sound

Tipper Sound Experience is Unleashed

Commencing this summer British composer and producer, Tipper, is embarking on a sonic pilgrimage, performing at select venues and festivals with the NeXuS Funktion One Dance Stacks originally designed by legendary sound guru Tony Andrews. Tipper will be joined by the highly sought-after lighting impresario Audiopixel to present an exclusive visual experience driven by highly attuned, audio responsive, 3D LED lighting software using intelligent control of light and color. Topped off with tour support from VibeSquaD the performances are intending to blow the minds of all who are lucky enough to encounter the TIPPER SOUND EXPERIENCE.

Tipper (real name DaveTipper) is widely acknowledged as one of Electronic music's pioneering innovators. He was signed to Sony as a teenager when he helped kickstart the Nuskool Breakbeat genre, creating the deepest and baddest basslines heard before, or since. He went on to inspire the Glitch Hop movement, focused on merging hip hop beats with electronic trickery through his seminal Tip Hop and Wobble Factor LP's. During this time he also composed one of the first albums produced and intended for release in the 5.1 surround sound format, and Surrounded was nominated Best Release Intended for Surround Sound. His talents in Sound Design and Digital Mastering have him in great demand with major music making software programs, and accordingly his work is quietly featured in the output of countless releases in various genres. His live performances consist largely of his own unreleased compositions, and he is highly regarded for scratching his own sounds over his music, creating a live element of turntablism stemming from prowess early in his career as a vinyl DJ.

THE TIPPER SOUND EXPERIENCE will feature a 5 way crossover sound system in a Quadraphonic Array with specialized sub woofers dedicated to 45 hertz and below; this configuration achieves incredible clarity and sonic accuracy punctuated by thick and luxurious super-low bass. When positioned this way for Tipper, these dance stacks are known for creating an immersive sound environment that transforms the dance floor into an ethereal field of holographic sound. The purity of the Funktion One design approach completely avoids the usual pitfall of system EQ with its associated phase problems, allowing all of Tipper's production trickery and nuance to be presented in an unfettered manner. This technology has won numerous international awards for Best Sound Product in the club world, and their installations have been behind countless 'Club of The Year' winners.

Audio Pro Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and inaugural PLASA Gottelier Award winner Tony Andrews founded Funktion One with John Newsham in 1992. Whilst often imitated, their designs have been the first choice of many permanent and touring sound applications around the World including luminary clients Pink Floyd, Santana, and the Glastonbury Festival. They are globally known for their pioneering work and ethos, and consistently set the standard for modern audio engineering.

In their own words: We understand sound to be the most important of our senses and in fact, the root of the structure of the entire Universe. As such, we try to pay the amazing acuity of human hearing the respect it deserves by providing products that deliver as much resolution and detail as is possible. We also pay considerable attention to the emotional effect of not just music, but the sound itself, what you might call its 'quality'. In a world where everything is 'dumbing down' and finesse and subtlety are rapidly disappearing, it is a source of pride to us that we are continually going in the opposite direction, expanding the envelope. On a spiritual level, good music and good sound has the effect of opening peoples' minds and deepening their consciousness which can only be good for the planet.

THE TIPPER SOUND EXPERIENCE features a rare matchup of audio and visual talent and will include headline performances at The Big Bounce, Rain Dance, and SONIC BLOOM festivals, followed by a rare show at The Coconut Grove Grand Ballroom on Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and culminating with a special presentation at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. For more information about the TIPPER SOUND EXPERIENCE and ticket information, click here.

Panther Style "¡Emergencia!" + June 11th Chicago Record Release Show!

May 31, 2011 brings the highly anticipated debut release from Chicago rock band, Panther Style. The "¡Emergencia!" LP will be available on 180 gram vinyl, digital and CD formats, all including a cover of "Blind Eyes Open" by The Posies.

This project of heavy tasty pop was started by Chicago rock veterans Jeanne McClure, Al Rodis, Dan Lutger, & Melissa Koehl (Mary Tyler Morphine, Siderunners, Dyslexic Apaches, Reptoids) out of a mutual desire to make some beautifully catchy songs that rocked. Drawing influences from The Posies, Big Star, New Order, and U2, along with the seductive feel of in-your- face screaming tube amps and chest pounding bass from The Cult, Fugazi and Failure, their sound brings a refreshing blend of sweet melodies and thick distorted guitars all held together with an air-tight driving rhythm.

