The 1st annual Pemberton Music Festival | Pemberton Festival 2008 Photos

The 1st annual Pemberton Music Festival

By Aaron “A*maze” Joseph

One of British Columbia’s biggest celebrations of music was nothing short of amazing with over 60 musical acts in three days. The Pemberton Music Festival was a huge success and is now one of the music festivals to rival. The three-day event brought in over 40,000 people to the small community of Pemberton, B.C. a visitor rate that has never been present even in the valley’s gold rush days.

The inaugural year of the music festival was better than gold for some, especially with a lineup which included: Nine Inch Nails, Metric, Jay-Z, Coldplay, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Tragically Hip, Buck 65, N.E.R.D. & more. Music fans finally got the chance to witness firsthand what a music festival is all about, and would agree it was worth the wait and the distance.

The Crowd Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*

The crowd getting into it with all their wristbands Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada**

Buck 65 Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada**
Buck 65’s set on the Lillooet Stage

Chromeo Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
Chromeo mixed it up for the people who managed to get into the Bacardi B-Live tent. The line up to get into the tent extended deep into the festival grounds.

A drunk at the camp site Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada**
We think this guy may have had a little too much to drink.

The Flaming Lips Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
The Flaming Lips performing on the Mount Currie stage.

Houston Dunaway eating burgers Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
Though overpriced, some of the food was pretty good. Right Houston?

Jay-Z Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
Jay-Z live on the Mount Currie stage. The audience loved him.

JayZ Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada**

Jay Z Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada**

Kids at the supposed family event Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
Despite the profanity, drug use and highly sexual vibe, the Pemberton Festival was a family event?

Matisyahu Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
Matisyahu live on the Lillooet stage.

N.E.R.D. Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
They arrived late due to heavy Highway 99 traffic, but N.E.R.D.’s stage show made up for their lateness.

Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*

Sam Roberts Band Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
Sam Roberts Band live on the Mount Currie stage.

Sam Roberts Band on the projection screen Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada**

Serj Tankian of System of a Down Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada**
Serj Tankian of System of a Down controlled the audience amazingly during his Mount Currie stage set.

The slip and slide Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
Slip and slide action for the campers!

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers were the highlight for the older crowds.

The Main Stage in front of Mount Currie, Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada**

Gordon Brownie of The Tragically Hip Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
Gordon Brownie and the Tragically Hip put on a great show on the Mount Currie stage for their fellow Canadians.

Festival workers selling fruit Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada**

The Bacardi dancer in the Bacardi tent Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
The infamous Bacardi B-Live tent.

Coldplays audience Live at Pemberton Festival 2008, Pemberton, BC, Canada*
A glimpse at the audience for Coldplay as they rounded off the event.

* Photo taken by Aaron Joseph. ** Photo taken by Hugo Lunny

The 1st annual Pemberton Music Festival | Pemberton Festival 2008 Photos

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In celebration of the 15th year anniversary of the groundbreaking album Exile in Guyville and its reissue by ATO Records, Liz Phair will perform the entire album at three engagements: August 27 at Theater of the Living Arts in Philadelphia; August 28 at 9:30 Club in Washington DC; and August 29 at The Paradise in Boston. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, July 23 via Ticketmaster.

These three additional shows come on the heels of four hugely successful sold out June events – two in New York City and one in each San Francisco and Chicago. Said Jon Pareles of The New York Times in his recent review of one of Phair’s Exile in Guyville shows, “After 15 years of other people’s indie-rock idiosyncrasies, “Exile” still holds up in all its conflicting impulses: its determination to be ‘adamantly free’ and its longing for someone to trust, its swagger and its pain.” A modern classic, Pitchfork recently gave the album a 9.6 rating while both Rolling Stone and Blender gave Exile in Guyville a perfect score of five stars (“*****”).

Exile in Guyville, which was out of print, is again available on CD, vinyl and – for the first time ever – in digital format. The special reissue package includes three never-before-released songs from the original recording sessions: “Ant in Alaska,” with Phair simply accompanying herself on guitar, “Say You,” which features Phair and a full band, and an untitled instrumental with Liz on guitar. Phair has also just completed a new, 80-minute DVD, “Guyville Redux,” for the reissue.

In “Guyville Redux” – which features an introduction by Dave Matthews, founder/co-owner of ATO Records – Liz and the “guys” of Guyville take us back to the making of the album, the male-dominated, Chicago independent music scene of the early 1990’s (which included Urge Overkill, Material Issue, and Smashing Pumpkins), and the Wicker Park neighborhood where it all happened. Phair interviews Gerard Cosloy and Chris Lombardi of Matador Records, which originally released the record, famed indie producer Steve Albini, Ira Glass of NPR’s “This American Life,” John Henderson of the elusive indie label Feel Good All Over, Brad Wood (producer of Exile In Guyville), John Cusack (who founded the Chicago avant-garde theater group New Crime Productions), Urge Overkill, and more.

Conceived as a song-by-song response to the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, Exile in Guyville was released in 1993, and ranked #1 that year on both the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll and Spin magazine’s year-end critics poll. Incredibly influential to this day, its place as a seminal rock album has been reaffirmed by its inclusion in countless historical “best of” lists over the past 15 years, including: “Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” Spin’s “100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005,” Rolling Stone’s “Women in Rock (the 50 essential albums),” Blender’s “Best Indie Rock Albums of All Time,” Pitchfork’s “Top 100 Albums of the 1990’s,” and VH1’s “Greatest Albums Of All Time,” to name but a few. Exile in Guyville is, in the words of Pitchfork, “a certifiable indie roadtrip classic.”

Phair is currently working on new studio album for the fall.


CONGOTRONICS 3: KASAI ALLSTARS ANNOUNCE DEBUT (OUT 9/23/08) / LONGEST ALBUM-TITLE EVER: In the 7th moon, the chief turned into a swimming fish and ate the head of his enemy by magic

CONGOTRONICS 3: KASAI ALLSTARS ANNOUNCE DEBUT (OUT 9/23/08) / LONGEST ALBUM-TITLE EVER: “In the 7th moon, the chief turned into a swimming fish and ate the head of his enemy by magic”

“Somewhere, Brian Eno exhales in delight at something close to his 25-year old vision of a psychedelic Africa” Village Voice

“It’s a reviewer cliché to claim that you never heard anything like it. For once, it’s actually true” The Times, UK

The Crammed Discs! imprint is proud to announce the launch of the most exhilarating volume in the series of Congotronics releases. Controtronics 3 takes the dynasty to the next level and features the inimitable Kasaï Allstars, exclusively. With their debut album, “In the 7th moon, the chief turned into a swimming fish and ate the head of his enemy by magic”, the Kasai Allstars’ music is powerful and sophisticated, driving, and raw. Compared to Konono No 1 (whose minimal and effective sound has been massively adopted by the international electronica, world music and alternative rock scenes), Kasai Allstars (based in Kinshasa, DR Congo) use a broader array of instruments & textures, and wilder, more complex, polyrhythms. Not to mention they are a collective revolving around 25 musicians from five bands, all from the Kasai region, but originating from five different ethnic groups: the Luba, the Songye, the Lulua, the Tetela and the Luntu. Some of these groups have endured conflicting relationships over the centuries; they each have their own culture, their own language and their own musical traditions, which were always thought to be incompatible until these musicians decided to pool their resources to form a “superband”, creating harmony through sound and movement with one another. This will be their first full-length release, aside from being featured beautifully on Congotronics 2.

