Alt-Rock

Harlem Shakes LP Release Party This Thurs. At Williamsburg Hall Of Music

Harlem Shakes as we know it were born in 2006, after an earlier incarnation of the band went to college and went nuts. Lexy still sings lead, and Brent still plays the drums (and drum machine), but now Kendrick plays keyboards, Jose plays bass, and Todd plays guitar. Everyone sings.  Harlem Shakes have toured with Deerhoof, Vampire Weekend, and Beirut, and opened for Wire, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Arctic Monkeys, and various other famous bands with animal names. Burning Birthdays, the band's self-released debut EP, came out in 2007 to wide acclaim, earning generous praise from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, SPIN, AllMusic, Stylus, The Village Voice, and the blogs. Pitchfork complimented their "frenetic clip of hooks," and sometime Magnetic Field-er LD Beghtol of The Voice called them "lethally charming" and one of "the Best of New York." The band is sure that all this good luck must come at some kind of lurking, damning cost.

After extensive touring and a bit of schooling, the band got back together with Chris Zane (Les Savy Fav, The Walkmen, Passion Pit, White Rabbits) to record their first full-length album, Technicolor Health. The result is one of the most quietly ambitious pop albums in ages. Much like Blur fused English pop traditions and contemporary sonics to forge Brit Pop, Harlem Shakes meld the Great American Songbook with unmistakably contemporary textures, creating what one might call "Am Pop." Influences as disparate as the Band, Randy Newman, Carlos Santana and Spank Rock inform the soundscapes, but the vibe is too coherent to be called eclectic. Technicolor Health invokes the synthesized Latin percussion that plays outside the band's apartments every night as they're trying to fall asleep, and the classic rock radio they listen to with hilarious regularity. These are social songs: instruments meander, trade off lines, and counter each other's rhythms and melodies, but ultimately they come together again on the chorus, or in an ecstatic outro or bridge, for a singalong family dinner. Harlem Shakes also have an unapologetically literary lilt; writers like Leonard Michaels, Wislawa Szymborska, and David Berman echo in Lexy's lyrics.

Technicolor Health was made after and during some tough times (involving serious sickness) for the band. The record captures the weary, hopeful, and sometimes triumphal vibe of that period in their lives. Above all, the album is about surviving abject shittiness. But it's also about what new-wave bands and new-wave revival bands call, "modern life," as lived by five thoughtful men in their early and mid-twenties during a weird, sometimes miserable, mostly thrilling historical moment. Harlem Shakes have been obsessed by pop music their whole lives, and after all the reiterations, they still have great faith in its power to make you and them feel a little better about things, and to say something vital, and God willing, maybe even enduring.

FLATFOOT 56 RETURN TO THE ROAD

There’s never any slowing of action for Celtic-punk outfit FLATFOOT 56. Following a month spent in the studio to assemble the pieces for their forthcoming full-length album, the band will immediately return to the road for a headlining tour through the Midwest and East Coast with Boston punkers FAR FROM FINISHED, kicking off March 29 in Grand Rapids, MI. Following that string of dates, the band will join legendary UK Oi! Outfit THE BUSINESS for a three-week trek.

In advance of the tour dates, FLATFOOT 56 have also confirmed a handful of special appearances, which include a hometown return to Chicago for St. Paddy’s Day Massacre at Subterranean on Tuesday, March 17. The band will also arrive in Austin, Texas this month during South By Southwest (SXSW) for shows at Texas Rock Fest (Thursday, March 19), Darwin’s Pub (Friday, March 20) and Headhunters (Saturday, March 21).

Throughout their nearly nine-year history, FLATFOOT 56 have consistently delivered an eclectic mix of punk and folk-tinged hardcore to audiences across the globe. The boys have relentlessly toured the world over both as openers and headliners, sealing a reputation as one of the most exciting, prolific, and energetic bands on the scene today. Their return to the road this month will give fans a chance to experience crowd favorites from the band’s two releases—the debut full-length Knuckles Up as well as 2007’s Jungle Of The Midwest Sea—mixed with a sampling of new material that will appear on the forthcoming album.