"¡Emergencia!" was recorded at B-Side Audio in Chicago with Neal Ostrovsky on a 16-track analog tape machine to capture the warm tones and genuine feel of the band's live sound. All of the music was recorded live with everyone in the same room. It was mastered with Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service. "Blind Eyes Open" was also released on the "Beautiful Escape" Posies cover compilation, by Burning Sky Records.

Soon after the formation of Panther Style, Dan and Melissa got hitched. Soon afterwards Dan and Jeanne jumped in to complete the rhythm section of Melissa's other established project, Reptoids. They brought a commanding presence to match Reptoids progression to a heavier sound and will be releasing the "Invasion" EP in the Summer of 2011.

You can learn more about Panther Style by visiting their website.

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.

--

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

-

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

Ursa Minor Announces New Release & Show

Fronted and founded by New York singer/writer Michelle Casillas, Ursa Minor has become a mainstay in NYC’s indie rock scene. The band delivers a timeless mix of vocal driven pop-rock with a primal rhythmic undercurrent; sharp and urban, broad and free.
Ursa Minor’s debut LP Silent Moving Picture was released by Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, on Smells Like Records. It was a deep and darker picture, slow bumps in the night and big spaces, featuring Casillas’ swampy electric piano and shuddering vocals. Ursa Minor is a band of improvisers, grown from downtown roots. Over many years of live performances and writing, they have pursued their artistic bent without compromise, and coincidentally become a source of naturally catching melodies and themes of a broader life.
From Beaconpass: “This Spring will see the arrival of Ursa Minor’s follow up, SHOWFACE.  The sound is often bigger, louder, more pugnacious: this is the sound of a band playing whatever turns them on. Live, Ursa Minor has been known to take the Violent Femmes' sweet ballad "Please Do Not Go" and turn it into a smoldering reggae slow jam, somewhere between Blondie's version of "The Tide is High" and Patti Smith's "Birdland."  Singer Michelle Casillas and her band can wring every drop of feeling out of a song, whether it's loud or lowdown, sweet or seething.” Many of their peers, some of New York’s most celebrated innovators, are often spotted at their shows, including Norah Jones, Marc Ribot, Joan As Police Woman, and Bill Frisell.
SHOWFACE (Anthemusa Records) was produced by Tony Scherr (Bill Frisell, SexMob, Norah Jones, Lounge Lizards, Feist), who is also featured on guitar. Bass whiz Rob Jost (Imogen Heap, Bjork) and NY heavy hitter Robert DiPietro (Norah Jones, Josh Rouse) equally create the sound, contribute songs of great depth and strength, and sing harmony. Special guests include Chris Brown (Joan As Police Woman, Barenaked Ladies, Abrams Brothers) on organ, and Jim Campilongo (Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson) and Teddy Kumpel (Rickie Lee Jones) on guitars.
Ursa Minor kicks off their new release, SHOWFACE, at NYC’s Joe's Pub, Tuesday, May 24th at 7:30pm!

Labor Records reissues Heiner Stadler’s album Tribute to Bird and Monk

A truly groundbreaking landmark recording, Tribute To Bird and Monk, was widely lauded when it was first released in 1978 – credited as one of the best and most unusual albums of that year by Neil Tesser in a Jazz Magazine article that noted the record’s “tough, bright, innovative resiliency” and earning the coveted five star (highest) rating in a Downbeat review by critic Jerry de Muth (who called the two LP set “a brilliant mixture of arranged and free jazz”) and garnering arranger-producer Heiner Stadler a place in the magazine’s Annual Critic’s Poll as a Talent Deserving Wider Recognition.  More than thirty years later, the album originally released on Tomato Records, is a coveted collectors item whose importance has only been compounded with time, while Stadler’s pioneering conception continues to be a talent very much deserving of wider recognition.  Now reissued as a compact disc on his own Labor Records imprint, it is likely that Stadler’s unique talent will again be heard as deserving increased attention and the music will once more be praised on a level comparable to when it first appeared. The considerable artistic success of Stadler’s pioneering project can be credited as much to his visionary assembling of a truly distinctive ensemble to perform his inventive orchestrations, described by de Muth as “far more than arrangements,” noting that “recompositions would be a better term.”

