native

Art vs. Science Share New Remix, Announce U.S. Tour Dates

Australia’s Art vs. Science has already made quite the splash in their native country, and now they’re ready to show the U.S. what we’ve been missing out on. The band is coming over for a string of U.S. tour dates, which kicks off with an appearance at SXSW on March 19th. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Art vs. Science yet, download the Kissy Sell Out remix of “Magic Fountain” for a glimpse of the raucous party that the band is bringing our way!

The band has built a huge following in their native country off the back of two independently released EPs (both of which have gone Gold in Australia!) and thanks to their off-the-wall live show that has seen them ascend to almost-headline status at festivals around their native country. Now we’re thrilled to announce their first U.S. release, Magic Fountain EP, out March 15, 2011.

The EP, recorded by Berkfinger (Philadelphia Grand Jury) and mixed by Adrian Bushby (Two Door Cinema Club, Foo Fighters, Muse), is dance music made for Marshall stacks. Imagine AC/DC throwing robots in a drum shop. The songs that comprise the EP are huge, off the wall, unrelenting dance tunes that sound like hypercolor jams forged from sleepless nights and ADD (partly because they are).

Download the FREE MP3 of Kissy Sell Out’s Remix of “Magic Fountain” HERE, and Check Out the Video HERE!

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Art vs. Science U.S. Tour Dates

3/19 – Austin, TX – Aussie BBQ SXSW Showcase @ Maggie Mae’s
(Rooftop Stage, w/ The Jezabels, Cloud Control & Washington)
3/24 – San Francisco, CA - Popscene
3/25 – Santa Monica, CA – The Central
3/26 – Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg Theater
3/28 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge

Jake Shimabukuro & His Ukulele Top Billboard This Week

Jake Shimabukuro has conquered the Billboard music charts this week with his instrument re-defining new album, Peace Love Ukulele. The album debuted at #1 on the "World Albums" chart (the ukulele virtuoso's best showing to date), blazed the "Heatseekers" chart with a Hot Shot debut in the 4th position, and also made it onto the “Independent Albums” chart at #31. Peace Love Ukulele, out on Hitchhike Records, has shattered the first week sales records of all previous Shimabukuro releases.

The Honolulu native and his stalwart ukulele skills were recently featured on NPR'S “Weekend Edition,” where he voiced his conviction that "if everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place.”’

Listen to the full NPR “Weekend Edition” segment HERE!

For more album info and all things Jake Shimabukuro, visit www.JakeShimabukuro.com

BRAIDS "Native Speaker" LP Streaming Now

BRAIDS was formed by four best friends in their last year of High School in Calgary, Alberta. Convincing one another to skip university, they stayed in the garage all year and practiced obsessively, even while their fingers froze during the cold prairie winters. Then, at only 18 years old, they took the bold step of moving across the country together to Montreal, where they began crafting their self recorded/self produced debut album Native Speaker.

Oscillating between density and spaciousness, BRAIDS' sound is not easy to define. The four members construct music which is ample and rolling, perhaps alluding to the landscapes of their youth, but filled with radical texture and startling immediacy, an influence of their more recent surroundings. Delicate layering gives their experimental pop epics just enough breath to playfully explore the depth of ambient melody. Though BRAIDS dives into moments of deep obscurity and sonic experimentation, there remains embedded within the music the hypnosis of an unforgettable pop tune.

Native Speaker, is the accumulation of months of meticulous craft-work to properly capture the band's entrancing live performance. The albums' songs were tested and shaped through numerous performances and lyrical massages, resulting in work that is brilliant in detail and structure. Averaging over 6 minutes and never coming in under 4, the tracks on Native Speaker maintain a deep seeded focus.


BRAIDS has an unusually collaborative dynamic, generating all of their sweeping sounds live in a synergistic maelstrom. Even their name, BRAIDS, evokes a feeling of something continuous and progressive, yet lush and intertwining. It implies the interweaving of all four members' musical ideas, favoring collective and equal input.

