Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Hold Steady’s ‘Heaven Is Whenever’ Set For Release May 4

The Hold Steady, lauded for the scope, depth, truth and heart they bring to chronicling the American rock myth, recently put the finishing touches on ‘Heaven Is Whenever,’ their new album set for release May 4 on Vagrant Records. The album was produced by Dean Baltulonis, who engineered the band’s ‘Almost Killed Me’ and produced ‘Separation Sunday,’ and was recorded at Dreamland Recording Studios in Upstate NY and Wild Arctic Studios in Queens, NY, with mixing also happening at Wild Arctic.

Singer Craig Finn says ’Heaven Is Whenever’ is about “embracing suffering and understanding its place in a joyful life. The lyrics speak a lot about struggle and reward.” Piano and keys take a backseat to guitar on the new record, which also gets production help from guitarist Tad Kubler. “I really believe the album exposes new elements of the band that we hinted at on other records but weren’t able to fully realize until this one,” says Kubler. “Rather than just concentrate on changes in the instrumentation, we made changes to the song writing process.”

Recorded in several smaller sessions spread out over a long period of time, the songs on ‘Heaven Is Whenever’ received the benefit of being tested on the band’s recent tours. There was also a makeshift recording booth set up on the back of their tour bus so songs and musical ideas could be documented as they developed. As Finn says this allowed them to “see what was working and what wasn’t. I believe this record benefits from us working at a more deliberate pace.”

Following the release of 2008’s critically acclaimed ‘Stay Positive,’ which gave the band it’s highest Billboard chart position to date, The Hold Steady toured relentlessly, playing to some of their biggest audiences to date.

The Hold Steady is: Craig Finn, Tad Kubler, Galen Polivka, Bobby Drake

‘Heaven Is Whenever’ tracklisting:
1. The Sweet Part of the City
2. Soft in the Center
3. The Weekenders
4. The Smidge
5. Rock Problems
6. We Can Get Together
7. Hurricane J
8. Barely Breathing
9. Our Whole Lives
10. A Slight Discomfort

The Hold Steady Confirmed Spring Tour Dates
Fri April 2 Ardsley, NY LIFE the place to be
Sat Apr 3 New Haven, CT Toad's Place
Mon Apr 5 Burlington, VT Higher Ground
Tue Apr 6 Northampton, MA Pearl Street
Wed Apr 7 Albany, NY Linda Norris Auditorium
Thu Apr 8 Woodstock, NY Bearsville Theater
Fri Apr 9 Jermyn, PA Eleanor Rigby's
Sat Apr 10 Syracuse, NY The Westcott Theater
Mon Apr 12 Rochester, NY The Club at Water Street Music Hall
Tue Apr 13 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
Wed Apr 14 Pittsburgh, PA Diesel Club Lounge
Thu Apr 15 Morgantown, WV 123 Pleasant St.
Fri Apr 16 Harrisburg, PA Appalachian Brewing Company
Wed May 5 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
Thu May 6 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Sat May 29 George, WA Sasquatch Festival
Sat Jun 12 Newport, UK Isle of Wright Festival
Mon Jun 14 Paris, FR Fleche D’Or
Mon Jun 21 Amsterdam, NL Melkeg
Tue Jun 22 London, UK HMV Forum
Sat Jun 26 Manchester, UK Academy 2

‘Heaven Is Whenever’ will be available in the UK and EU on May 3 on Rough Trade Records.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Dweezilla" Music Boot Camp

Have you heard about the music boot camp called Dweezilla? It's an exciting 4 day 5 night musical event scheduled for this summer in the Catskills. The workshops will commence on Monday June 21st and finish Thursday June 24th.

All of the Zappa Plays Zappa band members will be involved and we will be sharing our collective thoughts on ways to help you achieve a greater level of skill and enjoyment in your own musical endeavors. We will be offering an eclectic menu of workshops from improvisation to live recording, all with hands on training. It is open to all levels of skill!

For more more information on the event and all workshops please feel free to visit:

You may also view the venue here at
Packaged rates are available and feature a variety of accommodations and food.
Amy Carpenter - - will be happy to assist you with any booking inquiries.

