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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

check out this house party like video of Typhoon

this one gave me the chills. my request is being emailed as you read this -

the song is "Feels Like Home" from Portland's Typhoon. It was shot as part of a series by IntotheWoods.TV.

if you are reading me like Cribb's notes, here's the summary: band has a jazillion members playing in what appears to be a house with lots of people standing around. Everybody digs it, and the combination of typical 2010 musical instruments is accompanied by 2 violinists and 2 trumpeteers. The choral parts remind me of the cathartic jams that stem from 31 Knots during their best songs (btw, another great Portland band).

if you're outside of the Pac Northwest, get plane tix soon

07.17.10 - Portland, OR @ Pix Patisserie NE
07.25.10 - Seattle, WA @ the Tractor Tavern
07.31.10 - Seattle, WA @ Live on-air at 90.3 KEXP at 6 PM
08.06.10 - Turner, OR @ the Great Idea Festival
08.07.10 - Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon
08.08.10 - Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon
09.10.10 - Portland, OR @ Musicfest NW in Backspace

after these quick hits, come back for a review of Steel Train -

  • Stereoside is releasing their new s/t album on Bieler Bros on Aug. 31
  • "Water No Get Enemy" is the new video from the FELA Broadway cast Recording
  • The Raga Bop Trio (veteran rock and jazz/fusion drummer Steve Smith (Journey, Vital Information, and innumerable rock, pop, and R& sessions), saxophonist and composer George Brooks (Summit, Bombay Jazz with Larry Coryell), and guitarist and composer Prasanna) are releasing their s/t debut on Abstract Logix on July 20 - more details and tour dates
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New Fauxbois album features guest vocals by Lisa Simpson

Ok, so it's not Homer's animated daughter, but the addition of Finn Riggins' Lisa Simpson is a nice touch for the Boise band, Fauxbois' new album, Carry On (Spark & Shine Recs).

here's the real scoop -
Like many indie bands, Fauxbois began as a bedroom folk project.

In 2000 chief songwriter Brian Mayer was living in Brooklyn, NY and writing songs in a shotgun apartment.  He'd venture out occasionally to perform on a street corner or at a club under his moniker, Mayerforceone. When he returned to his native Boise, ID in 2001, Brian started playing Mayerforceone shows, both solo and with various line-ups.

With the songs piling up, he began recording in 2007 with Portland musicians Point Juncture, WA. They helped engineer and back Mayer on many tracks and as the recording progressed the need for a locally-based live band became evident.

Mayer recruited Caleb and Tori McKim, Scott and Kate Seward, Shaun King, and Trevor Kamplaign.

Thus, Fauxbois was born in 2009 and quickly released material on the "Boise's Rotating Tongues 2" compilation CD, alongside locals like veteran Doug Martsch (Built to Spill) and NW buzz band Finn Riggins, before signing with Spark & Shine Records.

With a solid line-up and some stage-tested tunes, Fauxbois put the finishing touches on the album that Mayer had already begun.

They completed "Carry On" with the help of Boise producer Tristan Andreas (of Fort Hazel production house) last fall and are ready to take it on the road this summer.

This record includes guest appearances from other Boise musicians and non-musicians, providing an array of background vocals and sounds.

The thirteen-track collection on Fauxbois¹ debut range from intimate acoustic tracks that recall the bands bedroom beginnings to big, buoyant indie pop songs like the anthemic title track.

The song, "Teleportation," a duet with Mayer and guest Lisa Simpson (Finn Riggins), is a high-point on an album packed full of transcendent pop moments.  "If you need that sound, then turn me on."

if you're out and about at a Built to Spill show in July, show up early for Fauxbois.

07/3/2010 - Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ
07/4/2010 - Hotel Congress w/Mates of State, Free Energy - Tuscon, AZ
07/13/2010 - SoHo w/ BUILT TO SPILL - Santa Barbara, CA
07/15/2010 - Slim's w/ BUILT TO SPILL - San Francisco, CA
07/22/2010 - First Ave and 7th St. Entry w/ BUILT TO SPILL - Minnesota, MN
07/23/2010 -  Turner Hall w / BUILT TO SPILL - Milawuke, WI
07/25/2010 -  The Intersection w / BUILT TO SPILL - Grand Rapids, MI
07/27/2010 -  Chameleon Club w / BUILT TO SPILL - Lancaster, PA
07/28/2010 -  The Filmore NY @ Irving Plaza w / BUILT TO SPILL - New York City, NY
07/29/2010 -  Crazy Donkey w / BUILT TO SPILL - Farmingdale, NY
08/01/2010 -  Mr. Smalls w / BUILT TO SPILL - Milvale, PA
08/04/2010 -  the Wellfleet Beachcomber w / BUILT TO SPILL - Wellfleet, MA
08/06/2010 -  Stone Pony w / BUILT TO SPILL - Ashbury Park, NJ

are you still here??? then keep reading -
  • new from Drag City on July 29 is Spur's Spur of the Moment (recorded in the early 70s by the band once known as the Unknowns.
  • also out July 29 is Matthew Young's 1986 album Traveler's Advisory and a book from Bill Callahan called Letters from Emma Bowlcut
  • in August, Drag City is promising new/reissue stuff from Royal Trux and Neil Hamburger
  • they're also passing on word that Dawn and Nils from Faun Fables have welcomed a baby girl to the family. Ura is their second daughter.

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See Toro Y Moi play every instrument live in one video

How does one guy play every instrument live for a video? Ask Chaz Bundick (Toro Y Moi).

In this clip of "You Hid," Chaz recorded every instrument on his own in a 3 hour block of studio time, most (if not all) done in one take and this is what you get.

TORO Y MOI "YOU HID" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

pretty sure it's not quite the same when he's live in front of a few hundred people, but here's your chance to find out.

07/01 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands Gallery
07/02 - New York, NY - Whitney Museum !
08/08 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues ^ (Lollapalooza After Party)
08/09 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant ^
08/10 - Des Moines, IA - 7 Flags Event Center ^
08/12 - Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre ^
08/13 - Council Bluffs, IA - Harrah's ^

! = w/ High Places
^ = w/ Phoenix

here's what else you need to know -
  • Megadeth's Rust in Peace Live DVD, BR & CD will hit stores on Sept. 7 (Shout Factory)
  • July 25th marks the 6th annual Johnny Ramone Tribute Event in LA. more details here
  • Mswhite has signed to Velocity/Rise and will release Squares on Sept. 28.
  • Wavves new album King of the Beach is streaming now

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Ex-Pennywise vocalist Jim Lindberg resurfaces with The Black Pacific

after weeks and weeks of trying to find some information about what Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) is up to after leaving the socal punk band, all i had to do was check my email...

