Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Kim Gordon Announces 'No Home Record,' Her First Solo Album

When Kim Gordon dropped "Murdered Out" three years ago, her first single under her own name, she didn't ascribe it any significance. "It just kind of happened randomly," she told NPR at the time. But after four decades in Sonic Youth, and collaborating with everyone from Tony Conrad and Pussy Galore's Julie Cafritz to Bill Nace (in experimental duo Body/Head), not to mention her influence on the visual arts and fashion scenes, her nonchalance is perhaps indicative of Gordon's forward-leaning pace.

So now, Gordon has announced No Home Record, the first album under her own name, produced by Justin Raisen (Charli XCX, Angel Olsen, Santigold, Sky Ferreira). Like the dubbed-out "Murdered Out," album opener "Sketch Artist" is a feast of disorienting beats — oboe, quietly distorted guitar and rumbling bass shatter the atmosphere, as Gordon whispers through the rubble. It reinforces Kim Gordon as a malleable artist who, nonetheless, sounds only like Kim Gordon.

"Sketch Artist" comes with a video directed by Loretta Fahrenholz and featuring Broad City's Abbi Jacobson — Gordon plays a rideshare driver as dancers convulse on the streets.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

DIY Roots: Sunflower Bean in conversation

They are one of New York’s hottest young guitar bands, and ever since Sunflower Bean first started out in 2012, their creative journey has been one of hard work and focus. Playing hundreds of gigs in their hometown and being a part on the live music scene is important to the three musicians who want to continue making music and playing live shows.

Funded by Brooklyn Brewery, the eclectic psych rock trio – singer and bassist Julia Cumming, guitarist Nick Kivlen and drummer Jacob Faber – recently completed a string of intimate gigs in some of the UK’s most iconic venues including the Borderline in London, the Bodega Nottingham, York’s Crescent and the Exchange in Bristol. It was very unique and every show differed by offering its own atmosphere and energy.

“The live dates have been amazing”, enthuses Julia. “We have known Brooklyn Brewery from New York for a while and it’s cool what they are doing to support bands and smaller local venues in different places and make it a unique night. It is good to be a part of it and they are not only representing New York City. I like them a lot.”

Sunflower Bean love playing in the UK. All four shows were different. It can take a couple of shows to get into the swing of things, so the first and the last night are often going to be even more special.

“Every time we play shows in the UK we want to make sure that they are really good, it’s very special for us here”, explains Julia. “We are connected to the fans and the music culture, we brought out these songs we hadn’t played in a long time and we wanted to make sure that it was interesting for people that may seen us three times. We like the more intimate shows, like the Brooklyn Brewery ones, you know there was real quality”.

Delivering quality encompasses all aspects of the band’s work. To the surprise of their fans, they released ‘King of the Dudes’ early this year. Reactionary, it is a sharpened response to our times. Produced by Justin Raisen, the EP release represented a smart move, and it prompted both interest and curiosity.

If their acclaimed second album ‘Twentytwo In Blue’ allowed them to find strength, then ‘King of the Dudes’ can be seen as the means to utilising it. The track ‘Come for Me’ is featured on the EP, it is a song inspired by inner strength, power and sexual freedom. Having released their second album in 2018, the band decided to move quickly rather than wait ages before releasing new material.

“The reception has been pretty good”, says Jacob “It’s been funny to see and hear what people think of it because we put it out as a surprise. We released our record in March 2018. People were not expecting us to come out with a whole new pool of songs, so it’s been  cool to see how they have been reacting. It’s another step, a new direction for us but everyone has responded to it well. It’s crazy the way take off here in the UK”.

“It was definitely a new thing for us”, Jacob continues. “We produced, wrote and recorded the whole thing in two weeks in LA. It just felt like a ‘f*ck it let’s do it’ attitude. There is a lot of yelling and kicking, and there is a lot of excitement. We are always just trying to push ourselves and I don’t think we ever want to feel like we are stuck in a place or feel like we are boxed in. We are always just trying to move things forward and make new rock music”.

All their hard work is definitely paying off. Having played numerous live shows at underground level, Sunflower Bean have also had the pleasure of touring with big acts. In addition to building new friendships, touring with Wolf Alice taught them a lot about being a band.

