Strange Names

    There are currently no catalog items posted.

Minneapolis duo Strange Names are on track to becoming the young harbingers of American next-wave funk. Combining an unabashed live energy with the rhythmic and melodic romance of late 70s & early 80s new wave, (think Kid Creole meets Echo & The Bunnymen meets The B-52s), Strange Names kicks out straightforward pop songs with meticulous care and intricacy. Liam Benzvi, raised in Brooklyn, NY, came to Minnesota for college where he met Minnesota-bred Francis Jimenez in the freshmen dorms. They began exchanging ideas for songs in late 2010, and quickly established an appreciation for each other’s writing. With two EPs and a single 7” with White Iris Records (Best Coast, Electric Guest, FIDLAR), the duo has performed alongside Janelle Monae, Yeasayer, Mac DeMarco, The Walkmen, and Matt & Kim among others.  Debut Full Length will be out in 2015!

CONTACTS

Publicist: KIP KOURI @ Tell All Your Friends
Manager: Chris Heidman
Label: Paul Hanly @ Frenchkiss Records

French Style Furs

French Style Furs Is Exotic Bait LP came to fruition through a combination of fate, artistic vision and the spontaneity of three long time friends. During frequent stops in NYC, Cold War Kids reunited with an LA compatriot from We Barbarians. One day during the sessions they passed a nearby Greenpoint storefront called French Style Furs. It was kismet.

Maust and Warkentin began recording bass and drum tracks in the winter of ’13. Nathan Willett showed up with a large book of poems written by a 20th century monk. The collaboration that followed was uncharted territory; A recording project that began spontaneously to document a creative urgency.  The inspiration behind the idea to use the poetry of Thomas Merton as the lyrics for the LP came from Willett’s fascination with the mystic who wrote on social justice, pacifism and Eastern religion.  These poems opened a door of possibilities for Willett to sing unhinged,  and gave vision and direction to the album.

Is Exotic Bait lent itself to more than just the voices and instruments of its three creators. They invited percussionist Stephen Hodges (Tom Waits, David Lynch), whose rhythms were essential on tracks like the David Byrne-esque “Solitary Life.” Vocals from Haley Dekle (Dirty Projectors), Zina, and Marika Dahlin helped to raise the reach of “Man the Master” and “Bloodstream.” And horn arrangements from Nick Kinsey and Wyndham Boylan-Garnett (Elvis Perkins in Dearland) fill out the flesh of songs like “Clairvaux Prison.”

Producer Nick Launay possessed the group’s ideal sensibility to mix the album. His work with PiL, Grinderman, Nick Cave, and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s was the final touch. French Style Furs Is Exotic Bait is the final product that can only result from a band that is clearly having fun while pushing itself.

CONTACTS

Publicist: KIP KOURI @ Tell All Your Friends
Booking Agent: JACKIE NALPANT @ Paradigm Agency
Manager: Brett Williams @ Monotone Inc.
AAA Radio: Matt Pollack @ Monotone Inc.
College Radio: ROBB HAAGSMAN @ Never Better
Label: Paul Hanly @ Frenchkiss Records

Dream Shake

    There are currently no catalog items posted.

Like many songwriters who spend most of their time developing ideas behind closed doors, James Nee hit a creative wall in the middle of making his debut album as Dream Shake. (In case you’re curious, the name’s a Hakeem Olajuwon reference.) So he did the first thing that came to mind: he put his pen down, ignored the incessant calls of his guitar, and spent a couple weeks watching the Summer Olympics.

“So many athletes do so much work only to end up in fourth or last place,” says Nee. “That idea made me feel really lazy and redundant; I said to myself that the best thing I can do for these Olympians is at least finish my record, so that I too can share a feeling of being judged.”

Which isn’t to say he walked away wanting a gold medal of his own or an album full of anthems about going the distance in that game called life. In fact, Dream Shake’s self-titled record isn’t as autobiographical as you’d think considering its tracklisting looks like a collect-‘em-all compilation of women who broke his heart over the past couple years. Since Nee is more of a pop culture junkie than the kind of indie rocker who refreshes Pitchfork’s homepage at least 10 times a day, the singer/multi-instrumentalist let Dream Shake’s songs connect the dots between his own personal experiences and the all-too-real storylines of characters from shows like Degrassi Junior High, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“It’s a concept record, but no one will get my references,” says Nee. “They’ll just think it’s a love album…I did it because TV, anime and videogames are all I know now. I’m too nerdy for real girls.”

Not that you’d know simply by listening to tenderized pop tunes like “Stephanie,” “Buffy” and the fuzz-engulfed “Samantha,” tracks that address universal themes like trust, fear and growing up way too fast through chromatic chords, elusive lyrics and a cracked TV screen. All of which are rounded out by the robust rhythms of Nee’s longtime friend Elliott; ask the Dream Shake frontman what their recording relationship is like and he’ll explain it in comic book terms. (Of course.)

“It’s more like Alfred and Bruce than Batman and Robin,” explains Nee. “Like if you take Robin away from Batman, Batman still kicks ass; if you take Alfred away from Bruce Wayne, Batman still exists physically but not mentally.”

The other thing that’s kept Nee’s current project more focused than his last one (We Are Trees) was the perspective-shifting act of helping his parents move back to Taiwan, a place the Virginia Beach native hadn’t been since his grandmother’s funeral many years before.

“All I did in Taiwan was connect with distant relatives and watch The X-Files,” says Nee. “I didn’t have time to worry about other things, so when I went back to Virginia, I sort of took that mentality with me.  And now I feel like I’ve blocked a lot of trivial things from my mind that would normally really bug me. I’ve definitely evolved into a better James.

He continues, “I feel like I tried too hard with We Are Trees, like I had to be some ‘acoustic’ artist rather than just an…artist. Now I just want to make whatever music that I want.”

CONTACTS

Press: Caitlin @ Drunken Piano

Tweens

Bridget Battle’s last band might have been a high school choir, but the 21-year-old singer for Cincinnati’s Tweens is no goody two shoes. Look no further for proof than their forthcoming Self-Titled LP, the punk-tinged debut from the trash-pop trio—Battle on vocals and guitar, Peyton Copes on bass and Jerri Queen on drums—that showcases a melodic, driven and exceedingly catchy sound that’s anything but well behaved.

Tweens only formed in 2012, but has already made a name for themselves among fans—including The Breeders, who invited the band to open for them on a recent U.S. tour. The story goes that Kim Deal booked the band for one gig on the recommendation of Jim Blaze, owner of Cincinnati record shop Shake It Records, and was so impressed she brought on band to play select East Coast gigs and a full West Coast tour. Additionally, the band toured with the Black Lips, their partners in a party-centric attitude.

Despite the established friends, Tweens are very much their own band, bratty and precocious, sincere and genuine. The band’s name conjuresjust the right image: screaming hordes afflicted with Beatlemania, teenyboppers out for a good time, the underage, over-the-top punks in Ladies and Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains. Think of cheery kids at their most excited, but juxtaposed with lyrics about bad boyfriends and unrelenting independency. Tweens are not a riot grrrl revisionist band, but they are a ferociously honest one.

The trio has come a long way from their early demos and previously released Live at the Mohawk EP. Tweens, is a collection of new, garage-influenced tracks—produced by Eli Janney—sprinkled with some of the band’s older, doo-wop influenced favorites. The first single, “Be Mean,” is a biting anthem, with Battle crooning, “I want you to be mean to me,” while “Forever” harkens back to a girl-gang sound, this time with driving bass. The band sites Bay Area punks The Donnas, The Trashwomen and the Bobbyteens as influences—and that bubblegum badass vibe is apparent throughout the full-length—but the sound Tweens are creating is truly their own. So rat your hair, slip on your leather jacket and hold on tight because Tweens may be young but they’re certainly not naïve, and with the release of this freshman LP, they’re breaking curfew and nobody’s safe.

CONTACTS

Lawyer: Richard Grabel

PR: Kip/Kevin @ Tell All Your Friends, Keong/Chris @ Family LTD

Booking: Joe @ Inland Empire, Stefan @ Pitch and Smith

Drowners

    There are currently no catalog items posted.

In the late summer of 2011, Drowners frontman Matthew Hitt found himself in New York City. He’s from a small town in rural Wales but New York is where Hitt feels most at home. “I just like the way things look here. I like the way things are done here. I like how late everything happens,” he says. New York’s signature up-all-night energy courses through Drowners’ self-titled debut, but there’s a sweet melancholy to the album as well.

In his down time, Hitt began writing songs that reflected this renewed interest in angular, compressed rock and roll. “The early songs came out really short – I thought, well, I’ve already sung the chorus twice I don’t need to do it again, that’s what makes it a chorus! I think that being in New York influenced what I was trying to do with economy in song structure and instrumentation. It’s like, here’s what I’m trying to say. Okay, I said it. Now it’s over. Onto the next one.”  Gallivanting around downtown, Hitt also met likeminded souls, including future bandmates, Jack Ridley III (guitar, vocals,) Erik Lee Snyder (bass,) and Lakis E. Pavlou (drums).

It would take the better part of the next six months to secure the right record deal, but during that time the band gigged like crazy, ratcheting up their live prowess. They also released a well-received EP, Between Us Girls. By the time Drowners were in a recording studio to record their full-length debut, with producers Gus Oberg and Johnny T., they were ready. The first single off Drowners’ eponymous debut, “Luv, Hold Me Down,” is a propulsive slice of perfect garage pop. “It brings across this sort of jovial misery,” says Hitt, “It’s kind of pop, like a lot of the rest of the record, but lyrically, it’s not as shiny as seems.”

The other side of coin, according to Hitt, comes courtesy of the melodic and melancholy track “A Button on Your Blouse” which changes up the pace of Drowners’ self-professed brand of romantic aggression. “I always think of this one as our ballad even though it’s not even that slow,” says Hitt with a laugh.  But it’s the cheeky grime of “Long Hair” that really showcases the easy, dirty thrill of Drowners.

While Hitt is responsible for the elegantly understated lyrics throughout the album – the kind that adhere to his Salinger-esque economy of words – he professes that everything changed as soon as recording began. When Hitt, Ridley, Snyder, and Pavlou began to play, Hitt’s initial blueprint and the band’s extensive punk music background melded, giving the album its true form. The group wanted to present something slightly different, says Hitt. “Our live shows are a lot more aggressive,” he adds, “With the album, we wanted to create like a sort of layered, fleshed out live show.”

The result is an album that’s equal parts playfulness and disquietude, toeing the line between music that sweeps the listener up, and lyrics that beg for their deep sensitivity and understanding. “Whether you think something is good or not is if you respond to it,” says Hitt. “I wanted to illicit a response, but I want them to get whatever they want from it.”

CONTACTS

Lawyer: Richard Grabel

Manager: David McDonough @ C3

PR: Kip @ Tell All Your Friends (US)
Keong @ Family Ltd. (UK)

Booking: Dave and Alisa @ Agency Group (US)
Natasha @ Agency Group (UK)

FKR.TV

FKR.TV is a collaboration between David Cross, The Orchard Video Network, and us!

Subscribe here for new videos every Thursday!

CONTACTS

PR: Kip @ Tell All Your Friends

Tripwires

It’s no surprise Tripwires spent the last six years refining their widescreen rock sound in Reading, England. Not because they clearly spent their formative years watching its world renowned music festival. More like the simple fact that being from a truly sleepy commuter town—one that’s been denied city status not once but three times—has let the band develop their debut album, the aptly titled Spacehopper, on their own terms.

Or as the longtime friends (frontman Rhys Edwards, guitarist Joe Stone, bassist Ben White and drummer Sam Pilsbury) put it, “A lot of people live here a couple years for work and then move on. For us, it’s been a great place to write music. Not as a direct result of the environment around us, but in a way that’s encouraged us to provide our very own soundtrack to growing up.”

As for what that entails, the group is quick to name-check everyone from Neil Young and Yo La Tengo to the Flaming Lips and Sonic Youth. Not to mention countless strains of Krautrock and the two albums they can all agree on: Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden and 666, a demented double LP from the Vangelis-led Aphrodite’s Child collective. While those artists may read like randomly selected record store references, Tripwires’ debut album doesn’t quote anything directly. Subconsciously maybe, but never as a nod to anyone but themselves, whether they’re sampling interstellar static (“Slow Mo”), dodging dollops of feedback (“Plasticine”), or floating through power chords and thunder-clapped storm clouds (“Spacehopper”).

“The main strength of this band is our closeness as friends,” they explain when asked about the individual strengths of each member. “It’s allowed us to stay strong as a unit, with very little influence from people on the outside. It’s pretty hard for anyone to worm their way in and gain our trust.”

That explains how Tripwires went from covering Slipknot—hey, we were all young once—during their lunch break to slowly but surely hovering in the stratosphere between pedal-pushing shoegaze pop and pressure-cooked psych rock. And if the nearly eight minutes of experimentation that went into “Tinfoil Skin” are any indication, they’re not done fine-tuning their tracks yet either. Not even a little bit.

“We’ve always joked that we wanted parts of our songs to sound like a hairdryer to the face,” they explain. “Having said that, we’re really interested in exploring how simple and stripped-back we can make things, using both approaches to make things sound as diverse as possible while still sounding like ‘us’.”

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
Being called ‘The Tripwires’ by Jools Holland

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND?
Tired after walking around Kew Gardens all day, doing photo’s of plants and stuff. (We are in them too.)

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OCCUPATION?(WAY OF SPENDING TIME)?
Jamming!

WHAT HISTORICAL FIGURE DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
Neil Armstrong

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL HERO?
Probably Mr. Eastwood in the Spaghetti Western’s, anyone who is a total badass - not a hero (well, maybe to some) but Chigur from No Country For Old Men.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION?
All our most treasured possessions live at where we rehearse, my grandparent’s house, there are numerous…

WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU HAPPIEST?
Brooklyn, NYC baby!!!!!!

WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE (HATE) IN YOURSELF?
We are too polite for our own good

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
Makers Mark

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JOURNEY?
In the van, from Reading to Scotland! BEAUTIFUL

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST OVER-RATED VIRTUE?
Intelligence

ON WHAT OCCASION DO YOU LIE?
When saying to bands, “nice one guys!”