After twenty years of touring and releasing records with Pennywise, Jim Lindberg has started a new band straight out of Hermosa Beach. THE BLACK PACIFIC is a brand new band with a fresh line up and an album filled with ten powerful and heartfelt songs. Jim and the guys will be playing their first show on September 26 at KROQ's Epicenter Twenty Ten festival in Fontana, CA. Their self titled debut album hits on September 14 on SideOneDummy Records.

Jim left Pennywise in 2009 and has been working on The Black Pacific ever since. He also penned a book in 2007 called Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life. They recently posted two new songs on their website. "The System" and "When it's Over."

For music and more info goto or

yup, this is a bonus afternoon post, keep reading -

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Frankie Rose and the Outs new album due in Sept.

learn with me won't you...

frankie rose
Frankie Rose and The Outs
Frankie Rose and The Outs(Slumberland)
Street date: Sept. 21, 2010

Frankie Rose has a reputation around here. And by here, we mean Brooklyn. And by reputation, we mean her minimal, Maureen Tucker-like beats and iconic presence in such buzz-stirring bands as Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and Vivian Girls. Those groups spearheaded a scene that mixed the sounds of lo-fi garage, big reverb-drenched Phil Spector-produced 60s girl groups, the noise aesthetic of the Jesus And Mary Chain with a touch of Velvet Underground and a strong DIY ethic to create a sound that's influenced a new generation of bands around the world.

At least that's what she's been known for up until now. As you're about to hear on her new group's self-titled Slumberland Records debut, Frankie Rose and the Outs have their heads in the clouds a bit more than Rose's previous projects. Listening to the ghostly golden-oldie grooves of songs like "Girlfriend Island," "Candy" and the pedal-pounding "That's What People Told Me," it's as if the Cocteau Twins and Shangri-Las tracked a split LP with the help of a time machine and a freshly-acquitted Phil Spector.

"I tried to make this album as hi-fi as possible while sticking to the sounds that I've always loved," explains Rose. "I grew up listening to a lot of musicals and Gilbert and Sullivan operas, so harmonies are a given. I also was drawn to anything spooky as a kid-'Good Vibrations' still kinda scares me. Reverb puts a haze on everything, you know?"

Oh we know. And you will too, as the singer/guitarist/drummer-aided by fellow Outs bassist Caroline Yes, guitarist Margot Bianca, and drummer Kate Ryan- explores her dream-pop side on the album's darker numbers, from the oscillating organs, spooky sleigh bells and melancholic melodies of "Hollow Life" and "Lullabye For Roads and Miles" to the disembodied balladry of "Save Me" and "Memo."

All in the name of making "beautiful, serious music" that reaches well beyond simple Wall of Sound nods. That's because Rose is more concerned with maintaining a specific mood than rehashing the hooks your parents lost their virginity to. Sometimes that means channeling the psych climaxes of Spacemen 3 (the chord-gnashing lead guitar of "Thee Only One," Rose's solo Slumberland single from 2009), and sometimes that can mean fusing a rickety rhythm section and galloping riffs with the spectral trails of Julee Cruise (the Rose-penned Vivian Girls cut, "Where Do You Run To?").

Frankie Rose and the Outs is full of such lovely juxtapositions. From the galloping reverb symphony of "Little Brown Haired Girls" to the tough garage swing of "That's What People Told Me" and "Don't Tred" to the soaring chords and angelic harmonies of the well-chosen Arthur Russell cover "You Can Make Me Feel Bad," it's clear that Rose has finally found the perfect vehicle for her musical inspiration.

"To be honest, I like so much music," says Rose, "and never know what influences are going to come out. For me, songwriting is more about evoking certain feelings than the lyrics or anything else. Hell, sometimes I don't even know what the songs mean."


08/05 Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl
08/27 New York, NY - Cake Shop / Dance Magic Night

1. Hollow Life
2. Candy
3. Little Brown Haired Girls
4. Lullubye for Roads and Miles
5. That's What People Told Me
6. Memo
7. Must Be Nice
8. Girlfriend Island
9. You Can Make Me Feel Bad
10. Don't Tred
11. Save Me

it's like getting to the bottom of a cereal box finding a prize - only here, you get music not some crappy little toy that you'll lose in the backyard - here's "Little Brown Haired Girls"
  • The Cave Singers signed to Jagjaguwar
  • Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) has his short video for the 3 artists/one song feature from Converse available now; previously available are Kid Cudi and Bethany Cosantino
  • Tegan and Sara covered Steel Train for Stereogum - right ........ here - btw, assuming I'm not working late again tomorrow, I'll find a way to get my Steel Train review up
  • Good Old War was on NPR's World Cafe Live today - hunt around the NPR site I'm sure you can find a link - or you can just use this one

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Wake Up Lucid taking the best from several generations of rock on debut EP

 I know you like free music, so here's a first listen to "Black Hair Woman" by Wake Up Lucid

sounds to me like a solid mix of The Cult with Jet, fused through a 70s stratocaster

here's their story - L.A.’s Wake Up Lucid started as a vision of singer/guitarist Ryan Baca’s father who had passed.  In the dream they wrote a song together, and the name of the song was “Wake Up Lucid.”  Since that fateful night in 2008, Ryan and his two cousins Ian (bass) and Jamie Baca (drums) have quickly burned their name into the rock and roll conscience of Southern California with their old school brew of savage blues, heavy rhythm, and the kind of down home sincerity long lost to middle aged ponytails, how-to-play-guitar videos, and ten thousand dollar “vintage” guitar amps.

i'm still loaded up with 30 something emails to talk about -
  • illMondo is giving away a free single called "Be Bad"
  • Rickolus is releasing Youngster in July on Circle Into Square
  • Papa Roach is debuting their new video for "Kick in the Teeth" on Vevo tomorrow
  • Mark Olsen has new tour dates
  • and Megan McCormick is featured in American Songwriter and countrymusicpride

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everyBoy new album due in late July

the song is "Another Love (Tanqueray)" by everyBoy

in his own words - “‘Tanqueray’ is a tune about the break-up memories that won’t go away. It’s the slow burn, where you wake up in the middle of the night with cotton mouth only to find you left the TV on and it’s blasting your ex’s favorite song. The narrator sings “lala’s” to its tune. It’s the moment of surrender, where the past is finally accepted.” - everyBoy

His real name is Bruce Nathan and he's a young New Yorker who has some serious zen going on - a student of Japanese literature, haiku, Buddhism, he decided to put out a record, The Last LaLa's that's (at least based on this song) very well soaked in relaxable songs and pretty little melodies.

