Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Christmas in November: Made Out of Babies singer Julie Christmas makes solo debut this fall

"Metal's most riveting frontwoman...a smart, eccentric post-kid just becoming aware of the unearthly power she wields." -- Decibel Magazine

"Julie Christmas sings, screams, snarls and sobs her heart out with terrifying naked abandon." -- Revolver

Brooklyn singer Julie Christmas has announced the upcoming release of her first solo record, The Bad Wife, this fall. Often celebrated for her intense vocal acrobatics in heavy-hitting bands like Made Out of Babies, Battle of Mice and the supergroup Spylacopa (featuring members of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Candiria and Isis), Christmas' solo debut finds her pushing the range of her already iconoclastic genre-melding work. Ahead of the album's release, the song "July 31st" is featured on the soundtrack for the Paramount movie, Wrong Turn at Tahoe, starring Harvey Keitel and Cuba Gooding Jr.  

Check out the tracks "July 31st" (HERE) and "Bow" (HERE) from The Bad Wife

Of late, Christmas has been busy expanding her repertoire. She currently is collaborating with Nix Turner, renowned illustrator of worldwide counterculture icon, Emily the Strange, to create a book titled The Scribbles and Scrapes of Amy Anyone: (A Multiple Personality Autobiography).  Christmas wrote the story and is working on music for the release of an accompanying CD, featuring a tone signaling the reader to turn the page.

In addition, the singer recently worked on the soundtrack for a French indie film "Le Debut," in which a young couple resorts to infanticide when faced with the challenges of poverty, depression and parenthood. "I use sounds to express feelings and ideas that I am too clumsy to get across with words alone," the singer explains. "Working with amazing visual artists - people who speak in images - gets me one step closer to really communicating with anyone nuts enough to listen."

Christmas's band, Made Out of Babies, is currently writing their fourth full-length album, scheduled to be released in the spring of 2011.  Live shows and exhibitions with visual artists are being arranged. A video to promote the album is in production.

The Bad Wife will be available on CD/LP and digital download via Rising Pulse Records on November 9th, 2010. 

Artist: Julie Christmas
Album Title: The Bad Wife
Label: Rising Pulse Records
Release Date: November 9th, 2010

Track List:
01. July 31st (MP3)
02. If You Go Away
03. Bow (MP3)
04. Secrets All Men Keep (Salt Bridge, Part II)
05. Six Pairs of Feet and One Pair of Legs
06. Headless Hawks
07. The Wigmaker's Widow
08. I Just Destroyed the World
09. When Everything is Green

Hi-res photos, cover art, bio and more:

On the Web:

Julie Christmas is available for interviews. For more information, please contact Dave Clifford at dave@usthemgroup.com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tera Melos announce headlining tour dates in US and Japan

Long-running Sacramento genre-benders Tera Melos have announced headlining fall 2010 tour dates in the US and Japan in support of the trio's forthcoming album Patagonian Rats. The Japanese tour includes dates with Mike Watt and the Missing Men. Please see full dates listed below.

The video for the song "The Skin Surf" -- directed by Behn Fannin (The Melvins, Nurses) -- shows the band at its quirky, clever finest. Watch it HERE.

The wily melodies and scurrying rhythms of Patagonian Rats will be released this fall via Sargent House. Check out the first MP3 "Frozen Zoo" taken from the album HERE. Alternately, fans can download the song in any file format HERE.

Have Tera Melos gone… pop? Well, no….but yes. Much like the trio's intricate and complex song structures, it's not quite that simple. Tera Melos' songs have traditionally been densely packed with so many wild shifts of time signature and chord structures that guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Nick Reinhart jokes they were sounds that, "only wizards could decipher." 

Patagonian Rats is packed with melodic hooks and jabs that on paper might seem to defy the band's experimental edge. There's even clear and distinct vocals throughout -- a first for the band, where vocals, if any, were previously awash with distortion and layered in the mix. But, particulars aside, Patagonian Rats is the type of album that sticks with you.

Occasionally, "pop" music has really meant daring music. Like the Beach Boys in the late 60s, The Clash in the 70s, Devo in the 80s, Flaming Lips in the 90s -- the greatest artists have dared to make music that is hooky while also being groundbreaking. Patagonian Rats evokes images of bizarre and fantastic alternate realities. Think about the first time you heard "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys; jarring collisions of a cappella harmonies, tremolo-washed bass and chirping theremin. The key is not to understand it, but to let the music transform everyday reality into something new. And, that is the essence of Patagonian Rats.

