Greg Summerlin’s All Done In Good Time is this fall’s answer to The Who’s rock opera, Tommy.

Greg Summerlin’s All Done In Good Time is this fall’s answer to The Who’s rock opera, Tommy.

“Wherever his influences call home, there’s no denying the appeal of sunny, upbeat, and beguiling pop tunes which are guaranteed to stay in your head for days.” – The Big Takeover

“What this record will do is grow to become the sleeper hit of the year.” – Earfood.net

Two years after releasing the heralded The Young Meteors, Greg Summerlin is once again behind the microphone for his most epic and poignant album to date, All Done In Good Time: The Life and Times of Polly Shields. Leaving behind the warm Alabama fall, Summerlin joined producer Ed Ackerson (The Replacements, Golden Smog, Brian Setzer, Juliana Hatfield) in a cozy Minneapolis studio. Together, with grandiose Who-like execution, Summerlin and Ackerson triumphed in delivering a sincere album with songs to hook you into a sing along or embrace you in an epic tale. Unafraid to wrestle with his own inspirations, Summerlin uses personal tragedy and triumph to unite four characters in a fluid album that plays like a 50-minute symphonic melodrama incorporating philosophy, theology, the meaning of life, and rock and roll.

Although Summerlin has always been a huge fan of The Who, that interest was rekindled when he read the Keith Moon biography ”Moon” by Tony Fletcher. He then bought the remixed and remastered CD of Tommy and became somewhat obsessed with the record and with The Who as a band. Summerlin’s amazement at the genius behind Tommy, and the enormity of the record’s concept, continues today. Musically speaking, however, the influences on Summerlin’s latest effort are much more diverse, and include what Summerlin cheekily calls “classic alternative,” like New Order.

About the time Summerlin was immersing himself in Tommy, he woke up in the middle of the night one evening and started writing the All Done In Good Time track “Please Don’t Tell” and thinking about making a record with a storyline centered on a frustrated, disillusioned girl who rebels against her father. Although Summerlin had already written several songs that appear on the record, he retooled some of the lyrics to fit this storyline and started writing the rest of the album which now centers around four main characters: “Polly“ (the name taken from Keith Moon’s daughter), “Mr. Shields”, “Johnny” and “Timmy.” Summerlin wrote more than 24 songs for All Done In Good Time, and eventually settled on the fourteen which make up the heart of the tale and appear on the finished record.

More about Greg Summerlin:

After leaving the groundbreaking alt-country band, The Quinsonics and their loyal fan base in the late 90’s, Greg Summerlin has steadily developed his own following across the country and worldwide. Helping to raise Summerlin’s profile was Paste Magazine, which selected Summerlin’s last record for the “Paste Recommends” program. Summerlin’s first two records have also been licensed for use by MTV and A&E programming. Mixing business with pleasure, Summerlin is also the founder and owner of Superphonic Records which has quickly become one of the leading indie labels in the Southeast. In 2007, Summerlin will help see the release of several highly anticipated albums including those of AA Bondy (Verbena), Louis Schefano (Regia / Remy Zero) and John P. Strohm (The Lemonheads, Blake Babies.)

More about the story at the heart of All Done In Good Time:

Mr. Shields is a single father raising Polly. Polly’s mother leaves the family for unstated reasons (“Shine On Where You Want”). Mr. Shields is overbearing and controlling for fear of Polly being corrupted by the world, and instead of protecting her, he ends up driving her away (“Just Listen Tonight”, “This Darkened World”.) Polly becomes bitter and rejects her father and his beliefs. We then meet Timmy, who enters the scene and falls in love with Polly (“Atmosphere”.) Simultaneously, Polly’s good friend Johnny develops feelings for Polly that he can’t bring himself t

Fans of Tom Zé, Fela Kuti and Dub will find reason to rejoice in the music of Puerto Rican-bred musician Mofongo

Fans of Tom Zé, Fela Kuti and Dub will find reason to rejoice in the music of Puerto Rican-bred musician Mofongo.

mo·fon·go (m_-f_ng’g_, m_-f_n’-)

1. A Puerto Rican dish made of mashed plantains, garlic, and pork cracklings.

2. A Puerto Rican electro-acoustic composer with a penchant for plantains and Dub

Unbound by intellectual convention, the music of Jose Ayala aka Mofongo balances the past and future, assembling a vivid collage of musical influences that transforms customs while preserving their essence. His new EP, Tumbao from Aagoo Records (Au, Zemog El Gallo Beuno) combines found sounds, samples and field recordings with a rhythmic complexity influenced by traditional Latin music.