Another add-on if you need it - he's got some pretty solid helpers working on the record including Ben Peeler (The Wallflowers), Tom Freund (Ben Harper), Brian LeBarton (Beck) and Adam Topal (Jack Johnson).

if the song and the back up band don't give you any kind of clue what to expect... YOURE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!

The Last LaLa's comes out July 27

this working extra for no extra dough is for the birds and it leaves me so little time to tell you about all this cool shit -
  • "Jacqueline Susann" is the new video from Pernice Brothers - essentially it's the view of the world from bicycle handlebars if the sky/ground was littered with interesting/artistic imagery.
  • too late for tonight, but Theophilus London was on Dinner with The Band on IFC. I'm sure there'll be repeats, plus there's always OnDemand.
  • RCRD_LBL's free mp3 of the day came from Eli Escobar - the song is "Love Thing Part 3 (Only You)" featuring Amanda Blank
  • Motion City Sdtk is listed as one of the top Warped Moments by Spin

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Monday, June 28, 2010

More details on Dead Confederate's new album

Dead Confederate 
PhotoAs previously announced, Dead Confederate will return with their sophomore album, Sugar, on August 24th via TAO Recordings/Old Flame.  Sugar was recorded by John Agnello (The Hold Steady, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) and as Dead Confederate's Hardy Morris (guitar/lead vocals) explains, "We're a loud, big-sounding band, and wanted the album to be fun and creative - instead of just recording the songs.  It's not like we decided we couldn't have anything grungy or heavy; that's just not all that we're interested in.  You can listen to the record a bunch of different ways.  What we were doing felt right." 
There has been tons of excitement bubbling around the new album, which makes us even happier to share some in-studio footage and brand new music!
Watch on YouTube
Dead Confederate is also sharing new music in exchange for an email address.  "Giving It All Away" (featuring J. Mascis, of Dinosaur Jr.)

Dead Confederate 
In support of Sugar's release, Dead Confederate will be hitting the road, including dates with Deer Tick and a Bumbershoot after party with Surfer Blood. 
More Fall dates to be announced very soon!

07.09.10 - Louisville, KY - Forecastle Festival
07.10.10 - Chattanooga, TN - Rhythm & Brews
07.23.10 - Augusta, GA - Sky City
07.24.10 - Savannah, GA - The Jinx
07.25.10 - Charlotte, NC - Visulite Theatre %
07.27.10 - Orlando, FL - The Social %
07.29.10 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar %
07.30.10 - Tallahassee, FL - Engine Room %
07.31.10 - Atlanta, GA - Buckhead Theater %
08.01.10 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In %
08.03.10 - Oxford, MS - Proud Larry's %
08.04.10 - Memphis, TN - Hi-Tone Cafe %
08.05.10 - St. Louis, MO - Off Broadway %
08.28.10 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk - KUT's Red River on the Rocks Festival
- Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot After Party at Hard Rock $
09.17.10 - Telluride, CO - Telluride Brews & Brews Festival

% - with Deer Tick
$ - with Surfer Blood

sorry for the lack of insight tonight, spent after a long day -
  • The Morning Benders performing "Stitches" and "Excuses" (on Carson Daly's show)
  • Electric Sunset's s/t debut is due on Sept 7 on K Recs
  • TrancesArc is releasing TA on July 20
  • The Cat Empire is releasing Cinema on July 6

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mozart Season signs to Equal Vision

 Equal Vision Records is pleased to welcome Mozart Season to its roster.  With nearly five years of experience behind them, the Sacramento-based band has already built up an army of dedicated followers and has honed their signature sound of heavy, dark melodies blended with aggressive instrumentations, thrashing vocals and a splash of pop-punk style choruses.  Their debut EP with Equal Vision Records, Nightmares, will be released on July 20th The album will be available exclusively through MerchNow, digital retailers, and the band.

Nate Richardson (vocals), Benton Christensen (guitar), Sam Trux (guitar), Troy Cooper (bass) and Luke Allen (drums), show maturity beyond their years as they collectively produce innovative melodic, post-hardcore music on Nightmares.  The album was recorded at Fat Cat Studios with engineer Jay Trammell [Self Against City, Early States] in March.

Nightmares features three songs off of Mozart Season's previous album, Apotheosis EP, and three brand new songs showcasing their growth and development.  Cooper describes the EP as the perfect mix of old and new, “ gives listeners a chance to hear the range in our sound.  There are some heavy songs, some jammy sing-alongs, the occasional breakdown and lots of catchy pop melodies over heavy, melodic guitars.”

Mozart Season will next embark on their biggest tour yet, sharing the stage with veterans Gwen Stacy and Lower Definition.  Tour dates can be found below:

Jul 20  Salt Lake City, UT @ The Outer Rim
Jul 21  Cheyenne, WY @ The Atlas Theatre
Jul 22  Denver, CO @ Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Jul 23  Wichita, KS @ Eagles Lodge
Jul 24  Tulsa, OK @ The Otherside Club
Jul 25  Memphis, TN @ The Abbey
Jul 26  Dallas, TX @ Fat Daddys Sound Shack
Jul 27  Pearland, TX @ Badfish Bar & Grill
Jul 28  San Antonio, TX @ The White Rabbit
Jul 29  El Paso, TX @ Life Church
Jul 30  Midland, TX @ The Pine Box
Jul 31  Mesa, AZ @ The Underground
Aug 1  Temecula, CA @ The Vault
Aug 2  Camarillo, CA @ Rock City Studios

kind of light on the news from Friday, so here's the rest of what you need to know summed up in a pretty little package - 
  • it's that time again, to share a fun music blog - i get these links from the same company that featured a story about me, and have found some useful stuff here. This month is (the Obsessive Compulsive Music Disorder). She's got a lot of short write-ups and features tons of streaming songs.
  • Warped & Altec Lansing have a contest running to get a band to play a Nirvana song at each of their Warped performances this summer
  • Semi Precious Weapons are streaming their new album on MySpace as we speak
  • Thunder Buffalo, Peter Bradley Adams and Feral Children have some new shows listed here -
  • Wavves new album King of the Beach has had its release date bumped up (at least for the digital version). iTunes will start selling the new album July 1; other digital retailers on July 13 and physical copies are still due out Aug. 3
  • Lydia Burrell's ""Ring is available for free through Removador
  • Woven Bones has new tour dates up
  • John Legend & The Roots cover of "Our Generation" (Ernie Hines) is the latest from the Levi's cover series
  • Bleed the Man's Behind the Walls of Reality is due Sept 17 (Noisehead) - here's a trailer for the album

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Singles Night returns with Hunters Run

It's Thursday, so that must mean it's Singles Night.

