Thursday, January 26, 2012

Russian Circles announce Spring 2012 European and UK headlining tour dates

"Empros is one of the most viscerally exciting and completely entertaining albums I've heard in a long time. There is perfection in the air and the battle for album of the year just heated up again." 10/10 rating -- Iann Robinson, Crave Online

"It's not a stretch to say it's the band's best album yet." -- Rock-A-Rolla

Chicago trio Russian Circles today announce extensive Spring 2012 tour dates throughout Europe and the UK in support of their critically praised new album Empros. Please see complete dates below. 
SPIN Magazine recently featured a full album stream of Empros. The band also recently premiered an MP3 from the album via The song, "Mladek" is available to listen/download HERE

Russian Circles return with not only their fourth and heaviest album to date -- but also with Empros they're poised to take the crown as innovators reinvigorating the staid trappings of genre. Empros picks up where the anthemic riffs and melodies of 2009's Geneva left off and injects evermore slithering rhythms amid skull-crushing heft with all the visceral intensity of Godflesh, Swans and Neurosis. Put simply, Empros is Russian Circles' Master of Reality: a radical revision of both heavy and melody that is monolithic in its clarity and perfection. Or, like a lone surviving wooly beast emerging from a brutal winter's frost, Empros is the sound of a band shaking the ages from its shoulders with all the brutal force of a behemoth awakened. 

Empros is Russian Circles' first full-length to be released worldwide exclusively via Sargent House, the band's longtime management company and record label that had previously released only the vinyl editions of its three prior albums. It was released worldwide on LP, CD and Download on October 25th, 2011. 

Apr 05 - Prague, CZ @ Matrix
Apr 06 - Vienna, AT @ Arena
Apr 07 - Munich, DE @ Feierwerk
Apr 08 - Dresden, DE @ Beatpol
Apr 09 - Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
Apr 10 - Warsaw, PL @ Hydrozagadka
Apr 11 - Vilnius, LT @ Propaganda
Apr 12 - Riga, LV @ Gertrudes 101
Apr 13 - Tallinn, ES @ Electric Storm Festival at Tapper
Apr 14 - Helsinki, FI @ Virgin Oil Company
Apr 15 - Moscow, RU @ Gogol
Apr 16 - Stockholm, SE @ Strand
Apr 17 - Oslo, NO @ Revolver
Apr 18 - Gothenberg, SE @ Truckstop Alaska
Apr 19 - Copenhagen, DK @ KB 18
Apr 20 - Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang
Apr 21 - Utrecht, NI @ Tivoli
Apr 22 - Brussels, BE @ Magasin 4
Apr 23 - Esch-Sur-Alzette, LU @ Rockhal
Apr 25 - Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
Apr 26 - Belfast, IE @ Speakeasy
Apr 27 - Limerick, IE @ Dolan's Warehouse
Apr 28 - Dublin, IE @ Button Factory
Apr 29 - Manchester, UK @ The Ruby Lounge
Apr 30 - London, UK @ Scala Theater
May 02 - Paris, FR @ Point Ephemere
May 03 - Kortrijk, BE @ De Kreun
May 04 - Koln, DE @ Gebaeude 9
May 05 - Karlsruhe, DE @ Jubez
May 06 - Zurich, CH @ Rote Fabrik
May 07 - Geneva, CH @ Le Kab
May 08 - Milan, IT @ Magnolia
May 09 - Lyon, FR @ Le Clacson
May 11 - Bilbao, ES @ Azkena
May 12 - Porto, PT @ Hard Club
May 13 - Lisbon, PT @ Musicbox
May 14 - Madrid, ES @ Ritmo & Compas
May 15 - Barcelona, ES @ Apolo 2   

Artist: Russian Circles
Album: Empros
Label: Sargent House
Release date: October 25th, 2011

Track list:
01. 309
02. Mladek (MP3)
03. Schipol
04. Atackla
05. Batu
06. Praise Be Man

On the Web:

Album stream:  Geneva
Album stream: Station 

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Big Sir (Lisa Papineau and Juan Alderete) post another track from forthcoming new album

 Big Sir -- the longtime collaboration between singer/composer Lisa Papineau and bassist/composer Juan Alderete (The Mars Volta) -- premiere the second track from their forthcoming new album today courtesy of RCRD LBL. The song, "Our Pleasant Home" features special guest Cedric Bixler-Zavala (The Mars Volta) on drums and is available to download/stream HERE.

