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Ursa Minor Announces New Release & Show

Fronted and founded by New York singer/writer Michelle Casillas, Ursa Minor has become a mainstay in NYC’s indie rock scene. The band delivers a timeless mix of vocal driven pop-rock with a primal rhythmic undercurrent; sharp and urban, broad and free.
Ursa Minor’s debut LP Silent Moving Picture was released by Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, on Smells Like Records. It was a deep and darker picture, slow bumps in the night and big spaces, featuring Casillas’ swampy electric piano and shuddering vocals. Ursa Minor is a band of improvisers, grown from downtown roots. Over many years of live performances and writing, they have pursued their artistic bent without compromise, and coincidentally become a source of naturally catching melodies and themes of a broader life.
From Beaconpass: “This Spring will see the arrival of Ursa Minor’s follow up, SHOWFACE.  The sound is often bigger, louder, more pugnacious: this is the sound of a band playing whatever turns them on. Live, Ursa Minor has been known to take the Violent Femmes' sweet ballad "Please Do Not Go" and turn it into a smoldering reggae slow jam, somewhere between Blondie's version of "The Tide is High" and Patti Smith's "Birdland."  Singer Michelle Casillas and her band can wring every drop of feeling out of a song, whether it's loud or lowdown, sweet or seething.” Many of their peers, some of New York’s most celebrated innovators, are often spotted at their shows, including Norah Jones, Marc Ribot, Joan As Police Woman, and Bill Frisell.
SHOWFACE (Anthemusa Records) was produced by Tony Scherr (Bill Frisell, SexMob, Norah Jones, Lounge Lizards, Feist), who is also featured on guitar. Bass whiz Rob Jost (Imogen Heap, Bjork) and NY heavy hitter Robert DiPietro (Norah Jones, Josh Rouse) equally create the sound, contribute songs of great depth and strength, and sing harmony. Special guests include Chris Brown (Joan As Police Woman, Barenaked Ladies, Abrams Brothers) on organ, and Jim Campilongo (Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson) and Teddy Kumpel (Rickie Lee Jones) on guitars.
Ursa Minor kicks off their new release, SHOWFACE, at NYC’s Joe's Pub, Tuesday, May 24th at 7:30pm!

The Sword Reveal Album Art, Plan Video Trilogy, and Open for Ozzy

Austin, TX’s metal luminaries The Sword are kicking it into high gear as the release of their highly anticipated third full-length Warp Riders (August 24th; Kemado Records) rapidly approaches.  The band has finally revealed the album’s artwork and will be releasing additional visual companions in the form of an upcoming picture disc and an epic video trilogy.

With a narrative arc that the band describes as “a psychedelic space opera that explores the temporal themes of death and rebirth,” it’s only fitting that the record’s cover art is equally mind melting.  Paying homage to authors that inspired the album’s lyrics, artist Dan McPharlin created an image in the tradition of classic science fiction book covers.  The Sword will also release a limited edition hexagon-shaped picture disc 12 inch single for “(The Night Sky Cried) Tears of Fire.”

Fans that are eagerly awaiting to hear the new material will have their thirst quenched on July 6th, when first single “Tres Brujas” will be let loose online.  The track is also the first part of a video trilogy helmed by former Sword collaborators Artificial Army, which will launch in August.  The second and third chapters of the saga will be for “Lawless Lands” and “Night City.”

The guys will also have the honor of being the sole opener for Ozzy Osbourne at the iTunes Roundhouse Festival in London on July 3rd.  Their set will be recorded and available on iTunes in early July.