Tonight we have Hunters Run!, who've just released the third 7" in a series of four on Battle Standard Records.

The band's earlier works have drawn comparisons to Elvis Costello and Husker Du, and with "Life of Crime," Hunters Run! looks to go ballad.

Also included on the 7" is "Oh My Ageless Brother."

The two song combo comes in at over 10 minutes (kind of lengthy for a single 7" in comparison to all the stuff I used to hunt down). Both songs are mellow in appearance and basically sway for about five minutes.

Neither of the two tracks draws enough strength to call Hunters Run! a must-hear band, yet both in their simple soothing sounds can find a way to draw you in.

"Life Of Crime" does venture into a ballad type of flow. It's far from a "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" or "November Rain," but the clear direction of creating something useable as a prom slow-dance song is evident.

I find "Oh My Ageless Brother" to be the winner on this 7". Based almost entirely on the instrumentation throughout the song (toward the end, the guitars rehash a riff over and over, in a near-dream like sequence that is ultimately captivating enough to make me listen again), the b-side carries this single enough to make you want to hear the first two records in the collection and wonder what number 4 will bring.

want to know more? go here

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Metal band Inter Arma needs help with tour dates

here's a band who needs some help w/ tour dates. in exchange, you get 5 free songs

Diverse metal quintet INTER ARMA have unleashed five tracks from their new album, "Sundown" across the following sites:

"Epicenter" and "Hallucinatorium" -
"All Time Low" -
"Sundown" -
"2000 Years" -

Recently co-released by Forcefield Records and (Robotic Empire label affiliate) Mirror Universe Records, INTER ARMA's debut album has been receiving widespread critical acclaim thus far, including the following noteworthy comments:

"Richmond's INTER ARMA totally floored me ... with their furious mix of black metal, southern stoner style and NEUROSIS-style imperial riffage." -Brooklyn Vegan

"Further blurring the lines between what constitutes pure Norwegian black metal, Scandinavian blackened death metal and their influences Stateside, Richmond, VA's INTER ARMA unveil one intense demon of an album with Sundown." -Exclaim

"An unexpected (and shockingly fluid) mix of black metal and sludge ... expect a lot of cool surprises and twists throughout." -Aversionline

"Bluesy Crust/Sludge/Blackened metal in the highest of orders. This band is just ugly all around and I [am] so proud to have heard it." -Absolute Zero Media

”One of the heaviest things out of Richmond. I am excited about the future for INTER ARMA as they are onto something special.” -Dave Witte (MUNICIPAL WASTE, DISCORDANCE AXIS, etc)

"Strong, strong recommendation." -OMGvinyl

In addition to recently releasing "Sundown", INTER ARMA have an extensive US tour on deck with brother band BASTAD SAPLING. Here are the full dates, including a few areas where they could use some help:

6/30 @ The Triple - Richmond, VA - w/ MUTILATION RITES, PLAGUE THE SUFFERING
7/1 @ Slims - Raleigh, NC
7/2 @ 585 Wells St. - Atlanta, GA
7/3 @ The Junkyard - Gainesville, FL - w/ HOT GRAVES, MUTILATION RITES
7/4 @ The Brass Mug - Tampa, FL - w/ HOT GRAVES, FATAL
7/5 @ The Joint Collective - Sarasota, FL
7/6 @ Warehouse 8B - Jacksonville, FL - w/ GYPSY SPIT
7/8 @ Saint - New Orleans, LA
7/9 @ Thirsty's - San Antonio, TX - w/ LIONS OF TSAVO, BARING TEETH, AGGRAVATOR
7/10 @ The Hot Dog Shop - Houston, TX - w/ LIONS OF TSAVO, BARING TEETH, OMOTAI
7/11 @ Broken Neck - Austin, TX - w/ LIONS OF TSAVO, BARING TEETH
7/12 @ The Phoenix Project - Dallas, TX - w/ LIONS OF TSAVO, BARING TEETH, ASSASSINATOR
7/13 @ Trainyard - Las Cruces, NM - w/ BLACK WINE
7/15 Grand Canyon! Grand Canyon, Arizona
7/21 Redwoods National Forest, Humboldt County, California
7/22 @ Twilight - Portland, OR
7/24 @ Winterland - Bremerton, WA - w/ WOODROT, STEEL SCAPE
7/25 @ The Josephine - Seattle, WA
7/26 Olympic National Park, Washington
7/27 @ Visual Arts Collective - Boise, ID - w/ UZALA
7/28 @ 3 Kings - Denver, CO
7/30 @ TBA - Minneapolis, MN
7/31 Bayview Brewhaus - Milwaukee, WI - w/ HALF GORILLA, OWLSCRY, BREATHE FIRE
8/1 @ Metal Shaker - Chicago, IL - w/ HUNTERS
8/2 @ 1624 N. Harrison St - Ft. Wayne, IN
8/3 @ Carabar - Columbus, OH - w/ ROSETTA, CITY OF SHIPS
8/4 @ Now That's Class - Cleveland, OH - w/ THE LOVE BELOW, JUDAS, PALE CREATION
8/5 @ The Smiling Moose - Pittsburgh, PA - w/ EDHOCULI
8/6 @ Crayola House - Harrisonburg, VA - w/ EARTHLING

Any dates with *** indicate an area needing help. Quote the band, "We will seriously play anything. We'll split sets. We'll open. We'll play basements, bathrooms, backyards, barns, whatever. We don't care we just need to play."

If you can help (or know someone who can), please email

hope you're still awake, because up next is Singles Night -

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Justin Townes Earle is bringing a new record to you on Sept 14

sorry i'm not so talkative tonight, but enjoy the news -
Harlem River Blues, Justin Townes Earle’s much-anticipated new record, hits stores September 14

 “He’s fully absorbed his genetic and cultural heritage and draws upon both with great skill and dimension… and utterly distinctive voice that takes what’s come before and artfully moves it forward with the power of a certain steel-driving man.” – LA Times

Chicago, IL – June 24, 2010 – Bloodshot Records is pleased to announce the impending release of Harlem River Blues, the third full-length from Justin Townes Earle. The record, in stores September 14, is the much-anticipated follow-up to 2009’s Midnight at the Movies.

Woody Guthrie once said, “Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” On Harlem River Blues, Justin Townes Earle takes that lesson to heart, making a statement without making a wall of sound.

