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UMBowl: Another Innovative Music Experience by Umphrey's McGee

The forward-thinking band Umphrey’s McGee will carve out new terrain in musical interactivity with their fans at the first “UMBowl,” an unprecedented 4-quarter evening-long concert on Saturday, April 24th, at Lincoln Hall in the group’s hometown of Chicago.

Umphrey’s, which has long forged a close bond with its national fan base through technological innovation, will explore fresh frontiers in the five-hour event, styled to emulate a football game with four “quarters” of unique musical performances that will actually be generated by audience input. Half the night’s music will be determined by text messaging on “gameday” itself.

The first quarter (Q1) will be an acoustic set entirely chosen by attendees; ticket holders will receive ballots and cast votes on the songs to be performed. Q2 will be a wholly improvised performance driven by bi-directional texting, sifted and delivered by “offensive coordinator” (and longtime Umphrey’s sound caresser) Kevin Browning to the band, which will then use the audience input to construct their jams. Q3 will be an all-request segment, with songs again determined by pre-balloting from the audience members. Fans will be able to vote not just on song selection but actually how those songs are arranged and varied from their original form. In Q4, the live audience will actually act as the group’s quarterback, “calling audibles” to direct the course of a free-flowing set via text messages sent to Browning in response to choices projected on an in-house screen.

The text-messaging element of UMBowl, powered by Mozes, was first employed by Umphrey’s McGee at their Stew Art (or “S2”) series, launched in fall 2009. Hosted as freestanding events before Umphrey’s shows in select tour markets, the series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage is entirely directed by S2 audience members. Sold-out crowds of 50 fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references to the Umphrey's mobile interface, which are then interpreted by the band.


Umphrey’s McGee had previously taken new approaches to delivering their music to the fans. Before their most recent studio recording, Mantis, was released in January 2009, the collection was made available for pre-order in an interesting way. The more Mantis pre-orders were received, the more free bonus content was received. Fans “unlocked” levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album.

The band was also among the first group of performers to offer songs at Rock Band Network. The much buzzed-about video game platform works with Xbox video game systems, and allows bands to offer fans a way to dig into their favorite group’s music in ways they have never been able to before.

UMBowl tickets went on sale last Friday and sold out in just minutes.

For the many out-of-town fans attending UMBowl, the band, together with long-standing travel partners CID Entertainment, offered travel packages for the event. Included in each package are tickets to UMBowl, luxury accommodations at the new Hotel Palomar in downtown Chicago, a drink package for the pre-party at the Umphrey’s hometown hang The Store, a personalized UMBowl jersey, gameday transportation, and more. For further information, go here.

Adam Green: Minor Love In Stores Today

Adam Green's new album Minor Love hits stores today on Fat Possum Records. The album shows a more serious, tender side of the uniquely charming, accomplished Green, who Time Out New York's The Volume blog recently declared, "...ranks among the city's strangest and most engaging young songwriters...he has created a body of work that's deceivingly smart...". Minor Love, his sixth solo venture since the Moldy Peaches went on hiatus in 2002, is a very personal, '70s-influenced folk-rock album and Green's best work to date: in a four-star review, Q Magazine wrote, "...Minor Love is charming; regularly recalling, on tracks such as Castles And Tassels, the barbed-yet-playful love songs Lou Reed used to pen."

Today AOL Music's Spinner blog premiered Green's video for Minor Love's first single "What Makes Him Act So Bad." The Todd Smolar-directed video, shot in New York City's famed Chelsea Hotel and featuring model/DJ Harley Viera-Newton, can be seen here, while the song can be downloaded here. Spinner is also featuring a full album stream for the week here. Earlier this month, RCRD LBL premiered album track "Castles and Tassels" as their 'MySpace Music RCRD of the Day;' the track can now be downloaded here.