Back in December, Big Sir released the shimmering pop song, "Ready On The Line" which is available to download/stream HERE.  

Since its inception in the late 90s, Big Sir has explored a vast array of work centered on the fulcrum of electronic and analog beats, Alderete's fretless bass and Papineau's dynamic voice. Their forthcoming third official full length album Before Gardens After Gardens is the culmination of the duo's enduring musical partnership. Says Alderete, "I think the beauty of what we do lies in our commitment to each other as artists. We will always put out music together because we respect each other's artistic perspective so much. I run everything I have ever created by her."

At times danceable, others darkly haunting, the album is as visually evocative and it is musically compelling. "Something that Juan and I have shared since our last album is that we've found out that we have chronic life-threatening illnesses," Papineau explains. "Illnesses that make us face that our bodies are not permanent. More and more I started thinking, or really, was needing to think about how you don't fold up in terror having that constantly in the foreground." The fear and uncertainty that we all face in contemplation of death, and the varying ways we all make peace with it is the basis of the album's overall concept. "The hymn 'Amazing Grace' speaks to the death of pride," Papineau says, "the death of believing yourself to be omnipotent, and how joyful and sweet this humble giving-in can be. So, on our album, Death is a ship, and her name is The Calico." It's an album of dance and celebration in death's insistent embrace. 

Though created mostly in a back and forth between each other's laptops, Before Gardens After Gardens features special guest appearances by The Mars Volta's Cedric Bixler-Zavala on drums, Broken Bells' bassist Jonathan Hischke, multi-instrumentalist Matthieu Lesenechal, violist Heather Lockie (Mike Watt, Listing Ship), Matthew Embree (who also collaborates with Papineau in the duo ME & LP), Mars Volta drummer Deantoni Parks and a host of others on backing vocals. Bonus tracks also include performances by Money Mark Ramos-Nishita and David Sims of Jesus Lizard.

The album opens with a slithering fretless bass line that climbs alongside a round of Papineau's voices swirling around one another on "Regions." The unabashed pop hooks of "Ready On the Line" follows with electro-pulse beats, chiming synth bell-like loops and Papineau's powerful siren song highlighting the album's melancholy joy. "The Kindest Hour" begins with Alderete's soft bass chords and Lockie's violent viola trills leading into a distant, shimmering organ and lightly brushed drums reminiscent of the neoclassical innovations of Talk Talk's legendary The Colour of Spring. The song builds as the instruments intertwine before breaking wide open into a driving rhythm section. A plaintive piano leads the somber "Born with a Tear" underscored by delicately pirouetting bass line and pattering drum beats as Papineau intones, "You say the words and all the words make the tongue go numb..." Throughout, it's an album of subtlety and masterfully arranged voices -- both human and otherwise merged into one enveloping whole.

Big Sir began with a self-titled debut album and a remix disc in 2000 and 2001 respectively. The next Big Sir album Und Die Scheiße Ändert Sich Immer was released in 2006. Alderete and Papineau first met in the band Pet. Throughout their relationship the two musicians have also continued their collaborations with other artists. Papineau has lent her vocals to a spectrum of projects such as the last two Air albums (10,000 Khertz, Talkie Walkie), M83's Before the Dawn Heals Us, and soundtracks for the films Watchmen and Super. She has released two solo albums, Night Moves and Red Trees, and recently co-wrote (with Jun Miyake) and sang on a song for Wim Wenders' Academy Award short-listed film Pina. Alderete has played in the Grammy award winning The Mars Volta since 2003 as well as playing bass with rap legend Kool Keith's Dr. Octagon and the Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group. In 1999, he formed the project Vato Negro and released the album Bumpers on drum& bass label N2O. Alderete has also recently embarked on a subscription based website to help illustrate his approach to sound design with stomp boxes and various effects. 

