christmas

The Attack Cover The Kinks' "Father Christmas"

Hey Scrooges, Grinches and Heat Misers, you don't have to be so pissed off at Christmas anymore. Orlando street-punk heroes The Attack have just released their rendition of The Kinks' classic Christmas tune "Father Christmas." You won't get stockings hung with care or sugar plum faries, it's more like machine guns, unemployment, and youth mobs runamuck through this Dark Christmas Anthem.

"We've always wanted to record this song and finally had an opportunity to do it, and releasing it this year seems appropriate." recalls The Attack's guitarist Brad Palkevich. "The songs content relfects a recession stricken England years ago, not too different from economic crisis going on all over the world today."

The new single was recorded during a quick trip into the studio to record a collaboration track for MC Lars' upcoming album, with help from producer Jami Roebuck in Orlando, and mixed by Tom Petta (Bigwig) at Bivouac Studios in New Jersey.

After a busy year supporting the release of their first album Of Nostalgia and Rebellion, The Attack are playing a handful of Southeast dates to round out the year before completing their next 7" due out Spring 2011.

The Attack Live!
December 4th @ The Firestone Orlando, FL w/ The Misfits
December 21st @ The Back Booth Orlando, FL w/ Go Rydel and How Dare You
January 7th @ The Social Orlando, FL w/ H2O, Comeback Kid, Casey Jones

The Mynabirds Toast the Holidays with X-Mas Single

Today the Mynabirds release a limited edition 7" on Saddle Creek that features "All I Want is Truth (for Christmas)", an original (anti-) Christmas song, and a cover of the Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" on the B-side. The first 200 copies from Saddle Creek's online store will be offered on white vinyl. A black vinyl version of the 7" is available at retail outlets, and all records include a free digital download. The songs are also available at all digital outlets. If you haven’t checked it out at Brightest Young Things, a free mp3 of "All I Want is Truth (for Christmas)" is available now via Saddle Creek by clicking HERE.

With charming chords descending the wurltizer keys like falling snow, the Mynabirds' "All I Want" starts out like a typical Christmas song. But by the second line, it's clear that this is singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn's cry for anything but another ordinary holiday. "All I Want" navigates global warming, messy politics, endless wars, and American consumerism, and brushes it all away to remind us of the snow-white core of the holidays: love. "Have yourself a happy little New Year," Burhenn sings, "'Cause the politicians will be at their same old arguments: Should we start another war or should we raise another tax?" Burhenn declares that she's opting out of society's endless back and forth to "sit down with [her] love and…remember what it means to celebrate without a single store-bought thing." Like a mug of hot cocoa served with a dash of John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth", "All I Want" goes down like an old standard in a whole new era.

"This Will Be Our Year" is the perfect song to close out a year of haunts and minor catastrophes to look to something new. The slide of J. Tom Hnatow's pedal steel colors the Mynabirds' version of this Zombies' classic as a sweet, country-tinged take on the original. Both "All I Want" and "Our Year" were recorded to tape in a single day at Inner Ear in Arlington, Virginia with producers Chad Clark and TJ Lipple at the helm. A host of DC friends joined in, including the Roofwalkers' Elmer Sharp (drums), Ben Licciardi (backing vocals), and Raj Gadhia (bass and vocals); These United States' J. Tom Hnatow (pedal steel); and Winston Yu (strings).

What We Gained in the Fire - Video

Also out now is a new video for "What We Gained in the Fire", the opening track from the Mynabirds' debut album. The video premiered on Friday at AOL Spinner. Director Rob Walters layers new Super 8 footage of singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn traversing a snowy landscape with vintage footage of her own family's home movies that span three generations. Stretching from the 1940's to present day, the viewer gets a window into a family story, watching clips of young love blossom, of babies growing into men, piecing together what might really be going on behind the nuclear family facade.

