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Tori Amos "Live from the Artists Den" DVD Released July 13

On July 13, 2010 Artists Den Records will release the Limited Edition DVD “Tori Amos: Live from the Artists Den,” featuring a private solo performance by the Grammy-nominated artist for just 100 fans in the Veterans Room of New York’s historic Park Avenue Armory. The DVD’s release coincides will the nationwide premiere of the second season of “Live from the Artists Den,” the hit public television series spotlighting extraordinary artists performing in extraordinary settings, which features Amos’s concert in addition to shows by Ringo Starr with Ben Harper, Corinne Bailey Rae, David Gray, and others.  For local listings, visit TheArtistsDen.com

The DVD’s special features include two songs not included in the televised broadcast, a 20-minute interview with music journalist Alan Light, a tour of the Veterans Room with Amos, and a 34-page scrapbook containing behind-the-scenes photos and a history of the historic venue.


Tori Amos is one of the most influential and respected artists of the modern era.  The double-digit Grammy nominee has recorded 11 acclaimed studio albums – and gone platinum nearly 20 times – since emerging in the early ’90s.

Amos closed 2009 with a special solo show for 100 fans in New York City’s Park Avenue Armory, an immense historical landmark built in the late 19th century as both a military facility and a social club.  Described as “Greek, Moresque, and Celtic with a dash of the Egyptian, the Persian, and the Japanese,” the Armory’s ornate Veterans Room provided a fitting setting for one of the most eclectic and culturally curious artists in music today.

Of playing the unique room, Amos said, “Let’s face it: when you’re playing in a room that doesn’t have a lot of personality, then you have to bring everything yourself.  It’s sort of like a bad blind date—you hope the food’s good, and if the waitress is entertaining, you’ll make it through.  But when you have a magical place, then all of a sudden it’s a conversation, and you could be falling in love on your first date.”

The DVD features both hits and rare fan favorites spanning Amos’ catalogue, from her breakthrough 1991 debut “Little Earthquakes” to her acclaimed 2009 album “Abnormally Attracted to Sin.”

The “Live from the Artists Den: Season 2” compilation album is currently available on iTunes and features “Ruby Through the Looking Glass,” a rare song Amos played to open this special show.

DVD Track List

1. Ruby Through the Looking Glass

2. China

3. Lust

4. Concertina

5. Virginia

6. Black Dove

7. Wednesday

8. Ophelia

9. Girl

10. Bells for Her

11. Toast

12. Maybe California

Rhythm Devils ft. Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann announce Summer Tour

For nearly three decades they were the two-headed, eight-limbed, polyrhythmic engine that drove the Grateful Dead. Now, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart are the Rhythm Devils, and when the veteran percussionists take to the road this summer, even the most Deadicated of fans will be in for some big surprises. “The music is quite different,” says Kreutzmann. “It’s real groove-based. It has lots of percussion and electronics. It’s very danceable. It’s gonna be quite a mix up there.”  Hart says, “This music will take you to a very special place, I think. It’s like a super friendly rhythm snake that has wrapped itself around the world a few times and now it’s coming our way. It’s electric; it’s got rhythm, has words and flies. It’s the Rhythm Devils.”

Joining Hart and Kreutzmann in the Rhythm Devils for this tour will be Nigerian talking drum master Sikiru Adepoju, returning from the last RD tour in 2006, Back Door Slam’s Davy Knowles (guitar, vocals) and Andy Hess (bass). Plus one-man-band Keller Williams (guitar, vocals) makes his first run as a Devil, joining the band on select dates, as does The Mother Hips' Tim Bluhm (guitar, vocals).

The Rhythm Devils name has its origins in the late ’70s. As Hart explains, “I remember Jerry looking at Bill and I one time. He shook his head and just said, ‘You guys are Rhythm Devils.’”

But the 2010 incarnation of the Rhythm Devils is guaranteed to be unlike anything that’s come before—the dynamic mix of the musicians’ individual but complementary styles and approaches is sure to lead to some serious sparks. “It’s a great combination,” says Hart. “You have the deep trance music from Nigeria and West Africa that Sikiru brings to us and there’s Davy who at any moment just might rip the sky apart with his guitar and Andy Hess is a real gem of a bass player. Joining us for the first part of the tour is the 'one man band' Keller Williams and on the second part of our tour is Tim Bluhm, who will bring his ferocious California guitar style and beautiful vocals to the mix.”

