album

Fool's Gold Set To Release New Album, Leave No Trace

Fool’s Gold was originally formed in Los Angeles by Lewis Pesacov and Luke Top as a large open-ended collective, at times ranging between 12-15 members. After many tours following the release of their self-titled debut album (2009), they organically evolved into a tight-knit five-member "band," featuring vocalist/bassist Luke Top, guitarist Lewis Pesacov, drummer Garrett Ray, multi-instrumentalist Brad Caulkins, and percussionist Salvador Placencia. Confident, focused and much more personal, this new line-up allowed for the dynamic of the group to blossom, redefining and sculpting their sound for the sophomore LP: Leave No Trace.

Much of Leave No Trace was written the last week of 2010, during late night and early morning sessions in a rented house in Wonder Valley, CA, at the edge of the Mojave desert. Produced by Pesacov (who also produced the Best Coast LP), the majority of the album was recorded live in one room at Infrasonic Studios in Alhambra in East LA, on a slow speed on an old 2" tape machine, the perfect format to capture the sonic warmth of the hazy, late night musical space these songs engender. The music on Leave No Trace is built on soulful vocals, evocative lyrics, driving beats, tightly wound percussion, and warm synthesizers, all woven together with interlocking, nimble and slashing guitar lines, and influenced by a shared love of the music from the Caribbean and Africa, 60s soul and blues, and synth-based English new wave.

Those familiar with Fool’s Gold will quickly realize an obvious distinction on Leave No Trace: the new record is sung predominately in English, an intuitive choice for Top, much in the way the debut album leaned towards Hebrew. Whereas singing in Hebrew on the debut allowed Top to find his voice and come out of his shell as a performer and songwriter, as the words and more personal themes for the new record started to take shape, he knew he had to express them as clearly as possible, both to himself and to the listener, in English.

Fool’s Gold’s Leave No Trace is out August 16th on IAMSOUND.

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Leave No Trace tracklisting:

01. The Dive

02. Wild Window

03. Street Clothes

04. Leave No Trace

05. Balmy

06. Narrow Sun

07. Tel Aviv

08. Mammal

09. Bark and Bite

10. Lantern

They Might Be Giants Announce First Leg of International Tour!

They Might Be Giants new album, Join Us, is the recording that their fans have been waiting 20 years for! Impossibly catchy, sometimes strange and always original the album is a stunning return to form. On Join Us we find the Brooklyn originals have returned to rock and to their singular sensibility that made them an instant phenomenon in the world of alternative rock. Join Us is an electrifying mix of clever, maddeningly catchy songwriting and studio mastery. The album was created in the brand new private studio of their long-time collaborator Patrick Dillett (David Byrne, Mary J. Blige, Tegan and Sara, Doveman). Join Us will be released in all digital and physical outlets July 19, 2011 through Idlewild/Rounder Records.


The record opens with “Can’t Keep Johnny Down” -- a summer-perfect pop single that will get instantly stuck in your head and make you want to roll down the windows. Immediately following, the caffeinated fuzz of “You Probably Get That a Lot” will command you to pogo! “When Will You Die” features TMBG’s own formula for punk.

The short and sweet  “Judy Is Your Viet Nam” tells an anthemic tale of unrequited infatuation.  The pure folk-pop of “Old Pine Box” showcases the band's signature harmonies, handclaps and the always popular, never anticipated vocoder. The wit TMBG are known for is at it’s finest on Join Us, album closer “You Don’t Like Me” has lyrical gems like “I can see the future like it’s in the past”.  Check out the “Can’t Keep Johnny Down” MP3 HERE.

They Might Be Giants unlikely success story started nearly three decades ago with their Dial-A-Song service. High energy, low budget videos broke them into heavy rotation on MTV and the rest would soon become alternative rock history.  Along the way the band has become the recipients of two GRAMMYs and a platinum record (1990’s Flood). They recorded numerous themes including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, their GRAMMY-winning theme Malcolm In the Middle and many more.

They Might Be Giants will launch the first leg of their first international tour in over a decade this Fall, hitting 6 countries and over 50 US cities. Notorious for their energized live show, don’t miss TMBG live in your city!

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They Might Be Giants Tour Dates

6/11: Toronto, ON @ Luminato Festival FREE CONCERT
7/15: London, UK @ Koko
7/16: Southwold, UK @ Latitude Festival
7/29: Brooklyn, NY @ Williamsburg Waterfront w/Eugene Mirman FREE CONCERT
9/8: New Haven, CT @ Toad's Place
9/9: Great Barrington, MA @ Mahaiwe Theatre
9/10: Concord, NH @ Capitol Center for the Arts
9/11: Norwich, VT @ Open Air Theatre
9/13@ Ithaca, NY @ State Theatre
9/14: Pittsburgh, PA @ Byham Theatre
9/15: Rochester, NY @ Harro Ballroom
9/16: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
9/17: Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
9/20: Cincinnati, OH @ Southgate House
9/21: Louisville, KY @ WFPK Presents Waterfront Wednesdays
on Harbor Lawn at Waterfront Park (2011 Season Finale)
9/22: Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
9/23: Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
9/24: St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
9/25: Kansas City, MO @ Folly Theatre
9/27: Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom
9/28: Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
9/29: Richmond, VA @ The National
9/30: Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
10/1: Boston, MA @ Berklee Performance Center,
(2 shows, 6:30pm & 9pm)

STS9 @ Hangout Festival 2011

STS9 kicks off a summer of massive touring, performing at a dozen festivals, including Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores Alabama, amphitheatres and more in support of their upcoming summer EP release on 1320 Records.