Using a spectacular mixture of acoustic instruments, electric guitars, distortion-laden thumb pianos and soulful vocals, Kasai Allstars often sound like some kind of retro-futurist primeval rock band. They draw their songs from festive and ritual music played in the bush before being banned by the Europeans, who considered the highly erotic dances and the pagan trance ceremonies as “satanic”. These traditional sounds were fought successively by the colonial authorities, by the missionaries and by the increasingly-influential Congolese evangelist sects: the highly erotic dances and the pagan trance ceremonies were considered “satanic” and unholy, and were gradually banned. Even the actual traditional instruments all but disappeared (as Kasai Allstars spokesman Mi-Amor ironically points out, “Nowadays it is far easier to find a variety of slit drums, thumb pianos and marimbas in the museums of the northern hemisphere than in the Congolese cities or countryside”).

Track list
1. Quick As White
2. Mukuba
3. Kafuulu Balu
4. Beyond The 7th Moon
5. Mbua-A-Matumba
6. Mpombo Yetu
7. Tshitua Fuila Mbuloba
8. Analengo
9. Drowning Goat (Mbuji-Mayi)

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Brown Sound Clothing, Eenie Meenie and From Bubblegum To Sky team up for the release of A Soft Kill. Rifftastic pop album quietly becomes one of the best reviewed records of the year.

Brown Sound Clothing, Eenie Meenie and From Bubblegum To Sky team up for the release of A Soft Kill. Rifftastic pop album quietly becomes one of the best reviewed records of the year.

“…an indie-pop masterwork…” – SPIN

“…echoes in your head as well as out of your speakers.” – Giant Robot

“…Hernandez’s best album.” – All Music Guide

“…a pop masterpiece…” – Reel Around The Fountain

From Bubblegum To Sky is Mario Hernandez, and he’s back with his third album, A Soft Kill, out now on Eenie Meenie Records. As expected, the album is becoming one of the best reviewed records of 2008 on the back of its rifftastic, crunchy pop sounds and unforgettable hooks and melodies. Stream the album in its entirety HERE. It’s the rare record that gets more satisfying upon each listen. And what’s more, you can wear it, too!

Eenie Meenie and Hernandez are long time fans and friends of the Brown Sound Clothing Company, a fashion label which aspires to design clothing that “suits the days of war, nights of love lifestyle.” Brown Sound is a collaboration with musicians, situationists, artists and moped gangs working to make the label a force in culture. Artists that have proudly worn the Brown Sound brand include Beck, My Morning Jacket, Spoon, Death Cab For Cutie, She & Him, Matt & Kim, Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Tokyo Police Club, Conor Oberst, Peter Bjorn & John and many more.

Eenie Meenie opted for a more creative option in the release strategy for From Bubblegum To Sky’s A Soft Kill and in collaboration with Brown Sound has marketed the album as a limited edition box set containing a high-quality vinyl LP of A Soft Kill, a drop card by which to download the record, a From Bubblegum To Sky badge and a limited edition silky-soft From Bubblegum To Sky t-shirt with images derived from the Brown Sound-designed album art. The boxes are true collector’s pieces — hand numbered and only available at select lifestyle stores throughout the nation. Taking the limited nature of the project a step further, early orders also received a blank CD-R adorned with a one-of-a-kind hand drawn design on each by Hernandez. The album is also available as a digital download-only from the usual online retailers.

See below for more info about From Bubblegum To Sky and if you’d like to keep up with Mario Hernandez on a daily basis, visit his blog HERE where, among other things, you’ll find out that his favorite song is “Public Image” by Public Image Limited. Stay tuned for more praise for A Soft Kill, the “Even The Sunbeams” video and by popular demand: west coast tour dates! For those of you who can’t wait, check out From Bubblegum To Sky performing “The Flash” live during the NYC Popfest. Interestingly, Hernandez performed the next night’s show on the drums (‘cause he’s a genius.)

A Soft Kill Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

Release Date: 06.03.08

01. The King Of Failed
02. The Flash
03. I Always Fall Apart (MP3)
04. Guest Relations (MP3)
05. Say Goodbye
06. My Je M’apelle
07. A Soft Kill
08. Even The Sunbeams (MP3)
09. Flies On A Jet Plane
10. Captain Tennille
11. Downtown Or Up?

In The Press:

“From Bubblegum To Sky sound as if they’ve enlisted My Bloody Valentine, the London Philharmonic, The Beach Boys, and Ride to help make massively brilliant jangly noisy pop.” – First Coast News

“…what pop sounds like in my little fantasy world.” – There Stands The Glass

“…short, charming, 60’s–licked, “Beatles–esque” seducer, wispy and jangling.” – A Limerick Ox

“…A Soft Kill is chock full of the ABC’s of ice cream indie…” – Advance Copy

More about From Bubblegum To Sky:

PiL, meds, disco, half Mexican, half Japanese, The SOS Band, monster guitar riffs, drinking, more drinking, The dB’s, divorce, death, arrests, cannibalism, no compromises, The Bee Gees, shimmering melodies and stalking. From Bubblegum To Sky ain’t no sunny pop affair – it just sounds like it.

By winter, A Soft Kill, the third full-length album by From Bubblegum To Sky is certain to be considered one of the greatest one-man albums of the year. Only the maturity that comes with brushing against and immersing oneself in the influences mentioned above could bring out an album that is at once ultimately catchy, realistically morose, and expertly played. In a word: fucking relatable.

The one man is Mario Hernandez and he’s been wrestling with a few demons. Hernandez’s previous records Me and Amy and the Two French Boys (Eenie Meenie, 2000) and Nothing Sadder Than Lonely Queen (Eenie Meenie, 2004) certainly hinted at genius – what with the confessional lyrics sung in a helium tinged voice that lights the drapes on fire meeting the hook laden crunch fest that cools ‘em down. With A Soft Kill, Hernandez has crafted a masterpiece. He demurs, stating, “This record is much more inspired – less obvious indie pop, more organic and drunk. It’s an outlet and easily my favorite record.” Ours, too.