While both Hart and Kreutzmann promise that the music will be percussion-driven, another factor contributing to the Rhythm Devils’ special mojo is the troupe’s repertoire: Not only will they be reconstituting some familiar Grateful Dead tunes in their unique way, but the Devils will also be performing numerous tunes written exclusively for them by Robert Hunter, the legendary songwriter whose collaborations with the late Jerry Garcia provided the Dead with their most beloved and durable material.

“Robert Hunter is a major force in all of this. He has written his heart out in these new songs,” says Hart. “There will also be enormous, exciting electronic sections of pulsing, throbbing, beautiful zones. There are places and sounds still unknown and unborn that we will no doubt visit.”

Kreutzmann and Hart have been inextricably entwined as partners since they first met in 1967, two years after the formation of the Grateful Dead with Kreutzmann the sole drummer. On that first night, they literally “played the city,” walking around San Francisco with drumsticks banging on everything in sight. Hart joined them immediately and except for a brief hiatus in the ’70s, the pair remained with the Dead until 1995, when Garcia’s death signaled the end of an era. Since then, Kreutzmann and Hart have continued to make music both together (most recently in The Dead) and apart, but they both agree that a special chemistry takes place when their percussive minds are in sync.

“When we get together and we’re in the groove it’s a tractor beam,” says Hart. “Anyone around that will be drawn in. But we always thought of the Grateful Dead, and anything that we did together, as a work in progress. This too is a work in progress and that’s the best thing you could say. We’re looking to the future with this kind of music. In the Grateful Dead we created a body of work that we’ll not leave behind. But we also have an identity as the Rhythm Devils, and that’s who we’ll be.”

When they’re not working together as the Rhythm Devils, both Hart and Kreutzmann are involved in other projects. Kreutzmann plans to release a new album later this year with his other band, 7 Walkers, which features singer-songwriter Papa Mali (who has also been collaborating with Hunter on new material), multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard, and George Porter Jr. on bass.

Among Hart’s recent endeavors is the tentatively titled Rhythms of the Universe, a project of enormous scope. Hart is currently working with leading scientists to capture raw light waves from Space and then transform those light waves into sound waves. Hart then uses those sounds to compose Universal music. Hart's goal is nothing less than exploring what the universe really sounds like, from the Big Bang to the galaxies, to the stars and planets and beyond.

But for both Kreutzmann and Hart, it’s the upcoming Rhythm Devils tour that’s got them most excited. “It’s part of my lifelong partnership, my 40-year rhythmic experience, with Bill Kreutzmann,” says Hart. “It’s time for Bill and me to get together and explore new rhythms and take it to the next level. We share a unique rhythm and we’ve got some great guys with us who we’re going to explore what it sounds like on this planet…star date; 2010.”

Rhythm Devils current tour schedule is as follows:

Friday, July 16 Arcata Theatre Arcata CA with Keller Williams
Saturday, July 17 String Summit North Plains OR with Keller Williams
Sunday, July 18 Britt Festival Jacksonville OR with Keller Williams
Thursday, July 22 Ogden Theatre Denver CO with Keller Williams
Friday, July 23 Steamboat Springs Concert Series Steamboat Springs CO with Keller Williams
Saturday, July 24 Spud Drive In Driggs ID with Keller Williams
Sunday, July 25 Red Butte Garden Salt Lake City UT with Keller Williams
Tuesday, July 27 Orpheum Theatre Flagstaff AZ with Keller Williams
Wednesday, July 28 Rialto Theatre Tucson AZ with Keller Williams
Thursday, July 29 Soundwave San Diego CA with Keller Williams
Saturday, July 31 Gathering of the Vibes Bridgeport CT with Keller Williams
Tuesday, January 4 - Sunday, January 9 Jam Cruise 9 Fort Lauderdale FL with Tim Bluhm
Sunday, January 9 Revolution Fort Lauderdale FL with Tim Bluhm
Part two of the summer tour still to be announced.