Since forming in Atlanta over a decade ago, instrumental electronic rock band STS9 has experienced a meteoric rise to the forefront of the electronic-rock music scene. Recently ranked #25 among Pollstar’s list of top-grossing touring acts for Summer 2010, STS9 averaged more than 4,200 tickets sold per city on a 25 city tour that boasted opening acts such as Ghostland Observatory, Thievery Corporation and Big Boi of Outkast. The band’s tour culminated with two sold out performances at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, with 18,000 fans on-hand to experience the audio-visual force that is STS9.

STS9 truly does it all; from headlining stages at festivals such as Austin City Limits Festival, Lollapalooza and Electric Daisy Carnival, to selling out shows around the country in opera houses and amphitheatres alike, to performing with Jay-Z in arenas, to running their own record label, 1320 Records, to using their voice as a platform for change and raising significant amounts of money towards funding for their activism efforts (including $150,000 this past year to The Make it Right Foundation, paving the way to rebuild a house in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans). Pushing boundaries is all in a day’s work for STS9.

In addition to the release of their latest studio album, Ad Explorata (the tenth in their full discography), and in keeping with XLR8R Magazine’s notion that STS9 is "one of the country's most intriguing, innovative outfits around,” June 2010 brought the release of Axe the Cables (1320 Records), a live album featuring STS9’s first ever acoustic performance recorded in late 2009 at the Gates Opera House in Denver, Colorado. These electronic virtuosos got back to their roots, performing on all acoustic instruments to absolutely rave reviews, and inspired additional “unplugged” events at various noteworthy stops across the country during their summer tour – including sold out performances at the Gramercy Theatre in New York, Atlanta’s Tabernacle and the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.

STS9’s self-owned record label, 1320 Records was founded on the principles of collaboration, cooperation, and community. The goal is clear: bring the music to the people in the most conscious, unique innovative and savvy ways possible. By doing so, the distance lessens between artists and fans, putting the power back in the hands of those that make music and those that live for it.

Agnes Obel Covers Elliot Smith's 'Between the Bars'

Play “Just So” to anyone in Germany and they’ll tell you it’s the music from the Deutsche Telekom television advertisement. Which it is. The kind of exposure many an artist would die for. Well not literally, obviously. Or the kind of publicity an independent spirit might agonize over, venturing into the commercial arena.

I can’t help feeling that Agnes Obel is not going to have her feathers ruffled by something, in the greater scheme of things, as inconsequential as a song placement in an ad. Yet is not intriguing how a few bars of music can seep into our consciousness and set us off wondering where they came from?

This facebookish world of ours offers us the illusion of getting to know people we don’t really know. Who their friends are and what they like. Agnes Caroline Thaarup Obel likes Alfred Erik Lesley Satie and Sonic Youth. Debussy and Dylan. Hitchcock and PJ Harvey. But what people like is not necessarily the same as what he or she is like. Clues, perhaps, but as fans of Hitchcock well know, not every clue leads you where you think it might.

So we focus on the facts. Agnes Obel is from Copenhagen but she lives in Berlin. She studied at the University of Roskilde, a town renowned for a Glastonbury style music festival and home to a marvellous viking ship museum. She possesses the rare gift of a songbird’s voice and is about to release her debut album.

Then, like a good detective, we study the photograph. The owl and Agnes. Except their watchful gaze leaves you feeling its they who are looking at us, rather than the other way around. Did you know that an eagle owl’s eyes do not move, instead owls can move their heads almost three quarters around without moving their body? Agnes, meanwhile, seriously beautiful, looks a little like Liv Ullmann in Bergman’s “Persona,” or Tippi Hedren in self-assured Marnie guise rather than the catatonic figure in The Birds. She appears perfectly balanced alongside the eagle owl, both mutually protective of their proud serenity. A clue staring us in the face, yet conjuring up more questions than answers.

Listen to Anges Obel's beautiful cover of Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars"

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Agnes Obel Tour Dates:
6/4: SANTA MONICA, CA @ McCabe's
6/6: HOLLYWOOD, CA @ Hotel Cafe 8pm
6/7: SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ Rickshaw
6/9: PORTLAND, OR @ Alberta Rose Theatre
6/10: SEATTLE, WA @ Freemont Abbey Center
6/13: WASHINGTON, DC @ Sixth & I
6/14: NEW YORK, NY @ Joe's Pub
6/15: PHILADELPHIA, PA @ Tin Angel

The Felice Brothers: Celebration, Florida In Stores Now

The Felice Brothers' fourth album Celebration, Florida arrived in stores yesterday via Fat Possum. The inventive and imaginative album expands upon the dark, woozy undercurrents and surreal storytelling of their previous albums, and has been catching the attention of the press. In addition to the A.V. Club, which recently declared "...The Felice Brothers have captured the decay and corruption of contemporary America in dazzling, sickening fashion", Celebration, Florida has also been covered by Billboard, Cowbell, Metromix, SPIN, Time Out New York ("arresting"), and The Wall Street Journal ("...very fine new Tom Waits-meets-the-Band album..."), among others.

Today, The Felice Brothers' new video for first single "Ponzi" premiered on the A.V. Club and the striking Ian Cinco-directed clip can now be seen here. A song stream on "Ponzi" debuted on SPIN.com in late March; code for an embeddable stream is below. A full album stream is also available via the band's website and AOL Music's Spinner.