A Soft Kill brings to mind the concept of the vices people use to kill themselves slowly. Not a murder, but a soft kill. Feelings we’ve all felt are wrapped in pristine pop melodies, sandpaper-y guitars and a vocal style dictated by the radio programs of second generation pop songs and high voiced singers that Hernandez listened to before departing Japan for America at the age of 12.

As a self-contained pop machine (occasionally joined by bassist Frank Jordan and keyboardist Bill Evans) Hernandez does the control freak edict of Billy Corgan and Dave Grohl proud on A Soft Kill. No one should be playing drums on a From Bubblegum To Sky record but Hernandez — this kind of urgency demands the percussive touch of the author, after all! And is he ever keeping time – 11 songs, 30 minutes. It doesn’t get any better.

“I feel like it’s a band, even though it’s just me,” he says. “The things that people are doing to me, or I’m doing to them, or whatever experiences I’m having — that’s the band. I couldn’t write without those experiences and in a way that’s what a band member does.”

These are the words of the ONE man becoming THE man. When Mario Hernandez is letting it all hang out, you wanna hang out, too. A Soft Kill was recorded at CBS Studios in Oakland, CA on a Tascam one-inch reel-to-reel.

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This Is Ivy League takes you to summer school with its refreshing new album. Get educated by the “dreamy” duo compared to Simon & Garfunkel, Belle & Sebastian, and Peter, Bjorn & John.

This Is Ivy League takes you to summer school with its refreshing new album. Get educated by the “dreamy” duo compared to Simon & Garfunkel, Belle & Sebastian, and Peter, Bjorn & John.

“…the soundtrack to your summer.” – L Magazine

“…retro tinges of Simon & Garfunkel neatly laid between symphonic harmonies and melded with pop flair.” – Filter

“The Brooklyn-based duo fit neatly between recent cozy-pop faves The Whitest Boy Alive and Peter, Bjorn & John, working the same seam of homely beauty and prematurely autumnal sentimentality.” – Pitchfork

If you haven’t started your summer fixating on a new vice, it’s about time. This summer’s guilty pleasure? The infectiously good indie pop twosome known as This Is Ivy League.

If you haven’t heard of the band, you might recognize the duo behind it – Alex Suarez and Ryland Blackinton, of Cobra Starship fame. When they’re not busy touring the world and gracing the cover of Alternative Press with their side-project, they’re creating, well, really good music. So don’t be fooled by their super emo alter ego. Their blend of folky 60’s pop rock is a huge departure from the Snakes On A Plane” tunes.

This Is Ivy League’s catchy riffs have been gaining a lot of attention from various sites around the interweb including love from dot coms such as Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Paste, Filter, CMJ, The Deli, Idolator, New York Noise, and USA Today. The duo was also recently featured as one of L Magazine’s “Eight Bands You Need to Hear”.

The uninitiated can now revel in the perfect-pop that is This Is Ivy League’s first long player which features the mega smash hit song “London Bridges” . The accompanying video for the tune has already been singled out by Pitchfork which said,”…the clip creates and sustains a soft-focus weirdness, borrowing all the elements you’d expect from a postmillennial Chad & Jeremy — blazers, bicycles, merry-go-rounds, a park in autumn– while adding a few new flourishes– women in animal costumes, gently evocative use of color and pattern. Alex Suarez and Ryan Blackinton croon their crisp harmonies, finishing each other’s sentences and riffs, nearly symmetrical as they perform atop their pedestals for the animal woman.”

Obscure Sound hits the nail on the head in it’s review of This Is Ivy League:

“The album lives up to the potential of the excellent single (‘London Bridges’) in several ways, the most prevalent being the engaging form of songwriting that the duo is able to craft using their pop-oriented mindset. The album’s tremendous opener, ‘The Richest Kids’ , was initially my favorite song on the album. It features a simplistically addicting melody that is complemented by the duo’s outstanding duet form, with flurries of guitars being a constant reminder of their shared musicianship. In fact, if ‘The Richest Kids’ does not become a radio favorite on several prominent indie radio stations by summer, I would be absolutely shocked. It just has that sort of radio-friendly appeal that coincides well with summery indie-pop, mainly attributed to the group’s stellar melodic comprehension.

As for my current favorite track, ‘Visions of Tokyo’ is an excellent throwback song that beckons ’60s pop. The comparisons to The Beach Boys are imminent and it adds a lot to the enjoyment factor, with the vocal comparison to Brian Wilson being very tantalizing. Both ‘The Richest Kids’ and ‘Visions of Tokyo’ are certainly a few of the most enjoyable tracks I have heard so far this year. And for those who prefer individuality to accessible hooks, there are certainly clear signs of innovation too; the spacey guitar riff at the end of ‘London Bridges’ and the impressive acoustical fingerpicking displayed on ‘Til the Day’ are just a few examples of how it would be ignorant to group This Is Ivy League with other conventional indie-pop bands. The latter sounds eerily similar to Simon & Garfunkel’s early work, and I mean that as an utmost complement. Be sure to take note that This Is Ivy League’s fantastic self-titled debut was released on Tuesday, as I recommend it wholeheartedly as one of the best debuts of the year so far.”

More Press For This Is Ivy League:

“This Is Ivy League offers crisp, pervasively hooky indie rock with a folky sense of melancholy. Dreamy is a word used too often to describe all kinds of music, but This Is Ivy League actually does whisk you instantly to a place of post-adolescent romantic longing.” – Time Out New York

“In a gritty borough known for it’s ‘artsy’ rock and ‘experimental’ music these two just take it back to where it all began, simplified pop music with infectious harmonies that echo in your head.” – URB

“Covert crew members on the Cobra Starship go undercover as twee-hugging indiepoppers.” – Rolling Stone

“This band is like the badass guy in high school that gets away with misbehaving all the time because he’s like totally hot.” – Vice Magazine

“This Is Ivy League sounds as though Belle and Sebastian had American accents, listened to a lot of Matinee Records, and figured that every song must be happy… if it were 1974 they would be giving the Carpenters a run for their money.” – First Coast News

“Beautiful, head-bopping, airy pop songs with gorgeous harmonies that echo Simon & Garfunkel and The Beach Boys.” – Tiny Mix Tapes

“…perhaps one day, we will be using Suarez and Blackinton as a benchmark for comparison, putting them in the same class as those aforementioned famous pop duos.” – Consequence of Sound

“Cherry songs pour from the guitars of this dapper duo, who wind harmonies around surf guitars for a light, pop-tacular springtime debut…” – CMJ

“It’s among our favorites this year…a perfect aural cocktail for summer” – Very Short List

“This will most likely be the sound of the summer in the upcoming months…” – Make Out Club

“Their voices are hushed and sweet, twining around each other in blissful harmony. The guitars are mainly acoustic and gentle, the drums and keys tasteful and carefully arranged.” – All Music Guide

This Is Ivy League Track Listing:

Stream The Album HERE

Release Date: April 1st, 2008

01. The Richest Kids (MP3)
02. Love Is Impossible
03. London Bridges (MP3)
04. Viola
05. Celebration
06. An Introduction
07. A Summer Chill
08. Modern World
09. Til The Day
10. Visions of Tokyo
11. Don’t Waste Your Love On Me
12. Bonus MP3 – Crown of Love (Arcade Fire Cover) (MP3)

More about This Is Ivy League:

In 1997, Ryland Blackinton moved from Wilmington, Massachusetts to Boca Raton, Florida with his parents and two brothers. An avid guitar player and trumpet player in his school band, Blackinton immediately found an acquaintance in Connecticut native, Alex Suarez. Suarez played in a local pop-punk band. Blackinton came to watch them play at an abandoned house where many of their high school’s bands would practice and perform. Suarez was a year older than Blackinton, which in those days seemed to be a big deal. Neither of them was particularly good at sports or academics but each was passionate about the guitar. Around this time Suarez got Blackinton a job at the local Jewish delicatessen. The two became close friends while discovering the joys of Jewish cuisine. Not cut out for the restaurant industry, Blackinton soon left the deli citing culinary differences and became involved in the theatre. Suarez continued to the culinary academy.

For seven years Suarez and Blackinton lost touch. Suarez had been playing guitar with the Florida-based Kite Flying Society while starting a series of short-lived private catering companies. Blackinton was finishing his BFA in Acting and playing guitar sporadically with Parliament/Funkadelic keyboard players Jerome Rodgers and Danny Bedrosian. Seeking success in their respective fields, they both moved north to New York City. Blackinton acted in a handful of classical plays at the Pearl Theatre Company and Suarez was working as a grocery delivery boy in Chelsea. Both struggled with low wages and creative stagnation. One day, the two were reunited on a certain unnamed internet networking service. Coincidentally, they lived just twelve blocks away from one another. After catching up for a few hours they traded music and agreed that they should form a band.

Blackinton had written a few songs which were heavily rooted in bossa nova and folk music. Suarez quickly learned the songs and brought a cohesive poppy edge to them. The culmination of the two styles produced a folky-pop sound that both were pleased with. In late 2006, the band were scouted by Gabe Saporta of Midtown to be in a side-project called Cobra Starship. Saporta wrote the hit song “Snakes On A Plane (Bring It)” for the b-movie wonder Snakes On A Plane. The success of this song lead him to bringing Cobra Starship into realization and asking Suarez and Blackinton to join the band. With a big push from MTV, the band has gone on to headline multiple world tours.

In early 2007, 60’s UK pop group Ivy League contacted Brooklyn’s Ivy League about its reunification. This lead to Ivy League changing its name to This Is Ivy League. Its self-titled debut full-length was released April 1, 2008.

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‘Forth’ will be released in the US August 19th on the band’s own imprint On Your Own,
which is being run by the Verve’s management company Big Life in association with Rob Stevenson’s company Stolen Transmission and distributed by MRI/Megaforce/Red.


1. Sit And Wonder
2. Love Is Noise
3. Rather Be
4. Judas
5. Numbness
6. I See Houses
7. Noise Epic
8. Valium Skies
9. Columbo
10. Appalachian Springs

The Verve’s New Single “Love Is Noise”
You can now stream it on their Myspace

“30 seconds in and I’m blown away” –Radio 1 Zane Lowe

“Ashcroft and McCabe, the twin lightening conductors of the band, are finally in accord and the results are nothing short of astonishing. The Verve are back-literally-with a bang. This is music? This is seismic.” – NME

“After playing a mix of older songs and a new track (“Sit and Wonder”), the familiar strains of the orchestrated track had fans sprinting from other parts of the field to watch the band achieve a sort of sonic ecstasy. “The band didn’t disappoint, breaking out epic Britpop anthems that set shimmers of sound across the desert night. ” – Rolling Stone (Coachella review)

“The Verve are here to provide you with an immaculately calibrated rock experience that will change your life forever…” Spin

The Verve

Richard Ashcroft, Simon Jones, Nick McCabe and Peter Salisbury

The Verve have given us three fantastic albums – including Urban Hymns, the fifth fastest selling British album ever on release, reaching platinum status in the States, and one of the landmark releases of the Nineties. They play “music of the spheres,” which strives to break out of the stratosphere and yet is laced with a brutally down-to-earth, gritty realism that understands the hopes and fears of their world-wide audience but challenges them to accompany the band on a quest for something greater. When the words of Bitter Sweet Symphony power out across a venue, the words “It’s a bitter sweet symphony, this life, you’re a slave for money, then you die” are transformed from what should be a depressing statement into an uplifting cry of celebration and of seizing the moment, something the Verve can never be accused of failing to do themselves. As the cover of 1995 single History spelled out, the Verve’s manifesto is “Life is not a rehearsal.” Individually and collectively, they challenge themselves and their enormous audience to get the most out of it we can, and live for the instant.

Something happens when the Verve are together that none of them experience when they are apart. Individually, the Verve are all highly-accomplished players. Singer Richard Ashcroft has been called “the greatest singer in the world” by no less a peer than Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Liverpool-born Simon Jones’s dub-informed bass takes the Verve’s music far beyond rock and into space and dub; Peter Salisbury plays drums more like a jazz great than a conventional rock drummer and when the tag “guitarist of his generation” is thrown about it often lands at the feet of the hugely adventurous, psychedelic, exploratory Nick McCabe. However, when they are together a chemistry takes hold that transcends the four people onstage to blast the Verve somewhere else entirely and this chemistry and spontaneity has survived an absence of almost a decade. Already, since their typically unpredictable 2007 reunion, live shows have been running the gauntlet of everything from material so new that Ashcroft has been singing the words from scraps of paper to long-lost, hazy B-sides like Let The Damage Begin and A Man Called Sun, amid all manner of musical fireworks. When they take the stage, literally anything can happen.

After an absence of almost a decade, these songs are again being played, as they should be – by the Verve themselves. The individual members have not been slouches. Richard Ashcroft has enjoyed a successful and prolific solo career. Simon Jones formed a band, the Shining, who were not altogether dissimilar to the Verve, and has played with Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz. Nick McCabe has been remixing and playing with everyone from the Beta Band to John Martyn while Peter Salisbury has been playing with Ashcroft, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and has further diverted his musical obsessions into running a Stockport drum shop. However, all seem to have realized what their enormous fanbase has been telling them all along. That today, as much if not more than ever, music really needs the Verve.