Compared to the much-lauded Midnight at the Movies, Harlem River Blues is more mature and increasingly nuanced, while still embracing the raw voice and clean sound of previous standout tracks like “Mama’s Eyes.” Featuring guest appearances from Jason Isbell, Bryn Davies and Calexico’s Paul Niehaus, it’s rockin’ and reelin’ at times, sweet and slow at others – and it’s great. Like good fried chicken, a well-cut suit and a hand made guitar, there’s heaven to be found in the beautifully crafted simpler things.

Sporting some of those well-cut suits, Justin Townes Earle spent 2009 pounding the proverbial pavement, touring constantly and wowing audiences worldwide. That hard working earnestness has paid off, to say the least. Justin won the Best New and Emerging Artist at the 2009 Americana Music Awards. Midnight at the Movies was named one of the best records of last year by Amazon, got four stars in Rolling Stone and found a sweet spot in the blackened hearts of fans and critics alike. GQ magazine named him one of the 25 best dressed men in the world in 2010. He also appeared on HBO’s Treme with his dad, troubadour Steve Earle, on whose Grammy Award winning Townes record Justin also guests.

As versed in Mance Lipscomb as he is in M. Ward and sporting Marc Jacobs suspenders, Justin Townes Earle is a man beyond eras. With Harlem River Blues, a record that’s perfect for late Indian summer nights on either the front porch or fire escape, Justin’s found yet another way to be a timeless original.
keep reading you're bound to find more -

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Abigail Washburn lines up Chinese dates

I'm not sure how many Chinese readers I've got, but for any of you out there, this is for you -

Abigail Washburn Confirmed to Perform at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, Followed by a Tour of China

'City of Refuge' out August 31st (Foreign Children Records)

“a mash-up of old-timey Americana and Chinese tradition…Washburn has combined her passions to create a gorgeous, joyful new sound.” – Newsweek

“[Washburn] drew the line from ancient Appalachian ballads such as "Bright Morning Stars" to even older Celtic music styles that immigrants to the U.S. brought with them, and wed her trans-global experiences in "Song of the Traveling Daughter," which she sang in Mandarin while fleetly plucking her banjo clawhammer style.” – Los Angeles Times

Songwriter, banjoist, and former Chengdu resident Abigail Washburn is confirmed to perform in one of the largest national pavilions of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai (July 1 – 4), followed by a tour of China.

From the USA Pavilion:  With the theme of “Rising to the Challenge,” the United States presence will showcase American culture, values, innovation and business in one of China’s most dynamic cities, while celebrating the friendship and cooperation between the United States, China and the rest of the world.

Abigail’s third album 'City of Refuge' will be released in the US on August 31st (Foreign Children Records) and melds the joined forces of renowned producer Tucker Martine (the Decemberists, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens) with Washburn’s classic songwriting, striking voice and old-time storytelling aesthetic.

“There are wandering musical souls and then there’s Abigail Washburn,” writes the Los Angeles Times.  Abigail planned to permanently relocate to China to pursue a law career.  She studied the banjo as a way of reconnecting with her own American roots, and - following one last road trip across the US - stumbled into a record deal. 

She has released two critically acclaimed albums, 'Song of the Traveling Daughter' and 'Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet.' A volunteer with Sichuan Quake Relief, Abigail co-produced the benefit album 'Afterquake' (with the Shanghai Restoration Project), a folk/electronic project recorded in the Sichuan earthquake zone featuring remixed voices and sounds from the region.  Proceeds go toward Sichuan Quake Relief.

July  1 – Shanghai USA Pavilion Stage
July 3 – Shanghai USA Pavilion Stage
July 4 – Shanghai the Music Club
July 4  - Shanghai Official Fourth of July Party
July 5 – Shanghai Official Consulate Independence Day Celebration
July 5 – Hangzhou JZ Hangzhou
July 9 – Beijing the One
July 10 – Zhenjiang HiFi Xijindu Music Series
July 11 – Shanghai Yuyintang

wait for it, wait for it -

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a call to action regarding illegal downloading

this is just something you should read from Jim Urie

I’ve received hundreds of e-mails enthusiastically reacting to my “call to action” at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers convention last month.  The music business is facing huge challenges from piracy and theft. Never before in American history has an entire industry been so decimated by illegal behavior.  Yet the government has not responded in a meaningful way to help us address this crisis.  My call to action is for all of us to become more aggressive in lobbying our government, more outspoken in drawing attention to the problems caused by piracy and more actively engaged.  We cannot win this fight alone.  
Governments outside the U.S. are legislating, regulating and playing a prominent role in discussions with ISPs (Internet Service Providers).  Sales have dramatically improved in these countries.  How is it that the U.S. – with the most successful music community in the world – is not keeping up with places like South Korea, France, the UK and New Zealand?
As I said in my speech, I hope that the industry can negotiate a voluntary deal with the ISPs. We need our government representatives to encourage this.  But whether or not we reach a deal with the ISPs, our government needs to know that we’ve got a piracy problem and we need real solutions.  To accomplish this, our government needs to hear from all of us, so they know that their constituents are out here.  Join me in calling on our elected officials to fight piracy.  Please help by forwarding this email to your colleagues, friends– everyone who loves music.  And consider enlisting your entire company to help in this fight.  Then by clicking on the link below a message will be sent to your representatives in Washington.  Help us launch a viral campaign to cut off access to the online sites that are used to steal our music, our property and our jobs.  It only takes a second but it can make a tremendous impact.
Click HERE.
Please help us by forwarding this link.
Jim Urie
Learn More at

what i know today is a little more than i knew yesterday -
  • Justin Pierre (Motion City Sdtk) has joined the cast of Godkiller, a dark animated film that has already cast Davey Havok (AFI) and Lydia Lunch as well as some of horror's biggest names.
  • Brad Laner will release his second solo album, Natural Selections on Aug. 24 (Hometapes) - if you recognize the name, it may be because Laner is a former member of Medicine and Electric Company.
  • NPR has added a new music app for your phone
  • yesterday I mentioned Adam Young's new SkySailing album, well, fans of Owl City can rest easy there's more Owl City on the way as well
  • Hey Monday to release Beneath it All on Aug. 17 (Decaydence/Columbia). the band is streaming "Wish You Were Here" on their website and has a big preorder up for the new album
  • Kid Cudi's short film from the Three Artists One Song converse project is now available

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Julius C's new album due this October

Behold! A group of gorillas has run amok in Central Park and it’s no suprise considering they’re listening to the perfect soundtrack for the summer: Julius C’s debut single “Don’t Want Anybody.”  Directed by New York-based filmaker, Jay Lap, a friend of the band since his days at at the prestigious Tisch school, the “Don’t Want Anybody” clip is about as fun and funny as you might expect from a band that is able to take a tune about love, loss, and self-discovery and render it as explosively raw pop.