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
Houston, Texas

WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A MAN?
Ability to be humble

WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A WOMAN?
Being able to kick ass like Beyonce and Stevie Nicks

HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIE?
Private plane crash, of course.

IF YOU WERE TO DIE AND COME BACK AS A PERSON OR AN ANIMAL, WHAT DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE?
Something nocturnal, or lazy and slow like a sloth

CONTACTS

Manager: Andy Sweeney

PR: Kip Kouri @ Tell All Your Friends (USA)
Lewis @ Loud Hailer (UK)

Booking: James @ Free Trade Agency (UK/EU)
Mahmood @ Flowerbooking (US)

Office Romance

    There are currently no catalog items posted.

Office Romance is the writing team of Syd Butler & Seth Jabour of Les Savy Fav and Butler’s long-time partner Amy Carlson (currently of CBS’ Blue Bloods.)

This 3 song EP, entitled “I Love the Holidays” represents Amy’s love for holiday music and highlights a different musical approach for Syd and Seth.

Syd Butler says “Writing a holiday song was harder than we expected. On one hand you have a map and on the other hand you know you can’t stray to far off the path. At the end of the day is was a great challenge and a lot of fun to break out of the post punk/art genre to write a song or style I was not very comfortable writing.”

Seth Jabour adds, “Syd and I have always had a great song writing chemistry, so I was excited at the challenge of applying our talents to a new genre and style of songwriting. We were very fortunate to work with some incredibly talented people on these songs, and I think that comes across through the performances. Although this took some adjusting (art rock, this is not), I never doubted that we’d succeed in writing meaningful and catchy holiday tunes. Having Amy involved was a treat, as lyrics are not my thing (I’m surprised I managed to even type this.) Overall I found the process to be fun, frustrating at times, and ultimately rewarding. I look forward to what’s next for Office Romance.”

Amy agrees, “It was a thrill to work with Syd as well as Seth, whose music I have admired for years.”  Carlson, a true lover of holiday music, had a blast, drew lyrical inspiration from the classics ranging from Bing to Billie.

“I Love The Holidays” and “Holidays Aren’t The Same Without You” are performed by Alex Winston.

“Twinkling Lights” is sung by Holly Miranda.

CONTACTS

PR: kip@tellallyourfriendspr.com

Flock of Dimes

Flock of Dimes is the side solo project of Wye Oak‘s Jen Wasner.

CONTACTS

Management: Ian @ Figure Eight

Booking: Trey @ Billions

Find the other 7" at Merge

Bloc Party

Bloc Party will release their first new album in four years, entitled FOUR, on August 21st via Frenchkiss Records. Produced by Alex Newport (The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In, Polysics), the album was recorded and mixed in New York City, and is the band’s first full-length since 2008's acclaimed Intimacy.

Along with this exciting news, the band have announced a string of European, U.S. and festival appearances following a two-year absence from the stage, which will give fans the first opportunity to hear new material from their forthcoming album, as well as classic tracks from the band’s ten year history.  The overwhelming demand for the band has resulted in sold out shows across the globe.

Bloc Party has released three full length albums, including their Mercury Prize-nominated debut, Silent Alarm, helping to shape the sound of modern British guitar music. The announcement of the band's forthcoming album and return to the road mark the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a very special year.

CONTACTS

Management: Simon White / Tony Perrin (United Management)

PR: Jen @ Press Here (US)
Adam @ Toast Press (UK)
Chad @ Arts & Crafts (Canada)
Andrew @ Hostess (Japan)
Anya & Paul @ Co-Op (Europe & rest of world)

Booking: High Road Touring (N. America) / 13 Artists (world)

Emma Louise

Emma Louise is one of those people who were born to play music. She was the one who avoided maths and science classes to teach herself guitar and write songs in the high school music room. It paid off. At age 16, Emma’s stellar songwriting had been recognised with two Q Song Awards.

Post high school, a string of well-known supports including Sarah Blasko, Bob Evans and Tim Rogers and residencies around her hometown of Cairns followed leading emma to make the decision to move to Brisbane to take her music to the next level. She moved with an unreleased album up her sleeve, but as she immersed herself into the Brisbane music scene and started spending more time with songwriters and musicians, emma was inspired to go further.

Her debut EP Full Hearts & Empty Rooms was recorded in Cairns with friend and producer Mark Myers (The Middle East). Released earlier this year, it spawned her debut single and national radio smash ‘Jungle’ that instantly launched her into the eyes and ears of the world. After entering the AIR Independent Distro charts at number one, 26 weeks later her EP remains at the top spot. ‘Jungle’ has also appeared in the iTunes charts in ten countries leading to a major record deal in Continental Europe with B1M1/Universal Germany and worldwide attention. Syncs on international television drama Grey’s Anatomy as well as on US MTV show Awkward and ABC’s The Slap, are ensuring that emma louise is being heard far and wide.

To say it’s been a dream start is an understatement! An ever-growing list of accolades including three Queensland Music Awards in 2011 including Best Pop Song and Song Of The Year for ‘Jungle’, Best Folk Song for ‘1000 Sundowns’ and most recently Breakthrough Independent Artist of the Year at the JIMAs seem to be only the start for this refreshing talent.

With such a prolific and impulsive songwriting nature, emma louise utilises the new media of Youtube to showcase her newest offerings at their earliest stages. The simple nature of the videos, just emma and the camera, encapsulate her earnest and raw delivery in the purest form. Her unconventional and fearless approach to sharing new music is garnering quite the online following. As Nick Byrne from AIR says, “she’s using a 21st century medium to stunningly convey an art form hundreds of years old. The best kept secret on the internet is out.”

A dream national touring schedule in 2011 of sought-after supports including folk-rockers Boy & Bear and revered Australian troubadour Josh Pyke as well as her own sold out National Headlines shows on her first national tour First Flights in November, shortly followed by appearances on renowned festivals Gorgeous, Falls, Southbound and Norfolk Lanes. With more recording and a tour in the US including SXSW already slated for 2012 it looks like there will be no letting up for this young star on the rise.

CONTACTS

Manager: Rick @ Ground Control

PR: Kip @ Tell All Your Friends (USA)
Angela @ Mucho Bravado (AU)

Booking: Kevin @ Paradigm (USA)
Stephen @ Select Music (AU)

Crocodiles

For me, Crocodiles represent everything I love about life-affirming Rock’n'Roll:  they bring light out of darkness; they match reckless noise with the most beautiful melodies; they catch you off guard whilst sounding like the most perfect kind of right for the right here, right now.

They remind me of all the things I’ve loved but they also make me hungry for what I’ve not yet tasted.  The claustrophobia and pain of the recent past is dealt with bravely and the road ahead is wide and open.  It is all my favorite records playing at once; the trick to it being the truth; the truth being that great, life-affirming music must be bittersweet; anger is an energy that can be churned to positive.

We who face the demons of derailment out to destroy dreams must harness the hate and turn it back on itself—it is from this that great art is begat.  And so these songs rage and chime at once, in organized chaos, like life.

Charles and Brandon have been making music together since they were 18.  They met in the dirty glow of San Diego sun and now split their lives between New York City and London.  Their music has grown up over the last decade just as they have. New blood in the form of producer Sune Rose Wagner of Raveonettes fame oversaw this recent endeavor and it was a quick, natural Los Angeles creation. Duncan Mills mixed for the third time, to maintain their catalogue lifeline.

Crimes Of Passion kicks off with “I Like It In The Dark,” which could be their best to date; a joyous hymn to atheism and closes with the aching beauty of “Un Chant D’Amour,” a simple and direct ode to heartbreak. These songs bookmark an album bursting with sounds inspired by the likes of the Soft Boys, Street Hassle era Lou Reed, the Notorious Byrd Brothers, the Jackson 5 and even Glenn Branca. This is certainly the most fully realised Crocodiles album to date.

It is a sadly accepted impression that life is cooler in song, on screen, in art, or in poetry, but it is far superior when the creative process is fed back into real life and an album like Crimes Of Passion is born.

CONTACTS

Lawyer: Richard Grabel

PR: Kip @ Tell All Your Friends (US)
Nita @ Gold Star (UK)

Booking: Peter @ Inland Empire (US)
Ed @ 13 Artists (UK)

Devin

Written on a work shift at a shipping warehouse in his native Brooklyn NY, the “You’re Mine” EP literally represents the shift when Devin became the songwriter he is now.  The 3 song EP contains what Devin calls his “first good songs”. Self-recording “busted demos” of them helped refine Devin’s sound: straight-ahead rock & roll with elements of soul and punk.  The songs also sparked 6 months of writing the material that would develop into the “You’re Mine” EP.

The “Romancing” LP was released by Frenchkiss in April of 2012. Devin is now touring the world to support his debut album.

CONTACTS

Manager: Jazz @ Big Life

PR: Carla @ Sacks (US)
Anorak London (UK)

Booking: Mahmood @ Flowerbooking (US)
David @ Coda (UK & rest of the world)

The Drums

Emerging from Brooklyn via Florida in 2009, The Drums initially caught the ear of the indie world with their Summertime! EP. It was an escapist collection of beach pop fantasies; tracks suffused with a wistful, longing nostalgia that never pandered to cheap sentimentality. Their rise, particularly in the UK, was meteoric. Early buzz led to a prestigious spot on the BBC Sound of 2010 shortlist, followed in short succession by a slot on the Shockwaves NME Tour in 2009, and the publication’s Phillip Hall Radar Award in early 2010, well before the album’s release that summer.

Their terrific self-titled debut LP, released in June, was bifurcated into a first half dedicated to more upbeat pop songs, and a second half revealing a darker, more introspective side of the band.  For the often difficult sophomore LP, the band sidestepped the pitfalls of a slump by recording it quickly, again self producing, often laying down tracks spontaneously in singer Jonny Pierce’s kitchen. Following the departure of guitarist Adam Kessler, drummer Connor Hanwick switched to guitar, and guitarist Jacob Graham picked up his more natural instrument of synthesizers. Portamento, the new album, released just 14 months after their debut, reveals a band tugging lightly at the boundaries of their sound while still retaining their recognizable sonic signatures—sweet rushes of melody, winsome lyrics, and brittle synthesizer sheens colliding with wiry Spector-esque guitar and bass lines.

Pierce explains “The first EP there was this air of innocence. We were obsessed with vintage Americana sort of things. There were personal moments on the first album and EP, but it was very idea driven and conceptual. We wanted it to be cinematic. A scene from a movie, if you will. Now that’s gone. The new album, it’s like every song is a scene from real life. I think from beginning to end it’s sort of autobiographical for me. I was able to be alone for a lot of this, and really write about myself. This new album touches on everything from my extreme religious roots to transgenderism to violence, and of course there’s plenty of heartbreak stuff, which I couldn’t get away from even if I tried.”

The record’s titled Portamento, which is a 17th century Italian term that denotes a vocal slide between two pitches. For Pierce, it takes on an additional, personal meaning. “Well it’s got some significance,” he says. “Jacob and I meeting as young boys with a shared love for Kraftwerk and Anything Box and Wendy Carlos, and these were all synth pioneers, and a common feature on old analogue systems was ‘Portamento.’ It dictates the travel time from one note to another, and we have always thought it was a beautiful word. It seems to come in to play with how we have transitioned in the last year, losing a guitarist, reforming the band, our personal lives, and the actual sound of the album travelling from one thing to the next.” In a sense Pierce is describing loss, nostalgia, redemption, vulnerability, and love, which could well be a checklist of all the things that make The Drums matter.

CONTACTS

Management: Tom & Christy @ Esther Creative Group

Lawyer: David "DJ" Jacobs

PR: Brittany @ Fresh Clean Media (USA)
Kate @ Work It Media (UK)

Booking: Heather @ Paradigm (USA/JAPAN/AUS)
CAA (UK/EURO)

RACES

RACES (formerly known as Black Jesus) formed in the fall of 2009 after singer/songwriter Wade Ryff escaped the sweaty grips of multiple bands, the San Fernando Valley and a real life witch. Originally formed as an impromptu group assembled for a one time performance, this haphazard ensemble of 6 musicians decided to continue playing together and see what opportunities came their way. RACES have recently signed to Frenchkiss Records, who will be releasing their self-recorded and produced debut album this fall.