The Felice Brothers have been on tour in support of Celebration, Florida since mid-March and play The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, MI, tonight. The band recently added a handful of new shows to their US itinerary, including June 15th at the Ottobar in Baltimore, MD; June 16th at the Maymount (Groovin In The Garden concert series) in Richmond, VA; June 17th at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, PA; and September 10th at the Daleville Town Center in Daleville, VA.

The Felice Brothers made their debut performance at Coachella last month and their Saturday evening set drew great live reviews from SPIN.com (Best & Worst Moments of Coachella Day 2 - 'Worst Band To Pigeonhole': "...let's just call them great") and The Orange County Register ("...something very raw and beautiful"), among others. The band will also perform at a number of other festivals this summer, including The Clearwater Festival, The Calgary Folk Festival, and the Newport Folk Festival.

The Felice Brothers will head to Europe in late November; fall touring plans for the US will be announced soon.

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The Felice Brothers tour dates:

MAY 11 ANN ARBOR, MI THE BLIND PIG*

MAY 12 TORONTO, ONT LEE'S PALACE*

MAY 13 ROCHESTER, NY WATER STREET MUSIC HALL*

MAY 14 LANCASTER, PA CHAMELEON CLUB*

MAY 18 BROOKLYN, NY THE BELL HOUSE%

MAY 19 BROOKLYN, NY THE BELL HOUSE**

MAY 26 NEWMARKET, NH THE STONE CHURCH#

MAY 27 BOSTON, MA BRIGHTON MUSIC HALL#

MAY 28 HARTFORD, CT BOMB FESTIVAL (Comcast Theatre)

JUNE 15 BALTIMORE, MD OTTOBAR

JUNE 16 RICHMOND, VA GROOVIN IN THE GARDEN (Maymount)^

JUNE 17 JIM THORPE, PA MAUCH CHUNK OPERA HOUSE

JUNE 18 CROTON-ON-HUDSON, NY CLEARWATER FESTIVAL

JULY 21-23 CALGARY, ALB CALGARY FOLK FESTIVAL

JULY 30 NEWPORT, RI NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL

SEPT. 10 DALEVILLE, VA DALEVILLE TOWN CENTER

NOV. 29 MUNICH, DE FREIHEIZ

NOV. 30 FRANKFURT, DE BATSCHKAPP

DEC. 1 KOLN, DE GLORIA

DEC. 2 HAMBURG, DE UBEL & GEFAHRLICH

DEC. 3 BERLIN, DE POSTBAHNHOF

DEC. 6 LONDON, UK KOKO

DEC. 7 MANCHESTER, UK MANCHESTER ACADEMY 2

DEC. 9 GLASGOW, UK ABC

DEC. 10 BELFAST, UK SPRING & AIRBRAKE

DEC. 11 DUBLIN, IR ACADEMY

DEC. 12 BIRMINGHAM, UK INSTITUTE

DEC. 14 BRUSSELS, BE AB BOX

DEC. 15 UTRECHT, NL TIVOLI

DEC. 16 GRONIGEN, NL OOSTERPOORT

DEC. 18 NIJMEGEN, NL DOORNROOSJE

* Shovels And Rope supporting

% Shovels And Rope, Rig 1 supporting

** Tom Brosseau supporting

# Willy Mason supporting

^ co-headline with North Mississippi Allstars

Dawes Confirm Summer Support Slot With Alison Krauss

TO Records is excited to announce that Dawes has confirmed 17 dates supporting Alison Krauss & Union Station. Beginning July 27 in Danbury, CT, the dates run through August 27, and include stops at New York’s Beacon Theatre, the Fox in Atlanta and two shows at The Ryman in Nashville.

Dawes has already begun their touring in support of their highly anticipated second album, Nothing Is Wrong. Due out on June 7, 2011, Nothing Is Wrong is the follow-up to the band’s 2009 debut, North Hills (featuring their breakout anthem, “When My Time Comes”), an extraordinary record that was released quietly and soon became regarded among critics and fans across the country as a classic and must-own favorite. A collection of songs that expertly builds upon the template laid by North Hills, Nothing Is Wrong sees Dawes displaying strong growth and evolution while still manifesting their distinctive, unforgettable voice. The band is confirmed to perform the first single from the new album, “Time Spent in Los Angeles,” on The Late Show with David Letterman in late June.

ATO Records and Dawes will be launching a unique pre-order campaign that will allow fans to purchase the record in advance of release date and receive an immediate digital download of an exclusive three-song promotional EP, entitled Suitcase, featuring “Time Spent In Los Angeles,” and two B-sides from the album sessions, “All My Failures” and “Strangers Getting Stranger.”