 “Don’t Want Anybody” was shot by Jon Chen, one of the hottest NYC-based directors of photography working today. Chen has previously lensed music videos for Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, Nas, Q-Tip, The Roots, and many more. You might also recognize actress, Lauren Francesca (the unmistakably sexy blonde) as the star of the Lady Gaga video spoofs that have racked up millions of views on YouTube. Most of all, you’ll notice that bunch of simians, out of their minds with abandon. Beneath the suits, you’ll find the members of Julius C.


More about Julius C

See Julius C live this Friday June 25th at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC (196 Allen St.)

Before the writing and recording of Julius C’s upcoming album OK, OK., this band was already going bananas. The band’s core of vocalist/guitarist Jay Stolar, bassist Mike Tuccillo and Tuccillo’s childhood friend, keyboardist Jason Wexler had rapidly expanded to a group of ten, just as quickly burned through four drummers, and finally managed to top that off with a couple of painful personal break-ups that left the guys feeling empty, lost, and disconnected from the music they were playing.

Willing to give it one last try, the guys moved into a cheap house with a broken Jacuzzi in Newark, NJ with new drummer, John Adamski.  By the end of the year, Stolar and Tuccillo had both written enough material to fill their own records. Returning to Tucclillo and Wexler’s hometown of Staten Island, Julius C spent the next six months consumed in writing, arranging, and producing OK, OK. Now, standing united and determined, Julius C is ready to share their sound with the world. No more imploding, only exploding (and chest-beating) from here.

OK OK will be released on Oct. 6

this is it for the news, The Real McKenzies review will be up shortly -

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New Papa Roach single looks to help WhyHunger

Rock band Papa Roach has included a very special hidden track on their new album Time for Annihilation...On The Record and On The Road, due out August 31st.  The message personally recorded by frontman Jacoby Shaddix, encourages fans to do their part to fight hunger and homelessness. On the track, Shaddix asks fans to take out their phones and text a number for WhyHunger in order to donate $5 to the organization. WhyHunger has been fighting hunger and poverty around the world since 1975, and the album's hidden track is a shout-out reinforcing this crucial cause. During his childhood, Shaddix was homeless, and given the downturn of the economy, the band is devoutly steadfast about this particular charity.  On their run of tour dates last year, the band auctioned off a VIP experience at every show with all proceeds going to WhyHunger.  Jacoby Shaddix will also be recording a PSA for WhyHunger to help raise awareness for their free National Hunger Hotline (1-866-3-HUNGRY).  For more information on WhyHunger, please visit

"It's really important to us to continue our partnership with WhyHunger and offer support in any way we can.  It's all about finding new ways to spread the word and raise awareness and this is the first time we've ever done something like this on an album.  If one person listens to it and does something to help, we've done our job," says frontman Jacoby Shaddix.

Hillary Zuckerberg, WhyHunger's Director, Artists Against Hunger & Poverty adds, "Artists Against Hunger & Poverty members Papa Roach are taking our exciting partnership to another level. Their efforts will help millions of hungry Americans get the food and services to help themselves and their families."

The band have announced plans for their new album, Time For Annihilation...On the Record and On The Road on August 31st and their move to Top Independent Rock label, Eleven Seven Music. Papa Roach continue to push their musical limits and are currently perfecting a unique hybrid listening experience, which will consist of a mix of new studio and live tracks. With their feet firmly planted in over 10 years of multi-format success, the album's first single "Kick in the Teeth" is sure to ignite rockers globally.  The single went to radio yesterday and the video will be premiering soon on VEVO. The band has enlisted Veteran hit-maker David Bendeth (Paramore, Breaking Benjamin, Drowning Pool), to produce the new tracks.

WhyHunger is dedicated to fighting the root causes of hunger and poverty by supporting grassroots organizations that create self-reliance, economic justice and equal access to nutritious and affordable food. Founded in 1975 by the late musician and activist Harry Chapin and current Executive Director Bill Ayres, WhyHunger works to put an end to the hunger suffered by 49 million Americans and more than 1 billion people worldwide. WhyHunger 's main programs include the National Hunger Hotline, 1-866-3-HUNGRY, which refers individuals in need of emergency food assistance to soup kitchens, food banks, shelters, government programs and community organizations in their neighborhoods; the Grassroots Action Network, which provides information, networking opportunities, capacity building and access to more than 8,000 anti-hunger and poverty community organizations across the United States and around the world; Global Movements, which links the organization's domestic work to broader global movements for food sovereignty and the basic rights to food, land, water and sustainable livelihoods; and Artists Against Hunger & Poverty, which is supported by Bruce Springsteen, Carlos Santana, Michael McDonald, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Joss Stone, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, Jackson Browne, O.A.R., Papa Roach and many others.

For more information on WhyHunger, please visit

For more information on Papa Roach, please visit
 not much in the inbox tonight, so this will be quick -

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Semi Precious Weapons add after parties to select dates

Filthy glamour New York rock stars Semi Precious Weapons are gearing up for the June 29th release of their hotly anticipated Geffen/Perezcious/Streamline/Cherrytree Records debut, You Love You

Produced by rock world kingpin Jack Joseph Puig (The Rolling Stones, Beck, Green Day), along with Executive Producer Lady Gaga, the album will be streaming in its entirety beginning Saturday June 26th on Myspace.

The band stripped down for an intimate set on The Cherrytree House, including a cover of Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen’s legendary “Because The Night,” plus acoustic versions of their own “Put A Diamond In It” and “Look At Me.” Check out the trailer and watch the full performance June 29th on

Monster Ball Ticket Giveaways & After Parties!