CONTACTS

PR: Kip @ Tell All Your Friends (US)

Booking: Zach @ High Road (North America)
Steve @ International Talent Booking (World)

l,2,3

Despite having been together for under a year, Pittsburgh duo Nic Snyder and Josh Sickels have already made waves in the UK this year, and now have just signed to Frenchkiss Records. They received rave reviews for a string of live UK shows in May, including The Great Escape festival & Club NME, which were closely followed by the release of their critically acclaimed Chess Club debut 7” ‘Going Away Party’, that received multiple Radio 1 plays from Zane Lowe and Fearne Cotton. Chess Club is also set to release the band’s new single, ‘Little Cure’, on October 25.
The band are all set to begin work on their debut album with Nicolas Vernhes, due to be recorded in New York City this autumn.  Between recording sessions the band will be squeezing in shows at CMJ in October including a very special gig at the Chess Club / Neon Gold party.
1, 2, 3 consists of long time friends Nic Snyder (vox, guitar & keys) and Josh Sickels (drums). Snyder grew up inspired by a steady diet of Mercury-era Rod Stewart, Neil Young, Bacharach and his all-time favourite, Roy Orbison, but he was lured into writing his own music by his father. A collector of punk 7’s back in the seventies, his dad was also a piano player in Pittsburgh’s monolithic Iron City Houserockers, probably the biggest band to come out of the Three Rivers area in the 1970/80′s. Surrounded by photos of his dad on stage with Springsteen and B.B. King, Snyder was inevitably influenced by Blues and Motown as well.
Band:
Nic Snyder – vocals, guitar & keys
Josh Sickels – drums


***

Josh, Nic, and Chad at their video shoot for “Scared, But Not That Scared”

Who is the diva of the group?
Nic is the diva, Josh is the angry one

Who has the best Beatles solo project?
John Lennon, Plastic Ono Band

Who takes the longest in the shower?
Josh

Who is the worst driver?
Chad / Mike are the scariest

Who gets hit on the most?
Nic

Josh, what is your favorite pizza?
Difara’s

Almost every non-NY band hates the city, right?
We’re only anti-driving/parking in New York

What is 1,2,3’s spirit animal?
Albino buffalo

Favorite albums:
Nic - Astral Weeks by Van Morrison / Chad - Kid A by Radiohead / Josh - 36 Chambers by Wu-Tang Clan

Who shares the beds?
Chad and Josh (rhythm section), Mike and Nic (guitar players)

Young Man

Itʼs enough to make you stop and say, “What is that?” It being the gorgeous
melodies and lean, spellbound guitar lines of Colin Caulfield, an English/French
lit major whoʼs about to change what it means to be a shape-shifting singersongwriter
in the YouTube age.
Just ask Bradford Cox. He knows. Why, just a year ago, the Deerhunter frontman
stumbled upon Caulfieldʼs organ-grinding rendition of “Rainwater Cassette
Exchange” and said itʼs “fantastically superior to the original. It actually sent
shivers up my spine, especially during the second verse.”
Believe it or not, that chilling cover was just a warmup session. As killer as he is
at capturing the very essence of everything from Animal Collective to Ariel Pink,
Caulfiedʼs true talent is in telling his own Young Man stories. The first chapter of
which goes by the name Boy, a deceivingly-simple suite of songs about wanting
to grow up without having the slightest idea of what ʻbeing a manʼ actually
means.
Now thatʼs a reason to hit rewind, from the tone-setting tenderness and psychinfused
harmonies of “Five” to the restless rhythms (Caulfield was a drummer
well before he became a singer/guitarist) and room-engulfing intimacy of “Up So
Fast.” Both of which feature some of the most hopeful/haunting choruses youʼll
hear all year.
And thatʼs just the beginning, of course. Since Young Man was conceived as a
concept project about the passing of time, love, and loss, Caulfield already has
two loosely-linked LPs on tap—a faceless collection of fragile characters that
could be any one of us, really.
“A lot of itʼs autobiographical,” explains Caulfield, “but itʼs universal at the same
time, because everyone goes through these things.”
Listen closely. Itʼll all make sense soon enough. Trust us.

CONTACTS

Management: Beekeeper Artists

PR: Carla & Joe @ Sacks
Jakub @ Big Mouth (UK)
Fabrice @ La Mission (France)
Sven @ Verstaerker (Germany)

Booking: Kevin & Marty @ Paradigm (US)
Nick @ Primary Talent (UK / Europe)

Suckers

In two short years, Quinn Walker, Austin Fisher, Pan and Brian Aiken, aka Suckers, emerged with a sound and aesthetic that grew them a local following from their homebase at the Glasslands Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With the members often simultaneously playing multiple instruments per song and singing, shouting and chanting in unison, the group’s early shows (often featuring the band in face paint and costumes) were wild affairs featuring primal beats, future sounds, trumpet blasts, religious truths and the sheer enjoyment of three one-man bands playing together.  The trio knew they were missing something or someone and added drummer/keyboardist Brian Aiken, fresh off a year abroad in Hungary. With Brian on board, the band hit their stride, packing local venues and sharing bills with friends and kindred spirits in Yeasayer, MGMT, Bear In Heaven, Chairlift and Real Estate.

Those same audiences—and a nationwide mass of new converts—found themselves fully enmeshed in Suckers’ lush tapestry of joyous pop, style and imagination on their self-titled debut EP (produced by Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder), released in April of 2009. The EP —and its hit single, “It Gets Your Body Movin’”—launched them to global acclaim via outlets such as Rolling Stone, NME, NPR, Nylon, Under The Radar, Stereogum, Interview and many more.

Freelance Whales

To call them multi-instrumentalists might be a little overdone.  The kids in Freelance Whales are really just collectors, at heart. They don’t really fancy buffalo nickels or Victorian furniture, but over the past two years, they’ve been collecting instruments, ghost stories, and dream-logs.  Somehow, from this strange compost heap of little sounds and quiet thoughts, songs started to rise up like steam from the ground.

The first performance of these songs took place in January of 2009, in Staten Island’s abandoned farm colony, a dilapidated geriatric ward, in one of New York’s lesser visited boroughs. A seemingly never-ending jigsaw of small rooms, the farm colony ate them whole and threatened to never regurgitate them. And even though the onlookers were only spiritual presences, the group was still palpably nervous and visibly cold.  After a bit of singing, strumming and stomping asbestos, they realized that they’d found a good crowd.  They heard a bit of clapping from an adjacent room, also some laughing, but not a single soul asked about their record.

Weathervanes, the groups debut LP, finished tracking just a few nights earlier.  Swirling with organic and synthetic textures, interlocking rhythmic patterns, and light harmonic vocals, the record works to tell a simple, pre-adolescent love story: a young male falls in love with the spectral young femme who haunts his childhood home.  He chases her in his dreams but finds her to be mostly elusive.  He imagines her alive, and wonders if someday he’ll take on her responsibilities of ghosting, or if maybe he’ll join her, elsewhere.

Since their brief residency at the Farm Colony, Freelance Whales have taken to city streets, subway platforms, and stages with their swirling nostalgia.  Many people who found them playing in those public spaces, managed to forget what train they were supposed to take; some of them forgot what language they originally spoke.  And so, after playing in New York City, almost exclusively, for about a year, they embarked on their first tour of the United States, and Canada.  They saw buffalos posted on hilltops, armies of windmills, and lots of lovely people who let the music run their blood in reverse.

CONTACTS

Manager: Andrew McInnes

PR: Kip @ Tell All Your Friends (US)

Booking: Heather @ Paradigm (US)

Local Natives

Los Angeles’ Local Natives will release their sophomore album, Hummingbird, on Frenchkiss Records/Infectious Music on January 29th, 2013 (out in Europe January 28th). The first song to be released, a hazy dose of pop splendor called “Breakers,” is available to stream now via Pitchfork. The band will also be embarking on a UK and European tour previewing new songs from the album, with a US tour to follow.

Much has happened between the band’s critically-acclaimed, Best New Music debut album, Gorilla Manor, and the imminent release of Hummingbird.  From rave reviews to brilliant television performances, Gorilla Manor launched the band onto the global stage, saw them headlining theaters throughout America and Europe, opening for bands like Arcade Fire and The National, winning them lauded slots at major festivals around the world, and selling over 100,000 albums in the U.S. alone. Upon their return home from the road, the band built out a rehearsal space/studio in an abandoned bungalow in Silverlake, allowing them to try writing in different ways, and freeing them up to work extensively on tones and arrangements. This ultimately led to their experimenting with new instruments and sounds, bringing a broader musical palette to the table, and challenging them to grow from the comfort space of their established aesthetic. 

The band says Hummingbird was created from the emotional framework of being stretched between two opposite poles. In the two years following Gorilla Manor’s release, the band saw the highest highs and the lowest lows they had ever experienced together; while their wildest musical dreams were coming to fruition,  personal relationships faltered or fell apart, and a close family member suddenly passed away. As such, the songs on Hummingbird embody that similar dichotomy – they are fragile and powerful, opulent and spare, tense and poised.  When it came time to properly set these songs to tape, the band did their initial tracking in Montreal, and then decamped to Brooklyn, enlisting as co-producer The National’s Aaron Dessner, who they had recently befriended while touring together. It was the first time they had ever recorded outside their native California, and relocating became the physical manifestation of working beyond what was familiar for them.  Indeed, Hummingbird is all the better for it.

CONTACTS

Manager: Phil @ Red Light

PR: Jen @ Press Here (USA)

Booking: Jackie @ Paradigm (North America)
David @ CODA (Europe & rest of the world)

The Antlers

“It’s a record about moving forward,” says Peter Silberman. “Hospice was kind of all-encompassing for a while and Burst Apart feels like us moving on from it. Not to abandon it, but to keep it in its place and figure out what’s next.”

Recording began in September 2010 and then continued over a five-month span at the Brooklyn-based band’s studio in Bushwick. Rather than bring in an outside collaborator, singer/guitarist Peter Silberman, drummer Michael Lerner, and keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci decided to pool their considerable skills and produce the record entirely on their own.

“We realized that we didn’t need an outside producer or engineer to sound the way we wanted — we could produce and engineer it ourselves”,” says Cicci. “We took a five-year lease on a studio and pretty much treated it like a job for five months. We went to the studio in the morning and worked every day for 8 or 12 hours, just piecing it together.”

Two years spent touring behind Hospice had left its mark on The Antlers. In addition to bonding the trio as friends and colleagues, all three had developed an increased interest in electronic music, what Silberman refers to as “music that keeps moving and is kind of entrancing and expansive at the same time. Headphone music, music that keeps you going while you’re driving for 20 hours.” The band’s goal was to draw upon those sounds while still employing classic songwriting structures, synthesizing ostensibly artificial qualities into an organic pop template to evoke a full panoply of feeling.

“A lot of electronic music prides itself on its anti-human quality,” says Cicci, “where it chooses to pull emotion out rather than add emotion in. In that way, this record is definitely way far from being an electronic record.”

To that end, The Antlers avoided excessive programming, instead endeavoring to capture the symbiotic sound of a band that simply happens to employ synthesizers and other electronic instrumentation.

“There wasn’t a lot of looping or things like that,” Cicci says. “It felt like we recorded it live. We know how to make the sounds immediately, without so much processing or effects layered on everything. We can pretty much pull the sounds out of the equipment we already use.”

Though Silberman had previously released two solo works under the moniker of The Antlers, 2009’s Hospice represented the full-length debut of the trio as it currently stands. An elaborate song cycle dealing with life, death, and all the in-between, the album earned rapturous praise while also striking a deep chord in a generation of listeners. But in crafting its follow-up, The Antlers were anxious to avoid being branded by their previous album’s mournful content.

“It began to feel like we were being pigeonholed as a ‘sad band,’” Silberman says, “but we’re not particularly sad people. We have a lot of different feelings about things. There’s a whole spectrum of emotion to explore and I think that’s what we were trying to do on this record.”

“We wanted to make an honest record that we all felt we were putting our real selves into,” Lerner says. “It doesn’t have to be pure sorrow or unadulterated joy. If you’re feeling something, then we’re doing something right.”

Where Hospice was marked by its fixed narrative structure, Burst Apart is decidedly more elliptical and less lyrically baroque, in part to allow Silberman’s plaintive vocals to coalesce as but another element of the overall aural picture. He describes the album as simply “a collection of songs,” noting that “even though they all belong together and they’re all related, there wasn’t a kind of unifying concept.” None of which is to say Burst Apart is without cohesive thematic content.

“I think, in a weird way, it’s a record about trying to understand happiness,” Silberman says. “It’s also about change – making different decisions in your life and trying to understand yourself better, understanding things like confidence and self-destructive qualities. I think growing up would be the blanket idea.”

“It’s like a journey,” Cicci says. “Of going back home and finding what’s real in the world. The arc of the record follows the idea that contentment is only temporary, a fleeting emotion that will eventually bring you back home to something real.”

Imbued with seductive guitars, taut rhythms, and hypnagogic melodies, Burst Apart is simultaneously introspective and animated. “Parentheses” is constructed upon clattering beats and vertiginous dub tension, highlighted by Silberman’s keening falsetto, while “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out” soars and swings, its joyous pop sensibility belying an undercurrent of Cronenbergian angst. In the end, the album arrives at a devastating and definitive crescendo with the stunning soul throwback, “Putting The Dog To Sleep.”

“I think that song really encapsulates what we were doing with this record,” Lerner says. “Soul music has a real purity, an honesty, a gut-wrenching quality.”

While The Antlers’ ardent passion for musical exploration resonates throughout the album, it expertly sustains a careful balance between the cerebral and the visceral. Epic in aspiration yet intimate at its core, Burst Apart is an astonishingly affective collection that offers an exhilarating glimpse into The Antlers’ incandescent heart.

“I think people will be sucked in,” Cicci says. “We want to draw people into the world of the record.”

“Our goal was a kind of hand-holding,” says Silberman. “To bring people with us as we navigate different waters of sound. To invite people into this world that we were working on as a group of three people enjoying what we were discovering about music and about songwriting and about making a record.”

Enon

Enon is an indie rock band founded by John Schmersal, Rick Lee and Steve Calhoon. Currently, Enon is situated in Philadelphia, though the band is known for being part of the New York music scene. Schmersal was originally in the band Brainiac and formed Enon (named after the village in Ohio, which is close to Schmersal’s hometown of Dayton) with Lee and Calhoon following the death of Brainiac’s singer Timmy Taylor and their subsequent disbandment. After Brianiac Schmersal made a solo album under the name John Stuart Mill[1]. Rick Lee and Steve Calhoon were both previous members of the band Skeleton Key, a befriended band Brainiac had toured with. Together they formed Enon. Lee created a number of percussion sounds for the band playing a “junk kit” including a Radio Flyer wagon, propane tank, and old hubcaps. After the release of their first album Believo! in 1999, Calhoon left the band and was replaced by Toko Yasuda (bass/vocals/keyboard) and Matt Schulz (drums). Yasuda was before in the bands Blonde Redhead, The Lapse and The Van Pelt. With the new lineup, Enon released High Society in 2002 and toured with The Faint. A majority of Enon’s albums have been released on the Chicago-based indie label, Touch and Go Records. Lee left the band, and Enon went on to release Hocus Pocus in 2003, and a collection of singles and previously difficult to find internet-released songs with a bonus DVD entitled Lost Marbles and Exploded Evidence in February 2005. In 2007 all three members of Enon contribute to Les Savy Fav’s album Let’s Stay Friends. Yasuda also did vocal contributions to previous recordings of this band, like for instance the first track of The Cat and the Cobra. Enon released their fourth studio album, Grass Geysers…Carbon Clouds on Touch & Go Records on October 9, 2007.  In summer 2008, drummer Matt Schulz announced that he would be leaving the group to pursue other interests. Afterwards he joined Holy Fuck as a touring member. Enon will tour for the remainder of 2008 and into 2009 with a replacement drummer before Schulz’s replacement will be announced in early 2009.  Brainiac’s former bassist Monasterio directs music videos, including two for Enon, and released an album in 2008 with a new band called Model/Actress; Schmersal makes appearances on this album.