Thursday, February 25, 2010



Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, the emerging Vermont-based band’s third album for Hollywood Records, will be released on June 8. Produced by Mark Batson (Dr. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z, Dave Matthews Band), this captivating new recording showcases the Vermont-based band’s new five-piece configuration, in which singer and Hammond B3 player Potter, lead guitarist Scott Tournet and drummer Matt Burr are joined by bassist Catherine Popper (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, Hem) and rhythm guitarist Benny Yurco, “This record is the first time it’s really been us — the first time we’ve all found each other and ourselves,” says Potter. Adds Burr, “Every record you make, you always say, ‘This is the one.’ But with this lineup we’ve cracked the code.” The track listing for the 13-track disc is as follows:

Track listing for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals:

    1. “Paris”

    2. “Oasis”

    3. “Medicine”

    4. “Goodbye Kiss”

    5. “Tiny Light”

    6. “Colors”

    7. “Only Love”

    8. “Money”

    9. “One Short Night”

    10. “Low Road”

    11. “That Phone”

    12. “Hot Summer Night”

    13. “Things I Never Needed”

The first single off the album is the musically powerful and thematically resonant “Tiny Light,” one of six Potter-Batson co-writes. During its course, the track builds from a simmer to a boil and then somehow hits an even more scorching level of intensity during an extended instrumental outro.

“It’s a song about hope during the hard times we’ve been going through,” Grace explains. “One line is ‘What will come of all our pride / This house of stone has crumbled from the inside.’ It has a dramatic minor-key melody, but it opens up into a chorus that takes you to this really soaring place. As much as I loved it when we wrote it, I resisted recording it at first. But in the end I couldn’t pass it up. The chorus goes, ‘I see a tiny light / Like a flashbulb sparkle in the night / I see a tiny light / Telling everyone to hold on tight.’ It makes you wonder; it makes you look in the mirror — and I love songs like that.”

According to Potter, the producer employed one of his signature radical moves to get the optimum take: “Normally, a band and producer would fuss and poke and prod for days on a song like this, but once we got the arrangement right, Batson just brought in a belly dancer with a 15-foot python snake to perform in the studio. That seemed to light a fire under everyone's asses and we nailed it on the spot.”

The video for “Tiny Light” is being shot in L.A. this month, with Paul Minor (Muse, The Editors, Queens of The Stone Age) directing.

Additionally, GPN’s electrifying take of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" appears on the Buena Vista Records release Almost Alice, a companion release to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, hitting March 2, three days before the film’s release.

The band will showcase its new lineup and songs at SXSW, where they’ll play Antone’s March 18 as part of the Americana Music Association showcase. Potter will also perform on a string of Lilith Fair dates this summer. More details as they emerge.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals marks a quantum leap for the band, as Batson vividly captures a group of exceptional young players in the very act of becoming themselves. From the languorous “Oasis” to the deep-grooved, serrated rockers like “Medicine,” “Paris” and “Only Love,” the new model Grace Potter and the Nocturnals positively swagger. Not only that, but the hooks are humongous, from Potter’s voice as she belts, teases and soars to Tournet’s uncoiling guitar riffs, positively lethal in their aggressiveness. Potter and her cohorts are equally captivating at the other end of the dynamic and thematic spectrum, on songs like the zeitgeist-capturing widescreen ballad “Colors.”

Tour Dates for GPN are as follows:

March 11 North Adams, MA Mass MoCa

March 12 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse

March 13 Sugarloaf, ME Sugarloaf Ski Resort

March 18 Austin, TX Antone’s – SXSW

March 21 Aspen, CO Snowmass Mountain

March 27 Jackson Hole, WY Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

April 25 Phoenix, AZ McDowell Mountain Music Festival

May 14 Richmond, VA Browns Island

More dates to be announced.

# # #

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals just debuted their new video for "White Rabbit" (off the Almost Alice Soundtrack) this morning. You can view it here:

Savoir Adore announce US Tour Dates this March and into SXSW.

Savoir Adore take their music from "In the Wooded Forest" out on the road
Savoir Adore announce US Tour Dates this March and into SXSW.