On January 18, 2011 BRAIDS is putting forth their debut album Native Speaker, a reflection of coming of age for the four intricately linked musicians. It captures a period of innocence and a period of change, yet comes off as strikingly mature beyond their years. Most importantly, it displays a yearning and striving to break through, an ambitious debut for a young band just getting started.

Click Here To Listen To "Native Speaker" on Hype Machine

BRAIDS NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:

01-20 Montreal QC - La Sala Rossa RECORD RELEASE PARTY
01-21 Ottawa, ON - Mavericks
01-22 Quebec, QC - Le Cercle
01-27 Laval, QC - Studio Theatre Maison Des Arts
01-28 Kingston, ON - The Grad Club
01-30 Cincinnati, OH - MOTR Pub
01-31 Louisville, KY - Zanzabar
02-01 St. Louis, MO - The Old Rock House
02-02 Norman, OK - Opolis
02-04 Dallas, TX - Club Dada *$
02-05 Austin, TX - The Mohawk *$
02-07 Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade *$
02-08 Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder *$
02-09 West Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern *$
02-11 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel *$
02-12 Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory *$
02-13 Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie *$
02-16 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge *$
02-17 Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall *$
02-18 Montreal, Quebec - Il Motore *$
02-19 Toronto, ON - El Mocambo *$
02-21 Columbus, OH - Skully's Music Diner *$
02-22 Urbana, IL - Canopy Club *$
02-23 Iowa City, IA - Gabe's *$
02-24 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry *$
02-25 Madison, WI - Der Rathskellar (University of Wisconsin) *$
02-26 Chicago, IL - Subterranean *$
03-01 Seattle, WA - Chop Suey *
03-02 Portland, OR - Holocene *
03-03 Arcata, CA - Jambalaya *$
03-04 San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop *
03-05 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour *
03-10 Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar %
03-11 San Diego, CA - Casbah %
03-12 Las Vegas, NV - Neon Reverb Festival %
03-14 Santa Fe, NM - Corazon %
03-21 Tempe, AZ - Sail Inn !~
03-26 Kennewick, WA - The Red Room !~
03-28 Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret !
04-06 Bloomington, IN - The Bishop !
04-13 Baltimore, MD - Talking Head !

* Baths
$ Star Slinger
% Asobi Seksu
! Toro Y Moi ~ Cloud Nothings

BRAIDS Announce North American 2011 Winter Tour

BRAIDS was formed by four best friends in their last year of High School in Calgary, Alberta. Convincing one another to skip university, they stayed in the garage all year and practiced obsessively, even while their fingers froze during the cold prairie winters. Then, at only 18 years old, they took the bold step of moving across the country together to Montreal, where they began crafting their self recorded/self produced debut album Native Speaker.

Oscillating between density and spaciousness, BRAIDS' sound is not easy to define. The four members construct music which is ample and rolling, perhaps alluding to the landscapes of their youth, but filled with radical texture and startling immediacy, an influence of their more recent surroundings. Delicate layering gives their experimental pop epics just enough breath to playfully explore the depth of ambient melody. Though BRAIDS dives into moments of deep obscurity and sonic experimentation, there remains embedded within the music the hypnosis of an unforgettable pop tune.

Native Speaker, is the accumulation of months of meticulous craft-work to properly capture the band's entrancing live performance. The albums' songs were tested and shaped through numerous performances and lyrical massages, resulting in work that is brilliant in detail and structure. Averaging over 6 minutes and never coming in under 4, the tracks on Native Speakermaintain a deep seeded focus.

BRAIDS has an unusually collaborative dynamic, generating all of their sweeping sounds live in a synergistic maelstrom. Even their name, BRAIDS, evokes a feeling of something continuous and progressive, yet lush and intertwining. It implies the interweaving of all four members' musical ideas, favoring collective and equal input.

On January 18, 2011 BRAIDS is putting forth their debut album Native Speaker, a reflection of coming of age for the four intricately linked musicians. It captures a period of innocence and a period of change, yet comes off as strikingly mature beyond their years. Most importantly, it displays a yearning and striving to break through, an ambitious debut for a young band just getting started.

