reviews tour dates

Bring Back The Guns to bring the noise to Midwest and Dry Futures to the rest. Houston quartet’s vast arsenal hints at Hot Snakes, Pixies, The Shins, Fugazi, more.

Bring Back The Guns to bring the noise to Midwest and Dry Futures to the rest. Houston quartet’s vast arsenal hints at Hot Snakes, Pixies, The Shins, Fugazi, more.

“There’s something compelling about a band that manages to sound like the Shins hopped up on mathcore, with just a dash of early Modest Mouse… There’s a weird, utterly unreasonable energy here that makes it worth playing over and over.” — Impose Magazine

“Opening with Futures’ “Radio Song,” wiry frontman Matt Brownlie jerked, jumped and flung himself pell-mell across the stage, his spastic movements mirroring the music’s jittery vocals and guitar parts. Drummer Thomas Clemmons, his parts as animated as Brownlie, broke into a sheen of sweat visible from several yards away, while bassist Ryan Hull stood like a statue as his lumbering basslines acted like the glue holding BBTG’s schizophonic sound together. Their music seems to be based on duality – tension/release, quiet/loud, pensive/unhinged – and it was all there Thursday.” — Houston Press, live review 10/4/07

Houston quartet Bring Back The Guns has announced tour dates throughout the Midwest beginning in late November to support the release of its debut album on Feow Records, the new label founded by Devendra Banhart cohort Jana Hunter and BBTG’s own Matthew Brownlie. The band plans to deliver its taut, wiry live show to the rest of the country soon thereafter. Until then, its Dry Futures album — already praised by Alternative Press, Paper Thin Walls, Impose, Houston Press and more — should hold audiences over sufficiently. Please scroll down for complete tour dates.

Bring Back The Guns is a messy experiment in taking pop and punk tropes to the classical museum hoping to get thrown out. There’s a mathematical precision that belies the boiling underneath, a surface of timing and beats, wordplay, performance, persona that performs the same function as a paper plate during an eclipse. BBTG twists its primal screams into exquisite sculpture and invites you to knock over the ropes on your way to touch the art. BBTG is anger and love and other short words with long definitions: pop, math-rock, post-Pavement, anti-cool. Its sound somehow simultaneously references elements of such disparate bands as Hot Snakes, The Shins, The Pixies and Fugazi on the young quartet’s debut album Dry Futures.

Previously, Matthew Brownlie, Blake Powell, Thomas Clemmons and Erik Bogle (ex-The Octopus Project) were the award-winning Groceries, and in five years they released two albums: the 1999 EP Knuckleheads & Icons and a 2001 split EP with DrillboxIgnition. Powell took off in late 2002 and now flies airplanes through the sky. The rest of the band toured twice with The Toadies, once with Lozenge (Sickroom Records) and did the West Coast with The Octopus Project (Peek-a-Boo). In 2004 Ryan Hull joined on bass, and the band became known as Bring Back The Guns. Soon they were freaking everybody out in their hometown Houston, TX scene. The music got uglier, the beats got faster, and the anger got redder. All the while, the praise got louder — winning the Best Indie Rock award in the Houston Press in 2005 and 2003, with nominations every year from 2001-present.

For the next 1 and 1/2 years, scads of touring took them all over the lower 48 states. The boys hit the Midwest and South repeatedly and both coasts twice, doing stretches with the likes of Old Time Relijun (K Records), The Show Is The Rainbow (Tsk Tsk), Danielson (Secretly Canadian), and Emperor X (Discos Mariscos.) Recording and mixing on the full-length that was to become Dry Futures technically ended December 31, 2004, but since that date BBTG released a 7” on Discos Mariscos and appeared on two nationally distributed comps.

Imagine the bow-tied rage of a chess genius at his first lost tournament, a spelling bee prodigy after missing an easy word. Imagine the anger irrational numbers feel, when they realize they’ll never make the big time. Imagine the neighbor dog over the fence, that wants out so badly he’s frothing at the mouth. Where do you go when you can’t get out? Imagine being shushed in the library when you weren’t even the one talking, a kid so pissed off he’s going to walk until he doesn’t want to fight anymore. Set the rage to music. That’s Bring Back The Guns.

“Bring Back The Guns is making some of the most original music in the city. The band’s music crackles with energy and makes the heart race. It isn’t simple, and it’s often weird, but these are the very reasons it engages you. You listen, you try to piece together what is being said and why, and then the key changes or the song stops and the rug is pulled out from under you.”—Sara Cress, Houston Chronicle

“Bring Back The Guns are incredibly fun. They are masters at taking completely unrelated segments of music, stabbing them together and making them work as if they serve to tell some sort of immense, epic tale.” —Lance Walker, 002 Magazine

“ of the coolest bands I’ve ever seen/heard, from Houston or otherwise…chances are that nobody in this town will ever realize how good they are, even though they might well be the closest we’ve got to the Archers of Loaf, Spoon, or Pavement…Skewed, mildly ‘progressive’ pop songs that are smart as hell…”—Jeremy Hart,

Bring Back The Guns Live:

11/ 23 Fort Worth, TX 6th St. Live
11/24 Norman or Oklahoma City TBA
11/25 Springfield, MO TBA
11/26 St. Louis, MO The Bluebird
11/27 Chicago, IL Ronny’s
11/28 Madison or Milwaukee, WI TBA
11/29 Minneapolis, MN TBA
11/30 Des Moines, IA TBA
12/01 Omaha, NE Slowdown w/ Antelope (Dischord)
12/02 Hot Springs, AR The Exchange w/Clipd Beaks

Dry Futures Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. No More Good Songs
02. The Art of Malnutrition
03. Let’s Not
04. Dry Futures
05. Take It Like A
06. Face Smear Pt. 1 (All Right Now)
07. The Family Name
08. The Season for Treason
09. Radio Song ’04
10. I Am the Voice of Sarah Strickland’s Rage
11. In Piles/On File (MP3)

tour dates

The Coathangers assaults the East Coast with a don’t-miss-it live show. Band hits NYC for Halloween amid press praise, magazine covers and all around general chaos. Message to The Donnas: Bring it on!

