The Pipettes live review

The PipettesThe Pipettes live review by Gena Perala

I caught The Pipettes at the Plaza not too long ago. The show was ok, yup simply ok. I was expecting much more since a friend
of mine had heard they were great live. Their performances however left much to be desired.

The Pipettes are a British indie pop group consisting of 3 gals up front on vocals and backed by an all male band named ‘The Cassettes’. They were started by drummer and DJ, ‘Monster Bobby’, when he realized the reaction girl group songs got during his DJ sets. The most impressive thing about the band though, is their look. The girls are beautiful, they always wear polka dots and they have a sexy, innocence thing going on, sort of like half Betty, half Veronica.

They successfully execute the choreographed moves, the doe eyes and the doo-wops. The Pipettes are a throw back to the 60s girl group era and are often compared to the Shangri-Las. But the Shangri-Las could be considered ahead of their time combining an innocent charm with a darker side during a period when women were supposed to be all smiles and sunshine.

The Pipettes
Had The Pipettes existed in the 60s, their sexually aggressive, confidant and independent attitudes really would have been something. In today’s music though, it’s nothing new and unfortunately unlike The Supremes or The Ronettes, The Pipettes, got no soul. They are as white snow. If you like their album I suggest keeping it at that. Their voices weren’t even that great live however Rosay outshines both Gwenno and RiotBecki and might consider going solo. Her sexy alto voice was the highlight.

Ultimately, The Pipettes are fun but forgettable and I think they pretty much accomplish their goal, they make “simple, practical, music” – but who wants that?

Zune Arts Features Corey Godbey and MAPS in “Le Cadeau du Temps”

Zune Arts Features Corey Godbey and MAPS in “Le Cadeau du Temps”

Zune Arts is continuing to pursue the quest to join music and art, and has released a new video that joins artist Corey Godbey, a visual sculptor of Portland Studios, with Maps, the UK based sonic sculptor. The resulting film piece, entitled “Le Cadeau du Temps”, explores how eternal youth can be both a blessing and a curse, and follows a man’s journey through time and the consequences that befall him when he chooses not to share his youth potion. The film is set to the ethereal sounds of Maps’ “Liquid Sugar,” the contemplative track from Maps’ 2007 debut full length We Can Create.

“The latest Zune Arts film, “Le Cadeau du Temps,” explores the power of sharing and personal connection through the eyes of a man given the gift of eternal life,” said Rob Schaltenbrand, brand marketing manager for Zune Arts. “The use of texture and color in the animation blends seamlessly with the musical backdrop to create a deeply emotional connection with the viewer.”

The new video follows in the footsteps of other creative artist collaborations which have included Bitstate and Lilly Allen, Goldfrappe and Epoch Ink, and Black Angels and pandapanther.

Watch “Le Cadeau du Temps” here: http://www.zune-arts.net/dutemps

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Old Time Relijun’s “daemon” meetings captured on video, singer/guitarist tours with Japanese underground artist hot on the heels of grueling Catharsis In Crisis national tour.

Old Time Relijun’s “daemon” meetings captured on video, singer/guitarist tours with Japanese underground artist hot on the heels of grueling Catharsis In Crisis national tour.

“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

Old Time Relijun has been caught on video in various stages of “daemon” meetings and other devious practices of catharsis tied to its most recent cross-country evangelical mission. This past Halloween, the Pacific Northwest’s esoteric uprooters of rock’s antecedents were nabbed by an amateur cameraperson in the throes of a particularly frenzied ritual in New York City.

Likewise, this meticulously animated “crayonimation” video by Chad Paulson captures the eerie essence of Old Time Relijun’s infectious “Daemon Meeting” track from its recently released Catharsis In Crisis on K Records.

The tireless troubadours recently completed a grueling comprehensive U.S. tour. However, singer/guitarist Arrington de Dionyso almost immediately launched a series of dates with Japanese underground musician Katsura Yamauchi in the Pacific Northwest. Katsura plays every member of the saxophone family, and he is renown for his intimate explorations of music in nature, having made recordings of his saxophone playing while almost completely submerged underwater.