Parlovr Unveil Cover Art & Tracklisting / East Coast Tour To Be Announced Soon

Meet Parlovr (pretend the V is a U when you say it). Over the last few years, these three Montrealers have been bringing their manic melee of indie pop to the musically-curious masses. They’ve already amassed plenty of attention from tasters and tastemakers alike via their blissfully bizarre tracks and seizure-inducing live shows; however, after recently signing onto the Dine Alone Records roster, the band is ready to make some serious noise in the new decade – in more ways than one…
Initially formed in a Mile-End loft during the winter of 2006 by guitarist/vocalist Louis David Jackson and keyboardist/vocalist Alex Cooper, the current incarnation of Parlovr came about in 2007 when drummer Jeremy MacCuish entered the fold – a catalyst to the fusion of the foiling songwriting styles of the original two. Since, the band has taken off on its own sonic tangent, appropriately dubbed “sloppy pop” in the past; stripped down but salacious and spastic.
The music is about as diverse as the city that spawned it – an interweaving of styles that takes on a shape and shimmer of its own. Raw and reverb-soaked, their independently-released, self-titled debut dropped in late 2008, recorded and produced by Martin Horn at Digital Bird Studios.
The songs found therein are rooted in dramatic dynamics not unlike those that exist between Cooper and Jackson’s foiling songwriting styles – quiet and loud; screams and whispers; sing-alongs and spacey instrumentals; warm low-end and crisp, shimmering leads; short pop jabs and extended epics. You get the idea, right? It’s quirky, it’s catchy, and while it’s full of familiar throwbacks to ‘60s pop, ‘80s post-punk, and ‘90s garage, it’s also refreshing.
Since its release, the album has garnered some great ink in pretty much every well-respected left-of-centre publication here in Canada – Hero Hill, Chartattack, and Hour among them. Even some from the south are taking notice, with Spin magazine calling the band one of the “5 to watch” out of Montreal (it’s pretty much the new Seattle) and The New York Times sharing kind words about their live show. It’s obvious the bandwagon is starting to fill up, and everybody on it is dancing.
Parlovr has spent time bringing their melodies on the road, having toured extensively throughout Canada, New York, France and Europe alongside indie pop peers like Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand.
With all of the pieces in place, Parlovr seems set to bring their melodic mayhem to a widespread populace for the new decade.
It’s 2010, and it’s finally cool to say you listen to Parlovr music.

The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! Announce East Coast Shows!

Founded in late 2007 as means for front man Neil Fridd to yell about his romantic mishaps, The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! has blossomed into a real juggernaut of epic dance floor revelation.

What do they sound like? It’s sorta dance-soul music, like synthed out Otis Redding covers on fast forward. Dance music with too many cooks in the kitchen, but in a good way, so not too many cooks, maybe just an above average amount of cooks. That is to say, there are sweet beats: your ass wants to shake, but there’s also like four vocals and two horn lines happening too, making for a unique, dense, dance floor throw down that’s suitable for both club rock outs and secluded headphone listening. But perhaps more than both of these, you’ll find yourself wanting to be listening to this music at a Halloween party with all your friends, because before TPDR were trying to make your head bob or your ass shake they were trying to make your heart feel something. Whether they’re singing about a new romance, old friends, or a magical thing that happens when the roads are too icy for professors to get to school, TPDR are singing about something that you’ve felt, and doing so with a humor and sincerity so often lacking in indie music. Scenes and events are set up so perfectly that on a late night, driving in your car in the middle of nowhere you feel every emotion they’re singing about deep down in your gut: you’ll be getting chills on the  subway during your morning commute. These songs will make you long for every boy or girl you almost kissed in high school, chuckle to yourself about how stupid and great your friends are and make you want to go camping, stay up late, dance on your fire escape, have a potluck dinner, jump in piles of leaves, French kiss in the back of a movie theater and finally go out and cut down a real Christmas tree this year.