The Puppini Sisters covering Wham!'s "Last Christmas"

The Puppini Sisters share their version of Wham!'s "Last Christmas" - transforming the modern synth holiday classic into a bittersweet nouveau/ancien WWII era Parisian stunner that Surviving the Golden Age praises as "truly a revelation. This might be the definitive rendition."
Holiday music finally puts on red lipstick, slips into a silky cleavage-celebrating ballgown, and goes gorgeous and glamorous with Christmas With The Puppini Sisters - the album Metromix describes as "imagine if 'Glee' did a big-band/swing episode and you’re pretty close."
A female vocal trio featuring ‘40s-style close harmony, backed by a fearless jazz threesome, the retro-futuristic Puppini Sisters put their signature sequined stamp on timeless songs of the season for the sensational group’s third album - listen to their swingin’ and rockin’, sexy and eccentric take on the sassy holiday classic "Santa Baby"!
Swingin’ and rockin’, sexy and eccentric have never before described a Christmas album--until now.  Then again, there has never before been an artist who claims both The Andrews Sisters and The Smiths as influences.  Holiday music finally puts on red lipstick, slips into a silky cleavage-celebrating ballgown, and goes gorgeous and glamorous with Christmas With The Puppini Sisters (Verve), released October 5, 2010.
A female vocal trio featuring ‘40s-style close harmony, backed by a fearless jazz threesome, the retro-futuristic Puppini Sisters put their signature sequined stamp on timeless songs of the season for the sensational group’s third album.  From a scorching cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas,” hyperspeed “Step Into Christmas,” oh-so-sexy “Santa Baby,” cabaret “Here Comes Santa Claus” and lilting “Last Christmas” to a weirdly wonderful “White Christmas,” scat-filled “Let It Snow,” ukulele oozing “Mele Kalilimaka,” uber-trad “Winter Wonderland” and divine “O Holy Night,” the Puppini Sisters (no, they’re not really sisters, that would be so on-the-nose) deliver original twists rather than nostalgic flashbacks.
Whether imaginatively reworking standards such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and recent pop such as Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love,” or introducing new songs, the classically-trained London-based trio first captured the hearts of fans around the world with their international gold 2007 debut Betcha Bottom Dollar (#2 on the U.S. Jazz chart) and 2008’s The Rise And Fall Of Ruby Woo (#5 on the U.S. Jazz chart).
Brunette Marcella Puppini, a former assistant to fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, had dreamed of becoming opera’s next star.  Redhead Stephanie O’Brien began in music as a maverick of the classical world but found her niche playing gypsy jazz violin, South American harp and singing.  Blonde Kate Mullins, well, she sings like an angel and swears like a sailor.  The vocalists/multi-instrumentalists met in 2004 at London’s Trinity College of Music while pursuing Jazz Performance and Composition degrees.  Offered a gig at an outrageous gay nightclub, they jumped at the chance to perform.  Marcella, who gave the band her name, worked out a hasty arrangement of Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” inspired by ‘40s swing and jazz.  The crowd adored their stunning vocals and cocktail hour charisma.
Since then, along with releasing several singles and two albums, they have performed at the Glastonbury festival and on an American stadium tour supporting Cyndi Lauper; been heard on TV series in the U.K. and the U.S., including “Grey’s Anatomy”; and been in constant demand as guest performers at notable entertainment and fashion events across the globe.  Even Prince Charles personally told them he thought they were “splendid” (seriously, we could not make that up).  The Puppini Sisters may have started out retro but they have become true originals.  With Christmas With The Puppini Sisters, holiday music never sounded so fresh and new.

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks' Crazy for Christmas out now

Hailed as, “The eternal hipster, purveyor of the drollest and most swingin' tunes the rock generation ever enjoyed” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks have hijacked the holidays and created a Christmas album you’ll enjoy all year long. Released on October 12, 2010 through Surfdog Records, Crazy For Christmas is classic Hot Licks, full of the same dry wit and musical brilliance that has defined Dan Hicks’ music for the past four decades and established him as one of American music’s true cult heroes.