“If you've never heard of Savoir Adore, you will. As long as the Almighty God of Indie Rock is a just and righteous god, the pop rock [quintet] headed by co-songwriters Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro is fixin' to explode.” - Free Williamsburg
Even in a scene as vibrant as Brooklyn's, Savoir Adore creates something entirely unique and exciting with its addictively lush slant on pop music. As an experimental-pop collective, they paint songs with imagery and imagination while making fans out of the most cynical of critics.
Principal members Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro never imagined they would be getting so much attention, from either the blogosophere or A&R scouts. The band originated purely for fun in 2007, when the two multi-instrumentalist songwriters challenged each other to make a concept album in one weekend. This recording ended up being their first EP, The Adventures of Mr. Pumpernickel and the Girl with Animals in her Throat.

After their first foray in the studio, the duo continued to create music constantly. "Their songwriting now seems inspired by the musical chemistry Muro and Hammer had upon meeting; it is a chemistry which is kicking and stronger than ever" (Obscure Sound). According to Deidre, “having access to a studio workspace, surrounding ourselves with all kinds of instruments, a brand new collaborative partnership – all of these elements formed a basis of experimentation that became the essence of Savoir Adore."
Their instinctive approach to songwriting combines varied personal influences with their a "recording-while-writing" technique, which NPR considers "magical." Says This Week In New York: "[their] pure pop delights and sweet instrumental-heavy tunes.. walk the fine line between nature and technology." The Cantora Records issue of their full-length debut album, In The Wooded Forest (Cantora Records), created further buzz and the enthusiasts have steadily followed.
“Definitely one of my bands to watch” - Brooklyn Vegan
“One of 8 NYC Bands You Need To Hear” - L Magazine
"10 Musicians to watch in 2010 - The Best Kept Secret" - NY Post
“Savoir Adore are one of these bands who have proved themselves serious contenders for the title of ‘Most
Underrated Band in Brooklyn’” - Free Williamsburg

But Savoir Adore doesn't just live in the studio - they have received serious credibility for their full-band live shows, winning over fans and press with their innate musical "energy, precision and beauty" (Channel 3000), delivering the full spectrum of their recordings with a five-member live line-up.

Savoir Adore US Tour dates:
3/4 - PRINCETON UNIVERSITY - Terrace F Club (11pm) *
3/5 - PITTSBURGH, PA - Howler's (9pm) *
3/6 - CINCINATTI, OH - Mayday (9pm) *
3/8 - BLOOMINGTON, IN - The Bishop (8pm) *
3/9 - LOUISVILLE, KY - Zanzabar (9pm) *
3/10 - LEXINGTON, KY - Al's Bar ( 9pm) *
3/12 - NASHVILLE, TN - The End (10pm) *
3/13 - NEW ORLEANS, LA - Dragons Den (10pm) *
3/17 - SXSW - TBA
3/18 - SXSW - Sitcom Serf Party @ Fado (6pm)
3/19 - SXSW - Cantora Records Official Showcase @ Maggie Mae's Gibson Room (11pm)
3/20 - SXSW - WXPN/This Side Up Party @ Red Eyed Fly (12pm)
3/22 - HOUSTON, TX - Walters on Washington (10pm) *
3/24 - CHAPEL HILL, NC - Nightlight (9pm) *
3/25 - WASHINGTON DC - Velvet Lounge (8pm) *
3/26 - NEW JERSEY COLLEGE w/ Love Like Deloreans (5pm)
3/27 - BROOKLYN, NY - Brooklyn Bowl w/ The Grates (8pm)
* w/ Mon Khmer

Grab your Free MP3 Download of 'We Talk Like Machines' and feel free to post: HERE

Savoir Adore’s natural progression has slowly swollen to the point of bursting; in the words of WOXY: “Sometimes demos and promo disc piles on the desk can be intimidating... so we're late on this Brooklyn [five]-piece, but right on time in my book. Their full-length, 'In The Wooded Forest' is superb.
Savoir Adore will tour to South By Southwest and back in March, leading up to the April 2010 release of their single 'Bodies,' which will include two remixes (by French Horn Rebellion and Midnight Magic) as well as a music video.

Now that its music has firmly taken root, the band is ready for the world to unearth their gems

Savoir Adore will be appear on the infamous Daytrotter Sessions, live starting this Saturday, February 17th! Do tune in.


