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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brittain Ashford's new music project Prairie Empire

Brooklyn & Portland's Prairie Empire was born out of the wanderings of Brittain Ashford from one coast to another and back. A summer spent in Portland, Oregon yielded a new, eleven-track project with members of Portland based Harlowe and the Great North Woods. Ashford played our SXSW showcase last year after recording some demos in Marfa, TX and her new band Prairie Empire will be performing our fourth music showcase on Friday, March 4th at Brooklyn's Union Pool along with Seattle based Sub Pop recording artist Tiny Vipers and Brooklyn's Natureboy. Brittain Ashford's Prairie Empire creates beautiful folk songs with honest and heartfelt lyrics. She plays the autoharp and ukulele and her band members add delicate instrumentation to the stark and powerful arrangements. is proud to give you the premiere download of a new song entitled "Snow" off the new album here:
Prairie Empire - Snow.Mp3
The new self titled album will be released on March 29th, 2011.

Prairie Empire - Track Listing:
01 Ten-Fold.
02. Song for You
03. Give
04. Time Takes Time
05. Summer Light
06. Snow
07. Under Hum
08. Winter Came
09. Where You Are
10. Patience and Grace
11. Pieces, Parts

Get tickets to see Prairie Empire perform at Union Pool on March 4th

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Bright Eyes track from The People’s Key.

Bright Eyes The People’s Key is out via Saddle Creek February 2nd, 2011.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Cass McCombs LP entitled Wit’s End

Cass McCombs, singer-songwriter born in Northern California in 1977 and currently residing somewhere in that State, is set to release Wit’s End, his fifth-and-a-half album and third on Domino, on April 12 (NA)/April 11 (UK). The result of two years recording in various homes and studios in California, New York, New Jersey and Chicago, Wit’s End was produced by Cass with Ariel Rechtshaid, with whom he also created Catacombs.

Sounds that conjure the colors purple and black, this is his darkest record to date. It seems he is going deeper into the mania of a man buried alive inside his self-made Catacombs, banging the stone walls, crying to be let out, and enjoying the quiet away from the outside world. However, he is not a man afraid of his own shadow, for in this environment of complete darkness, no shadows can be cast. This is a world of total Feeling. Here, words become a catalyst away from the slavery of arbitrary Thought and toward Feeling.

Cass and his band will play SXSW this year, and tour the U.S. this summer.

Listen to “County Line”, off of Wit’s End, below.

Wit’s End tracklisting:
1. County Line
2 The Lonely Doll
3. Buried Alive
4. Saturday Song
5. Memory’s Stain
6. Hermit’s Cave
7. Pleasant Shadow Song
8. A Knock Upon the Door

Above logo/illustration by Cass McCombs & Philippe Remond.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kevchino showcase with Tiny Vipers, Natureboy & Prairie Empire March 4th at Union Pool & Musicology NYC Presents
Tiny Vipers
Prairie Empire
+ DJ ? (To Be Announced) & DJ Kevchino spinning between sets.

Friday, March 4th at Union Pool
484 Union Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11211

21+ Doors 9pm $10 advance $12 at the door

Purchase advance tickets here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Shilpastic Show Brooklyn Bowl 1/21/11

Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers came on stage all wearing bowling shoes and played a killer of a set at Brooklyn Bowl last night. They took the stage blazing and stayed on fire till the very end. The band was joined on stage by Soft Black's frontman on guitar for a song and many songs had beautiful textures from a slide steel guitarist and vintage organ sounds by a madly good organist. This was definitely one of the best and most solid sets I've seen her and the band play. Shilpa came on stage for the encore wearing an imperial crown and a sceptre and busted into an amazing rocking cover of Pink Floyd's "In the Flesh," followed by a cover of Red Kross's "Neurotica," then they closed it down with "Genie's Drugs." There were many cameras filming the band so hopefully well see some videos from the show sometime soon. *fingers crossed* But in the meantime hear is the entire audio from the show via NYC Taper!

