Friday, November 30, 2007

The Saints "Imperious Delirium" Tour (Pt. 2) @ Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ 10/30/07

Here is the last of the video that I shot at The Saints' show in Hoboken last month. This is "Drunk In Babylon" which is the leadoff track from The Saints' latest release Imperious Delirium.

The Saints' Website
The Saints' MySpace Page
Wildflower Records

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ephel Duath - "Pain Remixes the Known" CD Review (Earache Records)

Ephel Duath - Pain Remixes the Known CD ReviewWhat I love about Earache Records is the diversity of the band on its label. I was at a show last weekend at Irving Plaza (all non-Earache bands) and I couldn't believe what a bland grind-core borefest it was.

Ephel Duath is really something unique - imagine the early free-form jazz freak-out sound of the early King Crimson with a doom/death leanings. On this disc, the band took their jazz-influenced 2005 CD, Pain Necessary to Know, deconstructed it and remixed it with dark-wave Aphex Twin style beats. The deconstruction was composed by musician/producer Eraldo Bernocchi, who has collaborated with a wide range of musicians ranging from ambient/avant-garde composer Harold Budd to house/dub pioneer Bill Laswell.

This is really a thinking man's metal CD and it isn't a contradiction to note that there is very little metal on this disc. The disc is divided into nine tracks, all bearing the title "Hole". These aren't songs per se but more textures and musical landscapes. This isn't to say this is an ambient-stlye disc (ala Eno or Budd) as the musical styles on this disc range the spectrum from dark metal to progressive dub.

While there is a good bit of diversity between the tracks, the disc flows as a cohesive unit. Across all of the tracks, vocals are minimal and just serve as another instrument/sound that fits within the musical landscape. This isn't the sort of CD where you will play specific tracks as the disc as a whole is more 'experiential' and needs to be listened to end-to-end.

Ephel Duath has a new studio album scheduled for sometime next year.

Earache Records
Ephel Duath's MySpace page

Cotton Jones Basket Ride - Pictures from the November 10th Show @ Piano's, NYC

I am still waiting for my computer (post-hard drive crash) to be fixed so my stuff has been a bit scattered these past couple weeks. The live Cotton Jones video that I filmed at Piano's was a little dark due to low light so I wanted to post some of the still shots that I took.

Cotton Jones Basket Ride - Piano's, November 10, 2007

Cotton Jones Basket Ride - Piano's, November 10, 2007

Cotton Jones Basket Ride - Piano's, November 10, 2007

In looking at the band's MySpace page, it doesn't look like the band has any upcoming shows. The new CD, Paranoid Cocoon, is scheduled to be released in early 2008 so I am sure the band will hit the road in support of this release.

Check out the advance mp3, Had Not a Body, from Paranoid Cocoon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot vocalist) Passes Away Over the Weekned

Kevin DuBrow/Quiet RiotIt was a bit of a shock to hear that Quiet Riot vocalist Kevin DuBrow had passed away over the weekend. I always thought Kevin was one of the best front-men in the business and he looked and sounded great when I saw the band play last year in Staten Island.

I never saw the 70's or 80's lineup of Quiet Riot play live but I had met and spoken with Kevin on numerous occasions ever since he and Carlos reunited as The Heat. Kevin was a great guy so my heart goes out to his family and friends.

Here is a video that I think does justice to Kevin's memory - It was shot live at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ back in April.

New Music Releases this Week

As usual, there isn't much of interest at the Big Box stores (Best Buy and Circuit City). The fun stuff is at the indie stores and my favorite indie stores are Vintage Vinyl and Newbury Comics.

Vintage Vinyl has:
All three of Joy Division's original albums remastered with a bonus live CD for $19.99 each
- Unknown Pleasures' bonus live disc - Factory, Manchester: April 11, 1980
- Closer's bonus live disc - Live at ULU, Feb 8, 1980
- Still's bonus disc - Soundcheck and live @ High Wycombe Town Hall, Feb. 20, 1980
** All CDs come with a limited edition 7" of "She's Lost Control/Dead Souls"

Interpol - Live at the Astoria in London (6 track live EP) $6.99

The Hold Steady - Live at Fingerprints (5 track EP) $5.99

Newbury Comics has:
- Autographed Angels of Light/M. Gira CD $13.99
- Autographed Carbon/Silicon CD $13.99
(Where else are you going to get Mick Jones and Tony James' autograph?)
- Autographed Dillinger Escape Plan CD $12.99
- Autographed From Autumn to Ashes CD $12.99
- Autographed High on Fire CD $12.99
(I am a bit surprised that this one hasn't been bought out by the eBay speculators)

There are a lot more limited-edition pressings and autographed stuff on both sites so check them out.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cheyenne - Interview w/ Beau Jennings + Live Performance of "The Whale"

Cheyenne closed their set last Saturday night (Nov. 10th) with "The Whale", which is the title song of the band's upcoming CD. The new CD will be released on Dec. 11th and the band is having a release party at Joe's Pub on December 8th.