BRAIDS NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES

11-30 New York, NY - Knitting Factory ^
12-01 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom ^
02-04 Dallas, TX - The Nightmare *
02-05 Austin, TX - The Mohawk *
02-07 Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade *
02-08 Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder *
02-09 Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern *
02-10 Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse (Duke University) *
02-11 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel *
02-12 Brooklyn, NY - Knitting Factory *
02-13 Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie *
02-16 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge *
02-17 Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall *
02-18 Montreal, Quebec - Il Motore *
02-21 Columbus, OH - Skully's Music Diner *
02-22 Urbana, IL - The Canopy *
02-23 Iowa City, IA - Gabe's *
02-24 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry *
02-25 Madison, WI - Der Rathskellar (University of Wisconsin) *
02-26 Chicago, IL - Subterranean *
03-01 Seattle, WA - Chop Suey *
03-02 Portland, OR - Holocene *
03-04 San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop *
03-05 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour *

^ with the Radio Dept. * with Baths, Star Slinger

Gogol Bordello @ Boulder Theater

Gogol Bordello's Trans-Continental Hustle, the group's American Recordings debut, is perhaps the most ambitious undertaking in the group's already remarkable decade-long career and it's the result of an inspired, year-length collaboration with famed producer Rick Rubin.


Gogol Bordello is arguably the hardest working "and hardest rocking" group of our discordant new century, maintaining a touring schedule and an onstage energy level that would send the average combo running for the emergency room. Their encounters and adventures, as well as the band members' own immigrant histories, fuel the subversively upbeat story-songs on Transcontinental Hustle. Front-man and lyricist Eugene Hutz spins out scenarios that are, by turns, hilarious and heartbreaking from the outsider experience of gypsies in his native Ukraine to the struggles and celebrations of Rio de Janeiro's favelas. It can be said that GB has been representing the voice of all minorities all at once, a voice that comes from a real, poetic and deep place.

Along the way, Hutz looks for common threads while embracing each of his character's defiantly unique identities, all of which reflect some facet of the frequently flying bandleader himself.

Anonymity clearly won't be an issue for Gogol Bordello any time soon. With Trans-Continental Hustle, the party-starting group will be encouraging and inciting even more of the world to passionately sing along. More Info / Buy Tickets

Conscious Alliance Announces Holiday Meal Drive & Toy Collection

As the holidays approach and the spirit of giving swells, Boulder, Colorado-based national nonprofit Conscious Alliance announces the 7th Annual Holiday Meal Drive this Thanksgiving Season, taking place November 18-24, 2010. Conscious Alliance has been hosting food drives at concerts and sporting events since 2002, collecting and distributing nearly 1,000,000 pounds of food to impoverished Native American Reservations.

Last year, Conscious Alliance’s Holiday Meal Drive collected enough food to distribute over 1,500 holiday meal boxes to Native American households at Lame Deer Reservation in Montana, Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and Houma Reservation in Louisiana. This holiday season, Conscious Alliance hopes to feed more than 10,000 families through donations and it’s easy to help. A donation of $15 or more will provide dinner for a family this holiday season and only $30 or more will feed an individual for an entire week. For more information or to make a donation, visit here.

Conscious Alliance concentrates much of their efforts on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where the average median income is under $3,000. Many families in this region struggle to provide food and heat for their households. Native American youth are particularly affected by the poverty in Pine Ridge, where one-fourth of the population is under the age of eighteen. Not forgetting the children in these impoverished families, Conscious Alliance will host a toy drive too – this year at the November 7, 2010 Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! performance at Broomfield, Colorado’s 1STBANK Center.

All toys collected at Kia Motors Presents Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!: There’s A Party In My City! will benefit the youth of this area and be distributed during the holiday season. It is recommended all donations at Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! are a new stuffed animal valued at $10 or more.

To find out more information or to make a donation, visit here.

TAEKO June 16 at the Kitano | NYC

TAEKO's latest CD, Voice, is a tasteful collection of songs from some very different sources that she treats with the same skillful execution.  Taeko Fukao, a native of Japan, has acquired the command of her instrument, her voice, and applied it to the genre of jazz in a way that is both technically significant and entertaining.  Her handling of the intricacies of the jazz genre has a clear sense of remarkable talent honed by a recognizable work ethic.