And if listening to this band on CD makes you feel alive, seeing them live will set you on fire. Terror Pigeon live is sometimes four people and sometimes forty, but it doesn’t matter, cause you won’t know who’s in the band anyways. Everyone dances, everyone gets a costume, everyone sings. And don’t worry, only half the people know any of the lyrics so you won’t feel left out: the sing alongs are easy and they’ll teach them to you. The show is happening on the stage and in the audience. There are people running around with big light up robots on their backs, others wearing disco ball hats, a hairy man dressed as a giant pumpkin, streamers, aliens, football players from the movie Mac n’ Me on a TV dancing to the beat, a dude butoh dancing, it’s like Halloween and junior prom and new years and Christmas at once. There’s a lot of glitter and strobe lights and it’s entirely probable that at some point you’ll be handed a mic and told to go for it. And that’s the idea: that you go for it. Cool has been abolished: for 25 minutes you can’t fuck up. You can scream and sing and roll around on the floor and it’s okay. To quote them “No one here looks more stupid then we do so don’t worry about it!” And you can totally just stand up against a wall and watch too if you want: there aren’t rules. It’s not, “you have to go crazy,” it’s “you can.” And that freedom leads to a real liberation, an all encompassing fuck everything dance party hailed as everything from kid playtime gone wrong to the least self conscious act at CMJ to a religious awakening.

And all this razzmatazz hasn’t gone unnoticed. In addition to getting a plaque once they’ve also been written about by a bunch of important magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, New York magazine, NME, Nylon and more. Perhaps most impressive, besides the plaque, was their winning the Diesel:U:Music World Tour competition last year. Selected from amongst thousands, Diesel flew them around the world to play in big stadiums in Japan and historic nightclubs in France. This rather surprising move, (wait, good, deserving bands can actually get giant handouts from monster corporations?!) catapulted them into the spotlight, giving them a much-deserved amount of exposure, a buzz that will that may very well explode as they release their debut album and continue to tour nonstop.

The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! have an album coming out on Luaka Bop this spring. It’s great. It’s ten tracks of absolute power. They’re touring the US nonstop starting in February with a new backing band called The Shakes. They’re now accepting summer barbeque invitations and really want to play someone’s senior prom like how the Spice Girls used to have competitions like that.

Upcoming Shows

06/05/10 - The Ox (with Harry and the Potters (7pm early show)) - Philadelphia, PA
06/06/10 - The Knitting Factory (with Harry and the Potters (3pm early show)) - Brooklyn, NY
06/11/10 - Hillstock (with the Eskalators, Ava Luna, The Shakes, Ghost Mall and many others) - Brooklyn, NY

07/18/10 - Velocity - Watertown, NY

08/06/10 - Brooklyn Yard (with for Mucca Pazza) - Brooklyn, NY

Marty Stuart Pays Tribute to Traditional Country Music with New Album

RAMMY-winner and American music icon Marty Stuart is set to release a traditional country album GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) on August 24, 2010. With his 14th studio album, Stuart steadily continues to lead the charge in preserving the roots, culture and history of traditional country music.

“What inspires me now, is traditional country music,” says Stuart.  “It’s the music I most cherish, the culture in which I was raised.  It’s the bedrock upon which the empire of country music is built, the empowering force that provides this genre with lasting credibility.  It’s beyond trends and it’s timeless.  With all that being said, I found traditional country music to be on the verge of extinction.  It’s too precious to let slip away. I wanted to attempt to write a new chapter.”
That new chapter is GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) which includes such unmitigated country staples as the male-female duet (the gorgeous, heartfelt "I Run to You," written and sung with Connie Smith), the chugging, bluesy—and spooky— fellow Mississippian Jimmie Rodgers-like train song "Ghost Train Four-Oh-Ten," steel guitar driven, hardcore heartbreak ballads such as "A World Without You," and "Drifting Apart,” and a no-flinching directness is front and center in the premiere of “Hangman,” a pointed, harrowing tale of an executioner's job and life that Stuart co-wrote with Johnny Cash just four days before the Man in Black passed away.
As the album title denotes, GHOST TRAIN  (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) was recorded in the legendary RCA Studio B in Nashville, where Stuart participated in his first-ever recording session at the age of 13 playing mandolin in Lester Flatt’s band.
“Studio B has a profound pedigree; it’s where so much of American music’s legacy was forged, certainly country music’s,” says Stuart.   “And sonically, this is a room that welcomes music.  It seemed to me that in order to authentically stage a brand new traditional country music record we should bring it back to the scene of the crime.”
GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) TRACK LIST:
  1. Branded
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  2. Country Boy Rock & Roll
    (written by Don Reno)
  3. Drifting Apart
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  4. Bridge Washed Out
    (written by Warner Mack)
  5. A World Without You
    (written by Marty Stuart and Connie Smith)
  6. Hummingbyrd
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  7. Hangman
    (written by Marty Stuart and Johnny Cash)
  8. Ghost Train Four-Oh-Ten
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  9. Hard Working Man
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  10. I Run To You
    (written by Marty Stuart and Connie Smith)
  11. Crazy Arms
    (written by Ralph E. Mooney and Charles P. Seals)
  12. Porter Wagoner’s Grave
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  13. Little Heartbreaker
    (written by Marty Stuart and Ralph E. Mooney)
  14. Mississippi Railroad Blues
    (written by Marty Stuart)

