Otis and Mildred have a litany of other projects that include collaborations with Negativland, the 365 Days Project, their own Happi Tyme label, and the prolific Comfort Stand Recordings label that released tracks from artists such as Dan Deacon and the Russian electronic-surf band Messer Chups. Mildred is also a member of the experimental-dub band Library Science and provides musical background for vocalist Spacecake from Twizzle.

The duo has also churned out Bran Flakes-styled remixes for kitschy modern-lounge artist Tipsy, French electronic music pioneer Jean-Jacques Perrey, Ipecac recording artist End, and others. To top it all off, in mid-late 2009 they will release a full-length album of commissioned remixes they’re constructing of legendary Raymond Scott material. With Otis in Montreal and Mildred in Seattle (living in a clown house!), their studio work often occurs through long-distance collaboration. Both are employed in web-related work and are obsessive record collectors, having collectively bought out a thrift store of over 5000 records at one point.

The new album I Have Hands is 100% samples. No other band dares to invite Lawrence Welk, Mister Rogers, Van Halen, and Strawberry Shortcake to the same party. One track uses Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” at its center, while juxtaposing the familiar guitar pluck from Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” and then ends with the Osmonds singing about freedom. While the look and feel is distinct, The Bran Flakes are right at home on the label that has championed Girl Talk, Steinski, and other samplephiliacs. As always, Illegal Art claims Fair Use for this recording. No harm was done to the original artists.

I Have Hands Tracklisting:
Release Date: February 24th, 2009

01 Hi
02 Rodeo Butterfly
04 Stumble Out Of Bed (MP3)
05 I’m Not Feeling Very Well
06 Marchy March
07 Don Knotts
08 The Girl That I Used To Be
09 What It’s All About (MP3 I VIDEO)
10 Dance Of The Sugarsnap Fairy
11 Singing Dogs
12 Make A Funny Sound
13 You Can Do Most Anything
14 Do You Want Salad With Your Taco?
15 Mini Mountain Queen
16 The Sidewalk Song
17 I Wonder Where My Grandmother Is?
18 Mr. And Mrs. Footsie
19 Funky Feeling
20 I Comb My Hair Sideways
21 Van Pop
22 If I Loved You
23 Fifty Four Fifty
24 Jump Up!
25 Beat Head
26 The Crickets Ditty
27 Sunshine Country
28 I Am A Promise
29 I Have A Friend (MP3)
30 Bye

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Some Quotes About The Bran Flakes:

“I enjoyed your record very much, it is so fresh, so cool, made for people who have a ‘child soul’ and at the same time perfectly elaborated harmonically and technically with some funny winks to other composers. Hope you’ll continue to make such records, as you are doing.” – Jean Jacques Perrey

“I like it!” – Wild Man Fischer

“The guys behind The Bran Flakes have made playful and frenzied use of what turns up in thrift store dumpsters. Their dense layering of samples and sounds transcends the standard DJ style. ‘50s-era kiddie songs over deep dub... blissful use of aerobic instructions... a hi-fi test record blipped and blooped up... ‘space age pop’ put to inspirational use... urgent voice-overs stimulate... sex educational warnings to snicker at.” – Cool and Strange Music Magazine

The Bran Flakes glides through the shattered and banal music scene with an emotional and unbridled landmark. It can be poisonous as it escapes rational explanation. The Bran Flakes belong to a new era, a new galaxy, a new genre. I find their songs very moving not only for the true nature of the childish, surreal and humorous arrangements but for the evidence that spontaneity can be combined magically with intelligence.” – Mateo Guiscafre, Siesta Records

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jessie Kilguss gets featured by VenusZine, evokes Joni Mitchell, Marianne Faithfull and Laurie Anderson on sophomore disc.

New Yorkers can see Jessie live this Saturday. Everyone can download three tracks from Nocturnal Drifter now.

Brooklyn-based singer Jessie Kilguss is riding high on the success of her sophomore album Nocturnal Drifter, released last week on the artist’s own Exotic Bird Recordings label. Kilguss was recently the subject in the venerable VenusZine (LINK) which described her music as “…intense and atmospheric…” If you haven’t had a chance to experience Kilguss’ sound for yourself, scroll down for links to three MP3s from Nocturnal Drifter and if you are in the New York City area, be sure to catch Kilguss live this Saturday, January 17th at Rose Live Music (345 Grand Street, Brooklyn) for a FREE show at 9PM.

Jessie Kilguss is a singer, not an actress -- it’s worth getting that straight up front. With lines as cinematic as “Mesmerized by city streets, you crept your way under my sheets.” (“Americana”), one might just be led to believe that this chanteuse who displays bedroom eyes for your ears has had some training. Truth be told, we now realize that a sincerely sung song and a soulful piece of theater are merely great examples of great art. Jessie’s known this all along, and what with Scarlett and Zooey now making records, this fact is all the more understood.