Now, resting temporarily at home, Old Time Relijun is already scheming to take its haunting rituals overseas and throughout the U.S. yet again early in 2008.

Old Time Relijun’s latest K Records meisterwerk Catharsis In Crisis received an impressive outpouring of critical praise since its release in late October. 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.

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.

However, in addition to what the critics are saying, the band’s spokesmen, guitarist/vocalist Arrington de Dionyso and bassist Aaron Hartman have their own unique ideas to express regarding the concepts behind the album and its execution. So, the eminently quotable musical adventurers have made time available for interviews in order to share their vast ideas with members of the press (and blogs alike.)

Old Time Relijun continues to further shatter rock’s imperious formalism with its latest K Records release that landed in shops on 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 OTR’s most fully realized album to date. OTR + 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 OTR’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” 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 OTR’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 OTR is known and loved, Catharsis 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.

Catharsis In Crisis Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. Indestructible Life! (MP3)
02. The Tightest Cage
03. Daemon Meeting (MP3)
04. Liberation (MP3)
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

HEALTH nominated for 2008 Plug Awards and awarded Pitchfork Top 50 videos, takes XLR8R magazine on its own “Best of L.A.” tour. Band announces west coast tour dates in January 2008 with Dan Deacon, White Williams. Remix of HEALTH’s “Triceratops” by Acid Girls available now!

HEALTH nominated for 2008 Plug Awards and awarded Pitchfork Top 50 videos, takes XLR8R magazine on its own “Best of L.A.” tour. Band announces west coast tour dates in January 2008 with Dan Deacon, White Williams. Remix of HEALTH’s “Triceratops” by Acid Girls available now!

HEALTH, the L.A. underground music quartet whose — ahem — infectious music is catching like, well, like that winter cold going around, has been nominated for the illustrious 2008 Plug Awards in the Avant Album of the Year category. Also, Pitchfork picked the video clip for “Heaven” off of the band’s self-titled debut for its Top 50 Videos of 2007 feature. Top top it all off, Spin Magazine recently featured HEALTH as its Artist of the Day. These accolades follow the band’s immensely successful fall tour and labor-intensive seven shows during the CMJ marathon in October.

HEALTH took a brief respite from the road recently to take XLR8R Magazine on a very thorough, revealing and occasionally sickening tour of its choices for “Best of L.A.” for the publication’s January issue. Shortly after XLR8R hits shelves, HEALTH will launch a west coast tour with Dan Deacon and electro-pop sensation White Williams (see dates below.) Details on further dates stretching into springtime with Crystal Castles will be announced soon.

The band has also set up a separate MySpace page from its regular band site for all of its myriad remix/collaboration projects. Check out the HEALTH remix site HERE. The impressive word-of-mouth excitement about HEALTH has quickly become an international phenomenon. In late summer, the band ripped a swath across the U.K. — garnering praise from the NME, BBC radio and many more — and healed cynical souls all across the U.S. in October. The band’s live shows are sweaty, packed fits of beautiful noise that could perhaps be best compared to Liars, Animal Collective and latter-period Black Dice.

HEALTH’s self-titled debut full length on the ultrahip Lovepump United label hit shelves on September 18th, while L.A. based Cold Sweat Records (Battles, Phantom Family Halo, This Moment in Black History) issued the vinyl version of the album in early December. As if that weren’t enough HEALTH activity, the band has announced a slew of commissioned remixes following hot on the heels of the album. The impressive list of remix collaborators includes Pink Skull (Minneapolis), David Gilmore Girls (Amsterdam), Crystal Castles (Toronto), Curses! (NYC), Toxic Avenger (Paris), CFCF (Montreal), Juiceboxxx (Milwaukee), Narctrax (Tokyo), Lovely Chords (Buenos Aires), et al.

