Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hey Rosetta!

Momentum keeps building for Hey Rosetta!, one of the most talented bands on Canada's independent music scene. With a solid run on the national campus charts, critical praise across the board and a successful album release and tour in tow, Hey Rosetta! were honoured again with the prize for Best Album at the 2008 XM Verge Awards in Toronto.

After they rock POP Montreal, the band are heading down to New York for CMJ and then setting out on a series of consecutive tours across Canada with Stars, Two Hours Traffic, and Hawksley Workman this fall.

Riding on the waves of their acclaimed live show and 2007's "Plan Your Escape" EP, Hey Rosetta! surge forward with "Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood)".

Based in St. John's, NL, the six-piece group is comprised of Tim Baker (vocals/piano/guitar), Adam Hogan (guitar), Josh Ward (bass), Phil Maloney (drums), Kinley Dowling (violin), and Romesh Thavanathan (cello).

Recorded in the dead of winter in two East Coast harbour towns with producer and singer-songwriter Hawksley Workman, "Into Your Lungs" began with a beautiful naivety and confidence. An "off the stage" feel and vigor reminiscent of the bands powerful live performances rooted the recording sessions and everything was bred from and expanded from there. Conceptually, the new record is a shift from Tim's earlier compositions often written in isolation within his bedroom, to a new depth and space that comes from experiencing life on the road as a touring band. The new record packs more grit while allowing the bands infectious energy and vulnerability to flow freely. Highly Recommended!

Hey Rosetta! - New Goodbye
Hey Rosetta! - There's An Arc
Hey Rosetta! - I've Been Asleep For A Long Long Time
Hey Rosetta @ MySpace

Hey Rosetta! - Yes ! Yes! Yes!

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Dancer Vs. Politician

Dancer Vs. Politician is the musical project of German native Sanni Baumgaertner. She moved to Athens, Georgia in the late 90s, where she started performing in different bands around the Southeast. She plays accordion, guitar, and musical saw. Her lyrics are in German and English.

After traveling back and forth between Athens and Berlin for the last three years and playing shows in the US and Germany with bands in both places, Dancer Vs. Politician is getting ready to tour the US this fall. She is bringing a three-piece backing band, featuring keyboards, samples, glockenspiel, viola, drums, and bass.

Produced by Matt Yelton (The Pixies, Frank Black), Andy Baker (The Glands, Azure Ray, Shannon Wright), and Sanni herself, the album A City Half-Lost features a number of Athens and Berlin musicians. The players include members of Phosphorescent, The Olivia Tremor Control, The Glands, and Five-Eight. It was recorded over a period of two years in Athens, Georgia, and Berlin, Germany. Stomp And Stammer calls it “…a wondrous masterpiece, like a Nico album performed by ghosts and angels. Find it, buy it.” (April 2007).

Of of the tracks on the album, the Nikki Sudden song "Ratcliffe Highway" is featured on the Nikki Sudden tribute album "Suddenly Yours" on Sunthunder Records (Spain). Sanni Baumgärtner also appears on Nikki Sudden's last album The Truth Doesn't Matter and has recorded with Vic Chesnutt, Bill Doss (Apples in Stereo, The Olivia Tremor Control), and Jeffrey Butzer (Lona Records). Recommended!

Dancer Vs. Politician - Mach Dich Los
Dancer Vs. Politician - Justin Fairborn
Dancer Vs. Politician @ MySpace

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Old School Tie

Five years ago two pairs of brothers didn’t so much converge as collide somewhere outside of Wiltshire, before relocating to Birmingham and beginning their journey as Old School Tie.

Evolving from an instrumental tempest to a Birmingham basement-roving bottle band, Old School Tie are now ready to lay siege to venues further afield than their native West Midlands home with a string of dates in October / November to support their self-released debut mini-album ‘Mystery Sound Playground’ which is out on the 29th of September.

The album tells tales of greedy explorers, lost faith in love, corruption, and peace of mind in the modern world. Musically the band have recently added vocals in to the mix transforming their epic swathes of sound into a new mature and confident beast.

Live, the band have literally exploded onto the Birmingham scene, once turning the final 20 minutes of their set into a drum and bass freestyle after an unfortunate power cut disabled their trusty keyboard. OST have had the privilege of supporting one of their favourite bands Oceansize, who they cite as a key influence to the music they make, and have also supported The Infadels and, more recently The Anomalies. Recommended!

Old School Tie - Fireflies
Old School Tie @ MySpace

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Thursday, September 18, 2008


Enigmatic musician, author, designer, educator, and filmmaker KiNo is pleased to announce the release of his debut LP, Map of the Universe, on Sept. 16, 2008! To be accompanied by a book and a movie, Map of the Universe is a diverse, multi-layered pop album with touches of psych and loads of bravado. In addition to the album's release, KiNo is working on setting up a "virtual tour", eschewing live venues for internet ones. He will be performing on different days at different blogs in a "tour" of the blogosphere, using the power of his KiNo TV forum.