After the show on the 10th, I had the chance to sit down and talk with Beau...

BrooklynRocks: How and where did Cheyenne come together?

Beau Jennings: The band started in 2002 in Oklahoma. We got to be good friends with one of the bigger bands in the area, the Starlight Mints, and played a number of shows at their venue, The Opolis, and toured with them as well. Cheyenne released its first EP in 2003 and played a number of shows around the mid-west.

After my girlfriend moved to New York, Heath [Fisher – Drummer] and I moved to Brooklyn in 2005. As more friends and acquaintances from Oklahoma relocated to New York, Cheyenne was reconstituted in New York.

BrooklynRocks: How often does the band play live and is Cheyenne your full-time job?

Beau Jennings: The band played a lot over the summer to support the release of “The Land Rush” EP (available on eMusic and iTunes) but all of the band members have full time jobs. Members of the band work as an architect, computer tech, writer, etc.

BrooklynRocks: How many releases does Cheyenne have out?

Beau Jennings: The band currently has out one full length (on the Record Machine label), a 7”, and “The Land Rush” EP. The new CD “The Whale” will be released on December 11th and the record release party is December 8th at Joe’s Pub.

NYC Scene:
BrooklynRocks: As a relative newcomer on the NYC scene, are there any bands or clubs that you particularly like?

Beau Jennings: Wynn Walent is great and they opened for us on the first night of the residency. Jaymay (who records for Blue Note) is another great artist. Piano’s and Lakeside Lounge are some of our favorite clubs to play. In terms of major acts, Springsteen at MSG was fabulous.

Piano’s Residency:
BrooklynRocks: I did an interview with Michael Nau earlier tonight and he mentioned that you had invited his band to play tonight. How do you know Michael & Cotton Jones? How was the first night of the residency?

Beau Jennings: We opened for Page France earlier this year and both Cheyenne and Page France are on the Murkville soundtrack. Page France also stayed with us when they played the Bowery Ballroom a few months ago.

The residency has been going well. It has been a lot of fun and we have been able to do some different stuff. We played an acoustic set the first night without a drummer.

The Oklahoma Scene:
BrooklynRocks: What is the Oklahoma scene like?

Beau Jennings: Most of the Oklahoma scene centered around a love of The Flaming Lips and Woody Guthrie. The Evangelicals were a big band on the scene and were good friends of ours. The Oklahoma scene was big and close-knit so it was really hard to leave it.

What’s Next for Cheyenne in 2008:
Beau Jennings: The goal is to make Cheyenne a full-time gig. If I don’t have this as the ultimate goal, it will never happen. For so many good bands, the stars didn’t align so I plan on doing everything possible to make this happen.

Cheyenne's MySpace page

Ingrid Michaelson Releases Video for "The Way I Am" and Sells Out Bowery Ballroom

Ingrid Michaelson
Originally uploaded by Somnonaut
At the end of September, I caught Ingrid @ Rockwood Music Hall. The club was sold out but, as most people know, Rockwood isn't that big. Since then, Ingrid sold out the Knitting Factory last week and has now sold out the Bowery Ballroom for an upcoming show on December 19th.

Ingrid's DIY rise has been nothing short of amazing - in a previous post in late September, I commented on that the songs on her MySpace page had gotten 3 million plays. About 7 weeks later, the number of plays is now up to 5.4 million. All I can say is more power to her...

Ingrid has a post on her MySpace page entitled "To Sell Out or Not To Sell Out...that is the question...". Below is a snippet of the post:
my question to you all is, when do you call it "selling out" and when do you call it "succeeding"? i have gotten a few emails and comments saying that now that my songs are on TV and mainstream radio programs, that i have become "a sellout". i suppose i should have stayed in my basement playing concerts for my dolls all my life.... i have seen this before. it makes me a bit upset because it seems that some people love knowing about an indie artist, but as soon as they garner some attention, these people get mad! but you have to understand that this is how we make a living!
I really get tired of the indie/hipster backlash when any artist starts to get a following. I have seen this with too many artists and it is really just silly posturing. If an artist is only playing to you and your five friends night after night, they are going to find a different line of work. You can't afford to live in NYC and not make some money. We all have a "I remember when [fill in the blank with your favorite indie artist] played my living room, high school gym, McDonald's parking lot" story but both time and people move on. Get over it kids - no one needs to apologize for being successful.

To get back on point, Ingrid released the official video for "The Way I Am" on YouTube last week. The video was directed by Autumn de Wilde (Rilo Kiley, Death Cab for Cutie, Elliott Smith).

Ingrid puts on a great show so, if you can get tickets for the Bowery Ballroom show, she is really worth checking out.

Review of Ingrid Michaelson's September 25th show at Rockwood Music Hall
Review of Ingrid Michaelson's November 16th show at Knitting Factory
Ingrid Michaelson's Website
Ingrid Michaelson's MySpace Page

The Saints "Imperious Delirium" Tour @ Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ 10/30/07

This post is long overdue...