Green will embark on a three and a half week headlining tour beginning April 1st at Venue in Vancouver, BC, and wrapping up April 23rd and 24th with a two-night hometown stand at the Bowery Ballroom in New York, NY. Last month, he spent ten days on the road in support of The Cribs before traveling overseas, where he is currently on a headlining tour in Europe.

Green will also perform at SXSW in March. Full itinerary is below.


Adam Green tour dates:

FEB. 16 COPENHAGEN, DK LOPPEN

FEB. 18 HAMBURG, DE UEBEL & GEFANRLICH

FEB. 19 COLOGNE, DE GLORIA

FEB. 20 BERLIN, DE POSTBANHOF

FEB. 22 VIENNA, AT ARENA

FEB. 23 MUNICH, DE FREIHEIZ

FEB. 24 ZURICH, CH MASCOTTE

FEB. 25 LAUSANNE, CH DOCKS

FEB. 27 BOLOGNA, IT COVO

FEB. 28 MILAN, IT MAGNOLIA

MAR. 2 BARCELONA, ES RAZZMATAZZ

MAR. 3 MADRID, ES RAMDALL MUSIC LIVE

MAR. 4 LISBON, PT SANTIAGO ALQUIMISTA

MAR. 6 MARSEILLE, FR LE POSTE A GALENE

MAR. 8 PARIS, FR L'ALHAMBRA

MAR. 17-20 AUSTIN, TX SXSW

APR. 1 VANCOUVER, BC VENUE

APR. 2 SEATTLE, WA CHOP SUEY

APR. 3 PORTLAND, OR DANTE'S

APR. 5 SANTA CRUZ, CA CREPE PLACE

APR. 6 SAN FRANCISCO, CA CAFÉ DU NORD (all ages)

APR. 7 SAN FRANCISCO, CA CAFÉ DU NORD (21+)

APR. 9 SAN DIEGO, CA THE CASBAH (early show)

APR. 10 LOS ANGELES, CA TROUBADOUR

APR. 13 DENVER, CO LARIMER LOUNGE

APR. 14 KANSAS CITY, MO RECORD BAR

APR. 15 CHICAGO, IL SCHUBAS

APR. 16 CLEVELAND, OH GROG SHOP (early show)

APR. 17 TORONTO, ONT MOD CLUB

APR. 19 MONTREAL, QUE LA SALA ROSA

APR. 20 BOSTON, MA GREAT SCOTT

APR. 21 PHILADELPHIA, PA JOHNNY BRENDA'S

APR. 23 NEW YORK, NY BOWERY BALLROOM

APR. 24 NEW YORK, NY BOWERY BALLROOM

Phil and the Osophers Debut Three New Vids

Phil and the Osophers unveil three distinctive videos to titillate the senses.  Members of the International Found Footage Society, the band used newsreels from the 1920s-1940s to create the video for Propeller Jet, which narrates the thrill of America's burgeoning love with the golden age of aviation.  Avant-garde Czech films were spliced together to create the breathtaking Well Being video, the last three minutes being a visual and auditory world unto itself.  Phil and the Osophers own travel footage is showcased in the video for Wandering Soul, where cities and climates and time blur together.


Phil and the Osophers have added a new member!  C. Lizbeth Marquez, a Spaniard by birth, has been added to play keyboard, percussion and background vocals.  Come see the expanded lineup at Brooklyn's Bruar Falls on February 15, in a show curated by Pop Jew, also known as Worst Cooks In America winner Rachel Coleman.  The band will also be doing a short tour in March, more dates are TBA.