“I consider all of the arts to be interconnected and think there is fluidity in the boundaries between them,” Jessie explains. “Many of my favorite singers started out in some other artistic discipline; Joni Mitchell with painting, Leonard Cohen as a scholar/poet, David Bowie as an actor...”

Jessie’s first acting job was as one of the “afflicted girls” in Nicholas Hytner’s screen adaptation of the Arthur Miller classic The Crucible starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Winona Ryder. Later, Jessie had the life changing experience that sealed her fate as a singer when she appeared on London and Sydney stages with another actor and singer, Marianne Faithfull. It was during this production that Jessie realized that she wanted to be in charge of her creativity in a way that playing the same role for six months simply couldn’t provide.

So, the cats out of the bag. Before launching her career in music, Jessie worked as a classically trained actress who honed her acting skills at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the prestigious Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Now, Jessie brings her background in drama to bear on her latest record Nocturnal Drifter - the follow-up to her 2007 debut Exotic Bird - merging her new found gift for songwriting into a sound and musical persona that easily arrests.

Helping Jessie keep the flow is gold record award winning production team Super Buddha (Blondie, Rufus Wainright). The super duo of Charlie Nieland and Barb Morrison was first introduced to Jessie by actress Jennifer Jason Leigh and after meeting Jessie, quickly issued a challenge. Neiland explains, “We sent her home late one night with a moody track. She arrived the next session with the tremendous ‘Lord Lucan’ completely written. It was her first song and it was amazing.”

One song soon became an album and more importantly an ongoing musical partnership that continues to impress. Kilguss’ growth since Exotic Bird is immeasurable. She and her collaborators evoke mood, menace and memory throughout as track to track, Jessie’s pure, luminous voice becomes something familiar and memorable itself.

“There’s a little place behind my eyes where I’m tired, but otherwise I’m doing OK,” Kilguss sings on Nocturnal Drifter’s first single “A Little Place Behind My Eyes,” (MP3) a playful, humorous number with an infectious spiraling melody and a drop dead electro-funk beat. It’s just one of many attention-grabbing moments on an album where Jessie gets to fully claim and guide her creativity again.

Reveling in newfound freedom doesn’t mean that Jessie has completely abandoned the stage. She’s recently been showcasing her new tunes around NYC in various intimate venues with her band The Steves featuring Wayne Batchelor on bass, Rich Hinman on guitar, Rob Heath on drums and Dan Siegler on keyboards. This crack group of musicians expertly brings Jessie’s songs to life in the live setting, creating an appointed and luxurious bed for her vocals to lie in. The show is another important accomplishment in a series of impressive creative leaps for Jessie.

Jessie Kilguss is in the midst of a ferocious creative development,” continues Super Buddha’s Nieland. “I see a great artist coming quite quickly into her own.” I feel she’s on the brink of something big and I can’t wait to see what it is.”

Nieland’s producer partner Morrison sums Jessie up succinctly, saying “[She] sounds like all the coolest music in your collection wrapped into one thing.”

This is high praise coming from a pair of accomplished record producers, but ordinary folks know Jessie’s a singer, not an actress, too. Jessie muses, “I recently saw an old friend who said ‘I always knew you were going to be a songwriter and I was wondering when you were going to figure it out.’“ She has.

Jessie Kilguss’ sophomore full-length album Nocturnal Drifter will be released on January 8th, 2009. The singer currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with her dog Mr. Walter Peanuts and after a few glasses of wine, will explain how her ex-boyfriend was arrested for floating a homemade revolutionary war era submarine too close to the QE2.

Jessie Kilguss & The Steves Live:
01/17/09 Brooklyn, NY Red Rose Live

Nocturnal Drifter Tracklisting:
Release Date: Jan. 6th, 2009

01. Gristmill
02. Americana (MP3)
03. A Little Place Behind My Eyes (MP3)
04. Time On My Hands
05. I Don’t Need People
06. This Time
07. 31 (MP3)
08. Marie Antoinette Song
09. Something About Lonely
10. Strangers On A Train

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Former Spyglass front woman Barbara Trentalange to release sophomore solo album. Download lead single “Fever” now.

“…a mix of Annie Lennox’s most sinister growl and PJ Harvey’s vocal anguish. This is disturbing music for disturbing times.” – VenusZine

Barbara Trentalange is a veteran musician who began expressing herself musically before she could read. Her talent has carried her around the world and allowed her to play with amazing performers like Crooked Fingers, Calexico, Micah P. Hinson, Head Like A Kite, Sushirobo and Mark Pickerel (formerly of Screaming Trees). Trentalange’s songs are vibrant powerful portraits of complex and compelling characters.