The Saints came through the US for a brief series of shows in support of their 13th release "Imperious Delirium" (released on Wildflower Records in the US). While many of The Saints' contemporaries have long-since broken up or have become nostalgia acts (with no new material), The Saints are still burning strong. "Imperious Delirium" is a solid release that is a worthy addition to The Saints' catalogue.

The band was kind enough to let me film a few songs from the show. Here are the first two songs from their set: "Porno Movies" and "(I'm) Stranded".

I'll be uploading my pictures and one more live song from the show later this weekend.

If anyone missed my post from late October, I also did an interview with the band (below) a week before their show at Maxwell's

The Saints' Website
The Saints' MySpace Page
Wildflower Records

Sally Shapiro - Fan Video for "Time to Let Go" Hits YouTube

Toward the end of 2006, Sally Shapiro got a lot of buzz going in the US with her single "Anorak Christmas / I'll Be By Your Side".

Sally's new CD, "Disco Romance" was released in Europe earlier this year and it came out (with a couple of bonus tracks) in the US at the end of October. The CD has been getting some great reviews and Sally is nominated for two PLUG Awards - one for Electronic/Dance Album of the Year and one for Female Artist of the Year! The PLUG Awards look back on 2007 to find the best artists in independent music. From now to February 8, 2008, you can cast your vote on the PLUG website.

A fan created video for Sally's song "Time To Let Go" just popped up on YouTube. The video has a pretty cool Peter Gabriel-ish "Big Time" feel to it.

Sally Shapiro - Time to Let Go

It is also worth checking out Sally's interview with Pitchfork (link)

Sally Shapiro's Website

Monday, November 19, 2007

Care Bears on Fire @ Southpaw, Brooklyn, 11/9/07

The Care Bears played a double-bill with Mink last Friday night. The hometown Brooklyn crowd was out in force so there was a lot energy in the room. This was the first time that I have seen the crowd demand an encore and the band came back to the stage to cover The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go".

The Care Bears are always a fun live act and the pictures below speak to that.

Care Bears on Fire - Southpaw, November 9, 2007

Izzy/Care Bears on Fire (check out the Ramones t-shirt)
Care Bears on Fire - Southpaw, November 9, 2007

Lucio/Care Bears on Fire
Care Bears on Fire - Southpaw, November 9, 2007

Sophie/Care Bears on Fire
Care Bears on Fire - Southpaw, November 9, 2007

Sophie and Izzy @ the Merch Table
Care Bears on Fire - Southpaw, November 9, 2007

I have some additional pictures of the Care Bears from both Southpaw and Club Midway posted to my Imeem profile (BrooklynRocks on Imeem).

Anyone catch the writeup on the Care Bears in the November issue of Spin?

It doesn't look like the band has any upcoming shows but keep checking the band's MySpace page as it is updated regularly.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cheyenne @ Piano's, NYC 11/10/07

Cheyenne played the second night of their Piano's residency last Saturday night. The band sounds great live and I am looking forward to hearing their new CD, The Whale, which will be released in early December.

I did an interview with Beau after the show and I will be posting the interview along with pictures from the show in the next few days. In the meantime, below is a two song video clip from the show.

Cheyenne's MySpace page
Cheyenne's Website

Saturday, November 17, 2007

ARChive of Contemporary Music Kicks off Holiday Sale on December 8th

ARChive of Contemporary Music Kicks off Holiday Record + CD Sales on December 8thMy sister came in town this weekend and wanted to see The Rockettes. At this morning's performance, she & I watched some complete morons try to cut the line to get in and be just generally nasty to those around them. I generally expect people to be nicer during the holiday season.

With that (the nice, not the nasty) in mind, The ARChive of Contemporary Music is kicking off their holiday sale on December 8th. The ARChive is a not-for-profit archive and research center that collects, preserves and provides information on the popular music from 1950 to the present.

There are many reasons to check this out -- it is a good cause, there are great bargains and you can never go wrong giving someone music as a holiday present.

The record sale will take place at the ARChive offices @ 54 White St. (Three short blocks south of Canal, between Broadway & Church in Tribeca. Take the 1 train to Franklin, or any train to Canal.) The sale runs from December 8th - December 16th and the hours are 11AM - 6PM every day. Admission is free!

CDs are NEW donations from record companies, NOT used, returns or defects! Mostly pop and rock recordings. Collectible LPs are priced below book value. Hundreds of CDs are priced at $1 to $5 each. cassettes $1.00 ea./ 12 for $10. Just released New & HOT CDs are $5 - $10. Most LPS $1 + Best Deal = Boxes of 125 Pop, Soundtrack or Classical LPs = $5 a box.

Cotton Jones Basket Ride - Interview and Live Video from 11/10/07 Show @ Piano's

I had a chance to spend a few minutes with Michael Nau (x-Page France) before his new band, The Cotton Jones Basket Ride, took the stage at Piano's last Saturday.