One of the World's Most Celebrated Voices Puts An Indelible Signature On Songs By Arcade Fire, Band of Horses, Death Cab For Cutie, The Mars Volta, Muse, and Leonard Cohen
Renée Fleming's new album 'Dark Hope', which the opera star describes as a "visit to a new, parallel universe," will be released by Decca this spring. The album was recorded in close collaboration with producer David Kahne (Regina Spektor, The Strokes, The Bangles, Sublime, and countless others) in New York City, and features a diverse and adventurous track listing of songs.

Endlessly (Muse)
No One's Gonna Love You (Band of Horses)
Oxygen (Willy Mason)
Today (Jefferson Airplane)
Intervention (Arcade Fire)
With Twilight As My Guide (The Mars Volta)
Mad World (Tears for Fears)
In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)
Stepping Stone (Duffy)
Soul Meets Body (Death Cab For Cutie)
Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

Fleming, the superstar soprano known as "the people's diva," says of 'Dark Hope': "I've always been inspired by artists who have shown musical and intellectual curiosity and the courage to take risks. Because everything about the voice interests me, I felt it would be fascinating to learn a completely different style of singing."

Producer Kahne was a true collaborator during the recording process, driving most of the arrangements and coaching Fleming in this music. Also joining Fleming on the album are her two daughters and sister, who sing backup on several songs.

Fleming says that for the recording of this album, "Singing in a small, acoustic booth, with a microphone that's very close, in this very intimate style, is the complete opposite of how I usually sing."

There were similarities to how she prepares dramatically for an opera role, however. Fleming points out that for each track on 'Dark Hope' "we found an interpretation that enabled the point of view to sound authentic coming from me. Every song has a story, so this whole idea of enacting or playing a role is doubly true for this music."

Renée Fleming, a Fulbright Scholar and three-time Grammy award winner, has captivated audiences at leading opera houses and concert halls around the world. Last year, the acclaimed soprano was a featured performer at President Obama's Inaugural Celebration. Fleming has also had a longtime interest in jazz and has recorded jazz repertoire on 'Haunted Heart', the lauded collaboration with pianist Fred Hersch and guitarist Bill Frisell.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

L.A.’s Ozomatli will be performing at Highline Ballroom April 30th and May 1st to support the release of their upcoming album, Fire Away

2010 includes an Ozomatli performance at the TED Conference, two shows at SXSW, a collaboration with the Boston Pops, three weeks in China as US Cultural Ambassadors, and headlining at the Hollywood Bowl

Celebrated Los Angeles culture-mashers Ozomatli are set to release their new album, Fire Away, April 20th on Mercer Street Records / Downtown Records.

Fire Away is the Grammy Award-winning band’s fifth studio full length, and first for the NYC based Mercer Street Records / Downtown Records. Produced by acclaimed producer Tony Berg, Fire Away

Ozomatli’s music -- a collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga -- has long followed a key mantra: it will take you around the world by taking you around the city of Los Angeles.

This certainly resonated with producer Tony Berg (Aimee Mann, Pete Yorn), who describes working with Ozomatli “like visiting seven continents simultaneously”. Berg believes the
Fire Away sessions “captured the spirit of the band’s live show without being a live album,” and he sensed Ozomatli stretching themselves in the studio, adding “each of the members had grown as a writer and as a musician. I think Fire Away reflects their true songwriting talents--everyone's point-of-view was captured. That is the spirit of Ozomatli. They're pan-cultural, and they somehow manage to be raucous and thoughtful at the same time."

Fire Away is arguably Ozomatli’s most diverse album yet, ranging from the emotionally resplendent ballads “It’s Only Time” and “Love Comes Down,” the 60’s Stax influenced vibe of “45”, to the Spanglish of “Nadas Por Free”.

“Malagasy Shock” recounts singer and guitarist Raul Pacheco’s harrowing near death experience, electrocuted on stage in front of thousands of people during the band’s recent State Department trip to Madagascar. Pacheco offers, “Sometimes you are shocked into realizing life must be lived with a profoundly energetic fervor.” He pauses, then adds, “...and sometimes you are just actually shocked!”