“We wanted to have the Hot Licks sound going, with our signature violin and guitar and two girls backing me up and the tongue-in-cheek approach to the material and the delivery. Keeping it swingin’, keeping it light, with lots of good solos and some cool scat stuff,” explains Dan Hicks. “It’s a Christmas album, yes, but first and foremost it’s a Hot Licks album.” Crazy For Christmas covers it all - with Hicks originals “I’ve Got Christmas By The Tail” and the humorous “Santa’s Workshop” nestled in with classics (done Hicks’ style) like “Here Comes Santa Claus” and an amazing original take on “Carol Of The Bells.” Of course, no Dan Hicks holiday album would be complete without a few irreverent parodies including “Christmas Mornin’” (done in the tune of Hicks’ hit “Where’s The Money”) and “Santa Got A Choo-Choo” (a Hicks re-write and salute to “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie”).

Crazy For Christmas comes on the heels of Hicks’ critically acclaimed 2009 release Tangled Tales. The recording, dubbed an “irreverent, rowdy, even dangerous distillation of real American music,” by the East Bay Express, proved once-and-for-all that Hicks’ undeniable musical legacy is still evolving. “Talk about a rugged, all-American individual,” the LA Weekly reviewed, “Dan Hicks has plowed deep furrows through some of the most fertile pop music territory known to man, and during it all has maintained both his own distinct, light yet emphatic touch and a pace that's always kept him more than a few steps ahead of his colleagues.”

Dan Hicks began his career in 1965 as the drummer for psychedelic San Francisco rock band The Charlatans before forming the acoustic ensemble Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. His unique songwriting and blend of styles, masterful folk-swing guitar playing, and unmistakable sense of humor have made him a cultural icon, landing Hicks on the cover of Rolling Stone twice and provoking Tom Waits to say, “Dan Hicks is fly, sly, wily and dry” while Elvis Costello proclaimed him “an American treasure.”

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks are on tour this fall with their always over-the-top “Holidaze in Hicksville” extravaganza.

The complete list of tour dates is as follows:

Friday, November 19 O'Shaughnessy Center Whitefish MT

Saturday, November 27 Appel Farm Arts and Music Center Elmer NJ

Sunday, November 28 The Turning Point Piermont NY

Tuesday, November 30 City Winery New York NY

Wednesday, December 1 Barns at Wolftrap Vienna VA

Thursday, December 2 Greensburg Garden and Civic Center Greensburg PA

Friday, December 3 Sellersville Theater Sellersville PA

Saturday, December 4 The Met Cafe Pawtucket RI

Tuesday, December 7 Wood Fire Dowagiac MI

Wednesday, December 8 Wealthy Theatre Grand Rapids MI

Thursday, December 9 Kent Stage Kent OH

Saturday, December 11 McCabe's Guitar Shop and Concert Hall Santa Monica CA

Wednesday, December 15 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach CA

Friday, December 17 The Center for the Arts Grass Valley CA

Wednesday, December 22 Yoshi's Oakland CA

Jump, Jive, an' Wail is Stand-Out on Live Brian Setzer DVD

"Jump, Jive, an' Wail" from the Brian Setzer Orchestra's 'It’s Gonna Rock... 'Cause That’s What I Do' DVD, out now from Surfdog Records, got 150,000 people out of their seats when it was recorded during a headlining BSO set at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

The song, a 1956 hit for Louis Prima, has been in the BSO repertoire since 1998, when it earned a Grammy® Award for Best Pop Performance. The version on the DVD features a stinging Gretsch guitar solo by Setzer, high-energy bursts from his leopard-print tuxedo-clad horn section and his sequined backup singers, and 300,000 waving arms.