Cotton Jones made their live debut as a full band at a CMJ show at the Cake Shop on October 19, 2007. The band was back in town last Saturday to play a show with Cheyenne.

The band currently has a 3-song EP available at their shows and at the Quite Scientific website. The band's full length disc, "Paranoid Cocoon" is due early next year.

The Cotton Jones Basket Ride's MySpace page

Kirsten Price - An Exclusive Interview with BrooklynRocks

As a follow-up to Kirsten Price's show at Crash Mansion (see previous post), she was kind enough to do an interview with me.

Kirsten Price @ Crash Mansion, November 3, 2007

BrooklynRocks: How do people find you on the internet vs. the porn actress with the same name? How often do you get confused with the porn actress Kirsten Price?

Kirsten Price: I have had very little trouble with anyone confusing me with that entity. Most of the people who are looking for me on the Internet are acutely aware that my specialty is hardcore rocking out, as opposed to hardcore anal sex. Those poor porn “actresses” have a very limited shelf life and they need all the action they can get! I think that Google should sponsor a chocolate Jell-O wrestling match between she and I. We can get our thongs on and slop it out for the name. Of course legally there is no contest because it is my birth name, not hers. But then who wouldn’t want to see us both in our bikinis on all fours covered in chocolate?

BrooklynRocks: How did you get from London to Ft. Greene?

Kirsten Price: By plane…and Taxi.

BrooklynRocks: Most of the musicians that I have recently met seem to be from Ft. Greene. Without any music clubs in Ft. Greene, is there much of a sense of community among the musicians who live in the area? Do you play/jam with any your neighbors?

Kirsten Price: Fort Greene has a long history of artists and writers. It is very fertile ground. I feel more of a sense of community in Fort Greene than in any other part of New York City, mostly because of the socio-economic and racial mix that is represented there. Unfortunately in the 7 years I have been in the neighborhood, it has become a little more self-conscious and started to become somewhat of a parody of itself. Mostly because people from other parts of the city have started to try to buy in to the “lifestyle concept” of the neighborhood without respecting what made it so magical and special in the first place. I work with many local musicians / rappers at home in my studio. My neighbors have long been constant source of inspiration.

New CD
BrooklynRocks: When is the new CD due?

Kirsten Price: My Debut album “Gut’s and Garbage” is hitting the streets on January 1 2008, but I think the live date for iTunes is earlier. December 13th. It’s called “Gut’s and Garbage” because it took a lot of guts to make and I hade to go through a lot of garbage in the process.

BrooklynRocks: I understand you had multiple major labels chasing after you – what attracted you to ‘Music with a Twist’?

Kirsten Price: The executives over at“Twist” were so exited about my music that they admitted to performing my songs at home in front of their bathroom mirror using a hairbrush as a microphone. I always preferred using the tennis racket as a guitar myself but each to their own. Plus, they were an independent linked to a major label with a niche market which made them instantly more attractive since we all know that major labels are, well, the devil.

BrooklynRocks: What was the writing process like? How many songs didn’t make the CD? I have read that you are an accomplished studio engineer – did you produce the CD yourself?

Kirsten Price: I am constantly writing songs, working on soundscapes. When I get trough the coal, I always find a few diamonds. For this particular project about 5 songs did not end up on the album. Other artists have picked up some of the songs we worked on.

It took a long time to find someone who could produce music the in the style that I wanted who was actually better at doing it than me. I worked with a lot of great producers, but they couldn’t perform well in the Kirsten Price idiom, which I describe as “Alternative Soul”. It is a very specific but seemingly random blend and it took a master magician to help seal the deal…Fred Sargolini.

BrooklynRocks: How did you hook up with Fred Sargolini? Were you a fan of MING+FS?

Kirsten Price: Honestly I had never heard of Ming & FS, but that doesn’t tell you much because I live under a rock. A friend of a friend dragged me reluctantly to his studio and I couldn’t be bothered with him when I first met him but I was VERY pleasantly surprised during the collaborative process.

BrooklynRocks: Did you expect “Magic Tree” to take off the way it did? How do you feel about reviewers/critics calling this your signature song?

Kirsten Price: I had no idea would prove to be such instant ear candy. Reviewers and critics can call it whatever they want. As long as they keep loving it the way they do!

BrooklynRocks: A lot of musicians have told me that they get completely sick of their ‘signature’ or hit song(s). Do you ever think you will get ‘sick’ of any of your songs?

Kirsten Price: Yes, I become nauseated by my own work all the time. But then I come back to it after a while, like my favorite pair of jeans or an old lover. The songs on this album have remarkable durability.

Kirsten Price @ Crash Mansion, November 3, 2007

BrooklynRocks: You have shared the stage with an interesting assortment of people. How did you end up on the bill with Sly & the Family Stone? Do you think you share a fan base?

