"No band is an island. Felt like one sometimes, in those budgetless and obscure early days, Satomi and me locked in the basement trying to figure out how our clashing personalities and ideas could turn into a band. If we hadn't had that crazed mid-90s Bay Area punk scene to call home, I doubt we'd still be here to chat about a 20th anniversary." - Greg Saunier
In many ways Deerhoof hasn't changed. Their new record La Isla Bonita was recorded in guitarist Ed Rodriguez's basement. Situated next to a parking garage, it was perfect for making noise till the wee hours. They recorded live, DIY style, "a weeklong sleepover arguing over whether to try and sound like Joan Jett or Janet Jackson, cracking each other up, one guitarist whose name starts with J always putting too much red chile into the rations," says Greg. But more than that La Isla Bonita is about the eclectic worldwide community that has supported them.
To co-produce the record they tapped former journalist-turned-label owner and producer Nick Sylvester, one of first writers to have an eloquent take on Deerhoof's harsh and erratic sound. You'll hear them pay musical tributes to their improbable list of heroes-turned-fans: David Bowie, Ric Ocasek, The Roots, Lou Reed, David Byrne, Sonic Youth, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Beck. Of course their intent is never reverence, but provocation. They are always on the hunt for that perfect union of the hilarious and the terrifying that one hears in other bands of their generation like Bikini Kill and Lightning Bolt. 2014 has been a killer year for young, aggressive female-fronted bands (St. Vincent, Tune-Yards, Perfect Pussy, Karen O, Speedy Ortiz) and La Isla Bonita is also partly a discourse with them.
Every song is an exercise in duality, alternating between minimalism and bombast, melody and dissonance, and dynamism and tranquility. This all builds to a greater dual theme throughout the album between gloom and joy invoking the feeling of standing at the edge of the precipice and dancing your way off. "We don't set out to create masterpieces. The Deerhoof fan is a thrill-seeker. This is the latest volley in an ongoing conversation we've been honored to hold for 20 years," says Greg.
La Isla Bonita Tracklist
1. Paradise Girls
2. Mirror Monster
4. Last Fad
5. Tiny Bubbles
6. Exit Only
7. Big House Waltz
8. God 2
9. Black Pitch
10. Oh Bummer
Jamaican Queens is a three-piece pop act based out of Detroit. A songwriting collaboration between Ryan Spencer & Adam Pressley, rounded out by percussionist Ryan Clancy, the band has quickly become renowned for their effortless ability to combine classic pop hooks with some of the more abrasive elements of grime & industrial music. The trio has just announced their new single, Bored + Lazy- set for release November 4th via their own label, Freakish Pleasures.
The title track, which the band describes as “if Ian Curtis were to be the cure to Destiny’s Child’s depression,” is a dark, haunting oeuvre with an infectious chorus that lingers with the listener long after it’s been played. Check out the Entertainment Weekly-premiered “Bored + Lazy” track where it’s available to post & share HERE!
Jamaican Queens released their debut full-length album, Wormfood, early last year to critical acclaim. Spencer draws inspiration for his lyrics from his mercurial relationship with modern love, the undeniably violent tendencies of the human spirit, and his sometimes-debilitating bouts with anxiety & depression. Combined with the eccentric personalities of Pressley & Clancy, the result is an encyclopedia appreciation of everything pop- rendering their songs challengingly unique & wistfully familiar.
Stay tuned for more news from Jamaican Queens coming soon, and be sure to catch their charismatic live show when they take to the road on a fall tour across the US & Canada!
Catch Them LIVE This Fall:
10/23: New York, NY @ 141 W 28th St w/ Literature at 5pm
10/24: New York, NY @ Mister H at 7pm (NYLON showcase)
10/24: Brooklyn, NY @ Slumbo Lofts at 12am
10/25: Brooklyn, NY @ Cameo Gallery at 2pm (Ticketfly showcase)
10/25: Brooklyn, NY @ Saffron City Gym, 949 Willoughby Ave w/ Zula at 9pm
10/31: Chicago, IL @ Emporium Arcade Bar
11/8: Kalamazoo, MI @ Old Dog Tavern
11/15: Lakewood, OH @ Mahall's
11/16: Windsor, ON @ Phog Lounge
11/21: Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
12/5: Dayton, OH @ Blind Bob's
12/6: Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness
12/8: Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade NYC
12/10: Washington, DC @ Black Cat
12/12: Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
12/15: Knoxville, TN @ The Pilot Light
"There are some guitar players that are good, and there are some guitar players that are really fucking good. And then there's Kaki King." – Dave Grohl
Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” composer and guitarist Kaki King is a true iconoclast. Over the past 10 years the Brooklyn-based artist has released six extraordinarily diverse and distinctive albums, performed with such icons as Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats, contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks including Golden Globe-nominated work on Sean Penn’s “Into The Wild”, and played to an increasingly fervent following of music lovers on innumerable world tours.