The group’s surging notoriety is also due in part to the magic of the Interwebs. “Crimewave” was the #2 most blogged about song according to Elbo.ws. Likewise, HEALTH was recently the #5 most blogged about band according to that blog aggregator, and #9 on Hype Machine. Anthem Magazine shot a recent amazing live performance of the song “Glitter Pills” at The Smell in downtown L.A. Additionally, director Nik Mercer shot a collaboration between HEALTH and Aa (Big A Little a) reworking the band’s “Crimewave”.

Regarding the remix onslaught, the band issued the following statement: “HEALTH likes to make scary noises, we like to chant until our faces go red, we like to beat on drums until there’s blood on the floor. But we also like to boogie, and sometimes we need help from people we admire. There is a great big world full of music and there is no excuse for standing in the corner with your eyes closed. You can always make friends with the other kids in class, even If your favorite band is Slayer and theirs is Bell Biv Devoe, so let’s hold hands.”

Instead of finding a room where the only thing one can hear is their heartbeat, HEALTH recorded its debut full length in one of the band’s favorite places. The Smell is an all ages music venue in downtown Los Angeles. It is open and brick and dirty and dark, but when you sing a church hymnal or hit a drum as hard as you can the sound is beautiful. They did both of these things on the record. They also went out and found equipment built the same time as The Smell, mostly ribbon microphones designed by the BBC for radio broadcasts in the 1930’s, things George Martin liked to use, and other things they didn’t know about. The record is 11 songs in less than thirty minutes – on it there is new music with old sounds.

HEALTH was six months old the first time they played for real people. Before that, there was more talk than music, mostly about art, food, sex, animals, records, drugs, politics and sleeping. After two more shows in Los Angeles, the group self released a 7’’ and went on tour. While they were traveling, people told them their music was weird. When they got back they played on a bill with Ex-Models and Death Sentence Panda. They felt like grown men. After that, people let them play shows more often, mostly at all ages art spaces like The Smell and Il Corral. They became friends with other L.A bands like No Age, The Mae Shi, Mika Miko, BARR, Captain Ahab, Anavan, and Abe Vigoda. Then they went on three more tours and a trip to SXSW.

HEALTH has also had a hand in 8-bit glitch duo Crystal Castles’ recent success. In addition to a Crystal Castles/HEALTH split 7” (released concurrently on Lovepump United with HEALTH’s LP), Crystal Castles highly anticipated CRIMEWAVE EP is named for a HEALTH remix

HEALTH Live:

* w/ Dan Deacon

% w/ White WIlliams

01/15 Los Angeles, CA El Ray*
01/17 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall*
01/18 Oakland, CA 21 Grand
01/19 Davis, CA Delta of Venus
01/20 Sun Reno, NV The Studio on 4th
01/21 Chico, CA The Crux Arts Collective
01/22 Olympia, WA Voyeur
01/23 Vancouver, BC Media Club%
01/24 Seattle, WA Chop Suey%
01/25 Portland, OR Holocene%
01/26 Eureka, CA The Vista
01/27 Santa Cruz, CA Blue Lagoon
01/28 San Luis Obispo, CA Tridosha Healing Center
01/28 Los Altos Hills, CA KFJC Radio 89.7 FM
01/29 San Diego, CA Casba
01/30 Goleta, CA Biko Co-op Garage Performance Space
02/01 Los Angeles, CA El Ray
02/02 Bakersfield, CA Narduccis Cafe

HEALTH Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

Released: Sept. 18, 2007

01. Heaven (VIDEO)
02. Girl Attorney
03. Triceratops (MP3) | (CFCF Remix MP3) | (Acid Girls Remix MP3)
04. Crimewave (MP3)
05. Courtship
06. Zoothorns
07. Tabloid Sores
08. //M\\
09. Glitter Pills
10. Perfect Skin (MP3)
11. Lost Time

MINISTRY ANNOUNCES MORE CANADIAN DATES ON FINAL “C U LaTouR” 2008 WORLD TOUR VANCOUVER SHOW SOLD-OUT; FOUR ADDITIONAL DATES CONFIRMED

MINISTRY ANNOUNCES MORE CANADIAN DATES ON FINAL “C U LaTouR” 2008 WORLD TOUR VANCOUVER SHOW SOLD-OUT; FOUR ADDITIONAL DATES CONFIRMED

On the heels of the announcement that they will tour the world one last time, Ministry – and Jourgensen’s indie imprint 13th Planet Records – has announced the addition of two more dates to the Canadian leg of the band’s aptly-titled “C U LaTouR,” with Special Guests Meshuggah and Hemlock.