Kirsten Price: Their booking agent approached me. Sly has not been actively present on the music scene for almost 3 decades but his legacy produced many of the artists that have influenced me the most and I am wetting myself with the opportunity to open for him. My music is very eclectic and I have been discovering that fans of all types & stripes are irresistibly drawn to my material, so I doubt that Sly fans will prove to be any different.

BrooklynRocks: You had a really enthusiastic crowd at last Saturday’s show at Crash Mansion. Is there such a thing as a “typical” Kirsten Price fan?

Kirsten Price: Crash Mansion is an intimate low profile spot. I like it because it’s off the beaten track and it doesn’t smell of piss and beer. It’s good to keep playing shows that the kids can afford to come to. We can’t all afford to fork out for 3 cocktails at Joes Pub or B. B. Kings. It’s also good to be at a venue where my fans can get really up close and personal. As for what constitutes a typical Kirsten Price fan I have no clue.

BrooklynRocks: Getting back on the subject of touring, what is the “weirdest” act you have been paired with?

Kirsten Price: A Brooklyn based female gymnastics troupe at a big festival somewhere in the Midwest this past summer. I can’t remember where, the summer festivals blended into a big homogenous experience for me. I just remember that they were staying in the same hotel as me (a really nice one). They invited my band and I up to party with them after the show. The Go Go Girls in Seattle last month were pretty F-ing weird too.

BrooklynRocks: Is there anyone (living or dead) that you would like to work with and/or tour with?

Kirsten Price: Prince Rogers Nelson

BrooklynRocks: How often to you play out in the NYC area and what’s up with the European dates in April?

Kirsten Price: At the moment when I am in town I play New York City on average about once a month. I am doing a little mini tour in April starting off in my hometown in the UK then visiting Milan and Rome. These will be small one off exclusive intimate acoustic gatherings that I will be playing with one of my favorite friends and artists, Z Star. You can find her by visiting my My Space page:

BrooklynRocks: What do you do when you are not touring? (Do you have a day job?)

Kirsten Price: Krishna! Allah! Buddha! A day job? That’s a trick question right? In the 21st century it’s hard enough wearing all of the hats an artist has to put on, I hardly have time to pee, let alone make music! As well as various other projects, I am currently working on my second release, scoring a T.V. show and writing a musical for the stage. I guess it would be better to describe it as a “24 hours a day job”.

NYC Scene
BrooklynRocks: Are you a fan of the NYC music scene? Do you go see bands play around town? Is there anyone within the current scene that you are expecting to break out?

Kirsten Price: I am a hermit and get very bored at live shows unless an act really grabs me by the (metaphorical) balls. I have been going to see The London Souls a lot. I am expecting them to break out any second if they haven’t already.

BrooklynRocks: Any favorite places to play?

Kirsten Price: I sold out Joe’s Pub in November. The sound there was incredible. It was a real treat. I think I am scheduled back there sometime in February 2008. I can’t wait.

Social Media
BrooklynRocks: What do you think of the whole MySpace phenomena? Do you interact with many fans through MySpace?

Kirsten Price: I am on MySpace every day interacting with my fans and doing business. I used to think the whole MySpace thing was garbage until I was bullied into setting up a page and the work just came flooding in.

Final Words
BrooklynRocks: What advice would you give someone trying to break into the music scene?

Kirsten Price: Trust your gut.

BrooklynRocks: What advice would you give someone moving to Brooklyn?

Kirsten Price: Well that depends on why they are moving to Brooklyn and which part (it’s a very large, diverse place). One piece of advice I would give to any current Brooklyn resident is this… When you encounter someone who looks down their nose at the borough of Brooklyn please pretend that they are right. Please do not tell them indignantly what a special magical place it is because then they will all want to move here and that would not be a good thing.
Kirsten's next show is opening for Sly & the Family Stone's shows at BB King's on December 7th.

Links:Kirsten Price's MySpace Page

Friday, November 16, 2007

Second Dan Plays Rockwood Music Hall on Thanksgiving Eve

As a thank you to the fans, Second Dan is playing a free show at Rockwood Music Hall next Wenesday night, November 21st (Thanksgiving Eve). Second Dan is a strong draw so I would recommend getting to Rockwood early. (I think capacity at Rockwood is 75 people)

The show starts at 9:30PM and Rockwood Music Hall is @ 196 Allen St (between Houston and Stanton St).
Second Dan Plays Rockwood Music Hall on Thanksgiving Eve

Second Dan's MySpace Page
Second Dan's Website

Kiss/Gene Simmons Readies the Next Batch of Archival Material

Kiss Announces More Archival MerchandiseKiss has announced that Kissology Volume 3, the third volume in their DVD series, will be released on December 18th. I am a big Kiss fan but enough is enough.

Gene/Paul - All the Kiss fans already have most of these shows as KissVision bootlegs!

Where I was particularly disappointed with Kissology Vol 2 was that the KissVision bootlegs were more complete. Hopefully that isn't the case with the shows on Vol. 3. There is one interesting show in this new set that I haven't seen before but, strangely, it isn't the bonus disc.

