indie

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. | Hi-Dive | Denver, CO

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. took the stage last night at the Hi-Dive in Denver clearly on a mission from God. Wearing their traditional Nascar-style track jumpsuits and big ol mesh trucker caps, the Detroit duo of Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott made their debut in the great city of Denver on a tour supporting the release of their debut album, It’s a Corporate World.

Suzanna Choffel To Release New Album, 'Steady Eye Shaky Bow,' May 24

Suzanna Choffel, whose dusky vocals are as intriguing as her indie-soul-pop originals and sultry stage presence, releases on Tuesday, May 24, her latest album, STEADY EYE SHAKY BOW, a collection of upbeat melodies and ballads that Choffel describes as “blues-colored dark grit” drawing from musical influences that include Stax-style jazz and Motown R&B.

Choffel and her band — Kyle Thompson on drums, Johnny Vogelsang on bass, Laura Scarborough on vibraphone and synthesizer, and Chris Gebhard on keys and guitar —will make numerous special appearances around the new release. The band recently performed at SXSW Music Festival, including a show at Auditorium Shores with Blue October.

Around the release of STEADY EYE SHAKY BOW, Choffel will tour in Texas in May and June, including an Album Release Show in Austin. The album has already yielded “Raincloud,” with its smart, witty lyrics and soulful syncopated sound that is more than pop, the song infused with the flavor of New Orleans with the backing by Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and a video viewed on YouTube more than half a million times.
Another song on the new album is “Archer,” from whence the album’s title comes, a song that exemplifies Choffel’s unique lyrical expression of the emotions inherent in relationships.
Multiple award-winner Choffel was named Indie Artist of the Year at the 2009 Austin Music Awards and won top honors in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
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Suzanna Choffel upcoming shows include:
May 13, Saxon Pub, Austin
May 19, The Shady Grove, Austin
May 20, Luna, San Antonio
May 24, Waterloo Records In-Store, Austin
May 28, One World Theatre, Austin (Album Release Show)
June 11, McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, Houston
June 16, Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock

Austin Indie Singer Suzanna Choffel To Release New Album

Suzanna Choffel, whose dusky vocals are as intriguing as her indie-soul-pop originals and sultry stage presence, releases on Tuesday, May 24, her latest album, STEADY EYE SHAKY BOW, a collection of upbeat melodies and ballads that Choffel describes as “blues-colored dark grit” drawing from musical influences that include Stax-style jazz and Motown R&B.

Choffel and her band — Kyle Thompson on drums, Johnny Vogelsang on bass, Laura Scarborough on vibraphone and synthesizer, and Chris Gebhard on keys and guitar —will make numerous special appearances around the new release. The band recently performed at SXSW Music Festival, including a show at Auditorium Shores with Blue October.

Around the release of STEADY EYE SHAKY BOW Choffel will tour in Texas in May and June, including an Album Release Show in Austin. The album has already yielded “Raincloud,” with its smart, witty lyrics and soulful syncopated sound that is more than pop, the song infused with the flavor of New Orleans with the backing by Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and a video viewed on YouTube more than half a million times.
Another song on the new album is “Archer,” from whence the album’s title comes, a song that exemplifies Choffel’s unique lyrical expression of the emotions inherent in relationships.
Multiple award-winner Choffel was named Indie Artist of the Year at the 2009 Austin Music Awards and won top honors in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
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Suzanna Choffel upcoming shows include:
May 13, Saxon Pub, Austin
May 19, The Shady Grove, Austin
May 20, Luna, San Antonio
May 24, Waterloo Records In-Store, Austin
May 28, One World Theatre, Austin (Album Release Show)
June 11, McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, Houston
June 16, Buddy Holly Center, Lubbock

Ex-Kumbia Kingz / All Starz Frontmen, Ricky Rick & DJ Kane Form New Group 'LA FORMULA'

Grammy award winning artists Ricky Rick & DJ Kane, formerly members of The Kumbia Kingz and Kumbia All Starz, have united their artistic talents to form a new and much needed Kumbia Fusion group called ‘La Formula’. This dynamic duo is currently in the midst of producing and recording their debut alum also called ‘La Formula’ and which is being released on indie label, The Art Of Sound Group. The first single released off their debut album is “Contigo Me Voy”, a danceable fun track with ballad like lyrics, which was released on 1/1/11. The song is destined to become a sensational hit as its popularity with DJ’s across the country is rapidly rising causing its fast climb on radio charts and digital sales worldwide including, Asia, a usually uncharted territory. The song, written and Produced by Grammy & ASCAP Award winning production team Robert “Bobbo” Gomez III & Emilio “YEYO” Cancio-Bello, blends upbeat Kumbia beats with influences of pop, hip hop and dancehall style raggae. The video for the single was recently shot in Las Vegas, Nevada by Director Zues Ali who also directed the famous Lil Wayne Mini Movie. The video illustrates a warm tropical feel of summer, dancing and all around good time, which is in tune with the danceable rhythms set to the love story based lyrics.

