Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Graveyard Lovers Play Bowery Electric on Friday, May 31st (Brooklyn Swamp Rock)

Graveyard Lovers Play Bowery Electric on Friday, May 31st (Brooklyn Swamp Rock)Local cow-punk / swamp-rock trio Graveyard Lovers are playing Bowery Electric this Friday night alongside Brooklyn garage punk The Mad Doctors (who are releasing their debut EP "Fuzz Tonic" on Friday), Blue Coin and Tracy Island. Cover is $8 and doors are at 6:30PM (...and happy hour runs til 8PM).

Graveyard Lovers have been earning strong reviews with frequent shows around town and have been compared from acts that range from The White Stripes (prior to Graveyard Lovers adding a bassist) and "Sonic Youth… if Sonic Youth grew from Tennessee’s swamps and traded their soul to the devil while on the same road as Blind Willie Johnson" (The Deli Magazine). To my ears though, I think the closest point of comparison is Los Angeles' Tex and the Horseheads (...or a non-doped up version of the Gun Club).

"Graveyard Lovers are a blues-based indie rock trio comprised of guitarist/singer Zach Reynolds, drummer Tricia Purvis and bassist Orion Wainer. Zach is a native of Louisiana whose background is rooted in Deep South folk and blues. Tricia, a New Yorker, came up influenced by the innumerable waves of rock that have sculpted the NYC music scene into what it is today. " (from the band's bio)

Following up on the band's 2011's debut 5-track EP (check out "Ripe to Misbehave"), Graveyard Lovers has their full-length, Dreamers, ready to drop in September.  The first release, "Manifesto", from the new disc is streaming above and the band played "Blessed Are the Ties That Bind" (also from the new disc) on The Artie Lange Show back in the Spring.

Graveyard Lovers Upcoming Shows
Thursday June 6th, Leftfield Bar
w/ St James and the Apostles, Midwestern Exposure and The Enthusiasts

Friday July 26th, Arlene's Grocery

Kahbang Music Fest, Bangor ME
August 9/10 details TBA

Graveyard Lovers

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Alessi's Ark - 'The Still Life' CD Review / Show at Mercury Lounge on June 14th (Bella Union)

(photo: Rebecca Miller)

Alessi's Ark - 'The Still Life' CD Review / Show at Mercury Lounge on June 14th
I listen to a lot of CDs and it is generally fairly easy to find an immediate reference point but Alessi's Ark's third disc, The Still Life, takes a lot of pleasantly surprising twists and turns which showcases the maturity of 22 year-old singer Alessi Laurent-Marke's songs. The thirteen-track / 32 minute disc incorporates a wide range of styles, which combine "Suzanne Vega-style" semi-confessional, personal lyrics with with a range of music styles that includes 'electonica' dance beats, dream-pop and 90's alt-rock and the instrumentation and percussion is surprisingly complex and diverse.

Only a few short years into her career, the London-based Laurent-Marke – who began playing music and launched a fanzine, Brain Bulletin, during her secondary school years in West London – is already prolific: her first, self-released EP, 2007’s Bedroom Bound, garnered the then-teenage artist a major label deal and attention around the globe.  While The Still Life still has strong ties to Laurent-Marke's acoustic/folky roots, this new disc is much more experimental and varied than previous outings. 

I wanted to create a musical landscape that varied in sound,” Laurent-Marke says, “but an overriding feeling of ‘stillness’ remained throughout the album. I also wanted to step back from playing acoustic guitar and immerse the songs in very different sound settings from previous recordings.

While the music on The Still Life takes a number of twists and turns, the centerpiece of all of the songs is Laurent-Marke's clear and upfront (and frequently waife-like) vocals.  The disc opens with "Tin Smithing" which grabs the listener's ear right away with  innovative, syncopated percussion and big backing vocals on the chorus.  Immediately shifting gears on the next number, "Veins are Blue" has a shuffling 60's beat, a call-and-response sing-along chorus and hints of shoe-gazer echo in some of the the guitar work.  Seemingly never content to stand still, "The Rain" fully makes the plunge into shoegazer territory but adds an electronica/trip-hop backbeat.  Coming full circle back to her earlier work, this track is followed by "The Good Song", a wistful folky number.  While there are a lot of strong tracks on this disc, my favorite is a cover of The National's "Afraid of Everyone", which is recast with a slow-burning, dance club beat and dark vocals harmonies that bring bring back fond memories of the best elements of Luscious Jackson.