Everybody Glows: B-sides & Rarities, out November 4, features a collection of outtakes, demos, covers, live versions and never before heard recordings culled from scratched demo CDs, long forgotten hard drives, and the fuzzier corners of her memory. The collection reveals the evolution of her songwriting while offering a glimpse of a young guitarist doing daring things on her instrument before she grasped the significance of any of it. The album comes with a track-by-track explanation of each song, along with liner notes written by her biggest supporter and fan: her father.
In other news, Kaki is preparing an entirely new show, The Neck is a Bridge to the Body, for 2015, featuring high-concept projection mapping in collaboration with Glowing Pictures. A recording of The Neck is a Bridge to the Body will also be released in 2015 in conjunction with extensive international touring. Don't miss these upcoming shows:
Dec 12 San Francisco, CA @ Kanbar Hall @ JCC
Dec 13 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
Jan 9 New York, NY @ The Highline (w/Neneh Cherry)
LIVE SHOW w/ETHEL in SEATTLE
In addition to her own solo work, Kaki sometimes performs in collaboration with NYC-based string quartet ETHEL, and will appear in special performance with them on Thursday, Oct 30 in Seattle. The program will feature works by yours truly, John Zorn, J.S. Bach, and Aleksandra Vrebalov, among others. It's been wonderful to work with such a dynamic group so don't miss one of the last performances of this particular line up. You can also watch a video of me performing with Ethel in a beautiful church -- watch HERE.
OCT 30 Seattle, WA @ Edmonds Center for the Arts (Tickets HERE)
NEW DIGITAL MUSIC STORE
Last but not least, Kaki’s new website launches today @ kakiking.com, and will feature a new digital music store. In addition to featuring Everybody Glows: B-sides & Rarities, the store will include several of her older albums: Everybody Loves You, ...Until We Felt Red, Dreaming of Revenge, Junior and Glow.
Electro-pop singer-songwriter & producer extraordinaire Nanna Øland Fabricius, better known as Oh Land, today announces her fourth studio album, Earth Sick- set for release November 10th via her own independent imprint, Tusk or Tooth, in collaboration with Kobalt Label Services! Immersed in her signature soundscape of lush vocals, rich string arrangements & infectious melodies, the album is a hybrid of masterfully woven symphonic & electronic sounds, and marks a full-circle return to the artist’s bedroom production style.
Earth Sick first single “Head Up High,” featuring bouncing synth rhythms & infectious, hook-laden vocals, was written for a friend going through a tough time in her life as encouragement to, quite literally, keep her head up high. Nearly forgotten about by Nanna, the same friend reminded her a year later whilst deep in the throes of recording Earth Sick. The song was finished almost instantly & added to the album. For an early taste of the record, fans can give “Head Up High” a spin where it’s available to post & share HERE!
Frustrated by the struggle to keep her head above the waves and hold onto a sense of idealism despite the complexities of life, Oh Land grasped the struggle as the inspiration for her lyrical exploration on Earth Sick. Anchored by melancholic anthem “Machine,” which opens the album with delicate yet industrial textures, tracks “Little Things” and “Earth Sick” continue the existential lyrical journey combined with the singer’s love for orchestral arrangements.
Oh Land began her career rather unconventionally following a ten-year budding career in ballet, which was ended abruptly by an injury. Searching for a new way to incorporate music into her life, she began recording in her bedroom and discovered an early knack for production. In 2008, she released her debut album Fauna to much critical acclaim, and has spent the better part of the past four years supporting her following releases, Oh Land & Wish Bone, and supporting artists including Katy Perry & Sia on the road.
Stay tuned for more news from Oh Land coming soon, and be sure to catch her when she plays New York City’s Bowery Ballroom on October 21st during CMJ- marking her first NYC show in a year!