Born in 1980 Ankara, Turkey at the same hospital as Joe Strummer to English and Turk parents, KiNo grew up in North London, where he was eventually educated in film studies in college. He moved to New York in 2001.

Map of the Universe is comprised of an album, a book and a future feature film. It is centered around the iconographic character "9" who discovers the ancient map of the universe.

The fusion of cinema, music and literature through anarchism form the riches of KiNo's inspiration that accounts for the epic, extravagant and innovative stature of the Map of the Universe as an album. In this musical project, KiNo's collaborator is the highly respected sonic wizard/producer Jeff Blenkinsopp; the inventor of cutting-edge analog equipments. He has developed his unique production techniques while working with the world's leading artists over the years including; Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, The Clash, Kate Bush, T-Rex, Ian Dury and Vangelis among many others. The album features 11 songs written, performed and engineered by KiNo. He plays all instruments (except drums, percussions, and horns) and sings. Produced by Jeff Blenkinsopp & KiNo.

KiNo is the founder of the charity organization, Revolution of the Mind, connected to the concept Map of the Universe project, which aims to construct a super-language for the basis of education with emotional intelligence. Recommended!

KiNo - Won't Do
KiNo - Vainglorious
KiNo @ MySpace
KiNo @ BlipTV

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Four years after their critically acclaimed debut, “From Gutter With Love,” Pidgeon returns with “Might As Well Go Eat Worms”. While the title evokes the whimsies of a children's poem, it is nonetheless a nice way of saying that if you're all alone, you're probably better off dead. Two and a half years have elapsed since the album was recorded, during which time the band clawed its way through a hailstorm of personal strife and classic human drama that might tear a lesser band apart. The survivability of the animal to which Pidgeon's name bears a sonic resemblance reflects the band’s continual drawing of breath after impossible breath from the great iron lung that churns, rattles, and brings life to the noises they make together.

“Might As Well Go Eat Worms” exposes a heart crippled by grief and leads the listener through the arc of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance derived from Freud’s work. But Freud’s dry, archaic analysis is so linear, and the process of healing so seldom yields to tracks placed in its path. Old wounds tear open, raw, bubbling, furious, crimson.

The album opens on this theme with the unrelenting intro to “Worms”. Micah’s scream is elemental, resounding in anguish, fear, and regret. Is it the cry of a broken heart or does the individual experience extend to encompass broken lands? Gentility or genocide? Can the loss of love be weighed against the loss of lives? The answer lurks in the shadows of grief.

“Kafka Does His Shopping From Home” explodes with anger from the first strike of a pick upon six sullen strings. Misery eclipses happiness, then rage submits to despondency. Is it the end of love or the end of the world? Bargaining features heavily in “Spike + Julia 4-Eva,” (a tribute to one of the greatest love stories ever told between a twice-dead bounty hunter and a somber mafiosa), and “The Valentine’s Day Massacre” (a tribute to the important parts of a roller coaster). You can’t have everything you want, and you can't want everything you have. Hopelessness permeates “Could Be The Last Time” and “Orcish Pleasure,” heralding the end of everything, be it of a world at the hands of an inept global figurehead or the end of a romance. Yet, the silvery strains of “Helpless,” suggest resolution. Suffering culminates in redemption. The claws retract. And just as the album idles to a graceful end, “Hail to the Coke Nose” erupts in renewed fury.

The emotional evolution captured in “Might As Well Go Eat Worms” is revealing of Pidgeon’s musical evolution over the past four years. Buoyed by the brilliancy of engineer, Aaron Prellwitz, (Death Cab, The Mountain Goats, Sun Kil Moon, Deerhoof), the band ascends to new heights. Micah’s screams are like hooked blades, drawing you in only to leave you eviscerated. Val’s voice conveys a confidence and depth only hinted at before. The contrast between Micah and Val’s vocals remains Pidgeon’s strongest dynamic ploy, but the band’s overall sound rages with more breadth, more weight, and more ferocity. Still a half-starved, rabid animal, but a more cunning, heavily-armed, half-starved rabid animal. Don't turn your back on them. They will kill you. Recommended!

Pidgeon - California (Is For Fuckers)
Pidgeon - Sterlnikov
Pidgeon @ MySpace

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Hot Lava

There’s a new brand of weird pop music bubbling up around the east coast these days and Hot Lava are right in the thick of the flow. Deejay Dan Deacon gets it. He’s putting Hot Lava on a split single on the Baltimore-based Wham City label. Calliope Kurtz understands. “This is pink tambourine utopia!” she enthuses at Perfect Sound Forever, waxing poetic about Hot Lava’s “digital basement bling” and “under the charm killer songwriting. …Polaroids from teen eternity.”