Before Gardens After Gardens will be available everywhere on CD/Download on February 7th, 2012 via Rodriguez Lopez Productions/Sargent House

Feb 19 Hollywood, CA @ Hemingway's *
Feb 20 Long Beach, CA @ Harvelle's *

* w/ Eureka The Butcher+Sadah Luna (Marcel Rodriguez Lopez from Zechs Marquise)

Artist: Big Sir 
Album: Before Gardens After Gardens 
Label: Rodriguez Lopez Productions/Sargent House
Release Date: February 7th, 2012

01 Regions
02 Ready On The Line (MP3)
03 Infidels 
04 Right Action 
05 The Ladder 
06 The Kindest Hour 
07 Old Blood 
08 Born With A Tear 
09 Be Brave Go On 
10 Our Pleasent Home (MP3)
11 1 Thousand Petals 

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

On the Web:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Zechs Marquise premiere wild new video w/ surprise cameos, intense real gangsters, animal-headed people and more

Click image above to watch video

"Forget the Van Halens, if you want to know about a true musical dynasty, look no further than the Rodriguez-Lopez's! In between Omar, Marcel, and Marfred, these talented hermanos are changing the face of free-form jamming." -- MTV Tres
"Thrusting listeners into chase scenes through psychedelic dreamscapes is nothing new for El Paso prog rock instrumentalists Zechs Marquise. However, the major difference on Getting Paid isn't the fear of being chased, but of what's running up behind you." -- Los Angeles Times
The Mars Volta sibling band Zechs Marquise premiere a wild new video today courtesy of Consequence of Sound. The clip, for "Everlasting Beacon of Light" -- a standout track from the band's latest album, Getting Paid -- features surprise cameos, some very intense and very real gangster dudes, animal-headed people in the desert and much more awesome weirdness. Watch VIDEO HERE. 

"Everlasting Beacon of Light" was directed by The 90s. Zechs Marquise also recently posted a live in-studio video session for performing the title track to the album. Watch it on Vimeo or YouTube

RCRD LBL recently premiered an MP3 for album track "Mega Slap". Check out the MP3 HERE. Stream full album HERE

Zechs Marquise, the El Paso, TX quintet are back with their sophomore album Getting Paid, bringing an intensified swagger to the band's multifaceted psych-prog haze for their most aggressive and versatile effort to date. "We liked that hip-hop attitude," explains drummer Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez of the album title. "Getting your piece, taking yours." And, Getting Paid certainly finds the band fully taking charge of their musical destiny. 

In the years since their auspicious 2009 debut Our Delicate Stranded Nightmare, Zechs Marquise toured extensively throughout the U.S., proving to be a formidable live act supporting Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group and RX Bandits as well as leading their own headlining tours. Zechs Marquise have also grown considerably in other ways. Recent addition Rikardo Rodriguez-Lopez on keyboards and trumpet joins his brothers, drummer Marcel and bassist Marfred alongside guitarists Matthew Wilkson and Marcos Smith contributing to the band's expanded sound. Not only have they reached new plateaus of entrancing riffs and rhythms, but Getting Paid also integrates vocals on select songs, including guest performances by vocalist/guitarist Matthew Embree and El Paso singer Sonny Baker.