In selecting veteran cornetist Thad Jones, a Monk alumnus and one of the most renowned arrangers of his day, to be an important member of the band filled out by much younger musicians who were closely associated with more modernist, even avant garde aspects of the jazz genre, Stadler imbued the date with an intriguing traditionalist facet at atime when tradition and innovation were virtually at war.  Tenor saxophonist George Adams, most recognized for his work with Charles Mingus made him at home in both camps, but his fierce uninhibited sound was certainly heard as being outside the mainstream.  The youngest member of the group, trombonist George Lewis as a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians was clearly recognized as a member of the avant garde.  Stadler’s choice of rhythm section mates could be considered most astute, with multitalented pianist Stanley Cowell as one of the few players of his instrument to find a place in the post Ornette realm of forward looking modernism. Virtuoso bassist Reggie Workman, a veteran of Coltrane’s innovative band and  then a member of Max Roach’s creative quartet was extending both the range and the role of the bass.  While Lenny White, known for his pioneering fusion work on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and Chick Corea’s Return To Forever, proved to be a propulsive force, capable of swinging with fiery power.  The addition of percussionist Warren Smith on tympani for a pair of tracks further contributes to the band’s uncommon sound.

In his introductory comments for the reissue Tribute To Bird and Monk (prefacing the late Robert Palmer’s original liner notes) Jazz Journalist Association President Howard Mandel observes,  “By casting a unique sextet of New York City’s best improvising instrumentalists to explore the potentialities and retain the essences of music by two great jazz modernists composer-producer Stadler proved prescient. In 2010 tribute projects proliferate, though few take the dramatic leaps to create new art from indestructible aspects of established creations that Stadler’s does.” With remixed sound by the brilliant engineer Malcolm Addey listeners can now appreciate more the nuances of Stadler’s polytonal arrangements and the soloists’ daring improvisations on the six tracks split evenly between Monk and Parker compositions.

As Palmer points out in his liner notes (now reprinted) Parker’s opening “Air Conditioning” begins, “deceptively as it turns out, with a unison theme statement in C.”  Deceptively, as it is, because Stadler’s “polytonal manipulations on the theme …especially evident in the horn backgrounds that frame the solos.”  Each of the sextet members improvise boldly with Jones kicking things off with one of the date’s most conventional statements, followed by Lewis who pushes things a bit further out, preceding Adams who gradually takes things into space, with the ensembles raucous backgrounds deftly referring to Parker’s melodic line.  Cowell’s outing is particularly adventurous, proving himself to be one of the very few keyboardists who wasable to interpolate the vocabulary of Cecil Taylor into the more traditional language of bebop.  Workman, whopowerfully pushes the unit throughout, acquits the bass as an instrument quite capable of holding its own in the spotlight, while White solos musically, hearkening to Max Roach’s work with Bird.

Drums dramatically open Monk’s “Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are,” followed by Workman’s vigorously bowed bass and the horn section’s statement of the theme, which begins ominously before morphing into a carnival-like mood reflecting the composer’s sly sense of humor. Cowell, the lone remaining soloist, improvises lengthily here – referencing Monk frequently, occasionally with verbatim phraseology -- as horns enter and exit at odd intervals chime in with backgrounds transcribed from Monk’s original piano solo with Cecil Bridgewater (subbing for the snowbound Jones) playing with free spirited assurance.  Palmer notes the performance seems to be a particularly radical recomposition with each phrase of the theme voiced polytonally and separated from the next by a free collective improvisation, with Stadler’s score warning “don’t improvise too long in order to avoid losing the continuity of the melody.”

Parker’s ” Au Privave” features the trombone of George Lewis whose years of experience playing numerous uptempo Bird songs with Anthony Braxton finds him well prepared for his exemplary work here.  Adams plays the opening theme over Workman’s bass walking (in a different key) joined shortly thereafter by the horns. Lewis improvises marvelously, following Stadler’s instructions to vary his tempo, playing either slightly faster or slower than half time, while the rhythm sections plays in the set tempo.  The result is in Palmer’s words “constantly shifting mosaic of tempos … and each tempo swings.”