FLATFOOT 56 entered the studio on February 1 with producer Johnny Rioux of Street Dogs to begin production for the upcoming full-length disc due out later this year. The release follows Jungle’s celebrated outing and will build on the band’s signature style while delving into newly developed and untapped territory of musical growth. Complete details on the new album’s release are forthcoming.

FLATFOOT 56’s complete tour schedule includes:

Tue

3/17

Subterranean (St. Paddy’s Day Massacre)

Chicago, IL

Wed

3/18

The Anchor Venue

Nashville, TN

Thu

3/19

Texas Rock Fest Outdoor Stage

Austin, TX

Fri

3/20

Darwin’s Pub (RedGorilla Music Fest)

Austin, TX

Sat

3/21

Headhunters (SXSW)

Austin, TX

Sun

3/22

Low Key Arts Building (Valley Of The Vapors Music Fest)

Hot Springs, AR

Fri

3/27

Mary’s Place

Rockford, IL

Sat

3/28

The House Café

DeKalb, IL

Sun

3/29

Mixtape Café w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Grand Rapids, MI

Mon

3/30

Frankies w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Toledo, OH

Tue

3/31

S.O.S. Building w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Brazil, IN

Wed

4/1

ES Jungle w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Indianapolis, IN

Thu

4/2

The Sports Café w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

State College, PA

Fri

4/3

Club Diablo w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Buffalo, NY

Sat

4/4

Harper’s Ferry w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Allston, MA

Sun

4/5

Billy Baloney’s w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Danbury, CT

Mon

4/6

Championship Records w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Lemoyne, PA

Tue

4/7

Peppermint Beach Club w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Virigina Beach, VA

Wed

4/8

The MACC w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Crofton, MD

Thu

4/9

Asbury Lanes w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Asbury Park, NJ

Fri

4/10

Vibe Lounge w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Rockville Centre, NY

Sat

4/11

Khyber w/ FAR FROM FINISHED

Philadelphia, PA

Thu

5/14

Rocks Off Boat Cruise w/ THE BUSINESS

New York, NY

Fri

5/15

Club Lido w/ THE BUSINESS

Revere, MA

Sat

5/16

Ottobar w/ THE BUSINESS

Baltimore, MD

Sun

5/17

Agora Theatre w/ THE BUSINESS

Cleveland, OH

Tue

5/19

Reggie’s Rock Club w/ THE BUSINESS

Chicago, IL

Wed

5/20

Bluebird Theatre w/ THE BUSINESS

St. Louis, MO

Thu

5/21

The Conservatory w/ THE BUSINESS

Oklahoma City, OK

Sat

5/23

Red Seven w/ THE BUSINESS

Austin, TX

Sun

5/24

Walter’s w/ THE BUSINESS

Houston, TX

Wed

5/27

Back Booth w/ THE BUSINESS

Orlando, FL

Thu

5/28

Churchill’s w/ THE BUSINESS

Miami, FL

Fri

5/30

The Pit w/ THE BUSINESS

Jacksonville, FL

Sat

5/31

Masquerade w/ THE BUSINESS

Atlanta, GA

Sun

6/1

Soapbox Laundo-Lounge w/ THE BUSINESS

Wilmington, NC

Mon

6/2

Volume 11 Tavern w/ THE BUSINESS

Raleigh, NC

Tue

6/3

Canal Club (Lounge) w/ THE BUSINESS

Richmond, VA

Wed

6/4

DC9 w/ THE BUSINESS

Washington, DC

Fri

6/6

Europa Night Club w/ THE BUSINESS

Brooklyn, NY

STEVE BARTON & THE OBLIVION CLICK

Steve Barton- for the Grateful Web

You have heard Steve Barton on Translator's huge hit "Everywhere That I'm Not." The veteran San Francisco alt-rock outfit recorded four albums on 415/Columbia, and toured with R.E.M., Gang of Four and David Bowie. And Translator lives on to this day, soon to announce new recordings, rarities and reissues. However, in Barton's other, more day-to-day life, he's the vocalist/songwriter/guitarist in Steve Barton & the Oblivion Click, whose new album, Flicker of Time, will hit the streets on June 12. The album is on the Sleepless label, distributed through Redeye Distribution.
 