Words and pics by Kevin Serra

Small Black

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tonight Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers album release of Teenage And Torture

Tonight Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers's album Teenage And Torture is out TODAY January 18th on Knitting Factory Records. Tonight this Friday January 21st they play Brooklyn Bowl to celebrate its release. Amazing Brooklyn artists Soft Black and She Keeps Bees will open the show. It's ONLY $5 8 pm show time. Above is Shilpa Ray And Her Happy Hookers video for "Heaven In Stereo."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Coachella 2011

Music: The 2011 line-up will feature: !!!, 12th Planet, Afrojack, Alf Alpha, Andy C, Angus and Julia Stone, Animal Collective, Arcade Fire, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, A-Trak, Axwell, Beardyman, Best Coast, Big Audio Dynamite, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77, Bomba Estereo, Boys Noize, Brandon Flowers, Brandt Brauer Frick, Breakage, Bright Eyes, Broken Social Scene, Cage the Elephant, Caifanes, Caspa, Cee Lo Green, Chromeo, Chuckie, City and Colour, Clare Maguire, Cold Cave, Cold War Kids, Crystal Castles, CSS, Cults, Cut Copy, Daedelus, Death From Above 1979, Delorean, Delta Sprirt, DJ Hype, DJ Kentaro, DJ Marky, DJ Zinc, Duck Sauce, Duran Duran, EE, Elbow, Electric Touch, Eliza Doolittle, Ellie Goulding, Emicida, Empire of the Sun, Erick Morillo, Erykah Badu, Excision, , Fat Freddy's Drop, Fedde Le Grand, Fistful of Mercy, Flogging Molly, Foals, Foster the People, Francis and the Lights, Freelance Whales, fun., G.Q., Gayngs, Glasser, Gogol Bordello, Good Old War, Gord Downie, Goth Trad, Green Velvet, Gypsy and the Cat, HEALTH, Here We Go Magic, High Contrast, Hurts, Interpol, Jack Beats, Jack's Mannequin, Jakes, Jenny and Johnny, Jimmy Eat World, Joachim Garraud, Joy Orbison, Kanye West, Kele, Kings of Leon, Klaxons, Kode9, Kyle Hall, Laidback Luke, Leftfield, Lightning Bolt, Lil' B, Lorn, Los Bunkers, Magnetic Man, , Mariachi El Bronx, Marina and the Diamonds, Mary Anne Hobbs, MEN, Menomena, Monarchy, Mount Kimbie, Moving Units, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mumford & Sons, Nas & Damian Marley, Neon Trees, New Pants, Nosaj Thing, OFF!, OFWGKTA, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, One Day as a Lion, Ozomatli, Paul van Dyk, Phantogram, Phosphorescent, PJ Harvey, Plan B, Ramadanman, Raphael Saadiq, Ras G, Ratatat, Riva Starr, Robyn, Roska, Rye Rye, Sander Kleinenberg, Sasha, SBTRKT, Scala & Kolacny Bros., Scissor Sisters, She Wants Revenge, Shpongle, Skrillex, Sleigh Bells, Steve Angello, Sven Vath, Take, Tame Impala, Terror Danjah, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, The Aquabats, The Black Keys, The Chemical Brothers, The Drums, The Felice Brothers, The Henry Clay People, The Joy Formidable, The Kills, The London Suede, The Love Language, The Morning Benders, The National, The New Pornographers, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, The Presets, The Radio Dept., The Rural Alberta Advantage, The Strokes, The Swell Season, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Twelves, Thunderball, Tinie Tempah, Titus Andronicus, Tokimonsta, Trampled by Turtles, Trentemoller, Twin Shadow, Two Door Cinema Club, Warpaint, Wire, Wiz Khalifa, Yacht, Yelle and Zed Bias.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mister Heavenly Bowery Ballroom 1/16/11

We caught Philadelphia's Sun Airway opening the Bowery show with an amazing, high energy set. The band set a mood complementing their music, playing in low light with projected imagery behind them. Dead Oceans released the band's debut album entitled Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier on October 26th 2010. Jon Barthmus and his bandmate Patrick Marsceill, both from the now-defunct emo band the A-Sides, put on a sick show with fuzzed out keyboard, and highly driven bass and drums. Barthmus's voice was very pleasant, at times recalled a more experimental Ben Gibbard. The band put on an amazing set, which peaked on their last song and left the audience wanting more.

Mister Heavenly is an indie supergroup of sorts. It's comprised of dueling lead singers Honus Honus (Man Man) and Nick Diamonds (Islands / ex-Unicorns), drummer Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse) and comedic actor Michael Cera on bass guitar. Cera played a Vox Phantom bass, the guitar version of the instrument was made popular by Joy DIvision's frontman Ian Curtis.