“We first met them when they came over for their first US tour, we opened for them at a bunch of small venues in America”, recalls Nick. “We just became best friends and they were a similar age, I think maybe one or two years older than us. They worked very hard and by the time we came over to the UK and opened for them at Alexandra Palace in London, they had transformed everything from their light show, to stage production, to their songwriting”.

Similarly, the opportunity to go on tour with The Pixies is not one up for rejection, “It was pretty crazy when they asked us to open to them for some dates in the US because, they are an iconic band for us and our people and just really inspiring”, says Jacob. “They are a niche band and are not mainstream like some other artists. It was pretty cool to see all these fans pack out 3,000 capacity rooms all over the States and play new music”.

It is obvious that playing live means everything to Sunflower Bean. When they first started out they played more shows in 2014 than just about any other New York band. There is a website that lists all the different shows and the band go as far as to estimate that some of the smaller DIY shows went unrecorded as they don’t tend to get listed on the website.

“I think that’s how you get really good as a band in the first year”, says Nick. “There is a lot of benefits to it because you are getting to practice, develop your songs, you are getting reactions from audiences in real time about stuff, what’s working and what’s not working and you are also building a following”.

Starting out in New York they quickly went from being first on a bill of five bands to being top of it, “I remember the end of December of 2014 we played these three shows at Baby’s Alright and that’s the first time that we were able to pack these rooms. It felt like things were happening and by spring 2015 we were in the UK on our first tour and we had got signed. That is my advice to bands when they are first starting out; play as much as you can in your hometown, there are so many benefits to it”.

Sunflower Bean make an effort to properly engage with their fans in the UK, “We have a joke that there is something in the water here in the UK that just makes the music and the fans better”, Julia says. “I think that there is a real appreciation for rock and guitar music. There is an openness and an optimism about new music. I think that people here are generally curious about what’s going on, they want to watch an act to see how it develops, so we’ve been lucky to be part of that”.

Sunflower Bean are about authenticity, and having known Brooklyn Brewery for a good while, a relationship was already in place when the company approached them about doing the funded UK tour.

“The venues are so important. The venues are just like the ones we went to when we were teenagers. It’s really important work”, Jacobs concludes.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Rest in Power Mick Marsh

This dude lived rock n roll. Positive vibes, all the time. I was fortunate enough to know him and his influence, musically and a 'one of a kind' personality changed me.  Changed us.  He was one of us, the lower east side crew.  The vampires of ludlow.  A brother, a kind soul, a vinyl encyclopedia.  Rest in Power Mick, you are missed with pure love forever.

Howard Stern Drops ‘Scary’ Neil Young Bombshell

Howard Stern discussed Neil Young refusing to be filmed at Woodstock 50 years ago on his show earlier this week, and said Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young were ‘scared shitless’ onstage. Stern revealed why he was upset he hadn’t booked Young yet for his show in a leaked 2013 video.

Howard said what a great festival that was. He said it was a great film too. He said they had Crosby Stills and Nash there. He had some of their song which was only their second gig. They said they were scared shitless up on stage there. Howard had them performing ”Helplessly Hoping.” Howard said this is interesting. He said Neil Young refused to be in the film so they had to shoot around him. He said Neil thought they were playing to the cameras and he got pissed off about that. He said he asked Neil about that when he was on the show. Howard played a clip from that interview where Neil was talking about the cameras at Woodstock.

Howard said Neil was still pissed off about it. He said that Neil wasn’t the only one who refused to be in it. He said the bands who didn’t appear in it missed out on a big opportunity. Howard said this guy did a killer performance of a song that got a standing ovation and he wasn’t in the movie. He said if he was just in the movie he would have been huge. He said this was Bert Sommer performing ”America.” Howard played some of that song. Howard said it was beautiful. He said he would have been like Joe Cocker. He said he refused to be in the movie. Robin said it would be interesting to talk to some of these people who weren’t in it. Howard said Bert died in 1990. Howard Stern revealed Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock paycheck earlier this week.