Tera Melos formed in 2004 as a quartet, releasing their first self-titled disc in 2005 (later re-released by Sargent House in 2008). The band became a trio in late 2006, releasing the Drugs to the Dear Youth EP early the following year. A split disc with By The End of Tonight (2007) on Temporary Residence and an EP of cover songs, Idioms, Vol 1 followed in 2009. In the meantime, Reinhart collaborated with prolific drummer Zach Hill under the band name bygones, releasing the by- album in 2009 and Spiritual Bankruptcy EP in 2010, both on Sargent House. Clardy has also recently spent downtime as the touring drummer with guitar goddess Marnie Stern.

Patagonian Rats will be available everywhere via Sargent House on September 7th, 2010. 

Tera Melos on tour:
09/09   Sacramento, CA @ Sol Collective
09/10   Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project
09/11   Portland, OR @ The Artistery
09/12   Reno, NV @ HSS Rainshadow
09/14   Englewood, CO @ Moe’s
09/15   Omaha, NE @ The Slowdown
09/16   St. Louis, MO @ The Firebird
09/17   Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
09/18   Kalamazoo, MI @ The Strutt
09/20   Toronto, ON @ The Shop at Parts and Labour
09/21   Montreal, QC @ Bar St. Laurent II
09/22   Binghamton, NY @ Bazooka/Bazooka
09/23   Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio
09/24   Richmond, VA @ Exit 76
09/25   Durham, NC @ Duke University
09/26   Columbus, SC @ The Whig
09/27   Atlanta, GA @ Wonderroot
09/28   Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box
09/29   New Orleans, LA @ The Big Top
09/30   Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
10/01   Dallas, TX @ The Nightmare
10/02   San Antonio, TX @ The Korova
10/03   Austin, TX @ Mohawk
10/05   Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space
10/07   San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill

10/11   Okayama, JP @ Pepperland
10/12   Fukuoka, JP @ Graf
10/13   Kyoto, JP @ Metro
10/17   Rappongi, JP @ Superdeluxe *
10/18   Yamagata, JP @ Sandinista * 
10/19   Aomori, JP @ Sublime *
10/20   Morioka, JP @ Club Change *
10/21   Sendai, JP @ Park Square * 
10/22   Toyama, JP @ Club Mairo *

Artist: Tera Melos
Album: Patagonian Rats
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: September 7th, 2010

01. So Occult

02. Kelly
03. The Skin Surf (VIDEO)
04. Aped
05. Trident Tail
06. Frozen Zoo (MP3) (any file format)
07. In Citrus Heights
08. Skywatch
09. Party With Gina
10. Another Surf
11. Westham United
12. A New Uniform/Patagonia

Hi-Res photos, cover art and bio:

On the Web:

Tera Melos are available for interviews. For more information, please contact Dave Clifford at dave@usthemgroup.com

# # #

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Austin genre-benders Bee vs. Moth announce new album and tour dates

August 10th, 2010

“Hard ear candy for your soft inner child.” -- Audra Schroeder, Austin Chronicle

Austin, Texas' wild and brassy quintet Bee vs. Moth has announced a fall 2010 release for its latest album, Acronyms. Midwest tour dates have also been released (see below), with more to follow. 

Bee vs. Moth exists somewhere between Tom Waits' rumpled New Orleans jazz and a maniacal Beirut gone instrumental: the melodies are strong and boisterous yet the music is subtle and clever. The band has one foot in the world of jazz and creative improvisation, and the other firmly planted on a distortion pedal. With surprising instrumentation, innovative songwriting, quirky melodies, and a healthy sense humor, Bee vs. Moth plays music that defies traditional categories. 

Check out MP3s for "Salisbury Steakhouse" (HERE) and "I Listen To Coffee All Day" (HERE). Watch the video for "Ugly Is the New Black" HERE

Bassist Philip Moody and drummer Sarah Norris started Bee vs. Moth with a pile of odd music they wrote together, and in 2004 began performing around Austin. The band has since grown into a five-piece ensemble with ambitious arrangements featured in film and television scores, original videos, and live shows in Austin and throughout the country. Bee vs. Moth’s second studio album, Acronyms, will be released in September 2010. The record follows the band’s 2007 debut, Soundhorn, and 2009’s Turkey Sandwiches, an online release of recordings made live on tour.

Bee vs. Moth’s upcoming calendar is full of new projects. A fall Midwestern tour follows on the heels of the record release. Live action and animated music videos directed by Stephen Floyd and Jessica Dreesen will feature tracks from Acronyms. Two of the band’s songs are featured in the 2010 season of the PBS series Roadtrip Nation. In conjunction with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the band will write and perform an original score for the 1928 Buster Keaton classic, The Cameraman.

Bee vs. Moth’s musical family is a big one. Band members perform and collaborate with Austin projects Benko, The Invincible Czars, My Education, Flying Balalaika Brothers, New Music Co-op, Golden Hornet Project, and others. In 2011, Bee vs. Moth will re-imagine the symphonic masterpiece Pictures at an Exhibition and score this Mussorgsky / Ravel classic for a double band with The Invincible Czars.

