Monthly Archives: May 2014

Lee Fields’ album out June 3– record-release show tonight at Bowery


The new album by soul master Lee Fields & The Expressions, “Emma Jean,” is out June 3. It’s a follow-up to 2009’s “My World” and “Faithful Man” in 2012. “Emma Jean” also sees Fields collaborate with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach on “Paralyzed.”
To catch a glimpse of the new release, NPR is streaming the album now for “First Listen.” 

On top of that, Fields, 63, will have a record-release show tonight at Bowery Ballroom in NYC.

Check out his new video from the album for “Just Can’t Win.” Fields plays a boxing coach helping “Boardwalk Empire”‘s Margot Bingham fight the good fight. It’s easy to be on Field’s side: His natural, easygoing style is an immediate hook for those who haven’t heard him before. Also, take a listen to the track “Magnolia.”



“Emma Jean” will be out on– where else?– Truth & Soul Records.

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NPR is streaming “Sunbathing Animal”

NPR “first listen” is streaming Parquet Courts’ upcoming “Sunbathing Animal.” It might be worth your while to check out, if you like an updated punk sound peppered with random lyrics, and irreverent guitar hooks that laze through it all.

The indie band is also releasing a “super limited edition” of the album, out today, with “Albanian Gunsmith” artwork done by Andrew Savage. Visiting will give you a heads-up of records stores that are carrying it. There’s only a handful across the U.S. It wouldn’t be “super limited” without making it difficult to find.


“Sunbathing Animal” is out on June 3 via What’s Your Rupture?/Mom+Pop.

They’re out on tour right now with Protomartyr in the states, then they’re heading overseas:

Tue. May 27 – San Francisco, CA @ Independent w/ CCR Headcleaner

Wed. May 28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Roxy

Thu. May 29 – Austin, TX @ Red 7 w/ Radioactivity

Mon. June 2 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s w/ Radioactivity

Tue. June 3 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada w/ Swearin’

Wed. June 4 – Memphis, TN @ The Hi-Tone w/ Protomartyr, True Sons of Thunder

Fri. June 6 – Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness w/ Protomartyr

Sat. June 7 – Detroit, MI @ PJ’s Lager House w/ Protomartyr, Tyvek

Sun. June 8 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern w/ Protomartyr, Tyvek

Mon. June 9 – Montreal, QC @ Il Motore w/ Protomartyr, Tyvek

Tue. June 10 – Boston, MA @ TT the Bears w/ Protomartyr

Wed. June 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Sugarhill Supper Club w/ Protomartyr, Future Punx, Xerox

Fri. June 21 – Glasgow, UK @ SWG3

Sat. June 22 – Liverpool, UK @ Kazimier

Sun. June 23 – Birmingham, UK @ Birmingham Institute

Tue. June 25 – London, UK @ ULU

Wed. June 26 – Oxford, UK @ Oxford Academy 2

Sun. June 29 – Marmande, FR @ Garorock

Sun. July 6 – Rotselaar, BE @ Rock Werchter

Mon. July 7 – Groningen, NE @ Vera Project

Tue. July 8 – Paris, FR @ Le Divan Du Monde

Wed. July 9 – La Rochelle, FR @ La Sirene Club

Thu. July 10 – Bilbao, SP @ Bilbao BBK

Fri. July 11 – Lisbon, PO @ Alive Festival

Sat. July 12 – Russelheim, DE @ Phono Pop

Tue. July 15 – Cologne, DE @ Museum Ludwig

Wed. July 16 – Berlin, DE @ Cassiopaia

Thu. July 17 – Grafenhainichen, DE @ Melt

Fri. July 18 – Dublin, IE @ Longitude Festival

Sun. July 20 – Suffolk, UK @ Latitude Festival

Fri. July 25 – Niigata, JP @ Naeba Ski Resort (Fuji Rock Festival)

Sun. July 27 – Byron Bay, AUS @ Splendour in the Grass

Sat. Aug. 2 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza

Sun. Aug. 3 – Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon

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The House of Vans House Parties is back– first 2 shows sold out

NEW YORK — Vans and FYF have unrolled part of their roster for the fourth House of Vans parties, a free summer-music series. All shows are free with RSVP and are all ages.

On June 12, expect Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Mac Demarco and Benjamin Booker.
On June 19, STRFKR, Poolside and Chrome Sparks are set to perform.

The shows set for July 3, July 10, Aug. 7 and Aug. 14 are TBA.

The House of Vans is at 25 Franklin St. in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. Doors open at 7, but get there early. Tickets for the June 12 and June 19 show are sold out, but keep checking to stay on top of developments for upcoming shows.