It’s been 3 years of countless laughs and quite a few line-up changes, Richmond, Virginia's Hot Lava, comprised of Allison Apperson, Jared Sosa, Andrew Mowe and Matt Deans, are finally ready to heat things up. Their multi-layered debut album, Lavalogy, is a unique, conceptual adventure that plays like the musical companion to a satirical and subversive graphic novel.

There is no denying the band's love-affair with 90's indie-pop or their 60's inspired sensibilities, but Hot Lava's music goes beyond celebrating the past, it gazes into the future with a wide-eye and an endearing, off-beat sense of humor. Whether lead singer Allison Apperson is romanticizing about a spinach-eating blue dragon, or wrestling with technology (Apple+Option+Fire), she and the rest of the boys are focused on smothering their catchy pop vignettes with candy-coated melodies and infectious hooks that are guaranteed to get your temperature rising.

The Lava crew started out as art school buddies, Allison was design focused, Jared and Andrew did film and Matt did illustration and design. Their background had them playing in galleries and underground warehouse parties. The local club scene was a little more problematic where it was hard to find bands that shared their sensibility. At one point Allison with other friends and Lavas started a Pretenders tribute band called the Pretend Pretenders. (check out their take on “Kid” at walrusmusicblog.com)

>” When we started playing live in late 2006, we didn't really have a niche. We played with a lot of local bands, but there wasn't a lot of chemistry at times,” explains Allison “We started playing shows with out of town bands (The Videohippos, The SadCobras) a couple months later and realized that we were all pretty like minded folks. We've all networked a little now, and we’re part of a community that sort of spans up and down the East Coast. We're all friends of friends of friends and fans of each other's music The internet has sort of fueled a new weird music revolution that's happening right now.”

Bar None is proud to officially release Hot Lava’s Lavalogy. Ten great songs that are guaranteed to slowly ooze their way through your cranium. Hot stuff indeed. Highly Recommended!

Hot Lava - Apple+Option+Fire
Hot Lava - Resolutions '08
Hot Lava @ MySpace

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Thursday, September 11, 2008


The quartet known as Mumpsy all seem to gravitate towards the melodies of early and mid-sixties Brit Pop bands. Punk expression lends itself via the Misfits and the Stooges, and that's what adds to the excitement of seeing Mumpsy play. Melody and harmonies are abound, yet they are delivered in a swirl of madness and energy.

With the release of their 2005 debut LP, "The Exuberance of Peachtree," Mumpsy positioned themselves with the likes of early Of Montreal and lo-fi charm. In 2007, the EP "3 People" was met with universal critical acclaim. They performed at CineVegas 07 for the "Ocean's 13" after party at the Stratosphere Hotel in June 2007 after a national outing in May billed as the "3 Bands in One Van" tour. Since their incept, Mumpsy has logged over 130 shows, and the list keeps growing.

But the rampant critical acclaim doesn't end there. In December 2007, Mumpsy wrote and released a Christmas song for Sufjan Steven's "Great Xmas Song Xchange," it won
first place in the "Best Garage Pop" category. In March 2008 while at SXSW the band was informed they would be getting on a plane in April to headline the CMJ Collegiate Nationals Music Festival in San Diego. The event was aired nationally on CBS in May.

In fall 2008 Mumpsy will be touring to promote their new full-length LP “Cat & Canary.” This highly anticipated treasure will be the band’s third album. It is to be released nationally by Post*Records in October 2008. Recommended!

Mumpsy - Cat & Canary
Mumpsy @ MySpace

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008


After more than a decade of continuous releases, Hopewell has become an institution in the indie space rock scene. Weathering music industry collapse, stylistic shifts and near fatal personnel conflicts, the tenacious band continues to pump out genre defying music to critical acclaim. A series of releases in the late 90's brought them to Europe's festival circuit, Peel Sessions, and NME fame. The results of this pressure were nearly catastrophic for the small town band, spawned in Hopewell Jct, NY. Hospitals and institutions were employed. Hopewell rallied around the stormy Dave Fridmann produced "Hopewell & The Birds of Appetite". What followed was a period of constant touring, culminating in 2007's release of the joyful "Beautiful Targets", an album that is the sound of a band celebrating its survival. Hopewell's 5th and most ambitious work is well underway. Somehow melding Can and Roxy Music with a touch of early tribal Jane’s Addiction, the teaser, "Realms Of Gold," is being offered here by Tee Pee records. Recommended!

Hopewell - Realms Of God
Hopewell @ MySpace

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