The Coathangers assaults the East Coast with a don’t-miss-it live show. Band hits NYC for Halloween amid press praise, magazine covers and all around general chaos. Message to The Donnas: Bring it on!

“‘Don’t Touch My Shit’ is the jam. When the singer Shrieks, “Don’t touch my SHIIIIIIIIIIT!” it really makes you not want to touch her shit.” – Vice

“Simple, powerful punk-rock party anthems infused with giddy, girly energy that sways between juvenilia and avant-garde primitivism.” – Creative Loafing

“…a joyously lobbed spitwad of sexy screeches and scratches. It isn’t all punky abandon, though. ‘Wreckless Boy’ brushes up on vintage Rough Trade dubbiness before bursting into a pep-rally chorus. ‘Bloody Shirt’ tickles tenderly. And ‘Nestle In My Bobbies’ is a Casio-stabbed sleaze anthem that Gravy Train!!!! would be proud to call its own.” – The Onion

The Coathangers has quickly become Atlanta’s most talked about new band and with its recently launched tour, the chatter is spreading throughout the nation. The Dirty South’s premier ladies graced the cover of August’s Southeast Performer Magazine, were recently named’s “Band of The Day”, were the subject of a fashionable spread in Atlanta Magazine (suitable for parents and family alike), and also grabbed five or ten pages in Atlanta’s monthly music tome Stomp and Stammer. The love just keeps on coming The Coathangers’ way. Put your arms around them when the band rolls through your town along its East coast trek supporting its debut album on Rob’s House Records. Scoll down for dates.

More about The Coathangers:

Since July of 2006 Julia Kugel (guitar/vocals), Stephanie Luke (drums/vocals), Candice Jones (keyboard/vocals) and Meredith Franco (bass/vocals) have hammered out a bat cave crunk-punk dirge that explodes with energy and creativity. Don’t be fooled by playful early song titles, like “Nestle In My Boobies” and “Don’t Touch My Shit.” These women are real deal feminists, armed with a brash and irreverent sense of humor. They’re more likely to be caught cracking jokes with Andrew W.K. than sharing tea and vegan cookies with Kathleen Hannah’s crew. Simply put, The Coathangers get the party started. They say what they want to say, do what they want to do, and they write songs because they want to have fun.

Imagine if you will a marriage of The Beastie Boys circa Some Old Bullshit and The Slits when they were still a punk band and you’re in the right ballpark. The group’s manic pep rally chants in “Wreckless Boy” morph into the sneering caterwauls of “Tonya Harding” over simple and powerful rhythmic plods. “Bloody Shirt” transcends the power of three-chord tension with the sounds of ratchets and a sparkling piano slurring to the tune of heartbreak and revelation. And an accordion has never channeled so much punk melancholy as it does in “The Missing Letter.” Jones found the toy accordion in a Texas gas station for ten dollars, and the song is a very personal one about Kugel’s grandmother, sung half in Russian and half in English. She tells Stomp and Stammer, “When I wrote the lyrics, I didn’t want them to sound like a seven-year-old wrote them. I only got the education of a seven-year-old in Russia, so I didn’t want them to sound trite. But this Russian friend of a friend was like, ‘Oh, the lyrics are really good!’ So that made me feel proud.”

The Coathangers Live:

10/30 Boston, MA PAs Lounge
10/31 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
11/01 New York, NY Death By Audio
11/03 Cleveland, OH Now That’s Class
11/04 Detroit, MI Lager House
11/05 Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club
11/06 Chicago, IL Ronny’s
11/07 Lafayette, IN Zooleger’s
11/08 Nashville, TN The Basement
11/09 Memphis, TN Murphy’s
11/10 New Orleans, LA Saturn Bar
11/11 Mobile, AL Blind Mule
11/12 Orlando, FL Peacock Room
11/14 Atlanta, GA Drunken Unicorn

The Coathangers Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. “Why This Record” Intro
02. Tonya Harding
03. Wreckless Boy
04. Haterade
05. “A Real Honey”
06. Shut The Fuck Up (MP3)
07. Parking Lot (
08. Buckhead Betty
09. Don’t Touch My Shit! (
10. “Roll Dem Dice”
11. Parchezzi
12. Where The Hell Were You?
13. “Fatty Pad”
14. Nestle In My Boobies
15. Bloody Shirt
16. The Missing Letter
17. “Larger Success” Outro



The B-52’s, pioneering dance-rock stars, are exploding on the scene once again with the February 26th, 2008 release of ‘Funplex’, the band’s first studio album in 16 years and the first with the Astralwerks label.

The influential band – who bridged a gap between punk and new wave with a sound that was uniquely their own – along with producer Steve Osborne (New Order, Happy Mondays, Doves, KT Tunstall) have created a new album as cutting edge, distinctive and danceable as their self-titled debut album and hit single “Rock Lobster” were in 1979.

Recorded in their native Athens, GA and with all 11 songs written by Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider, Keith Strickland and Cindy Wilson, ‘Funplex’ finds the band in vigorous, forward stance, while staying true to the party-rock style that influenced such current bands as LCD Soundsystem, Interpol and The Scissor Sisters. Guitarist Keith Strickland explains, “It’s loud, sexy rock and roll for your pleasure zones, with the beat pumped up to hot pink.”

“We are thrilled to be bringing The B-52’s music to a new generation of intergalactic fans. Cindy, Fred, Kate, and Keith have made an album that is incredibly fresh, dynamic and perhaps most importantly, quintessentially The B-52’s … instantly recognizable, instantly fun,” Astralwerks label manager Glenn Mendlinger comments.

The band have been touring nonstop, recently making a triumphant return to Europe after a 10 year absence, headlining Spain’s Benicassim Festival and the London Lovebox Festival this past summer. Fans will get a sneak peak at ‘Funplex’ with live performances set for 10/31 at Roseland Ballroom in NYC and 11/16 at The Roxy in Los Angeles.