Sean Bones

It all started with swim trunks, a Summer Reading ‘zine and sunscreen. Oh, and a 7-inch; we can’t forgot that part. “I’ve always wanted to do my own record,” explains Bones (ne Sullivan), referring to the solo single he released as part of the limited “S/S FRIENDS” fashion line. “I never thought it’d be reggae, but then last summer happened.” Ah, last summer. At the time, Sullivan was getting restless over the looming release of Sam Champion’s Heavenly Bender LP, so he set aside some no-frills studio time. The two-sided result, “Easy Street” and “Act So Casual,” became an easy, breezy mission statement for Sean Bones, a project Sullivan describes as “music that might cause people to scratch their heads a bit, only to realize that scratching their heads would make a good dance move.”
Indeed. Just ask the folks over at RCRD LBL, who got behind Sullivan early on and wrote, “Canvas shorts and reggae music sound like summer spent by the water being lazy. Sean
Bones is not lazy.” Sure enough, Sullivan spent many late nights crafting the dirt-encrusted reggae that drives Sean Bones’ Frenchkiss debut Rings. Named after the pervading influence of such speakerimploding ‘60s/’70s standards as the Congos, Desmond Dekker and Lee “Scratch” Perry, Rings was first recorded live to a 16-track tape machine with one malfunctioning slot. “We were working with limitations from the start,” says Sullivan. “I also told the engineer (Jay Braun, who’s also worked with the Stills and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) to track the music in a way that hit the tape hard, stressing it out and giving us a gritty sound.” The result is a funky reggae party with feeling. From the sturdy rocksteady groove and sly Phil Spector nods of “Cry Cry Cry” to the dub flavor of “Instigator” to the twilight zone reggaeton of “Smoke Rings” – Bones’s debut seem tailored to summertime-in-the-city.
And then there’s “Dancehall,” a friendly sparring match between Barrington Levy and latter-day Blur. So yeah—this ain’t Legend: The Fourth Generation here; it’s something much stranger. “Even when it’s poppy, reggae is heavy and weird,” says Sullivan. “Especially the early stuff—it’s done on primitive equipment and it’s better for that. To me, that’s punk, and I
love it.” He’s not alone. Remember that early “Easy Street”/“Act So Casual” single? When Sullivan tried to book a Sean Bones show to recoup the costs of vinyl pressings and canvas shorts, he ended up signing a record deal instead. Not to mention scoring the starring role— without auditioning, mind you—in Wah Do Dem, an indie film with loose connections to
The Harder They Come and Rockers. My character is this hapless guy named Max who wins two cruise tickets, but gets dumped and has to go on this trip alone,” explains Sullivan. “He spends a week on a Senior Citizen’s cruise before getting robbed and lost in Jamaica on his daytrip there. Somewhere along the way, he gets taken in and sees the ‘real Jamaica’.”
You might recognize Max’s ex as a certain Norah Jones. While her character may ditch Max early on, the Grammy winner wound up contributing vocals to the album closer “Turn
Them,” a song catered to the film’s storyline. Landing such a high profile guest begs one question, of course: what’s next, beyond a spring 2010 S/S FRIENDS collection involving
ponchos and galoshes? “I’m not closing any doors,” says Sullivan of his past projects, “but when the idea to record my own reggae single came to me, I was so excited I had to stand on my fire escape. It feels right to be doing this.”

Cut Off Your Hands

CUT OFF YOUR HANDS

Nick Johnston – vocals
Michael Ramirez – guitar, vocals
Phil Hadfield - bass, vocals
Brent Harris - drums, vocals

Give him a wall, he’ll scale it like Spiderman. Give him an air conditioning funnel in the ceiling, he’ll crawl it like Alien. Give him a balcony, he’ll launch himself from it like a suicidal base-jumper. Give him an audience, he’ll mosh his way through them like a human cattle-bar. Give him a pop song, he’ll croon it. Give him a gig, he’ll tear the living, beating heart out of it and eat it whole.
He is Nick Johnston, the mini-Iggy whirling dervish at the front of New Zealand’s most visceral, vital and vibrant pop-punk band since, well, forever. And he’s a victim of his own showmanship. “Our pop sensibility has come lately,” Nick explains. “We started listening to a whole bunch of different music than that earlier stuff. We’d been listening to Phil Spector and Brian Wilson and Roy Orbison, all sixties and fifties pop. I can relate to that quite a bit. And The Buzzcocks are quite important to us, a lot of energy, what they’re doing is punk rock but it’s so obviously taken from sixties pop tunes. ‘Oh Girl’ is very much a straight up Brian Wilson song. I was more interested in the sonics of the song when I wrote it, a real sixties style pop classic song. Up to that point I hadn’t written anything melodic, it was all fast and angular and energetic, but with that one I wanted it to be almost tongue in cheek so I put those tongue in cheek lyrics to it.”
Lyrics like “Oh darling, can you come over to my house?/We can do things that we’ve never done/We can just talk, it would be such fun!” The polar opposite, in fact, of the relationship angst and insecurity that characterised ‘Still Fond’ and will be slapped frivolously across COYH’s debut album, currently being recorded with Bernard Butler.
“’Still Fond’ is kind of disguised as a nice pop kissing-girls song but it’s really highlighting a dark moment in a relationship where you can both see it’s kind of shit but make a decision to carry on regardless. It’s a very immature relationship I guess. I write about the general thing of being quite fucked up, and the sense of loss and not admitting that. It’s being young and innocent and admitting you don’t really know anything.”
We do know one thing about Cut Off Your Hands though: give them rock’n’roll, they’ll devour it…

Passion Pit

Boston’s Passion Pit is the brainchild of Michael Angelakos with live band consisting of Ian Hultquist (synths), Ayad Al Adhamy (synths, samplers), Jeff Apruzzese (bass, synths), Nate Donmoyer (drums). Michael is a songwriter’s songwriter drawing from a variety of influences, from the classic pop of Randy Newman to the synth work of Giorgio Moroder.

The Chunk of Change EP was originally put together as a (belated) Valentine’s Day present to Angelakos’ girlfriend which then prompted him to give it out to friends and fellow students at Emerson College.  Angelakos wrote and recorded the entire record by himself and it only hints at what is to come from this extremely talented perfectionist. The production of the recording - brief, sporadic, and explosive - worked towards the development of Angelakos’ signature euphoric and blissfully melancholic sound. Frenchkiss Records will reissue the ep this fall with the addition of two bonus tracks “Better Things” and “Sleepyhead” that are already catching the online world on fire.  All of this is in preparation for Passion Pit’s debut full length coming out in early 2009. 

Playing as a five piece live, Passion Pit has already blown away audiences opening up for Death Cab For Cutie, Girl Talk, These New Puritans and more.  Also winning the WFNX/Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll as the Best New Local Act of 2008, Passion Pit hopes to bring their soulful dance explosion to your town this fall.

CONTACTS

Columbia: ian.quay@sonymusic.com

Turing Machine

BIOGRAPHY
Turing Machine formed after the demise of Justin Cherno (guitar) and Scott Desimon’s (bass) previous skronk outfit, DC’s noise punks, Pitchblende. Pitchblende released 3 albums and a boatload of 7"s for of-the-moment labels like Cargo, Matador and Jade Tree. After relocating to NYC Cherno and Desimon teamed up with drummer Gerard Fuchs (previously of ex- Bitch Magnet guitar god Jon Fine’s time-signature-obsessed outfit, Vineland.) Named after the obscure English theroitician Alan Turing’s abstract machine used in complexity theory and computation theory, Turing Machine do indeed deliver with precise and appropriately complex music.

Brought together by their common background in noise / experimentation and a mutual love for esoteric kraut rock and psycheldic music the members of Turing Machine; Desimon, Fuchs and Chearno began playing together solely for a good time, but rock and roll habits die-hard. As their ideas progressed they began to search for a singer to participate in the project (an early quartet version of the band featured Matador Records founder Gerard Cosloy on 2nd guitar). After 2+ years of miserable auditions, lost friends and unreturned phone calls, it became increasingly obvious that they weren’t going to find a vocalist and the decision was made to continue as an instrumental trio. With the vocal burden lifted the music began to take a turn away from the strict math rock structures of their previous combos and headed toward more fluid, percussion driven sound reflecting German avant guardist’s like Can and Neu! As well as English Art School rockers This Heat.

Turing Machine’s DFA produced debut, “A New Machine for Living” ended up in heavy rotation as soundtrack music to 2 seasons of MTV’s The Real World and several skateboarding and bmx videos, and the band found themselves opening for Interpol, The Faint, Don Cabellero, Jets to Brazil and The Champs among others.

After 3 years of on/off playing the band headed into the Bridgeport CT’s Tarquin Studios in October 2003 with engineer Steve Revitte (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Liars, and Chearno’s other outfit Panthers). Again, the band set up and tracked the record live, playing the 10 minute + compositions in their entirety, but this time they added multi-instrument overdubs to flesh out the sound out the sound on their own. Just as the band finished tracking the record Desimon relocated to London for a year as his fiancée completed her graduate studies overseas, returning in June of 2004 to mix the record at Gigantic Studios NYC with Chris Zane (Calla, Les Savy Fav, Inouk).

Thunderbirds Are Now!

BIOGRAPHY
Make History, Detroit band Thunderbirds are Now!‘s 3rd full-length and second on Frenchkiss Records, does away with a band in full tail-chase and depicts one at it’s peak: no longer stressing about what people might expect, but rather wearing their influences better than one of Interpol’s tailored suits. “We live off of pop music,” says singer/guitarist Ryan Allen. “Some Beatles for breakfast, a little Smiths for lunch, and the Pixies for dinner. Sometimes we’ll have a little New Pornographers for a midnight snack.” Further, “making an album full of melodies, actual choruses, songs in major keys… it’s something I think we all grew up with, so it was inevitable that we’d make a record like this. It’s our chance to do right by our influences and by ourselves.”

To document Make History the band convened in New York and Philadelphia with longtime friend John Schmersal, famous for his signature guitar skronk as a member of Brainiac and for his skewed-pop sensibilities with his current band Enon. Schmersal’s ear for melody as well as unconventional sounds and structures helped TAN! find a perfect marriage between the straight-ahead and the peculiar. It’s a coupling that can be heard all over Make History. Chris Zane & Syd Butler (proprietor of Frenchkiss Records & Bassist of Les Savy Fav) mixed the album. Take the opener, “Panthers in Crime,” which starts off with an acoustic introduction and crashes to an end with keyboardist Scott Allen manning a Hammond organ and drummer Matt Rickle bashing his kit. Or examine “The Veil Comes Down,” a four-on-the-floor rocker that features bassist Howard Chang’s steady rhythms and some of the most eccentric keyboard noises the band has ever cooked up. The eleven-song album culminates with live staple “(The Making of…) Make History” and its chorus of pop-centric “ba ba da ba’s” singing the album to its triumphant close. It’s all done with the utmost intent of separating themselves from the dance-rock and the post-post-punk pigeonholing that has plagued some of their contemporaries, making their own history along the way.

For those unfamiliar with the band’s ever-changing evolution, let’s get you up to speed: The band started off as a five-piece in the suburbs of Detroit, eventually trimming down to drummer Mike Durgan, bassist Marty Smith, keyboardist Scott Allen, and singer/guitarist Ryan Allen. The band released two EPs and one full-length record (2003’s rambunctious Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief on the Action Driver label), before signing to Frenchkiss Records to release their 2005 breakthrough Justamustache. The record garnered praise across the board from tastemakers like Pitchforkmedia.com and others.

After Smith left the group to become a married man the band drafted bassist Howard Chang and hit the road with fervor, touring with the likes of Enon, Minus the Bear, The Hold Steady, The Constantines, These Arms are Snakes, Supersystem, and Rahim. Summer 2005 saw the band make their first appearance on the American summer festival circuit playing the Pitchforkmedia-curated Intonation Music Festival. To cap off their year the band visited the UK for the first time. In early 2006, Durgan left the band, so new drummer Matt Rickle (of Detroit faves Javelins) stepped in to the fray, joining the band for their first-ever Australian tour alongside Les Savy Fav and the Hold Steady. 2006 promises more of the same upward trajectory for TAN! starting with Make History in the fall and their patented brand of unrelenting touring and inspiring live shows around the globe to follow.

CONTACTS

1. Your new album is called “Make History”… who the fuck do you guys think you are?
Answer: The title is meant to suggest a few things. First, it’s supposed to be a bit cocky, in the sense that yes, there is no way our band is going to ever achieve something on the level of the Beatles or Nirvana, but who is to say that you aren’t allowed to try? Additionally, we are attempting to encourage the idea that life is short and that everybody needs to try and carve out their own bit of history in whatever they do. Paint a picture. Make a record. Walk an old lady across the street. Shit like that. Also, who the fuck do you think YOU are, sir?

2. I’m the guy who asks the questions, son. Next one: You guys change members more often than Lindsay Lohan changes bikinis. What happens to the former members after they leave the band?
Answer: Most often, they are sent off to a farm to incubate for a few months. They grow back the hair they’ve lost, begin a more regular diet, and attempt to relearn how to sleep in actual beds, rather than on the floor of a dirty punk-house in Madison, Wisconsin. Soon they are released back into the world as model citizens, primed to make babies, buy houses, and take their girlfriends/wives out to eat with ease. The remaining members of the band watch from afar, constantly peering into their empty wallets, trying to imagine what it would look like with a couple Abe Lincolns chilling up in there.

3. We heard you guys turned into pussies on the new album. What happened?
Answer: Fuck you dude. Suck our dicks.

4. Seriously though, what happened?
Answer: Dude. FUCK YOU.

5. Fine, but I was just curious.
Answer: Fine, but I was just curious.

6. Don’t mock me!
Answer: All right.

7. My, aren’t you smug? I just thought you guys would like the opportunity to defend the change in direction you made on the new album. I guess I could have worded it differently. Calling you “pussies” probably isn’t the best way to get on your good side, now is it?
Answer: No it’s not, but we accept your apology. We’re just really sensitive about that kind of thing, you know? Anyway, yes, the new album does take a turn away from the dance-influenced spastic punk that we’re sort of known for, and focuses more on the lyrics and achieving an overall timelessness in the songs. In this age of Myspace and manufactured punk, it seems that anything with energy and abandon to it has to also lack ambition in order to sell some records. We’re more in the mind of trying to make a record that you want to hear ten years from now instead of ten days from now.

