record

Digitalism Loves You, Dude! New Album Coming in June

With a new album ready to drop on June 21st, Digitalism is back in action with their latest record I Love You, Dude, following up 2007’s Idealism, an album described by Pitchfork as solidifying the Hamburg team as “the artists probably most dedicated of all to the idea of merging rock and electronic dance music” out of all their contemporaries aiming to get the indie rock kids on the dancefloor. If you were at a party at any point in the year that album dropped, you are familiar with Digitalism’s tunes as they were blasted out of every home stereo and club soundsystem across the globe from here to Australia.

Music lovers from an early age, Jens Moelle and Ismail ‘Isi’ Tuefekci worked in music before they were propelled into the limelight. They came together when Jens, working afternoons in Hamburg’s Underground Solution record shop, became friends with Isi, who worked at a vinyl distributor. The two quickly bonded over their love of vinyl and became a DJ tag team. They were soon using early CD-writers to burn their own edits, and in jokey tribute to Bob Sinclar’s Africanism All Stars project and to their own love of electronic dance music, they scribbled the word ‘Digitalism’ on the CDs to identify them for playing out. A band was born and their 2005 tune “Zdarlight” put them on the radar of a new network of young DJs across the globe pushing club culture in a heady rock direction.

Soon they’d honed a live show that became hugely in demand and took them all over the world, with firing tunes such as “Jupiter Room” and “Pogo” backing up the hype alongside remixes for Depeche Mode and Daft Punk. They toured the Idealism album for a couple of years and then went to ground, cutting back to a few DJ dates a month so they could concentrate on crafting I Love You, Dude in their Hamburg bunker studio.  The new album further serves their aim of getting everyone to dance with 10 tracks each of with their own vibrant identity, this is the sound of a band welding dancefloor pugilism onto crafted sonic sculpture. The band set the bar high for themselves, featuring tracks like  “Forrest Gump,” co-written with Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, “Circles,” with its Who-ish keyboard and apparently existential lyrics, and stand out track “2 Hearts,” a curveball of a pop song.

US tour dates are on the horizon….

Steep Canyon Rangers Join Steve Martin on New Album

The Steep Canyon Rangers (SCR), have joined iconic comedian, Steve Martin on his sophomore album entitled Rare Bird Alert to be released TODAY, March 15, 2011. Bringing bluegrass music to new audiences, SCR continue their meteoric rise as passionate ambassadors for the bluegrass music they love. With Martin, SCR played for more people than any other bluegrass band in 2010.  This year will be even bigger, as the group prepares a nationwide tour with Martin to support their collaborative project.  The Rare Bird Tour will kick off in New York City with three sold-out performances at the famed Joe’s Pub March 15-17 as well as a return appearances to the Late Show with David Letterman on March 16 and The View on March 17.

When Martin, an accomplished banjo player and songwriter, handpicked SCR to tour and record with him last year, they jumped at the chance.  “Serendipity has made a better match than any bluegrass computer dating service,” jokes Martin. With Rare Bird Alert, Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers have created an album filled with the traditional bluegrass sound, bursting at the seams with banjo, fiddle and lyrics that are both fun and reflective.

The title track “Rare Bird Alert” perfectly scores the lonely ache and melancholy of bird watching. Paul McCartney guests on “Best Love” a foot-stomper about love and the little things.  On “Go Away, Stop, Turn Around, Come Back” SCR’s lead singer, Woody Platt, tells the story of love, breakup and reunion while “Jubilation Day” bounces with the delight and renewed vigor that can come from a breakup. The Dixie Chicks lend their considerable talent to “You” the saddest un-sad song about a past love with no regret. The closing tracks on the record showcase Martin’s comedy roots.  On “Atheists Don’t Have No Songs” Martin and SCR create a gospel song for those without one while “King Tut” allows Steep Canyon Rangers to put their bluegrass-spin on an old Martin favorite.

After a year jam-packed with tour dates, including Carnegie Hall, and headlining festivals such as Bonnaroo, Merlefest, New Orleans Jazzfest, Newport Folk Festival, Martin helped SCR introduce bluegrass to millions of who may have been hearing it for the first time and SCR show no sign of stopping. For more information, please visit www.steepcanyon.com.

Sugar Hill Records to Release 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.”

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.”

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 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’ 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.

Check out Grateful Web's webcast of Donna the Buffalo from the Fox Theater in Boulder, CO.