1. Pump
2. Hot Corner
3. Ultraviolet
4. Juliet Of The Spirits
5. Funplex
6. Eyes Wide Open
7. Love In The Year 3000
8. Deviant Ingredient
9. Too Much To Think About
10. Dancing Now
11. Keep This Party Going

The dueling front women of Atlanta staple R&B-punk-garage rock band Tiger! Tiger! return with new album, The Kind of Goodnight.

The dueling front women of Atlanta staple R&B-punk-garage rock band Tiger! Tiger! return with new album, The Kind of Goodnight.

“With a refreshing dollop of confident restraint, Tiger! Tiger! hurls a cohesive sonic menace that equals Aguero’s tough-girl image (one that looks as if this chica could cut ya just as easily as flash ya that infectious ruby-red smile).” – Flagpole Magazine

“…It’s what you might call “bar music,” if more bars actually cut loose enough to play stuff like this. But there’s just enough danger here to ensure that they won’t.” – Atlanta Journal & Constitution

Since 2005 Tiger! Tiger! has become an important figure in Atlanta’s underground music scene, working at the cross roads of garage rock, punk and R&B. The group’s second full-length, The Kind of Goodnight is a catty and cool collection of retro rock and roll rhythms that dive headlong into the dark side of the tensions that bind and repel the sexes. The album is by turns sultry and frenetic, obsessive and triumphant as vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Buffi Aguero cruelly croons away, kicking at the rubble of love in the ruins. Sam Leyja (organ), Susanne Gibboney (bass, vocals), Mario Colangelo (drums) and Shane Pringle (guitar, saxophone, vocals) craft a gritty and careening big beat that wanders into the most menacing parts of the ego and the soul. This is the battle cry of strength, reckoning and psychological vengeance that kicks like a Stiletto to the guts. Each song tells a tale of hurt feelings, deceit and rising above with extreme prejudice.

Opening number, “Stand In” is a Velvet Underground inspired ditty that serves as a primer into the simple, powerful plod of the group’s pace. And yes, “Garage rock” is the inexorable catch phrase of Tiger! Tiger!’s approach. It is a dominate strain in the group’s genetic make-up, which makes sense. Aguero also plays drums for Atlanta’s long-standing garage rock legends The Subsonics (who will be featured on a split 7-inch with The Black Lips later this year on Rob’s House Records). Songs like “Black Daggers” and “Cheap Imitation” are not only cut from the same cloth as younger ATL siblings The Black Lips, The Carbonas and The Coathangers, the group contains fragments of the same cornerstones upon which new Atlanta is built.

Tiger! Tiger! draws power from real life experience, and even though there are more than three chords bounding throughout each song, the impact of it all remains in a direct and uncomplicated channeling of very complicated emotions. Dueling front women Gibboney and Aguero bring the pressure to a fine point – the wrath of not one, but two women scorned has never been so enticing.

Goodnight is an exercise in catharsis and sheer triumph of will, but it is so sculpted from so much more than spun-out punk aggression. Pringle’s restrained saxophone blasts in “Cheap Imitation” reveal hidden layers in the music that summon an affinity for the artful bend of ‘70 post-punk and ‘80s new wave, but it all comes back together in Leyja’s long, sustained organ drones and staccato rhythms. “How Much Can You Take” and “Seaside Romance” sidestep the explosive connotations of such punchy and ragged descriptors to follow the course of a slow burn that is no less volatile, and The Kind of Goodnight is white hot.

The Kind of Goodnight Track Listing:

Stream The Album HER

01. Stand In
02. The First Thing
03. Black Daggers (MP3)
04. Two By Two
05. The Kind of Goodnight
06. Fake It
07. Cheap Imitation
08. How Much Can You Take
09. Seaside Romance
10. Misfortune, Bad Weather and Debt
11. So You Won’t Deceive Me
12. Sometimes
13. Every Word Is True
14. Pretty Perjury
15. Windows
16. Substantial Difference

music videos

Culture-jam your Christmas! Negativland’s greatest hits DVD release date gets bumped into holiday season due to manufacturing error. In accordance, band releases controversial statement.

Culture-jam your Christmas! Negativland’s greatest hits DVD release date gets bumped into holiday season due to manufacturing error. In accordance, band releases controversial statement.

“Declared heroic by their peers for refashioning culture into what the group considers to be more honest statements, Negativland suggests that refusing to be original, in the traditional sense, is the only way to make art that has any depth within commodity capitalism…” – The New York Times

“Twisted genius…compelling…parody and satire as a grassroots weapon of consumer resistance.” – Rolling Stone

“Negativland isn’t just some group of merry pranksters; its art is about tearing apart and reassembling found images to create new ones, in an attempt to make social, political and artistic statements. Hilarious and chilling.” – The Onion

Negativland’s long-awaited DVD release of its greatest hits titled Our Favorite Things has been delayed until November 20th due to a manufacturing glitch discovered on early promotional versions of the disc. The epic career-capping project — several years in the making — was originally slated to be issued via Other Cinema (Sonic Outlaws, So Wrong They’re Right) on October 23rd. A sizable number of DVDs were found to have problems playing through its bonus features, which has necessitated the remanufacture of its full run.

Sure to please the group’s old fans, this very accessible DVD is also an incredible introduction to Negativland’s work for new ones. Created with a crew of 18 other experimental filmmakers from all over the USA, Our Favorite Things is a collaborative project that takes a striking visual leap into the same legally gray area that Negativland has been exploring with sound for the last 27 years. A dark and charming film collection of unforgettable collage and classic cut-up entertainment for all ages, it also comes with over 90 minutes of bonus material, as well as a truly silly and bizarre 50-minute bonus CD of 100% acapella versions of Negativland’s work by The 180-Gs, a five-person black acapella group from Detroit, that has endeavored to “cover” Negativland’s cut up collage work in R ‘n B, Doo-Wop, and Gospel styles. The resulting album 180 D’Gs To The Future! is extremely fun, funny, and very weird.

