YELLOWBIRDS Release Second Track "The Honest Ocean"

Yellowbirds, the new band formed by Sam Cohen of Apollo Sunshine, have released a second single entitled "The Honest Ocean." It follows the "The Rest Of My Life," their first song made available in October, which was later selected as a Spinner "Mp3 Of The Day" and described as "sunny, psychedelic folk. Warm and inviting," by the blog Unholy Rhythms.

Yellowbirds will offer one more single before their debut album The Color is released February 15, 2011 as an LP and download by The Royal Potato Family.

Stream "The Honest Ocean"
Mp3 Download "The Honest Ocean"
Available at iTunes | Amazon

More on Sam Cohen and Yellowbirds...

Sam Cohen grew up in Houston, Texas, and while the Texas of his teens may have been home to Big Oil, Enron, the Bush family, and the drab gray Astros jerseys of the 90's, he prefers to think of it as the Texas of yore, home to Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, the Space Program, and rainbow orange Astros jerseys.  It stands to reason, then, that his current home of New York City must be the mythical Empire City: Rocky Mountains of architecture, epicenter of modern art, home to Charles Mingus and The Velvet Underground.

It was with these timeless inspirations in mind that Cohen created Yellowbirds, and set to work on his forthcoming "solo" outing The Color.  Double-speed auto-harp glissandos, glowing backwards pedal-steel, bubbling echo and fuzz guitars coalesce into a warm wall of sound.  As existential lyrical themes emerge, delivered nonchalantly over psyched-out aural landscapes, the picture emerges of a dust-blown, 4th dimensional Future West.  This is Cohen's quixotic world where "only the purist tones can be heard."

Upcoming Yellowbirds shows:
December 8 | Goodbye Blue Monday | Brooklyn, NY (acoustic set)
December 11 | The Rock Shop | Brooklyn, NY

Miniature Tigers Warm Stages For Ben Folds

Minature Tigers- for the Grateful Web

Miniature Tigers' sound was forged in the bedroom of frontman Charlie Brand, only to quickly outgrow the space, with the band soon finding itself on stage, in the studio and signed to Phoenix's Modern Art Records in short order. Brand's lyrics – a mix of deeply personal insights and playful references to the disparate cultural artifacts that have informed his existence – and effortlessly constructed indie-pop arrangements have made fans in his native Phoenix and beyond. They stretch to Los Angeles, where he reconnected with drummer, collaborator and fellow charter member of the band Rick Schaier while living in Hollywood, and far beyond thanks to the Internet, which it seems people are into these days.

Miniature Tigers' debut album "Tell it to the Volcano" runs the lyrical gamut, taking inspiration from and referencing TV's Lost (which rates a Dharma Initiative sticker on Brand's acoustic) as easily as it probes the joy and heartbreak of Charlie's own life, while managing not to take itself too seriously. Brand wrote the album while on the lam – not from the law, but rather from a relationship he described as "brutal." He left Phoenix to clear his head, landing in Los Angeles and collaborating with his friend Rick to complete the long-gestating album. It was his catharsis – with cannibals and volcanoes stepping in for the real-world problems that had both beset and inspired him. In the end the album represents Charlie's effort to codify, examine, and ultimately move past a 2-year stretch of his life.

Charlie and Rick are joined in their live incarnation by friends and collaborators Lou Kummerer on bass and Lawrence Hearn on lead guitar and keyboards, for performances that seem to give equal time to playing songs and intra-band joking. They aim for a controlled chaos aesthetic that eschews "auto-pilot" at all costs.

In an effort to further confound the expectations of those around the band, they chose to have their video directed by someone who had never helmed one before…or at least never an authorized music video. The band tapped "Yacht Rock" creator JD Ryznar to direct their video for Cannibal Queen in the hopes he would recreate the magic of his wildly popular Internet video series. Ryznar quickly assimilated the band's aesthetic and turned in a video equal parts "Weird Science" and "Frankenstein," to the band's delight.

"Tell it to the Volcano" is currently available on iTunes, as well as a limited-edition letter pressed CD package and on vinyl at shows and via the band's web site. They'll be touring through the winter of 2009, when the album will find its way to stores through an official retail release.