Due to an overwhelming response to pre-sales, including a SOLD OUT show in Vancouver March 28th at The Commodore Ballroom, and a SOLD out Chicago show, four additional dates have been added to C U LaTouR, including an additional Vancouver date on March 27th at The Croatian Cultural Center. Tickets for the second Vancouver show are on sale now

Additional shows include Calgary on March 26 at The Whiskey, Spokane, WA on March 25 at Big Easy, and a second Chicago show May 9th at House of Blues.

The limited engagement 36-date C U LaTouR follows the recent release of Ministry’s final studio album, “The Last Sucker” (September 18, 13th Planet). The North American leg of the tour runs through mid-May and features Swedish experimental metal band Meshuggah as main support, with opening act Hemlock. Ministry then heads to Europe for some key festival and choice club dates from late May through to July – dates TBA.

The C U LaTouR touring line-up features Ministry’s founder Al Jourgensen being joined onstage by guitarists Tommy Victor (Prong) and Sin Quirin (Revolting Cocks), keyboardist John Bechdel (Prong, AoTW, False Icons). Static X’s Tony Campos has recently stepped in to fulfill bass after the recent loss of dearly departed Ministry/Killing Joke bassist Paul Raven. And joining the Ministry clan as Special Featured Artist will be Fear Factory/Ascension of The Watchers vocalist Burton C. Bell, who recently inked a deal (in blood, no less) with 13th Planet Records for his new project Ascension of The Watchers.

To coincide with C U LaTouR, 13th Planet is scheduled to release Ministry & Co-Conspirators “Cover Up,” a 12-track release of covers featuring artists from the 13th Planet Records family, as well as other special guests. “Cover Up” is scheduled for a late March/early April 2008 release.

For its spectacular two-and-a-half-hour C U LaTouR set, Ministry will perform tracks from “The Last Sucker” as well as songs that revisit the band’s rich and provocative 30-year musical history. Archival Ministry videos plus other visual elements of alchemy, Christianity, politics and other topics aligned with Ministry will be incorporated into a special video presentation, produced by “Wicked Lake” director Zach Passero (with whom Jourgensen is collaborating on the soundtrack for the feature film) that will change night to night. And, as is expected from a Ministry show, you just never know what surprise guests will jump on stage for a song or two.

“A Ministry tour is a traveling circus,” states Jourgensen. “When we roll into town, everyone hides their daughters, but the freaks roll out the red carpet and a friend or two pops up on stage to add some spice and mayhem to the show. We never know who’s gonna walk through the dressing room door at sound check. We rehearse a bunch of ‘extra’ songs just in case so-and-so shows up…”

Confirmed dates for Ministry’s 2008 “C U LaTouR” are as follows:

MARCH

25 Big Easy, Spokane, WA

26 The Whiskey, Calgary, AB Canada

27 Croatian Cultural Center, Vancouver, BC

28 Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC **SOLD-OUT**

29 Showbox SoDo, Seattle, WA

30 Roseland Theatre, Portland, OR

APRIL

1 Fillmore, San Francisco, CA

2 Fillmore, San Francisco, CA

5 House of Blues, Los Angeles, CA

6 House of Blues, Los Angeles, CA

7 House of Blues, San Diego, CA

8 Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ

9 House of Blues, Las Vegas, NV

11 The Great Salt Air, Salt Lake City, UT

12 Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO

13 Sunshine Theatre, Albuquerque, NM

15 La Zona Rosa, Austin, TX

17 Palladium, Dallas, TX

18 Verizon Wireless Theatre, Houston, TX

19 House of Blues, New Orleans, LA

21 Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

22 Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg, FL

23 House of Blues, Orlando, FL

24 Tremont Music Hall, Charlotte, NC

25 Masquerade, Atlanta, GA

26 Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD

27 Palladium, Worcester, MA

29 Fillmore at the TLA, Philadelphia, PA

MAY

1 Irving Plaza, New York, NY

2 Irving Plaza, New York, NY

3 Metropolis, Montreal, QC

4 Koolhaus, Toronto, ON

6 Agora Theatre, Cleveland, OH

7 Emerald Theatre, Detroit, MI

8 House of Blues, Chicago, IL ***SOLD OUT

9 House of Blues, Chicago, IL

NEW RELEASE DATE AND PHOTOS FOR THE B-52S’ “LOUD, SEXY, ROCK AND ROLL” ALBUM

The anticipated new album from The B-52s is now scheduled for release on March 25th. Check out a sassy new band photo below or download it at http://www.shorefire.com/clients/theB52s

ASTRALWERKS SETS MARCH 25TH, 2008 FOR THE RELEASE OF THE B-52S NEW “LOUD, SEXY, ROCK AND ROLL” ALBUM ‘FUNPLEX’

The B-52s will celebrate 32 years together with the release of ‘Funplex’ on March 25th via Astralwerks. The influential band – who bridged a gap between punk and new wave with a sound that was uniquely their own – played exuberant sets in NY and LA this fall where seven of the new tracks made their stateside debut and were received very favorably by their hordes of fans.

RollingStone.com, who got a sneak peak at the album, says, “While the quirkiness and humor still shine through, the arrangements on the eleven-song album are more focused and atmospheric. The band still stays true their roots, interspersing futuristic references with sexual and political lyrics.”

Guitarist Keith Strickland adds, “It’s loud, sexy rock and roll for your pleasure zones, with the beat pumped up to hot pink.”

KATHLEEN EDWARDS’ ‘FLOWERS’ MOST OUTSPOKEN WORK TO DATE

“WHAT’S THE POINT IF IT’S ALL BUTTERFLIES AND STRAWBERRIES?” – KATHLEEN EDWARDS

Contrary to the title of her new album, Kathleen Edwards isn’t one to ask for flowers. Entertainment Weekly says, “Edwards kicks butt,” while the NY Times has hailed her as “a scrapper through and through.” And while ‘Asking for Flowers’ (March 4, Zoë/Rounder Records) features a couple songs that vie for the catchiest in Edwards’ canon, it also includes the acclaimed songwriter’s most outspoken work to date.

“What’s the point if it’s all butterflies and strawberries?” Edwards deadpans. Below, she elaborates on the inspiration for three of ‘Flowers’ most unflinching tunes.

* ALICIA ROSS – “I had just gotten off tour and the story of this missing woman [Ross, a 25-year-old who was brutally murdered by her next door neighbor] was all over the news. I really felt for her mother, knowing that with each passing day, it’s less likely her daughter is alive.” Edwards wrote the song in Ross’ posthumous voice:

Mamma, can you hear me?
As I dragged on my day’s last cigarette
He pulled me so hard off my very own back door steps
And he laid me in his garden
All the years I’ve watched him tend

All royalties from the song will be donated to Project Canoe, a charity for at-risk youth founded by Ross’ parents.

* OIL MAN’S WAR – “This song isn’t anti-military,” insists Edwards, “it’s about a guy who chooses his own path.” Set in the Vietnam era, Edwards tells the story of a young couple about to embark on a new life:

I won’t change my mind
Keep your hand on my thigh tonight
When we get up north
We’ll buy us a store
Live upstairs after the kids are born

*OH CANADA – Perhaps the most topical song Edwards has ever written, “Oh Canada” explores a different issue in each of its three verses – from media racism, to environmental waste to suburban white flight. She sings:

It’s not the year of the gun
But we don’t say it out loud
There are no headlines
When a black girl dies

Blimey! the Brits do it again!

Blimey! the Brits do it again!

It’s the third British invasion, and we’re third time lucky, as Switches sound more Beach Boys than Beatles or Blur. They may come from across the water, but the band’s self confessed spiritual home is our own west coast so there’re sunny harmonies amongst that London grime!