8. Wow. That’s pretty deep. Oh, will you guys ever learn how to play Kariki?
Answer: Nope.

9. Does your second album suck?
Answer: No, actually it’s pretty fucking good.

10. The show is over. Who wants Taco Bell?
Answer: We do.

Tangiers

BIOGRAPHY
On the outskirts of Toronto, two gentleman are in a darkened corner of an after hours club. They’re talking about the family myth: the big pink elephant that has occupied a prominent space in their lives for nearly a quarter century. The two men who are waging this valiant struggle are Josh Reichmann and James Sayce. Over the years, they’ve watched friends and contemporaries lose their sanity or simply just disappear as they cope with the weight of the family myth.

It was 3 years ago Sayce and Reichmann formed a band, called it Tangiers and tried to put the family myth behind them. They put out two albums, everyone seemed to like the records but the weight of carrying such a dark and tumultuous rock on their shoulders caused the band to seek inspiration and solace outside of their native land.

It was fall of 2004 when Syd Butler and Frenchkiss Records called to offer the band a chance at salvation. He invited the band down to New York City to record an album, and introduced them to a figure by the name of Chris Zane. Zane, who had worked with Butler’s Les Savy Fav as well as Calla and Ambulance Ltd, was to helm the project at New York’s Gigantic Studios. It was now decided that Reichmann and Sayce would take on the family myth head on.

However, something was missing from these sessions in New York; in a bold and valiant move, under the cover of darkness, Tangiers snuck Zane back across the border to Chemical Sound Studios in Toronto to finish recording. If the band were to wage war on the myth that has plagued them, then they were going to do it on their own soil.

They enlisted the help of Jon McCann who used to run with Guided By Voices and Shelton Deverell to help on drums and keyboards respectively. The result you ask? Well, an album with dark, romantic melodies, cryptically scathing and at times humorously literate self-deprecation, their consciousness of self never seeming self-conscious.

Both Reichmann and Sayce take stabs at dispelling the family myth. Sayce delivering hook laden pop songs about historical events and atrocities while Reichmann’s dark, brooding and often chaotic songs take a more literal stand against the myths power.

Celebratory and heartfelt, The Family Myth’s references are apparent, like The Fall and the Zombies being fronted by Leonard Cohen on amphetamines. While the indie canon is well represented, this never overpowers the band’s vision with their sound not out of place with contemporary music.

After releasing two albums, touring with the likes of Frank Black, Trans Am, The Constantines and The Walkmen, Tangiers will be embarking on a North American tour this fall. The Family Myth is unleashed in Canada on October 4th through the newly formed Baudelaire Label and in the US on October 18th through Frenchkiss Records.

Smoke and Smoke

BIOGRAPHY
Smoke and Smoke get right to the point. Like a Hemmingway novel, the music is terse and violent—presented in short, unsentimental, bursts. Short thrift is given for anything unessesary. Smoke and Smoke has a debut record due out on Frenchkiss in November. Here are the facts. No funny business.

Smoke and Smoke is Spencer Moody, Mike Kunka and Dan Haugh. Mike and Dan were in godheadSilo (sub pop.) Dan once cut all the tendons in his left arm and lost the use of it for a year or two, so godheadSilo chilled. Mike was also in Enemymine (k records, up records.) Spencer was the singer in Murder City Devils (sub pop). Mike and Spencer were in Dead Low Tide (tigerstyle records). Mike got whooping cough and was sick for 1 1/2 years and scarred his vocal chords. This somehow ended dead low tide.

Smoke and Smoke live and practice in Port Angeles, Washington. Smoke and Smoke is the name of the local head shop in Port Angeles Washington. And mostly people from Port Angeles, Washington will get the joke. Smoke and Smoke are trying their hardest to not sound like any other band or any certain type of music. They are also trying their hardest to have fun.

Smoke and Smoke record themselves in the practice spot or with their good friend Matt Remine on his ranch just outside of Port Angeles, Washington. The Creative process unfolds something like this: Mike rides his bike to the spot and he and Dan rock it. Spencer hears it and drops lyrical science all over that piece.

Sean Na Na

Coming Soon.

S PRCSS

BIOGRAPHY
Coming Soon…

REVIEWS
“MNML is 45 minutes of rock wound so tight every shift in the tension is audible. It’s a tension that goes way beyond the usual writer/editor hate-love relationship; MNML has a minor-keyed ferocity about it that recalls Mission of Burma and Sub Pop-era Soundgarden.”
- Philadelphia City Paper

“S PRCSS (melds) strong writing with inventive twists in every song. With the right combination of punk, garage and a few electronic flourishes, S PRCSS has created an album in which each track stands on its own as an accomplishment.”
- Boston’s Weekly Dig

“ The S PRCSS album. I’ve heard it and it makes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound like Def Poetry Jam.”
- Philadelphia Weekly (25 Best Things About the Philly Art & Music Scene)

“S PRCSS’ rhythm section sends the dancepunk idiom flailing like a jackknifed truck of bricks. Where other low-slung hipsters bark angrily atop cold hi-hat beats, this trio softens any pointed angles with a smart emotionalism. Heavily rhythmic, electronic-smattered dance-pop numbers are the name of the game—and where the instrumentals are short on arty hooks, the vocals are long on the lilting melodies. It is a wise and balanced move, and it sends S PRCSS just across the threshold into their own vista of elaborately composed tracks, sparkling the guitar, drums, programmed electronics, even actual pianos.”
- Pitchfork.com

“…so much here, how can they call it “MNML?” Perhaps that’s all they had left…not even having vowels…perhaps it’s really MONUMENTAL? Totally overflowing and energetic. Excellent.”
- Pataphysics Research Journal

Rahim

RAHIM IS:
PHILIP SUTTON: drums, percussion
RYAN McCOY: bass, percussion, vocals
MICHAEL FRIEDRICH: guitar, percussion, vocals

Hailing from New York City, Rahim are the new kids on the block, despite having already completed 3 tours and selling out of their first 2 7” releases. Over the past year of recording (with J. Robbins for an EP out on Frenchkiss Records July 26th) and touring, Rahim have come into their own. Sonically, the band is an amalgamation of Blonde Redhead, Q and not U, Fugazi and Sonic Youth, pulling influences from former torchbearers and catapulting the sound into something completely new.

BIOGRAPHY
The members of Rahim, Phil Sutton, Michael Friedrich and Eric Staciwo, began playing together in late 1999, under the name Radio Raheem. This early incarnation was a harsher, more aggressive trio than the current line-up. Their early live shows were the stuff of basement show lore and cassette tape demo fable across the suburban sprawl of Long Island, NY. It was not until late 2000 that Eric Staciwo left the band and was replaced by Ryan McCoy.

With the addition of Ryan, a new dynamic was brought to the bands already DC-influenced sound. Vocally and rhythmically the band was beginning to carve its own niche out of intertwined guitar/bass lines, dual vocals and drumming that would make fans of both No-Wave and Hip-Hop take note. Thought never losing its edge or artfulness, the band was beginning to craft songs that were both artful and memorable.

The Summer of 2001 saw the band record four songs for release on two separate 7” vinyl releases, a 3-song single on Zoo Music and a split 7” with fellow Long Islanders Knox Overstreet on Pony Collision Records. Armed with two 7”’s, the band hit the road in August of 2001 for a brief tour throughout the East Coast, Midwest and South. Upon returning home, both singles were out of print.

2002 was a year of writing and rehearsing, further refining their sound and becoming accomplished musicians. Their playing and songwriting both improved tremendously throughout this year, and the live shows became even more exciting and cohesive.

Excited by the success of their local shows and crowd enthusiasm towards their new material, the band hit the road again in the summer of 2003 for a month-long trek through the Eastern half of the country. Once they returned home, they quickly scrambled to throw together a winter tour for 2004, which occurred in January of 2004 with fellow rockers Gospel and Sheryl’s Magnetic Aura (now Meneguar).

2004 has certainly been an exciting year for Rahim, who had their most successful shows to date including shows with Red Light Sting, Year Future, Gogogo Airheart, Party of Helicopters, Decahedron, White Flight and Navies. In December of 2004, the band traveled to College Park Maryland to record a 4 song EP with producer J. Robbins. The fit was perfect and J.’s experience and ear were a huge help in shaping what would be the bands best recording to date…by a landslide.

2005 should be a very exciting year for Rahim. With expectations for touring, the release of the EP as well as their debut full-length, this is certainly a band you will be hearing a lot more about in the months to come.

The Plastic Constellations

BIOGRAPHY
We’re not going to the belly of the beast / with straight staccato we’ll shake it ‘till it bleeds

So begins Crusades, the third album from Minneapolis-based band The Plastic Constellations (TPC). It’s a lyric that goes on to color and temper the rest of the record, hinting at the triumphant spirit to follow. Whereas the band bounced between Pavement-inspired jangle and big rock anthems in the past, Crusades wastes no time establishing the latter over the former. Crusades is firmly a Rock Record and it is firmly unrelenting. Listen to the lyrics and you’ll find the band fighting, uniting, and conquering on each track. Couple that with hyper-kinetic guitar work and a thunderous rhythm section, and you’ll find TPC recontextualizing heavy music in the “indie rock” realm, thrusting them above so many less inspired bands.

TPC started playing together in 1995 as tow-headed and rambunctious 14-year-old best friends. At 15, they were asked by Low to open for them at the legendary First Avenue club; amazingly, this happened to be their first show. The four boys officially began storming the Midwest club scene in 1999, and quickly attracted a large following with their infectious live shows. As Atmosphere’s Slug once said in City Pages, “This city is not big enough to hold their energy.”

Now, as slightly more mature 23 year olds, TPC continue to wow audiences with their rhythmic intensity, anthemic melodies, and playful sense of humor. Having garnered favorable press around the country for 2004’s Mazatlan (2024 Records), the band is poised to bring their brand of party to the national stage in 2006 after signing to the influential and respected Frenchkiss Records in New York – home to Les Savy Fav, The Hold Steady, and Thunderbirds are Now!

Lacking any sense of pretension whatsoever, the band draws from a diverse range of influences. Ranging from the post-punk attack of Les Savy Fav to the dance-y rhythm of At the Drive-In, TPC leaves live audiences sweaty and spent. TPC are comprised of Aaron Mader and Jeff Allen on dueling guitars, Jordan Roske on bass, and Matt Scharenbroich on drums. Consistent with the friendship-unity theme of TPC, each member takes their turn in front of the microphone to espouse passionate group declarations.

Clouds part, the sun and a fresh start / ‘cause the paths clear ahead / and hopes not dead / fight till the end!

So closes “Men in Dark Times,” a song microcosmic and emblematic of the record as a whole. The fight is not dead and indeed, TPC is leading the charge.

Critical Praise for 2004’s Mazatlan…
“Sending the intensity of Les Savy Fav through a wringer of unshakable pop melodies that boast unexpected twists and shouts, The Plastic Constellations nail their bludgeoning, super-anthemic rock choruses with an energy infectious enough to directly affect your blood flow.
Pitchfork Media – (8.5 out of 10)

“ ...quirky, ecstatic tunes that throw indie rock, emo and even some hip-hop together and tell them to make nice. On their latest album, the noisy pop quartet diplays the blazing energy of fellow Midwesterners OK Go and some keenly lyrical, Modest Mouse-esque songwriting skills.”
Time Out New York

“Considering their relative youth against their apparent talent, if these guys continue to have fun and like each other they will grow into a formidable force. The kind of band a more bloated major-manicured act fears in the opening slot of a show – TPC would blow them away as easily as target practice on a beached whale.”
Exclaim! Magazine.

CONTACTS

1. Is it true that you guys have been a band for more than ten years?
Answer: Yes, please believe it. We started in ’95 as 14 year olds – Matt’s mom would make us cookies during practice, which was sweet. Since then we’ve all gotten a little older, a little wiser, and a lot drunker. We stay on our grind, cousin.

2. Aren’t you guys sick of each other yet?
Answer: Yes, absolutely. You probably can’t find a group of dudes who hate each other more. But at this point we’re sticking together for the money. Period. And let us tell you, it has been very lucrative to this point – why just the other night on tour Aaron slept under a kitchen table.

3. What’s it like being from Minneapolis/the Midwest?
Answer: It rules. We rep that set pretty hard, son. Minneapolis is an amazing city full of a ton of young, creative, cooperative people who are trying to build something sweet. The Midwest is also sweet but for more rugged/grizzled/agricultural/character-building reasons. We encourage you to visit both places.

4. What is a typical night on tour like for you?
Answer: On our way into town, we formulate questions we want to ask of the townsfolk. We then use these questions throughout the night to provide ourselves with an extremely thorough understanding of that local area’s economic history, cultural offerings, geopolitical underpinnings and locations of its cheapest cases of beer.

During our set, there is usually a lot of sweat, movement, flailing, and the occasional onstage vomit due to dehydration.

After the show, people usually let us party at their house, and we do just that my friend.

5. How deeply rooted in the rap game are you?
Answer: Waters run so deep, nephew. Our guitar player Aaron makes flame-broiled heat banger beats as “Lazerbeak” in the Minneapolis hip-hop collective known as Doomtree. In addition, all the rest of us specialize in one of the four elements of hip-hop. Matt has been breakin’, poppin’ and lockin’ since birth. Jordan’s been throwing up hot burners all over the American railroad tracks for over a decade as “Quack-One.” Jeff spins spitting hot lava flames of DJ cuts down at the Hexagon every ninth Wednesday night (ladies drink for free from 6-9 PM).

6. Why are your lyrics all about like dragons and natural disasters and shit? That’s weird.
Answer: Cause that stuff is crazy to think about, dun. Don’t you agree? Those are all things that should be sung about in song form. Seriously though our lyrics are about triumph, unity, friendship, passion. Oh and chainmail. Lots of chainmail.