However, a band like the Verve would never settle for easy nostalgia. Even before they’d set out on their initial comeback gigs last year, which sold out within an astonishing 20 minutes, they made public (via the NME website) the results of their very first jam session as a reformed band. The Thaw Sessions comprised 14 wondrous minutes of music, which signified their ability to spark off one another remained undimmed. Soon afterwards, the band debuted new song Sit And Wonder – a tune trimmed from a 25-minute jam, just as they would in the early days, a taste of things to come. Those comeback dates proved so successful and were so enthusiastically received that the band immediately embarked on a full-scale tour of arenas in December of 2007, playing bigger gigs in many cases than the first time around. In 2008, they look set to up the ante even further, by appearing at many of the major festivals and, in a turnaround that would have seemed unthinkable even a year ago, releasing their enormously-anticipated fourth album. The results will certainly be worth the wait. – Dave Simpson.

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Young Love recording artists Quitzow and Setting Sun launch extensive U.S. tour and new albums merging classical, folk, pop and electronic rock sounds.

Young Love recording artists Quitzow and Setting Sun launch extensive U.S. tour and new albums merging classical, folk, pop and electronic rock sounds.

New York State multi-instrumentalist artists Quitzow and Setting Sun launch an extensive co-headlining U.S. tour this week, showcasing songs from both bands’ new albums on Young Love Records. The two groups share more than a label and tour dates, however. Quitzow, the namesake of songwriter/singer/multi-instrumentalist Erica Quitzow features Setting Sun songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Gary Levitt alternately adding bass, drums and vocals to its live shows. Likewise, the Levitt-led Setting Sun band includes Erica Quitzow on violin and backing vocals.

Along with this kinship, both groups share an open interest in cross-breeding musical forms, merging classical strings (violin and cello especially), folk, chamber pop and hints of early electronic rock. The results are truly refreshing. Setting Sun has been compared to Merge artists The Radar Brothers, Elliot Smith at his darkest and early Nick Drake. Check out the fantastic animated video for “No Devil Me No More” HERE. Quitzow invites nods like “Solex meets Liz Phair” and “combining the fun of Peaches with the intelligence of Lori Anderson.” The intrigued are invited to hear for themselves during the upcoming string of dates beginng June 24th in Philadelphia. Please see complete dates below.

More about Quitzow:

“Juggling mind-blowing moog/rhodes/bass while singing,” playing Tchaikovsky in The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, and creating Fender Rhodes loops layered with MPC drums, moog bass, cellos, violins and vocals, Erica Quitzow brings a wide diversity to her records and live performances. With a self-titled debut album and an upcoming second release, Erica is involved in various musical projects exploring new influences for her inner child gone wild, neo-post electro-pop sound. The new record, Art College, out in spring 2008 on Young Love Records, is a collection of sing-along pop song collages with orchestral arrangement over hip hop, electro-clash, and downtempo beats decorated with adventurous harmonies. Instrumentation is performed primarily by Erica and includes MPC, Reason and live drums layered with Moogs and Korgs, Rhodes, Casios, classical and electric guitars, bass, cellos, violins, various percussion instruments with her alternately playful and woeful vocal style. The record was self-recorded in her upstate New York home with production and mixing assistance by band and label-mate, Gary Levitt.

Erica’s debut album, Quitzow, was self-recorded in her previous Los Angeles home and was built on the same acoustic/electronic collage elements as Art College. Again, she played most of the instruments, creating a high-drama palate, and always going for the extreme. While the use of strings in songs like “Drink-Up” sometimes conjures images of Rasputina with a similar Sabbath-style heaviness, often comparisons are elusive as in the cartoon-like playfulness of “R. Crumb.” Elsewhere, “Know Me” is complex and layered, evoking a Todd Rundgren soundscape with passionate screaming vocals reminiscent of Patti Smith.

The live performances include music from both records and ranges from solo cello/guitar and vocals to full band renditions. The upcoming national tour will be with a five piece band including cello, live and electronic drums, bass, backing vocals and percussion, with Erica on Moog, Korg, guitar and vocals.

Among the other projects Erica is involved in is playing violin, cello and singing back up for the Setting Sun live show, as well as playing drums and keyboards on the recordings. Gary Levitt, leader of Setting Sun, is her partner in running Young Love Records and plays bass and sings back up for Quitzow. The bands tour together, share various band members, and assist each other in recording. Erica sometimes plays violin for The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, working to develop the orchestrations on her recordings by studying the compositions of Tchaikovsky and Copeland, among others. She records strings on an array of projects, recently working with Tony Levin, Garth Hudson, and Malcom Burns on Sarah Perotta’s record, The Well.

Past projects include singing and playing bass in the critically acclaimed Heavy Pebble, a New York/San Francisco based experimental band that toured the west coast. More recently she played Moog, Rhodes, and bass with Jennifer Turner (of Natalie Merchant’s band) in Los Angeles indie-pop band, Inner. The first record was recorded in Nellie Hooper’s London studio (Bjork, Massive Attack.) This band toured practically nonstop for its three-year incarnation to rapidly growing audience, a positive press response and national college radio play.

Quitzow will tour the full US in June/July, and plans to tour Europe in the near future.

More about Setting Sun:

“Levitt wails with toned-down tinges of Kurt Cobain’s emptiness and Elliott Smith’s pain.” – West Coast Performer

Lovers of great songs with inventive and honest sounds can take heart. Setting Sun’s third record, Children of The Wild really delivers. This new record has (so far) been best described as “an odd atmosphere, probed by twizzling sounds, and the feeling that this is the soundtrack for the aftermath of a crash landing.” With an intimate lyrical delivery, each word is slowly tasted before being spoken and is set against driving beats, lashing cellos, soothing instrumental interludes and a rich cortege of violins, synthesizers, and homemade sounds. Amidst the layers of edgy counterpoint melody, lifting harmonies and soundscapes, the song is still the focus.

Setting Sun began in 2001 in a San Francisco apartment as some good old fashioned soul-searching by Gary Levitt where he wrote and produced their aptly titled debut CD Holed Up. Having lived and created in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Setting Sun’s sound bears the mark of them all. The grime and grit of New York, the quirky artiness of San Francisco and the lilting sunshine of LA… all are orchestrally present in the music. This third record was self-produced by Gary Levitt with many friends lending their playing skills. Most noticeable on the record are all the strings, expertly played by band and label-mate Erica Quitzow.

Recorded entirely in their 19th century Victorian house, Quitzow and Setting Sun share a home recording studio. Initially set up to record themselves, Gary soon began taking on outside clients. “I love helping other artists work on their music,” says Levitt. “If they come in with just bare-bones sketches of songs and want to expand on them, I’ll come up with ideas that add to the songs but don’t compete with them.”

Gary also plays bass and sings harmonies for Erica’s band Quitzow. A veteran of the indie music scene, Levitt started as a member of feverish NY band The Kung-Fu Grip. After four years of relentless touring, they made their way out to San Francisco where they paired down their members to a tightly focused three piece, all providing vocals for their cathartic, shock art sound. Levitt simultaneously formed Heavy Pebble with Erica Quitzow, becoming a hit in the music scene in San Francisco and touring the west coast, playing their quirky pop songs with post-modernist film collage projections to crowded houses and critical acclaim. After various line-up changes and key members leaving, both groups disbanded.

