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Luke Temple To Release New Solo Record

Before the success of his group Here We Go Magic, Luke Temple worked full-time as a plasterer.  At nights after work, he spent his hours crafting what would become Here We Go Magic's self-titled debut.  During the days he wrote a completely different set of songs in his head.  The resulting record Don't Act Like You Don't Care shines with clarity and daylight, in contrast to Here We Go Magic's hazy aquatic debut.

After recording two critically acclaimed solo records for Mill Pond (2005, 2007) Temple's work still hadn't garnered much attention from the record-buying public.  Frustrated, but not defeated, he focused his creative energy into the writing of two amazing, but completely different records.  Initially referred to as "The Country Record," Don't Act Like You Don't Care was shelved due to the success of Here We Go Magic's self-titled debut.  Now, three years later, we're finally able to offer this incredible collection of folk-pop songs.

Unlike the Here We Go Magic record, Don't Act Like You Don't Care focuses on Temple's songwriting and evocative tenor.  From heartbreaking ballads like "So Long, So Long" and "Ballad for Dick George" to jaunty pop gems like "Ophelia" and "In The Open" you'll become fast friends with these songs that continue to satisfy after hundreds of listens.

Inspired by Rudy Vangelder's early Blue Note recordings, Temple and friends recorded the songs in two 4-hour sessions using just three microphones and a 4-track recorder.  Temple is fortunate to have some amazingly talented friends with Eliot Krimsky ( shines with clarity and daylight, in contrast to Here We Go Magic's hazy aquatic debut. Glass Ghost) on synths, Tyler Wood on piano, Parker Kindred (Antony and the Johnsons, Jeff Buckley) on drums, Michael Bloch (Here We Go Magic) on guitar, and Adam Chilenski on bass.

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.

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."

Santah Premieres New Song & Tour Dates

Santah was born with their feet planted in the ground and their heads in the clouds. Composed of guitarist/vocalist Stanton McConnell, drummer Steven Plock, bassist Otto Stuparitz, and Tommy Trafton on keyboards, the quintet met at the University of Illinois and with their debut full-length record, "White Noise Bed," they have assembled a kaleidoscopic opus whose reach extends far beyond the Midwest.

Recorded at the late Jay Bennett's Pieholden Studios, where the band found its niche among the studio's forbearers of psychedelic Americana, "White Noise Bed" has a yin and yang aesthetic: sometimes sunny and sometimes stormy, but always running on audible elation. The band takes its cues from the power pop greats of the 70's such as The Raspberries and The Cars, and dresses them in a twangy haze, full of clever, lyrical nooks and crannies ala Wilco and Whiskeytown.

After finishing the record last May, Stan's sister Vivian joined the band, adding her passionate vocals and thoughtful guitar. They have since been touring the country and building their cult following; performing multiple sets at CMJ, SXSW and the Pygmalion Music Festival, and sharing the stage with the likes of Surfer Blood, Cults, Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, Pomegranates and Young the Giant.

Santah isn't just something the listener hears, it's something they feel. Be it a tropical aura of relaxation, the bittersweet mystery of growing up, or the lulling memory of a past love, Santah creates an original sonic journey for all.

Download "No Other Woman" exclusively @ FilterMagazine.com!

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Santah Live

10-May Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club 11-May Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews
12-May Iowa, City, IA The Blue Moose Tap House
14-May Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
16-May St, Louis, MO Off Broadway
20-May Lexington, KY Cosmic Charlie's
21-May Chattanooga, TN Collective Warehouse
23-May Columbus, OH Rumba Café
24-May Detroit, MI Lager House
1-Jun Indianapolis, IN White Rabbit
3-Jun Pittsburgh 31st Street Pub
4-Jun New York City, NY Piano's *
7-Jun Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory ^
8-Jun Cambridge, MA TT Bear's
10-Jun Charlottesville, VA Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
13-Jun Atlanta, GA Smith's Olde Bar
16-Jun Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge
17-Jun Champaign, IL Cowboy Monkey
18-Jun Chicago, IL Beat Kitchen

* = w/ The Dig and Dinosaur Bones
^ = w/ Brian Bonz and Stationary Set

Chilly Gonzales Announces World’s First Orchestral Rap Album

Chilly Gonzales, never one to stay quiet for too long, is back with the announcement of his new album, The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales, the world’s first all-orchestral rap album, the dramatic next step after piano-rap classics like “The Grudge” and “Crying” from his last album, Ivory Tower. The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales will see a digital release on June 7th via Canadian tastemaker label Arts & Crafts. Gonz is giving the world a sneak preview of the ambitious album, in the form of an orchestral-rap medley, which you can download above.

Today, he brings some “Gonzpiration” to the rap game. Accompanied by Hollywood swells, tympani rolls, noble French horns, hypnotizing bells and influenced by Prokofiev, Morricone and Phillip Glass, this record is Chilly Gonzales’ professional confessional, revealing more of himself on these monologues than ever before. The arrangements found on The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales were done by his Hollywood-film composing brother Christophe Beck, and take center stage alongside Gonzo’s eccentric personality.

After his Guinness World Record and the Locarno film festival prize-winning feature film (and accompany album) Ivory Tower, the single “Never Stop” was chosen by Apple for their iPad ad. Ivory Tower’s inter-planetary video hit “You Can Dance” helped bring the musical genius to the forefront of American culture.

Download “The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales” Medley MP3 HERE!