Black Beauty, the masterpiece by Arthur Lee’s legendary psychedelic rock band Love, is making its first-ever official release on CD, out November 11th via High Moon Records. The album had never been released in any format until High Moon Records put it out on vinyl in 2012. In November, Black Beauty will be available as a TrueSound Audiophile CD, packaged in a Hardbound Eco-Book. With its unparalleled sound and state-of-the-art packaging, Black Beauty is being hailed as an instant classic by critics worldwide. Read and share the exciting announcement courtesy of Rolling Stone.
The Deluxe CD comes with a 62-page photo-filled booklet with over 35 never-before-seen photos by Herbert W. Worthington and a revelatory essay by Ben Edmonds. Bonus tracks feature explosive live Black Beauty-era Love performances, an unearthed Arthur Lee interview from 1974, and two unreleased Arthur Lee studio cuts. The ultra-rare title track from legendary filmmaker Max Julien’s “Thomasine & Bushrod’, recorded a few months after the completion of Black Beauty, was Arthur Lee’s first and only foray into film soundtrack composition. Recorded in 1973 for HairExecutive Producer Michael Butler’s Buffalo Records, Black Beauty remained unreleased when the label folded. Finally, after 40 years High Moon Records is honored to fulfill Arthur Lee’s wish that Black Beauty be heard by music fans worldwide on CD.
Black Beauty is that rarest of rock artifacts: a full-length studio album, from an undisputed musical genius. The album is the missing link in a catalog that includes Forever Changes, the classic 1967 Love album the New York Timescalled “one of the most affecting and beguiling albums of all time.” With Black Beauty, Arthur Lee manages to combine searing 70’s-rock with gorgeous melodies and stellar songwriting—topped off by his most powerful, soulful vocals ever. With its wonderfully eclectic collection of songs, the album offers Love fans a rare glimpse into a previously undocumented phase of Arthur Lee’s fabled career, while shining a light for new fans to discover the unique genius that is the music of Arthur Lee and Love.
There will be a Love exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens in 2015. Love’s Black Beauty album will be featured in the exhibit.
Global Melbourne ambassadors Cut Copy recently announced Cut Copy presents: Oceans Apart, a 19-track continuous DJ-mixed snapshot of new & exclusive music from their hometown’s thriving underground dance music scene & club culture mixed by the band themselves- set for release digitally November 11th via the band’s own dance imprint, Cutters Records (and now available for preorder on iTunes). In addition, two vinyl EPs of compilation highlights will be released on November 18th.
Having previously unveiled NO ZU compilation cut “Raw Vis Vision,” listeners can now get another early taste of the compilation via Ara Koufax’s contribution: the uniquely infectious “Brenda.” Consisting of Sam Gill & Luke Neher, Ara Koufax previously worked together as Naysayer & Gilsun before making improvised music out of a “messy, six-hour jam” in a beach hut. Check out the DJ Mag-premiered “Brenda” track where it’s available to post & share HERE!
Both a local scene document, which is increasingly rare in this global age, and a pulsating 80-minute dance journey, Cut Copy presents: Oceans Apart is the product of the band’s observations of its hometown, where it became undeniably apparent that this fertile community was mushrooming. The compilation threads together a cross-section of the different party crews, label rosters & ambitious lone rangers that have been catalysts in making Melbourne vibrant & happening week in, week out- all in the format of a continuous DJ mix.
“Will you make a move or will I keep quiet again?” The Power trio, comprised of vocalist Elaiza Santos (Whatever, Dad), drummer Nick Corbo (Spook Houses, LVL UP), and Ryan Galloway on guitar and Game Boy, are premiering their track “War of Attrition” yesterday on NPR.
Like many punk songs, “War of Attrition” contains a lot of honest questioning and seems fed up with something, although the music is continuously upbeat and remains chugging along. Vocalist Elaiza narrates her feelings toward someone, drawing attention to their feelings of uncertainty and not knowing what they mean to each other. What’s remarkable is that she never seems angsty or negative while doing this; but rather simple and poetic- a feat that challenges the genre.
“War of Attrition” is short and sweet, with crashing drums provided by Nick and a straight-up infectious guitar solo from Ryan. The conventional instruments are all fused with poppy 8-bit sounds, a cool element that Crying uses flawlessly. This band has such a unique flair - not to mention the skills to back it up - that really sets them apart.
Get Olde Second Wind, Crying's first Run For Cover release, works as both an anthology and a cohesive work, compiling the critically acclaimed self-released EP, "Get Olde," and its brand new, darker and danker sequel, "Second Wind."