Watch a clip of "Jump, Jive, an' Wail"

Brian Setzer's "Christmas Comes Alive!" CD is also out from Surfdog Records now. A collection of 15 amazing holiday tracks performed live in concert as only the Brian Setzer Orchestra can do it, the single-disc offering is packed with music that is, according to Billboard, "guaranteed to get your Christmas party on its feet!"

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks Release Crazy For Christmas

Hailed as, “The eternal hipster, purveyor of the drollest and most swingin' tunes the rock generation ever enjoyed” (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks have hijacked the holidays and created a Christmas album you’ll enjoy all year long. Set for release on October 12, 2010 through Surfdog Records, Crazy For Christmas is classic Hot Licks, full of the same dry wit and musical brilliance that has defined Dan Hicks’ music for the past four decades and established him as one of American music’s true cult heroes.

“We wanted to have the Hot Licks sound going, with our signature violin and guitar and two girls backing me up and the tongue-in-cheek approach to the material and the delivery. Keeping it swingin’, keeping it light, with lots of good solos and some cool scat stuff,” explains Hicks. “It’s a Christmas album, yes, but first and foremost it’s a Hot Licks album.”

Crazy For Christmas covers it all - with Hicks originals “I’ve Got Christmas By The Tail” and the humorous “Santa’s Workshop” nestled in with classics (done Hicks’ style) like “Here Comes Santa Claus” and an amazing original take on “Carol Of The Bells.” Of course, no Dan Hicks holiday album would be complete without a few irreverent parodies including “Christmas Mornin’” (done in the tune of Hicks’ hit “Where’s The Money”) and “Santa Got A Choo-Choo” (a Hicks re-write and salute to “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie”).

Crazy For Christmas comes on the heels of Hicks’ critically acclaimed 2009 release Tangled Tales. The recording, dubbed an “irreverent, rowdy, even dangerous distillation of real American music,” by the East Bay Express, proved once-and-for-all that Hicks’ undeniable musical legacy is still evolving. “Talk about a rugged, all-American individual,” the LA Weekly reviewed, “Dan Hicks has plowed deep furrows through some of the most fertile pop music territory known to man, and during it all has maintained both his own distinct, light yet emphatic touch and a pace that's always kept him more than a few steps ahead of his colleagues.”

Dan Hicks began his career in 1965 as the drummer for psychedelic San Francisco rock band The Charlatans before forming the acoustic ensemble Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks. His unique songwriting and blend of styles, masterful folk-swing guitar playing, and unmistakable sense of humor have made him a cultural icon, landing Hicks on the cover of Rolling Stone twice and provoking Tom Waits to say, “Dan Hicks is fly, sly, wily and dry” while Elvis Costello proclaimed him “an American treasure.”

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks are on tour this fall, including a run of his always over-the-top “Holidaze in Hicksville” extravaganza beginning in late November. This year, Holidaze in Hicksville shows will feature a live performance of Crazy for Christmas in its entirety, as well as several Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks classics. A complete list of currently confirmed tour dates is included below.

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks Crazy For Christmas Track List

1. Christmas Mornin’
2. Santa Gotta Choo-Choo
3. Somebody Stole My Santa Claus Suit
4. Carol Of The Bells
5. Run Run Rudolph
6. Santa’s Workshop
7. Old Fashioned Christmas
8. Cool Yule
9. I’ve Got Christmas By The Tail
10. I Saw Mommy Kissin’ Santa Claus
11. Here Comes Santa Claus
12. Under The Mistletoe

Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks tour dates are as follows:

Friday, October 22 The ArtsCenter Carrboro NC
Saturday, October 23 Gibson Theatre Shelby NC
Sunday, October 24 Eddie's Attic Decatur GA
Friday, November 19 O'Shaughnessy Center Whitefish MT

Holidaze in Hicksville performances:

Saturday, November 27 Appel Farm Arts and Music Center Elmer NJ
Tuesday, November 30 City Winery New York NY
Wednesday, December 1 Barns at Wolftrap Vienna VA
Thursday, December 2 Greensburg Garden and Civic Center Greensburg PA
Friday, December 3 Sellersville Theater Sellersville PA
Saturday, December 4 The Met Cafe Pawtucket RI
Tuesday, December 7 Wood Fire Dowagiac MI
Wednesday, December 8 Wealthy Theatre Grand Rapids MI
Thursday, December 9 Kent Stage Kent OH
Saturday, December 11 McCabe's Guitar Shop and Concert Hall Santa Monica CA
Wednesday, December 15 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach CA

(More dates to be added soon…)

Have Yourself a Fabulous Swingin' Holiday Season with "Christmas With The Puppini Sisters"!

Swingin’ and rockin’, sexy and eccentric have never before described a Christmas album--until now.  Then again, there has never before been an artist who claims both The Andrews Sisters and The Smiths as influences.  Holiday music finally puts on red lipstick, slips into a silky cleavage-celebrating ballgown, and goes gorgeous and glamorous with Christmas With The Puppini Sisters (Verve), released October 5, 2010.
A female vocal trio featuring ‘40s-style close harmony, backed by a fearless jazz threesome, the retro-futuristic Puppini Sisters put their signature sequined stamp on timeless songs of the season for the sensational group’s third album.  From a scorching cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas,” hyperspeed “Step Into Christmas,” oh-so-sexy “Santa Baby,” cabaret “Here Comes Santa Claus” and lilting “Last Christmas” to a weirdly wonderful “White Christmas,” scat-filled “Let It Snow,” ukulele oozing “Mele Kalilimaka,” uber-trad “Winter Wonderland” and divine “O Holy Night,” the Puppini Sisters (no, they’re not really sisters, that would be so on-the-nose) deliver original twists rather than nostalgic flashbacks.
Whether imaginatively reworking standards such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and recent pop such as Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love,” or introducing new songs, the classically-trained London-based trio first captured the hearts of fans around the world with their international gold 2007 debut Betcha Bottom Dollar (#2 on the U.S. Jazz chart) and 2008’s The Rise And Fall Of Ruby Woo (#5 on the U.S. Jazz chart).
Brunette Marcella Puppini, a former assistant to fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, had dreamed of becoming opera’s next star.  Redhead Stephanie O’Brien began in music as a maverick of the classical world but found her niche playing gypsy jazz violin, South American harp and singing.  Blonde Kate Mullins, well, she sings like an angel and swears like a sailor.  The vocalists/multi-instrumentalists met in 2004 at London’s Trinity College of Music while pursuing Jazz Performance and Composition degrees.  Offered a gig at an outrageous gay nightclub, they jumped at the chance to perform.  Marcella, who gave the band her name, worked out a hasty arrangement of Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” inspired by ‘40s swing and jazz.  The crowd adored their stunning vocals and cocktail hour charisma.
Since then, along with releasing several singles and two albums, they have performed at the Glastonbury festival and on an American stadium tour supporting Cyndi Lauper; been heard on TV series in the U.K. and the U.S., including “Grey’s Anatomy”; and been in constant demand as guest performers at notable entertainment and fashion events across the globe.  Even Prince Charles personally told them he thought they were “splendid” (seriously, we could not make that up).
The Puppini Sisters may have started out retro but they have become true originals.  With Christmas With The Puppini Sisters, holiday music never sounded so fresh and new.

Elizabeth & The Catapult Brings You "Christmas With The Jews"

In less than two years since their move to New York, Elizabeth and the Catapult has already racked up an impressive list of accomplishments. In May and August of 2006 they were featured in WNYC's "Soundcheck" as well as PRI's "Fair Game with Faith Salie" At the end of the year they were dubbed by NPR as "One of the Best Discoveries of 2006."  The Catapult have had residencies at clubs such as the Living Room and Rockwood Music Hall, and after opening for national headliners like Jessie Harris, Kirk Kirkwood (of the Meat Puppets fame), The Wood Brothers (of Medeski, Martin, and Wood), and Amanda Palmer (of The Dresden Dolls) there was enough buzz about them to support a tour and label interest on the West Coast. All of this success also earned them a place as the Billboard Underground Artist for last October.