Bee vs. Moth live:
10/01    Hot Springs, AR @ Maxine's 
10/02    Columbia, MO @ The Blue Fugue
10/05    Lake Villa, IL @ Swing State
10/07    Chicago, IL @ Reggie's 
10/09    Denton, TX @ Andy's Bar

Artist: Bee vs. Moth
Album: Acronyms
Label: Aggraveire Music
Release Date: September 6th, 2010

01. Salisbury Steakhouse (MP3)
02. Now More Than Ever
03. Tuesday in Tuskegee
04. Peter Benko
05. The Sky and the Dirt Earth
06. All Hail Freedonia
07. ICP on Parade
08. Mexican Noise Soda
09. Pennies from Hell
10. I Listen to Coffee All Day (MP3)
11. Gor's Apparatus
12. Ugly is the New Black (VIDEO)

On the Web:

Bee vs. Moth are available for interviews. For more information, please contact Dave Clifford at dave@usthemgroup.com

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fang Island tour, tour, tour: dates with Stone Temple Pilots, Matt & Kim and headlining EU/UK

August 9th, 2010

Click image above to watch video

"Honest and life-affirming and infectious, and it's that rare concentration of directness and simplicity that makes Fang Island so uniquely and wonderfully inclusive." Best New Music -- Pitchfork

"Fang Island are simply killer fun, a proper gang who sing collectively and pummel their guitars without recourse to errant soloing." Four Stars -- MOJO

 Fresh off of touring with indie-rock legends The Flaming Lips in July, Fang Island again hits the road this week, supporting the reunited Stone Temple Pilots. The Brooklyn based high-fiving guitar-anthem optimists will then embark on their first headlining tour of the UK and Europe in September, starting in Dublin at the Electric Picnic. Then, following quick stops in the American heartland for the Pygmalion Music Festival and Midpoint Music Festival, Fang Island tour into October with daredevil dancepunk duo Matt & Kim. Please see below for complete dates.

Pitchfork recently premiered the quintet's latest video, "Careful Crossers" which was shot in Los Angeles in the storied Glassroom at Sargent House. This marks the band's third video to debut on the popular web site which previously featured videos for "Daisy" and "Life Coach".

Fang Island's self-titled debut album hit shelves on February 23rd via Sargent House amid a wealth of praise from press, with many writers declaring it one of the Best of 2010, just two months into the new year. A digital EP featuring the popular album track "Daisy" backed with Chris Keating of Yeasayer's remix of "Absolute Place" off their Sky Gardens EP preceded the full length in January.

Its finger-tapping guitar lines, chanted vocals, triumphant harmonies and overall perky songs hearken to the sort of "Total Music" of the Jay Reatard, Ponytail, Kraftwerk, Marnie Stern, Thin Lizzy, et al. But, perhaps more so, its songs are like the music in your head at that moment when everything feels just right: that first kiss, that high score on the video game, buying your first small nation in cash... you know, good stuff. Check out MP3s for two tracks, "Daisy" (MP3 HERE) and "Life Coach" (MP3 HERE).

Fang Island began, oddly enough, as an art school project while the band members were attending the prodigious Rhode Island School of Design (also the foundation for Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Les Savvy Fav, Six Finger Satellite, Lightning Bolt and some band called the Talking Heads.) According to guitarist Jason Bartell, the goal was to "make music for people who like music." That is, music without irony that harnesses its uplifting qualities. Just like a classic rock song or classical symphony can stir us emotionally, Fang Island exists to unlock that spirit.

Fang Island is guitarist Jason Bartell, bassist Michael Jacober, guitarist Chris Georges, guitarist Nicholas Andrew Sadler, and drummer Marc St. Sauveur. They all share collective group vocal harmonies and the occasional hand claps. While Sadler is also known for his role in the debauched rock band Daughters, it is only his fretboard skill that translates between the two groups.

Fang Island live:
08/13   Saint Paul, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium >
08/14   Madison, WI @ The Terrace @ University of Wisconsin
08/16   Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom +
08/17   Columbus, OH @ The LC Pavilion Outdoor Amphitheater +
08/19   Grand Rapids, MI @ Deltaplex +
08/20   Chicago, IL @ Charter One Pavilion >

08/21   Indianapolis, IN @ The Earth House
08/22   Cleveland, OH @ Time Warner Cable Amphitheater +
08/25   Cincinnati, OH @ PNC Pavilion at Riverbend +
08/26   Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre +

08/27   Buffalo, NY @ Soundlab
08/28   Burgettstown, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion +

09/04   Dublin, IE @ Electric Picnic Music Festival 
09/05   Glasgow, UK @ Captains Rest
09/06   Newcastle, UK @ The Cluny 2
09/07   London, UK @ Madame Jo Jo's
09/08   London, UK @ Old Blue Last
09/10   Paris, FR @ Fleche d'Or
09/11   Berlin, DE @ TBA
09/12   Hamburg, DE @ TBA
09/13   Gent, BE @ CafĂ© Video
09/14   Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
09/15   Nijmegen, NL @ Doornroosje

09/23   Urbana, IL @ Pygmalion Music Festival 
09/24   Cincinnati, OH @ Midpoint Music Festival 

09/28   Seattle, WA @ The Showbox *
09/29   Portland, OR @ Roseland Ballroom *
09/30   San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore *
10/01   San Diego, CA @ House of Blues *
10/02   Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues *
10/06   Tempe, AZ @ The Clubhouse *
10/08   Dallas, TX @ House of Blues *

> with Stone Temple Pilots
+ with Stone Temple PilotsCage the Elephant

*  with Matt & Kim

Artist: Fang Island
Album: Fang Island
Label: Sargent House
Release Date: February 23, 2010

01. Dreams of Dreams
02. Careful Crossers  (VIDEO)
03. Daisy (MP3) (VIDEO)
04. Life Coach (MP3) (VIDEO)
05. Sideswiper
06. The Illinois
07. Treeton
08. Davey Crockett
09. Welcome Wagon
10. Dorian

Hi-Res photos, cover art and bio:

On the Web:

Fang Island is available for interviews. For more information, please contact Dave Clifford at dave@usthemgroup.com

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

MakeUpBreakUp announce tour dates, debut album of 80s/90s dance-punk out August 31st

"'Fall Into Her Love Trap' and 'Blame Game' would have been perfect if they came out in the 1980's and filmmaker John Huges needed a song for a Molly Ringwald montage in one of his teen angst movies...Makeupbreakup embodies that intellectual yet playful aesthetic." -- Outburn Magazine 

"With a sound that somehow mixes 'Golden Years' David Bowie with the best aspects of Depeche Mode, catchy hooks made up of Moog riffs so sweet they should come with a FDA warning for diabetics." -- Popwreckoning 

Providence, RI pop power-trio MakeUpBreakUp have announced late summer tour dates supporting the release of the band's debut full length, Scents. The group's effervescent sound invites comparisons to a blend of 90s Britpop and 80s new wave. Please see complete dates below. 

Check out the first two MP3s for the album, for "Wow" (HERE) and "My Way, To The Top" (HERE).

Watch the band's playful nod to Blue Velvet in the video for "My Way, To The Top".

Forming in the summer of 2007, MakeUpBreakUp has been steadily calculating their rise. Soon after forming, Mike Lamantia Jr and Zan (former members of A Trillion Barnacle Lapse) signed to California's S.A.F. Records for the release of their debut EP, We Prefer Not To… With the addition of bassist Eric McNeil, the lineup solidified.

Upon the EP's release in August 2008, the group received widespread critical acclaim and references to New Order, John Hughes soundtracks, and “Golden Years” era David Bowie, culminating in a glossy spot in Outburn Magazine. Local recognition was also in order, as The Providence Phoenix named We Prefer Not To… among the best local albums of the year. Similar success followed over the radio waves, with the EP charting strongly on the CMJ 200 charts, and holding its ground for more than a month. The boys have continually supported the EP on the road, with three east coast tours, and opening slots for national indie acts such as Inner Party System, Diplo, and HEALTH.

With 2010 well underway, MakeUpBreakUp has been busy putting the finishing touches on their debut LP, Scents. Written, recorded and produced by the band themselves, the album will be released August 31st, 2010 via Cozy Music. Fans can catch MakeUpBreakUp on tour later this summer, or smoking fine cigars on the golf course.

MakeUpBreakUp live:
08/09    Providence, RI @ The 201
08/28    Wilkes-Barre, PA @ Bar
08/29    New York, NY @ Cake Shop
08/31    New York, NY @ Arlene's Grocery
09/01    Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire
09/02    Chapel Hill, NC @ The Cave
09/03    Atlanta, GA @ Wonderroot
09/04    Myrtle Beach, SC @ Drink

Artist: Makeupbreakup
Album: Scents
Label: Cozy Music
Release Date: August 31st, 2010

01. Wow (MP3)
02. My Way, To The Top (MP3) (VIDEO)
03. Chrome
04. Scents
05. May Rx
06. I'm John River, I Won't Stop
07. Better Days
08. Sexsomnia
09. Create Something From Nothing

On the Web:

MakeUpBreakUp are available for interviews. For more information, please contact Dave Clifford at dave@usthemgroup.com