Semi Precious Weapons resume their opening slot on Lady Gaga's Monster Ball tour starting June 28th, and they want to see you there! The globetrotting glam rockers are giving a pair of tickets away to every US show on the summer leg of the tour. For more information on how to score tickets to the hottest tour of 2010, follow @preciousweapons on Twitter:

The band is also hosting and performing at official Monster Ball afterparties all summer. Check out the first confirmed dates below and stay tuned for more:

Date City Venue
6/28 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
7/01 Boston, MA TD Garden
7/02 Boston, MA TD Garden
7/04 Atlantic City, NJ Broadway Hall
7/06 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
7/07 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
7/09 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
7/11 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
7/11 Toronto, ON Afterparty @ Time Nightclub
7/12 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
7/11 Toronto, ON Afterparty @ The Barn
7/14 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
7/15 Indianapolis, IN Conseco Fieldhouse
7/15 Indianapolis, IN Afterparty @ Talbott Street
7/17 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
7/20 Oklahoma City, OK Ford Center
7/22 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
7/22 Dallas, TX Afterparty @ Ghostbar (W Hotel)
7/23 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
7/25 Houston, TX Toyota Center
7/26 Houston, TX Toyota Center
7/28 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
7/31 Phoenix, AZ US Airways Center
8/03 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
8/11 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
8/12 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
8/13 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
8/16 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion
8/16 San Jose, CA Afterparty @ Voodoo Lounge
8/17 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion
8/17 San Jose, CA Afterparty @ Voodoo Lounge
8/19 Portland, OR Rose Garden
8/19 Portland, OR Afterparty @ Refuge
8/21 Tacoma, WA Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall
8/23 Vancouver, BC General Motors Place
8/24 Vancouver, BC General Motors Place
8/24 Vancouver, BC Afterparty @ Fortune Sound Club
8/26 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
8/26 Edmonton, AB Afterparty @ Oil City
8/27 Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
827 Edmonton, AB Afterparty @ Vinyl
8/30 Saint Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
8/31 Saint Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
9/02 Milwaukee, WI Bradley Center
9/04 Detroit, MI Palace Of Auburn Hills
9/05 Pittsburgh, PA Consol Energy Center
9/07 Washington, DC Verizon Center
9/08 Charlottesville, VA John Paul Jones Arena
9/14 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
9/15 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
9/16 Hartford, CT XL CENTER
9/18 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Arena
9/19 Raleigh, NC RBC Center

i'm bored so you reap the benefits -
  • Jarrod Gorbel is starting a video series for his new album, Devil's Made A New Friend, due Aug. 31 - the gist is that you get a new video every wekk prior to the release. This week is "Impressions" w/ NY singer-songwriter Jaymay & Adam Rubenstein (Chamberlain)
  • get a first listen to David Dondero's new album with "Wherever You Go"
  • New Years Day has lined up for a 2 week run on Warped this summer.
  • Big Head Todd & The Monsters will release Rocksteady on July 20 (ILG); same day sees a release from Chimaira - Coming Alive
  • Vicious Guns have retitled their new release set for July 13 - now called Love's Sweet Exile
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Indie hip-hop group Le Vice to drop release on Aug. 17; get free mp3 now

i'm gonna let you decide for yourself on this one -

 “While the musicianship in Le VICE’s upcoming self-titled release is elegant and thoughtful, one cannot overlook the pervasive upbeat dance vibe that makes it nothing short of… shake your ass music.”

Le VICE has been defined as Pop, R&B, and Hip Hop. However, the band views their sound first as '80s Electro, Disco, and Funk which is supported by a backing theme of Pop, R&B, and Hip Hop. Their LARGE sound, which includes cosmic and ambient synthesizers, aggressive bass lines, hard-nose drumming, and funky guitar licks, is carefully fused with potent rhymes and soulful singing.

After forming in early 2009, Le Vice initially focused their attention on be¬ing a “live” interpretation of front woman Alex Lee’s original hip hop works. This endeavor quickly became a creative breeding ground for the new and original music that would give birth to their signature sound. And af¬ter an energetic summer tour, the band carried their momentum forward and entered the studio to record their first album.

This release is widely being received as “A refreshing harmony of both classic and contemporary sounds; a feverish blend of all the great genres”. If four on the floor is your speed, tracks such as “Shy Guy” and “Why Fight” will put you in the mood. If you love edgy dance/pop tracks that you can sing to, you might check out “Uh Huh”. Or if you dig rootsy hip hop clas¬sics, “2’ocklock” should be your speed. To say the least, this record has something for everyone.

What truly makes Le VICE great is that all of its members are profound musicians and effortless songwriters. In the end their individual musical talents, experiences, influences, and willingness to experiment all contrib¬uted to the unique Le VICE sound that explodes out of this record. The sum of this group is truly greater than its parts:

Alex (A.Lee) has been a successful hip hop artist for a number of years (her singles “Hotter” and “Do It Big” were featured on America’s Next Top Model). In her new role as front woman for Le Vice she has broken free of the traditional “hip hop” role. Now a seasoned vocalist, she delivers soulful melodies reminiscent of the disco age and early 80’s, which she combines with a powerful pop sound and rootsy hip hop swagger.

Sean is a pre¬cise yet expres¬sive bass player and keyboard¬ist. Originally schooled in jazz, r&b, and classic composition (ro¬mantic and post romantic) he eventually found his way into the punk/post punk scene. As one of the main songwriters on this record, Sean delivers funk-filled Rick James baselines and moving musical ar¬rangements.

Renzo is a professional touring guitarist who is well versed in in many styles including Funk, Jazz, Rock, Classical, Son, Metal, and more. In Le Vice, he’s an addictive songwriter who specializes in that essential Quincy Jones guitar sound that makes even the most-self conscious individual want to get down.

Darrin is a solid, heavy-handed, good old-fash¬ioned hip hop and soul drum¬mer. Born into a musical family, he first started playing drums at the age of 7 and as teenager found his way into gospel music and played regularly at his church. He has parleyed his years of experience into solid, driving beats.

their debut s/t album is due Aug. 17 and will be self-released.
for a preview, here's a download of "Hard to Be Ill"

it's the little things that count -
  • Procedure Club dropped a new album, Doomed Forever (Slumberland) yesterday - they've also got a handful of tour dates for you - mostly on the east coast
  • Adam Young (Sky Sailing) did a rare interview w/ MTV
  • Converse is trying something new this summer. They're releasing a short film & free mp3 with 3 artists collaborating - it's known as Three Artists, One Song and will feature Bethany Cosentino (Best Coast), Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend) and Kid Cudi - see the film here and keep your eyes on for the coming mp3.
  • Billy Bang will release his new album Prayer for Peace on July 20 (TUM) - here's a video of the violinist @ Harlem Speaks

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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Black Angels third album due Sept. 14

Today, record label Blue Horizon announced it has signed Austin-based psychedelic rock band, The Black Angels.  The Black Angels third album, and first release on Blue Horizon, is the highly anticipated Phosphene Dream, which is set for release on September 14th in the US and September 13th in the UK.   Phosphene Dream marks a giant leap forward for the band.  Produced and mixed by Dave Sardy (Oasis, Wolfmother, Black Mountain) over a period of six months in Los Angeles, the album shows off both sonically and musically a bold new direction for The Black Angels, a fresh take on the neo-Psychedelic movement they've been at the forefront of for years.