Fire Away also includes “Gay Vatos In Love,” one of the more controversial songs Ozomatli has ever penned. Some may raise eyebrows that a group with no gay members would address same sex unions, but the subject matter doesn’t seem so contentious in the hands of a band with a longstanding mission of peace and tolerance.

Raul poses a simple question, “Do you believe that everyone deserves love? Even gay vatos? Quickly adding, “Yes, for sure. It is always a good time to challenge our own notions and boundaries of what can be. Especially in the ever present natural need and quest for love. We say, let every person have the right to choose who and how they love one another... “

2009 proved to be a busy year for Ozomatli, serving as US cultural ambassadors with a US sponsored State Department trip that included Ozomatli community outreach and performances in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand. The band was also honored to play for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 32nd Annual Award Gala, held in Washington DC in September.

2010 looks to continue Ozomatli’s feverish pace. In addition to taking their incendiary live show on the road in support of
Fire Away, in FebruaryOzomatli will be performing at the TED Conference and two shows in Hawaii, March brings two shows at the SXSW Festival in Austin, collaborating with the the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as well as the Boston Pops Orchestra for the 125th Pops Anniversary Celebration in early May, and once again serving as US Cultural Ambassadors with a State Department trip to China and Mongolia (details forthcoming).

Ozomatli “Fire Away” tracklisting
1. Are You Ready?
2. 45
3. It's Only Paper
4. Elysian Persuasion
5. Gay Vatos In Love
6. Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
7. It's Only Time
8. Nadas Por Free
9. Malagasy Shock
10. Love Comes Down
11. Caballito

Ozomatli 2010 - more dates to be announced
Feb 24 - Los Angeles, CA (private) Gibson Showcase
Feb 26 - Anaheim, CA House of Blues
Feb 27 - Anaheim, CA House of Blues
March 5 - Tucson, AZ Rialto Theatre
March 6 - Scottsdale, AZ Martini Ranch
March 9 - Colorado Springs, CO Black Sheep
March 10 - Breckenridge, CO Three20South
March 11 - Vail, CO Agave
March 12 - Aspen, CO Belly Up
March 14 - Ft. Collins, CO The Aggie
March 17 - Austin, TX SXSW
March 18 - Austin, TX SXSW
April 17 - Houston, TX World Stage
April 26 - Washington, DC 9:30 Club
April 27 - Baltimore, MD Ramshead Live
April 28 - Philadelphia, PA World Café Live
April 30 - New York, NY Highline Ballroom
May 1 - New York, NY Highline Ballroom
May 2 - Burlington, VT Higher Ground
May 4 - Chicago, IL House of Blues
May 5 - Urbana, IL Tryon Festival
May 7 - Boston, MA Boston Pops
May 8 - Boston, MA Boston Pops
May 14 - St. Louis MO St. Louis Symphony

Frank Zappa "The Freak Out List" Coming to DVD April 20, 2010

Film tracing the lineage of Frank Zappa's influences
to the recordings and performances of Zappa himself.

Sexy Intellectual and MVD Visual are proud to announce the DVD release of Frank Zappa "The Freak Out List" on April 20, 2010.

Hi Res Cover Art
When an artist, regardless of his significance, lists his favorite musicians and performers it is usually met with little fanfare, as over time the names mentioned are almost certainly going to change. But when Frank Zappa did likewise, and actually published a record of his most important influences on the inside cover of his debut album, it became a road map to the music he was to make over the following forty years. Even in the early 1990s, when asked about his most-loved composer's, musicians and artists, he would repeat names from this, by then legendary, index.

This film explores the musical roots of
Frank Zappa by putting"The Freak Out List" under the microscope and tracing the lineage from the most pivotal names therein to the recordings and performances of the man himself.

Featuring rare footage of
Zappa and the Mothers plus archive film of Freak Out List artists, exclusive interviews with The Mothers Of Invention's Ian Underwood, Don Preston andGeorge Duke, 1950s Doo Wop legends, The Cadillacs, contributions from Zappa biographers Ben Watson and Greg Russo, Edgar Varese biographer Alan Clayson, experimental modern music historian Professor David Nicholls, soul and R'n'B expertRobert Pruter and many others.

Also features numerous seldom seen photographs, news archive, radio spots and a host of other features which all together make for a uniquely
fascinating program.