The diverse range of styles on this disc shouldn't scare anyone off as Laurent-Marke's vocals provide an anchor and common ground between all of the tracks and this is complemented by producer Andy LeMaster's warm and shimmery productions.  “I hope that this album is good company for the listener,” says Laurent-Marke, “I tried to create something that would leave them happy, leave them with a feeling of peace. To me, the best thing an album can be is a friend you can rely on.

Alessi's Ark 2013 Tour Dates 
MAY 17 -- BARCELONA, ES, BARTS (Barcelona Arts on Stage)





(Early show supporting The Ludlow Thieves;  Show starts at 7:30PM and advance tickets are $12)






* supporting Sam Amidon

** supporting Patterson Hood

Alessi's Ark

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Sons and Heirs (Smiths Tribute Band) Play A Morrissey Birthday Celebration at The Bell House on May 22nd

The Sons and Heirs (Smiths Tribute Band) Play A Morrissey Birthday Celebration at The Bell House on May 22nd
This looks like fun...

"The music of Morrissey, Johnny Marr and co. lives on with The Sons and Heirs, a NYC-based tribute band that brings the experience of seeing The Smiths live to the stage. Singer Ronnissey, guitarist Ravi Marr. bassist Christian Rourke and drummer Jonathan Joyce recreate the songs and stage performance of The Smiths with stunning authenticity and attention to detail, right down to the last gladioli left on stage when the band is through."

Raven and Crow Design Studio is hosting a Morrissey birthday celebration at The Bell House on Wednesday, May 22nd. The show includes a live set by The Sons and Heirs (NYC's Tribute to The Smiths and Morrissey), DJ Matt Heart Spade and a reading by Tony Fletcher, author of "A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths". No clue on what to think about the "Smiths-inspired congregation of food, fashion and culture" that is also listed as part of the evening's activities. Earlier this year, Fuse.tv had but forward some suggestions for vegetarian menu options inspired by the Morrissey/Smiths catalog.

*This Charming Yam
*The Lettuce Head Master Ritual
*The Boy with the Corn as His Side
*Panic in the Leafs of London
*Figmouth Strikes Again
*Vicar in a Tofu

Tickets for the show at The Bell House are $12 in advance and $15 DOS - doors are at 8PM. For those who pre-order tickets, the fine folks at Raven + Crow Studio are doing weekly giveaways (link).

The Sons and Heirs at The Bell House with special guest Andy Rourke

The Sons and Heirs

Loren Benjamin (Brooklyn Piano-Pop) Announces First US Tour / Show Tonight at Rockwood Music Hall

Loren Benjamin (Brooklyn Piano-Pop) Announces First US Tour / Show Tonight at Rockwood Music Hall
"This is no guilty pleasure and listening to Loren’s own music, especially songs like Lonely Boy and Barcelona, the impact of British piano-based songwriters like Elton John, Chris Martin and Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley shines proudly through." -- Songwriting Magazine

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Loren Benjamin kicked off his first US tour last night in Pennsylvania and is playing Rockwood Music Hall tonight (11PM set time).  Loren is touring behind a new acoustic EP which will be available for sale at the show.

"After playing many hot clubs in New York City, I am embarking on my first ever tour in the US, playing 16 gigs from Boston to Nashville in local clubs with my musicians Segev ‘Sunny’ Haroosh on guitars and Ofer ‘Cozy’ Levy on percussion. Check out the Live page and please join us somewhere!! There will be more dates added later on.

I have also recorded an acoustic EP in my home studio with 6 favorite live songs, you can already listen to them on my Music page. We will be bringing the EP on tour with us so if you want to get a unique musical souvenir you can find it at the clubs near you.
"  - from Loren Benjamin's Blog