The Albertans' "New Age" Out Today

The Albertans, a quintet of Joel Bravo, Ian Everall, Curtis McLean, Krystin Monaghan, and Alison Yip, formed in Vancouver, British Columbia, defects from Alberta, Saskatchewan and the U.S. They met as a collective, and piled into a propane-fueled, converted short bus to tour down to San Diego and back. They toured this way for the next two years, unglamorously, crossing the continent to record in New York, playing shows with bands they didn't know, for people that didn't know them. They traveled 50,000 miles, hopped borders, broke down, and slept on the road. In those two years together, The Albertans recorded an EP and full length with Ernest Jenning Records. They played shows at Sled Island, SXSW, and CMJ with bands such as Cuff the Duke, Hard Drugs, and Woods, and were named one of L Magazine's top NYC bands of 2009. Last Fall, The Albertans finally found a home back in Vancouver, and have been playing shows in BC until now, when they'll leave for SXSW and ultimately a full US tour.

The Albertans recorded their new single and forthcoming album New Age, at Chandelier Studios in Brooklyn, NY. Ernest Jenning Record Company (Cuff the Duke, O'Death, Takka Takka, Still Flyin) have released the full-length album today.

Watch the video 'Megan' here.

--

The Albertans Live!

March 19th Austin, TX @ FiveOneTwo (SXSW) w/ The Forms, Takka Takka, O'Death

April 1st Bowen Island, BC @ the Bowen Island Pub
w/ Daniel Carter

April 2nd Vancouver, BC @ The Cobalt
w/ Wizzrds, The Killing Time Quartet and Bear Mountain

Brian Setzer Gives Bluegrass a Rockabilly Spin

With its forays into bluegrass and traditional jazz, Brian Setzer's new album 'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!' (out April 19 on Surfdog Records) has the guitar legend testing new waters and putting his signature Stray Cat stamp on a few instrumental favorites. Setzer didn't set out to create an all-instrumental affair but couldn't resist temptation when the music started heading in that direction.

"I didn’t start writing an instrumental record, per se," says Setzer. "I wrote 7 songs with lyrics, and then all of a sudden I just took a turn and started fooling around with 'Blue Moon of Kentucky,' except without any vocals. I started playing melody chords and thought, 'Wow, this is pretty cool!'  So the direction turned about halfway through my writing. I had never done an instrumental record, but I thought, well, now’s the time."

Setzer wrote six originals and revitalizes five jazz-bluegrass classics – “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” "Earl's Breakdown," "Cherokee," "Be-Bop-A-Lula," and "Lonesome Road." Recording each gave Setzer the chance to revisit old techniques and try new tricks, such as playing banjo on the Earl Scruggs' classic “Earl’s Breakdown,” or substituting jazz chords into traditional bluegrass on the Bluegrass Boys’ “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”

--

'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!' Tracklist

(all songs written by Brian Setzer, unless otherwise noted)

1. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" (written by Bill Monroe)

2. "Cherokee" (written by Ray Noble)

3. "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (written by Tex Davis and Gene Vincent)

4. "Earl's Breakdown" (written by Earl Scruggs)

5. "Far Noir East"

6. "Intermission"

7. "Go-Go Godzilla"

8. "Lonesome Road" (written by Gene Austin, Nathaniel Shilkret)

9. "Hillbilly Jazz Meltdown"

10. "Hot Love"

11. "Pickpocket"

Boba Fett on Drums! | Scattered Trees' Love and Leave

Scattered Trees premiered their new “Star Wars” inspired video for “Love and Leave” today exclusively on Boing Boing. Watch the video, which features sad stormtroopers, a coldblooded Queen Amidala, and Boba Fett on drums HERE. The song, “Love and Leave,” is taken from Scattered Trees’ forthcoming full-length, Sympathy, due out April 5th on Roll Call Records/EMI. Download the song HERE (feel free to post and share) — it’s currently the 7th most popular song on Hype Machine. The loving tribute to The Star Wars saga was directed by Scattered Trees’ guitarist J.M. Harper in February in the band’s apartment. It’s a loose (very loose) interpretation of “A New Hope,” if the film was set in a snowy Chicago apartment.

The band’s premiere for “Love and Leave” comes as the band is prepping the release of their latest record Sympathy, which will be released on April 5th via Roll Call Records/EMI. 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. Opening with “Bury the Floors,” lead singer Nate Eiesland sings “It’s the house that I built you to fall / We started to walk then we stood up to crawl / So bury the floors and burn down the walls / to find ourselves by morning.” 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:

03/03: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
03/05: Minneaoplis, MN @ Cause
03/17: Austin, TX @ Dizzy Rooster
03/18: Austin, TX @ The Ghost Room (NAIL/The MuseBox SXSW Day Party)
04/09: Kansas City, MO @ Middle of the Map Festival