Growing up in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Ayala was inspired by Salsa, Tom Zé, Fela Kuti, Varèse and Dub. He moved to Boston to study classical guitar at the New England Conservatory, but was sidelined by tendonitis. He returned a year later to study classical composition and improvisation under Joe Maneri and Ran Blake and began playing in the experimental salsa band, Jayuya.

The physical and interpersonal demands of playing live for fours years took its toll and Ayala soon began to experiment with electronic music. His roommate at the time, Keith Fullerton Whitman, introduced him to bedroom production and with access to Whitman’s huge record collection, Ayala began making music in a completely different way. Ayala’s process can begin with anything — a stray sound, melody or drum track. Slowly, he adds, subtracts and reshuffles, trying not to force anything and letting the sounds find their place among themselves.

At times abrasive, the music confronts the listener and commands attention. Ayala continues to move forward as an artist and experiment with new technologies. He is currently designing “The Plantain Maker,” live-looping software that will allow him to use large library of evolving sounds in live performances, pushing further the improvisational aspects of his eclectic and personal music.

Tumbao Tracklisting:

Stream The EP HERE

01. Tumbao (MP3)
02. Loco (MP3)
03. Vermont
04. Paper Towels 2006

Bridgeport elementary school teacher moonlights as musician Cannonball Jane with help from Adrock of Beastie Boys.

Bridgeport elementary school teacher moonlights as musician Cannonball Jane with help from Adrock of Beastie Boys.

Cannonball Jane is the coolest one woman band I’ve heard in a long time. This is what Carole King would sound like if she had a sampler and was really into Francoise Hardy. I love her recordings and can’t wait for more!” – Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill & Le Tigre

Cannonball Jane purveys an inventive mishmash of hip hop beats and day-glo ’60s pop that suggests a female Beck weaned on The Ronettes and The Raincoats.” – Time Out London

“Frothy, infectious sampledelica…dreamy doo-wop oohs and aahs with old-school breaks and beats…it could all be a musical car crash, but charm and sassy beats win the day. And to complete this mini-masterpiece’s feel good credentials: by day Jane is a music teacher, Miss Hagopian, and she recorded it in her bedroom.” – The Times (UK)

By day she’s mild-mannered Bridgeport, CT based elementary school music teacher Sharon Hagopian, but by night she’s smart and sassy electro-pop underground darling Cannonball Jane, maker of a mind-bendingly brilliant mix of hip-hop samples and sixties girl group pop. Her first musical go was the album Street Vernacular, released last year in the UK (and to be released in North America September 25th) to rave reviews in Time Out London, NME, Uncut, The Independent and many more besides and now comes her latest EP, Knees Up!, that features remixes of the hit “Take It To Fantastic” by Adrock of Beastie Boys and UK producer DJ Downfall.

Sounding more like the work of a group (sleeps-in-his-leather-jacket guitarist, banned-from-the-academy maverick multi-instrumentalist, recently-diagnosed-schizophrenic drummer, typewriter-sampling-avant-garde keyboardist, etc.) the reality is rather different. It’s just hard to believe that there’s not more than one of her!

Recorded entirely at home, Hagopian’s studio set up of beatboxes, samplers, tambourines, guitars, turntables, piano, synths, various noise gadgets and effects shines through, creating an innovative retro-modern mix, elegant and sweetly beguiling but still rough enough to handle something bigger than a moped! From the Spector-soul of “Take it to Fantastic” (MP3) onwards, Knees Up! combines such diverse influences as Run-DMC, The Aislers Set, Solex, The Shangri-La’s, The Go-Go’s, Luscious Jackson and Devo, while remaining fresh, exciting and original at all times.

On top of this is Sharon’s singing – her truly lovely and pleasing voice polishes off each mini pop masterpiece on Knees Up!. Hagopian has previously taken the Cannonball Jane sound out on the road with support slots for The Go! Team, Gravy Train!!!!, E.S.G. and super-fans Le Tigre and has plans for more shows upon the release of Knees Up! this fall.