Crying Tour w/ Modern Baseball
11/11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Rex Theater
11/12 - Buffalo, NY - Waiting Room
11/13 - Pontiac, MI - The Crofoot Ballroom
11/14 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
11/15 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge
11/16 - Lawrence, KS - Granada Theater
11/18 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theater
11/19 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
11/21 - Oakland, CA - 924 Gilman Street
11/22 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy
11/23 - Anaheim, CA - Chain Reaction
11/25 - San Diego, CA - The Epicenter
11/26 - Mesa, AZ - Club Red
11/28 - Dallas, TX - The Prophet Bar
11/29 - Austin, TX - Red 7
11/30 - Houston, TX - Walters
12/2 - Nashville, TN - The End
12/3 - Atlanta, GA - Masquerade
12/4 - Tampa, FL - Epic Problems
12/5 - S. Florida, FL - The Talent Farm
12/6 - Orlando, FL - Backbooth
12/7 - Jacksonville, FL - Underbelly
12/9 - Washington DC - The Fillmore
12/10 - Richmond, VA - The Broadberry
12/11 - Philadelphia, PA - The TLA
12/12 - New York, NY - Gramercy Theater
12/13 - Hamden, CT - The Space
12/14 - Boston MA - The Paradise
12/15 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
Hear Deerhoof’s Critically Acclaimed New Album Streaming in Full at NPR First Listen
“Mirror Monster” Video Premiered Today at The Wall Street Journal
La Isla Bonita Out November 4 on Polyvinyl Records
This record is for you if you think the naked emperor’s violin playing is out of tune and has too much reverb. It you aspire to never graduate from the underclass. If you think Coke and Pepsi taste the same. If you think emotion stirred by a computer simulation is as worthless as a bad Chaplin mustache.
If there is one thing that Deerhoof has consistently achieved over their 20-year spanning career, it is keeping listeners on their toes. But that’s the extent of their consistency. From album to album and tour to tour, the prolific foursome has fused pop, art, noise, classical, politics and punk, messaging in a way that is never expected.
"Americanization used to mean copying our entertainment and sports, now it means sharing in our financial disasters. This record is meant to be like waltzes: dance music from a decadent society that is crashing." from drummer Greg Saunier's track-by-track guide
On the surface La Isla Bonita is already being hailed as a playful and very catchy punk rock record. MOJO calls it "maverick pop genius," saying, "It shouldn't work. But it does, delivering surrealist pop of such unforced immediacy, such joyful invention, it could brighten any day." NPR First Listen’s love-letter of a review cuts to the core: "For 20 years, Deerhoof has found special and exciting ways to make you feel as if you head might explode."
But as always, the flowers and pandas are not what they first appear. Deerhoof plays on the absurdity of art and music in the face of a cold world seemingly awash in no-win scenarios. This is exemplified in the “Mirror Monster” video revealed today. Filmmaker Todd Chandler shot the autumnal footage one year ago in a Queens parking lot, and happened to show it to Greg just as Deerhoof was starting to write a new record. The poetic footage helped solidify dark themes of a decaying empire whose dubious legacy it is too late to erase. "When I saw these cars getting smooshed, the lyrics just came.”
Line of Best Fit calls "Mirror Monster" "a melancholy meditation on identity, and quite possibly what it is like to come of age as a band." Michael Azerrad hears "an exquisite ballad, one of the most beautiful things Deerhoof has ever done, with classical chords and prismatic guitars and dramatic key changes, but it's also an angry, post-apocalyptic song." Cheers to The Wall Street Journal for having the guts to premier “Mirror Monster” today.
Just in time for the raucous celebration that is Halloween, Australian eclectic soul nonet Saskwatch present the gorgeously terrifying visual accompaniment to “Born to Break Your Heart” (directed by Jesse Smith), lifted from their criticallsy acclaimed sophomore full-length album, Nose Dive. Observe as sultry songstress Nkechi Anele systematically kills off her fellow band members in cold blood- a beautifully messy spectacle to a slow-burning ballad both moody and psychedelic. Give the “Born to Break Your Heart” video a peek where it’s available to post & share HERE!
As a young & buzzing act, Saskwatch has quickly become renowned for their signature ecstatic horns, tight rhythms & soaring vocals- capable of breaking hearts one minute & eliciting frenzied dancing the next. Hot on the heels of the release of Nose Dive earlier this year, the band recently hit the States for the first time, playing a plethora of CMJ shows & Los Angeles to excited crowds of fans both old & new. They’ll wrap their US run tomorrow night in San Francisco!