Workman and White open up Monk’s “Straight No Chaser” before the horns begin playing fragments of the well known melody with the various separate components linked by collectively improvised horn ensembles. Jones solos first, playing with an inspired abandon Palmer described at the time of the original release as “his most exciting and creative recorded work in years.”  Cowell again proves himself to be one of the most creative soloists of his generation improvising in tandem with the primordial Workman in a manner recalling Monk, while White’s drums run the gamut from New Orleans to out(er space) in a rhythmic duel with the horns’ staccato background. Workman’s extended unaccompanied bass solo brings the horns back in and the bassist walks things to a close

“Misterioso,” the final Monk exploration again begins with a Lenny White solo, his drums here joined by Warren Smith’s tympani, as various members of the ensemble play fragments of the bluesy theme to frame their percussion discussion, with Cowell’s piano clearly drawing the line between Monk and Cecil Taylor.  Workman’s bass is in the spotlight again, displaying a vast sonic array with incredible pizzicato and arco sections that are sensitively backed by the rest of the band on a truly masterful interpretation of the Monk classic engendered by Stadler’s daring arrangement which concludes with a return to the percussion section’s buoying of the theme.

Parker’s “Perhaps” ends the date on one of its lighter notes, with brass playing the not so widely known Bird line to open things up for Adams’ breathy flute as the rhythm section swings over Workman’s fast walking bass, joined intermittedly by trumpet and trombone, breaking up thetempo before Adams lets loose on tenor playing with a full emotional range -- from terrifying to tender -- that leads to a final ensemble statement of the theme with an almost conventional tone that offers an unexpected final relief.

The durability of this music, as daringly modern todayas it was when it was made more than three decades ago, stands as a tribute not just to Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk, but also to Heiner Stadler, whose sympathetic vision of the two great composer’s creativity has brought their sound into the future while paying homage to the tradition from where it sprang.  As Mandel notes, “Tribute is a fair indication of Stadler’s powers. In it, he demonstrates that Bird and Monk wrote immutably multi-faceted music from which inspired individuals can generate kaleidoscopic variations, and that their music has inspired him to stretch form in a manner indisputably wed to content. There is no higher tribute than an artist making something new and enduring out of sources he admires and acknowledges.” This is the splendor Heiner Stadler provides to us with his Tribute to Bird and Monk.”

Paper Diamond & Michal Menert @ Boulder Theater

Paper Diamond: Forward is not just a direction, it's a way of life for Colorado based producer Alex B who is rolling out big tunes under the new guise of Paper Diamond in 2011. The new project finds the trusted producer moving into previously untraveled musical territory. The Paper Diamond sound has raw energy and the kind of dramatic anticipation only a seasoned producer can incite. Driving beats and bass grab on tight while deep, rich tones rumble under layers of spacey synthesizers, sweet melodies, and catchy vocals. One thing is for sure. The energy is high.

Michal Menert: Coming from a musical background of playing guitar, keyboards, and dabbling in a variety of other instruments gave Michal a unique approach to composing his own musical style. He grew up in Colorado with Derek Vincent Smith of Pretty Lights, and together they played in several bands and challenged and inspired each other as they developed their own unique production styles. He co-produced the debut Pretty Lights album, “Taking Up Your Precious Time” and has collaborated with Derek Vincent Smith on a handful of tracks since then. His solo album, entitled “Dreaming of A Bigger Life” was released on Pretty Lights Music in the spring of 2010. His sound combines obscure vintage samples from both Eastern European and Western vinyl with rich analog synthesis and organic hard hitting beats. It is a fusion of yesterday’s elements and tomorrow’s ideas.

More Info / Buy Tickets

Scattered Trees' Sympathy Out Today

Scattered Trees’ highly anticipated new album Sympathy (Roll Call/EMI) hits stores across the country today. In honor of the album’s release, AOL Spinner is currently streaming the album in its entirety — click HERE to listen. The band has also made their anthemic track “Four Days Straight” available for free download. Click HERE to download the track. Scattered Trees has also created four videos for “Four Days Straight” with the help of film students at four different schools in NYC, and is currently running a contest on Consequence of Sound to select the band’s next official video. Click HERE to view the videos and vote on the contest. And to celebrate the Sympathy’s release, Scattered Trees has announced a very special album release show on 4/30 at Schubas in Chicago. See the band’s full tour dates below.