Bound by a common love of eclectic influences, Elizabeth & the Catapult draws inspiration from artists such as Tom Waits, David Byrne, Joni Mitchell, and Jon Brion—as well as classical influences such as Debussy, Ravel and Chopin. One explanation for the band's musical diversity is Elizabeth Ziman's musical background. She was trained as a classical pianist until the age of sixteen. "As a kid, I used to practice all the time…" Elizabeth explains. "But one day I realized that I couldn't lock myself in a room for eight hours a day…that's when I started writing and singing." After that, it quickly became apparent that her vocal abilities rivaled her piano skills. In 2002, Elizabeth successfully auditioned to be a background vocalist for soul-queen Patti Austin and ended up joining her on tour for the next year and a half. Elizabeth's experience along with Pete and Danny's folk/rock sensibility piece together to make up the band's harmonically distinctive pop sound, a sound well reflected in their stylistically diverse new EP.

After a listen to the Elizabeth & the Catapult EP, it is immediately clear that a great deal of thought went into each of the songs' arrangements. Strings, Horns, Marimba and Synthesizers are all blended together, creating an organic, off-beat style that fans have often referred to as "baroque pop." The sound of the EP is also shaped by the guerilla-style fashion in which it was recorded. Drummer Danny Molad recorded most of the EP in basements and bathrooms, producing this album, along with Elizabeth, in an incredibly modest home studio. With these limited resources, Elizabeth & the Catapult managed to produce an expertly mixed album. Every note of the EP sounds deliberately placed while there still manages to be an air of effortlessness that penetrates throughout all the songs.

In their recordings as well as live performances, Elizabeth and her band members bring together all their backgrounds and experiences to make music that they themselves enjoy. They acknowledge their amorphous style and readily admit that it probably scares record labels. Even so, Elizabeth asserts that she is "not interested in assigning herself a specific style." Elizabeth & the Catapult are proud of their ever-changing sound and are committed to keeping their music fresh and creative.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Dec 27 Washington DC at DC9
Dec 29 Easton MD at Coffee East
Jan 22 Hoboken NJ at Maxwells

ODETTA CHRISTMAS SPIRITUALS

ODETTA- for the Grateful Web

On December 3, 2008 one of the world's great voices was stilled.  Odetta, who Martin Luther King, Jr. called "The Queen of American Folk Music", reigned for over thirty years with her rich voice and the honest, regal beauty of her presence.  The folks at Ashe Records were about to begin promotion of their online-only release of Odetta's award-winning album Christmas Spirituals when they received the news.  In tribute to Odetta, Ashe Records wishes to dedicate all proceeds from sales on this album to her favorite charity, The Jazz Foundation of America.  

This album was recorded in 1988 at White Crow Audio in Burlington, Vermont. It was the first time that Odetta had done a studio recording in over fifteen years.  She put her trust in a fledgling record producer, Rachel Faro, and brought in bassist Bill Lee to rerecord the tracks she had done almost twenty years previously for Vanguard Records (the album is often assumed to be a reissue of the old Vanguard recording but it is actually a completely new recording).  It was initially released on Alcazar Records, went on to win the INDI Award for Best Seasonal Release and has brought joy to thousands of listeners throughout the world.

Several years later Alcazar shut down and eventually the rights reverted back to Rachel Faro and her partner Helge Sasse, who in the mean time had founded a label, Ashé Records, initially distributed through Rounder Records, to produce and distribute music from the African diaspora.  Now, almost twenty years to the day, Ashé has rereleased the album online.  In honor of this great artist Ashé will donate 100% of the proceeds from sales to Odetta's most beloved charity, The Jazz Foundation of America, which helps elderly jazz musicians in times of crisis.
 