Direct Link to Purchase:

Thursday, February 18, 2010



The Crash Test Dummies are set to release Oooh La La, their first record in six years, May 11 on Deep Fried Records. Best known for 1993’s platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated God Shuffled His Feet and the ubiquitous hit “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm,” frontman and driving creative force Brad Roberts teams up with co-writer and producer Stewart Lerman (Antony & the Johnsons, The Roches) to write and record 11 tracks conceptualized using `70s-era analog musical toys.

The seeds for Oooh La La were first planted when Roberts and Lerman became infatuated with vintage analog musical toys, particularly one manufactured by the Mattel company called the Optigan (an acronym for “optical organ”). Using celluloid discs, the Optigan projects the sounds of other instruments with different sets of keys triggering chords and individual notes. The discs, with names like “Nashville,” “Swing It!” and “Guitar Boogie,” rotate to produce different arrays of sounds. The process is eerily similar to the digital sampling that is so common today, but the antiquated analog system produces quite a different effect. “Because we wrote using these discs, we were inspired to do things that we wouldn’t have done,” Roberts points out. “I don’t write big band style, but all of a sudden I had this big band [on disc], so I’m writing in a genre that I normally wouldn’t be writing in. I can’t say enough about how great it is to write on these toys.”

In addition to ending a six-year hiatus from recording, the band is currently planning their first tour since 2004 in support of the new album. Rather than try to recreate music that was written with some rather cranky toy instruments never meant for the rigors of a tour, the Crash Test Dummies will perform as a stripped-down acoustic three piece band.

The Crash Test Dummies first rose to prominence while based in their hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1991 with their Juno Award-winning debut album, The Ghosts that Haunt Me, featuring their first hit single “Superman’s Song.” Their 1993 breakout record God Shuffled His Feet has sold over five and a half million copies worldwide and the single “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. Oooh La La is the band’s ninth record, following 2004’s Songs of the Unforgiven.

Screaming Females set to tour with Ted Leo & the Pharmacists!

This just in, the little band from New Jersey that could has been picked up as main support for Ted Leo & the Pharmacists... pretty amazing news for all parties involved!!
Tour dates here:

03.30.10 - Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
03.31.10 - Austin, TX @ The Parish
04.02.10 - New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks
04.03.10 - Tallahasee, FL @ Club Downunder
04.04.10 - Atlanta, GA @ the Masquerade
04.05.10 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
04.08.10 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
04.09.10 - New York, NY @ the Fillmore
04.10.10 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club

Wednesday, February 17, 2010



In Memory Of Loss (Rounder Records, April 27) is a stunning, heartbreaking sonic document chronicling the life of Denver-by-way-of-Missouri songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff (who formerly performed as The Wheel). Both fresh and classic, it is imbued with a melancholy and rough candor. No wonder Time Out New York says Rateliff conjures "the ghosts of Nick Drake and Gram Parsons."

While recording In Memory of Loss, Rateliff lived in Chicago, working with producer Brian Deck (Iron and Wine, Josh Ritter, Califone) to craft the nuances: mournful harmonica on "You Should've Seen the Other Guy," the ominous organ of "Longing and Losing," propulsive bass drum on "Early Spring Till." Rateliff recorded the album with his band: Ben DeSoto (drums), Julie Davis (bass, vocals), Carrie Beeder (violin, cello), James Han (piano), Joseph Pope III (guitar, vocals).

Whether Rateliff is harkening an "old time revival" on the gospel-infused tune "We Never Win" or singing a drunken tale of a barroom brawl on "You Should Have Seen The Other Guy" (a song inspired by Rateliff's bootlegger great-grandfather) he delivers the words with a chilling raw emotion with a low rasp that's part Neil Diamond, part Nick Cave.

This past CMJ Nathaniel Rateliff captured the attention of some noteworthy critics for his outstanding performances. The NY Times described Nathaniel as "pensive" and "rousing" and he was included in New York Magazine's CMJ roundup as an "artist everyone should be listening to."