GROOMS Announce Sophomore LP On Kanine Records

On PromGrooms' sophomore album, set to be released on Kanine Records this summer, the Brooklyn avant-rock trio has come into their own.  In every way, Prom is a more mature, unique, adventurous, and most of all, accessible record than 2009's widely-praised album Rejoicer.
Travis Johnson (vocals/guitar) and Emily Ambruso (vocals/bass) met, ridiculously, on Friendster, shortly before that website became 100% irrelevant, only to meet in person at a Valentine's Day party in the Oklahoma woods a few weeks later.  They immediately started discussing experimental music and pop, and, after relocating separately to New York in 2004, starting playing experimental music and pop together in their bedrooms.  They met Jim Sykes (drums) through a friend soon after, but didn't start playing with him until 2009, when Grooms formed and released their debut album.  That album was a dark, noisy, and tangled affair, the lyrics focusing almost entirely on Travis' religion-fixated obsessive-compulsive disorder, which he was diagnosed with in adolescence.
On this gorgeously poppy album, Prom, the experiments are with beauty, texture, and melody, and the OCD-related lyrics are nestled in lulling, comforting sounds.  The album was written with touchstones like genre-crossing records from Broadcast and Wire's “154” in mind, in between Emily dragging everyone to see terrible movies in theaters and Jim finishing up his PhD in ethnomusicology.  The result is a semi-electronic, often ambient and haunting record, that sounds variously like zombies playing surf rock ("Imagining the Bodies"), glitchy, pounding IDM ("Tiger Trees"), and creepy Spector girl-group tunes ("Sharing") among dozens of others.  Emily and Travis obsessed over the melodies this time around, pushing each other to sing better at all turns, and harmonizing in ways they'd never tried before.  The band slept in sleeping bags in the studio (Uniform, in Philadelphia), staying up late and waking up early to obsess more, and to fidget with sounds they'd never played with before. Friend Jay Heiselman mixed Prom over the 2010 holidays, diving deep into post-production to help create the intensely new direction for the band.
To Grooms, this record is about freedom: to be catchy, to be unabashedly pretty, to try entirely new types of music, and even to write their first-ever breakup song.  They hope you sing along to Prom, that you get happy and sad to it in the way you do with great pop records, and that you get just a little freaked out when their dark side shows up here and there.
--

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Feb 23 – Embassy Vinyl - Scranton, PA
Feb 24 – Happy Dog - Cleveland, OH
Feb 25 - Mulligan’s Pub - Grand Rapids, MI
Feb 26 – Mockbee - Cincinnati, OH
Mar 16 – Palm Door (SXSW) - Austin, TX
Mar 20 – Bro Fest - Dallas, TX
Mar 22 – Opolis - Norman, OK
Mar 23 – The Lemp - St Louis, MO
Mar 25 – Pancho’s - Chicago, IL
Mar 26 – Project Lodge - Madison, WI
Mar 27 – The Strut - Kalamazoo, MI
Mar 29 – Now That’s Class - Cleveland, OH
Mar 30 – Garfield Artworks - Pittsburgh, PA
Apr 02 – The Ox - Philadelphia, PA

Iron & Wine @ the Boulder Theater | 06.04.11

97.3 KBCO & Z2 Entertainment are proud to present Iron & Wine at the Boulder Theater on Saturday, June 4th, 2011.

Over the course of his ten-year career, Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam has become one of today’s greatest story tellers, crafting meticulous tales full of forlorn love, religious imagery and wistful dreams.  It’s been more than three years since his last studio effort, The Shepherd’s Dog, which was widely praised by fans and critics alike. While Beam’s early albums were sparse, intimate solo affairs, Shepherd’s introduced layered textures and poly-rhythmic sounds that allowed his lyrics to spring to life. It’s only natural then, that Beam took this sonic collage and built upon it for his new album, Kiss Each Other Clean. The result is a brighter, more focused record that retains the idiosyncratic elements that make Iron & Wine such an engaging band.

Beam continued to mine folk, African, rock, country, and Jamaican musical traditions, but switched the focus of his studio lens to 60s and 70s pop influences for the Kiss Each Other Clean sessions. Mingling memories of his parents’ record collection and hits heard between the static of scanning the car radio on family drives for inspiration, Iron & Wine is once again pushed into new territory. Multi-part vocal arrangements reminiscent of Buckingham / Nicks era Fleetwood Mac albums and classic Motown singles permeate “Half Moon” and “Godless Brother.” Electronic synthesizer sounds percolate through “Monkeys Uptown” and “Glad Man Singing” recalling the adventures of Elton John and Stevie Wonder. The horn sections on “Big Burned Hand” and “Lazarus” match the confidence of Beam’s vocal delivery and bring an entirely new dimension to Iron & Wine. Kiss Each Other Clean’s dynamics and surprises are the latest chapter in Beam’s studio collaborations.