Surrounding Odetta's remarkable voice and songs are bassists Bill Lee and Lincoln Goines, with percussionist Carole Steele.  The songs are mainly traditional with originals by Odetta and new lyrics by Rachel Faro on "O Jerusalem".  The cover is a collage created by artist Colleen Patterson, depicting the Black Madonna by the River Jordan in Egypt, with the Three Kings and three shepherds from various cultures and races in attendance. It was a great honor for Ashe to work with Odetta and we still feel the power of her truth, nobility and love around us.
 
This album will be rereleased next year under the name "Beautiful Star" in order to differentiate it from the Vanguard album.  Meanwhile, please support The Jazz Foundation of America and hit the link above in order to download this beautiful album.  It is our sincere wish that these songs and Odetta's amazing and resonant voice will transport us and transcend all the bad news, bringing peace and joy to all who hear it during this holiday season.

Elizabeth & The Catapult Brings You 'Christmas With The Jews'

Elizabeth & the catapult - photo by EJ Decoske- for the Grateful Web

In less than two years since their move to New York, Elizabeth and the Catapult has already racked up an impressive list of accomplishments. In May and August of 2006 they were featured in WNYC's "Soundcheck" as well as PRI's "Fair Game with Faith Salie" At the end of the year they were dubbed by NPR as "One of the Best Discoveries of 2006."  The Catapult have had residencies at clubs such as the Living Room and Rockwood Music Hall, and after opening for national headliners like Jessie Harris, Kirk Kirkwood (of the Meat Puppets fame), The Wood Brothers (of Medeski, Martin, and Wood), and Amanda Palmer (of The Dresden Dolls) there was enough buzz about them to support a tour and label interest on the West Coast. All of this success also earned them a place as the Billboard Underground Artist for last October.

Bound by a common love of eclectic influences, Elizabeth & the Catapult draws inspiration from artists such as Tom Waits, David Byrne, Joni Mitchell, and Jon Brion—as well as classical influences such as Debussy, Ravel and Chopin. One explanation for the band's musical diversity is Elizabeth Ziman's musical background. She was trained as a classical pianist until the age of sixteen. "As a kid, I used to practice all the time…" Elizabeth explains. "But one day I realized that I couldn't lock myself in a room for eight hours a day…that's when I started writing and singing." After that, it quickly became apparent that her vocal abilities rivaled her piano skills. In 2002, Elizabeth successfully auditioned to be a background vocalist for soul-queen Patti Austin and ended up joining her on tour for the next year and a half. Elizabeth's experience along with Pete and Danny's folk/rock sensibility piece together to make up the band's harmonically distinctive pop sound, a sound well reflected in their stylistically diverse new EP.

After a listen to the Elizabeth & the Catapult EP, it is immediately clear that a great deal of thought went into each of the songs' arrangements. Strings, Horns, Marimba and Synthesizers are all blended together, creating an organic, off-beat style that fans have often referred to as "baroque pop." The sound of the EP is also shaped by the guerilla-style fashion in which it was recorded. Drummer Danny Molad recorded most of the EP in basements and bathrooms, producing this album, along with Elizabeth, in an incredibly modest home studio. With these limited resources, Elizabeth & the Catapult managed to produce an expertly mixed album. Every note of the EP sounds deliberately placed while there still manages to be an air of effortlessness that penetrates throughout all the songs.

In their recordings as well as live performances, Elizabeth and her band members bring together all their backgrounds and experiences to make music that they themselves enjoy. They acknowledge their amorphous style and readily admit that it probably scares record labels. Even so, Elizabeth asserts that she is "not interested in assigning herself a specific style." Elizabeth & the Catapult are proud of their ever-changing sound and are committed to keeping their music fresh and creative.

Tour dates!
Dec 27 Washington DC at DC9
Dec 29 Easton MD at Coffee East
Jan 22 Hoboken NJ at Maxwells