Negativland issued the following statement regarding the DVD in its absence on its original release date:

“Aside from all your desperately unanswerable questions about Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, about half the countries in Africa, American politicians, and arctic polar bears, you’re undoubtedly wondering why the new DVD/CD from Negativland, Our Favorite Things, is no longer immediately available for making art whoopee regardless of all that other vexing and hexing of the American soul we are currently subjected to.

“Due to technical difficulties beyond our control, Negativland’s new DVD release has been delayed by one month. While none of the above human problems, or the polar bears, can be fixed now, and some of them can’t be fixed in your lifetime, Negativland’s Our Favorite Things DVD is being rapidly fixed as you read this. No problem. That’s why art is more satisfying than politics – it sometimes might be a little late, but it seldom involves senseless death.

“Look for Our Favorite Things, Negativland’s career spanning DVD/CD of old and new works made visible for the very first time on its new release date of November 20, 2007. We can’t change the world, but we can give you another way to look at it, and better late than never.”

Recently released without difficulty is the long awaited reissue of Negativland’s legendary 1983 difficult listening conceptual suburban epic A Big 10-8 Place. Over three years in the making, and with ten-thousand-million-billion analog tape splices, this insanely cut-up and uniquely weird release remains the hands down favorite of many fans of Negativland’s work. The disc comes with a 60-minute bonus DVD of Negativland’s No Other Possibility video, created in the mid-1980’s.

As if all of this Negativland activity weren’t enough to cause a government reaction, the band recently brought a new version of its weekly radio broadcast (“Over The Edge” – on the air since 1981) to the live stage, mixing music, found sounds, found dialog, scripts, personalities, and sound effects within a “radio” theater-of-the-mind.

Time Out New York featured the band in anticipation of its first New York City performance since a sold-out show at Irving Plaza in 2000. “It’s All In Your Head FM” is a two-hour-long, action-packed look at monotheism, the supernatural God concept, and the all-important role played by the human brain in our beliefs. Dr. Oslo Norway is your “radio” host, and Christianity and Islam are the featured religions, as Negativland asks you to contemplate some complex, serious, silly, and challenging ideas about human belief in this audio cut-up mix best described as a “documentary collage”. “It’s All In Your Head FM” is a compelling and uniquely fun presentation of sticky theological concepts, which has actually been known to provoke arguments for days after the show is over.

Opening the NYC performance were two other significant contributors to the history of re-appropriation of found sounds – Steinski and Double Dee. In 1983, Tommy Boy Records held a promotional contest, in which entrants were asked to remix the single “Play That Beat, Mr. D.J.” by G.L.O.B.E. and Whiz Kid (members of Afrika Bambaataa’s Soulsonic Force). The entry submitted by Steinski and Double Dee, “Lesson 1 — The Payoff Mix” was packed with sampled appropriations from other records — not only from early Hip-Hop records and from Funk and Disco records that were popular with Hip-Hop DJs, but with short snippets of older songs by Little Richard and The Supremes, along with vocal samples from sources as diverse as instructional tap-dancing records and Humphrey Bogart films.

Double Dee and Steinski followed up this success with “Lesson 2 — The James Brown Mix” in 1984, which began with a sample from “The War of The Worlds” before quickly running through a montage of memorable breaks from classic James Brown records, with sampled appearances by Dirty Harry and Bugs Bunny. In 1985 came “Lesson 3 — The History of Hip-Hop Mix” which attempted a survey of the great breakdancing favorites, along with snippets from Johnny Carson and Hernando’s Hideaway. The Illegal Art label, home to notorious musical collage artist Girl Talk will issue a definitive compilation of this long unavailable material in 2008.

Our Favorite Things DVD Chapter Listing:

Release Date: November 20th, 2007

01. Learning To Communicate

02. No Business

03. Gimme The Mermaid

04. U2

05. Time Zones

06. Freedom’s Waiting

07. The Bottom Line

08. Yellow, Black and Rectangular

09. Guns

10. Over The Hiccups

11. The Mashin’ of The Christ

12. KPIX News

13. Truth In Advertising

14. One World Advertising

15. Why Is This Commercial?

16. The Greatest Taste Around

17. Taste In Mind

18. Humanitarian Effort

19. Drink It Up

20. Aluminum or Glass

21. My Favorite Things

180 d’Gs To The Future Bonus CD Track Listing:

01. Intro (Everything’s Going Fine)

02. Christianity Is Stupid (mp3)

03. Helter Stupid (Excerpt)

04. Greatest Taste Around

05. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

06. Car Bomb

07. A Nice Place To Live

08. Seat Bee Sate

09. Roy Storey’s Sports Line

10. I Am God

11. Playboy Channel

12. Oven Noises

13. Theme From A Big 10-8 Place (Live)

A Big 10-8 Place Track Listing:

Release Date: September 25th, 2007

01. Theme from a Big Place

02. A Big 10-8 Place, Pt. One (MP3)

03. Clowns and Ballerinas

04. Introduction

05. Four Fingers

06. 180-G, A Big 10-8 Place, Pt. Two

More About The 180-Gs:

The 180-Gs began in 2001 when David Minnick and his four or five brothers got together to sing and perform in their family’s two-car garage in Rochester, Michigan. Soon the whole neighborhood knew of the “Singing Minnicks” and the crazy ruckus that David, Chris and the triplets set up on those hot summer nights. It wasn’t long before their pastor, Reverend Al “Sugar” Sweet heard them and decided to take the youngsters under his wing. It was in Reverend Al’s venerable Airstream Trailer home that David Minnick found, under a dusty anorak, the album which was to transform the sound of the group: Negativland’s Points.

Under Reverend Al’s tutelage the Minnick boys redirected their energies into the delightful and stunning arrangements found on the recordings. Christened The 180-Gs, their performances went from basements and garages in Bloomfield Hills to crowded church halls and Elk’s Lodges in the entire Detroit Metro area. Their soulful styling of such Negativland classics of “Car Bomb” and “I Am God” were particularly uplifting in the tough times that followed 9/11, and their popularity came to the attention of local DJ and impresario D’Andre Xavier Jones, who produced their first singles. Jones sold these out of the trunk of his car – often moving as many as three crates in a weekend – first to folks in the neighborhood, but later to people all over who had heard bootleg cassette recordings of the Gs at block parties and dance clubs throughout the city. What started as a local phenomenon had broken out into the world, and The 180-Gs were going to ride it to the top.