Upon having these long-term projects fall apart leaving Levitt with no material to perform, he decided his next project would be solely his own. Levitt sequestered himself in a friend’s San Francisco apartment with some borrowed gear and “two cheap microphones” to record what was to become Setting Sun’s debut, the appropriately titled Holed Up. Marked by a sense of palpable urgency, the album seamlessly fuses Levitt’s chief references—warm acoustic guitar, melodic counterpoint bent Beatles/Bowie pop, loud/quiet Pixies/Nirvana dynamics—into a catchy and inversely intimate lo-fi blend. As Holed Up was nearly finished, Levitt was invited to play guitar for Virgin recording artist Jennifer Turner. He flew to London and recorded in producer Nellee Hooper’s (Bjork, Smashing Pumpkins) studio, putting Holed Up on the shelf. The band that formed was named Inner, and the record, containing two songs written by Levitt, received critical acclaim and international airplay. After relocating to Los Angeles and touring to support the record, Levitt left the band to re-focus on his own music.

Back to Setting Sun. Young Love Records released Holed Up to many positive reviews coinciding with the group touring regularly, performing as a three piece. Levitt also embarked on two separate month-long solo tours, playing every night, often paired with daytime radio and college shows, and sleeping where he could. He eventually settled home and began writing and recording his sophomore CD Math and Magic. Curious to hear Setting Sun’s potential with outside production assistance, Levitt embarked on the recording of his second album with producer Richard Chiu. With a different approach than the solo explorations of holed up, Math and Magic is more polished, produced, and collaborative than its lo-fi experimental predecessor. The intimacy of Holed Up is not lost, but perhaps served on a cleaner plate.

Released on Young Love Records in 2005, songs “The Only One” and “Found It By Midnite” can be heard in the short film Paper Jam, which won several awards in the festival circuit including “Best Music.” Setting Sun has been getting increasing attention from the film and television industries. As more people get exposed many find the music to be a natural fit with the moving image…

Quitzow & Setting Sun On Tour:
06/24 Philly @ The Khyber
06/25 Shepherdstown, WV @ War Memorial (All Ages)
06/26 Baltimore MD @ Lo-Fi Social Club
06/27 Leonardtown, MD @ Room with a Brew (All Ages)
06/28 Greenville NC @ Spazzatorium Galleria
06/29 Johnson City, TN @ Acoustic Coffeehouse
06/30 Atlanta, GA @ Lenny’s w/ Cat Riley & nerdkween
07/02 Memphis, TN @ Murphys w/ The Warble
07/03 Tahlequah OK @ The Hallway (All Ages)
07/04 Denton, TX @ Andy’s Bar w/ Admiral David D
07/05 Tulsa OK @ Soundpony
07/06 Amarillo, TX @ The 806 w/ Wolf Cub
07/07 Albuquerque NM @ Atomic Cantina w/ Bellemah
07/08 Farmington, NM @ Totah Theatre (All Ages)
07/09 Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland
07/10 San Francisco CA @ Rickshaw Stop
07/11 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
07/12 Arcata @ Jambalaya w/ John Ludington
07/13 Portland OR @ Kelly’s Olympian w/ Testface
07/14 Seattle, WA @ The High Dive
07/15 Olympia, WA @ The Royal
07/16 Boise ID @ Neurolux
07/17 Salt Lake City UT @ Boing! Collective
07/18 Denver CO @ The Lions Lair w/ Princess Tiger
07/19 Omaha, NE@ Oleavers w/ Landing on The Moon
07/20 Chicago, IL @ Ronny’s w/ Dirty Diamonds
07/21 Lansing, MI @ Mac’s
07/22 Detroit MI @ Smalls
07/23 Pittsburgh, PA @ Howlers Coyote
07/24 New York, NY @ The Annex (Club NME)

Quitzow – Art College Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

Release Date: June 10th, 2008

01. Sponsor (It Didn’t Mean A Thing) (MP3)
02. On TV!
03. Peanut
04. Art College
05. Better Than Ever
06. Stay Away from John
07. Love
08. Slept In My car
09. Cats R People 2
10. Rhythm Machine
11. Unripened Fruit
12. Jackpot

Setting Sun – Children of The Wild Tracklisting:

Stream The Album HERE

Release Date: June 10th, 2008

01. What We Wanted
02. No Devil Me No More (MP3)
03. How Long
04. Carry Me Away
05. Overjoyed
06. Slob
07. Love My Love
08. Not Waste
09. Inside My Love
10. Morning Song
11. Happy Joy

reviews tour dates

Esperanza Spalding performs “Precious” TONIGHT on the Late Show with David Letterman. This is Esperanza’s network debut.

Esperanza Spalding performs “Precious” TONIGHT on the Late Show with David Letterman. This is Esperanza’s network debut.

The song “Precious” is Esperanza Spalding’s first single from ESPERANZA her debut on Heads Up International.

Esperanza and her band will perform this Saturday at The Roots Picnic in Philadelphia. Press Quotes and Tour Dates are below.

NPR’s All Things Considered
“There are many gifted singers in jazz today, and no shortage of accomplished acoustic bass players. But few jazz artists can be both. Esperanza Spalding’s new album, Esperanza, blends her soaring vocals and her deep bass lines. At 23, Spalding has already built an impressive resume: She earned a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and graduated a year early to become the youngest faculty member in the school’s history, and she’s also played with jazz legends such as Patti Austin, Pat Metheny, and Herbie Hancock.” To listen to the entire story, click here:

New York Times
“Esperanza has got a lot: accomplished jazz improvisation, funk, scat singing, Brazilian vernacular rhythm and vocals in English, Portuguese and Spanish. At its center is a female bassist, singer and bandleader, one whose talent is beyond question.”

Billboard “Faces to Watch”
“Whether exploding into vocalese or making her bass solo sound like a horn, she’s a spark plug who dances as she grooves through a funked-up and rocked-out repertoire.”

Bass Player
“Esperanza, her debut for Heads Up, has the charismatic musician handily demonstrating her talents as a virtuoso instrumentalist, gifted multi-lingual vocalist, and potent songwriter. She plays and sings on a jazz-rooted program marked by catchy if tricky melodies, pliable grooves informed by Latin, Brazilian, African, and bebop rhythms, and multiple bursts of ripping fingerboard work and scat singing.”

“There’s a Latin-jazz revolution going on courtesy of young Esperanza Spalding…Spalding’s voice slips through each of her intricately crafted arrangements as if imbued with the spirit of Flora Purim. Only Spalding’s melodies are more punctual and sprightlier than the airy Airto-isms of Purim. But they never lack in dynamism.”