Loren Benjamin Spring 2013 Tour Dates
Sat. May 11th – Doylestown, PA @ 8pm – Puck Live
Sun. May 12th – New York, NY @ 11pm – Rockwood One
Wed. May 15th – Philadelphia, PA @ 9pm – The Grape Room
Thu. May 16th – Harrisburg, PA @ 8pm- The Midtown Scholar
Fri. May 17th – Thomas, WV @ 8pm – The Purple Fiddle
Sat. May 18th – Louisville, KY @ 8pm – The Hideaway Saloon
Sun. May 19th – Nashville, TN @ 8pm – Centerstate
Mon. May 20th – Nashville, TN – Blue Bird Cafe
Tue. May 21st – Knoxville, TN @ 9pm – Long Branch Saloon
Fri. May 24th – Burlington, VT @ 8pm – The Skinny Pancake
Sat. May 25th – Cambridge, MA @ 7:30pm – All Asia
Sun. May 26th – Boston, MA
Mon. May 27th – North Hampton, MA @ 8pm – The Elevens
Thu. May 30th – New York, NY @ 9:30pm – Rock Shop
Sun. June 2nd – Mapleton, NJ – House Concert

Loren Benjamin

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Announce New Self-Titled Disc Out July 23rd (Vagrant) / Only Local Appearance at Governor's Ball on June 8th

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Announce New Self-Titled Disc Out July 23rd / Only Local Appearance at Governor's Ball on June 8th
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros announced that a self-titled third disc, the follow-up to 2012's Here, will be released on July 23rd. Frontman Alex Ebert said: "These songs mean everything to me. It's the rawest, most liberated, most rambunctious stuff we've done".

Some of the material from this new disc has been part of the band's live set for the last few months...

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Track List
Better Days
Let’s Get High
Life Is Hard
If I Were Free
In The Lion
Country Calling
They Were Wrong
In The Summer
Remember To Remember
This Life

The band is out on an extensive summer tour that kicks off tonight in Napa, CA. The only local tour stop is at the Governor's Ball Music Festival on Randall's Island on June 8th (with Guns N' Roses headlining that night) and this show is completely sold out.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Summer 2013 Tour Dates
May 11, 2013 -- Napa, CA, Bottle Rock Festival
May 23, 2013 -- Lake Tahoe, NV, Montbleu Resort Casino
May 25, 2013 -- Portland, OR, The Rose Festival
May 26, 2013 -- Quincy, WA, Sasquatch Festival
May 28, 2013 -- Billings, MT, Babcock Theatre
May 29, 2013 -- Jackson, WY, Pink Garter Theatre
May 30, 2013 -- Salt Lake City, UT, Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
June 02, 2013 -- Morrison, CO, Red Rocks
June 04, 2013 -- Council Bluffs, IA, Stir Cove
June 05, 2013 -- Des Moines, IA, Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater
June 07, 2013 -- Pittsburgh, PA, Three Rivers Arts Festival (Free)
June 08, 2013 -- New York, NY, Governor’s Ball Music Festival
June 09, 2013 -- Portland, ME, State Theatre
June 11, 2013 -- Shelburne, VT, The Green at Shelburne Museum
June 12, 2013 -- Montreal, Canada, The Metropolis
June 13, 2013 -- June 16th, 2013 -- Manchester, TN, Bonnaroo
June 15, 2013 -- Atlanta, GA, Midsummer Music Festival (Free)
June 18, 2013 -- Chattanooga, TN, Track 29
June 19, 2013 -- Knoxville, TN, Bijou Theatre
June 21, 2013 -- Norfolk, VA, The Norva
June 23, 2013 -- Dover, DE, Firefly Festival
June 24, 2013 -- Kalamazoo, MI, Kalamazoo State Theatre
June 25, 2013 -- Minneapolis, MN, Cabooze Outdoor Plaza
June 26, 2013 -- Milwaukee, WI, Summerfest
June 28, 2013 -- Chicago, IL, Old St. Pat’s Church Block Party
June 29, 2013 -- Kansas City, KS, Kanrocksas Music Festival

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Monday, May 06, 2013

Jonny Orsini (from Broadway's 'The Nance') Will Be Doing a Live Q&A Tomorrow on Facebook

Jonny Orsini (from Broadway's 'The Nance') Will Be Doing a Live Q&A Tomorrow on Facebook
Jonny Orsini, who made his Broadway debut working alongside Nathan Lane in The Nance, will be doing a live Q&A session from 4 - 4:30PM tomorrow on Lincoln Center Theater's Facebook site.

The Nance opened April 15th and has been extended through August 11th at the Lyceum Theater (149 West 45th Street).