“…a concise summary of her aesthetic: cartoonish hip hop breakbeats, elegant piano chords, twinkling chimes, girl group melodies and a swirl of miscellaneous musical elements that fill out every available space in her songs without weighing down their buoyant grooves. Hagopian comes across as the world’s most ideal music educator — someone endlessly enthusiastic about a wide range of music who’s open both to old fashioned instruments and cut-and-paste sample-based compositions “ – Matthew Perpetua, The Associated Press

Knees Up! Tracklisting:

Release Date: October 9, 2007

01. Take It To Fantastic (MP3)
02. Slumber Party
03. Breaker Breaker
04. Take It To Fantastic (Smallstars Remix by Adrock)
05. The Secret Handshake
06. Bossa Tug
07. Take It To Fantastic (DJ Downfall Smash Hit Radio Remix)

BOYS NOIZE COMES TO AMERICA WITH AN ANTICIPATED ALBUM AND LIVE SHOW DATES!

BOYS NOIZE COMES TO AMERICA WITH AN ANTICIPATED ALBUM AND LIVE SHOW DATES!

THE DEBUT RELEASE – Oi Oi Oi on Turbo/Last Gang drops November 27th

Every DJ in the know, from 2ManyDJ’s, Soulwax, Justice, Erol Alkan, Daft Punk, and The Rapture to labels such as Kitsuné, Ed Banger, and Tiga´s Turbo Records have all felt the redemptive power of a Boy’s Noize record dropped at the right time.

Boy’s Noize has remixed the likes of Depeche Mode and Feist, as well as British indie anthems “Banquet” by Bloc Party and “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” by Kaiser Chiefs. The latest remix for Marilyn Manson´s “Putting Holes in Happiness” will be released worldwide through Interscope by early September and he is just about to finish a Justice remix.

Boy’s Noize will destroy dancefloors in North America with a series of DJ sets beginning in Canada on September 12th and will bring the party full on through September 23rd in Los Angeles. For the uninitiated, Boy’s Noize is Alex Ridha from Berlin, and Oi Oi Oi is the latest release from the Turbo/Last Gang stable.

Feist: “The dirtiest clean I know”

Soulwax: “This Album is a KILLER! GREAT production. Most exciting DJ & Producer at the moment!”

Gildas & Masaya (Kitsuné/Daft Punk crew): “The best producer you can find at the moment.”

Tiga: “For most of the past 2 years, Boy’s Noize records have saved my life as a DJ.”

Old Time Relijun receives early praise from rock-crit legends for forthcoming album Catharsis In Crisis. Band launches seemingly endless tour in support.

Old Time Relijun receives early praise from rock-crit legends for forthcoming album Catharsis In Crisis. Band launches seemingly endless tour in support.

“Unless I read them wrong (and I may; the music itself is the opposite of describing it: it’s wet, and bloody, and it smells like fresh earth and red cinders, and it’s a good goddamn time, is what it is) Old Time Relijun’s theory is that ‘the underground’ (I know. I know. I know.) isn’t an identity that reinvents itself once or twice per generation, but a permanent place within a culture – maybe within all cultures – where styles don’t go in and out of fashion but are always floating around in the air just above our heads.” — John Darnielle, Last Plane To Jakarta

“The music kicks ass: brutal, fluid, funky, spasmodic, violent, sexual…I wish there were more visionaries like Dionyso around.” — Everett True, Village Voice

The Pacific Northwest’s beloved, esoteric uprooters of rock’s antecedents, Old Time Relijun has already received an impressive outpouring of premature critical praise months in advance of its K Records meisterwerk Catharsis In Crisis. Legendary music scribe Everett True — he who put Sub Pop and myriad others on the map with his writing in NME and Melody Maker, as well as current author and Plan B editor — rated Catharsis In Crisis #1 in his “Top 5 Antifolk Songs” column in the Village Voice. A couple of weeks later, True followed that article with a column raving yet again about Old Time Relijun. Read the entire colorful passage HERE.

Likewise, esteemed critic and musician John Darnielle (singer/songwriter of The Mountain Goats and Last Plane to Jakarta editor, et al.) writes one of the most eloquent and flowing prose pieces about the latest Old Time Relijun disc in his latest zine. The review (clumsily quoted above) must be read in its entirety to be fully appreciated. Read it HERE.

Part of the reason for this early excitement about the album is due to the band’s return to the road, beginning with a Western states jaunt running from August 24th to September 8th, followed by a full U.S. tour beginning September 29th. Dates are still being confirmed for the fall, but all current confirmations can be found below.

Old Time Relijun continues to further shatter rock’s imperious formalism with its forthcoming latest K Records release, due October 9th, 2007. Song after song, the ferocity of vocalist/guitarist Arrington De Dionyso draws listeners deeper into a world where language, rhythm and unrepentant libido collide. The music is temperamental, unwieldy and unyielding; aimed to cut listeners to the bone.