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“It was special because we had it:” Le Tigre’s Fateman on the HR-16B


Le Tigre‘s “Deceptacon” is a testament to what can be achieved when conventionality in music is tossed and creativity takes over.

Red Bull Music Academy’s Documentary Series has been producing clips for “beat:repeat NYC.” Episode 6, one of eight, is about LeTigre’s 1999 underground dance-punk hit “Deceptacon” and the drum machine that shapes the song.

In the clip,  Johanna Fateman talks about her Alesis HR-16B that she bought at Rogue in New York City. She said she was discouraged from buying the drum machine and was told it was for hip-hop, but she knew it was what she needed. According to Fateman, the drum machine’s presets allowed the band the freedom to just experiment. Using the HR 16-B spoke directly to Le Tigre’s DIY/Riot Grrrl mentality.

Fateman even shows off the original instruction sheet she used to craft Deceptacon using the hi-hat, snare and other drumbeat options on the HR-16B. Fateman insists things don’t have to be done the way they were in the past; if that’s as far as people get, we won’t get very far.

‘”You don’t have to do it in a professional, expert way. You can do it in your own way,” Fateman says.


The Alesis HR-16B, used in “Deceptacon”

The documentary series coincides with the Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York; the series launched May 1 at “beat:repeat” throws a spotlight on the iconic drumbeat sounds that frame so many DIY songs and New York City anthems.

Other artists in the series include Blondie’s Chris Stein, Ninja Tune’s Lee Bannon and Black Moon’s Evil Dee.

Also throughout May, the Red Bull Music Academy is hosting a 101-drum-machine exhibition at Red Bull Studios New York. The items are from beatbox collector Joe Mansfield. The exhibition is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. at Red Bull Studios New York, 218 W. 18th St., NYC.

See the beat:repeat clip here and learn a bit more about what makes this punk classic tick. The video for “Deceptacon” on Youtube clocks in at more than 3 million views. if you haven’t seen it yet, get right over there and take a look. The two dancers, the only people in the video, stay in constant motion and a somewhat symmetry, appearing like early-Devo wannabes. Their quirky dance moves, paired with Kathleen Hanna‘s bad-ass shredded vocals, singing “Everything you feel is alright alright alright alright alright!” makes for a rather hilarious, and perfect, anthem.



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Filed under DIY, Electronic, Experimental, Indie, Punk, VIdeos

Jenny Lewis channels rough waters to create “The Voyager”

After a break-up, touring and her own personal journey, ex-Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis will release her cathartic third album, “The Voyager,” July 29 on Warner Brothers.


Rilo Kiley had garnered major success and diehard fans during its short life, with their album “More Adventurous” in 2004 and also supporting Bright Eyes and Coldplay. Lewis also had her own success, providing backup on The Postal Service’s 2003 debut and now-classic “Give Up.”
In April 2013, Rilo Kiley released a collection of unreleased tracks on “Rkives,” but the band had dissolved in 2010. Lewis toured with the Postal Service in 2013, but was also working on her own new material — which was a mental cleansing for her.
In a press release, Lewis detailed the emotional turmoil she went through after Rilo Kiley broke up, as well as other issues, including the death of her father in 2011.
She said a lot of “Voyager” helped her get through the tough times.
“I had such severe insomnia that, at one point, I didn’t sleep for five straight nights. Many of the songs on The Voyager came out of the need to occupy my mind in the moments when I just couldn’t shut down.”
“Voyager” is produced by Beck (who seems to be EVERYWHERE these days), Ryan Adams and Johnathan Rice.

“Ryan and I didn’t know each other very well before this album … but I trusted the vision, and Ryan ended up being the person to get me over the fear of finishing somethig I’d been working on for so long. This record was the hardest one I ever made,” she said.

The “Voyager” tracklisting includes:

Head Underwater

She’s Not Me

Just One Of The Guys

Slippery Slopes

Late Bloomer

You Can’t Outrun ‘Em

The New You

Aloha & The Three Johns

Love U Forever

The Voyager

Lewis’ busy tour schedule continues through October, ending with Austin City Limits on Oct. 10-12.

Boston locals take note: Today, May 24, Lewis will be at the Boston Calling festival.