Turbine and Mason Jar Records team up for live release Sounds in the Hall

Breaking through the proverbial glass ceiling of the improvisational rock scene proves no easy feat for young bands. Burgeoning musicians lumped in the dare we say it, jamband realm, need to successfully marry a deep high-quality catalog of material, whimsical stage presence, diverse writing chops, virtuoso instrumentation, and a calendar containing upwards of 200 shows per year. Correction, breaking through the glass ceiling of the improvisational rock scene is damn near impossible.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, and Brooklyn’s Turbine would like to submit their CV. On their first official live release, Sounds in the Hall, as they have over the course of 8 songs checked off every single one of the preceding prerequisites. Comprised of carefully hand-picked selections of both Turbine classics and newer material, Sounds in the Hall covers all the bases, but the clear differentiating factor that sets Turbine far above the masses is their amazing penchant for writing memorable and distinctive songs across a variety of sounds and genres.

Just running through the eight song track list, Turbine touches on a bonafide hit-single in waiting “Blackout Song,” the slow summer groove akin to the Grateful Dead “Eddy From the Sea,” a thick extended funk jam on “Behind These Walls” that stretches all way to cow funk-era 1997, blazing bluegrass chops on Maritime Rag, and a handful of tunes that highlight the remarkable vocals and smoking harmonica leads.

Having played a seemingly infinite number of shows over the past couple of years, the Turbine boys took a lot of time in selecting their finest renditions of the material on Sound from the Halls, as described by guitarist and harmonica player Ryan Rightmire.

“There were so many factors in selecting the songs. Being that this is our first official live album, we wanted to include songs from our two studio albums as well as feature some unreleased ones. In the end, half the album is made up of unreleased tracks. Listening back to the performances, it was hard to ignore the energy of the big shows. Bonnaroo and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival brought out some great moments, so they are well represented. As for a specific memory, at one point during “Stand Down” I played the harmonica with a balloon, and you can hear the crowd erupt mid-song. It’s those mid-song responses that always tell us things are going well.”

It bears highlighting that Turbine’s Ryan Rightmire incorporates the harmonica like it’s never been used in a rock context. Not only does he employ some trickery like playing with a balloon, but it’s not uncommon to hear him layer on some effects and turn his harp into a synth-laden rhythm instrument. Alternatively, he possesses to chops to play it clean and go toe-to-toe with John Popper and perhaps remain the last man standing. While it’s probably not wise for the bands’ publicity to start entering them into fights, these guys are pretty scrappy so keep your guard up, Popper.

Turbine is by no means any one trick pony either, guitarist Jeremy Hilliard plays law-running lead guitar and cranks out definitive melodies throughout  his lead playing as well as helping shape Turbine’s wide reaching sound with his song-writing talents. Bassist Justin Kimmel and drummer Octavio Salman hold down the low post like Abdul-Jabar, as both are trained musicians with the ability to run the offense and take over the game at any moment.

Sometimes these things just feel meant to be; when Turbine showed up to perform their show at Bonnaroo, from which three of these tracks were taken, they found a bit of encouraging irony. “There was a giant wind turbine spinning next to the stage. As of matter of fact, it powered our entire show including all of the recording equipment. We made the announcement that this was the first turbine-powered Turbine concert. I kept expecting the songs to speed up every time a gust of wind made it spin faster.”

Taking the name from the lyrics of one the album’s highlight tracks, “Behind These Walls,” Sounds in the Hall evokes a sense of the live experience the overall feel for this tour, which included some big venues. We can only hope that with the help of a successfully release, that the halls will keep growing and the sounds will just keep getting better.

In support of the album, Turbine will host a record release party on May 22nd at the Mercury Lounge in New York City (with the Brew).