Already, the album has been hailed by Nylon, RCRD LBL, Consequence of Sound and others as an album that’s not to be missed. And it’s easy to see why. The album is a focused, deeply personal collection of songs that finds Scattered Trees experimenting with lush multi-part harmonies, constructing dynamic builds, and exploring the intricacies of love and loss. Driving rock epics like “Four Days Straight” rub shoulders with melancholic elegies like “Where You Came From.” The album’s title track starts with a stripped-down plaintive mandolin, ultimately fading into a slow-burning orchestral groove. Melting into “Five Minutes,” Scattered Trees continues the build until the track bursts forth. The band rounds out the record with the mournful acoustic closer “On Your Side,” a fitting tribute for a deeply heartfelt and therapeutic album.

--

Scattered Trees Upcoming Tour Dates:

04/09: KANSAS CITY, MO @ Middle of the Map Festival (The Union - 10:00pm)
04/30: CHICAGO, IL @ Schubas (Sympathy Album Release Show sponsored by Consequence of Sound)
05/13: DES MOINES, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
05/20: GRAND RAPIDS, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
07/31: CHICAGO, IL @ Taste of Lincoln Avenue

Booker T. & the MGs, Staple Singers & Johnnie Taylor launch Stax Remasters Series

From the early 1960s to the mid-1970s, the Stax label dominated soul, R&B, gospel, and related genres with a stable of artists who have since become iconic figures in the history of American popular music. Now a part of the Concord Music Group, the Stax catalog is a treasure trove of some of the most visceral and influential recordings of the 20th century. On May 10, 2011, Concord reaches back into that deep catalog to launch Stax Remasters, a series of reissues that cast a new light on classic Stax recordings with the help of 24-bit remastering, rare bonus tracks, and new liner notes to frame the recordings in a historical context.

The first three reissues in the series are:

  • Booker T. & the MGs: McLemore Avenue (1970)
  • The Staple Singers: Be Altitude: Respect Yourself (1972)
  • Johnnie Taylor: Taylored in Silk (1973)


“Stax is a very important label, not only in the history of soul music, but in the history of music in general,” says Nick Phillips, Concord’s Vice President of Catalog A&R and co-producer of the series with Chris Clough, Concord’s Manager of Catalog Development. “We have a number of amazing recordings by Stax in the catalog. This is an opportunity to revisit some of the best of these classic recordings, upgrade the sound quality, and put them in the proper historical perspective that they deserve.”

Booker T. & the MGs: McLemore Avenue

Released in January 1970, McLemore Avenue is a tribute to Abbey Road, the landmark recording released by the Beatles the prior summer. McLemore Avenue sets up an interesting cause-and-effect loop by putting an R&B spin on songs by a profoundly innovative British pop-rock band that, ironically, emerged years earlier from the most basic elements of American R&B.

McLemore Avenue was inspired by “my pure fascination and admiration of the work that [the Beatles] had done,” says keyboardist Booker T. Jones in the reissue liner notes by music historian Ashley Kahn. “I didn’t know their inner workings. I found out later. I had a picture of those guys as a perfect unit. I didn’t know that they fought, had arguments, or that they needed referees. When you listen to that music, you think it comes from a perfect union, you know?”

The tribute album “represents a fascinating and musically compelling intersection,” says Phillips. “On one hand, you can look at the strength of the Beatles’ songs, and how they’re such strong songs that they can be successfully adapted — in the right hands — to soulful instrumental versions. At the same time, it is of course a testament to Booker T. & the MGs’ creativity and soulfulness and groove. It’s not only a very interesting musical intersection, but it’s also a very deep and at the same time a very fun listen.”

Clearly, Booker T. & the MGs had had plenty of their own opportunities to flex their creative muscles in the studio, having recorded with artists like Otis Redding and Sam & Dave. “But on a record like this,” says Clough, “where all the songs were already written and it was just a matter of interpretation, it wasn’t work for them. It was an opportunity to put their spin on the songs and just have some fun.”

The bonus tracks include seven additional Beatles covers, recorded in sessions separate from those for the McLemore Avenue album. “We figured it made good sense to expand this edition by adding other tracks that Booker T. & the MGs had recorded of Beatles songs over the years,” says Phillips. “So the Stax Remasters reissue is not only an expanded edition of McLemore Avenue, it’s also a de facto ‘Booker T. & the MGs Play the Beatles’ collection.”

The Staple Singers: Be Altitude: Respect Yourself

Originally released in 1972, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself captures the celebrated family vocal group in what was essentially the third act of their career, according to music historian Rob Bowman. The Staple Singers had initially established themselves as a gospel group in the 1950s, then merged with the folk music closely tied to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and ultimately veered away from protest songs and toward what Mavis Staples termed “message music” in the early and mid-1970s.