In addition, all pre-orders will automatically be entered-to-win a super deluxe grand prize suitcase loaded with the following items:

-Vintage 3’ x 2’ suitcase
-Double Gatefold packaging including photo collage and lyric insert
-CD version of album (sleeve without artwork)
-CD version of ‘Suitcase’ EP (sleeve with full-color artwork)
-Series of 5 (5x7) black and white lithograph prints in commemorative brown paper jacket sleeve with band logo
-12x12 black and white photo print autographed by Dawes
-Digital download of video series featuring interview, candid, recording, and live performance footage
-Digital delivery of 11-track album in its entirety on 6/7/11 in premium DRM-free 320 kbps MP3, Apple Lossless, or FLAC files
-Grado 225i Prestige Series headphones
-WILL Leather Goods Hopper Messenger Bag and Slim Billfold Wallet
-Leather notebook with lyrics signed by Taylor Goldsmith
-Black album artwork t-shirt
Fans can also pre-order Nothing Is Wrong online via the band’s website in the following formats; Deluxe LP (limited edition), Double LP, CD, and Digital. All bundles come with the "Suitcase EP" and the option to add a t-shirt. More details here.
Fans can also pre-order ‘Nothing Is Wrong’ at the band’s upcoming May performances where they will receive a physical CD copy of the Suitcase EP that includes a download card to receive the album in its entirety with digital liner notes on street date. The band will be performing special in-store appearances prior to release date at select retailers in tour markets. For a complete list, visit the band’s website.
In support of the pre-order campaign, the band will release a series of weekly videos online featuring interviews, candid, recording, and live performance footage. The first webisode premiered at Daytrotter, and the second on Paste today. All of the videos will be made available for digital download as part of the Deluxe LP (Limited Edition) pre-order offering. Visit the band’s website for more information.
TOUR DATES
May 11 - Tampa, FL - State Theatre
May 12 - St. Augustine, FL - Cafe Eleven
May 13 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
May 14 - Birmingham, AL - Secret Stages Festival (2pm -note 2 shows on 5/14)
May 14 - Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom
May 15 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
May 17 - Charlotte, NC - Visulite Theatre
May 18 - Carborro, NC - Cat's Cradle
May 19 - Athens, GA - Melting Point
May 20 - Chattanooga, TN - Nightfall Series (free show)
May 23 - New Haven, CT - Toad's
May 24 - Portland, ME - State Theatre
May 25 - Northampton, MA - The Iron Horse
May 26 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
May 27 - Montreal, QC - Le National
May 28 - Toronto, ON - Opera House
May 29 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrew's Hall
June 1 - Louisville, KY - Headliners
June 2 - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue
June 3 - Chicago, IL - The Vic Theatre
June 5 - Hunter Mountain, NY - Mountain Jam
June 6 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
June 7 - Louisville, KY - Iroquois Ampitheatre
June 8 - Columbus, OH - LC Ampitheatre
June 9 - Pittsburgh, PA -Stage AE
June 10 - Philadelphia, PA - Mann Center
June 11 - Vienna, VA - Wolf Trap
June 13 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre
June 14 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre
June 15 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
June 16 - Bend, OR - Athletic Club of Bend
June 17 - Chico, CA -   El Rey Theatre
June 18 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre
June 20 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
June 21 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
June 22 - Phoenix, AZ - Marquee Theatre
June 23 - Las Vegas, NV - Silverton Casino
June 24 - Reno, NV - Knitting Factory
June 25 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre
July 2 - Emeryville, CA - High Sierra Music Festival
July 7 - Winnipeg, MB  - Winnipeg Folk Festival
July 8 - Winnipeg, MB  - Winnipeg Folk Festival
July 9 - Ottawa, ON - Ottawa Bluesfest
July 11 - Quebec City, QC - Quebec City Summer Festival
July 27 - Danbury, CT - Ives Concert Park
July 28 - Boston, MA - Wang Center
July 29 - Chautauqua, NY - Institution Ampitheatre
July 30 - Charlottesville, VA - Charlottesville Pavilion
August 2 - New York, NY - Beacon Theatre
August 5 - Gilford, NH - Meadowbrook Pavilion
August 6 - Mashantucket, CT - MGM Grand Theatre
August 9 - Bethlehem, PA - Musikfest
August 11 - Cary, NC - Koka Booth Amphitheatre
August 12 - Asheville, NC - The Biltmore
August 13 - Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre
August 14 - East Hampton, NY - Music To Know Festival
August 19 - St. Augustine, FL - Augustine Amphitheatre
August 20 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - AuRene Theatre
August 21 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
August 26 - Nashville, TN - The Ryman
August 27 - Nashville, TN - The Ryman

National Jazz Museum in Harlem May 16 - May 22, 2011

Upcoming events at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem for this week include:

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Tito Puente Month: Presented by Joe Conzo and special guests

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The Jazz Years

The 60’s saw Puente fully immersed in his passion to combine Jazz and Latin music. A passion thatwas fueled by his mentors Machito and “Hall of Famer” Mario Bauza. It had been his belief that this “marriage” could become a powerful force in music, thereby enhancing the musical experience of the listener and dancer.

He teamed up with bandleader and trombonist Buddy Morrow and began a series of recording sessions where both of them performed with two full and completely different orchestras. The project culminated in the LP recording “Revolving Bandstand” under the RCA label.

With this recording, Latin Jazz received a shot in the arm. It would have a direct affect on some of the younger musicians that would be making a name for themselves in the years to come, notably, Ray Barretto, who first played with Puente in “Dance Mania” and also recorded on the “Revolving Bandstand” sessions.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Harlem Speaks

Bennie Wallace, Saxophonist

6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Tenor saxophonist Bennie Wallace made waves throughout the jazz world in the late 1970's with his debut recording, The Fourteen Bar Blues. Thereafter, with an unflagging respect and affection for classic jazz, he repeatedly represented his own progressive take on the music. His talent for composing and arranging music attracted the attention of Hollywood moviemakers in the late 1980's, which led him to spend nearly a decade in California composing and directing film soundtracks. Wallace's music has developed a more lyrical sense, yet his rhythms retained an authentic style that belonged uniquely to Wallace, according to critics. Winner of Germany's Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, the jazz Grammy equivalent, and a five-time winner of the Down Beat magazine award for Talent Deserving Wider Recognition, the full impact of Wallace's talent remained yet to unfold into the new century.