Catharsis In Crisis was written and recorded at Calvin Johnson’s fabled Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, WA over four inspired days and nights. Legendary producer Steve Fisk was recruited to mix this raw material into Old Time Relijun’s most fully realized album to date. Old Time Relijun + Calvin Johnson + Steve Fisk = a magical alchemy of sound and light. But don’t worry folks, it’s still terrible background music.

Arrington de Dionyso’s electrifying vocal delivery retains the blood-soaked risk of a true underground visionary, while showcasing his mastery of over-the-top nuance. Aaron Hartman (contrabass) and Germaine Baca (drums) propel the album forward with relentless bump-and-grind. Catharsis In Crisis is the first album to reveal Old Time Relijun’s new secret weapon, subversive “saxophonista” Benjamin Hartman, who uses and abuses his classical training to drive the band further into the spheres.

Often lazily compared to a No Wave version of Captain Beefheart, Old Time Relijun’s subversive — dare we call it sadistic — mashing of world folk music styles sounds brutally fresh. No Wave? Forget that. Catharsis In Crisis is Yes Wave for the young millennium. “Daemon Meeting” (MP3) blazes through a bizarre convocation of underworld creatures, to conclude with the query, “what does it mean to be human?” A tenor saxophone throttles the dub-infected “Liberation” with propulsive urgency through a zone of “young life and decay,” while songs such as “In the Crown of Lost Light” and “Invisible New” confront infinity with their bright shimmering sound. Even Dante is given a run for his money with the Ennio Morricone influenced junk-disco centerpiece “Veleno Mortale,” actually an Italian “re-translation” of the brutal “Burial Mound” featured on Old Time Relijun’s album 2012.

Taken as a whole, the three discs of “The Lost Light Trilogy“ (in reverse chronological order Catharsis In Crisis, 2012 and Lost Light) are a tour-de-force of myth, dream and autobiography. ”We wanted ‘The Lost Light Trilogy’ to be a kind of rock opera,” de Dionyso says. “But with a non-linear development of plots and characters. Every song on each album contains musical or lyrical fragments of other songs within the trilogy, like broken shards of mirrors reflecting each other infinitely, the way a cubist painting presents multiple perspectives of the same subject, or the labyrinthine twists in a Borges story.”

Catharsis In Crisis, while concluding the trilogy, also stands on its own. Like the confrontational, compulsively danceable live show for which Old Time Relijun is known and loved, Catharsis In Crisis is a record and a testament to the oscillations of opposites. Darkness and Light, Water and Fire, Spirit and Matter struggle within Old Time Relijun’s alchemical oeuvre. From this elemental battle, the music emerges, dripping and triumphant.

More about Old Time Relijun:

Olympia, Washington. New Year’s Day, 1995. A dark and smelly basement. Three young musicians gather to tackle the vast songbook of Arrington de Dionyso. They had heard his self-recorded cassettes. The songs were wild and lovely. de Dionyso (the rebellious son of Methodist ministers) played every instrument with the soul of an outsider artist who didn’t know any better. He knew he needed to bring his songs to life.

The original trio was brought together for one show. Just to see what would happen. They called themselves Old Time Relijun. Arrington played a $20 guitar and a beat up bass clarinet. He sang with a mixture of piss and vinegar that exploded with naive charisma. Bryce Panic harassed the drums. Aaron Hartman beat on a two-string upright bass with a microphone taped to its bridge. They communicated with the clairvoyance of long-married ninjas.

That first show, everything went red: strings broke, the bass was a solid mass of feedback, the PA was blown. They used de Dionyso’s songs as a template to meld shock-ritual with a mad-tea-party-dance-vibe. They barely noticed the college kids in full Riot Grrrl gear screaming, they had no idea that punkers and hippies were dancing together. Something awful happened that night. A band was born.

Soon they were playing full sets to friends and taste-making Olympia hipsters alike. They played every show they could – whether or not they were on the bill. They developed the kind of intuitive free-jazz rapport of which most bands could only dream.

In 1996, Old Time Relijun recorded their first album, Songbook Volume One. They released it themselves, financing the production by tricking a friend out of his meager inheritance. The CD was packaged in stolen popcorn bags.

In 1997, Calvin Johnson invited the band to record a song for the “Selector Dub Narcotic” compilation for his K Records label. At that point, a beautiful relationship was born.