America Turns on to Switches

“Combining foot-stomping drums and bass with tight vocals and sharp guitar riffs, Switches are as cocksure as their pop piers” – Spin.

“The British indie rising stars have created another Brit Pop hit and are making confident future strides with their Switches Swagger.” – Filter

Switches are a British band with as much swagger as they have top notch pop tunes to offer.
With the forthcoming release of their debut album Lay Down The Law (Interscope), out on March 18th 2008 and a US national tour, kicking off in January with The Bravery then making their way to sunny Texas for SXSW, Switches are sure to inject new life into the indie-pop scene for 2008.

**2008 US TOUR**
Wed-Jan-16 Boulder Fox Theatre
Thu-Jan-17 Denver Bluebird Theatre
Fri-Jan-18 Aspen Belly Up Aspen
Sat-Jan-19 Salt Lake City Club Sound (formerly Bricks)
Tue-Jan-22 Boise The Big Easy
Wed-Jan-23 Spokane The Big Easy Concert House
Thu-Jan-24 Vancouver Richard’s on Richards
Fri-Jan-25 Seattle Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room
Sat-Jan-26 Portland Aladdin Theater
Mon-Jan-28 Sacramento The Boardwalk
Tue-Jan-29 Anaheim House of Blues
Wed-Jan-30 San Diego House of Blues – San Diego
Thu-Jan-31 Las Vegas House of Blues
Fri-Feb-01 Tempe The Clubhouse
Sat-Feb-02 Tucson The Rock
Tue-Feb-05 Austin Emo’s
Wed-Feb-06 Dallas Granada Theatre
Thu-Feb-07 Houston Warehouse Live
Fri-Feb-08 Baton Rouge Varsity Theatre
Sat-Feb-09 Atlanta Roxy
Tue-Feb-12 Toronto Opera House
Wed-Feb-13 Detroit Magic Stick
Thu-Feb-14 Cincinnati 20th Century Theatre
Fri-Feb-15 Columbus Newport Music Hall
Sat-Feb-16 Cleveland Agora Ballroom
Mon-Feb-18 Boston Paradise Rock Club
Tue-Feb-19 Boston Paradise Rock Club
Fri-Feb-22 Philadelphia The Fillmore at TLA

Every once in a while, a great British pop band emerges from the gray and gloom that is the United Kingdom. Indeed, Brits may complain about the weather quite a lot but it’s the likely culprit responsible for the creation of an array of iconic artists, bands and songs since the birth of pop.

Southenders, Switches are no exeption to the rule and are sure to have the same effect as their heroes and rock-forefathers Bowie, ELO and 10cc had before them in the USA.

From Rags to Switches…

Matt
Front man, Matt grew up in Southend (a low-rent seaside town, something like
the old Asbury Park neighborhood) and formed the band while at college,
needing musical allies to take the songs public: seventies-leaning songwriter with a love for ELO
and 10cc even though he wasn’t born while they reigned, obsessive to the
point of chaos, finds his harmony in a harmony and his voice when it’s in
tune. He’s a fully-fledged Child Of Britpop.

Ollie
Ollie Thomas, guitar: musical wunderkind aspiring to psychedelic-tinged
virtuosity ala Hendrix, but also partial to some tough new wave in the
Stranglers and Television. Affable and eloquent, he’s the calm to Matt’s
storm.

Thom
Thom Kirkpatrick, bass: belt and braces, biscuits and tea, Beatles and Ben
Folds, particularly English, even for someone from Britain, unsurprising for
a man whose great-great-great-great-great grandfather invented the bicycle
true!.

Steve
Steve Godfrey, drums: drums and more drums: personifies his instrument. He
lives to drum, drums to live, learned Appetite For Destruction on pencils
and saucepans so by the time he got his first kit he could play the record
faultlessly, hasn’t stopped since.