Born Bennie Lee Wallace Jr. on November 18, 1946, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Wallace began playing clarinet in his youth from the age of 12 when a music teacher at his school started a jazz band and taught the group about great jazz musicians like Count Basie, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. Later, Wallace played in the high school band and added tenor saxophone to his teenage repertoire. Despite his youth, he learned his way around the after-hour jazz clubs even while he was still in high school in Chattanooga. During his late-night excursions, Wallace participated in jam sessions, playing bebop and blues most frequently. He went on to study music at the University of Tennessee and received a bachelor's degree in clarinet studies in 1968. After college during the mid 1970's, he did some composing for a German radio orchestra although his first love was jazz saxophone. Even during a stint in Hollywood during the late 1980s and into the 1990's, Wallace maintai ned to interviewer Zan Stewart of the Los Angeles Times that his horn remained the focal point of his music and of his life.

After his arrival in New York from Tennessee, Wallace spent 1973 studying the old jazz masters and their music to discover the essence of each, focusing heavily on Johnny Hodges and Coleman Hawkins. Yet despite his in-depth study of historical jazz, Wallace disliked repertory bands and eschewed revivalist groups equally. He remained committed to personal definition in everything that he performed. It became evident that Wallace moved in a direction different from the bandwagon that typified so many of his contemporaries, with his styles rooted more closely in the work of Coleman Hawkins than with John Coltrane. In 1985, Wallace signed with Blue Note Records. His debut album for that label, entitled Twilight Time, remained a favorite for many years

In 1991, in an unanticipated career shift, Wallace moved his residence to Pacific Palisades in Southern California to be near the Hollywood film industry as he became involved in composing for films. The opportunity came as a result of his 1985 Blue Note release, Twilight Time, which caught the ear of filmmaker Ron Shelton. Shelton requested that Wallace contribute to the soundtrack for the late-1980's film Bull Durham. Wallace obliged with "Love Ain't No Triple Play," written expressly for that movie. Also heard on the Bull Durham soundtrack was a reprise of Wallace's arrangement of "Try a Little Tenderness." Wallace went on to score the movie Blaze and served as musical director the film White Men Can't Jump.

During this time, Wallace worked extensively with pianist Tommy Flanagan in creating film music. Additionally, Wallace worked behind the scenes as a docent of pianist Jimmy Rowles after Wallace, having settled in California, contacted Rowles completely without introduction. Regardless, a comfortable relationship bloomed between the two, as Rowles mentored Wallace not only in the mechanics of playing the piano, but also in the fine points of harmony. In 1993, Wallace released The Old Songs, an album which represented a culmination of the wisdom and inspiration that he derived from Rowles. He’s now back on the East Coast, living with his wife in Connecticut.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Harlem in the Himalayas

Colin Vallon Trio

7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Colin Vallon, piano
Patrice Moret, double-bass
Samuel Rohrer, drums

Get an insight into the international sounds of cutting edge jazz with the music of this band, which belongs among the most remarkable and fascinating which the Swiss scene has to offer. The 29-year-old Colin Vallon has everything an extraordinary musician needs: brilliant technique, personal expression, a sense for perfect timing and a very individual, musical language which he creates through the unusual sounds from his prepared piano. Together with bassist Patrice Moret and drummer Samuel Rohrer, he has developed an exciting multiple stylistics based on modern jazz, but from which it steps out into all directions possible. The trio lives out its dramaturgically excellent compositions in sensitive interplay.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Panels
A Tito Puente Celebration
12:00 – 4:00pm

Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Join us for an afternoon with the music of the King of Timbales, Tito Puente.

El Rey de Timbales. Tito Puente more than earned first place among modern Latin jazz musicians, working continuously from 1937 to 2000, recording over 100 albums.

Puente started his professional career as a drummer in Noro Morales’ orchestra. He played briefly with Machito’s Afro-Cubans before being drafted into the U.S. Navy, where he played in a band led by famed swing band leader, Charlie Barnet. After his discharge, Puente took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study at the Juilliard School of Music, while working with a variety of Latin bands in New York.

Puente quickly became known as a sizzling arranger. Promoter Federico Pagani hired Puente after hearing him jamming with a group of players from Pupi Campo's band, and dubbed them the Picadilly Boys. Puente subsequently moved to Tico Records and changed the group's name to Tito Puente and his Orchestra. Through numerous changes in labels and musicians, Puente has been in front of his group ever since.

Puente's fame skyrocketed when promoter Max Hyman bought the Palladium dance hall and opened it as a nightclub just as the craze for dancing the mambo and cha-cha hit in the early 1950's. He recalled nearly 50 years later:

“It was the explosion of dance. Remember, the Palladium was a big dance hall. I've always maintained that without a dance the music cannot be popular. People became aware of a new dance--the Mambo--it was ‘in’ to learn to dance the Mambo no matter what part of society you came from. And so here was a place, the Palladium, where everybody could come to dance or learn the Mambo. Dance studios sent their students to the Palladium, where they could learn and see great dancers—ballet stars, Broadway stars, expert Mambo dancers—all in one place. And I geared my music to these dancers.”