After Panic left to pursue a life of dance and yoga in India, one of the band’s younger fans, Phil Elvrum, asked if he could join. He moved to Olympia, and Old Time Relijun’s second of many lives began. Elvrum’s caveman beats and undeniable production savvy helped launch the first three Old Time Relijun albums K would release. Uterus and Fire (1999), was a bombastic exercise in recording in the red. Serena de Pecera (2000) was a one-night multilingual wonder, acting as a coda to the unyielding momentum of Uterus and Fire. Then came the band’s first true masterwork, Witchcraft Rebellion (2001), an album as deep and bizarre as anything you’ll find on your record shelf. A retelling of the first chapters of Genesis from the serpent’s point of view.

After a couple U.S. and European tours, Elvrum’s decided to focus his energy on his recording projects and his own band, The Microphones. Old Time Relijun continued in a variety of mutated formations, with various lost souls sitting behind the drum set.

The group experienced a brief lull in activity as de Dionyso began a vagabond period that would take him hitch-hiking across the United States and back and forth between Italy, France and Argentina. A compilation of unreleased oddities, Varieties of Religious Experience, was released in 2003, and both de Dionyso and Hartman had time to reevaluate the direction their band would take.

During his travels, de Dionyso composed an outline for what would become “The Lost Light Trilogy”. The first two installments, Lost Light (2003) and 2012 (2005), recorded with the help of drummers Rives Elliot and Jamie Peterson, respectively, saw extensive touring, a wider audience for the band, as well as high praise from critics world wide.

Old Time Relijun Live:

w/ AIDS Wolf

08/24 Eugene, OR John Henry’s

08/25 San Francisco, CA The Knockout

08/26 Santa Cruz, CA Blue Lagoon

08/28 San Diego, CA Casbah

08/29 Upland, CA Baldy Brewery

08/30 Los Angeles, CA The Echo

08/31 Los Angeles, CA The Smell

09/01 Oakland, CA 21 Grand

09/04 Davis, CA Delta of Venus

09/06 Eureka, CA Accident Gallery

09/07 Portland, OR Satyricon

09/08 Seattle, WA Atlas Clothing

09/29 Missoula, MT Badlander

09/30 Bozeman, MT The Filling Station

10/02 St. Paul, MN V’s Club

10/03 Iowa City, IA Picador

10/04 Chicago, IL Ronny’s

10/05 Bloomington, IN Bear’s Place

10/07 Columbus, OH Bourbon St.

10/09 Oberlin, OH The Sco

10/10 Pittsburgh, PA Garfield Artworks

10/11 Middleton, CT Wesleyan

10/13 Brooklyn, NY Southpaw (WFMU event w/ Oneida)

10/14 Montreal, QC Divan Orange*

10/15 Quebec City, QC Bal du Lezard*

10/16 Halifax, NS The Seahorse*

10/17 Sackville, NB Mount Allison*

10/19 Brooklyn, NY Soundfix Records (Fanatic CMJ Party)

10/19 New York, NY Knitting Factory (Panache CMJ Showcase)*

10/21 Annandale on Hudson, NY Bard College*

10/24 Hartford, CT Charter Oak Center*

10/25 Poughkeepsie, NY Vassar College*

10/26 Jamaica Plane, MA The Milky Way*

10/27 Providence, RI as220*

10/28 Philadelphia, PA COPY Gallery

10/30 Washington, DC Velvet Lounge*

10/31 New York, NY TBA*

11/01 Hoboken, NJ WFMU Live Performance

11/02 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506

11/03 Charleston, SC Cumberlands

11/04 Athens, GA Secret Squirrel

11/06 Birmingham, AL Bottletree w/ Don Caballero

11/07 New Orleans, LA Circle Bar

11/08 Houston, TX Proletariat

11/09 Austin, TX Emo’s

11/11 Oklahoma City, OK Conservatory

Catharsis In Crisis Tracklisting:

Release Date: October 9th, 2007

01. Indestructible Life!
02. The Tightest Cage
03. Daemon Meeting (MP3)
04. Liberation
05. Garden of Pomegranates
06. Akavishim
07. Dark Matter
08. The Circular Ruins
09. Veleno Mortale
10. Dig Down Deeper
11. A Wild Harvest
12. The Second Day of Creation
13. In The Crown of Lost Light
14. The Invisible New

Equal Vision signs Taking Back Sunday side project The Color Fred

The Color Fred

Independent rock label Equal Vision Records has signed Fred Mascherino of Taking Back Sunday’s side project, The Color Fred, and will release his first studio album, Bend To Break, on October 30th.