“Switches spectacularly combine all that is good about British indy (new
wave bounce, three part harmonies, guitars that ‘chug’) with all that is
good about US indy (The Pixies, pretty much). We really don’t need to remind
you how all-powerful such a record could be.” – NME

“…jaded indie rock to dance to like disco spastics… “Drama Queen,” which features an honest-to-God memorable chorus in a time where it often feels like catchiness has gone out of style. One can almost see the screaming teenage fans, the legions of American popsters that will find their indie rock niche with this accessible-yet-inventive powerpop quartet.” – Head Exploder

Switches ‘Lay Down The Law’ to be released on Interscope Records March 18, 2008

Old Time Relijun’s “daemon” meetings captured on video, singer/guitarist tours with Japanese underground artist hot on the heels of grueling Catharsis In Crisis national tour.

Old Time Relijun’s “daemon” meetings captured on video, singer/guitarist tours with Japanese underground artist hot on the heels of grueling Catharsis In Crisis national tour.

“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

Old Time Relijun has been caught on video in various stages of “daemon” meetings and other devious practices of catharsis tied to its most recent cross-country evangelical mission. This past Halloween, the Pacific Northwest’s esoteric uprooters of rock’s antecedents were nabbed by an amateur cameraperson in the throes of a particularly frenzied ritual in New York City.

Likewise, this meticulously animated “crayonimation” video by Chad Paulson captures the eerie essence of Old Time Relijun’s infectious “Daemon Meeting” track from its recently released Catharsis In Crisis on K Records.

The tireless troubadours recently completed a grueling comprehensive U.S. tour. However, singer/guitarist Arrington de Dionyso almost immediately launched a series of dates with Japanese underground musician Katsura Yamauchi in the Pacific Northwest. Katsura plays every member of the saxophone family, and he is renown for his intimate explorations of music in nature, having made recordings of his saxophone playing while almost completely submerged underwater.

Now, resting temporarily at home, Old Time Relijun is already scheming to take its haunting rituals overseas and throughout the U.S. yet again early in 2008.

Old Time Relijun’s latest K Records meisterwerk Catharsis In Crisis received an impressive outpouring of critical praise since its release in late October. 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.

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.

However, in addition to what the critics are saying, the band’s spokesmen, guitarist/vocalist Arrington de Dionyso and bassist Aaron Hartman have their own unique ideas to express regarding the concepts behind the album and its execution. So, the eminently quotable musical adventurers have made time available for interviews in order to share their vast ideas with members of the press (and blogs alike.)

Old Time Relijun continues to further shatter rock’s imperious formalism with its latest K Records release that landed in shops on 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 OTR’s most fully realized album to date. OTR + 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 OTR’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” 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 OTR’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 OTR is known and loved, Catharsis 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.

Catharsis In Crisis Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

01. Indestructible Life! (MP3)
02. The Tightest Cage
03. Daemon Meeting (MP3)
04. Liberation (MP3)
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

Background:

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. Arrington (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 Arrington’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, OTR recorded its 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 Bryce 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 OTR’s second of many lives began. Phil’s caveman beats and undeniable production savvy helped launch the first three 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, Phil 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 Arrington 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 Arrington and Hartman had time to reevaluate the direction their band would take.

During his travels, Arrington 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.

New Zealand trio Die! Die! Die! brings its good cheer to the states: constantly touring band to deliver Promises Promises hot on the heels of playing the Big Day Out Festival in Australia, US dates including SXSW planned for spring 2008.

New Zealand trio Die! Die! Die! brings its good cheer to the states: constantly touring band to deliver Promises Promises hot on the heels of playing the Big Day Out Festival in Australia, US dates including SXSW planned for spring 2008.

“If the name didn’t tip you off, Die! Die! Die! have little patience for pop concessions. Abrasive and bare-bones, the band makes a lot out of a little… …the result is mind-numbingly satisfying.” – Spin

“Die! Die! Die!’s self-titled debut is a gem, jam-packed with nine tracks of urgent garage- and post-punk coupled with hip-shaking rhythms…” – Alternative Press

“DDD smash head-on the decidedly British post-punk of Wire into the snotty anger of American hardcore act Black Flag, bringing forth an exciting punk fusion from the other land down under.” – Skyscraper

Hailing from the remote area of Dunedin, New Zealand, Die! Die! Die! is the only band of its type to recently emerge from its native hometown. With that said, it’s been ages since the members of Die! Die! Die! have returned. Having spent the better part of the past three years on the road, Die! Die! Die! wants to make your head, heart, and soul its home. To that end, the group has announced the February 12th, 2008 release of its sophomore effort, Promises Promises on Los Angeles based SAF Records and a slew of live dates to support the album, including Australia’s legendary Big Day Out Festival and South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX. Download the album’s lead track “Sideways, Here We Come” now (MP3).