Puente rode the wave on Tico, then switched to RCA for what some consider his best albums, including Top Percussion, Dance Mania, his top-seller, and Mucho Puente. In the early 1960's, he moved from cha-chas and mambos to the new pachanga style and rejoined Tico to record Pachanga Con Puente. His 1962 descarga (Latin jam) album, El Rey Bravo debuted Puente's composition, "Oye Como Va," which later became a huge pop hit for Carlos Santana. "Every time he plays 'Oye Como Va,' I get a nice royalty check," Puente said.

Puente suffered through the boogaloo craze ("Boogaloo meant nothing to me. It stunk.") and carried on into the rise of salsa in the early 1970's. He recorded several albums in collaboration with Celia Cruz, the "Queen of Salsa." In the early 1980's, he moved into more traditional Latin jazz for the Concord label, earning a Grammy award for Tito Puente and His Latin Ensemble on Broadway. Although he was criticized for leaning on a clichéd style in his performances and material, Puente rallied again in 1991 to capitalize on the popularity of Oscar Hijuelos' novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love with the album, The Mambo King: 100th Album. It was actually something like his 112th, but who was counting at that point? Ever a trend-rider, Puente made his prime-time television debut in 1995 on an episode of "The Simpsons."

In 1997 Puente recorded 50 Years of Swing, a compilation of hits that celebrate his fifty years in the Latin music industry, and in 1999, he won his fifth Grammy for Best Latin Performance for his CD, Mambo Birdland. In the late 1990's, he was designated as a "Legend" by the Hispanic Hall of Fame, inducted to the Jazz Hall of Fame, received a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, and received a Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement award. He suffered a heart attack soon after his last public appearance, in April 2000, with the Puerto Rico Symphonic Orchestra at the "Centro de Bellas Artes" in Puerto Rico.

Afrobeta Debut Album Out August 9th

Miami’s avant-dance duo recently announced the release of their debut full-length, Under The Streets, along with the first track from the album, “Nighttime.” Now the band has released a futuristic new video, for “Play House,” directed by Dutch director Ruben Van Leer, along with the details for the “Play House” single, which sees a digital release today (May 10th) on iTunes, Beatport and Amazon. The single will come packaged along with remixes by NYC legend Larry Tee, and Alexander Technique & Junior Sanchez!

Afrobeta’s unique (and diverse) sound transcends genre classifications. Cuci’s rapid-fire delivery, combined with Smurphio’s funky synths and head-bopping basslines, will keep you moving from start to finish on Under The Streets. The thirteen tracks that make up their debut album will undoubtedly ignite dance-floors around the world-the band has a sound that is universally irresistible.

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Click HERE or the Single Art Below to Watch the Futuristic Video For “Play House”

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Under The Streets Tracklisting:

Two Different Worlds
Do You Party?
Nighttime
As Long As You Like It
Play House
That Thing
Touch
Land Of Lost Lovers
Pistol Whip
Love Fur Life
Jealousy
The End
Love Is Magic

Luther Russell Announces New Double LP

Luther Russell is set to release his fifth LP, a double-length entitled The Invisible Audience, on July 12th on Ungawa Records. It's a wildly ambitious record from the multi-talented singer-songwriter/producer, which he calls "a glimpse into the jukebox of my psyche." The twenty-five tracks on this epic record were culled from months and months of recording "whenever I could get into my eight-track studio or on a four-track cassette to get an idea down." The album's narrative flow seems to run the gamut of emotions from regret, betrayal and loss to humor, nostalgia and hope. His last release, 2007's Repair (produced by Ethan Johns) was a ragged, rootsy pop record full of rich, sometimes bouncy melodies which belied their darker subject matter, namely that of his then-fresh divorce. The album won him quite a bit of acclaim but nonetheless failed to break him to a wider audience. Since then he concentrated on the production side of things, working with a wide array of artists, including Noah & The Whale, Laura Marling, Sarabeth Tucek, Holly Miranda, Richmond Fontaine, Sean Lennon and Fernando, to name a few.

It was during this industrious period that Luther would hit the recording studio on his own whenever time permitted "to capture some kind of feeling before it slipped away" or for other projects like "the odd failed soundtrack that never was." Being a multi-instrumentalist (Luther has lent his talents to many other artists on drums, guitar, bass, keys, etc.) helped to get many songs recorded with no time to waste. For instance, "Traces," a track evoking Slim Chance-era Ronnie Lane, was done "pretty much in one day", recalls Russell. Still, he did enlist help from a few close musical allies to help flesh out harmony-laden blasts like "Everything You Do" and "Tomorrow's Papers", as well as the psychedelic trance-rock of "Motorbike". In fact, on the elegiac "In This Time," members of his old band The Freewheelers popped by to help with the feel of the track. "I just had so many different types of songs coming out of me over the past few years that for once I wanted to intertwine as many as I could, regardless of style or genre, to try and paint a more complete picture of who I am as an artist. This would be my chance because I could take my time and do it until it was done--whenever the hell that would be".