“The mission of the 180-Gs is to bring music with a positive message to the youth of today. Their music is the complete opposite of the gangsta rap and techno devil music and all the stuff kids think they’re supposed to like. They’re 180 degrees away from that. In fact, the sound of their voices is an insult to the entire gangsta rap community. Coming up in the streets, the Gs learned the hard way that you’ve got to use your head to get ahead. There’s just no other possibility.” – Reverend Al “Sugar” Sweet

More About Negativland:

“Negativland, longtime advocates of fair use allowances for pop media collage, are perhaps America’s most skilled plunderers from the detritus of 20th century commercial culture. Negativland are media addicts who see society suffering under a constant barrage of TV, canned imagery, advertising and corporate culture…the band’s latest project is razor sharp, microscopically focused, terribly fun and a bit psychotic.” – Wired

“Brutally hilarious…a compelling argument for the anti-copyright movement.” – Village Voice

“Fearless artistes or foolhardy risk-takers…. by constantly haranguing the audience with authentic advertising spiel and highlighting its transparency, they kill the messenger, kill the message and produce highly entertaining art simultaneously.” – L.A. Weekly

Since 1980, the four or five Floptops known as Negativland have been creating records, fine art, video, books, radio and live performance using appropriated sound, image and text. Mixing original materials and music with things taken from corporately owned mass culture, Negativland re-arranges these bits and pieces to make them say and suggest things that they never intended to. In doing this kind of cultural opposition and “culture jamming” (a term coined by Negativland in 1984), Negativland have been sued twice for copyright infringement.

Okay, but what, you still ask, is Negativland exactly? That’s hard to answer. Negativland definitely isn’t a “band,” though they may look like one when you see their CDs for sale in your local shopping mall. They’re more like some sort of goofy yet serious European-style artist/activist collective – an unhealthy mix of John Cage, Lenny Bruce, Pink Floyd, Bruce Connor, Firesign Theatre, Abbie Hoffman, Robert Rauschenberg, 1970’s German electronic music, old school punk rock attitude, surrealist performance art, your high school science teacher…and lot’s more.

Over the years Negativland’s “illegal” collage and appropriation based audio and visual works have touched on many things – pranks, media hoaxes, media literacy, the evolving art of collage, creative anti-corporate activism in a media saturated multi-national world, the bizarre banality of suburban existence, file sharing, intellectual property issues, wacky surrealism, evolving notions of art and ownership and law in a digital age, artistic and humorous critiques of mass media and culture, and, of course, so-called “culture jamming” (a term now thoroughly and somewhat distastefully commodified by Adbusters Magazine.)

While they have been, since getting sued, aggressively and publicly involved in advocating significant reforms of our nation’s copyright laws, and are often perceived as creative and funny shit-stirring anti-corporate activists, Negativland are artists first and activists second, not the other way around. Their art and media interventions have (often naively) posed questions about the nature of sound, media, control, ownership, propaganda and perception, with the results of these questions and explorations being what they release to the public. Their work is now referenced and taught in many college courses in the US, has been written about in over 30 books (including No Logo by Naomi Klein, Media Virus by Douglas Rushkoff, and various biographies of the band U2), cited in legal journals, and they often lecture about their work here and in Europe.

In 1995 Negativland released a 270 page book with 72 minute CD entitled Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2. This book documented their infamous four-year long legal battle over their 1991 release of an audio piece entitled U2. They were the subjects of Craig Baldwin’s 1995 feature documentary Sonic Outlaws. Negativland also created the soundtrack and sound design for Harold Boihem’s 1997 documentary film The Ad and The Ego, an excellent in-depth look into the hidden agendas of the corporate ad world that goes very deep into the gross and subtle ways that we are adversely affected by advertising.

Negativland is interested in unusual noises and images (especially ones that are found close at hand), unusual ways to restructure such things and combine them with their own music and art, and mass media transmissions which have become sources, and subjects, of much of their work. Negativland covets insightful wackiness from anywhere, low-tech approaches whenever possible, telling humor, and vital social targets of any kind. Without ideological preaching, Negativland often becomes a subliminal culture sampling service concerned with making art about everything we aren’t supposed to notice.

A beautiful new voice arrives on the national scene in the form of Kate Tucker. New album with The Sons of Sweden features the undeniable tune “Faster Than Cars” and guest appearance from Damien Jurado. Fans of Mazzy Star, Beth Orton, Neko Case, Cat Power, and Low listen up!

A beautiful new voice arrives on the national scene in the form of Kate Tucker. New album with The Sons of Sweden features the undeniable tune “Faster Than Cars” and guest appearance from Damien Jurado. Fans of Mazzy Star, Beth Orton, Neko Case, Cat Power, and Low listen up!

Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden plays a brand of melodic indie pop that springs from a melancholy hope. On her self-titled debut, Tucker sings stories of loves, lost hours, inevitable ends, and broken towers. The songs alternate between night-blue longing and emerald sparkle, borne on the wings of Tucker’s haltingly rich voice. One of the album’s featured tracks, “Faster Than Cars” (MP3) has ended up on repeat for just about anyone that has heard it. Tucker’s self-titled debut was recorded and produced by Ryan Hadlock (Blonde Redhead, The Gossip, Holy Ghost Revival, The Octopus Project) at Bear Creek Studio and features guest vocals by Seattle folk luminary Damien Jurado. This is the first collaboration between Kate and the Swedes.

The roots of it all began in Ohio with Kate and her acoustic guitar, and then a long drive west. The story goes that Tucker ventured out to Seattle, where she found the band wandering among the old Swedes of Ballard. And so Midwest folk met Northwest indie, finding that the same themes shine through the occasional grey: isolation, hope, transition, communion, green fields, blue skies, and empty hands.