“Obviously, there was a lot going on in America — politically and socially — around that time, and the Staple Singers took up the cause,” says Clough. “Stax provided a huge platform for that cause, and it worked. It wasn’t insincere or disingenuous. It was the real deal. The Staples had taken up the banner at that point.”

Be Altitude found a comfortable middle ground between gospel music and secular music. “Some of the messages in their music have that gospel element running through it, but it’s a broader message than what you’d find in traditional gospel,” says Phillips. “The soul, the gospel, the grooves — all those things blended together — really make for a unique sound that is the Staple Singers.”

The two previously unreleased bonus tracks — “Walking in Water Over Our Head” and an alternate version of “Heavy Makes You Happy” — were both recorded at the Muscle Shoals Studios in Alabama in 1970 and 1972, respectively. “We felt that it was appropriate to add these bonus tracks, not only because any undiscovered material by a group as great as the Staple Singers is worthy of a listen,” says Phillips, “but also because they’re such great performances that they fit right in.”

Simply put, says Bowman, “the recording you hold in your hands represents the Staple Singers at the very peak of their career.”

Johnnie Taylor: Taylored in Silk

Released in 1973, Taylored in Silk is an ideal example of Taylor’s newly expanded and embellished sound, crafted with the help of producer Don Davis, who had united with Taylor a few years earlier, according to the liner notes by Bill Dahl. “As far as Davis was concerned, a fundamental change of sound was in order for Johnnie,” says Dahl. “Gone were the savory slow blues in favor of a hard-edged, uptempo attack that energized [Taylor’s] sound like never before.”

The issue could well have been regional marketing as much as musicality. “The story goes that Davis was brought in to forge a sound that would be sort of a combination between Northern and Southern soul, and capture the best of both Stax and Motown,” says Phillips. “He certainly hit a home run in his work with Johnnie Taylor, especially on this album.”

Taylored in Silk underwent “a lot of overdubbing,” Dahl notes, “but the end result was a splendidly conceived soul album boasting three major R&B hits within its eight selections…Blues wailer or soul philosopher, silky or gritty, Johnnie Taylor will always be revered as one of the greatest southern soul singers of ’em all.”

The six bonus tracks were previously released as singles in the early ’70s, “and they’re all outstanding performances,” says Phillips. “They certainly fit the vibe and the performance quality of the rest of the album.”

Other Lives Announce Dates With The National, The Decemberists

There’s no point in trying to unearth an obvious “single” in Other Lives’ second album,Tamer Animals. Here’s a better idea instead: succumb. Let every last song wash over you like proper long players once did, from the swift strings and pulsating horns— a technique learned from old Philip Glass LPs—of “Dark Horse” to the richly orchestrated denouement of “Heading East,” a cut that could have been cribbed from the early instrumental sessions of Other Lives’ old band Kunek.

“The core of that band is still with me,” says frontman Jesse Tabish, who founded Kunek with cellist Jenny Hsu and drummer Colby Owens. “In a lot of ways, it’s still what I gravitate towards, songwriting wise.”

Unlike their self-titled debut—a studio-bound effort that was produced by Beck’s longtime drummer, Joey WaronkerTamer Animals was tracked in the privacy of the band’s own space in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Waronker eventually mixed the entire affair and sanded down its edges, but it took Other Lives 14 months to get to that point. We’re not talking about lazy Sunday sessions here, either. More like 11 songs that were carefully sculpted over time, with certain sounds creeping up when the record called for them, and nothing that’s forced or rushed. “Every sound has a purpose without being too indulgent,” explains Tabish. “There’s nothing like, ‘Hey, let’s rock out on this!’ It’s homemade in a way. For better or for worse, it’s all our sound.”

That sound amounts to one hell of a sweeping listen—an atmosphere, a mood, a state of mind. So while you might find yourself going back to the minor-key melodies of “Dust Bowl III” or the Morricone-caliber arrangements of “Old Statues” more often than not, it’s all part of a greater whole. And since Tabish prefers treating his vocals like an instrument, the lyrics are left open to interpretation.