The shows in the Kissology Vol. 3 set are:
* Detroit – 1992
* Detroit – 1996
* Los Angeles – 1998
* New Jersey – 2000
* Queens, NY - 1973 (this should be really interesting)

The bonus disc (it sounds like it is available at all retailers) is the KROQ Weenie Roast show from 1996 which was the band's first reunion show.

In other Kiss news, Gene Simmons has given some recent interviews where he talks about a box set of solo recordings, "Monster", of "150 unreleased songs" and a box set of unreleased Kiss songs. Be warned though that both box sets will likely have "monster" price tags. We will see what happens in 2008.

Kiss has also announced a series of shows in Australia and New Zealand based around Indy car racing. The mini-tour kicks off in Melbourne on March 16th.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Matt Butler from Reckless Sons Interview with BrooklynRocks

I caught Reckless Sons at Lion's Den on the last night of the CMJ Festival. (Here is a link to a review and pictures from the show)

Reckless Sons @ Lion's Den, October 28, 2007

Last week, vocalist Matt Butler was kind enough to do an interview with me...

BrooklynRocks: What is the history of the band? I first heard of The Corsairs a couple years ago but never caught the band live. How did The Corsairs become Reckless Sons?

Matt Butler: The Corsairs had a cool thing going for the year we played together, but it wasn’t going to last. Our drummer and lead guitar player at the time had some other priorities in their lives, which is totally respectable. I am 110% about making music a career and getting my sound out there. I think it takes a great deal of work by the entire band in order to gather the attention it needed to make it work. Me and Emiliano, the Corsairs bass player, both had a vision together and were willing to commit. Emiliano wanted the chance to do his thing on lead guitar and we decided we’d find a new rhythm section.

BrooklynRocks: Who is left from the original Corsairs lineup? Are you still playing Corsairs songs?

Matt Butler: Emiliano was the bass player for the Corsairs, but now he is comfortably on lead guitar. Our current drummer, Jake, and I actually played together in a punk band called Naked Riot back in early high school, which is how we knew each other. As for Corsairs songs, We still play two songs from the old catalogue, mainly because they are songs that I wrote with a Reckless Son attitude, so they have a good and fit with the new material. In any case, I feel that anything from The Corsairs could be recorded with a Reckless Son sound, the ethos of the music, my and Emiliano’s ethos is still the same; we are into true American high energy rock n roll.

BrooklynRocks: Looking at your MySpace page, it looks like you are only playing sporadic gigs. Have you done much touring outside of NYC and what do you do when the Reckless Sons aren’t playing?

Matt Butler: Well, we recorded eight tracks in Austin Texas in July, we all got back in to town in August and started auditioning for, and then found, a bassist [Mr. Jacob Sloan]; since September, along with the school year starting (three of us are still in college) we’ve been rehearsing like crazy and filling out our set with sporadic gigs. We’ve been working on getting the local crowd, reuniting the Corsairs fans, and getting new fans rallied and into a good rock party scene. To that end, we have been throwing some pretty cool underground rock shows in loft and warehouse spaces around the city; keep an eye out for the announcements of future parties.

We definitely want to tour, and are currently planning to go back to Texas for a stint of the big Texas cities [Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Austin]. We have just secured management and are developing our strategy to hop in a van and get on the road.

BrooklynRocks: How did the current band lineup come together?

Matt Butler: Initially, me and our current drummer Jake played together in a punk band called Naked Riot. He split to Miami for college, but he’s back now in perfect time. We knew Emiliano because we used to play gigs with his old band, a sort of 80’s inspired pop rock band called The Sellouts. The three of us got together this summer. Emiliano was the one who introduced us to Jacob. He knew Jacob as the bassist for another NYC band called Surefire, and only had the best things to say about his playing and abilities, so instead of doing a long complicated audition process, which definitely isn’t fun, he showed up and played perfectly, and then we begged him to play with the band.

BrooklynRocks: I have your 3-song EP and listened to the other two tracks on your MySpace page but your set at the CMJ/Lion’s Den show seemed to be about a dozen songs. How many songs do you currently have in the set?

Matt Butler: Oh, I’d say or average set is about eight or nine songs. We’ve always got works in progress, and I’m always trying to write, so I’d like to think the set is consistently expanding, I guess in an organic kind of way. It also depends on whether or not we have to clear the stage for the next band or we have some time to play. We have a deep repertoire and can sometimes go-off into guitar jam land that will stretch things out on a Mars Volta-ish level.

BrooklynRocks: What’s the deal with the “Recording in Austin, TX” photos on your MySpace page? Should we expect a full-length soon? (I was real impressed with the 3-song disc that Emiliano passed out at the CMJ Lion’s Den show)

Matt Butler: When The Corsairs played SXSW last year, our Manager Eric Ervin introducued us to Paul Soroski. He’s a producer/manager down in Austin, he’s basically a rock guru and one of the coolest guys ever. We made plans then to record at his studio at one point, and this summer it all finally came together. We recorded eight songs down there, and we’re looking to do five or so more somewhere here in the northeast. We’d like to put out a fill length of our strongest material sometime around March, hopefully coinciding with our SXSW 08 dates.