The band has been making headlines in the last few months with their Sub Pop records deal and their tour with Passion Pit, traveling across the US from west to east. I had been hearing a ton of buzz about the band but had no idea what to expect as they had no released material except for a few YouTube videos. Just a few days before the show, Subpop released a free (ransom for your email) two song single with tracks “Mister Heavenly” and “Pineapple Girl.” The band claims to be an answer to doo-wop and they delivered it well at the Bowery Ballroom. The songs were amazingly tight for a band that has only been on one tour and doesn't even have a full record out. This was probably due to Joe Plummer's tightly metered drumming. Honus Honus's voice and key playing were strong and blended nicely with the quirky stage presence and guitar playing of Nick Diamonds. Michael Cera held his own on his bass; he has been playing bass during his films Scott Pilgrim Versus The World and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. The band sounded great as they plowed through a set of unknown tracks that, nonetheless, had the audience dancing. During the set, Nick Diamonds insisted that they were a Brooklyn band and that they wrote some of the tunes and lyrics in Clinton Hill. There was a wonderfully addled anecdote about the genesis of a song about a Bronx Sniper and when they broke into the tune, the blending of vocal parts by Honus Honus and Nick Diamonds made it sound like the start of a new genre, doom-wop, perhaps. They did an energetic cover of The Oblivions “Bad Man" and ended their set. They returned to the stage and satisfied the stomping, clapping crowd with an encore cover of The Misfits’ “Hybrid Moments."

Words & Pics by Kevin Serra

Friday, January 14, 2011

2 Free Mister Heavenly tracks

Mister Heavenly spurred on by a mutual appreciation for doo-wop and doomed love songs (aka doom-wop), Nick Diamonds (Islands/Unicorns) and Honus Honus (Man Man) set out to record a one-off instrumental 7" but soon found themselves, within a span of a few late-night sessions, writing an entire album. When Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse) joined in, Mister Heavenly was officially born. The band has featured actor Michael Cera on bass at many of their shows thus far.

R.I.P. Broadcast's Trish Keenan

An official statement from Warp Records website: "It is with great sadness we announce that Trish Keenan from Broadcast passed away at 9am this morning in hospital. She died from complications with pneumonia after battling the illness for two weeks in intensive care.

Our thoughts go out to James, Martin, her friends and her family and we request that the public respect their wishes for privacy at this time.

This is an untimely tragic loss and we will miss Trish dearly - a unique voice, an extraordinary talent and a beautiful human being. Rest in Peace."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monogold Album Release show this Friday!

Brooklyn's lovely indie-rockers Monogold have been working on a follow up to last years amazing EP We Animals. The band will perform live on Friday January 14th at Public Assembly. The event starts at 7pm and is $10.

The new album is entitled The Softest Glow artwork below and the track listing is:
01. Ivory Teeth Golden Tusk
02. Spirit or Something
03. Wind or Hymn
04. Traps / Offerings
05. Whippoorwill
06. Glow To Sleep
07. 2's or 4's
08. I Accidentally Conjured Up A Ghost...Look!
09. Feel Animal 
10. Dead Sea Minerals
11. Segue
12. Fossil Clouds

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sharon Van Etten Bowery Ballroom January 8 2011

The War on Drugs and Sebastian Blanck both seemed like an odd paring for the shows opening acts. Sebastian Blanck set was filled with a plethora of technical issues and the band and Sebastian Blanck both had a very uncomfortable stage presence. Maybe playing the Bowery was a bit to much pressure or it was just a very bad night either way the band never seemed to recover and get back into a groove and escape the tension they were creating. Sharon joined them on stage to sing their final song.

The War on Drugs had a retro Dylan/Petty thing going on . . . set against some psychedelic grooves. The singer did have some sparkly reverb soaked guitar melodies but the majority of the crowd seemed eager for them to finish their set and let Sharon begin.

Sharon Van Etten not only headlined the Bowery Ballroom but she sold it out. The bowery was pretty packed during The War on Drugs set but jammed packed like sardines when Sharon came on. She opened with material off Epic as the band blazed through five songs "A Crime," "Peace Signs," "Save Yourself," "One Day" and a powerful version of "Don't Do It."

The lovely Cat Martino added beautiful harmonies to Sharon's set as per usual but during this show she added a loop box and an effect processor to her arsenal which she added lush textures to the full band compositions. SVE was also accompanied by a live drummer, bassist and keyboardist. Brad Cook of Megafaun joined the group and sung nice background melodies on "Tornado."