While past albums Passover and Directions to See a Ghost were recorded in the band's hometown of Austin, Texas, the process by which Phosphene Dream was created pulled the band out of their comfort zone and forced them to look at songwriting and recording in a way they never had before.  Years of non-stop worldwide touring have turned The Black Angels into a tightly wound unit, and those years of work are all on showcase here.  The band plans to celebrate the release with more years of touring, starting at the end of August where the band will be playing the Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK, Rock en Seine in Paris, and the highly coveted Jim Jarmusch curated stage at ATP in NYC.  An announcement of their full fall touring plans will be coming shortly. 

The deal also serves of particular importance as it marks the first band signed to the label since industry icons Richard Gottehrer, co-founder of The Orchard (NASDAQ: ORCD), and Seymour Stein CEO of Sire Records (WMG) announced its revival earlier this year at MIDEM.

Seymour Stein commented, "Great musicianship and performers, mesmerizing vocals, and songs that penetrate the subconscious.  That's the best way to describe Black Angels, our first signing to Blue Horizon records.  In every way the band is perfect choice to re-launch to this iconic label."  

Richard Gottehrer continued on, "Everyone was so receptive when we announced we were bringing Blue Horizon back.  We hope they share in our excitement for the great things we have in store in modernizing this label to serve as a source of music from emerging artists across genres."

The Orchard will handle the marketing, worldwide digital and North American physical distribution for releases that come through the re-established label.  

couple more items before i get to tonight's review -
  • Nicole Atkins signs to Razer and Tie and will release her second album in 2011
  • Hunter's Run has released their 3rd of their 4 7" series and apparently, they've changed up their sound for this one, gone is the Elvis Costello/Husker Du vibe, in its place is a ballad, Hunter's Run style.

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Jazz Legend Barry Harris to release live album in July

Jazz Legend & NEA Jazz Master Barry Harris
Releases New Live Trio Album,
Live in Rennes (Plus Loin Music)
July 20, 2010
Live in Rennes Is Harris’ First New Recording Since 2006
And Features His Unique Audience Participation Techniques
Album Release Coincides With A Weeklong Engagement
At The Village Vanguard in New York City
JULY 20-25, 2010
With Harris' Working Trio
(John Webber - bass; Leroy Williams - drums)
Jazz fans who want their listening experiences to provide a snapshot of the artist’s personality are in for a treat.  On Live in Rennes, piano legend Barry Harris not only offers a rich view of his improvising expertise, but a good dose of his well-known charisma as well. It’s said that live recordings are the truest views of the jazz art, and here, the 80-year-old bandleader gives us a long glimpse into the way he does business – informally, engagingly, wisely.
“The producers told me, ‘Barry, this one’s got something special about it,’ and I think it does,” says Harris. The pianist is a master of the bop language, having studied and absorbed its particulars during his early professional days in Detroit. When he got to New York in the 1960s, he had a particularly inventive grasp on the lingo forged by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell. A tireless educator – his Jazz Cultural Theater was home to innumerable sessions that took place in a variety of contexts – he believes that once an audience knows a bit about the subject at hand, its enjoyment level is enhanced.
That’s what happens during “6, 5, 7, 3,” a piece that includes the participation of the French listeners. In an impromptu move, he builds a song around numbers supplied by the crowd. The music is pretty and the process is charming. Having the audience on his side is key to a successful gig says Harris.
“I really want to connect with the people. [Some bandleaders] stopped doing that, but we have to go back, definitely. You’ve gotta help the listeners, man; they don’t’ always know what’s happening. I played in Spain, in this one little town, and nobody was clapping. During the intermission, I went in the back and said “These people don’t know one song we’re playing, what should we do?” We started playing something that they know. It was “Besame Mucho.” All of a sudden they were clapping, and clapped for everything after that. You have to connect to people before you can lead them on, and I’m happy to do it.”
Another aspect of this educational strategy is having audiences understand key elements of the music’s canon. On this date Harris tips the hat to Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and his dear friend, Thelonious Monk. He has wonderful focus when it comes to essaying gems such as “Off Minor” and “Light Blue,” and makes a point of stumping for the masters who came before him. His reasoning is direct.
“I do it because they were the greatest, and we should learn from the greatest. From Monk to Horowitz, they wrote beautiful things and gave us the opportunity to explore advanced technical ideas. “Ruby, My Dear” – that’s such a pretty thing. Oh, my. Monk wrote some of the most beautiful tunes. “Pannonica,” too. When he died I went to the Angry Squire, and played all Monk tunes.”
With the ability to make bop sound both scintillating and soothing, there’s always been a sensitive undercurrent in Harris’s work. It all goes back to the graceful quality that centers his music. He says that even when playing uptempo romps like “Tea For Two” – a tune he believes he still hasn’t mastered – a certain balance is needed to get the job done right. It’s something he learned from another of his teachers.
“We don’t believe, necessarily, in playing with our fingers. Look up a book called Indispensables of Piano Playing, by Abby Whiteside. She said “don’t play with your fingers, but with your butt, your feet, and your whole body.” If you play only with your fingers, you’ll get real tired, like a Detroit factory worker. Everyone has tricks to get the job done. That’s one of ours.”
On Live in Rennes, bassist Mathias Allamane and drummer Philippe Soirat help Harris establish that informal vibe mentioned above. The pianist has played with some superb rhythm sections during his six-decade career, and he believes pliability is essential to eloquence.
“Yes, I’ve played with some greats - George Duvivier and all the rest. The best rhythms sections are all about feeling. One of our finest young drummers told me ‘I wish I could feel what you feel. I just don’t feel it.” And it’s true that some of the older kinds of swing are slipping away. As a pianist, I’ve always leaned more towards syncopation – it’s a certain feeling that isn’t on everyone’s radar anymore. I hope it doesn’t go away. I don’t think it will. The ultimate idea is to connect. I had to show some people in my class about tempo – the joy of tempo, I call it. I stress that.”
Ultimately, Live in Rennes reveals the mechanics of entertaining a crowd with a deep knowledge of spontaneous music making, and as you hear Harris sing along with “Nascimento,” that spirited approach becomes unmistakable. He’s a fan of creating in the moment.
“When we go out there, we can’t stop if we make a mistake, and say, ‘Oh, I messed up.’ Whatever you do is what you do. If it was corny, it’s going to be corny. But that’s part of the fun, right?”
Barry Harris Profile - 1985

dig the jazz? here's a couple more hits -
  • Vijay Iyer is releasing Solo on ACT Music on Aug. 31. Get more info here
  • The Revive Da Live Big Band feat. Nicholas Payton Sexxtet and Talib Kweli concert is happening Thursday in NYC, tix are still available

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