Douglas Carter Beane's The Nance recreates the raucous world of burlesque's heyday and tells the story of Chauncey Miles (Nathan Lane) and his fellow performers.  The Nance is a tale of Miles’ struggle to balance his belief that he can find happiness being a part of ‘mainstream / conservative’ New York with his onstage flamboyant persona and his offstage love affair with Ned (Jonny Orsini).  Miles’ strong conviction that both his onstage and offstage personas are a normal part of the social fabric during Mayor LaGuardia’s cleanup of New York and his self-loathing for being unable to be a part of mainstream society leads to him to sabotage both his personal and professional life. 

The Nance is running seven shows a week (in addition to Wed – Sat nightly shows, there are 2:00PM shows on Wednesday and Saturday and a 3:00PM show on Sunday) and tickets range from $37 - $127.

The Nance

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Charlotte Sometimes (Warped Tour Vetran and 'The Voice' finalist) Plays Arlene's Grocery on May 18th

Charlotte Sometimes (Warped Tour Vetran and 'The Voice' finalist) Plays Arlene's Grocery on May 18th
Charlotte Sometimes started her recording career on Geffen Records (with 2008's Waves and Both of Us) and, most recently, released released her fourth EP, "Circus Head", in October of 2012 via a PledgeMusic campaign. Charlotte had a busy 2012 as she was also a finalist on Season 2 of The Voice, which aired last spring, but ultimately lost out to Jermaine Paul.

Obviously not slowing down, Charlotte is playing a few Warped Tour dates this year along with a short run of solo shows - which includes a stop at Arlene's Grocery on May 18th. Cover for this show is $10 and Charlotte goes on at 8PM.

Charlotte Sometimes Spring 2013 Tour
May 18  -- Arlene's Grocery New York, NY
May 31  -- The Berkeley Hotel Asbury Park, NJ
Jul 06  -- Vans Warped Tour-Acoustic Basement Buffalo, NY
Jul 07  -- Vans Warped Tour-Acoustic Basement Holmdel, NJ
Jul 10  -- Vans Warped Tour-Acoustic Basement Columbia, MD
Jul 16  -- Vans Warped Tour-Acoustic Basement Scranton, PA

Before celebrating her 25th birthday, pop songstress Charlotte Sometimes already found herself praised by critics and superstars alike. As Blake Shelton, her coach on NBC's The Voice recently put it, "She's a true artist and true artists have visions."

This vision is perfectly captured on the new EP, "Circus Head", a 5 song gem which showcases her signature style which "earns her instant attention." (The New York Times) From the infectiously catchy opener, "Brilliant Broke and Beautiful," to the sentimental "Paint The Sky," Circus Head puts Charlotte's strong and attention grabbing vocals on display atop perfectly crafted pop hooks.

In addition to making it into the top 24 on Season 2 of The Voice, Charlotte Sometimes has been named a VH1 "You Oughta Know" artist and one of the "Top 100 Bands You Need To Know" by Alternative Press magazine. She has toured in support of Butch Walker, Gavin Degraw, Pat Monahan and The Hush Sound.

Charlotte Sometimes

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Cursive Announce June Tour of the Mid-West (Saddle Creek)

(Photo: Daniel Muller)

Cursive Announce June Tour of the Mid-West (Saddle Creek)
While Cursive aren't playing any area shows (right now), there is probably one or two people on the inner-web thang that live in one of the cities on Cursive's June tour.

Cursive will hit the road again this summer for a handful of midwestern dates in June. Beginning June 20th at The Mill in Iowa City, IA, the band will work their way northward to the 605 Summer Classic in Sioux Falls, SD on the 22nd before wrapping up on the 24th at Record Bar in Kansas City, MO. A current itinerary is below.

Last year proved to be one of Cursive's busiest ever touring-wise, having spent the majority of the 12 months playing throughout North America and in Europe, and including a trip to Brazil in December. The band's seventh LP, I Am Gemini, was released on February 21st, 2012 via Saddle Creek, earning praise from Alternative Press, Big Takeover, CMJ, Ghettoblaster, Magnet, Paste, Penthouse, Relix, Revolver, and Vice, among others.

In related news, frontman Tim Kasher is currently working on his second solo album, following 2010's The Game Of Monogamy. More news will be announced soon.