May 24 – Boston, MA – Boston Calling Festival

June 4 – Portland, ME – State Theatre w/ Kurt Vile

June 6 – New York, NY – Governor’s Ball (Randall’s Island)

June 7 – Washington DC – 930 Club SOLD OUT

July 6 – Toronto, ON – Urban Roots Festival

July 8 – Ottawa, ON – Ottawa Blues Fest

July 10 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall w/ Ray LaMontagne

July 11 – Orlando, FL – Bob Carr Performing Arts Center w/ Ray LaMontagne

July 12 – Miami, FL – The Fillmore w/ Ray LaMontagne

July 15 – Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre w/ Ray LaMontagne

July 16 – Charleston, NC – North Charleston Performing Arts Center w/ Ray LaMontagne

July 18 – Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre w/ Ray LaMontagne

July 19 – Birmingham, AL – BJCC Concert Hall w/ Ray LaMontagne

July 20 – Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival

July 22 – Interlochen, MI – Kresge Auditorium w/ Ray LaMontagne

July 23 – Grand Rapids, MI – Meijer Gardens w/ Ray LaMontagne

July 25 – Newport, RI – Newport Folk Festival

July 26 – Camden, NJ – XpoNential Music Festival w/Ryan Adams

July 27 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls

July 31 – Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe at Old National Centre

August 2 – Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza SOLD OUT

August 3 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue

August 10 – San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands Festival SOLD OUT

October 3-5 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits

October 10-12 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits

The singer/songwriter’s previous solo works include “Rabbit Fur Coat” in 2006 and “Acid Tongue” in 2008.

Watch the bright and country-tinged “You Are What You Love.” Visit for more.

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Tropic of Pisces’ “Symmetry” is a little taste of summer


The song “Symmetry” by Tropic of Pisces doesn’t really have much to do WITH symmetry, so much as with combining indie- and synth-pop with a bit of calypso and classic 80s reggae sounds. The sound goes down easy but is far from simple — instant summer song.

Tropic of Pisces is a project of Mathew Scheiner of Brooklyn indie band Oberhofer. Scheiner, a guitarist and glockenspieler, just released a home-recorded debut EP, also called “Symmetry.” The four-song EP was mixed by his Dad, Elliot Scheiner, who’s worked with giants such as Beck, Fleetwood Mac and Joe Jackson. Mathew Scheiner still works with Oberhofer but is also spending time collaborating with Mon Khmer and Superhuman Happiness.

Check out “Symmetry” on Youtube and visit for more. “Symmetry” is out now via Ooh La La Records.


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Dub Thompson debut out June 10


Being able to order a drink at a bar is not a prerequisite to making music that’s beyond one’s years. Dub Thompson is two men who were childhood friends, now 19. Guitarist Matt Pulos and drummer Evan Laffer, now based near LA, recorded “9 Songs” at the house of Foxygen with Jonathan Rado in Indiana in August. The eight songs (not nine), merge genres like reggae noise rock and psychedelic pop, with a dusting on top of samples and keyboards while pulling from influences like Pere Ubu, Gang of Four, PiL, Parquet Courts and Liars and Kraftwerk.


Their Kraftwerky video, “No Time,” was spotlighted on NPR on April 30, while the video for “Dograces” might have you thinking you clicked on a video for Deep Purple or The Doors.

The two are barely taking a day off in June and July, setting out on a tour across the states:
Sun. June 29 – Phoenix, AZ @ Pub Rock w/ Ought
Mon. June 30 – Tucson, AZ @ Solar Culture w/ Ought
Wed. July 2 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links w/ Ought
Thu. July 3 – Austin, TX @ Holy Mountain w/ Ought
Fri. July 4 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa w/ Ought
Sat. July 5 – Nashville, TN @ TBD w/ Ought
Sun. July 6 – Atlanta, GA @ Mammal Gallery w/ F**ked Up, Ought
Mon. July 7 – Durham, NC @ Pinhook w/ Ought
Tue. July 8 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat Backstage w/ Ought
Wed. July 9 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle w/ Ought
Fri. July 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right w/ Ought
Sat. July 12 – Boston, MA @ Church w/ Ought
Sun. July 13 – Montreal, QC @ Casa del Popolo w/ Ought
Mon. July 14 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake w/ Ought
Wed. July 16 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop w/ Ought
Thu. July 17 – Chicago, IL @ Burlington w/ Ought
Fri. July 18 – St. Louis @ TBD w/ Ought
Sat. July 19 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry w/ Ought
Sun. July 20 – Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room w/ Ought
Mon. July 21 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake w/ Ought
Tue. July 22 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court w/ Ought
Wed. July 23 – Boise, ID @ The Crux w/ Ought
Fri. July 25 – Seattle, WA @ Capitol Hill Block Party
Sat. July 26 – Vancouver, BC @ The Columbia
Sun. July 27 – Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
Tue. July 29 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
Wed. July 30 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
Thu. July 31 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room

“9 Songs” is out June 10 on Dead Oceans. More info at


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ICYMI: Charles Bradley: “You Put the Flame On It”

In case you missed it, soul singer Charles Bradley appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! this week with the song “You Put the Flame on It.”