Phil and the Osophers made their sixth full length album, Parallelo, available on CD and digitally this summer on Factual Fabrications, Phil’s own sustainable label.  The album finds the Brooklyn 3 piece developing into a jingly and jangly artistic indie rock while retaining carefully crafted and philosophical lyrics.  The band has a catalog of over 100 songs, and this new album is their most impressive work to date.
THE SONGS
The 11 song cycle of Parallelo explores parallels and coincidences in our understanding of meaning.  Phil has an interesting explanation for all of these songs- “Uses Of A Man deals with equal rights for all lovers”, Creators “is a thesis on God in the time of slavery”, Propeller Jet is “about suiting up with Amelia Earhart on her last flight” “Cheap Livin is an tribute to the rich folks who lost it all”  …Tie it together with an avant-garde indie pop sound and you have Parallelo.  It is this sort of innovation that makes Phil and the Osophers such a one-of-a-kind act.
The Brooklyn 3-piece have been on a tear recently: playing SXSW and the Northside Festival in Brooklyn, as well as playing shows with Art Brut, Passion Pit, Les Savy Fav, Le Loup, the Ruby Suns, and the Dodos.
In addition, all 3 members have written and published books of poetry and non-fiction through their own publishing house called ILOANBooks. Bass player Gus has published NINE books, Drummer Kevin has published two (including a new edition entitled "Winter Doesn't Care What Your Name Is"), and Phil has written his one book of poetry entitled "SHAKE! and other rattlers".  These books are usually free at shows and otherwise available upon request.

Four-Piece Drink Up Buttercup to Drop First Full-Length

Philadelphia pop quartet Drink Up Buttercup will release their first full-length album, Born and Thrown on a Hook, on March 23rd through Yep Roc Records.
Drink Up Buttercup earned the attention of fans with the release of their debut 7” Sosey & Dosey on Kanine Records, which was described as “Beatle-esque but in a kitchen sink kind of way,” (Brooklyn Vegan) and “60’s psychedelic carnival” (Stereogum). The band – comprised of Jim Harvey (vocals, guitar), Ben Money (bass, organ), Mike Cammarata (drums) and Farzad Houshiarnejad
(keyboards) – furthered their notoriety through their bombastic live shows with The New York Times going so far to say that the band “mesmerizes and clobbers live.”
Drink Up Buttercup’s first full album navigates a surrealistic geography somewhere between the grittiness of a Tom Waits’ song and the fairy tales of Han Christian Anderson. Produced by Philadelphia’s own Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man) and mixed by Rusty Santos (Animal Collective, Owen Pallett, Panda Bear), Born and Thrown on a Hook demonstrates a preoccupation with flawed protagonists, drunks and star-crossed lovers.
“We knew we were making something great and we all fought about what added to the greatness and what detracted,” Moriarty said. “We tried every way possible to make recordings: live, one at a time, analog tape, computer... in the end all of them worked and none was the solution.”
“This is an album I'm glad to have been a part of,” Moriarty continued. “It was a powerful experience with all the attractive and repellent parts of being alive rolled up in it.”
In anticipation of Born and Thrown on a Hook, Drink Up Buttercup is releasing a live video document of every song on the upcoming album each week via www.drinkupbuttercup.com, culminating on March 23rd. Each video is stripped of studio trickery & audio comfort zones, embracing the strange surroundings they find themselves in - basements filled with balloons, children’s playgrounds and old folks homes.

Is Jazz Dead? No!

Writer/Filmmaker Bret Primack's latest video offers his thoughts on a question, which like indigestion, seems to surface occasionally, Is Jazz Dead?  Not surprisingly, with his four hundred and forty posted videos garnering nearly ten million views on his Jazz Video Guy YouTube Channel, Mr. Primack is optimistic about the future of America’s home grown art form.

“This is the first video I’ve done where I offer commentary, not unlike what I did as the Pariah,” Primack reports.  “I know people have to write about something, but all this chit-chat about the demise of Jazz is preposterous. So I made this video in response to the tabloid mentality of some arts correspondents.”

The first Jazz blogger with his site Bird Lives, in 1997, Bret, aka the Pariah, was a crusader for truth and justice in the music industry.  He made a lot of friends and broke new ground on the web, but also alienated powerful people who resisted any change to the status quo.