Under the coaching of Juanita Fleming, Taeko has evolved in her jazz voice and has taken on some interesting projects on Voice, including a lyric written by Fleming for Herbie Hancock's familiar tune, "Cantaloupe Island."  Taeko has a soulful, wistful voice with an ever so faint hint of her Asian ancestry, that sneaks into the tunes in the most appropriate way, especially during her expressive phrasing.  Taeko puts together a set list that includes the works of Marvin Gaye, "Inner City Blues," Wayne Shorter's "Infant Eyes," and Stanley Turrentine's "Sugar." Then mixes it up a bit with titles such as "Spring Nocturne," an original by the singer, and "Biwako," a traditional Japanese folk song that was a hit in Japan in the 1940's.

Taeko's approach to each of these songs is different, but consistent in each of them is the attention to execution, the precision and skilled management of her instrument is coupled with a playful and emotional coloring that conveys a shear joy with the work.   Taeko's voice is a pleasure to listen to.  Even when in its deepest range it is still lite and gentle, while remaining full.  Her scat capability is remarkable in and of itself and presents itself in a lively rendition of Sly Stone's "Stand!"

Overall, Taeko is brilliant in both her native language and her acquired language.  She demonstrates the skills built on a native talent that has been honed by a significant effort to convey the art of jazz vocals with all the musical elements in place and the heart and soul of a true jazz singer.

I found the entire CD to be a delightful departure from the run of the mill standards singers I have been hearing lately.  A refreshing new twist on some old favorites and an introduction into some new music from a Japanese influence, Taeko bridges both worlds exceptionally well.   If you haven't heard of TAEKO, or listened to her Voice, then you must check it out!

Dianne Reeves: Star, StoryTeller and Colorado Native

- for the Grateful Web
Photo Credit(s): Eli Robinson- for the Grateful Web

Jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves is a lot of things. She's a Denver, Colorado, native who admits her preference for the Mile High City.  She's a jet-setting star who has traveled the globe. She's a critically acclaimed vocalist, with three Grammy's for her last recordings to prove it. And last, but not least - she's a captivating storyteller on a mission to preserve treasured memories.

Reeves performed in Denver Friday and Saturday with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at Boettcher Concert Hall. Scheduling conflicts kept me from purchasing tickets, but I got lucky. As I was driving home from work at about 8 pm Friday night, I caught the last portion of KUVO's live, high definition broadcast of Ms. Reeves' performance.

Let me take a moment here to say I was impressed by the clarity of the station's first HD broadcast.  It sounded like Dianne Reeves was riding shotgun in my Honda, singing directly into my ear.  Although I missed most of the concert, I spent the next half hour on the highway in aural heaven, listening to the lady flex her vocal muscles.  If you know anything about this amazing singer, then you know I was happy to catch even a small portion of her performance.

Reeves wrapped up the evening by improvising a riff that told the story of herself as a child sitting in her grandmother's kitchen, eating shortbread. "I loved the taste but it didn't occur to me," Reeves sang, "to ask her for the recipe, now that sweet taste is just a memory."

Reeves words' conjured warm memories of my own grandparents: my own grandma, who was a magician in the kitchen and whose home always held the scent of freshly baked breads and cakes, and my grandfather, who grew an awesome garden and who used to love reaching out from his easy chair with the hook of his cane to capture me and my siblings. Replaying these memories in my mind, with Dianne Reeves providing a melancholy vocal score, was better than a late night movie with popcorn and a hot date. I mean, it just felt so good.

 

Reeves ended her nostalgic lament, and the performance, by encouraging people to tell and share their family stories...and to vote.  What better ways for people to preserve their identities and belong to the global community? And what better gifts to pass on to our kids?

 

I thought about Reeves' words all that night. I couldn't wait to tell forgotten family stories to my son. I fell asleep inspired, with the echo of Reeves' scatting through my mind.

Following the broadcast, KUVO's DJ admonished Denver to show support for native daughter Reeves by turning out in force for her Saturday night concert.  Though I didn't have concert tickets, I made up my mind that I would show my appreciation by attending a meet-and-greet-the-artist event being held at Onofrio Pianos that day.