Listen to Turbine sing "Blackout Song"

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Sounds in the Hall Tracklist:

Eddy the Sea – Telluride Bluegrass Festival, CO

War of 9161 (The Pledge) – Breckenridge, CO

Invited – Bonnaroo, TN

Behind These Walls – Boulder, CO

Doing to Me – Bonnaroo, TN

Stand Down – Bonnaroo, TN

Maritime Rag – Telluride Bluegrass Festival, CO

Blackout Song – Breckenridge, CO

The Antlers Play BOULDER At Fox Theatre On 4.26

Sometimes you have to put yourself first, no matter how difficult that notion seems; no matter how much time and effort you’ve already put into this one person—the person who’s reduced your very being to its absolute core. Just ask Peter Silberman, the string-pulling founder of The Antlers, a solo project that suddenly went widescreen on the self-released Hospice LP (now receiving a proper widespread pressing through Frenchkiss). The first Antlers effort to feature two key permanent players—powerhouse drummer Michael Lerner and the layer-lathering multi-instrumentalist Darby Cicci—it’s an album with a sound that’s actually as ambitious as its concept.

“Hospice came from the idea of caring for a terminal patient who’s mentally abusive to you,” says Silberman. “You don’t have the right to argue with them, either, because they’re the one who’s dying here; they’re the one that’s been dealt a wrong hand. So you take it, but you can only take so much. Eventually, you realize that this person is just destroying you.”

Appropriately enough, Hospice’s 10 distinct chapters resonate on debilitating sonic and lyrical levels, from the hypnotic harp and tension-ratcheting build of “Two” to the sing-or-sink choruses of “Bear” and the speaker-rattling peaks of “Sylvia,” easily one of the year’s most immediate epics. It’s here, amidst contrasting shards of ambient noise, sweeping strings and smoky horns, where The Antlers truly transcend Silberman’s singer-songwriter beginnings—a striking escalation of expectations first hinted at on 2008’s New York Hospitals EP. The progression doesn’t end there, either. In a move that could be taken as the riff-raking extension of his thorough guitar training (from the age of 6 ‘til right before college), “Atrophy” and “Wake” delve into sheets of distortion, subtle shades of soul, cicada-like effects and enough movements to fill an entire EP.

“We were going for something that’d be dense but not too complicated,” explains Silberman. “I hate the word ‘lush,’ but I guess that’s the best way of describing it. The structures are like pop songs—verse/chorus, verse/chorus—but the sound is a little more shoegaze-y or post-rocky.”

It’s about to get even more complicated, too, as The Antlers’ Technicolor-tinged trio take all of Hospice’s songs—and three previous releases—in a completely different direction, jettisoning a note-for-note rendition of the record for “a massive sound” doused in delay, reverb and unrehearsed chaos. And to think Cicci was a stage actor with a desire to drop it all for music just a few years ago.

“Hospice was the clear indication that this isn’t a singer-songwriter thing at all,” says Silberman. “Whatever we record next is going to define the three of us as a ‘band.’

He continues, “I always figured I’d be the ‘shredder’ in a group… But things somehow ended up this way.”  We wouldn’t have it any other way, either.

--

The Antlers US Tour Dates With Phantogram:

Fri-Apr-16 - Columbus, OH - The Basement
Sat-Apr-17 - Urbana, IL - Canopy Club
Sun-Apr-18 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
Tue-Apr-20 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theatre
Wed-Apr-21 - Iowa City, IA  - The Blue Moose
Thu-Apr-22 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Fri-Apr-23 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig

Mon-Apr-26 - Boulder, Co - Fox Theatre
Wed-Apr-28 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
Thurs-Apr-29-Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
Fri-Apr-30 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
Sat-May-01 - San Francisco, CA  - Independent
Mon-May-03 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
Tue-May-04 - Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore Cabaret
Wed-May-05 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's

The Antlers US Dates With The National:

Wed-Jun-02 - Boston, MA  - House of Blues w/The National
Thu-Jun-03 - Boston, MA  - House of Blues w/The National
Fri-Jun-04 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory w/The National
Sat-Jun-05 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory w/The National
Sun-Jun-06 - Washington, DC - Constitution Hall w/The National
Tue-Jun-08  - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall w/The National
Wed-Jun-09 - Toronto, ON - Massey Hall w/The National

Wed-Jun-16 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall w/The National

Otis Taylor's new album, 'Clovis People,' set for May 11 release

Otis Taylor digs the past. Whether it’s the songs he wrote a decade ago, or ancient civilizations that lived more than 10,000 years ago, he’s drawn to stories from another time, and he’s compelled to retell them in a way that’s relevant in the modern day. On Clovis People, set for release May 11, 2010, on Telarc International, a division of Concord Music Group, Taylor writes his own history.