“I’ve paid some dues because I spoke the truth, but it wasn’t as bad as Dalton Trumbo and the Hollywood 10,” Primack believes, referring to the screenwriters who were jailed during the 50s Blacklisting scare.  “In fact, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.  Given the response to my first video commentary, I suspect I’ll be doing more on my YouTube channel, which now has 10,000 subscribers.  But the Jazz business has changed dramatically in the past ten years.  Most of the old guard is largely gone, unable to make the transition to the new media landscape.”

Primack continues his work with Sonny Rollins, Billy Taylor and Joe Lovano, posting ten new videos a month that he produces himself, in addition to gems from Billy Taylor’s video archives.

His latest production, “Joe Lovano’s Surprise,” features an interview with the saxman discussing how he broke both arms in 2009, the recovery process, and his exciting new group, Us Five which includes Lovano on saxophones, James Weidman on piano, Esperanza Spalding on bass, Otis Brown III and Francisco Mela, on drums.  “Joe Lovano is one of the people keeping Jazz alive and healthy,” Primack explains, "so I’m happy to report that Joe himself is back on the road.  Nothing short of a nuclear attack is going to stop that Jazz Warrior.”

Bret is currently editing video he shot at a December trio session led by saxman Bob Mintzer, featuring organist Larry Goldings, and drummer Peter Erskine for the Japanese label, Pony Canyon.  “Some really amazing music from those cats,” Bret believes. 

View “Is Jazz Dead?  No!”

http://www.youtube.com/jazzvideoguy

View “Joe Lovano’s Surprise”

http://www.jazzvideoguy.tv

Visit Planet Bret

http://www.planetbret.com

Umphrey's McGee on Rock Band Network

Umphrey's McGee will be among the first group of bands to offer songs at the just-launched (beta testing period) Rock Band Network.

The much buzzed-about video game platform works with Xbox video game systems to allow bands to Xbox users, and to offer fans a way dig into their favorite band’s music in ways they have never been able to before.


Umphrey’s McGee has been working with former Harmonix Music Systems employee – and now “Rock Band” freelancer - Andrew Buch. An alumn of Berklee College of Music, Buch has author several Umphrey’s McGee songs for the new program, including “1348” and “Miss Tinkles Overture." These songs and others will be made available within the next few months - when the first wave of the Rock Band Network releases are scheduled to hit upon the release of the new Xbox 360 system.

Buch, whose video/music “claims-to-fame” include the underground release of his mind-numbingly difficult "Trippolette" in the original Guitar Hero, has worked on several games in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, making him a likely choice to prepare the music of Umphrey's McGee for the game. Additional work by Buch can be found at http://www.andrewbuch.com, including video footage of both Umphrey's McGee's music and the Rock Band network re-release of "Trippolette."

Umphrey’s McGee’s participation in the Rock Band network is one of many ways this band continues to prove themselves truly a band of the 21st century. The band’s innovative, interactive Stew Art Series (S2) has been hailed as a ground-breaking fan experience. Hosted as individual events before that evening’s already scheduled show, Umphrey’s Stew Art Series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage are entirely directed by S2 audience members. Check out this S2 video from the inaugural S2 event in Milwaukee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYJn64XRGXU.

Look for Umphrey’s McGee on tour now.

Har Mar Superstar Plows Through The West Coast

The golden-piped sexy beast known as Har Mar Superstar is getting ready to charm the pants off the ladies and gentlemen of the west coast when he hits the road this month.  Har Mar recently released his latest album, Dark Touches, and has been on a hot streak ever since.  The album’s addictive lead single, “Tall Boy,” was co-written/co-produced by Greg Kurstin (Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Lily Allen), and made waves when it was revealed that it was originally submitted for Britney Spears.  The dance floor jam took on a new life when Har Mar performed it on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and as MTV.com noted, he “tore down the house with a performance of his body quaking new single.”   The song’s video brought another tidal wave of Har Mar fever.  The futuristic looking clip features Eva Mendes, Eric Wareheim (“Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”) and Alia Shawkat (“Arrested Development,” Whip It!).  Check out the “Tall Boy” video by clicking HERE.