BrooklynRocks: What’s the biggest show you have played? Where is your favorite place to play?

Matt Butler: Reckless Sons are pretty new to the stage and we’ve only played a handful of gigs, about 6 to be exact. The Corsairs in the summer of ’07 played The Bamboozle Festival at Giant’s Stadium to a few hundred people, which was great. So far, I think Reckless Son’s favorite spots to play would be The Union Pool in Brooklyn, where we played with Reno Bo of the Mooney Suzuki and The London Souls, and The Lion’s Den in Manhattan. Union Pool has great sound and a really cool, sort of cabaret aesthetic and Lion’s Den is right in the heart of NYU territory and they let 16 year olds or 18 year olds in on nights when we play, which is great.

BrooklynRocks: What is the last band that you have paid to see play?

Matt Butler: I saw a band called Medium Cool at Pianos a little while ago. I would have paid a lot to have seen Bruce Springsteen when he came through New York in October, I just didn’t get on the ball in time and the tickets were all gone. You snooze you lose. On the other hand, we end up seeing shows all the time though by just watching the other bands we play with.

NYC Scene:
BrooklynRocks: Do you have any favorite bands in the NYC scene? (Either that you like playing with or that you think are going to break out)

Matt Butler: We’ve had a relationship playing gigs with our friends Say Hello To Symphony for about a year, the Corsairs used to play with them all the time. This year, Reckless Sons have played gigs with a young band called The Bones Royal, which is always fun, they put on a great show. We’re also friends with a hard rock band called General’s and Majors. One thing we like about a healthy rock scene, is when the bands come together to support each other and stimulate the party rather than just show up, play and then take off to their own haunts.

BrooklynRocks: Any thoughts on the media cries of “end of an era” with the closure of CBGB and the Continental turning into a beer bar?

Matt Butler: Overall New York is pretty lacking in enthusiasm for its music scene, or lack thereof. It sucked when CBGB closed because they had that constant 16+ age policy, and that helps bands out a lot. It was a ton of fun to play as well, and had great sound. Naked Riot used to play there. The Continental was the first club I ever played, so it was a bit of a shock when they ripped the stage out, but it is what it is. People in New York need to go out and see more live music, and bands need to support each other more. New Yorkers like to act a little “too cool” for your basic rocknroll bands it seems these days. It’s their loss, we’re young, we’re fun and we play good music for cute people so it’s only getting better.

Bands Reuniting:
BrooklynRocks: With every band known to man reuniting this year (Smashing Pumpkins, The Police, Sex Pistols, etc.), are there any that you are into and any that you wished stayed “gone”?

Matt Butler: I think the Sex Pistols reuniting is a joke. The one that really got me though was Rage Against The Machine. Pretty mercenary I think, and Tom Morello is in Guitar Hero III! I guess they’ve stopped raging. . .

BrooklynRocks: Do you think Guns N’ Roses “Chinese Democracy” will ever be released? Do you care?

Matt Butler: I’m more or less curious to know what an album that’s taken so many years to finish sounds like? Isn’t Axel sick of all the songs by now? I hope it’s good. I am open to hear it, I trust that Axel can rock, now he just has to follow through. I’m also a fan of their bassist, Tommy Stinson, from The Replacements. Bumblefoot the GnR guitarist came by a show at the Lion’s Den and I had a chance to chat with him after we played. Cool guy.

Tribute Bands:
BrooklynRocks: I always thought bands had to be broken up and have members dead before one could pay tribute. What do you think about all the “tribute bands” playing around NYC? Do you think the Van Halen tribute band singer plays David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar or Gary Cherone (or all three)? If Sammy, Dave and Gary got in a fight, who do you think would win?

Matt Butler: Its crazy how successful good tribute bands can be. I had friends in high school who loved The Machine, the Pink Floyd cover group. And I always liked the story about that guy, Ripper Owens or whatever, who took over singing for Rob Halford in Judas Priest for a little while. I don’t know what the rule is about when its ok to pay tribute, so I encourage any and all people out there who might want to form a Reckless Sons tribute band to go for it! My favorite tribute band, however, is Little Kiss, the dwarfs in makeup, or maybe the Misfats, the big fat dudes doing Danzig and Jerry Only. As for Van Halen, David Lee Roth would probably knock out Sammy with some crazy leg kick while singing Jump.

MySpace Pages:
BrooklynRocks: I noticed that only Emiliano and Jacob have individual MySpace pages.

Emiliano Ortiz & Jacob Sloan @ Lion's Den, October 28, 2007

o Question for Emiliano -- It looked like you were interested in starting some side projects. Do you have any fear that you are going to get compared to people like Jack Black’s Dewey (School of Rock) or Barry (High Fidelity)?