It’s the ideal project for the architect of a sparse and hypnotic style that has come to be known as “trance blues.” Taylor has spent his career crafting songs that are wide open to interpretation — thematically as well as structurally. “I give people a starting point, and then they can take it where they want to take it,” he explains. “That’s true for the people playing my music as well as the people listening to it. That’s how art should be. A person looking at a painting should be able to interpret it in whatever way he wants. The more words you put into a song, the less freedom the listener has to decide what it means.”

The album title is inspired by a recent scientific discovery very close to Taylor’s home in Boulder, Colorado. Barely 100 yards from the edge of his property, archeologists dug up a cache of tools and other implements belonging to a civilization known as the Clovis people, who walked the earth briefly about 13,000 years ago and then mysteriously disappeared.

“That’s amazing to me,” says Taylor. “There have only been four or five sites like this found all over the country. That means these people probably walked on my property. My music only goes back about ten years, but there’s something about reaching back to an earlier time and revisiting the stories of the past from a new perspective that I find compelling.”

Helping to shape that new perspective is a crew of players who lend a variety of shades and voices to the mix. Among them is guitarist Gary Moore, a guest musician on two of Taylor’s previous recordings (Definition of a Circle in 2007 and Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs in 2009), who moves in and out of the tracks with a hard riff here, a subtle accent there, and just the right atmospherics wherever he appears. Also on hand for nine of the twelve tracks is pedal steel guitarist Chuck Campbell — a member of the Campbell Brothers, the African-American gospel group that has developed a sound commonly known as “sacred steel.” In addition, Clovis People features cornetist Ron Miles and bassist Cassie Taylor (Otis’ 22-year-old daughter).

The set gets under way with the haunting “Rain So Hard,” a bluesy number that employs an intriguing mix of pedal steel, cornet and theremin as the backdrop to Taylor’s unsettling lyrics about a hard rain turning to snow and falling on a scene of betrayal and deceit.

“Little Willy” and “Lee and Arnez” are two previously unreleased songs. The former is a fictional tale of a school shooting — a song Taylor wrote in 1990s, but then shelved in the aftermath of the Columbine shooting of 1999. “Lee and Arnez” tells the story of a couple that Taylor remembers from the neighborhood where he grew up. “They were my parents’ best friends, and they had a boxer dog that I really loved,” says Taylor. “This would have been the 1950s, which were still a difficult time for black people, but I have great memories of this couple and their beautiful dog.”

“It’s Done Happened Again” is built on an urgent rhythm that plays like a frantic heartbeat. “The song is about that moment when someone who got his heart broken hears about someone else who got his heart broken,” says Taylor. “It’s that moment when pain and empathy converge, and you say, ‘Oh yeah, I know where he’s coming from.’”

“Harry Turn the Music Up” recalls Taylor’s memories of the Denver Folklore Center, a place he frequented when he was a boy in the early ’60s. “The song follows a groove that’s deep in the pocket, and it’s really powerful,” says Taylor. “The Denver Folklore Center was a place where nobody cared if you were black or white, skinny or fat. It was a place where everyone was accepted.”

“Babies Don’t Lie” rides on a single chord and speaks to the profound vulnerability of innocents. But somewhere underneath the simple and recurring lyrical line is the question of how and when dark forces take hold and turn some innocents into monsters.

“Think I Won’t” is a showdown-flavored track that captures the moment when a mother confronts a drug dealer in a schoolyard. “There are some badass moms out there,” says Taylor. “Sometimes people don’t realize how tough black women can be. It’s a matriarchal culture, and there are some moms who’ll kick your ass in a half-second if you threaten their children.”