The Peter Ulrich Collaboration Set to Release New Record “Final Reflections”

The Peter Ulrich Collaboration’s “Final Reflections”; the final chapter in the well received The Painted Caravan Trilogy, will be available for streaming and purchase on all the major services starting December 3rd, 2019 with an expected single and video for the lead track “Artificial Man” set to drop in the coming weeks.

As a special thanks to Collaboration fans, from September 16th until November 5th, the new album Final Reflections - along with the entire Painted Caravan Trilogy - will be available on a pre order basis at a special discounted rate through AIS Records; which is distributing Final Reflections and The Painted Caravan Trilogy under an exclusive license from City Canyons. Stayed tuned for a link for this very special discount with access to the entire Trilogy at one convenient location.

The Peter Ulrich Collaboration is a collaboration helmed by Peter Ulrich, former percussionist for the iconic Dead Can Dance, the brilliantly innovative band that music historian Ian McFarlane described as world music that "constructed soundscapes of mesmerizing grandeur and solemn beauty... with African polyrhythms, Gaelic folk, Gregorian chants, Middle-Eastern mantras and art-rock". Ulrich met Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, the founders and cornerstones of Dead Can Dance, in London in 1982 and joined the band on drums and percussion. After leaving DCD and after releasing a string of critically acclaimed releases as a solo artist, Peter's next big step was The Peter Ulrich Collaboration.

The Collaboration is the brainchild of Ulrich and Trebor “Big T” Lloyd of City Canyons Productions as producer and a principal collaborator. The Collaboration mixes folk rock, world rock, art rock and psychedelic music with a world view that encompasses alternative history, fictional universes, Steampunk, and Goth, and recalls the exquisitely crafted soundscapes of Dead Can Dance. The group features songwriting by Ulrich, Lloyd, and New York songwriters Anne Husick, Sara Wendt and Kathy Sheppard among others with vocals by David Steele, Wendt, Ulrich, Jen Elliott, Shane Chapman, Stephanie Linn, Timothy Dark and other bright American and English talents. The vocalists are backed by a crackerjack band playing rock, post-rock, world and folk influenced music. After the release of two albums, thrilled New York Collaboration fans were were treated to a live performance by the band at Manhattan's famous Webster Hall in 2015. Reviews for the first two albums were little short of spectacular:

“A rich and song-filled showcase”—RollingStone. com

“Grand mix of folk and world music”—Modern Drummer

“Riveting and intriguing”—Popdose

“A collaboration to be cherished”—The Independent

“Colorful and enjoyable record”—All Music Guide

Now following up their well received second effort Tempus Fugitives, about which Entertainment UK proclaimed "Sensuous wafting flights of ethereal fancy and finely-honed but never overstated lyrics are [Ulrich's] forte , and after the first album in the trilogy The Painted Caravan made waves with its release as “another fine record that has been described as The Great Missing West Coast Album”, The Peter Ulrich Collaboration is delighted to be able to bring this story to a close, releasing Final Reflections as a worthy and compelling companion piece.

While Final Reflections is chock full of notable songs, perhaps the most striking single, sung by the richly talented English vocalist David Steele, is Artificial Man; the Collaboration’s chilling look at a dystopian society in which creatures that are part man and part machine are on the verge of rebellion against their human overlords. 

With The Painted Caravan Trilogy now complete, Peter Ulrich brings his colorful Caravan home full speed ahead. All aboard for the final exhilarating trip!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

rRoxymore to release debut album, Face To Phase, on Don’t Be Afraid

“Forged by the spirit of club music cultures”.

rRoxymore will release her debut album on Don’t Be Afraid next month.

Face To Phase follows a string of EPs for the label, and came out of her “annual creative hibernation practice”. According to Don’t Be Afraid, the result is a stripped-back eight tracks of “rumbling minimalist dub, sparse polymetric drums, boldy unpredictable melodic narratives and subtleties which hover out-of-reach or disappear into vapour”.

The album sees the Berlin DJ and producer using her own archive of field recordings as well as exploring beatless music on opener ‘Home Is Where The Music Is’ (inspired by Planningtorock) alongside clubbier tracks like ‘Passages’, inspired by UK breakbeat.