To be honest, they don’t even matter in the end. What matters is how Tamer Animals makes you feel; how it aims to hit you in the chest…hard, like the Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Sigur Rós LPs that made Tabish want to write this kind of music in the first place. (If you can believe it, he played in punk bands as a kid and didn’t resume the piano lessons he started in third grade until he was 18.)

“I’d rather us be an ensemble than a rock band,” he says. “That’s my goal—to get away from those traditional ideas. It’s not a strength in numbers kinda thing, either, where 12 people are on stage and five of them are playing the same melody. When the music calls for that many players, we’ll go there. We’ll destroy the band itself.”

He’s smiling as he says that. And frankly, so are we.

--

Tour Dates

4/19/11 Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa, OK w/ The National

4/29/11 House of Blues Dallas, TX w/ The Decemberists

4/30/11 Stubb’s Waller Creek Austin, TX w/ The Decemberists

5/12/11 High Noon Saloon Madison, WI w/ S. Carey

5/13/11 The Mill Iowa City, IA w/ S. Carey

5/14/11 Slowdown Jr. Omaha, NE w/ S. Carey

5/15/11 The Record Bar Kansas City, MO w/ S. Carey

5/16/11 Hi-Dive Denver, CO w/ S. Carey

5/18/11 Club Congress Tucson, AZ w/ S. Carey

5/19/11 Soda Bar San Diego, CA w/ S. Carey

5/20/11 Velvet Jones Santa Barbara, CA w/ S. Carey

5/21/11 The Satellite Los Angeles, CA w/ S. Carey

5/22/11 Henry Miller Library Big Sur, CA w/ S. Carey

5/24/11 Café Du Nord San Francisco, CA w/ S. Carey

5/25/11 Sophia’s Thai Kitchen Davis, CA w/ S. Carey

5/26/11 Doug Fir Lounge Portland, OR w/ S. Carey

5/27/11 Panadaland Bellingham, WA w/ S. Carey

5/29/11 Sasquatch Music Festival Quincy, WA (festival)

5/30/11 The Badlander Missoula, MN w/ S. Carey

iClips.net to Stream Umphrey's McGee's 'UM Bowl II'

Two of Chicago’s favorite homegrown bands perform in their hometown this first weekend of April. Performing at the Double Door in Chicago tonight, Friday, April 1, Lubriphonic fuses the roots of rock and blues soul with explosive in-your-face delivery and sensuous upbeat funk music. On Saturday, April 2, the highly anticipated hometown show of Chicago’s fusion pioneers Umphrey’s McGee culminates with their sold out UM Bowl II at the Park West, which will stream online video of the nearly 5 hour performance via iClips.net.

The advance purchase discount for this musical marathon ends Saturday, April 2 at 3 PM CDT and the day of show pricing for the entire UM Bowl will jump to $11.99. With the UM Bowl purchase, fans also receive the previously unreleased Umphrey's McGee Saturday Set from Summer Camp Festival 2010.

Prior to the online video stream of the UM Bowl II, Lubriphonic’s Friday 4/1 show will begin streaming on iClips.net at 5:45 PM CDT Saturday, April 2.  Their live sound is full of precision orchestrations made up of blazing guitars, tight three piece horn lines, soulful songwriting, bluesy vocals and the habit to cut the funk loose. Lubriphonic also announces their spring tour featuring them headlining some Widespread Panic after parties, supporting WSP April 15 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Pelham, AL, as well as packed tour of the Midwest and Southeast before heading into summer festival season including gigs at Wakarusa, Summer Camp and many more. In addition to the no cost video stream of Friday’s show , interested fans of music are invited to try the veritable taster spoon of Lubriphonic music by downloading a free sampler including over an hour of live and studio Lube.

The best description of the Lubriphonic’s upbeat sound comes from some members of the media:

“Combine the best elements of old-school funk and edgy rock and roll, throw in some soulful R&B, and you end up with Lubriphonic, one of the most happening bands out there today... Lubriphonic draws from strong, eclectic influences, yet is cutting-edge original” -- Hittin' The Note

“This old-school Chicago-based rocking funk and soul band kicks up the dust with a crackling three-piece horn section and enough energy to blow the fuses at this intimate venue. It’s terrific originals sound like ‘70s covers and when it does dig down for an oldie, as on Curtis Mayfield’s classic ‘If There’s a Hell Below (We’re All Gonna Go),’ it’s an all-stops-pulled blast.”– Creative Loafing Atlanta