Producer Brian Deck returned for the Kiss Each Other Clean sessions, continuing the creative partnership that he and Beam have developed over the course of three albums. The comfort level and respect found between Deck and Beam allows for a unique working relationship where they push each other to experiment, while still letting the songs naturally evolve in the studio. The Shepherd’s touring rhythm section Matt Lux, Ben Massarella (Califone), and Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground Duo) arrived early for live recording of basic tracks at Chicago’s Engine Studios and overdubs continued for about a year. Joe Adamik (Califone), Jim Becker (Califone), Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), Stuart Bogie (Antibalas), Rob Burger and Sarah Simpson round out the other musicians brought into the sessions to complement and fully realize the songs on Kiss Each Other Clean.

Kiss Each Other Clean’s profound artistic statement continues to move the listener’s expectation forward with regard to what one can expect from Iron & Wine. Beam’s masterful storytelling and musical experimentation relies on the conflict from combining the happy and the sad, the heavy and the light, and creating an ongoing narrative between the artist and the listener. It’s the blending of all of these elements that allows Kiss Each Other Clean the versatility to paint a true portrait of life.

Kiss Each Other Clean was recently released on January 25th, 2011 on Warner Bros. Records.

For more information, visit www.ironandwine.com

--

Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Friday March 4th!

$32.50 adv / $35.00 dos

Sugar Hill Records to Release Nickel Creek Titles on Vinyl

Sugar Hill Records is excited to announce that they will be releasing a trio of Nickel Creek titles on deluxe vinyl - exclusively for Record Store Day, Saturday April 16th.  The titles include Nickel Creek’s now Platinum certified debut, Nickel Creek, the GRAMMY award winning This Side, and their final Sugar Hill release, Why Should The Fire Die?. All titles are deluxe two-album sets featuring digitally remastered audio.  A mandolin autographed by the members of Nickel Creek will be given away online as part of a Record Store Day promotion as well.

Nickel Creek, who began their relationship with Sugar Hill Records in 2000, were named “music innovators for the New Millennium” by Time Magazine.  Their self-titled debut Nickel Creek received widespread critical acclaim, garnering multiple award nominations, and has sold over one million albums to date. The 2002 release, This Side, captured the Grammy for “Best Contemporary Folk Album.” Their third album Why Should The Fire Die? continued their folk-pop innovations, and debuted at Number One on the Independent Album chart when it was released in 2005. The band parted ways in 2007 after their Farewell (For Now) Tour.

In its fifth year, Record Store Day is an occasion for all independently owned record stores to come together in celebration of the art of music.  Limited edition vinyl and cd releases are made available exclusively for the day, and hundreds of musicians across the country perform at various events.  For more information about the Nickel Creek mandolin give-away, and events in your area, please visit: www.recordstoreday.com

Former Thieves Announce Debut Album

Former Thieves have been a band characterized by their hard work and grueling tour regimens in their seemingly short life span. But, that's about to change with their debut full length on No Sleep Records.

Coming from the barren and simple fields of Iowa, Former Thieves have created a pummeling new record that personifies the feelings and emotions of coming from nothing and fighting the entire way to what they have created. "The Language That We Speak" takes the listener through a thorough commentary on the frustration of Midwestern life. Articulate, sharp, and sincerely pissed.

Recorded December 1st through 10th 2010 at The Red Room in Seattle, WA with Chris Common (Mastodon, The Sword) at the helm, No Sleep Records looks to release "The Language That We Speak" on Tuesday April 19th 2011. The record will be released on CD, vinyl, and digital formats and recalls the sounds made famous by the likes of Converge, Botch, Coalesce, and Modern Life Is War while maintaining its own unique formula.

Watch the first short video feat. studio footage of the band here!

--

Former Thieves Live!

03/16/11 - Kansas City, MO @ Salt Walter Taffy House
03/18/11 - Austin, TX @ The Mellow Mushroom
03/19/11 - Austin, TX (SXSW)
03/20/11 - Austin, TX (SXSW)
03/23/11 - Hattiesburg, MS @ 1126 House
03/26/11 - Columbia, SC @ House of Hardcore
03/28/11 - Greensboro, NC @ Legitimate Business
03/29/11 - Richmond, VA @ The Barn
03/30/11 - State College, PA @ La Casa Blanca
04/01/11 - Louisville, KY @ Ear X-Tacy
04/02/11 - St. Louis, MO @ Lemp Arts