Emiliano Ortiz: No I am not worried about that at all. I think it’s a bit more John Lennon or David Bowie. I am an artist, I have aspirations to do art in many ways, forms, sounds, sights etc. I am hipper than Dewey or Barry, not that I am immodest. Additionally, so much of what is cool about an artist these days is the ability to be successful in multiple mediums, music, film, print, canvas, stage etc.

o Question for Jacob -- The Belly tune on your MySpace page was a real blast from the past. To show my age, I think I saw their show in Santa Monica 15 years ago. Is there any significance to the tune and how did you get turned on to Belly?

Jacob Sloan: With the Reckless Sons, I think that we're all still attuned to the music that we listened to growing up (with indie rock from the '90s like Belly being an example in my case). That's what gives rock'n'roll its emotional impact: you listen and you think of the music your parents played for you, the music your older brother played for you, the music your middle school friends played for you. Those nostalgic elements are definitely present in the Reckless Sons' music, but hopefully reconfigured in a way that could only have been done right now.

What’s Next?
BrooklynRocks: What’s next for Reckless Sons? What are your plans for 2008?

Matt Butler: Right now, we plan to keep gigging locally, including the Northeast colleges, for a bit and tighten up some more new tunes. We’ve also started a regular monthly loft party; keep an eye out for announcements as the venue changes. We are currently speaking to a couple producers about recording about five more tracks to get ready for a full length. We’re also planning on going back to Austin and doing a short tour of Texas in January. We’re really looking forward to playing in Austin during the SXSW festival this year as well, which is when we intend to release our full length record. Truthfully, skies the limit, we are keeping our heads up for the opportunities and our fingers nimble for the music.
That's it for the interview - Reckless Sons are playing Club Midway tonight (November 16th) with Say Hello to Symphony.

Reckless Sons' MySpace page

Genesis P-Orridge "Breaking Sex" Documentary Shown on Saturday

Genesis P-Orridge Documentary Genesis P-Orridge's documentary "Breaking Sex" will shown this Saturday night, November 17th, at the Homoccult Film Festival. The festival will be held at 72 Greene Street (btwn Spring & Broome) in SoHo. The festival is dedicated to the memory of Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge.

The festival starts at 8PM.

A collection of artists & filmmakers who have an affiliation to the "Generation Hex" era, blending old school and new school: many of these participants are connected and collaborate with each other. This program/line-up deals with the occult and esoteric each individual has his/her own unique interpretation of this theme. Jason Louv, in his introduction to Generation Hex (2006), states that the book is a snapshot of those "who are not only delving into this art [of magick] and science of the future, but who are coming to magical consciousness at a time when it has never been easier to find and link up with people of like minds and experience." This is a video survey of such people. As Scott Treleaven, in the final issue of This is the Salivation Army (1999), said: "We are the new circus. And we are the envy of the fucking World." —Daniel McKernan & Richie Rennt, curators.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kirsten Price @ Crash Mansion, November 3, 2007

London born, now Ft. Greene based, singer/songwriter Kirsten Price played Crash Mansion last Saturday night. Kirsten's debut CD is due out in January of 2008 and a show at Joe's Pub in early February will follow.

Kirsten Price @ Crash Mansion, November 3, 2007

Kirsten recently sold out Joe's Pub and she drew a strong crowd to the show at Crash Mansion. I hadn't seen Kirsten play live prior to this show and had only heard "Magic Tree" and a couple of her other songs so I didn't know quite what to expect.

I was really impressed with the show. I have seen too many new artists get flustered by a large crowd but Kirsten has a great stage presence. She really connected with the audience and seemlessly moved from guitar to keyboard.

Kirsten Price @ Crash Mansion, November 3, 2007

One pleasant surprise about Kirsten's live show was that it was much closer to Prince than Fiona Apple. Kirsten has a solid blues voice but her voice, locked with a solid bass and drums groove, adds sort of a Prince-like sex-funk aura to the show.

I don't know Kirsten's material well enough to pull together a set list but she closed with "Crazy Sexy Beautiful" and the already dancing crowd ended up on the stage.
Kirsten Price @ Crash Mansion, November 3, 2007

Kirsten's next show is opening for Sly & the Family Stone's shows at BB King's on December 7th.

Kirsten Price's MySpace Page

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Kin Headline Highline Ballroom on November 21st

The Kin @ Bowery Ballroom 2007One of my favorite NYC bands, The Kin, just finished their tour with Josh Kelley and Pat McGee and are headlining a show at Highline Ballroom on November 21st.

It is great to see the band's popularity soar as they are great guys who put on a phenominal live show. The band is playing with Wakey Wakey and Dan Torres. Tickets are only $12 in advance and $15 day of show.

The band was supposed to be playing a live set at Vintage Vinyl record store in Fords, NJ on November 20th. I am wondering if this show is now off as The Kin are no longer listed on the Vintage Vinyl site and Sebastian Bach is now doing an autograph signing at Vintage Vinyl the same night.

The Kin's Website
The Kin's MySpace Page