Before joining Taking Back Sunday as lead guitarist and co-vocalist, Mascherino and his former band Breaking Pangaea released their Phoenix EP through Equal Vision in May of 2003, and have continued their artist/label relationship ever since.

“I’ve been a fan of what EVR has been doing for a long time. From Saves The Day to Coheed and Cambria to Circa Survive, I feel like there’s always a certain integrity to the records they put out,” says Mascherino.

Equal Vision’s label manager Dan Sandshaw continues the mutual sentiment saying, “I have always loved Fred as a person and respected him as a musician. I really like how Fred’s songwriting has evolved over the years, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.”

Fred once again chose to work with producer Lou Giordano (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Lemonheads) to record Bend To Break, whom he met during the sessions for Taking Back Sunday’s gold-selling album, Where You Want To Be.

Bend To Break was completed last month at Millbrook Sound Studios in the peaceful mountains of upstate New York.

“Millbrook is two hours from everywhere,” explains Masherino. “It was the perfect place to get away and focus on just the record and nothing else. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”

Bend To Break will be available in stores everywhere on Tuesday, October 30th. Expect The Color Fred to be touring in the months leading up to the release.

Hear a new song from Bend To Break called “If I Surrender” at The Color Fred MySpace Page.

Kitsune Maison reaches the US

Kitsune Maison REACHES THE US WITH COMPILATION, CLOTHING LABEL, AND ART COLLECTIVE

Kitsune Maison 4 COMPILATION TO BE RELEASED LATE NOVEMBER 2007

CLOTHING AVAILABLE AT BLOOMINGDALES (NYC) AND JEFFREY NEW YORK, COLLECTION CAN BE VIEWED AT http:://www.kitsune.fr
Widely known internationally for their prolific 12″ and compilation releases and designer clothing label, Kitsune Maison is taking on the US with their most recent compilation, Kitsune Maison 4.

Responsible in part for launching the careers of artists such as Simian Mobile Disco and Klaxons through various 12″ singles and compilations, Kitsune also develop groups such as Digitalism, recently licensing their album to EMI for the world. Their seventh compilation release, Kitsuné Maison 4 (following Kitsune Love, Midnight, X, and the first 3 Kitsune Maison compilations), features many exclusive and rare tracks from up and coming artists such as Dragonette, Passions, and Guns N’ Bombs, as well as current favorites Darkel, Crystal Castles, and Feist. Designed as club compilations that can equally be enjoyed at home, the Kitsune Maison series represents the forefront of electronic music, encapsulating the new French sounds along with their international contemporaries.

Also a clothing label, Kitsune have designer lines ranging in scope from v-neck cashmere jumpers made in Scotland to raw denim made in Japan. In addition to their own cut-and-sew collections, Kitsune have collaborated with The Rapture, Air, Daft Punk, Colette, APC, United Arrows, and New Balance for various items. Available in more than 30 retailers worldwide including Jeffrey’s (New York), Bloomingdale’s (New York), Colette (Paris), Comme des Garcons (Tokyo), and Dover Street Market (London), Kitsune seek to produce all-time classic clothing in a contemporary way.

More on Kitsune:
Founded in 2001 and currently based in Paris and London, Kitsuné (Japanese for “fox”) is a multifaceted company that is as much a cutting-edge record label as it is a designer clothing label and art collective. Comprised of an architect, graphic artists (mercenaries for Martin Margiela, Hussein Chalayan, Air, The Cardigans, and London’s Royal College of Art), and a music art-director (Daft Punk), Masaya Kuroki, Patrick Lacey, Gildas Loaec, Benjamin Reichen, Kajsa Stahl, and Maki Suzuki represent what is known to the rest of the world as Kitsuné.

As a collective they have also thrown parties everywhere from Paris and Tokyo to Stockholm and Ghent, and have had art exhibitions, talks, and master classes in Singapore, Venice, Oslo, Tokyo, and London.

West Coast psychedelic noisemakers Clipd Beaks sign to Lovepump United, label to release band’s debut full-length

West Coast psychedelic noisemakers Clipd Beaks sign to Lovepump United, label to release band’s debut full-length Hoarse Lords this fall. Extensive U.S. tour to follow.