Die! Die! Die! has been compared to an intriguing mix of bands, including …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Wire, Sonic Youth and kiwi faves like Bailter Space and The Clean. A video for the song “Out of the Blue” from the band’s debut album can be seen HERE.

The boys in the band — vocalist/guitarist Andrew Wilson, drummer Michael Prain and bassist Lachlan Anderson — traveled to Chicago two years ago to cut its first self-titled release with Steve Albini in a brick basement (responsible for some of the greatest records of all time). Needless to say, this record sent the trio on a whirlwind series of countless tours (supporting Blood Brothers, Wire, Slint and Wolfmother) and gained it considerable world wide notoriety which no band from their native Dunedin, New Zealand had seen since the Dunedin sound heyday of the 80’s.

In August 2007, Die! Die! Die! recorded its new album Promises Promises with popular New Zealand songwriter Shayne Carter producing. The record was engineered by Kevin McMahon in upstate New York in The Walkmen’s Marcata studio.

Reminiscent of the spirit and sounds of Black Flag, The Pixies, The Wipers, Wire, and Bailter Space, Die! Die! Die! delivers an unfiltered and powerful stage show. The band’s relentless tour schedule and onstage antics has earned it a reputation as one of the most energetic and hardest working bands around. Shows for Die! Die! Die! go on with fearless and confident delivery. In a wild fit, Wilson occasionally removes his guitar (with microphone in hand) to enter the crowd. This is a most effective way of dissolving the invisible crowd/performer boundary as Prain and Anderson keep the pummeling rhythms flowing without missing a beat.

The trio embodies a vitality that has long since made its way into the recent rock and punk circuits. There isn’t a rehearsed set of messages or stage antics, no glitter, no make-up, no phony sass. Cutting to the quick, Die! Die! Die!’s songs and live delivery are nothing short of awe-inspiring. These three are on the forefront of a new revolution without the aid of gimmicks or pretense.

Cathartic, direct, indispensable… You will know the sound as Die! Die! Die!

More Quotes From The Press:

“This trio has called Dundedin and Auckland their home but are in actual fact more like confrontational musical nomads plying a situationist international inspired lifestyle and calling it a band. The fact that they can make a simply brilliant noise along the way has been duly noted by fans around the world.” – CMJ

“This hit the player and eye’s shot up! Totally in your face, like they’re playing vacuum cleaners, and their vicious, spare, distorto-pounding and vocals are hair raising like a splatter film.” – The Big Takeover

“Willful dissonance is often the terrain of effete art rockers, but Die! Die! Die! pull it off with cool aplomb, recalling the abrasive hypnotism of mid career Sonic Youth and the noisy vigor of Jesus Lizard.” – The Sentimentalist

“This first full-length from New Zealand’s Die! Die! Die! is a shattered, angular masterpiece of animal instincts and serrated edges.” – Exclaim!

“…full of an indescribable power and beauty.” – Chord Magazine

“Play this record to really f***ing appreciate your own dull ache, to wallow in the disaster of your own creating – and secretly enjoy every last wail.” – Plan B

Promises Promises Tracklisting:

Release Date: February 12, 2008

01. Blinding
02. Britomart Sunset
03. Sideways, Here We Come (MP3)
04. Death To The Last Romantic
05. Whitehorses
06. A.T.T.I.T.U.D.
07. Maybe: Definitely
08. People Talk
09. Promises, Promises
10. Hold Me
11. Echo Echo
12. Throw A Fit
13. Blue Skies