7. What’s each member’s favorite drink?
Answer: Matt likes cheap gin. Aaron likes Budweiser. Jeff likes Sparks. Jordan likes straight tequila – none of that pussy-ass salt shit. If anyone out there who makes these libations would like to sponsor us and provide us with free samples, we will gladly entertain offers.

8. What are your guilty pleasures?
Answer: Aaron likes R. Kelly and Nick and Jessica’s “Newlyweds.” Jeff likes Coldplay and spreadsheets. Jordan likes Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts films. Matt “never feels that guilty about pleasure” (said with a knowing glance while sipping a snifter of cognac).

9. If you could be any professional basketball player who would you guys be?
Answer: Jeff likes to compare our band to Sam Cassell – a feisty clutch three point shooter with a weird-looking head. But in realty, we’d go with Kevin Garnett. Our devotion to that man runs deep. T-Wolves in ‘o6.

10. Do you guys blog?
Answer: Fuck yeah, dude. We blog 24/7. Check out our blog at blog.bloggertonbloggernog.bloggercom. We have emoticons to tell you how we’re feeling.

Call Me Lightning

Coming Soon.

Lifter Puller

Coming Soon.

Les Savy Fav

BIOGRAPHY
Les Savy Fav is Tim Harrington (vocals), Seth Jabour (guitar), Syd Butler (bass) and Harrison Haynes (drums). It has been nearly 6 years since Les Savy Fav has released a full album of new material. Finding their place in music has resulted in the new full length entitled Let’s Stay Friends.

Since forming in 1995, Les Savy Fav has grown into a band considered among the godfathers of the independent rock music scene, releasing three albums (3/5 in 1997, The Cat &The Cobra in 1999, Go Forth in 2001) and a singles compilation (Inches in 2004) that resulted in sales of over 100,000 copies worldwide.  Their constant success can be attributed to the overseeing of every aspect of their music including the release of it.  Bassist and Co-founder Syd Butler started the Frenchkiss Record label with the goal in mind to release their own records.  The achievement of these records has helped Frenchkiss put out amazing music from other equally impressive artists like the Hold Steady,Thunderbirds Are Now, Call Me Lightning and more!

Let’s Stay Friends is a record about Les Savy Fav’s unwillingness to give up. It’s a resolution to defy the forces which wear away at our innocence and enthusiasm. As musicians, the record declares their ultimate goals of being together, writing, and performing on their own terms, loosed from the thicket of the professional independent music business which has grown up all around them. From it’s first track- “Pots & Pans” to “Patty Lee” to its last “The Lowest Bitter,” Let’s Stay Friends consistently explores the challenges of keeping sight of ones true nature of a rapidly shifting world. The band’s approach to music in relation to changes it has witnessed in the music scene extends into a sophisticated metaphor all people can relate to about how we marry the consistent with the inconsistent.

The idea for this new record was to take time with it to make it perfect. The whole band (particularly guitarist Seth’s Jabour’s) musicianship and style developed and matured in their hiatus from the studio and everyone wanted to make sure they took time to leverage the ideas and enthusiasm that were pent up. Starting in the end of 2006 and going for a few months, old friend and recording partner Chris Zane was called in to help produce and engineer the recording at Gigantic Studios in New York City. Early in the writing process the band asked guitarist Andrew Reuland, a friend since before there was a band, to collaborate on many of the songs on the record. In addition to Andrew, a number of notable musicians were brought in- Eleanor Friedberger from the Fiery Furnaces sings a duet with Tim, Nicholas Thorburn from Islands/Unicorns does some back up, ALL the members of Enon make appearances, SNL’s Fred Armisen plays drums on “Pots & Pans” and “Patty Lee,” Emily Haines from Metric plays piano and Joe Plummer from Modest Mouse/The Black Heart Procession adds drumming that helped to expand the overall sound.  The result is a record brimming with Les Savy Fav energy and with a production and sound that is developed to a new level of sophistication and splendor.

The release of Let’s Stay Friends will also bring some touring this fall with Les Savy Fav hitting many of the major markets which have hosted sold out shows for the band in the past. The band will also produce several record release shows in their home area of New York City around the Fall release date.

REVIEWS

“If there is one thing that can be said of Les Savy Fav, it’s that they are persistent in writing their own chapter in this crazy book we call Rock n’ Roll.”
- Real Detroit Weekly

“Les Savy Fav is one of New York’s finest rock bands, hands down.”
- The Village Voice

“{Les Savy Fav}…turned the evening into a bona fide roof-raisin’ dance. Who rocks the party? You got it.”
- The Washington Post

“Up-beat, jaunty rock, deliberately curdled with dissonant guitar lines and critiques of capitalism.”
- The New York Times

“Les Savy Fav are fast becoming one of the most important bands the US underground has throw up in years.”
- Kerrang

“They’ve once again taken side roads to indie-punk salvation.”
- Alternative Press

Les Savy Fav specialize in brainy, brawny punk rock: The guitar lines search and stammer, and the lyrics follow and obtuse narrative path, untangling with each listen.”
- Entertainment Weekly

“Not like typical art-schoolers, thank God. Go Forth is one of the best records of 2001.”
- Jane Magazine

“Go Forth adeptly captures the Fav at their unbridled best.”
- Magnet Magazine


*****

1. What’s the name mean?
Answer: Nothing except itself, the band. It’s an invented title whose purpose is to keep LSF identifiable as a singular expression. It is pronounced five different ways, depending on which region you’re in. They are all correct. Any similarities to the French language are purely coincidental (just ask a French person what the name means).

2. How do you pronounce the name?
Answer: Lay-sah-vee-fahv but regional interpretations are admissible and encouraged.

3. Do you guys want to go swimming after the show?
Answer: (Unanimously) Yes

4. Where are you guys from?
Answer: New York City is the home of LSF – although the band’s inception can be traced to Fox Point. (Rhode Island School of Design)

5. What is the status of the band in 2005?
Answer: We’re building a sweat lodge and it might take awhile. Until then visit:
www.seththom.com
www.deadlysquire.com
www.harrisonhaynes.com
www.frenchkissrecords.com

6. What are your primary influences?
Answer: HH: Rufus Thomas’ performance at Watts/Stax 1973 and the collision of our clumsily outlined ideas.
SB: Motown.

7. Is Seth’s dad really a better guitarist than him?
Answer: Uh….yeah. Didn’t you see his dad onstage at Irving Plaza?

CONTACTS

PR: Kip @ Tell All Your Friends

Booking: Robin @ Inland Empire

The Hold Steady

Biography

The Hold Steady has been recording “Separation Sunday,” the sophomore follow-up to their smash-up 2004 debut “Almost Killed Me” (Frenchkiss Records) throughout November and December 0f 2004, in their hometown of New York City at Gigantic Studios. “Separation Sunday” is scheduled for release care of Frenchkiss Records in May of 2005. “Almost Killed Me” has been acknowledged in a wide-range of Publication’s Best Of 2004 lists, including Rolling Stone, Spin and Magnet among others.

“Separation Sunday” is being co-produced by Dave Gardener (Rocket From The Crypt, Drive Like Jehu & Hot Snakes) & Dean Botulonis (also helmed the knobs & whistles for the Hold Steady’s first record.) Some of the early song titles include, “Hornets! Hornets!,” “Banging Camp,” Your Little Hoodrat Friend,” and “A Multitude of Casualties.”

New York City based, The Hold Steady is fronted by singer/lyricist Craig Finn. Finn left Minneapolis for NYC in 2000 after the demise of art punk critical favorites Lifter Puller. Finn is old enough to have seen numerous performances by The Replacements in their Bob Stinson glory days. He longed to create music that had the same loose energy as the ‘Mats, the Grifters, and the Rolling Stones, while keeping alive the literary lyrical focus that he had developed in Lifter Puller. Enter Tad Kubler, Former Bassist of Lifter Puller is The Hold Steady’s Guitar player. Tad’s classic rock guitar riffage and screaming solos were a perfect fit for Finn’s rock ideal.

In new line-up news, joining Craig Finn (Lead vox/guitar), Tad Kubler (lead guitar) and
Galen Polivka (bass) are stand-out new additions Bobby and Franz. Bobby Drake is on drums. Drake has already completed a number of tours with the band. He recently relocated to NYC and officially joined the band. He previously played in End Transmission and Arm. The Hold Steady welcomes Franz Nicolay on keys. Nicolay is a current member of the World/Inferno Friendship Society. He also played piano and keys on Almost Killed Me.

The Hold Steady’s “Almost Killed Me” has graced many a magazine’s pages in the nod to the best and overlooked music of 2004. Craig Finn expresses his gratitude and excitement, “We are honored that so many people remembered Almost Killed Me in their year end polls. We are excited to kick off 2005 with a new record, a bunch of shows, and our two new band members.”

CONTACTS

1. How does The Hold Steady differ from Lifter Puller?
Answer: The Hold Steady takes a lot more inspiration from classic rock, has looser song structures and two members that weren't in LP.

2. Are the lyrics based on real life?
Answer: Yes, but oftentimes they are based on other people's real lives.

3. Can you turn down the guitar?
Answer: This amp loses tone if I turn it down. It doesn't have a master volume.

4. How did you guys form?
Answer: We came together to play some covers backing up some friends of ours in a comedy troupe. After doing that twice, we rehearsed some original music and then played a show as The Hold Steady. All of us lived in Minneapolis at one point. Thats how we know each other.

5. Do the characters in the lyrics to The Hold Steady songs relate to the characters in Lifter Puller songs?
Answer: Not really, maybe its a parallel universe though.

6. How many brews?
Answer: So many brews!

7. What are your goals with The Hold Steady?
Answer: To have fun playing, performing, and recording music.

8. Whats the difference between the NYC music scene and the Midwestern scenes that you guys came from?
Answer: NYC bands get a lot more national recognition, Midwestern bands take themselves less seriously. What came first is like the chicken and the egg...

9. What is the biggest inter-band conflict?
Answer: Packers vs. Vikings. Everyone recognizes that the Minnesota Twins are sweet.

10. Is Tad drunk?
Answer: No, he's just really tired.

Fatal Flying Guilloteens

REVIEWS
“Disjointed blues riffs wrap themselves neatly around foot-tapping (yet anarchic) drum beats, with the screaming of our pubescent superstar layered on top, combined to form an Extra Value Meal of blues-punks-who-used-to-like-indie-rock-but-got-bored-with-it-by-grade-ten. Hands down the best thing to emerge from Estrus since the Drags. 9 out of 10.” - VICE MAGAZINE

“And the Fatal Flying Guilloteens? Well, Chunklet’s had a big ol’ boner for those Houstonians for years now. Their new album is due in the late spring on Frenchkiss Records and is a kinetic interpretation of The Jesus Lizard discography crammed thru a kaleidoscope of dark 90’s spazz rockers like the VSS. And again, their live shows are quite galvanizing and have only improved in all the times I’ve seen them. And hell, Tim Kerr adores them! That should be enough for anybody.” - CHUNKLET

“The Fatal Flying Guiloteens bring a classic SST/early-Touch and Go sound to the inexplicably un-crowded modern punk table.” -VERTICAL SLUM

“Juggling spazz rock, noise, and garage punk with the precision of a drunken sailor in New York City, Fatal Flying Guilloteens recall the Jesus Lizard better than anyone else could on the planet. That’s not to say that they’re rip-offs—hardly, in fact they built upon the influence adding their own Houston-based influences…” - SMOTHER.COM

“Aggressive, raw, cutthroat and chaotic…” - URB

“the Gang of Four of garage rock” - TIM KERR (Big Boys/Poison 13/Bad Mutha Goose/Monkeywrench/Jack ‘O Fire/Lord High Fixers/King Sound Quartet/The Now Time Delegation/Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee)

“Enough yelping and yanking to get a room of Jesus Lizard fans grinning. A real racket, in other words…” -DECIBEL MAGAZINE.COM

“‘Reveal the Rats’ displays a seasoned band bristling with an art damaged intensity; the low-end screams David (Wm.) Sims” -DUSTED MAGAZINE.COM

Ex Models

BIOGRAPHY
Brooklyn, New York’s Post-punk, new-wave quartet, EX MODELS are one of the forerunning champions of The new New York Underground, as recently determined by the most influential and historically sound magazines and newspapers. “Zoo Psychology” is their latest offering; fifteen tracks of wailing and ruling recorded by Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Boss Hog, US Maple) and mastered by Fred Kevorkian (White Stripes, Mariah Carey, Squidz.)” “Zoo Psychology” is scheduled for release in May 2003 from frenchkiss records and Southern Distribution. Since their 1998 incarnation, the Ex Models have strived to bring an edge of authenticity back to the NY underground scene. They have done so with humility, humor and respect. Shahin Motia comments on making what is old new again:

“Our record obsesses over a culture of imitation. Things that once derived their meaning and value by being reliable representatives somehow substituted themselves for those relationships, without too many people who aren’t financial analysts being able to tell the difference. At this point we are way beyond reproducing the rock of the past. We’re generating in reverse what looks, sounds like and smells like new rock by means of statistical probability and deeply ingrained formula. Most of our music deals lyrically with the problems of this form, because that’s funnier than writing about one’s own anus constantly. Almost”

Brothers from the same mother & instrument (guitar), Shahin and Shahryay Motia, teamed with bassist Mikhail Masiello and drummer Jake Fielder to form what Alternative Press Magazine coined, “a unique combination of balls and irreverence.” Others wax on about frantic, deconstructed song structures, manic time signatures and delightfully angular guitars. Indeed, EX Models are no strangers to critical acclaim. Oft compared to greats such as Devo, Talking Heads and Shellac, they are already the stuff of a many a Top 10 List.