With 2005's Charm Offensive, Barton created the perfect pop monster. The Boston Phoenix wrote: "The high quality of the songwriting makes the album more than the sum of its influences: the hooks and riffs come so dependably that it all feels effortless. And the lyrics take a few sharp looks into the dark corners of love affairs, proving that the thoughtful streak of Barton's younger days hasn't waned." PopMatters called it "a most energetic and enjoyable effort, one where both the power and the pop are present and accounted for."  Mojo awarded it three stars, and the Sunday London Times called it "one of the year's unexpected delights."
 
The new album, Flicker of Time, presents a more varied musical palette, the result of Barton's band of two years  — Oblivion Click — road-testing the material before they hit the studio. The band contains Casey Dolan, guitar; Derrick Anderson, bass; and Robbie Rist, drums. (As an inevitable footnote, Rist is known to many as Oliver in "The Brady Bunch" television series and has accrued many Google-able TV, film and indie music credits since then.) Bassist Anderson contributed a photograph to the album's surreal cover graphic.
 
One of the pivotal songs on the new album is "Beverly Park," about an amusement park Barton used to frequent as a boy – until it was torn down to build a shopping mall. The themes of time and change continue throughout the album with such songs as the angular rocker opening track, "Cartoon Safe," the epic "Maps & Bridges," and the solo piano performance on his ballad "Under A Broken Sky." Fans of Barton's short rock 'n' roll bashers will be thrilled by the 2-1/2 minute "You Make Me Smile As Big As I Can" and the trashy pounding of "Winter Light." The album closes with the lovely instrumental "End Credits" (music supervisors, take note).

The band will tour behind this release, and the songs from this album and from Steve's previous solo releases, The Boy Who Rode His Bike Around the World and Charm Offensive will be featured, as well as gems from his Translator past.

Speaking of Translator, there's a lot happening in that band's world as well. All four 415/Columbia albums were recently reissued on the Wounded Bird label – their first time on CD. Different Time, an album of outtakes, demos and live recordings will come out on Almacantar Records this summer. Almacantar will also release Time of the Miracles, a document of the band's first reunion in 1993. And UK label Evangeline Records will release a two-disc set this June. Translator will tour this year at times in which Steve Barton & the Oblivion Click are off the road.

Viglione Tours in March & April with Fellow Bostonians, HUMANWINE

Dresden Dolls- for the Grateful Web

Dresden Dolls' drummer Brian Viglione keeps busy while the band takes a rare break from touring.  Look for him this spring sitting in with gypsy punkers HUMANWINE.

Brian Viglione, the dramatic, spot-on drummer of punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls, has been playing music plenty - despite a rare respite from the Dolls' typically non-stop touring schedule.  On the heels of a winter run starring and playing drums in the American Repertoire Theatre's production of The Onion Cellar (Cambridge, MA) and a residency at Boston's Lilypad with The Gil Aharon Trio (Gil Aharon/piano and Andrew DiMola/upright bass), Viglione today announces an even busier spring, packed with guest tour appearances, drum clinics, and even the filming of an online instructional DVD (to be released on disc and online this spring).

Look for Viglione on tour in March and April with fellow Bostonians, and comrades in the city's underground gypsy-music scene, HUMANWINE.  Much like The Dresden Dolls a few year's back, HUMANWINE was voted "Best New Act" at the 2006 Boston Music Awards and in the Boston Phoenix/WFNX Best Music Poll 2006. The brainchild of M@ McNiss and Holly Brewer, the duo are the Conductors of a rotating band they dub "The army that isn't here to fight." Viglione will tour this spring as the band's drummer, alongside Paul Dilley [Reverend Glasseye] on contra bass.  Brian's drumming is also featured on HUMANWINE's debut album, Fighting Naked, to be released on Warner Brother's Cordless Records this spring.