What happened with the music was quite a surprise for all of them, as they all came into the circle with previous experience and inclinations. In 2006, Tucker had released a solo EP, Eros Turannos, working with Nic Danielson and Ryan Hadlock on the arrangements. By the time the Sons of Sweden were in effect, Danielson and Tucker had already become accustomed to long hours in Nic’s bedroom amongst sound machines, wires, and bottles. Tucker’s new songs were surer of themselves structurally and Danielson had built an arsenal of samples and strange sounds to flesh them out. Bringing the Sons of Sweden into the arrangement process added a fresh pop driven perspective that anchored Tucker’s inclination toward ethereal wanderings.

On the debut, Cameron Herrington’s steady understated groove compliments Tucker’s folk-influenced picking patterns, and Mark Isakson provides texture on shimmering Tele’s, sustained ad infinitum with an army of delays. Add Nic Danielson’s obsession with the Cocteau Twins and Air, and you have a lushly layered record of bright melodies, which running through even the minor keyed tracks.

The band lists influences as diverse as The Police and Sonic Youth and Tucker’s vocals recall Beth Orton and Neko Case. What they take from such artists is the idea of big sound and an attempt to create dramatic compositions in big rooms with small means: that is, five people in a barn in rural Washington.

This debut album is a confident start for Tucker and her band, and they offer a promising future. Though they may be currently veiled in the mists of the emerald city, the Sons of Sweden are on the rise and shining through.

Some Fun Facts About Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden:

Tucker was born in a barn in Ohio and that’s how she chose to record at Bear Creek which is also a barn.
Kate was sick with typhoid fever during the recording of the new album.
BJ Myers, Cameron Herrington, and Mark Isakson live together in sunny Ballard, Washington. (Tucker has a key.)
Cameron Herrington’s grandfather was named Ole Johnson.
Mark Isakson and Cameron Herrington are the only true Swedes. Danielson’s status remains up in the air.
Kate’s previous EP, Eros Turannos, was featured in Starbucks stores nationwide for the duration of 2006. Likewise, more than half-a-dozen tracks from her latest album will be featured in Starbucks stores.
Damien Jurado joined Kate on vocals on “In the End.” This meant a lot to Kate who had been great admirer of Damien’s work since, while in high school, she saw him play a show on Kent State’s campus. There she heard him sing “Ohio” which she now counts as one of her all-time favorite songs.

Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden Live:

11/04 Seattle, WA Sunset Tavern

Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden Tracklisting:

Release Date: October 30, 2007

01. The Hours
02. Faster Than Cars (MP3)
03. Saturday Night
04. In Your Dreams
05. The Way You Went
06. Maybe A Pirate Stole Her Soul
07. Everything Went Down
08. On The Radio
09. The First Day of The Year
10. In The End


She Wants Revenge bring the darkwave to New York City at Webster Hall Tonight

She Wants Revenge bring the darkwave to New York City at Webster Hall Tonight

Prepare to get your sultry sway on this coming Monday when Justin Warfield and musical partner Adam 12
shall be performing live their new material from the album This Is Forever (Geffen) along with of course,
songs from the old that made you fall in love with them in the first place.

After a sold out national tour this summer and fall, raving reviews, crazed fans and critics being
converted who are now praising the electronic indie group after witnessing them live with a full band
and seeing what they’re really made of. This album is sheer proof that this band has truly evolved
since their spectacular debut and this is your chance to finally see them for yourselves.
“This Is Forever” Oct 9th (Geffen) “Someone’s gonna fall in love in here tonight.” – Just Begun by S.W.R
This Is Forever continues where their self-titled debut left off, a figurative morning after to the dance of the
night before. Still continuing on the same path of creating thought provoking and emotional dance music,
the album deals in the familiar themes of love, loss, and betrayal, yet somehow even darker in tone, with beats
that bang even harder, and if it’s possible, even catchier songs…a tall feat, but one they welcomed with open arms.
With no intention of playing it safe this time out, the guys have crafted a challenging and compelling album
that they are proud to present to their loyal fans and the uninitiated alike.

Much like their Electronic Rock fore-fathers; Dave Gahan, Robert Smith, Morrissey, and Ian Curtis
had done so before, She Wants Revenge offered a voice and a rhythm for scorned lovers,
bored housewives, jaded hipsters, gender-benders and club-kids across the nation, all seductively
swaying their hips and pouting along to the undeniably catchy tunes such as True Romance,
What I Want, These Things, Out of Control and the instant cross over hit Tear You Apart.

This show will be their third to last last on the east coast before they head back west toward their home of
Los Angeles. Adam 12 shall continue to DJ and write, with numerous projects in the pipeline. The same goes
for frontman Justin who will also be working on various things when he returns; but shall mostly be sharing dipers
duties with wife Stefanie King Warfield and cradling his new baby son Bowie Jonah who was born just last week!
Congrats Justin, and thanks for bringing to the world two amazing “collaborations” this year. We salute you!

Oct 23 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Oct 25 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore at Theatre of Living Arts
Oct 26 – Baltimore, MD @ Washington, DC
Oct 27 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Oct 28 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Oct 29 – Atlanta, GA @ The Loft
Oct 30 – Orlando, FL @ The Club at Firestone
Nov 1 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theatre
Nov 2 – Houston, TX @ Meridian
Nov 3 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s Alternative Lounging (Outdoor)
Nov 5 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
Nov 6 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
Nov 7 – Anaheim, CA @ The Grove of Anaheim
Nov 8 – San Diego, CA @ House of BluesSan Diego, CA
Nov 9 & 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theatre
Nov 12 – Ventura, CA @ Majestic Ventura Theatre
Nov 13 – Sacramento, CA @ Empire

music videos

Saint Bernadette to play CMJ gig at NYC’s Highline Ballroom this weekend. Band premiers the mysterious video for “Sidestep” from its debut album In The Ballroom — recorded live in Bridgeport’s abandoned Bijou Theatre.

Saint Bernadette to play CMJ gig at NYC’s Highline Ballroom this weekend. Band premiers the mysterious video for “Sidestep” from its debut album In The Ballroom — recorded live in Bridgeport’s abandoned Bijou Theatre.