Getting Paid was released on LP/CD/Download on September 27th on Rodriguez Lopez Productions via Sargent House

Artist: Zechs Marquise
Title: Getting Paid
Label: Rodriguez Lopez Productions
Release Date: September 27th, 2011

01. Getting Paid (VIDEO - Vimeo) (VIDEO - YouTube)
02. Lock Jaw Night Vision
03. Static Lovers (MP3)
04. The Heat, The Drought, The Thirst, and The Insanity
05. Time Masters
06. Guajira
07. Everlasting Beacon of Light (MP3) (VIDEO)
08. Crushin' It!
09. Mega Slap (MP3)

Hi-res cover art, photos and bio:

On The Web:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Indian Handcrafts sign to Sargent House, recording new album in March 2012

Canadian power-duo Indian Handcrafts have signed with Sargent House to release their next album. The Toronto band begins recording in Los Angeles this March with engineer Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Big Business, Red Sparowes). The album is expected to be released in late 2012. 

Until then, check out a free MP3 for "Red Action" (download/stream HERE) from the band's self-titled 2010 self-released debut (stream the full album via Bandcamp). Watch the official video for "Red Action" HERE and a blistering live performance of "Starcraft" HERE

Indian Handcrafts' well honed, massive melodic heft seems to belie the simplicity of instrumentation between drummer/vocalist Brandyn James Aikins and guitarist/vocalist Daniel Brandon Allen. While their songs feature hints of heavy, technically skilled bands like Big Business, Hella and Tweakbird, there are also strong melodies and a vocal intensity inviting comparisons to bands ranging from Trail of Dead to Death From Above 1979 to Big Black

Aikins and Allen have played music together for nearly a decade, but it wasn't until the two began writing as a duo in December 2009 in order to satisfy their need for volume and velocity that Indian Handcrafts was born. In Spring 2011, the pair released their 8-song debut filled with songs about life, strife, mental health, rebellion and space-traveling dope-dealing beagles. 

01/14 Hamilton, ON @ Casbah Lounge
01/18 Peterborough, ON @ Red Dog
01/19 Barrie, ON @ The Port
01/20 Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
01/21 London, ON @ Call the Office
07/14 Toronto, ON @ Downsview Park (Edgefest 2012)

Artist: Indian Handcrafts
Album: S/T
Label:  self-released
Release Date: May 1st, 2011

01. Drop Out
02. Red Action (MP3) (VIDEO)
03. Starcraft (VIDEO)
04. Microwave Lunch
05. The Jerk
06. Jacklord
07. Centauri Teenage Riot
08. Leary vs. The Wolfman

On the Web:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Le Butcherettes record NPR Tiny Desk Concert, announce Coachella performances 

Click image above to watch video

"Watch singer Teri Gender Bender transform from a soft-spoken musician into a rock 'n' roll beast." -- NPR

Beloved garage-punk trio Le Butcherettes are currently at work on a followup to last year's breakout debut, Sin Sin Sin. However, that hasn't kept Teri Gender Bender out of the public eye. The group's charismatic singer/guitarist/keyboardist recently recorded a captivating live acoustic set for NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series. Watch the video HERE

Le Butcherettes also announce today they will perform at this year's Coachella festival on both Sundays, April 15th and 22nd in Indio, CA. Omar Rodriguez Lopez -- who is also reprising his role as producer and bass player for the band's sophomore album -- will be playing bass for these shows. 

Le Butcherettes' critically-praised debut album Sin Sin Sin is available to STREAM HERE. Check out MP3s for other album tracks, "Henry Don't Got Love" HERE and "New York" HERE.

Le Butcherettes' full length debut, Sin Sin Sin was produced by Omar Rodriguez Lopez and issued on May 10th, 2011 on Rodriguez Lopez Productions via Sargent House

Artist: Le Butcherettes
Album: Sin Sin Sin
Label: Rodriguez Lopez Productions
Release Date: May 10th, 2011

01. Tonight
02. New York (MP3) (VIDEO)
03. Henry Don't Got Love (MP3)
04. Leibniz Language
05. Bang!
06. All You See in Me is Death
07. I'm Getting Sick Of You (MP3)
08. Riko's Smooth Talking Mother
09. The Actress That Ate Rousseau
10. Tainted in Sin
11. Dress Off
12. Empty Dimes
13. Mr. Tolstoi

Hi-res photos, cover art and bio:

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