Sharon was quite nervous during her entire set and was either talking with her parents who were seated in the balcony, or her cousin in the front row and other family members scattered in the club between songs. She cussed like a sailor and was telling odd stories though out the evening one about having bright red toothpaste so she can easily find any traces of it in the sink to clean it out in here pitch black bathroom. Her big show was a lot to take in I bet, she has been playing smaller venues on the circuit for years. I really enjoyed her odd and funny banter from time to time she even would throw in a heavy Jersey accent.

She ended her set with her beautiful tune "Love More," on which she plays the harmonium. She was joined on stage by The Antlers frontman Peter Silberman who added his lovely high voice to the mix (see video below). She played a few songs solo then brought the band back on stage for a R.E.M cover of "Strange Currencies," (see video below) which is the first time I've seen Sharon run freely on stage with a microphone in hand. She and the band and guests put on a really amazing show. NYC Taper recorded the event and has MP3's of the show to check out here.

SVE Set List:
A Crime
Peace Signs
Save Yourself
One Day
Don't Do It
Tell Me
All I Can
Love More

Damn Right
Give Out
Strange Currencies

The War on Drugs

Sebastian Blanck with Sharon Van Etten

Friday, January 07, 2011

Shortandsweet show with Hopewell, Prospector, Living Days, and Anonymous Celebrates its Third Year of existence at the Knitting Factory January 27, 2011 with Hopewell, Prospector, Living Days, and Anonymous.

On Thursday, January 27, 2011, NYC music and entertainment website celebrates its 3rd anniversary by presenting four different handpicked bands that we think you need to hear right now. Performers include Psychedelic rock act Hopewell, dance-punk outfit Prospector, retro-80s inspired band Living Days, and hip hop up-and-comer Anonymous.

Tickets $12. Doors: 8:00 PM / Show: 8:30 PM. All Ages Show! For more information and to purchase tickets, go to
Knitting Factory - Brooklyn
361 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

HOPEWELL | 11:30pm
PROSPECTOR (formerly known as Doppelganger) | 10:30pm
LIVING DAYS | 9:30pm
ANONYMOUS {And.On.I.Must} | 8:30pm

Show info:
Thurs, January 27, 2010 | Doors: 8:00 PM / Show: 8:30 PM | $12.00 | All Ages Show!

Venue info:
Knitting Factory - Brooklyn - 361 Metropolitan Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211

Purchase tickets here.

Tricky @ The Troubadour, Los Angeles 12/22/10

Making his way back to southern California on a rare club-date tour, Tricky played to an sold-out show at The Troubadour in Hollywood. The audience's excitement going into the show was palatable, with a sizable number of fans stranded on the outside the club, seeing if they could gain entrance. Feeling lucky to have gotten in to the show, may have been further pronounced by the multiple times I've seen Tricky & Co. play over the years.

The show started with Tricky grooving about the stage, while his female singer Francesca Belmont taking the main vocal role for the evening. Starting off the evening in a more Trip-Hop mood, the vocals osculated between Francesca on the more dreamy tunes and Tricky on the faster ones.

A few songs into the set; and with Tricky in classic Iggy Pop/sans-shirt style, a familiar riff started playing and Tricky busted out with Motorhead's "Ace of Spades." Pretty impressive I'd say, though it would have been nice to see him performing it. This , being the first point in the evening in which Tricky decided to invite the audience on the stage for a dance-party of sorts. Kind of cool, but a little early in the evening - a fun romp, nonetheless.

Playing a wide variety of tunes, he touched on early songs like "Karmacoma" from his interlude with Massive Attack. Most memorable being his latest single "Murder Weapon" from his new album Mixed Race, as well as "Council Estate" from the previous release Knowle West Boy.

As for the Troubadour itself, I can't say much favorable - other than it's a small place and had a good bar. Even from people who are not really visually conscious, I've had the lighting referred to as the equivalent of a light-bright set. Ok, Let's say a high-powered LED light-bright set - but still pretty poor - and that is when they were using any lighting at all. I do like dark ambient shows (check out: A Place to Bury Strangers or Mono), but that's usually accented with interesting lighting to at least silhouette the artist. Anyhow, marks for Tricky, not the venue.

Further on in the evening Tricky invited the audience on-stage again. I would have loved to feel this was spontaneous, it just didn't seem that way; hearing this is something thing they've been doing at other shows lately (from friends that have seen him this tour on previous dates). This did seem to detract from the vibe of the evening. It seemed to be another episode of Tricky's dance-party, though to be fair: everyone onstage seemed to be having a blast. This definitely had it's good merits of close interaction with the audience, but it kind of broke up the mood coming from the stage & must have been a bit invisible of a performance, for those not on-stage.