Two additional EPs (including one of obscure duets by Morrissey & Siouxsie Sioux among others) set for release in 2008.

“The debut album from Connecticut’s Saint Bernadette hits the sort of notes and touches that make me weak in the knees, by expertly melding things I’m a sucker for: ballsy broads, smoke-filled jazz clubs, and, of course, the element of surprise.” — Sentimentalist Magazine

“The music on In The Ballroom, is seductive, eclectic, sophisticated and a natural fit for DiMenna’s superlative voice.” — Stamford Advocate

Saint Bernadette is celebrating the recent release of its debut album In The Ballroom by playing the CMJ Music Marathon this weekend at Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom on Saturday, October 20th. Filter Magazine will present the show and Saint Bernadette will serve as opening act to the Grammy award winning leader of Dirty Vegas, Steve Smith, who will be debuting songs from his upcoming solo debut. Saint Bernadette takes the stage at 12:30AM. The first video from In The Ballroom is now ready for consumption as well. The clip for “Sidestep” is a mysterious ride with a hot car through some murky and ominous fog.

In The Ballroom has already received much praise from the press — not only for the gorgeous pipes of singer Meredith DiMenna, but also for the unique sound of the record which was recorded live in the abandoned ballroom of Bridgeport, Connecticut’s Bijou Theatre (pictured on the album’s cover) in a marathon three-day recording session.

DiMenna, a professional vocalist by day — she is well-known as the voice of MTV’s “Chunky Pam” — gets to show off her personal side with Saint Bernadette, making beautiful, loungey music that harkens back to Motown or early Atlantic releases. To make In The Ballroom, DiMenna, and her husband, guitarist Keith “Touch” Saunders, put together the lineup that would appear on the record and went north to a small cabin in Vermont to learn and arrange the songs. Inspired and invigorated by the results, they began the search for the perfect recording location.

“We knew we wanted to record it live. Because of the instrumentation, the dynamics depend on a real-time push and pull between the different elements and we felt we couldn’t achieve that in an overdubbing situation,” says Saunders. “We really wanted the record to reflect the energy of a live show.”

Recent transplants to Bridgeport, DiMenna and Saunders found that a local redevelopment project, the historic Bijou Theatre, was hiding a large and beautiful ballroom circa 1908 on the second floor. The developers gave the band permission to use the space for five days – one each to load in, load out and three to record. The album was recorded completely live – with everyone in the same room at the same time. It was nearly non-stop recording, except on breaks to go to the bar next door and keep tabs on the World Cup. When recording was finished, the band took the record to Peter Katis (Interpol, The National, Mates of State, Tokyo Police Club) of Bridgeport-based Tarquin Studio.

“Not only is he in Bridgeport, which was important to us – we really wanted it to be a hometown effort – but he’s also really talented. Working with him in his studio was a great experience,” says DiMenna. Saunders adds, “We had to wait a few months for him because he was busy working on The National, which was so hard since we were so excited about the recording, but it was well worth the wait.”

In The Ballroom will be followed up by a pair of EPs in 2008. One, a new Saint Bernadette collection entitled I Wanna Tell You Something and another, a six-song collaboration with singer-songwriter Brian Grosz, a label mate of DiMenna’s. Interestingly, the second EP is a planned covers collection of some famous and not-so-famous duets from the past and present featuring tunes originally sung by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Tom Waits & Crystal Gail, Morrissey & Siouxsie Sioux, Tricky & PJ Harvey, and Elvis & Ann Margaret.

Lastly, famed hip hop producers, Black Panther and Shaad Almighty have decided to put their own take on In The Ballroom and are working on remixes of the album tracks “Lay Me Down” and “Money In The Air”. More information on the remixes will be announced in the near future.

Saint Bernadette Live:

10/19 Bridgeport, CT Acoustic Cafe
10/20 New York, NY Highline Ballroom (CMJ)
10/23 New York, NY 11th Street Bar
10/30 New York, NY 11th Street Bar
11/17 Danbury, CT SUB ROSA/Cousin Larry’s
11/29 Knoxville, TN TBA
11/30 Athens, GA TBA
12/01 Asheville, NC Westville Pub
12/02 Philadelphia, PA TBA
12/11 New York, NY Piano’s

In The Ballroom Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

Release Date: October 2, 2007

01. I Own The City (MP3)
02. Bound To Do
03. She’s a Natural
04. Money In The Air
05. Pieces
06. Sidestep
07. Such Ease
08. Lay Me
09. Universe
10. No Dreams

music videos reviews



Special Los Angeles Screening with Serj Tankian in Attendance on October 23rd to Benefit Axis Of Justice

OCTOBER 18, 2007 – Burbank, CA – Earlier this year, Serj Tankian – the visionary frontman for multi-platinum rock band System Of A Down – asked a collection of video and film directors, painters, and digital artists to each create a video for one of the 12 tracks on his forthcoming solo debut album, “Elect the Dead,” which will be released on Serjical Strike/Reprise Records on October 23rd.

The directors involved in the video project include a prestigious array of artists whom Tankian has befriended over the last decade. They include music video director Tony Petrossian (Taking Back Sunday, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold), who shot the video for “Empty Walls,” the first single from “Elect The Dead,” photographer/video director Greg Watermann (Mudvayne, Lamb of God, Howie Day), Oscar-nominated Puerto Rican playwright and screenwriter Jose Rivera (“The Motorcycle Diaries”), digital artist Roger Kupelian (“The Lord of the Rings,” “Flags of Our Fathers”), documentary director Sevag Vrej (System Of A Down, Fair To Midland), short film/music video director Adam Egypt Mortimer (Against Me!, Idiot Pilot) and Beirut-born filmmaker Gariné Torossian (Sparklehorse), among others.

“I asked each of the directors for their visual interpretation of my work,” Tankian explains. “They were asked not to write treatments and that they could make whatever they liked. The results have been overwhelmingly amazing!”