Other musical collaborators on Dark Touches include John Fields (Andrew WK, Jonas Brothers, Rooney), The Faint’s beatmakers Clark Baechle and Jacob Thiele, singer-songwriter Adam Green, P.O.S. of the Rhymesayers collective, Neon Neon’s Boom Bip, Flowers of Doom, and Samaire Armstrong. In addition to his fertile musical career, Har Mar also appeared in the Drew Barrymore film Whip It! last year and will team up again with the its leading ladies Alia Shawkat and Ellen Page (Juno, Whip It!) to produce a new HBO pilot titled “Stitch N’ Bitch.”

Har Mar Superstar 2010 Tour Dates

01/20: Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland

01/21: San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop

01/22: Sacramento, CA @ The Townhouse

01/23: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios

01/24: Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey

01/26: Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club

Sam Bush Launches SBTV Video Series

October 20, 2009, marked numerous milestones for the multi-instrumentalist, three-time GRAMMY(TM) winner and affable, animated personality Sam Bush. Not only Bush's 25th wedding anniversary, October 20th also saw the release of Circles Around Me, his eighth solo release, and the launch of SBTV (Sam Bush TV), which continues Bush's foray in the realm of series video.

Bush, a founding member and mandolinist of the genre-defining act New Grass Revival and constant duet partner of Emmylou Harris in her Nash Ramblers outfit, has recently witnessed a surge in fan response thanks to his self-produced "Ask Sam Anything" videos. This series of personal, off-the-cuff short films features the artist fielding questions directly from his fans such as, "Do you still practice?" "What inspires you?" and "What have you been listening to lately?"

The overwhelming fan response to the series led Bush to continue exploring the concept of series videos. The result of that exploration is a multi-part video progression where candid descriptions of each song from his new release, Circles Around Me, are presented with personal and behind-the scenes footage of the artist. Sure to be a fan and critical favorite, Bush launched SBTV with his thoughts on the title track, a song co-written by Bush and Nashville-based performer and songwriter Jeff Black. The series continues with eagerly awaited episodes of Bush discussing all Circles Around Me tracks, which include collaborations with bluegrass legends Del McCoury, Edgar Meyer, Jerry Douglas and, thanks to the discovery of an old demo, New Grass Revival co-founder Courtney Johnson (posthumously) - as well as the vast contributions of his group of world-renowned musicians, the Sam Bush Band.

THE CRYSTAL METHOD TO PREMIERE "COME BACK CLEAN" VIDEO TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16 ON YAHOO!

America’s top electronic act THE CRYSTAL METHOD will unveil their new video for “Come Back Clean” with an exclusive premiere on YAHOO! Friday, October 16.  The song is the second single on their album DIVIDED BY NIGHT (Tiny E Records) and features Emily Haines of Metric on vocals.

The “Come Back Clean” video, directed by Alexandre Moors, will be cut to the Kaskade remix which is impacting dance radio now and will be part of an exclusive iTunes EP package set for release Tuesday, October 20.  The 5-song EP without the video is now available through Beatport.  Both versions will include the following tracks:

1. Kaskade Remix Edit

2. Kaskade Extended Remix

3. Kaskade Dub Remix

4. Kaskade Instrumental

5. Album Version

In other news, the winner of the “Come Back Clean” remix contest with Indaba Music—chosen from over 2,000 entrants—has been announced. The Grand Prize Winner Noah + The Man will receive a microKorg XL synthesizer and a tour of the duo's studio with the band.  Noah + The Man's remix will be promoted in Filter's media section, land a spot in the PSSST digital sampler distributed by FILTER Magazine and is now featured as a streaming track on The Crystal Method's MySpace page. The runners-up are James Merrifield and The Magical Blue Orchestra.