This newly formed team are the creative minds behind hits like “Mami”, “Rica y Apretadita”, Por ti baby”, “Shhhhh”, “No tengo dinero” and many other international hits and came together after the recent rupture of the Kumbia All Starz (formerly known as Kumbia Kingz). It is said that necessity is the mother of invention and in the eyes of these talented artists and their innovative producers it was necessary to bring back the genre with new faces, new beats and a whole re-invention to electrify their public. When asked why they chose the name ‘La Formula’ as the name of their new band, they responded “Because putting us together was like a secret formula for great music and a new twist on the Kumbia-Pop genre”. Most recently the group was selected to perform at the prestigious SXSW Festival at the Barbella Patio Stage on Saturday, March 19th and will be performing at the Latin Billboard Conference. Together, they have sold over 20 million copies and have toured through the US, Central and South America as well as performed in major events including Premios Lo Nuestro, Latin Billboards and many more.

Art Of Sound is an indie music bi-lingual label based in Miami and headed by Grammy nominated and ASCAP award winning producer and writer, Emilio “Yeyo” Cancio-Bello. Art of Sound is based on the concept that music is the universal force that bounds cultures together and that language and geography is never a boundary for creativity.

Stars to Headline the Fillmore | 11/10

Stars, a Canadian Indie act, will be headline the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco on November 10th.  Henry Hauser, will be on-hand to cover their show.  Read what Henry had to say had to say from a previous write-up for the Cornell Daily Sun:

“Storming the florally adorned set of the State Theatre Friday evening, Toronto based indie pop group Stars immediately brought four fifths of the crowd to their feet. Building a swirling hurricane with golden organ and tin-laced percussion; the velvety vocal of Amy Millan weaved the band's inaugural track. In "The Night Starts Here," we are advised to "forget your name, forget your fear," as the tumbling, externalized vocal melody of male bandleader Torquil Campbell refocused our energies on "the ecstasy, the being free, the big black cloud over you and me." Reminiscent of the Baroque style chamber pop that propelled The Arcade Fire's Neon Bible onto countless "Best of 2007" manifestos, the Stars' esoteric instrumentation melted with deep harmonies, creating an explosive, reverberating fortress of sound.”

Stars is currently on-tour now, so check out their website for dates, news, etc.

Filling Joe’s Pub with More than Music

After a somewhat painful opener by Me in the Zoo, Kelli Scarr took the stage on Thursday night and filled NYC’s Joe’s Pub with her giant whispery voice. She is on tour now showcasing her newest album, “Piece,” which was released on August 10 by the indie-start-up label, "Silence Breaks."

Kelli Scarr Announces US Fall Tour / To Play The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary Benefit

Kelli Scarr's interest in music and recording started early, at the age of three with her Nana using a handheld cassette recorder to record her singing. Growing up amongst the soundtrack of her parent’s records and singing in the Lutheran church of her hometown, music quickly became an important part of Kelli Scarr’s life.

After high school she moved to Boston, Massachusetts to study voice at Berklee, and she soon joined the band Moonraker.  Following college, Kelli, along with Moonraker, moved to Brooklyn, NY where they were thrown head first into the ever-expanding indie scene, opening for bands like the Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene.

After several years of touring and three albums, the band dissolved in 2005 and Kelli started to shift her musical focus more towards film scoring, composing the score for Matthew Nourse’s full-length feature, “The Pacific and Eddy” and Jeremiah Zagar’s documentary, “In a Dream” (HBO).  Kelli soon found herself nominated for best original score for, “In A Dream” by the Cinema Eye Honors alongside fellow nominees Nick Cave and Danny Elfman. It was also during this time that Kelli joined Brooklyn-based alt indie group, Salt and Samovar.