Face To Phase is released on September 27 on vinyl and digital formats – pre-order it at Bandcamp. rRoxymore will also make her live debut in collaboration with a percussionist at this year’s Berlin Atonal on September 1.

Revisit rRoxymore’s FACT mix here and watch her recent episode of Against The Clock below.


01. ‘Home Is Where The Music Is’
02. ‘Passages’
03. ‘Forward Flamingo’
04. ‘Energy Points’
05. ‘Someone Else’s Memory’
06. ‘Hectadrums’
07. ‘PPS21’
08. ‘What’s The Plan’

FRESH BREWED SESSIONS Celebrates Two Years of Bringing A Panorama of Tasty Original Artists to Intimate Listening Room Settings

On Saturday August 31st from 4pm till 10pm, Fresh Brewed Sessions™(FBS), a unique storytelling concert series that has been curated in intimate venues - including Coffee Shops, Cafes and Breweries - on Long Island once a month for the past two years, will open season three with a special celebration starring some of their most exciting past performers including Aqua Cherry, Laurie Anne Creus, Scatterbrainded, Trapline Chatter, Chris Ruben Band, Zach Reyes, Taylor Cooke, The Como Brothers, Phil Firetog, Rick Eberle and others at The Brewers Collective, 1460 N Clinton Ave unit n, Bay Shore, NY 11706.

Each show typically features three talented artists, playing their original music in a live acoustic setting. Their team of professionals provide photo, video and audio services for all featured Artists at no cost. Similar to MTV’s Unplugged or Vh1 Storytellers, these artists are encouraged to tell stories about their music, writing experiences and memories.

The founders of Fresh Brewed Sessions (the dynamic duo of Phil Firetog and Kali Monaco) work tirelessly and meticulously in putting together and promoting each event to maximize exposure for the best in up and coming talent from the tri state area, with a focus on the local Long Island scene. As musicians and artists themselves, Phil and Kali are kindred spirits who recognize these sorts of shows are scarce and difficult to find in the sometimes barren landscape of the original music scene, and take pride in offering somewhat of a solution to the problem with FBS.

“We are humbled and honored to be able to reach a third year with the series, bringing local original music to the forefront alongside our phenomenal team, Taylor Cooke & Young Street Studios”, said Phil Firetog, Co-Founder of FBS. “It’s exciting to think that we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what the series is capable of”.


Saturday August 31st from 4 pm - 10 pm

@ The Brewers Collective

1460 N Clinton Ave unit n, 

Bay Shore, NY 11706.

Shackleton debuts new ensemble Tunes of Negation with double LP

A mind-expanding new release from new Shackleton-led collective ahead of Berlin Atonal performance.

Stalwart electronic producer Shackleton has formed a new group called Tunes of Negation. Ahead of their performance at this year’s Berlin Atonal festival, they have announced a new double LP, Reach The Endless Sea.

The release is named after the eponymous poem by thirteenth-century mystic Jalalu’l-Din Rumi, which Cosmo Rhythmatic explain “is a description of what Shackleton himself hopes to achieve with the music”, to “aid transmutation and enter into the light”.

They further describe it as “a meditation on the non-finitude of life and spirit, and the limits of perception in dealing with it.” Towards this, the “double-cantos continuum” of opening track ‘The World Is A Stage’/‘Reach The Endless Sea’, “deals with time, or rather its illusory, treacherous nature, as well as spiritually investigating ideas of immortality, memory, and grief.”

This iteration of the seemingly to-be fluid group, which QU Junktions characterizes as “an open-ended musical project revolving around Shackleton and a fluid cast of musicians”, features Takumi Motokawa on keys, percussion, and gongs, Raphael Meinhart on mallets and percussion, and haunting guest vocals by Heather Leigh.

Reach The Endless Sea arrives on October 17 and is available for preorder here. Check out the cover art and tracklist below.


01. ‘The World Is A Stage / Reach The Endless Sea’

02. ‘Tundra Erotic’ 

03. ‘Nowhere Ending Sky’ 

04. ‘R├╝ckschlag / Rising, then Resonant’ 

05. ‘The Time Has Come’