Meanwhile, The Crystal Method was the featured guest on KCRW’s “MORNING BECOMES ECLECTIC” Wednesday, September 30.  Their performance consisted of an assortment of classic tracks like “Busy Child” and “Keep Hope Alive,”   “Now Is The Time” from the 2009 presidential campaign and songs from Divided By Night.  The set wrapped with “Falling Hard” from the new album where they were joined by vocalist Meiko, drummer extraordinaire Samantha Maloney (Hole, Mötley Crüe, Peaches, Chelsea Girls) and keyboardist Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses).  View the performance of “Falling Hard” here:  http://kcrwmusicnews.vox.com/library/post/crystal-method-on-mbe---live-debut-of-falling-hard.html?_c=feed-atom

Catch THE CRYSTAL METHOD live on Friday, October 30 at Live 105’s Subsonic Halloween Spookfest bash in San Francisco and for a DJ set Saturday, October 31 at Club Catalyst in Knoxville.

BoomBox Announces Music Video Shoot in Boulder

BoomBox is a group that thrives on crafting the unconventional, shattering stereotypes and creating music outside of boundaries that the majority of artists reside in. When BoomBox returns to the Fox Theatre in Boulder, CO on April 9th, the duo will be recording the entire performance on HD for their first music video. The groundbreaking nightlong adventure into the heart of live psychedelic electronica will feature visual elements alongside BoomBox’s hypnotic multi-genre musical blend, all in promotion of their nearing summer release, downriverelectric.

BoomBox is encouraging attendees to participate in the fan-friendly festivities by donning their craziest, most colorful outfits. Truly a one of a kind event, the audience will be the focus of the taping, giving an extraordinary glimpse into the world of the BoomBox live experience. The party-like atmosphere of the shoot will join a long list of groundbreaking BoomBox performances that have become the essence of the group. The duo’s diehard supporters have long known to expect the unexpected when it comes to BoomBox, and this non-stop celebration will be no different.

Hailing from legendary Muscle Shoals, Alabama, BoomBox consists of one part DJ / producer Russ Randolph and one part singer / songwriter / guitarist Zion Rock Godchaux. The duo founded BoomBox on the notion of shaping dance-ready rhythms, mesmerizing mixes and textured guitar passages into a sonic journey of sound and revelation. Incorporating live instrumentation and vocals mixed, re-mixed and re-sampled in real time, BoomBox swarms stages with unrivaled energy and body-moving vibes, winning audiences over on a nightly basis.

TOUR DATES:
04/04 – Newby’s – Memphis, TN
04/09 – Fox Theatre – Boulder, CO
04/01 – Copper Mountain - Sunsation Festival – Frisco, CO
04/16 – Old Rock House – St Louis, MO
04/17 – Subterranean – Chicago, IL
04/18 – Nelson Ledges - Early Bird Festival – Garrettsville, OH
04/20 – Rex Theatre – Pittsburgh, PA
04/22 – Bill’s Bar – Boston, MA
04/23 – Wheel House – Narragansett, RI
04/24 – Red Square – Albany, NY
04/25 – Rocks Off - Rocks Off Concert Cruise Series – New York, NY
04/27 – The 8x10 – Baltimore, MD
04/30 – The Pour House Music Hall – Raleigh, NC
05/01 – Awful Arthur’s – Roanoke, VA
05/02 – World Grotto & Marketplace – Knoxville, TN
05/08 – Exit / In – Nashville, TN
05/15 – Joshua Tree - Joshua Tree Music Festival – Joshua Tree, CA
05/28 – The Bluebird Nightclub – Bloomington, IN
05/29 – Newport Music Hall - Ohio Hempfest Pre-Party – Columbus, OH
06/05 – Mulberry River Ranch - Wakarusa – Ozark, AR
06/06 – Mulberry River Ranch - Wakarusa – Ozark, AR
07/24 – Soo Pass Ranch - 10,000 Lakes Music Festival – Detroit Lakes, MN