Upon arriving at Onofrio Pianos, my companion and I learned that the event with Dianne Reeves was a promotional appearance to endorse the Borsendorfer piano. I was willing to sit through a sales pitch just for the honor of spending a few minutes in the presence of Dianne Reeves. I only hoped I would have the chance to congratulate Ms. Reeves in person, thank her for her touching words, and maybe get her to autograph a couple of CDs.  I ended up getting much more than that.

 

The event was held in a little recital studio, which quickly filled up with Reeves' admirers. The singer walked in to a standing ovation and got things started by doing what else?  Telling a story.

Reeves' relayed the tale of visiting Onofrio Pianos for the first time while accompanying her aunt to purchase a piano for her nephew. Of course, at the time, she laughed, she never imagined that one day she would return to the historic Broadway piano store as a celebrity, helping pitch pianos.

"Now, I'm not trying to do a commercial," Reeves intoned, "but I love this piano.  Not only is it beautiful to look at - (and it was, a gorgeous black grand so shiny it would put any mirror to shame) - "but because it truly has a beautiful sound." Reeves went on to describe the tones produced by the instrument, in terms of warmth and color.

 

Then, to the surprise and delight of those in attendance, Reeves invited her producer, Arif Martin, to sit down at the keys to demonstrate just what she meant by "warmth and color"  by accompanying her as she sang Thelonius Monk's composition, "Reflections."

It is nearly impossible now to describe what it was like to be sitting four feet away from   this incredible singer, in a closed room with the only the sound of  her voice, the answering tones of the grand piano, and the caught breath of her captive audience as she interpreted Monk's classic tune.

Following the song Reeves picked the thread of conversation back up easily, answering questions about her work as Creative Chair of the L.A. Philharmonic and her upcoming Christmas album.  After graciously rebuffing requests to sing some of the more technically complicated pieces from her repertoire, Reeves' surprised us once again by generously performing another number in the crowded little studio.

 

Griot* she is, Reeves introduced the piece by telling another story, this time the tale of a music-loving aunt who liked to used the "good" china on ordinary occasions and who taught her impressionable niece the lyrics from down-and-dirty blues tunes. As a little girl, Reeves explained, she was unaware of the double meanings of these traditional songs she was learning, and loving, to sing.

It was only later, as a young woman singing the blues to the enthusiastic catcalls of an appreciative male audience, that the naive young Miss Reeves learned "just what those words really meant." 

With that, Reeves launched into a soul-wrenching interpretation of the "Hard Rock Blues," drawing us once again into the heart of a song with her subtle phrasing and a host of convincing facial expressions.  You really thought this was a heartsick woman down in the delta, alone in her bed and missing her lover.

Following the blues, Reeves expressed her admiration for the late Sarah Vaughan. She talked about Sarah Vaughan understanding her voice the way "a saxophone player understands his instrument." Reeves' appreciation of this quality has led to impeccable command of her instrument; a confident and expressive voice as complex and inviting, and as full of hues and flavor as the Borsendorfer piano she was there to endorse.

While certainly no substitute for seeing Reeves perform with the CSO at Boettcher, her  impromptu concert at Onofrio Piano was a unique and special experience in its own right.  It was an incredible honor to be in the presence of this woman, who has won consecutive Grammy awards for Best Jazz Album for her last three recordings, and hear her sing songs she spontaneously picked for the occasion.

Following her performance, Reeves mingled with the crowd and honored the owners of Onofrio Pianos by autographing the piano in the studio. It truly was a momentous event.  Through the songs and stories she shared, jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves demonstrated her immense talent, her many accomplishments and generosity of spirit for her lucky audience - and gave me a special story of my own to tell.

Photo Credit(s): Eli Robinson

*Griot
n : a storyteller in West Africa; perpetuates the oral traditions of a family or village [French, alteration of guiriot, perhaps ultimately from Portuguese criado, domestic servant, from Latin cre tus, one brought up or trained, from past participle of cre re, to produce, bring up. See create.]