During an almost accidental bill sharing, Kelli was noticed by local NYC musician, Moby. After striking up a friendship, Kelli and Moby were soon working on music together with Kelli singing the title track of Moby’s haunting and introspective 2009 release, “Wait For Me” (Mute). Kelli also quickly joined Moby’s touring band for a world tour to support the critically acclaimed album. On top of singing and playing keyboards within Moby’s band, Kelli was also asked to open the shows, playing her own music in supporting slots for Moby and winning over crowds all over the world.

Amidst all of the transitions and touring, Kelli had begun recording songs on her own. She began simply by recording quiet piano songs at home in between working her hospital day job and in brief moments to herself during her three year old son’s naps. From what began as a simple process Kelli quickly found herself with a collection of recordings that spanned the world, two and a half years and included a diverse cast of musicians, engineers and producers.

The themes and inspiration for her music ranged from the once small gold rush town of Folsom, CA, now turned suburban sprawl, to the raising of a child and the wishes of a parent. For a majority of the record the songs acted as a therapeutic release and moment of reflection for the relationships in her life and the struggle to find peace within them. Along with these moments of self-release, her songs captured the images of her childhood and reflected everything from scenes of driving through California to the memories of her favorite childhood movies like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.

After a long and exhausting two and a half year process Kelli had a record of mainly home recordings, which she named, “Piece”; a name she adopted early on with the advice of friend and filmmaker Matthew Nourse, to help her visualize the album as a “snapshot in time” within an otherwise hectic time.

In the end “Piece” reflected a large portion of Kelli’s life and those around her. From the sounds of her creaky upright piano and midnight acoustic recordings to the whimpers of her son waking up from a nap in the next room, “Piece” captured an extremely personal journey, providing a photo album's worth of lush images. “Piece” will be released on August 10th, 2010 as the debut for indie start-up label, Silence breaks.

Shadow Shadow Shade Release White Horse Trilogy & Debut Album

Los Angeles’ majestic septet Shadow Shadow Shade (formerly known as Afternoons) are prepping the release of their eagerly awaited, self-titled debut release.  Those who have seen their acclaimed live show know what to expect:  a lush sound that is both grand in spectacle and remarkably intimate.  With seven members that often sing in unison, the group’s haunting melodies sculpt an ethereal, choir-like effect.  Shadow Shadow Shade will be released on October 5th through the group’s own label, Public Records.  It will be available via Junket Boy and at CIMS stores nationwide as well as select additional indie outlets.  It was produced by Grammy-winning Producer/Mixer/Engineer/Musician and SSS member, Tom Biller (Karen O, Liars, Jon Brion, Sean Lennon, Kanye West).

Before the album is released the band is unveiling the three-part epic, post-apocalyptic short film known as the White Horse Trilogy that features several of their songs.  The clip stars Jason Ritter (of NBC’s upcoming drama “The Event”) and Anna WilsonWhite Horse’s director Michael Graham describes it as “an existential science fiction film that personifies and investigates the inner struggle one might go through under the distress of being ripped apart from their lover by the current world they live in, most importantly - war.”  The film is set in the future during World War III, when an unknown force has enslaved the human race.

SSS began as an art project amongst likeminded friends before evolving into an actual band that performed and recorded.  Upon hearing their demos, artist Shepard Fairey became one of the band’s early supporters  He soon designed posters for them that ended up getting plastered all over their hometown of LA.  After playing just one show, the group was offered the coveted residency at Spaceland and subsequently sold out all four weeks – this led to the SSS being invited to perform at IFC’s 2010 SXSW Showcase.

The group has created a stirring pastiche of sounds that takes cues from traditions such as psychedelia, orchestral music, shoegaze, opera, and indie rock among others.  Their enigmatic lyrics seem to have been plucked from a classic, timeless novel that hasn’t been written yet, and every song they compose builds towards a thrilling catharsis.  Click HERE to stream/download the mp3 for the album’s first single, “Say Yes.”

Shadow Shadow Shade Tour Dates:

10/8 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Rio Theater
10/10 - Portland, OR @Mississippi Studios
10/11 - Seattle, WA @ The High Dive
10/13 - San Francisco, CA @ Red Devil Lounge
10/14 - Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
10/15 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar

Independent Radio Takes Center Stage as Toyota Free Yr Radio Launches Fourth Annual Tour

Toyota’s Free Yr Radio is back, taking its mission to draw attention and support to independent, non-commercial radio on the road across the U.S. with appearances at the nation’s best music festivals, including Siren Fest, Lollapalooza, Mile High, Outside Lands, Bumbershoot, the Voodoo Experience, and CMJ.  Toyota launched Free Yr Radio four years ago to celebrate independent radio as a vital cultural resource.