Among the videos posted on Tankian’s website
is an animated clip for the song “The Unthinking Majority” by filmmaker/video director Tawd Dorenfeld. Also available for viewing on the website are the videos for “Empty Walls” and “Saving Us”.

To celebrate the artistic collaboration of the music and visual interpretations of Serj Tankian’s solo album, Reprise Records and Serjical Strike, in conjunction with digital cinema/music marketing company D&E Entertainment (, will screen the videos of “Elect The Dead” back-to-back, accompanied by an introduction by Tankian at movie theaters across the nation at 8pm on Monday, October 22nd. This unique experience on the eve of album release offers fans a preview of “Elect The Dead” in a premium listening and visual environment. A special screening event on the October 23rd album release date will take place in Los Angeles with Tankian in attendance.

Special screenings of “Elect The Dead – The Short Films” will be held at 8pm on Monday, October 22nd at the following locations:
Long Island, NY: Herricks Cinema
Parsippany, NJ: Parsippany Cinema
San Francisco, CA: Embarcadero Center Cinema
San Diego, CA: Ultrastar Theatres Mission Valley
Boston, MA: Kendall Square Cinema
Chicago, IL: Century Centre Cinema
Detroit, MI: Emagine Novi
Philadelphia, PA: Clearview’s Anthony Wayne Cinema
Seattle, WA: Metro Cinemas
Houston, TX: The River Oaks
Minneapolis, MN: Lagoon Cinema
Phoenix, AZ: Harkins Tempe Marketplace
To usher in the release date on Tuesday, October 23rd, Serj Tankian will attend a 9pm screening that evening of “Elect The Dead – The Short Films” in Los Angeles at the Vista Theater (4473 Sunset Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027). Starting at 7:30pm on October 23rd, the first 300 people in line at the box office to buy tickets for the 9pm showing will be able to have their CDs autographed by Serj after the show. Lining up at the Vista Theatre before is 7:30pm is prohibited. Copies of “Elect The Dead” will be available for sale at the Vista Theater that night, along with a free poster for every CD purchased. Tickets will be sold for $10 a the box office, with all net proceeds donated to Axis Of Justice (, an organization founded by Tankian and Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine.

interviews music videos

Borders Offers Exclusive Making Records CD Companion To Phil Ramones Book Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music

Borders® Offers Exclusive “Making Records” CD Companion To Phil Ramone’s Book ‘Making Records: The Scenes Behind The Music’ (In Stores Today)

Oct. 16, 2007 – Borders is the exclusive retailer for legendary music producer Phil Ramone’s new compilation CD, “Making Records,” which hits shelves today at its stores across the country. In conjunction with the CD, Ramone’s accompanying book, “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music” with co-author Charles Granata published by Hyperion Books is also available today.

“Making Records” is a compilation CD of tracks from some of music’s brightest stars such as Tony Bennett, Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Kenny Loggins, Barry Manilow, Paul Simon and Barbra Streisand all either produced or engineered by Ramone. These recordings on this exclusive compilation are the original versions of timeless classics as released by the original artists all on one CD for the first time. The cover art to this special CD is also Borders exclusive having been designed and created in-house by Borders.

For the first time ever, Ramone shares five decades of trade secrets on creating hit music in his book “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music.” From his early days recording jazz and commercial jingles at A&R to his first studio and eventual legendary producer status, Ramone gives the reader a rare peek into the making of some unforgettable music such as Billy Joel’s “The Stranger” and Frank Sinatra’s “Duets.” “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music” is also filled with stories from major recording artists sharing their memories and experiences working with Ramone and the tremendous impact he had on their music careers.

“Making Records” CD Tack List:
1. Tony Bennett w/ Billy Joel – New York State of Mind
2. Paul Simon – Slip Slidin’ Away
3. Phoebe Snow – Poetry Man
4. Gloria Estefan – Coming Out Of The Dark
5. Billy Joel – Movin’ Out
6. Carly Simon – The Wives Are in Connecticut
7. Michael Bolton – Sexual Healing
8. Cyndi Lauper – I Don’t Want To Be Your Friend
9. Barry Manilow – I’ve Got The World On A String
10. Karen Kamon – It’s Tough To Be A Man
11. Tony Bennett w/ James Taylor – Put On A Happy Face
12. Liza Minnelli – Liza With A ‘Z’
13. Kenny Loggins – Celebrate Me Home
14. Barbra Streisand – Love Theme From ‘A Star Is Born’ (Evergreen)

“Borders is relentlessly searching for the best music collections to exclusively offer our customers, and we believe we found such a hit with Phil Ramone’s ‘Making Records’ CD,” said Rob Gruen, executive vice president, marketing and merchandising for Borders Group, Inc. “As the headquarters for knowledge and entertainment, we are excited that our customers can experience this very special CD and companion book from the legendary music producer.”

With 14 GRAMMY Awards – including a technical GRAMMY for his lifetime of innovative contributions to the recording industry – an Emmy and numerous other honors and accolades to his credit, Ramone is a music industry icon. While acknowledged as one of the top creative producers, he has also played an integral role in pioneering many of the technological developments in the music industry over the years. He ardently supported the use of the compact disc, digital video disc, hi-definition recording and surround sound. Appropriately, the first CD ever pressed, Billy Joel’s “52nd Street,” was a Ramone production.

“With this level of talent found on one CD, ‘Making Records’ is a rare gem, and I’m so pleased that Borders and Sony were able to make it happen,” said Phil Ramone. “It has been such a privilege to work with these artists and it’s been a joy to recount these stories. I hope fans will listen along as they read about my journey.”

Ramone talks further about his new project in-depth to Borders’ customers in a special interview segment found at, “Borders Presents Phil Ramone.” Customers can also find sample tracks from his CD “Making Records” and read an excerpt from his new book, “Making Records: The Scenes Behind the Music.”

About Borders Group, Inc.

Borders Group, Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BGP. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., the company is a $4.1 billion global retailer of books, music, movies, and gift and stationery items. Through its subsidiaries, Borders Group has more than 30,000 employees and operates over 1,100 stores worldwide. More information on Borders Group is available at