Nathaniel Rateliff will head to Austin in March for SXSW followed by a tour with the Low Anthem in April. For more info on tour dates see the link below:


Butch Walker got together with Panic! At The Disco lead singer Brandon Urie and video director Shane Valdes to film a clever spoof on the cult film, American Psycho. Panic!'s Brandon Urie plays the super-fan who purchased the $25,000 preorder of Butch's forthcoming album 'I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart' (Feb. 23, One Haven Music>) to spend a day with Butch Walker. Urie's dream day turns into a nightmare as Butch does his best impression of Christian Bale, polyurethane suit, ax and all. See the hijinx that ensued at the link below.

Panic! At Butch Walker's

Pre-order now available from One Haven Music:
Butch Walker on iTunes:

Butch Walker on the Web:

Thorn Reunites with Producer Ewan Pearson for Solo Set Due Out May 18, 2010


After pausing an 18-year career with partner Ben Watt in best-selling alt-pop duo Everything But The Girl (1982-2000), followed by a self-imposed hiatus to start a family, Tracey Thorn re-emerged in 2007 to a wave of critical acclaim with the glittering autobiographical folk-disco of Out of the Woods, her first solo album since 1982's indie classic A Distant Shore. Now she is back with another: the starkly beautiful Love and Its Opposite on Merge Records.

Partnering again with Berlin-based producer
Ewan Pearson (who worked on much of Out of the Woods), Thorn has created an album that is striking in its simplicity. "It's a record about the person I am now and the people around me," she observes. "About real life after forty."

Recorded in Berlin and London, the ten-song collection boasts eight original compositions and two covers (a duet with Jens Lekman on Lee Hazlewood's "Come On Home To Me" and a poignant reading of The Unbending Trees' "You Are A Lover"). The album also features guests such as Hot Chip's Al Doyle, The Invisible's Leo Taylor, Nashville songwriter-drummer Cortney Tidwell and Lost Valentinos' guitarist Jono Ma.

The spare arrangements for guitar, piano, bass, and drums serve ten songs over a compact thirty-nine minutes that confront the realities of life in its middle years: marriage and divorce ("Long White Dress" and "Oh, The Divorces!"); family ghosts ("Kentish Town"); confronting life alone ("Singles Bar"); and the collision of youth and adulthood ("Hormones"). In talking about "Why Does The Wind?" and "Late In The Afternoon," Thorn notes, "Life needs stamina. Love is often either under threat or being urged to stand the test of time." The album closes with "Swimming" (featuring Cortney Tidwell on drums and backing vocals). "I really wanted it to be the closing track," she says. "It holds out hope for love's survival even when it seems to be in hibernation."

It's hard to find a decade recently where Tracey Thorn's songwriting has not been influential. Often overlooked by those who choose to focus on her uniquely sensual yet confessional voice, her direct, unadorned stories have cut through to find many reverent supporters. Fresh out of school in the UK in the early 1980s, she formed the cult girl band Marine Girls, whose two-album career of edgy teen love songs has influenced lo-fi indie bands ever since. Among noted Marine Girls fans you'll find Kurt Cobain (Nirvana was reportedly rehearsing "In Love" before Cobain's untimely passing) and The xx. In 1982, Thorn released her solo debut, the eight-song classic
A Distant Shore, which catapulted her to the top of the UK indie charts. Throughout the 1980s, she shared writing with partner Ben Watt in the British duo Everything But The Girl (EBTG). In the '90s, she co-wrote EBTG's global smash "Missing" and Massive Attack's sem inal "Protection," and contributed centrally to EBTG's best-selling electronica crossover albums Walking Wounded and Temperamental. In 2006, she returned to the dance floor, writing "Damage" for cult German duo Tiefschwarz before releasing Out of the Woods in 2007.

Love and Its Opposite also signals Thorn's return to the independent scene and unites her in a fresh alliance with longtime partner Ben Watt. The album will be released in the UK on Watt's Strange Feeling Records, (sister imprint to his dance and electronica label, Buzzin' Fly Reords) where she joins label mates such as The Unbending Trees and Copenhagen's Figurines. Merge Records will release the album in North America, making Thorn one of only a handful of UK artists to have graced the illustrious Stateside independent.

Love and Its Opposite will be released on May 18.