REVIEWS:
for Zoo Psychology

“New York noise that’s more Sonic Youth than Strokes…a very loud, very strange and playfully destructive album of explosions attached to titles like “Fuck 2 to the Music”... It sounds as if Ex Models are driving through the window of a jewelry store with the emergency brake still on, and in every track they back up and do it again and again and again…making Zoo Psychology a funny and relentless advertisement for atonal living.” - Rolling Stone (***)

“The New York renaissance may have turned out some commendably classic-sounding bands, but, as ever, it’s the weirder groups frozen in the city spotlight that turn out to be the most interesting… Big Apple vogue might have led us to Ex Models, but this ain’t no pretty boy fashion thing. This is New York evolution at work.” - NME (8 of 10)

“Ex Models are four punk kids with Sonic Youth’s disrespect for song structures, taking the piss out of rock, spitting and screeching and trashing everything within reach like cartoon Beastie Boys. Strap yourselves in; this one’s fast and crashing.” - Bang (***)

“I saw EM live before I heard them on record and…they wanked with such ferocious power that night the jizz-tsunami was unbelievable, the way they just spilt over a stage, cleaned out their pipes, put one end of a dirty rag up their ass, pulled it out their jap’s eye and exorcised their inner filth. Now I’m worried that Zoo Psychology is proving ever so useful around the house…Ex Models are in hock to nothing but their own fizzing synapses, tutored by nothing but the adrenaline and testosterone coursing around their nubile young bodies. Each moment’s capability to either explode or derail itself into silence is seemingly down to whether all four EMs are pulling together or apart, whatever unmediated impulse is buzzing within them…Speed-reading Larry Kramer’s ‘Faggots’ alongside Zoo Psychology helps enormously. Speed helps enormously. Crucially with ZP, you’ve pulled a live one, a feisty little minx/troubled young man who you’ll want out of your life in the morning. For now, take it home and let her beat you senseless/just fuck him till he whimpers.” - Careless Talk Costs Lives

At last the no-wave revival has produced a band with the genuine weirdness to match the original late-70’s movement and the furious chops to follow such later jazzcore bands as John Zorn’s Naked City… The disc last only 20 minutes, but it would take weeks to unravel all the hypertense riffs and squeals.” - Blender

“Brooklyn noise-wavers wild out like the Minutemen on chewable Ritalin…excellent.” - Spin
“Even the experimental-music snobs at MAGNET…get flustered in the face of this 15-track 20-minute blitzkrieg…This is, of course, the desired effect: complete annihilation of your equilibrium. Zoo Psychology does battle with all the mandatory, retro-hip namedrops (The Fall, Gang of Four, you know the drill) and carpet-bombs Melt Banana back to the ‘90s. It sounds like a war against music. It sounds like victory.” - Magnet

“the Ex Models album is a brain-punk masterclass in stop on a five-pence tightness. 15 songs whizz by in what seems like 15 minutes, leaving you gasping for more of their geek disco skill-ness.” - Muzik

“The kind of chaotic explosion last heard in the chemistry lab when the technicians accidentally came up with a mini H-bomb.” - i-D

“[Zoo Psychology] sounds like an extremely horny dog humping your leg…in the right mood, it even makes me want to break stuff.” - Village Voice

“Art-rock pushed to the extremes of sound and tipped over the edge of insanity. Each choppy outburst of noise makes no sense and yet with each yelp, bass throb and tsunami-like wave of guitar and incessant pounding, everything becomes clear. Confusing, chaotic, and utterly mesmerising.” - Kerrang! (KKKK)

“seizing and stretching the legacy of CBGB in its heyday: rock that’s smart, skeletal, and recklessly ambitious, eager to provide an antidote to synthetic pop and self-important mainstream rock.” - The New York Times

“New York calls it a ‘revival’, but it’s actually a cannibal dinner party, a celebration of a musical legacy being devoured… and Ex Models are sitting at the head of the table…So sink your teeth into these atonal, dissonant guitars. Wrap your tongue around these deconstructed song structures. Put that quivering strand of Arto Lindsay’s flesh to your lips and wash it down with a warm glass of James Chance’s blood. Close your eyes and take a bite.” - Washington Post

“Each and every song is delivered with gusto by the four worryingly manic individuals on stage, as they gurn and shimmy through a set of punked-up, funked-up and totally fucked-up rock ‘n’ roll…Ex Models have enough insanity to have Fab, Julian et al checking into the funny farm on their behalf. They are bizarre, clearly somewhat wrong in the head, and quite, quite brilliant.” - Logo

“Who likes this album? People tired of trite uninspired plop pop schreeching at them from TV, radio and more. TV…Atonal no wave noise for the betterment of humanity. This is what music is becoming.” - Stuff

“Ex Models put the ‘ex’ in ‘sex’ with their unique brand of hyperintellectual party-boy panic rock… With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the Models set out on their mission of rock and roll simulation packaging soulful high pitched vocals, call-and-response guitar work, and bouts of audience participation into catchy 90 second bursts suitable for advanced levels of Dance Dance Revolution.” - San Francisco Bay Guardian

QUOTES:
“Zoo Psychology is a very loud, very strange and playfully destructive album…a funny and relentless advertisement for atonal living.”
Rolling Stone

“It’s perfect music for dancing on a bed of nails.”
The New York Times

“At last, the No Wave revival has produced a band with genuine weirdness to match the original late-70’s movement…The disc lasts only 20 minutes but it would take weeks to unravel all the hypertense riffs and squeals.”
Blender

“It sounds like a war against music. It sounds like…victory.
Magnet

“Ex Models makes the cleanest and most non-metal racket you’re likely to find.”
Alternative Press

“Guitars orgasm with SonicYouth-like vehemence as yelpy vocals and mauling drums battle it around bass lines that would make Bob Weston jealous.”
Real Detroit Weekly

“Ex Models take contrapuntal deconstruction to explosive heights by condensing ideas and cramming in as much interesting information possible in as little time as possible.”
Aquarian Weekly

‘These guys are nuts, and the album makes you want to hit something, but it’s all good.”
The Sentinel

“Zoo Psychology swims in complex musical ideas, which are in turn presented skeletally enough that, for the most part, you can even actually figure out what the fuck is going on.”
Pitchfork.com

The Dodos

The drums hit you in the chest first, spraying your speakers like swift gunshots. But then Meric Long’s finger-picked chords kick in, cascading across Logan Kroeber’s brass knuckle beats like only the best Dodos songs can.  This forward motion feeling has driven the duo since 2005, but several key changes lift their fourth LP (No Color) to another level. For one thing, the band reunited with Portland producer John Askew, the man behind the boards of the Dodos’ first two full-lengths, Beware of the Maniacs and Visiter. Having an old friend around was like adding an honorary third member; a voice of reason who isn’t afraid of vetoing ill-fated ideas.

The main focus of No Color was to bottle the frenzied folk approach that’s been there since the beginning. And it works damn well, from the dagger-drawing dynamics and brain-burrowing choruses of “Black Night” to the hairpin turns and splashy percussion of “Good.” And then there are the songs that’ll make you want to dub old episodes of 120 Minutes, including the instrumental break of “Don’t Stop” and the sneak attack solo that weaves its way around the steely rhythms of “Don’t Try and Hide It.” 

“I have a love for ‘90s riffs that I haven’t gotten to showcase in this band,” says Long. “The most fun I had with this record was when I got to strap on the electric guitar and come up with Billy Corgan riffs while the tape was rolling.” 

It’s as if Long’s finally got to live the flannel-era fantasies that started when he was a teenager, tearing guitar tabs out of magazines at a local pharmacy. The catch? There’s less room for error than there’s ever been. 

“We’re more naked this way,” explains Long. “You can hide a lot of your mistakes on an acoustic, but with an electric, every single note is much louder and more piercing. So I have to be way more on top of my playing now.” 

And so do we.

CONTACTS

Manager & booking: Todd @ Leafy Green

PR: Kip @ Tell All Your Friends

Detachment Kit

BIOGRAPHY:
Detachment Kit was born of the band members’ desire to express their musical disassociation with everything around them. While they embrace and support the current independent sonic palette, they see themselves as an inherently conceptual band that is separate from the readymade confines of scenes, labels and genre-specific musical movements. As singer Ian Menard says, “I think we are relative to the current indie scene, but we’re not card carrying members of any particular genre. Actually, my card is all maxed out. What we are looking for is debt relief.”

Ian Menard (guitar & lead vox) & Charlie Davis (guitar) are the great (de)constructors of Detachment Kit. On Of This Blood (Frenchkiss Records), the highly-anticipated follow-up full-length to their much loved 2002 debut They Raging, Quiet Army (The Self-Starter Foundation), Ian handled guitars, drums and vocals while Charlie pulled double duty playing guitar and bass. The touring version of Detachment Kit is a quartet, with a rhythm section comprised of Michael Hamilton (drums) and Bryan Mayer (bass guitar.)

Of this Blood was recorded in two weeks time at Steve Albini’s studio, Electrical Audio in Chicago, IL, the same creative hotbed where the band spent all of one day recording their first album, They Raging Quiet Army. The thirteen additional days wear well on Detachment Kit. Of This Blood is more than the proverbial musical leap forward for the band. The album distills themes of isolation, anxiety, triumph, loss, hope and sentiment into its own unique poetics; it is concrete with soft skin. Of This Blood travels many musical paths, surprising and challenging the listener at each turn. Guided by anthemic, angular guitars, throaty deep bass lines, bombastic drums and layers of confessional, angst-ridden, yet playful and vulnerable vocals, the album captures the dichotomy between danger and delicacy.

The Bloodthirsty Lovers

BIOGRAPHY
*The Delicate Seam is Bloodthirsty Lover’s second full-length release
*The Band is the brainchild of Dave Shouse
*Memphis guitarist/vocalist formerly of The Grifters & Those Bastard Souls
*Began as a solo project in 2001-named after a pulp novel from the 50s
*Steve Selvidge, a cornerstone of the Memphis music scene (Big Ass Truck) & son of legendary Sid Selvidge teamed up with Dave in the Spring of 2003 for the creative construction of Delicate, collaborating on 4 of the 8 songs on the album
*The Delicate Seam was recorded at the homes of Dave Shouse and Steve Selvidge
*Dave’s “sequential recording” is a process of filling up his 8 track, dumping it into Pro-Tools, mixing to stereo tracks on his machine and repeating the process until the songs are complete
*Memphis Musician & Engineer, Kevin Houston mixed analog to half-inch tape
*Have shared the stage with Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips & Guided By Voices
*US Tour dates slated for Fall and Winter of 2004
*Suggested Tracks: #4, #6, #8 (#3’s a damn good one too)
*Instrumental breakdown:
*David Shouse (vocals, electric & acoustic rhythm guitars, piano, synthesizers,
samples)
*Steve Selvidge (lead & rhythm guitars, acoustic 6 & 12 string, organ, drums, bass
guitar, percussion loops, tone generators, background vocals)
With: *Kevin March (Guided By Voices on drums), *Katie Eastburn (The Young People lead & b.g. vocals) & *Ross Rice (piano).

REVIEWS:
David Shouse, best known as one of the frontmen for the Grifters, is the rare major figure in Memphis music whose work has no obvious local antecedent. You can point to Big Star’s beautifully bent anglophilic pop if you’re desperate, but Shouse’s singular sound—an atmospheric and arty mix of punk, prog, and glam-rock—is largely a universe unto itself around these parts…(His latest release is) a record in which rich, surprising soundscapes dominate. The opening “Telepathic,” with its spare, crisp guitar, atmospheric organ buzz, and brief, percussive vocals, could be a Radiohead outtake from Kid A or Amnesiac. Even more interesting are tracks that might be Shouse’s own version of soul music: The two-minute instrumental “Data Punk,” despite its title, might be the greatest melding of drum-and-bass and slinky ‘80s R&B in indie-rock history, while the funky bass line and hip-hop-worthy drum beat that lead off “Transgression No. 9” establish the song’s worth as the “underground dance mix” Shouse mentions in the lyrics. And if any of that scares you off, cue up track four, “2,000 Light Years From Home,” and luxuriate in the kind of soaring art-rock anthem longtime fans have grown accustomed to—the kind of song that, when Shouse sings of “waves of radiation tearing at my soul,” could very well be self-referential. All in all, this has to be the most exciting “new band” to hit town in quite a while.
Memphis Flyer

The new project of Dave Shouse (ex-of The Grifters and Those Bastard Souls), … blends smooth indie pop with electronic burbles, and seals the deal with a drummer who thinks he’s an octopus. All in all, the band cast a winning, hypnotic spell.
Popmatters.