Turns out it wouldn't be for roughly five years, as Luther wouldn't finally compile the songs until he was able to listen to many different sequences on the often snail-paced subway rides between Manhattan and Brooklyn where he had relocated after several years in Los Angeles. "I just began to hit upon the fact that all of the instrumental tracks that I had accrued could provide little 'smoke breaks' for the listener, so to speak". Inspired by the sprawling double-albums of his youth, such as Husker Du's Zen Arcade, Game Theory's Lolita Nation and Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, he began to see the songs woven together in a longer, more colorful tapestry. "I wanted to make a record that someone could literally get lost in...every time you'd drop the needle you'd be somewhere new. It would be like a friend that was always around, but each time you get together something has changed a little, just like in life". Invariably the album would wind up consisting of some darker pathways, to which Luther attributes more than a few harrowing experiences, such as the sudden passing of two of his "very best friends" and a horrible accident where he nearly lost use of his right hand. "A period of intense darkness seemed to settle over me after the recording of my last record. Moving to New York was definitely an 'escape' of sorts, but the kind of loss I experienced over the past few years one can never quite shake, I think".

It's these more contemplative stretches of musical highway that are found in songs such as "A World Unknown," a stripped-down blues lament concerning "various frightened glimpses into one's own mortality" and "1st & Main," a spidery concoction regarding a certain sojourn through downtown L.A. "which I'd rather not discuss", Russell broods. Livelier tracks include the uproarious "Long Lost Friend," something of a sonic shotgun-wedding between the Faces and Nilsson, juxtaposed with lyrics about "literally having fuck-all", and "Ain't Frightening Me," a dervish of acid words and zig-zag melody influenced by the proto-power-pop of Nick Lowe and Dwight Twilley. The font of mix-and-match songcraft throughout the record can also be attributed to Luther's background, which includes a grandfather and great-uncle, each of whom wrote several Tin Pan Alley standards. It's this family history which he pays tribute to on instrumentals such as the ragtime-y "109th & Madison" (named for the intersection in Harlem where his grandmother grew up) and "Still Life Radio," the old Broadway-style opener which evokes an instant nostalgia even before the expansive record has begun to rev-up (with the grinding Sidekick Reverb).

As to the inevitable head-scratching regarding the sheer length of the record, Luther takes it in stride. "I fully get and understand that many people will ask 'why so long' and generally not have the patience to sit through such an 'endless' listen", he laughs, "but I just had to do it. It just felt right and I thought it would be a true musical experience--that is if you even like what I do in the first place!" This time around, not only has Luther Russell made a record that has many of the hallmarks he is known for (ear-catching melodies, lyrics layered with multiple meanings and adventurous musicianship), but he's managed to make one that contains all of them: the dark folk-blues territory he has covered in past records such as Lowdown World, the bold experimentation found in out-of-nowhere u-turns like Down At Kit's and the melancholy pop of the aforementioned Repair. The Invisible Audience aims to tie up the many loose ends of Luther's recorded output and twist it into something new, yet strangely recognizable. "It's an album made for music fans. People like me. Folks who want to disappear for a while, take a vacation from all the bullshit. All you need is a pair of headphones and an open mind".

Gary Nicholson's New CD, Texas Songbook

Gary Nicholson is a musical renaissance man — a number one hit songwriter, a two time Grammy winning record producer, a guitarist, singer, and recording artist. A consistent presence on the upper reaches of the country chart hit parade for the last three decades, his associations and collaborations read like an honor roll of notable talent in country and beyond: George Strait, Ringo Starr, Garth Brooks, Jeff Bridges, Robert Plant, B.B. King, Fleetwood Mac, Gregg Allman, The Judds, Buddy Guy, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Del McCoury, The Neville Brothers, Vince Gill, Delbert McClinton, Etta James, John Prine, Keb’ Mo’, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson among them. His songs have been heard in the movies Crazy Heart, Major League, City of Hope, Message in a Bottle and Where the Heart Is. “I’m always curious about working with different people and styles,” he says.

He is also a true blue son of the Lone Star State whose love and pride for the place he calls home brims from every track of his Bismeaux Records album, Texas Songbook, due out June 21, 2011. Recorded in Austin with some of the finest players in the state, it features such guest stars as Joe Ely, McClinton, Marcia Ball, Randy Rogers, Ray Benson and Jason Roberts of Asleep at the Wheel on songs inspired by or about Texas by Nicholson himself and penned with Texans like the late Stephen Bruton, McClinton, Guy Clark, Lee Roy Parnell and others. It’s sure to satisfy anyone with a taste for swinging, two-stepping, and dancehall and honky-tonk style Lone Star country music.

The album leaps into a Lone Star state of mind from the opening track, “Texas Weather,” and keeps the theme dancing though “She Feels Like Texas,” “A Woman in Texas, A Woman in Tennessee,” “Lone Star Blues” (with Ely and Benson singing along, and just recorded by George Strait for his next album), “Talkin’ Texan” and “Texas Ruby” (with Ball on piano). The set includes the signature song “Fallin’ & Flyin’” from Crazy Heart, the infectiously swinging “Messin’ With My Woman” (with backing vocals by Benson and Roberts), “Same Kind of Crazy” (written with McClinton, who plays harmonica on the track and cut the song, as did George Strait on his Twang album), and “Listen to Willie” (a tribute to the Red-Haired Stranger with Stoney LaRue and Benson on vocals and Mickey Raphael on harmonica). It wraps up with “Bless Them All” (with the McCrary Sisters), “Live, Laugh, Love” (previously recorded by Texan Clay Walker), and the closing grace note of “Some Days You Write the Song” (the title song of the Grammy-nominated Guy Clark album, co-written with Clark and Jon Randall Stewart).

Nicholson’s impetus for making Texas Songbook was his recent induction into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame. “I’ve always wanted to make a truly country record,” he says of his fourth release in his own right. “So I figured, okay, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this in Texas with all Texas players and with songs co-written by Texans. I’m just going to make the most Texas record I can possibly make and have fun doing it.”