“Profoundly psychedelic…makes you feel grateful just for being alive.” – XLR8R

“Supermax-tight monolith monsters of psychedelia.” – L.A. Weekly

“Dark and noisy and messy. Which is cool, if you like strange shit.” – Vice

Groundbreaking record label Lovepump United (HEALTH, Ghengis Tron) announced today the upcoming release of Hoarse Lords, the debut full-length by Clipd Beaks on November 6th, 2007.

The creation of Hoarse Lords began in the summer of 2005 when Clipd Beaks relocated from Minnesota to Oakland, California. Influenced by hobo culture, the drugged-up hyphy sounds currently dominating Bay Area airwaves, and underground “Neu San Francisco” warehouse parties where techno bangers fade into tribal noise jams, everything on Hoarse Lords is turned up to 11. Harsh and distorted, it’s a fitting new sound for a band that references “clipping” in their name, and feels every bit as sick and violent as a severed, bleeding beak.

Formed in 2003, Clipd Beaks started off with little more than a battered Arp Axxe synthesizer and a microphone but quickly set about marking off its own turf at the intersection of psychedelic post-punk and futuristic noise. Bassist Scott Ecklein and drummer Ray Benjamin met at age seven and have played music together ever since. The nascent Beaks rhythm section met guitarist/synthesist Greg Pritchard inadvertently when, during his “reactionary prepubescent punk” phase, he violently beat on one of Ray’s drums while calling them wankers due to their pre-teen band’s sonic similarities to Smashing Pumpkins.

After graduating from high school, where they experimented with mind-altering substances such as British rock and San Diego art-core, the three boys played in an epic instrumental post-rock/prog band. Singer Nic Barbeln was in a different band, whose delayed vocal loops and jam band tendencies they secretly admired from afar. When Nic’s band’s drummer ran off to Woodstock to become a Buddhist monk, he was invited to join the other boys for an impromptu jam sesh, and on a sub-zero January night in a loft above a metal bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Clipd Beaks was born!

Its first record — which the band recorded and released itself — came out that July. It was called Gang Caves and it was about caves near the Mississippi River that gangs used to hang out in. Incorporating lo-fi orchestral samples, liberal use of the aforementioned analog synth, and effected vocals á la Vincent Price’s cameo on “Thriller”, the record still stands as a bizarre testament to the young Beaks’ insatiable appetite for experimentation.

In March of 2006, Tigerbeat6 released the Preyers EP featuring the song “Messed up Desert” which will appear on the soundtrack (alongside Broken Social Scene and Madlib among others) to the upcoming film Gardens of The Night (LINK) starring John Malkovich. Recorded while the band was packing its bags in preparation for an epic cross-country move to California, Preyers documented the anxiety of five boys growing into men in the strange last days of American Empire, leaving their placid Midwest homes behind to venture into the unknown.

Now happily settled in Oakland, Clipd Beaks sounds like they’re pushing themselves further and further into some unknown and terrifying black hole. On Hoarse Lords, song titles like “Melter” (MP3), “Wrathscapes”, and “We Will Bomb You” set the scene: these are the end times, and Clipd Beaks is right there with you, banging their drums in a tornado. As the record builds to a ferocious conclusion, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, a feeling of peace beyond the point of pain. We can’t escape, so we submit, and are consumed. Hoarse Lords, will be released by Lovepump United on November 6th, 2007 to be followed by an extensive U.S. tour.

“The West Coast’s equivalent of our beloved Deerhunter… strangely hypnotic.” – Creative Loafing

“Groovy… abrasive with the synthesizers. It’s like, if you can’t see the direct lines between This Heat and DJ Screw, then maybe you need to do a little more homework.” – The Fader

The Aggrolites – The Aggrolites album review

The Aggroliteswritten by Mike Cox

I can recall in vivid detail, the moment I first heard The Aggrolites. We were pulling onto the Santa Monica freeway somewhere
around 11:00 P.M., claustrophobic from the San Francisco to L.A. drive. Though on the verge of being stir – crazy, we were pumped, just an hour drive from the old stomping grounds. Give ‘Em The Boot IV; the latest compilation from Hellcat Records was churning in the stereo, and what comes rippling through the speakers? Dirty Reggae. It was pure jubilation, the windows went down, the volume went up, and something started burning. It was summertime and we were on vacation.

This last week I was once again afforded those splendid emotions, and not by coincidence, The Aggrolites were a major factor.