Architecture in Helsinki Get Remixed by Javelin, New Album Out Today!

Masters of modernist pop Architecture in Helsinki release their new album Moment Bends today on V2/Cooperative Music USA/Downtown Records.  To celebrate the occasion the band is sharing a remix of their single “Contact High” by Brooklyn duo Javelin.  Click HERE to stream/download this lush, shimmering take on the song.  Click HERE to watch the video for the original version of “Contact High,” which Paste Magazine calls “summer’s first mixtape must” and Prefix Mag calls “absurdly catchy.”  Don’t miss the band as they kick off their US tour next month!

In large parts, Moment Bends is in dialogue with the dance floor, without being a slave to any particular rhythm.  Like the best pop albums it bubbles with an immediacy while revealing new layers after repeated listens.  It also showcases the band’s most concise and sophisticated songwriting yet.  Recorded over a two year period in the their studio space, Buckingham Palace, songwriter Cameron Bird says: “Moment Bends was all about being at one with our ideas, obsessed with popular music and falling in love with our hometown.  We wanted to build a record to get lost in.  A record that always feels exactly what you are feeling”.

Click HERE to Stream/Download Javelin’s Remix of “Contact High”

Click HERE for the Video of Architecture in Helsinki’s Original Version

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Architecture in Helsinki US Tour Dates:

06/01:  Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theater
06/02:  San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
06/03:  San Francisco, CA @ Slims
06/04:  Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
06/05:  Vancouver, BC @ Venur
06/06:  Seattle, WA @ Neumo's
06/09:  Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
06/10:  Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
06/11:  Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
06/12:  Montreal, QC @ Le Tulipe
06/13:  Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
06/15:  Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
06/16:  New York, NY @ Webster Hall
06/17:  Washington, DC @ Black Cat
06/18:  Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live

Sugar Hill Records Releases Wood and Stone from Tara Nevins

American roots traditionalist Tara Nevins releases an exploration of her own heritage, musical and otherwise, in Wood and Stone, her first solo album since Mule to Ride in 1999.  Wood and Stone showcases her ever-evolving repertoire as she journeys both back to her own “roots” and head-long into new territory.

Fans of Nevins from her 21-year tenure with Donna the Buffalo are familiar with her versatile talents; she shares the vocal and songwriting responsibilities for the band and is a stellar musician on fiddle, guitar, and accordion.  (She plays a mean scrubboard too.) Prior to DTB, Nevins was a founding member of the all-female, old time/Cajun band The Heartbeats. (They join her on two tracks here as well.) Wood and Stone delivers the musical expertise fans have come to expect and surprises with new perspectives.

“This album is personal and sort of revelatory,” Nevins says.  “It’s an expression of recent emotional discovery within relationships lost and found, and how knowing the core of who we are is the real deal. There were so many elements I wanted to explore—to combine all the pieces of my personal musical puzzle--and then have it come together in a cohesive whole. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Larry Campbell.  I am honored to have had him both produce and play on my record.  He's an amazingly talented and soulful musician.  He has a very natural, down-to-earth approach and an instinctual insightfulness that I really appreciate; he really got what I was after. The whole experience was inspiring and challenging in a very positive way.”

Campbell is a much-sought-after musician/producer renowned for his work with Bob Dylan and still rolling from the success of Levon Helm’s two Grammy- winners, Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt, which he produced.  He found Nevins’s project immediately compelling.  “I liked the feel of the project-- her combination of old-time mountain music and original songwriting—and I was taken with Tara’s unique talent; she’s got a distinctive voice—there’s a kind of honesty that shines through.”
Ten of the thirteen tracks are originals, and Nevins’s complexity gets a broad stage. She dispenses wit and wisdom with an atypical take on love and relationships through gritty songs such as “You’ve Got It All” and “You’re Still Driving That Truck,” then turns to wrenching hearts with songs like “Snowbird” (accompanied by Jim Lauderdale), a beautiful metaphorical ballad about the pain of loving someone unable to truly give back, and “Tennessee River,” a haunting, gripping song about the stranglehold love can have over a person’s whole existence.  “Stars Fell on Alabama” sounds like it fell from her heart and pen too, but Nevins has the capacity to take a well-known standard like this, change the melody, and perform it so ingenuously that it fits in seamlessly to the whole groove of the record.
The record kicks off with the title cut “Wood and Stone,” and that “honest” element is readily apparent in this touching tribute to home and family. Old-timey acoustics are quickly joined by drums and steel guitars as Nevins sings about “the better part of me” regarding her upbringing and early influences.  “It’s got that magical blend of music and lyrics,” Campbell says of it, “and it really paints a picture of where she comes from.”
The record is “framed” by another nostalgic piece, “The Beauty of the Days Gone By” (by Van Morrison), bringing the record full-circle and serving as a sort of catharsis for the dark tone of “Tennessee River”.  “I wanted to end the record with it,” Nevins explains, “because I love the sentiment of the song and it’s kind of like ‘the sun always comes back out’ kind of thing. We grow and learn and take our relationships with us for better and for worse and that’s life in all its beauty and glory.”

Nevins’s rare blend of enormous talent coupled with genuine down-home humbleness has won the hearts of fans and colleagues alike.  “Tara has this worldly awareness combined with a fragile innocence,” Larry Campbell notes, “which makes her songwriting and music very accessible…very appealing.”  Wood and Stone is sure to add to that appeal.