“Esperanza is the hottest thing going in the world of bass playing. So why is her CD in Keyboard? Easy. The heavily Brazilian-influenced self-penned jazz instrumentals and vocals are fantastic. Her lyrics are heartfelt yet not clichéd. Her voice is really something special. She’s a freekin’ awesome acoustic bassist. She’s got soul. And she’s got a keyboard player in the band that you need to know about: Leo Genovese…this CD provides much to discover and delight.”

Christian Science Monitor
“As her voice sambas over vibrant South American rhythms and her Elastigirl fingers climb up and down the double-bass’s skyscraper neck, you’d swear the girl was from Ipanema, not Portland, Ore. Even people who think they don’t like jazz may respond to the melodies on Esperanza.”

“It’s an album that borrows inspiration from others’ past achievements, but is perfectly now-and completely Spalding’s.”

Bass Musician magazine
“A seriously gifted vocalist/instrumentalist is a rare breed. That ability, or should I say gift to have command of two voices interchangeably, that capacity to handle counterpoint, ‘with yourself’, can leave most people, much less musicians, quite speechless at times. That ‘could’ almost be enough said in my introduction of Esperanza. But there’s much more to this young (24, I believe) musician than meets the eye. Her obvious love affair with music, her clarity insofar as her awareness of her evolution, and her sound, which she has thought out well, make her at this early stage in her career a force to be reckoned with, and a voice (voices?) that deserves attention, which will surely ensue with the release of her new CD Esperanza. Contrary to how it sometimes may feel within our culture these days, there ‘are’ some young players out there that are dead serious about creating a ‘life’ within the arts, and Esperanza is easily a shinning example of that.”

Seattle Times
“Spalding is obviously star material of the first order, the kind of performer whose passionate, uninhibited absorption in what she’s doing ineluctably lures you into her world.”

“She’s being hailed because of her voice and sound. She’s being hailed because of her style and looks. Andy she’s being hailed because she has all this talent at the age of 23…The CD gave me much more than I expected. This musical prodigy should get many more people talking.”

All About Jazz-NY
“Esperanza demonstrates that Spalding is an artist in development who keeps an open mind, avoiding the trappings of niche genres. She is a talented singer, bassist and tunesmith who is willing to take risks and explore different influences as a tool for her creativity.”

Latin Beat Magazine
“Set for worldwide release on May 20, Esperanza’s bandleading debut serves to display her acoustic bass chops and angelic vocals, spanning three languages (English, Spanish and Portuguese). This CD also showcases her composing and arranging skills, as well as her fresh and progressive approach to making music. Indeed, Esperanza is a bright, shining star to watch for.”

Evening Standard (London)
“Young, gifted and black (plus charming, unaffected, intelligent and versatile), Esperanza Spalding is the brightest new star to swim into my ken for years. Scatting to her funky double-bass, she sings in Spanish and English and writes originals which tap into hip soul-jazz and urban-Latin trends. Her US group, with pianist Leo Genovese and handdrummer Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez prominent, is dynamite and standards (‘Body and Soul’, ‘Samba Em Preludio’) are no problem.” *****

Urban Network
“…her brand new sophomore release is a knockout! 23 and already an instructor at the Berklee School of Music, bilingual Spalding is as powerful a writer as she is a player, intuitively melding Latin, Jazz and Funk with youthful gusto…She describes this project as a groove-oriented ‘crossover date that has the integrity of jazz.’ I call it a must hear CD and the lady a guaranteed breakthrough artist for 2008.”

AbyssJazz Magazine
“For as bold a statement as Esperanza Spalding makes in her Heads Up debut album, the obvious truth by the end of twelve tracks is that what we’re hearing is just a taste of what’s to come from this bright young star.”

Boston Globe
“The package of talent offered by Berklee College of Music graduate Esperanza Spalding portends great things for this young artist. A classically trained musician who became a sizzling bass player and singer/composer, Spalding covers jazz and Brazilian music on her debut album with verve and energy. Most impressively, Spalding does the improvisational singing of the high notes while her fingers pound out the rhythmic line on bass.”

Baltimore Sun
“[Spalding’s] debut on the Heads Up/Concord label is a highly accessible jazz album, heavy on groove and shades of Afro-Latin swing. The warm, organic feel of the record reminds me of the sounds that emanated from the Prestige and Blue Note labels in the mid-’70s – sans the wah-wah guitar and Fender Rhodes. Even the throwback cover shot of the smiling, gloriously Afro’d artist looks as if it were taken in 1975…Spalding’s sunny, melodic voice (shades of Flora Purim) is as prominent throughout the breezy 12-cut CD as her deft bass playing…she’s somebody to watch.”

Kalamazoo Gazette
The multilingual Spalding is a child prodigy who grew up poor in Portland, Ore., and eventually became the youngest teacher at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. This bassist, who sings while she plays, comes at the listener from a variety of angles – straight-ahead jazz, light jazz vocals, Brazilian ballads and scat. The CD shows lots of passion and vision and includes world-class percussionist Jamey Haddad.”

Hill Rag (Wash, DC)
“Vocalist and bassist Esperanza Spalding’s debut album uses jazz standards, pop styles, soul moods, and Afro-Latin rhythms and harmonies to create unmistakably distinctive stylish sound of her own. With a fresh, youthful voice, the music radiates a vibrant Latin/jazz format with an occasional burst of sensual magnetism. It’s a lovely, charming, carefree music that captures the imagination of something new. But first things first. It’s a romantic album for falling in love with that special person. Oh, what the heck, let’s be real. It’s that Latin sound (Spanish or Portuguese, does it matter) that always gets me. Nonetheless, this is very young music that hints at a great future on songs like ‘I Adore You,’ ‘Cuerpo Y Alma (Body & Soul),’ and ‘Samba Em Preludio.'”

“Esperanza is one of the most impressive debuts to come along in many a year. Her future is as bright as her jazz.”

Philadelphia Daily News
“Esperanza Spalding has ‘the X factor,’ proclaims admirer Pat Metheny. She’s a fresh, dynamic jazz bass player, composer and singer, with a throaty, imperfect voice that could grow on you. Her debut album is called (what else?) Esperanza (Heads Up, B), and it won me over with her first selection, a Milton Nascimento tune sung in Portuguese.”