The Big Sleep

“The Big Sleep is a New York City-based three-piece. It’s just drums, guitar, and bass, but oh how the members put it all together—and their music doesn’t sound like Mogwai, Russian Circles, or Godspeed You Black Emperor. They pick up where the Verve could have gone with the wig-outs on its first two records, or where shoegazers like Slowdive only hinted at going. Throw in some heavy riffs and layers of My Bloody Valentine-drizzled haze, and that’s the sound of the Big Sleep’s take on (mostly) instrumental songs. When Sonya Balchandani’s (bass and vocals) voice slithers over the cacophony, it’s chilling. Her voice is thick and lustrous, the lyrics rolling like velvet off her tongue…. The songs sound quite dark but with an energy that crackles bright and warm…”  Prefix Magazine

“It’s not often that an album arrives out of the blue - with no hype attached - and simply floors you. But that’s exactly what The Big Sleep’s debut ‘Son Of The Tiger’ has done to RS. This Brooklyn, NY, trio have produced one hell of a record that intersperses moody atmospheric instrumental tracks with some ghostly vocals courtesy of bassist Sonya Balchandani.”  Rock Sound (UK)

“I always imagined the whole point of events like CMJ was to discover music you hadn’t heard before, but my luck hasn’t been too good the past two years. Pulling into Pianos as part of the Frenchkiss showcase, The Big Sleep were my pleasant surprise of the night. The Brooklyn-based trio banged out muscular avant-rock textures with a totally bonkers Mick Fleetwood bugeye drummer who did those Zep things Dom Leone loves and a guitarist as content to hash out blues riffs (over bassist Sonya Balchandani’s teutonic drone) as ear-splitting electronic noise. It would’ve been next to impossible to buy beer in this sardines-packt crowd, so at least the music was pretty kickass.”  Pitchfork

“Brooklyn band The Big Sleep has earned a reputation as a face-melting hard-rock act, but that’s not the whole story. Menacing bass lines, riveting feedback and searing guitar sequences make up the trio’s basic vocabulary, but as its debut, Son of the Tiger (Frenchkiss), reveals, the group tempers its sludgy tendencies with shoegaze-style effects and psych adventures. The result is a rare hybrid of dreamy and heavy, a sound that is somehow vile and soothing at once. The band’s monstrous live show is a transporting experience…. Illuminated from the floor as if playing in a creepy, lantern-lit barn, the threesome is deceptively powerful. Building slowly on a simple bass line or an unassuming synth effect, they eventually assault the room with a wall of jagged noise that escalates even further with guitarist Danny Barria’s soaring solos. And then, the decibel level abates, gradually lowering to mellow grooves that frame bassist Sonya Balchandani’s blunt, understated vocals. Even though its high-low roller coaster scrambles the stomach as thoroughly as a metal band might, the Big Sleep shows just how delicate the heavy stuff can be.” Time Out NY

“Ever have one of those dreams where your limbs get all heavy, but you’re still totally kicking ass ... only to wake up and realize that your clock radio’s been blasting Zeppelin into your subconscious for the last three minutes? Well, that’s a little like listening to Son of the Tiger, the debut by New York trio The Big Sleep: heavy, spacey, (nearly) instrumental rock.”  Pittsburgh City Paper

“The Big Sleep’s combination of name and aesthetic is a gutsy move: this is exactly the kind of thick, meandering music, heavy on the multitracking and light on the vocals, that if done badly would merely allow satisfied critics to note that the band is selling precisely what they advertise. But there’s too much life here for that—too much in the prog-rock stomp drummer Gabriel Rhodes cheerfully slathers across churning pop like “Murder”; too much in the billowing guitar Danny Barria casts over “S.K.B.”; and too much, particularly, in Sonya Balchandani’s bass, which in one of Son of the Tiger’s wisest moves is given what amounts to an entire track of its own. “You Can’t Touch the Untouchable,” driven by a slowly loosening bass line that carefully skirts the edge of mood music, is a highlight—as is the title track, also Balchandani’s show; she not only steadily supports the song’s hyperactive menace but turns in a hazy vocal performance that’s one of her best…”  Stylus

“The Big Sleep, a mostly instrumental trio from Brooklyn, N.Y., touches down with an uncommonly strong debut in the form of “Son of the Tiger.” The band comes crashing out of the gates with the unrelenting “Brown Beauty,” whose jet plane guitar and buzzing synth lift the song toward a dramatic, heart-pounding climax. Out of the smoldering wreck comes “Murder,” propelled by a rat-a-tat drum attack and Johnny Ramone-style hyperspeed guitar and eventually lathered with a thick, foamy wash of reverb and delay. “You Can’t Touch the Untouchable,” anchored by chest-thumping bass and a deep-in-the-pocket drum groove, is punctuated by sudden stops that heighten the building tension, including one long pause more than three minutes in that you’ll be certain is the finish line. Awesome. With “Son of the Tiger,” the Big Sleep has brewed up a stirring alchemical stew of math rock industry and emotional depth.”  Billboard

“One of the best debuts of 2006, the Big Sleep has knocked us all for a loop here at Sound Fix. The band’s name couldn’t be a bigger misnomer – ain’t no sleeping going on here, just some dead-tight, heavy, post-math-rock jammers, and it’s slammin’! Son of the Tiger takes us through 10 selections of really interesting and propulsive female-vox-leading modern rock in a completely amazing way, no cliches, no duds, just originality brimming on every note. You get the velocity of Drive Like Jehu and No Knife, the dynamic of June of 44, the guitar presense of Sonic Youth, the textures of Tristeza, and the density of Mogwai. I never thought I’d like another indie rock band, but I’m wide awake on the Big Sleep, a total pleasant surprise.”  Sound Fix Records

“The Big Sleep’s seducing-yet-disorienting bedroom-metal boasts berserker guitar lines that bug-eye and rubberband through sumo-dense walls of winter-coat feedback and anxiety drums. On standouts “Murder” and “Shima,” the hypnotic leads are flanked by doorbell keyboards and Balchandani’s ghostly, answering-machine vocals. This is religious music.”  Spin.com Band of the Day

“There’s a lot of initial exploration here in the grooves of “Are You Ready (For Love)?” and “Locomotion” that hasn’t been touched before. None of this has been explored, actually. Fresh, unbroken ground that snaps when the blade of the spade cuts it in the dew that gathered pre-dawn. This is all a new experience, being blasted from that forlorn shack out in the middle of nowhere that the band then sets fire to after they’re all done and moves on to the next one. The Big Sleep got it right.”  Bullz-Eye.com

“...a fully formed psych-rock beast, equally capable of soothing with gentle melodies as it is of slaughtering with a menacing attack.”  Playback: Stl

“You Can’t Touch the Untouchable” from The Big Sleep’s debut full-length, Son of the Tiger, is proof that there are still good indie rock songs to be made. From the muted drums and infectious bass line to the playful keyboards and feedback heavy guitars, every instrument on this song is doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right time…. And, fortunately, Son of the Tiger has nine more radiant, angular and mathy instrumental tracks to blow your mind and melt your face off. It’s hard to believe only three people can create this much sprawling, blissful noise.”  Portfolio Weekly

“‘Murder’‘s final minute-plus offers the kind of clouds-part radiance that can only follow extreme tension…. It’s the plane taking off in a downpour, getting rocked every which way, then breaking through the cumulonimbi. The sun is that bright.”  Pitchfork

“The Big Sleep is a rock band from New York: they are also a force that will lift you off your feet and slam you into the wall behind you, where you will rattle to the ground, brush yourself off, and come back for more.”  Loose Record

“The Big Sleep is easily New York’s best unknown: psych-rock explorations that are long, and mind blowing.”  Village Voice

“Arrive early, sad sack, and get your mind blown by Brooklyn-based trio the Big Sleep, whose largely-instrumental brand of darkness rolls in apocalyptic waves, with traces of early (pre-‘The’) Verve-meets-Sonic Youth-meets My Bloody Valentine-meets the awesome dream you once had after you stayed up for three days straight. But the Big Sleep are less about who they might remind you of, and more about where they’re going. If you went to Disney World and rode Space Mountain, and there were moments of blissful drifting between the times you’re hurtling through the cosmos at breakneck speeds, it still wouldn’t describe what you’re in store for. Wearing a seat belt on your trip with the Big Sleep won’t do you any good at all.”  New York Press (July 2006)

“These guys aren’t retro (if anything, they are future-o), don’t employ Wire-like guitars, and don’t do the Hell yelp or Curtis croon. The Big Sleep are a trio that plays driving psych-rock that sounds similar to the forever-underrated Turing Machine, or Trans Am back when they were good. This band is extremely tight on the rhythms, creating walls of stunning guitar sound backed by precise percussion. Their songs definitely get a groove going, and you can almost hear each member’s pure delight at how well they can rock it with each other.”  Oh My Rockness

“Everybody loves The Big Sleep. Honestly. We have yet to meet someone or read something who has lead us to believe that these guys aren’t the best thing floating around under the radar in New York right now. This noisy psychedelic trio has been making waves in the local scene for the last few months now, including a major set at the Mercury Lounge on New Year’s Eve. They have a decidedly unique sound that stands out in this town. We expect big things out of these guys….”  Gothamist

Loose Record Interview

“It’s difficult to remember anything more exciting than stumbling on a new band that completely blows your mind. Last October, I was fortunate enough to experience this rare occasion. As the first of four bands took the stage, we unassumingly staggered into the back room to see if they had any redeeming qualities. The next forty minutes trumped any musical discovery I’ve made in the last year or two. Thus began my love affair with The Big Sleep. When seeing this band, I instantly question my faith. They make me want to get on bending knee and worship at the foot of their impressively composed, psychedelia-doused Wall of Sound.”  The Deli Magazine

Crashin’ In Interview

“Once in a blue moon a band comes along out of nowhere with such jaw dropping fury and awe-inspiring righteousness that it’s hard to even grasp what it is that they’ve done to you. Hyperboles like mesmerizing and enthralling and hypnotic don’t even begin to describe the game that The Big Sleep brings to the table. Overwhelming is a closer approximation to the effect their music approaches. The songs, a few of which I’d heard on their demos, sounded like a caged tigers turned loose live - stunningly roaring and pulsating. This is rock n’ roll, kids, make no mistake—this is a band not to be missed.”  jenyk.com

CONTACTS

PR: Kip Kouri @ Tell All Your Friends (US)

Booking: Daniel @ Windish (US)
Liam @ International Talent Booking (UK)

The Apes

REVIEWS:

“...THE APES FLAUNT THEIR INFLUENCE…BY PUMMELING AUDIENCES WITH THEIR EXPLOSIVE LIVE SHOWS.”
- TIMEOUT (LONDON), JANUARY 16-23, 2002

“LISTENING TO FUGUE IN THE FOGIS LIKE JUMPING INTO A MUD PUDDLE HEAD FIRST—GRIMY, MESSY AND COMPLETELY INVIGORATING. IT’S NOT DYNAMIC OR VARIABLE; IT’S NOT MELODIC OR HARMONIOUS. IN FACT, FUGUEIS NOT A LOT OF THINGS, EXCEPT FOR INNOVATIVE AND CREEPY. IT’S NOT EVERYDAY THAT A HEAVY ROCK OUTFIT TRADE A LEAD GUITAR FOR AN ORGAN, BUT SOMEHOW THE APES MAKE THE SWITCH WORK—THE ORGAN MAKES THEIR MUSIC ALL THE MORE SINISTER. THEY MAY NOT HAVE MUCH VARIATION IN SOUND OR SCOPE, BUT, HEY, IF IT AIN’T BROKE…. LET’S JUST SAY THAT IF THE ADDAMS FAMILY EVER THREW A PARTY AND NEEDED TO HIRE A BAND, THEY’D CALL THE APES.”
“100 BANDS YOU NEED TO KNOW IN ‘02”
- ALTERNATIVE PRESS, MARCH 2002

“THE APES HAILING ALL THE WAY FROM WASHINGTON, DC ARE INTENSE, SINISTER AND MOSTLY ROCK. THEIR DEBUT OFFERS A CUTTING EXPLOSIVE INTRODUCTION TO THE WASHINGTON FOUR. ‘BLACK TEARS,’ ‘MOUNTAIN OF STEEL,’ ‘APE TOWN,’ AND ‘THE MIND’ SPIT IN YOUR FACE KICK YOU ABOUT AND LEAVE STILL WANTING MORE. ORGANS, BIG BEATS AND A LOT OF SNEERING CREATE A MUSICAL LANDSCAPE ALL OF THEIR OWN, AS THE APES PROVE THEY CAN PLAY WITH THE BEST OF THEM. THERE ARE SOMETIMES REMINDERS OF TOMAHAWK ON THE RECORD BUT THAT CAN’T BE A BAD THING OF COURSE. NO MATTER WHAT THE APES ARE, HOWEVER, THIS 2002 YOU EITHER BETTER RUN AND HIDE OR BE PREPARED TO ROCK. HARD.”
- BROKEN VOICE (UK), JANUARY 2002

“A GORILLA DID SIGN LANGUAGE IN RETURN TO MEWITH DAVID DUCHOVNY, BUT WHO KNEW APES COULD ROCK? THE APES ANNOUNCE, ‘THE APES ARE GONNA TURN IT ON NOW!’ IN THE SECOND TRACK AND WHEN THEY DO IT GETS PRETTY INTERESTING. LIKE A PATIENT CHEF MAKING FONDUE SLUDGE, THIS MIX STARTS UP AND SIMMERS SLOW, ACTUALLY MAKING ME FEEL KIND OF RESTLESS AND UNCOMFORTABLE. ELEMENTS OF THE MAKE*UP MIXED IN WITH THE APES’ STEPPENWOLF VIBE—SOME FUNKY STUFF BLENDED INTO THE FUZZ-OUT GARAGE ROCK—AND IT ADDS UP TO ONE HAIRY FREAK-OUT.”
- GIANT ROBOT, WINTER 2001

“The Apes are what happens when four hooded, full moon worshiping, transgressors hit upon a secret midnight majick.”
- Careless Talk Costs Lives

“{The Apes}…discovered a way to meld raw rap rock and angular punk. Their live show is an abrasive assault.”
- Spin

{Oddeyesse}…is the synthesis of all The Apes’ ideas and it comes of as a winning Who homage, minus the Pete Townsend’s windmilling.”
- Rockpile

“Play it on your porch to scar away the kids.”
- Boston Phoenix

“The Apes are primal synth punk, oozing a murky sound from the depths of their blackened minds.”
- The Stranger

“{The Apes}…just don’t write songs, they write brilliantly demented anthems.”
- HearSay

“The Apes sound is so heavy and weird that you can’t stop listening.”
- Los Angeles Times

“The Apes give their prog-punk a singular punch.”
- Washington Post

“The Apes colorful stretch of the imagination never loses its touch.”
- In Music We Trust

“…Blasts of awe-inspiring firepower.”
- Pitchfork

CONTACTS

Why no guitar?

Answer: It makes life easier… you have to tune guitars more often And you don’t have to worry about breaking strings every show Plus basses look huge on short people, creating the illusion that there is a midget or a 12 year old in the band… and that sells records!

What’s it like being a band from D.C.?

Answer: It feels like cheaper rent than NYC and no bad fashion - hawk/ ironic mullet hairdos.

Why do you wear costumes?

Answer: Our regular clothes suck, and who wants to watch four people in t-shirts and jeans.

Why concept records?

Answer: College girls just can’t seem to get enough of it. We read that in the new Jane magazine.

You guys seem to have a lively active show. Why?

Answer: It is a good excuse to get 30-40 min of good cardio every night.

Who are your influences?

Answer: People over forty who haven’t thrown in the towel; and horrible gross couples who make fancy organic meals together.

Does the politics of DC have an effect on you music?

Answer: Yeah sometimes people start talking political stuff and we start dreaming about playing a tone low enough to destroy their reproductive organs.

Do you guys do lots of acid?

Answer: No we do hits of cinnamon. It doesn’t give you that weird tense jaw thing.

Have you heard the new (fill in blank of whatever is the big new record)?

Answer: Yes……. it’s ok…..good drum sounds.

Anything else you would like to talk about?

Answer: No……..but how old are you and is this actually going to be seen anywhere?