After fronting the darkly sophisticated Seattle band Spyglass for five years, Trentalange released her first solo project on Coco Tauro Records in 2006 called, Photo Album of Complex Relationships. The critic’s response to the record was overwhelmingly positive. Trentalange’s haunting voice and hypnotic beats grabbed the attention of the music editors at MTV, VH1, and the Oxygen channel, where her music is in regular rotation on a wide variety of dramatic series.

Trentalange’s music is a balance between raw power, vulnerability, early heavy metal and disco beats. Her new release Awakening, Level One. continues the momentum started with Photo Album of Complex Relationships and sonically shoots into outer space landing on planet Moog. She mines the depths of the human psyche to compose character studies that would make Edger Allen Poe, Nick Cave, and members of Pink Floyd proud. Though dark in nature the listener can’t help their body from moving and heart from racing to her sonic sequel. Drawing from diverse influences, such as Black Sabbath, Massive Attack and Blondie, Trentalange crafted a sound that is both unique and compelling.

Trentalange composed, performed and recorded the songs on Awakening, Level One. With producer Martin Feveyear (Jupiter Studios), drummers Mark Pickerel and Faith Stankevich, and backup singers Dave “Head Like A Kite” Einmo, and Daniel G. Harmann, Trentalange has created a solid repertoire of songs that she skillfully recreates live. Seattle’s Sound Magazine put her in the top ten artists to watch in 2008.

With a lifetime of passion and dedication her skill and creativity are astounding. Her music defies description; and cannot easily be put into any one genre. Trentalange’s songs are so saturated with emotion and style new sonic discoveries will be made with each listen.

Awakening, Level One. Tracklisting:
Release Date: February 10th, 2009

01. Fever (MP3)
02. Shadow Man
03. Ultimate Machine
04. Heavy Metal Astroman
05. Fear
06. Valentine
07. Racing With Nowhere To Go
08. Nuclear Family
09. Caged Blue
10. Fire Lights The Sky
11. Awakening, Level One

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Quotes From The Press:
“Named one of the top 10 up-and-coming Seattle acts with the potential to blow your mind... Photo Album... is subtle and complex, while boasting solid songwriting and stand-out musicianship from Trentalange and guest musicians including Mark Pickerel and Head Like A Kite’s Dave Einmo.” – Sound Magazine

“The first solo album by Crooked Fingers alum Barbara Trentalange bridges the gap between Portishead’s Dummy in 1995 and a post-meltdown sound of the future. Trentalange’s voice is like warm caramel spiked with bourbon on these dark vignettes - a mix of Annie Lennox’s most sinister growl and PJ Harvey’s vocal anguish. With Photo Album of Complex Relationships, Trentalange boldly voices a beautiful anxiety that seems unusually prescient. This is disturbing music for disturbing times. 8 out of 10.” – VenusZine

“…the results are a stew of mixed emotions and surprise endings. Trentalange waxes lyrically on topics from the more sinister side of life, with slender symbolic threads connecting several of the subjects from song to song …a lady this smart wouldn’t stay in a bad relationship for long; she’d mine it for exactly this kind of creative material and move on.” – West Coast Performer

Photo Album of Complex Relationships is a triple threat of strong instrumentation, lyrics and vocals. The album’s 12 tracks incorporate Trentalange’s unique and oftentimes haunting voice woven into diverse instrumentation of strings, piano and strong percussion lines. This solid first album will leave listeners hoping for another.” – Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina

“It is not solely the music that makes this a great album, but her vocals, as well. They are haunting, yet soothing at the same time. At various, points listeners may feel as though they are hearing the laments of a fallen angel.” – Daily Aztec, San Diego State University

“Lest anyone become too infatuated with the atmospheric greatness of Thom Yorke and Co. and operate under the delusion that they are unapproachably singular, Barbara Trentalange’s solo debut, Photo Album of Complex Relationships, is proof that moody, contemplative soundscapes and evocative lyrics are not the domain of any one single artist. Photo Album is a powerful and affecting work by any measure, but as Barbara Trentalange’s debut solo statement, it is an astonishing achievement.” – Amplifier

“Evocative soundscapes with whirling and lush melodies that are born from exotic instrumentation including piano, cello, and flute. Vocally it’s different with female vocals that whisper of a myriad of emotions touching your spine with special tingles. Nice and haunting.” –, Editor’s Pick

“...Trentalange has made some of the more compelling rock music I’ve heard this year. This is an inspired work, the sort of album that will sound better five years down the line. Gorgeous, strong and unwavering. I’d put it in a vault to save, but I just have to hear it once more.” – Aiding and Abetting

“Utterly calm and a whirling drain of dark, melodic beauty, a stare, a challenge, a lush air of mystery, of vaguely Gothic appeal, of full and flowing emotion, of wonderful, hooking sound that despite its smooth exterior, is attention snapping at its best.” – The Bubble Death Blog