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“The young bassist has performed with players as important as Joe Lovano and in a variety of styles, and that range shows in this album dominated by Latin-tinged originals. One of them, ‘I Adore You,’ features a wordless vocal in a bebop style that moves along like a creation of Dizzy Gillespie and Bobby McFerrin. Her use of words also is good, though, as on the sarcastic ‘She Got to You.’ She also does a fine cover of ‘Body and Soul’ in an Afro-Cuban sense. For those of us who have seen her only as a bassist, her voice is a surprise – and a good one at that. The album tends to be built around it, but her strong bass playing always is there, too. The recording has a pop-like feeling upon first listening, but the jazz rhythms flex their strength on repeated visits.” ***

All Music
“In sum, Esperanza sounds like the work of a much older, more experienced player, singer, and songwriter. Spalding not only has these gifts in natural abundance but is disciplined in her execution as well. On this recording she seeks to widen her musical adventure at every turn, but she does it with such with taste, refinement, and a playful sense of humor that virtually anyone who encounters this offering will find not only much to delight in, but plenty to be amazed by as well.”

Daily News (McKeesport, PA)
“Bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding has released a complex little album that should give jazz fans great hope for the future of the art form.”

Albany Times-Union
“The jazz wunderkind bassist-vocalist Esperanza Spalding sports an Afro as big as her musical talent. Enrolled at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music when she was just 16 years old, Spalding scored touring and recording gigs with the likes of Pat Metheny, Joe Lovano and Patti Austin before she left school. On Esperanza (2008, Heads Up International), she focuses on her multilingual vocal stylings, tackling Milton Nascimento’s ‘Ponta de Areia’ in Portuguese, the jazz war horse ‘Body and Soul’ in Spanish (and a bold 5/4 time signature) and her own intimate ballad ‘Fall In’ in English. Showcased in a variety of small
combo settings, the multiculti 23-year-old is obviously headed for big things.”
“Music, like boxing, is more about interesting combinations than sheer brute force. Esperanza Spalding has a number of surprising combinations up her sleeves. First, her doubling on acoustic bass and vocals is an unusual mixture in the jazz world. Her songs also reflect an interesting combination of world music and jazz traditions. And even within the jazz sphere, she draws on both mainstream and crossover styles…She has a beguiling singing style, more pop than jazz, but with enough substance to satisfy the more reasonable members of the jazz ‘authenticity’ police. A gracious release by a promising talent.”
“Blessed with talent, youth, training and outrageously good looks, Spalding is a young woman ready to make some noise, and is here to stay in the jazz world.”

Urban Music Scene
“Ms. Spalding delivers a riveting display of special skill & talent unlike I have ever heard in this generation. Exceeding every expectation I had of this project from the reception of this CD. I’m glad to see Heads Up International providing her the chance for the world to finally receive a special, musically endowed, jazz centerpiece. Not only am I soliciting the album for purchase into your collection, I will also go out on the limb, to promote a chance of seeing Ms. Spalding live when she comes to your neighborhood, sometime soon I hope…”


Sat 06/07/08 Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier At Penn’s Landing
Tue 06/10/08 Los Angeles, CA Catalina Bar & Grill
Thu 06/12/08 Oakland, CA Yoshi’s Oakland
Thu 06/26/08 Alexandria, VA Birchmere
Sat 07/12/08 Copenhagen, DEN Haveselskabet
Wed 07/16/08 Pori, FIN Otava Factory
Thu 07/17/08 Pori, FIN Porin Teatteri
Fri 07/18/08 Pori, FIN Kirjurinluoto Arena
Sat 07/19/08 Stockholm, SWE Skeppsholmen
Tue 08/05/08 Buffalo, NY University At Buffalo
Wed 08/06/08 Cleveland Heights, OH Nighttown
Sat 08/30/08 Detroit, MI Detroit International Jazz Festival
Wed 09/03/08 Osaka, JPN Billboard Live Osaka
Thu 09/04/08 Fukuoka, JPN Billboard Live Fukuoka
Fri 09/05/08 Tokyo, JPN Billboard Live Tokyo
Sat 09/06/08 Tokyo, JPN Billboard Live Tokyo
Mon 09/15/08 Amsterdam, NET Bimhuis
Fri 09/19/08 Bergen, NOR Sardinen USF
Sat 09/20/08 Trondheim, NOR Dokkhuset
Wed 09/24/08 Copenhagen, DEN Jazz House
Thu 09/25/08 Skerninge, DEN Giant Steps
Fri 09/26/08 Goteborg, SWE Nefertiti
Sat 09/27/08 Stockholm, SWE Fasching Jazz Club
Sun 09/28/08 Helsingborg, SWE Dunkers Kulturhus
Sat 10/04/08 Falmouth, MA TBA
Wed 10/22/08 Rio de Janeiro, BRZ Marina del Gloria
Fri 10/24/08 Sao Paulo, BRZ Auditorio Do Ibirapuera


Unkle Bob – June 13 @ The Rivoli… yes Bob is your uncle

Unkle Bob – June 13 @ The Rivoli… yes Bob is your uncle

In amongst the manufactured pop drivel, the excitable indier-than-thou new Smiths-elects and the R&B sound-a-likes, you too may have had the good fortune to have stumbled upon something quite special. Enter Unkle Bob – a UK band smacking of classic pop sensibilities, contemporaneous melodies, and immediate melodrama.

Their debut LP ‘Sugar and Spite’ (2006) received critical acclaim and the momentum has landed them sync spots in Grey’s Anatomy, CSI Miami, and most recently in the film What Happens In Vegas. Boasting over 50,000 downloads on itunes, they’ve also entered the Billboard 100 singles chart, and have that uncanny knack of sounding like they’ve been hanging around in your record collection your whole life.

June 13th Unkle Bob will be performing at 10pm at The Rivoli as part of NXNE. With a live performance spanning emotional melodic rock tracks to big and broody anthems, they’ve drawn flattering comparisons from early REM to Prefab Sprout and Radiohead.

Check out music/info/good stuff here: and

press releases reviews



Founding member of Kyuss and drummer of Fu Manchu, Brant Bjork has returned with his sixth solo release to date. Tomorrow, May 13th marks the release of ‘Punk Rock Guilt’ – a 100% analog recording and a clear expression of a no-bullshit rock record. An independent artist with no shame and a keen sense of humor, Brant took the term “punk rock guilt” and simply let it represent his personal rock-n-roll freedom. “This record is the shit…and it was worth the wait…for me and you.”

Recorded and produced by long time friend, Dave Raphael, both agreed that the sonic direction of the recording should be full-on rock. The session began with a hand full of riffs, an arsenal of premium tequilas and whiskies, as well as other creative condiments.

‘Punk Rock Guilt’ features Brant in classic session style – performing all instrumentation on the spot and arranging 90% of the songs while in the studio. Upon mastering the recording, the highly respected engineer, Dave Collins, expressed that the record sounded like it was recorded in 1971. For both Brant and Dave, mission accomplished!

As a philosophy, artistically and otherwise, Brant Bjork has always stayed true to his punk rock roots as the corner stone of his creative energy. “To do your own thing, your own way, for your own reasons.”

Stay tuned for info on Brant’s live dates surrounding NXNE.