To do so, the first and only choice was to “go straight to Ray Benson.” Recorded at Benson’s Bismeaux Studio, the disc features Asleep at the Wheel members and associates Roberts (fiddle), David Sanger (drums), Floyd Domino (piano) and Kevin Smith (bass) as well as steel guitarist Tommy Detamore and accordion player Joel Guzman. “I couldn’t have made this record in Nashville and gotten this music,” notes Nicholson, a Music City resident for now more than three decades. “I could have come close. But I knew I could only make this album in Texas.” Plus for good measure include in the creative mix some honorary Texans from the state’s “north 40” of Oklahoma like guest singer and Lone Star/Red Dirt music scene hero LaRue and Kevin Welch, co-writer of “Listen to Willie” and now residing in the Hill Country town of Wimberley.

The trail that led Nicholson to becoming an integral and pervasive presence in the Nashville music industry and scene — and 26 ASCAP songwriting awards and nomination to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame — begins in Garland in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex where he came of age within the fertile musical context of the mid 1950s.

He soon took up the guitar and started playing folk and country music, making his public debut in his school’s eighth grade talent show and winning it. Then along came The Ventures and Nicholson took up electric guitar. When he later came to believe that the Beatles “were the greatest thing ever” and heard area resident Freddie King, his fate was sealed. As a teen he played in such British Invasion-inspired bands as the Valiants, the Catalinas and the Untouchables.

While studying at North Texas State University in nearby Denton, Nicholson fell in with such other musical students as soon-to-be Eagle Don Henley and pianist/producer/arranger Jim Ed Norman, later president of the Warner Bros. Nashville label. He stayed busy by night in club bands, and was also recruited to tour with the Nazz after Todd Rundgren left the group. “They hired me because I had a Marshall stack and a Les Paul,” Nicholson recalls with a chuckle. Following a night in 1971 hanging out with Gram Parsons on a swing through Dallas by the American-music pioneer, Nicholson left college and, urged on by Parsons, moved with his band to Los Angeles.

His friends Henley and Norman soon followed as Nicholson went on to win his first publishing deal, scored his debut recorded cover by bluegrass star Doug Dillard, and inked a record deal with Kapp/MCA with his band, Uncle Jim’s Music. They rehearsed in the same building as budding star Linda Ronstadt, whose producer John Boylan helmed the first of the band’s two albums of Nicholson’s songs (with Norman on keyboards for the second), prized by collectors.

Not long after watching Henley join forces with Glenn Frey in Ronstadt’s band and then soar to superstardom in The Eagles, Nicholson married his college sweetheart Barbara and headed back to Texas in 1973. Despite the artistic boom in California, “I liked the music back in Texas better,” he notes. One reason why was an album by locals and fellow expatriates to L.A. who would also return home, Delbert & Glen (Clark).

Nicholson wound up doing stints as a guitarist in McClinton’s band throughout the rest of the 1970s. He also started a group called Hot Sauce that melded country-rock and blues and were sometimes joined by his guitar hero Freddie King at their weekly Sunday residency at Mother Blues in Dallas. He also sharpened his Western swing and country chops taking gigs throughout North Texas, and continued to hone his songwriting skills.

Then Norman tapped a Nicholson song, “Jukebox Argument,” for a recording by Mickey Gilley that ended up on the Urban Cowboy 2 soundtrack. His friend then invited him to relocate to Nashville to write for his publishing company in 1980. By 1984 he had joined the roster of legendary writers at Tree Publishing and nabbed his first No. 1 cut with “That’s the Thing About Love” by Don Williams. He has since written or co-written scores of country chart songs including such Top 10 gems as “One More Last Chance” (Vince Gill), “The Trouble With the Truth” (Patty Loveless), “She Couldn’t Change Me” (Montgomery Gentry) and Reba’s “When Love Gets a Hold of You.”

Nicholson showcased his skills as a producer on his 1995 solo debut, The Sky Is Not the Limit. Four albums for McClinton followed, two of them Grammy winners (Best Contemporary Blues Album) and another nominated, and to date the longtime friends have written some 40 songs together that Delbert has recorded. His other noteworthy productions include T. Graham Brown’s acclaimed Wine Into Water, New Day Dawning by Wynonna and the landmark Reunion by the Judds as well as discs by Chris Knight, Seth Walker and Pam Tillis plus Marcia Ball’s latest album, among others.

Soon after arriving in Music City Nicholson did his first session as a guitarist. His credit can be found on numerous albums since, especially when a taste of Texas C&W and blues is called for. He toured out of Nashville in his early years there with Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Tracy Nelson and Gail Davies until Bobby Bare advised him to leave his band and better spend his time at home writing songs. Now that his sons are grown, Nicholson is back out on the road and with his band Fortunate Sons, who put out an album in 2010, as well as gigging and making a record under his nom de blues Whitey Johnson. As Texas Songbook hits the market, he also gathers together a country band to share stages with Asleep at the Wheel over the summer of 2011.

Texas Songbook follows the form of his previous Nashville Songbook album that collected a number of Nicholson’s top country covers in his own versions. Given his Lone Star State roots, his latest disc is a truly special endeavor for the multi-talented musical artist. “I’m really proud of it,” he concludes. “It’s very important stuff for me. As great as Nashville is and has been to me, it will never take the place of Texas in my heart."