Bradley released his acclaimed second album, “Victim of Love,” in spring 2013. The album’s been added to a plethora of ‘best-of’ lists, so it’s worth your while to listen to what all the fuss is about.


Charles Bradley’s lived a storied life: He lived on the streets and worked odd jobs until he was discovered by the Daptones’ Gabriel Roth just a couple years ago. There’s even a documentary about him: “Charles Bradley: Soul of America,” that chronicles his rise.

His straight-forward style of singing is offset by his distinct voice, at times raspy and straining, but always full of soul and emotion.

Charles Bradley is also set to perform at one of the Vans House Parties in Brooklyn, N.Y., on June 12, so watch for that.

Watch the Kimmel performance on Youtube.

Just a few links for your perusal:

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Kimbra goes sonic with “90s Music”

Secret’s out. Kimbra just released a new genre-mixing song, “90s Music.” Her new album, “The Golden Echo” will be released on Warner Brothers in August.

It’s Kimbra’s first new music since her 2011 debut, “Vows.” Kimbra’s duet with Gotye in the Grammy-winner “Somebody That I Used to Know,” continued to propel her name forward.
About the song, Kimbra says:

“90s Music” embraces so many things I like to explore musically. I am always attracted to the meeting place of light and dark, sweet and sour – the juxtaposition of angular sounds and head-crushing distorted elements sitting alongside a breathy bubblegum vocal. Instead of making the track a throwback musically, I wanted it to feel like a nod to the past from a futurist perspective.”

“90s Music” is futuristic indeed, but bows gracefully to the era of music she reveres and how it shaped her life as a teen. Kimbra accepts that those days are gone, but wants to make clear they’re not meant to be forgotten. She has a soft spot in her heart for famed 90s groups and singer-songwriters like TLC, Mariah Carey, Nirvana and Michael Jackson.

The song is a sonic transport through hip-hop, vocal symmetry and an unrelenting, rapid beat.

Listen to song on YouTube. “90s Music” is out on iTunes now.
Kimbra’s out on an Australian tour with Janelle Monae. More info on Kimbra to come soon.


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Harding’s “Soul Power” shines bright


Curtis Harding’s new album deserves far more media attention than it’s gotten.
His neo-soul debut, “Soul Power,” is multi-faceted, complex and easygoing. It’s as if he’s been a successful solo artist for decades, not a man whose recent gig was as backup for CeeLo Green and, more recently, in Black-Lips side group Night Sun.

Harding’s already done a couple of videos for “Soul Power,” worth noting if only because they’re polar opposites. “Next Time” is black and white and glossy and features St. Laurent model Grace Hartzel walking topless on the beach. You’d think he took a cue from Chris Isaak.


On the other hand, Harding, in the single “Keep on Shining,” plays a somewhat dysfunctional puppet who’ll do anything he has to for love. The puppet visual is odd, but it sticks. “I can finally see the light,” he says.


Harding’s vocals are rich and sincere and is what drives the fresh, upbeat sound of “Soul Power.” The horn section sounds like they’ve been doing this for years– a well-oiled soul machine. Harding rides high on this 70s soul vibe he’s created, mixing it up with 60s doo-wop and R & B stylings. The influence of Amy Winehouse is thankfully still alive.

“Next Time,” takes on a 50s feel with just a few guitar changes and some distortion, and all without dating the sound. “Heaven’s on the Other Side” is fun and light and has a little bit of a disco feel. He can play hardball too, as on “Drive My Car,” but without taking it all too seriously. A bad-ass, undulating guitar hook rules “Cruel World” and ends the album.

Like many good albums, the first few listens might not bring the revelation that it has the mileage to last. But the sometimes gritty, often heartfelt “Soul Power” shows Harding’s versatility, an attribute artists don’t always reach on a debut. “Soul Power” is something special.

Dig it or Ditch it: Definitely Dig it

Listen to the “Soul Power” stream via  The “Keep On Shining” video (link above) with Harding as lovestruck marionette is worth watching.
Harding’s album, which came out May 6, is available through Burger Records and iTunes. He’s also heading out on a short summer tour:

Wednesday, June 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands

Thursday, June 12 – Washington, DC @ DC9

Friday, June 13 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Three Rivers Arts Festival

Saturday, June 14 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s

Thursday, July 17 – Nashville, TN @ Exit / In

Saturday, July 19 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel


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