Indeed, some instincts are eternal, whether the frame of reference is 2010, 1950 or some time before recorded history. Clovis People is in some respects a vehicle for Taylor  — an archeologist of a different kind — to re-examine some of the truths he’s uncovered in his own era and preserve them for listeners in some future time.

“I went back to my musical past with these songs — all the way back to my first album,” says Taylor. “I like finding different ways to retell the old stories. They continue to mean something — to me, to the people who hear them, to the musicians who play with me — many years after I first told them.”

Harry Houdini, A musical anointing, and the Ghosts of Jim Crow: The North Mississippi AllStars

Leslie Jenkins believes in the power of the blues. She believes in its’ power to lift the souls of those who truly are listening. If The Blues were to be a religion, I suspect she’d be in the front pew, ready for a anointing thru music each and every Saturday night. Or – better yet, she might heed a calling and lead the congregation, preferably with a historically accurate homemade instrument. Music - for the farmer and local television personality, is a religious expression to be made with careful consideration.

White Rabbits Announce US Tour With Here We Go Magic

After spending the better part of two years on the road (including festival stops at Lollapallooza, Glastonbury (UK), Sasquatch, Monolith and tours with The Walkmen, Spoon, Richard Swift, The Cribs, White Denim and Tokyo Police Club). White Rabbits hunkered down in their Brooklyn practice space to set about re-envisioning the dark pop of their debut Fort Nightly, while adding new sounds and influences to achieve an original work.  The result is It’s Frightening, their second full-length album.

White Rabbits signed to TBD Records (US home to Radiohead/Other Lives/Hatcham Social) and erected a makeshift studio in their basement rehearsal space to demo new material.  Band members popped in and out over the course of several months lending ideas and personality to a new batch of songs that defy instant categorization. After enlisting tourmate, friend and songwriter Britt Daniel (Spoon) as producer, the pair began the process of exchanging demos between Brooklyn and Portland.  White Rabbits recorded It’s Frightening over the course of four weeks, only taking a break to play the Transmusicales Festival in Rennes, France.  The sessions were recorded by visionary engineer Nicholas Vernhes (Animal Collective, Deerhunter) at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn, NY.  Taking special care to recreate the unhinged nature of the original demos, the band utilized the wide range of tools in the analog-friendly studio to shape the personal spirit infused in the new tracks.  Upon the completion of tracking, White Rabbits traveled to Austin, TX to mix the record with studio wizard Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Trail Of Dead) using his exceptional ears to transform It’s Frightening into a uniquely rewarding headphone experience.

It’s Frightening plays like a classic reel of tape from start to finish. Opening with the visceral drums of “Percussion Gun,” it is clear that time-off from the road has served the band well.  The many highlights include the emotional centerpiece “Company I Keep,” the new sonic territory of “Lionesse” and the macabre lyrics of “Right Where They Left.”  Fans of Fort Nightly will find much to go weak in the knees over and new listeners are in for an awakening as White Rabbits flip the switch on an already impressive beginning. It’s Frightening is a journey into the playfully dark musings of Everyman.

The lineup: Stephen Patterson (vox/piano), Jamie Levinson (drums), Matthew Clark (drums, guitar), Alex Even (guitar), Gregory Roberts (guitar/vox). A U.S. tour will follow the May release of It’s Frightening.

White Rabbits Tour Dates
4/05: Jefferson Theater, Charlottesville, VA*
4/06: Grey Eagle, Asheville, NC*
4/07: Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC
4/08: The Earl, Atlanta, GA
4/09: The Social, Orlando, FL*
4/10: Jax Live, Jacksonville, FL*
4/11: Club Downunder,  Tallahassee, FL*
4/13: Walters on Washington, Houston, TX*
4/14: The Independent, Austin, TX*
4/16: The Clubhouse, Phoenix, AZ*
4/17: Coachella Festival, Indio, CA
4/20: Urban Lounge, Salt Lake, UT*
4/21: Fox Theater, Boulder
4/23: Sandstone Amphitheater w/ Flaming Lips / Dead Weather / Minus the Bear, Kansas City, KS
4/24: High Noon Saloon, Madison, WI*
4/25: Metro, Chicago, IL*
4/26: Radio Radio, Indianapolis, IN*
4/27: Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON*
4/28: Petit Campus, Montreal*
5/01: Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA*

*with Here We Go Magic