Though the So-Cal quintets’ self – titled release is not exactly brand new by time standards, it is in fact brand new to a significant
audience. Released in May of 2006, The Aggrolites was typically an on-line purchase. You knew what you wanted and where to get it. You liked Reggae Hit L.A. or maybe you (like me) picked up G.E.T.B. IV simply because you like a lot of what Hellcat puts out. Regardless 2007 saw The Aggrolites backing Tim Armstrong (Op. Ivy/ Rancid) on his solo debut, opening themselves up to a whole new audience and semi-mainstream availability. They do not disappoint! Having backed reggae legends along the lines of Prince Buster, King Terror and so many others, the band has street cred, this is not Snow trying to pass off Informer as real roots rock.

The Aggrolites- a name honoring both the Aggrovators and The Crystalites- happened almost by chance. Brian Dixon put together two line-ups’ in support of Derrick Morgan, one for the ska sessions and one for reggae. Somewhere along the line, Dixon asked the members of both camps if they’d like to continue touring. Thus a band was born.

Funky Fire kicks things off it’s this crazy, groovy, revival tune that really showcases frontman Jesse Wagner’s vocal ability (intense
yet soulful) and Roger Rivas’s aptitude on the keys. The feel good jam is followed directly by Mr. Misery, a down-tempo ode to some mystical dark figure with the powers to transcend emotion and task. These two tracks are easily the most powerful one-two punch on the album.

Listeners will notice some formidable influences, the late 60’s early 70’s revival sound so prevalent with Toot’s and the Maytals and the Wailers. Some critics have had the audacity to say these influences are too heavy. Amateurs. The only thing heavy about this album is the sound, and that is just the way I like it.

At 19 tracks, the album is not light on content. Other notables in rotation include the country funky Countryman Fiddle, a twangy ditty about a boy and his grandfather sharing the joy of song. Introducing one another to new sounds and new generations. Lightning & Thunder clocks in a soulful salute to the impoverished of the world and at the same time, a scathing warning to those who have it all. Prisoner Song is a classic waiting to happen. Its’ deep organ groove, flows seamlessly with the punk lyrics and introspection.

Also included on the album are six instrumentals, again some critics have had the gumption to call it filler. I don’t see it that way. All you have to do is listen to tunes like Grave Digger or 5 Deadly Venoms to appreciate the melodic arrangement. The tracks are well placed and don’t drag, pairing perfectly with the overall sound.

Thoughtful and emotional, the album should sell well in several different circles. Reggae purists will respect it. Punks will buy it
(everyone needs some down time) and your girl will love it. It’s the perfect soundtrack for your soul summer.

They Shoot Horses Don’t They? – Pick Up Sticks album review

They Shoot Horses written by Jessica Star Rockers

Imagine a traveling circus freak show where the freaks are engaged in a mutinous revolt. They’ve listened to The Clash, hijacked a carnival band’s instruments, and are about to take control. Can you hear the oompa oompa? If so, it’s probably Pick Up Sticks, the latest album from the Kill Rock Stars band They Shoot Horses Don’t They?.


They Shoot Horses’ previous album, Boo Hoo Hoo Boo, sounded more like the high school marching band rejects these twenty-somethings might actually be. As if the image of their old band director was still hovering in the back of their subconscious, tapping his baton to keep the beat.


Thankfully, on Pick Up Sticks, the band has purged itself of this apparition and done away with the metronome, kicking off those years of band class. There’s a much more punk esthetic here, more shambolic and raw. They’ve let go of the self-containment and are marching forward, beginning with the intro song “One Last Final Push”: “We go on marching forward; Through all the silent faces; Sing! This noise! This drum! Well, here we come!”


The band name comes from the 1935 Horace McCoy book (and the subsequent 1969 Sydney Pollack movie) depicting a depression-era dance marathon where the contestants are starving and hopeless, yet dance to exhaustion in the hopes of winning the cash prize. The band quotes the book blurb on their Myspace page: “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? present us with a dark and violent world where people are readily exploited for the pennies that they might bring in from a viewing audience. Marathon dances last for weeks, even months, draining their participants of self-respect and gradually turning them into the walking dead.”


The album itself often feels like a dance marathon that will never end. The songs are relentless in their energy, each registering at fever pitch. But while this makes for somewhat exhausting listening on their 10-song LP, it translates best when seen live. Their shows have been compared to the Sammy David Jr. “Rythym of Life” scene from the movie Sweet Charity, a kind of joy-filled musical cult indoctrination. (Beware of churches that meet in underground parking lots.)


But They Shoot Horses Don’t They? isn’t staying underground, they’re taking it to the streets, confident they’ll convert the whole neighborhood or die trying.