Cursive June 2013 Tour Dates:


Zolle [Italian Stoner/Doom Band] - Self-Titled CD Review (Out May 13th on Supernatural Cat)

STREAM: Zolle - "Trakthor"

Zolle [Italian Stoner/Doom Band] - Selft-Titled CD Review (Out May 13th on Supernatural Cat)I find it difficult to write reviews of instrumental albums as, often, the individual songs don’t stand out or break from the overall sound of the album. As such, it is difficult to make reference to any high or low points on the disc as these sorts of albums one listens to start-to-finish or not at all.

Instrumental Italian stoner/doom duo Zolle will release their self-titled debut album on May 13th via Supernatural Cat. The band practices a ‘less-is-more’ approach and pummels and grinds through the disc’s groove and riff-oriented ten tracks in twenty-eight minutes. While the music is relentlessly heavy, the band expresses their sense of humor through the song titles – many of which reference redneck living. The band’s most recent single, “Heavy Letam”, is suggestive of “Letame” — which means manure in Italian — resulting in “a shitty anagram about heavy metal.”

Continuing with the redneck references, the band’s bio starts with the line “Only those who know the ease of a cow while defecating can understand the genesis of the songs of Zolle.” While I have no idea what this means, somehow it seems relevant to the video below.

Zolle was formed by Marcello Lan (Morkobot), who lays down the meaty riffs, and counterpart Stefano who beefs things up on drums and xylophone, the duo commenced work on their debut album throughout the summer of 2012, and in just two months they had the music ready to commit to tape.

Their self-titled album was recorded in September of the same year by Michelangelo Roberti at Mizkey Studio (Morkobot) and mastered by Giovanni Versari (Zu, Morkobot, OvO, One Dimensional Man). It was almost all played live, with overdubs reduced to the bone. The drums are of considerable proportion and made of copper and the amplifier an old digital model of the ’50s which makes for a mammoth sound. Finally, Urlo from Ufomammut and Roberto Rizzo of Quasiviri/Runi add synth seasoning to flesh out the album.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

R.E.M. - Live in Greensboro CD EP Review (Record Store Day Release)

"There's a sucker born every minute" -- David Hannum

R.E.M. - Live in Greensboro CD EP Review (Record Store Day Release)Yawn...the last few releases in R.E.M.'s 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition series have been extremely lackluster and the band's new EP, "Live in Greensboro", which is a companion piece to the forthcoming Green reissue (out May 14th), doesn't fail to disappoint.

"Live in Greensboro" is being marketed as "featur[ing] a handful of performances from the Greensboro show that, due to space constraints, are not found on the [Green] Deluxe Edition". While the implication is that this EP contains all the missing tracks from the Deluxe Edition's bonus disc, the reality is that only five of the missing eight tracks are included, in seemingly randomly order no less.

Below is the full set list from the Greensboro show:

The One I Love
So. Central Rain ["Live In Greensboro" - Track 1]
Turn You Inside-Out
Exhuming McCarthy
Good Advices
Orange Crush
Feeling Gravitys Pull ["Live In Greensboro" - Track 2]
These Days
World Leader Pretend
I Believe
I Remember California ["Live In Greensboro" - Track 5]
Get Up
Life and How to Live It
It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Pop Song '89
Fall on Me
You Are the Everything

Encore 2:
Harpers(Hugo Largo cover) [still unreleased]
Begin the Begin
King of Birds ["Live In Greensboro" - Track 4]
Strange(Wire cover) ["Live In Greensboro" - Track 3]

Encore 3:
Finest Worksong
Perfect Circle
Dark Globe(Syd Barrett cover) [still unreleased]
After Hours (Velvet Underground cover) [still unreleased]

As this show was recorded for the "Tourfilm" video, the recording is stellar and one can clearly hear the drums and keyboards in the mix. The song performances are all 'by the book' - while they run a bit longer than the studio versions, R.E.M. was a polished touring band by 1989 so there are no off-kilter stories from Stipe or drunken covers. While these straight-forward renditions aren't an issue, the reordering of the songs is a bit jarring as "Strange" really doesn't work being sequenced between "Feeling Gravitys Pull" and "King of Birds".

While there may not be much here for the long-time fans, this disc appears to have been a 'flippers' goldmine. "Live in Greensboro" was released two weeks ago for $7.98 and seems to be consistently selling on eBay for $30 - $40.