The show then continued with Francesca singing Tricky's Trip-Hop lullabies, as the audience was ushered from the stage. The band grooved along, as Tricky provided lyrical punctuation. Heading towards the last few songs; Tricky in the role of house-party host, moved into the audience.

En route to hanging with audience-peeps at the bar, he hugged nearly everyone he encountered on the way. This definitely made you want to hang with the warm-fuzzy performer Tricky; but also, to hope that the next tour has more of the mesmerizing vibe that he is famous for & again hopefully a better venue...

Words & Pics by Anon

Monday, January 03, 2011

Sharon Van Etten headlines the Bowery Ballroom this Saturday!

Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and former Middle Tennessean Sharon Van Etten will perform at the Bowery Ballroom this Saturday January 8th along with The War on Drugs, Sebastian Blanck. Be there or be square!n The show is now sold out and she is taking on her first headlining tour in the US.

Sat 01/08/11 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom # (SOLD OUT!)
Wed 01/19/11 New Haven, CT - BAR
Thu 01/20/11 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's %
Fri 01/21/11 Columbus, OH - Wexner Center at Ohio State %
Sat 01/22/11 Nashville, TN - The 5 Spot %
Sun 01/23/11 Asheville, NC - Broadways %
Sun 02/13/11 London, England @ Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen
Tues 02/15/11 Belgium, Brussels - Forest National w/The National
Thu 02/17/11 Utrecht @ Netherlands Cross-Linx Fest
Fri 02/18/11 Eindhoven @ Netherlands Cross-Linx Fest
Sat 02/19/11 Groningen, @ Netherlands Cross-Linx Fest
Sun 02/20/11 Rotterdam, @ Netherlands Cross-Linx Fest
Tues 02/22/11 Poland, Krakow – Studio w/The National
Thu 02/24/11 Poland, Warsaw – Stodola w/The National
Fri 02/25/11 Germany, Berlin - C-Halle w/The National
Sat 02/26/11 Denmark, Aarhus – SCC w/The National
Mon 02/28/11 Sweden, Lund - Färs & Frosta w/The National
Tues 03/01/11 Sweden, Stockholm – Cirkus w/The National
Thu 03/03/11 Finland, Helsinki - The House of Culture w/The National
Fri 03/04/11 Finland, Helsinki - The House of Culture w/The National
Thu 03/10/11 Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery
Fri 03/11/11 Raleigh, NC - Kings Barcade
Sat 03/12/11 Atlanta, GA - 529
Thu 03/17/11 Austin, TX - SXSW
Fri 03/18/11 Austin, TX - SXSW
Sat 03/19/11 Austin, TX - SXSW
Tue 03/22/11 Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture ^
Wed 03/23/11 Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room ^
Thu 03/24/11 San Diego, CA - Soda Bar ^
Fri 03/25/11 Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite ^
Sat 03/26/11 Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar ^
Sun 03/27/11 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill ^
Tue 03/29/11 Vancouver, BC - Media Club ^
Wed 03/30/11 Portland, OR - Doug Fir ^
Fri 04/01/11 Boise, ID - Neurolux ^
Sat 04/02/11 Salt Lake City, UT - State Room ^
Sun 04/03/11 Denver, CO - Walnut Room ^
Mon 04/04/11 Omaha, NE - Slowdown ^
Wed 04/06/11 Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center ^
Thu 04/07/11 Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater ^
Fri 04/08/11 Madison, WI - University of Wisconsin ^
Sat 04/09/11 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall ^
Sun 04/10/11 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern ^
Tue 04/12/11 Toronto, ON - Drake Hotel ^
Wed 04/13/11 Montreal, QC - Casa Del Popolo ^
Thu 04/14/11 Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall ^
Sun 04/17/11 Washington, DC - Red Palace ^

# with War On Drugs, Sebastian Blanck
% with Julianna Barwick
^ Little Scream

Rock & Roll Circus at Lincoln Center NYC

Monday and Tuesday this week January 3rd & 4th a group of bands will play in a tent a Lincoln Center.

Monday January 3rd features Japanther headlining and The Pharmacy, Voxhaul Broadcast, The So So Glos, Electric Tickle Machine

Tuesday January 4th features Ariel Pink headlining and Amazing Baby, Saint Motel, Aska + Nick Zinner

For more info or to buy tickets visit