With Ben Folds
2/11/09 Wed Princeton NJ McCarter Theatre
2/12/09 Thu Baltimore MD Rams Head Live
2/14/09 Sat Philadelphia PA Electric Factory
2/16/09 Mon Pittsburgh PA Club Zoo
2/17/09 Tue Toronto ON Kool Haus
2/18/09 Wed Ann Arbor MI Michigan Theatre
2/19/09 Thu Cincinnati OH Xavier University
2/21/09 Sat Columbus OH LC Pavillion
2/22/09 Sun Knoxville TN Valarium
2/23/09 Mon Asheville NC Orange Peel
2/25/09 Wed Durham NC Durham PAC
2/26/09 Thu Charleston SC N Charleston PAC
2/27/09 Fri Atlanta GA Tabernacle
3/1/09 Sun Charlotte NC Ovens Aud

With Dear & The Headlights
3/2/09    Mon    Seattle    WA    El Corazon      
3/4/09    Wed    Boise    ID    The Venue
3/5/09    Thu    Salt Lake City    UT    Avalon Theatre      
3/7/09    Sat    Denver    CO    Marquis Theatre
3/8/09    Sun    Omaha    NE    Sokol Underground  
3/10/09    Tue    Minneapolis    MN    Triple Rock
3/11/09    Wed    Iowa City    IA    Picador
3/12/09    Thu    Chicago    IL    Reggie's Rock Club
3/13/09    Fri    Columbia    MO    Mojo's
3/14/09    Sat    Tulsa    OK    The Marquee
3/15/09    Sun    Dallas    TX    The Door      
3/17/09    Tue    San Antonio    TX    Rock Bottom Bar

Kyle Hollingsworth & Friends Warm Up Denver

After the disclosure that String Cheese Incident founding member and guitarist Billy Nershi would be leaving the band this year, many fans were left to wonder what might become of the remaining band members.  Could they tour without Billy, or would this truly be the end of the Cheese? Likely it will spell the end for the popular jamband; however, the talent that each musician possesses will hopefully give way to new and exciting endeavors.

Most members of the band have already been experimenting with side projects and solo efforts.  Nershi collaborated with his wife Jillian to form Honkytonk Homeslice, drummer Michael Travis performs often with the improvisational outfit Zilla, and keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth released the well-received album Never Odd or Even in 2004.

Fresh off the announcement of The String Cheese Incident's final Winter Carnival at the Fillmore, Hollingsworth rallied his solo project band mates last Friday night for an intimate performance at Denver's own Cervantes Ballroom to prove that these guys are going to be all right in a post-Cheese world.

Though the audience was not as numerous and energetic as they would be at a SCI show, that did not undermine what was a superb evening full of rock, jazz, Latin, and funk inspired original and cover songs.  Kyle, along with supporting cast Ross Martin (guitar), Matt Spencer (bass), Dave Watts (drums), and Dominic Lalli (saxophone/drum machine) performed their first set with precision and vigor.

The aggressive, instrumental jazz compositions of "Merry Go Wrong" and "Play it Back" were integrated around the String Cheese favorites "Yo Se" and "Boo Boo's Pik-a-nic", as well as an exceptional cover of the Talking Heads tune "Crosseyed and Painless".  Hollingsworth has cited the Talking Heads as a major influence so it is no surprise that he and his band played this song so well.

Following a very short set break, the band returned to the stage to deliver two heavy funk tunes "The Crusade" and "Skin It Back", complete with jazz interludes similar to the style of The Greyboy AllStars or Tower of Power.  These songs led to the Kyle-penned "Don't Say", a song long played in the live SCI repertoire and recorded on Never Odd or Even.  It began slow and low, like a ballad sung by a heart-broken man, but then quickly changed gears into one of the hottest jams of the evening, clocking in at nearly ten minutes long.

Hollingsworth's pension for playing his influences and favorites continued as the band performed an excellent cover of Beck's "New Pollution", drawing exuberant cheers from the rollicking audience.  This gave way to the set closing rendition of "Bam!", also a String Cheese fan favorite.  Kyle was pounding away on his Hammond while his band helped lay down the funk.  An extended jam with "Shakedown Street" teases left the Colorado faithful reeling with excitement.

The band had time for two encore songs, the first being an excellent cover of George Porter, Jr.'s "Metered Man", which was proceeded by their version of the longtime SCI gem "Galactic", a feel-good instrumental tune that properly sent the audience home with smiles on their faces.

Overall, it was a very well performed show by all members of the ensemble, and gave fans a Cheese-tease for the upcoming Winter Carnival, which is no doubt going to be a serious party as the band prepares for their final run and for what lies ahead.  For Hollingsworth, it will likely be smooth sailing as he has continuously shown he has the skills to pay the bills.