The list of confirmed HUMANWINE dates to feature Brian Viglione is as follows:

March 27  Johnny Brenda's  Philadelphia, PA
March 28  Club Café  Pittsburgh, PA
March 29  Little Brother's  Columbus, OH
March 30  The Grog Shop  Cleveland, OH
March 31  Subterranean  Chicago, IL
April 01  Shank Hall  Milwaukee, WI
April 03  7th Street Entry  Minneapolis, MN
April 05  Grand Emporium  Kansas City, MO
April 07  Mercy Lounge  Nashville, TN
April 10  The Five Spot  Atlanta, GA
April 11  Local 506  Chapel Hill, NC
April 12  The New York Howl  Richmond, VA
April 15  DC9  Washington, DC
April 20  The Paradise  Boston, MA
April 21  Tonic  New York, NY w/ Nervous Cabaret

For more information visit www.humanwine.org.

The Dresden Dolls are a Boston based keyboard/drum duo now famous around the globe.  After signing with Roadrunner Records in early 2004, the band re-released their self-titled debut The Dresden Dolls to worldwide acclaim and recently made their Billboard chart debut with their equally applauded follow up Yes, Virginia. The band's live audiences continue to grow exponentially, as The Dresden Dolls have completed sold-out tours on four continents, supported Nine Inch Nails, and performed at prestigious world festivals including Reading, Leeds, Coachella, Fuji Rock, Roskilde, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Glastonbury.  Locally they have won numerous awards ranging from multiple Boston Music Awards to topping the Boston Phoenix/FNX Best Music Poll.  The Dresden Dolls will hit the road in June for an exciting summer tour.

SXEast Austin party gig for Golden Dogs

The Golden Dogs- for the Grateful Web

Power-pop from Canada. Keyed up keyboards, mad guitars, souped-up vocals buoyed by irresistible harmonies: THE GOLDEN DOGS are gonna move you. About the new record, EVERYTHING IN 3 PARTS: "The dozen tracks on this Funzalo Records disc crackle with energy, here showcasing bubbly keyboards, there chiming guitars, elsewhere vocoder whimsies, making Everything in 3 Parts an irresistible exercise in manic magic." - Playback St. Louis

I already let you know that The Golden Dogs will be rocking songs from their new Funzalo Records release, EVERYTHING IN 3 PARTS, during 2 different shindigs: the daytime Canadian Blast BBQ and an official nighttime SXSW showcase event.

Well, mark your calendars anew, as the Golden Dogs have just been added to a 3rd event, the 11th Annual SXEast Austin/P2BBQ/Chet Lemon Fest bash:

Thursday, March 16th
3810 Sycamore

Details here: www.chetlemon.com

The stellar lineup:

1:00 THE GOLDEN DOGS (Thunder Bay, ON, CANADA)
www.thegoldendogs.com

2:00 The Figurines (Copenhagen, DENMARK) http://www.figurines.dk/
3:00 Rocky Votolato (Seattle, WA) http://www.rockyvotolato.com/
4:00 The Long Winters (Seattle, WA) http://www.thelongwinters.com/
5:00 The Lemurs (Austin, TX) http://www.thelongwinters.com/
6:00 Pink Mountaintops (Vancouver, BC, CANADA) http://www.thewaxmuseum.bc.ca/jwab/

And to refresh your memory about the other Golden Dogs shows:

Wednesday, March 15, 3:00-7:00 pm
South by Tent in Brush Square Park (across from the front entrance to the Hilton)

The Canadian Consulate General in Dallas, Texas invites you to kick off your SXSW with the first-ever Canadian Blast BBQ and musical sneak peak of a solid sampling of the best Canadian music at the fest:
3pm The Trews
3:40 The High Dials
4:20 THE GOLDEN DOGS
5pm Pilate
5:40 Magneta Lane
6:20 Swollen Members

Thursday, March 16th - Official Showcase
Tambaleo - 302 Bowie Street
THE GOLDEN DOGS at 1am

For more information about the evening's lineup, see: http://2006.sxsw.com/music/showcases/date/2006-03-16.html
For more information about the Golden Dogs, check out the band's website: www.thegoldendogs.com, or visit www.funzalorecords.com.