Every band has a story to tell about how they started out, but few can say that they have gone from busking on the street to gracing the stage at Glastonbury & playing alongside the likes of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings & Earth, Wind & Fire in just four years! Drawing upon a diverse range of influences, ranging from Dr. Dog to Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Nose Dive saw the band branching out from the retro-goodtime feel of their debut full-length album, 2012’s Leave It All Behind, into something even more altogether unique.
Primus & The Chocolate Factory Debuts in Top 20 On Billboard Chart, #2 On Independent Album Chart + On Tour Now
In celebration of National Chocolate Day – TODAY -- October 29th, we are delighted to share Primus’ new delicious lyric video for the track “Pure Imagination”. The video brings viewers into the inner workings of a chocolate factory, the same factory where the Primus Wonka Bars were made. Watch and share the lyric video from the new Wonka-inspired album Primus & The Chocolate Factory, courtesy of the Gawker site io9. Also, Primus will be performing a very special, intimate show at WNYC’s The Greene Space on October 30th, which will be available on livestream at 1pm EST.
Primus’ full-length studio album, ‘Primus & The Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble’ is out now via ATO Records. The album debuted in Billboard’s Top 20, reaching #2 on the Independent album chart. In support of their album, the definitive Primus line up -- Les Claypool, Larry LaLonde and Tim Alexander –have started their nationwide tour.
"The idea was to combine the Frog Brigade and Primus, and do this record,’ says Claypool. I think like a good portion of the planet, we were all pretty put off by the remake of the 'Willy Wonka' movie - the Tim Burton version. I really wanted to pay homage to a film [1971's 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,' starring Gene Wilder] that was very important to me as a kid and very influential to me musically. So that's what we did. And as opposed to just going in and recording the songs and playing them the way they are in the film, we twisted them up a bit…twisted them up a lot."
It felt so good, in fact, that he decided to take Primus into the studio to prepare the soundtrack for an album release. Claypool admits that he’s always, “in some way, wanted to be Willy Wonka,” and, also, that he’s always wanted to work a cover of “The Candyman” -- a memorable number from the film’s soundtrack -- into Primus sets.
With Primus & The Chocolate Factory scheduled to drop on October 21, Primus plans to tour the Chocolate Factory beginning the very next day. “We’re going to do some touring with it and we put together this pretty abstract stage production,” says Claypool, “We’re going to take it out there, around the planet, and see what happens. And, in light of the record business being gutted by the Internet, we’ve made some PRIMUS brand chocolate bars to peddle as well.”
Of course, Claypool realized that it was risky business to adapt a cinematic classic that is so close to so many people’s hearts. And, naturally, he realized that it was dangerous waters to swim in the wake of Gene Wilder, who portrays Willy Wonka in the original film. The band pulls it off by making something that is truly their own, without taking anything away from the movie.
“Our project is an homage to Gene Wilder and David L. Wolper’s, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and the effect it had on me in my youth,” spouts Les, “Now we get to sell PRIMUS bars and hang out with demented Oompa Loompas. Plus to top it off, it gives me an excuse to wear a purple, velvet waistcoat and brown top hat for the next 18 months.”
Primus & The Chocolate Factory Tour Dates
10/29 – Hippodrome – Baltimore, MD
10/31 – Beacon Theatre – New York, NY SOLD OUT
11/01 – State Theatre – New Brunswick, NJ
11/02 – Main Street Armory – Rochester, NY
11/03 – The Fillmore – Detroit, MI
11/05 – Peabody Opera House – St. Louis, MO
11/07 – Taft Theatre – Cincinnati, OH
11/08 – Tabernacle – Atlanta, GA
11/09 – Hard Rock Live – Orlando, FL
11/11 – The Fillmore – Miami, FL
11/12 – Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL
11/14 – Hard Rock Live – Biloxi, MS
11/15 – The Moody Theater – Austin, TX
11/16 – The Majestic Theatre – Dallas, TX
11/17 – Majestic Theatre – San Antonio, TX
11/19 – Orpheum Theatre – Phoenix, AZ SOLD OUT
11/21 – Orpheum Theatre– Los Angeles, CA SOLD OUT
11/22 –Center For The Arts – San Siego, CA
11/23 –Fox Performing Arts Center– Riverside, CA
12/31 – Fox Theater – Oakland, CA*
1/2 – Arlene Schnitzer – Portland, OR
1/3 – Paramount Theater – Seattle, WA
*annual New Year's show, without Chocolate Factory