Cloud Nothings is confirmed to open for Titus Andronicus at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City on March 6

With Cloud Nothings' high-energy live show and killer guitar riffage, this should be a fun experience for all. More tour info is

Last week Cloud Nothings released a split cassette with Chicago's excellent Campfires band on Bathetic Records. Order info is here:

This week I Rock Cleveland had a great review of Cloud Nothings' Turning On album, where he realized that this wasn't just another lo-fi bedroom rock band: "Just as I thought one, not quite ready for prime-time Californian with poor spelling and improper capitalization had gone out and ruined lo-fi rock for good, in comes this young Clevelander, Dylan Baldi, recording as Cloud Nothings with his one microphone and his nine irresistible pop songs, and, all of a sudden, lo-fi doesn't seem quite so dead. Rather, it seems as vibrant as that day when Robert Pollard first brought together his band and 100 bottles of beer in his Dayton, Ohio garage."

If you're sick of the lo-fi movement, ease your mind by listening to this record and realizing the skills that go into the songwriting and melody that lies underneath the fuzz. It's not what you may think, despite the descriptions. I urge you to do yourself a favor and check it out.

The Vita Ruins Release Long-Awaited Album on March 2nd

Washington, DC, February 17, 2010 – The Vita Ruins will be releasing their debut album, ‘A Day Without A Name,’ on March 2nd through their own website and, followed by a CD release show at the Black Cat’s Mainstage in Washington, DC on March 5th. This is a follow-up to their 2006 EP entitled “Thanks for Your Concern (But We’re Okay).” Their music is a unique mix of dark and layered atmospheric indie rock fused together with hard hitting and upbeat electronica.

The Vita Ruins are an indie band based out of Washington D.C, started by Tim Kratzer (Vocal, Guitars, Bass and Keyboards) and Greg Balleza (Guitars, Bass, Keyboards and Vocals) in 2005. Since 2007, the band has built their own recording studio where they were able to self-engineer, mix and produce the album, capturing the nuanced sound that defines their style. While neither had any formal training or background in recording and sound engineering, they successfully self-taught themselves the entire process from the first steps of instrument tracking all the way through mixing, editing and producing before sending the final mix downs out for mastering.

Last month The Vita Ruins played to a packed house at D.C.’s Rock and Roll Hotel after garnering press from the Washington Express. The band built a devoted, local fan base after the release of their EP and performed a number of shows at leading music clubs in D.C. including the 9:30 Club and have had the opportunity to open for national acts such as KENNA, VHS or Beta, Snowden and Malajube. They will be joined by local favorites Ra Ra Rasputin and Cobra Collective for their CD release show at the Black Cat. They are currently putting together a mini-tour along the east coast to promote their new album.

Memoryhouse has signed on to the Windish Agency roster

Tom Windish was recently interviewed in Billboard about opening a New York office. Read the article here.

Memoryhouse is loved by:

Transparent blog: "Get to checking out this lush, delicately doleful, late-night celestial hynopop jam from Ontario, Canada's Memoryhouse entitled "To The Lighthouse" in which a spookily composed, hurt-eyed mermaid chanteuse ensnares us with the honeyed voice of hope itself, leading us beautifully bewitched into a iridescent underwater kingdom of bottomless dreaming where we are shorn naked of worldly misery and suspended in awe at a forgotten nature's palacial pomp and glory in all its spellbinding colour and untraceable motion."

You Ain't No Picasso: "It's pretty ballsy to make the voice the focus of a cover when the original lead singer is Ed Droste (aka. Captain Sings-Quite-Well), but Memoryhouse do the song justice by switching it to a female lead singer.

NEU Magazine: "They make poetic music; icy instruments under Denise's breathy vocals, scattering avant garde influences in amongst frosty electronic pop. Their words are as equally beautiful, and they talk earnestly about their influences and reason for recording. They're sticking it, in their own laid back way, to the boring sods who say there's yawnsome nostalgia attached to all of this 'bedroom music'."

Yours Truly: "The standout track "To the Lighthouse" is hypnotic and gripping as it is fleeting, dissolving into vapor before you register it's effect."


Gorilla vs Bear


Get off the Coast

The FMLY blog

We Like It Indie

5 Acts

Danger Danger

Complex Mag

Surviving the Golden Age

Pop Tarts Suck Toasted

Speaker Snacks

Bored and Beats

Coke Machine Glow

Masses Masses interview