Tag: Bowery Ballroom

Jose James is a Minneapolis, MN-born singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer, who has spent his career bouncing around genres and styles at will: he spent a decade reshaping jazz with the genre-blurring verve of a crate-digging beat guru — and while receiving accolades for his early work, became a solo R&B star. Interestingly, after spending the past couple of years recording and touring with Bill Withers‘ legendary songbook for the Lean on Me project, the critically applauded singer/songwriter guitarist and producer returns to his own original work with the forthcoming release of the highly-anticipated No Beginning No End 2, the follow up — and sequel — to his critically applauded 2013 effort, No Beginning No End, an effort that featured a crowd-pleasing eclecticism.

Of course several things have changed since the release of No Beginning No End. The highly-anticipated follow up and sequel is James’ first release on his own Rainbow Blonde Records, an independent record label, multi-disciplinary collective and open-spirited community founded by Talia Billig, Brian Bender and James on a few simple principles:

  • it’s run by artists for artists,
  • it’s a one-stop shop with a superstar in-house crew,
  • music is culture — not product
  • none of it works if you’re not having fun doing it

Deeply inspired by Janelle Monae‘s Wondaland Arts Society,Flying LotusBrainfeeder and Solange’s Saint Heron, Rainbow Blonde is space designed to allow artists to be creative without feeling inundated or pressured by the confines of big business. As for the album’s material, it features an eclectic and impressive cast of collaborators including Laura Mvula, Aloe Blacc, Ledisi, Lizz Wright, Erik Truffaz, Hindi Zahra and more paired with a backing band which featured Brett Williams, Kris Bowers, and Takeshi Ohbayashi playing keys; Marcus Machado, Alan Hampton and album co-producer Brian Bender playing guitar; Ben williams on bass; Quetzal‘s Alberto Lopez. Reportedly, the end result is some of the warmest and most defined material James has written and released — that also manages to draw on the Afro-Latin tinged sounds of 70s soul.

Late last year, I wrote about No Beginning No End 2‘s first single, the strutting “Turn Me Up.” Featuring a guest spot from Aloe Blacc, the track was centered round a warm, classic soul-inspired arrangement twinkling keys, a sinuous bass line, copious amount of congo, twinkling and arpeggiated keys, funky bursts of guitar and an infectious hook. Interestingly, while balancing ambitious songwriting and deliberate attention to craft while nodding at Simply Bill-era Bill Withers, Heatwave, Stevie Wonder and others. “You Know What It Do,” No Beginning No End 2‘s second and latest single is a mischievous and joyful strut, centered around strummed acoustic guitar, a sinuous bass line and an infectious hook. And much like its predecessor, the song finds James and his backing band balancing craft with a free-flowing, jam-like vibe.

James will be embarking on a tour to build up buzz and then support No Beginning No End 2 and the tour includes a March 25, 2020 stop at Bowery Ballroom. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates
2/12: Tokyo, JP @ Billboard Live
2/14: Osaka, JP @ Billboard Live
3/21: Denver, CO @ Dazzle Jazz
3/22: Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room
3/25: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
3/27: Washington, DC @ The Hamilton Live
5/7: Evanston, IL @ SPACE
5/8-9: Minneapolis, MN @ Dakota

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Jose James is a Minneapolis, MN-born singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer, who has spent his career bouncing around genres and styles at will: he spent a decade reshaping jazz with the genre-blurring verve of a crate-digging beat guru — and while receiving accolades for his early work, became a solo R&B star. Interestingly, after spending the past couple of years recording and touring with Bill Withers‘ legendary songbook for the Lean on Me project, the critically applauded singer/songwriter guitarist and producer returns to his own original work with the forthcoming release of the highly-anticipated No Beginning No End 2, the follow up — and sequel — to his critically applauded 2013 effort, No Beginning No End, an effort that featured a crowd-pleasing eclecticism.

Of course several things have changed since the release of No Beginning No End. The highly-anticipated follow up and sequel is James’ first release on his own Rainbow Blonde Records, an independent record label, multi-disciplinary collective and open-spirited community founded by Talia Billig, Brian Bender and James on a few simple principles:

  • it’s run by artists for artists,
  • it’s a one-stop shop with a superstar in-house crew,
  • music is culture — not product
  • none of it works if you’re not having fun doing it

Deeply inspired by Janelle Monae‘s Wondaland Arts Society,Flying LotusBrainfeeder and Solange’s Saint Heron, Rainbow Blonde is space designed to allow artists to be creative without feeling inundated or pressured by the confines of big business. As for the album’s material, it features an eclectic and impressive cast of collaborators including Laura Mvula, Aloe Blacc, Ledisi, Lizz Wright, Erik Truffaz, Hindi Zahra and more paired with a backing band which featured Brett Williams, Kris Bowers, and Takeshi Ohbayashi playing keys; Marcus Machado, Alan Hampton and album co-producer Brian Bender playing guitar; Ben williams on bass; Quetzal‘s Alberto Lopez. Reportedly, the end result is some of the warmest and most defined material James has written and released — that also manages to draw on the Afro-Latin tinged sounds of 70s soul.

No Beginning No End 2‘s first single is the strutting “Turn Me Up.” Centered around a warm, classic soul-inspired arrangement featuring twinkling keys, a sinuous bass line, copious amount of congo, twinkling, arpeggiated keys, funky bursts of guitar, effortlessly soulful vocals from James and Aloe Blacc and an infectious hook the song manages to balance ambition and craft with a jam-like vibe, while nodding at Simply Bill-era Bill Withers, Heatwave, Stevie Wonder and others.

James will be embarking on a tour to build up buzz and then support No Beginning No End 2 and the tour includes a March 25, 2020 stop at Bowery Ballroom. Check out the tour dates below.

2020 Tour Dates
2/12: Tokyo, JP @ Billboard Live
2/14: Osaka, JP @ Billboard Live
3/21: Denver, CO @ Dazzle Jazz
3/22: Los Angeles, CA @ Lodge Room
3/25: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
3/27: Washington, DC @ The Hamilton Live
5/7: Evanston, IL @ SPACE
5/8-9: Minneapolis, MN @ Dakota

 

New Audio: Vancouver Sleep Clinic Releases a Gorgeous Acoustic Meditation on Perseverance

The Brisbane, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, electronic music producer and ambient electronic music artist Tim Bettinson is the creative mastermind behind the Brisbane-based recording project Vancouver Sleep Clinic. When Bettinson was just 17-year-old, he rose to international acclaim with the release of his debut EP Winter in 2014. After spending several years of major label purgatory and a concerted effort on his part to reclaim his music for himself, Bettison will be releasing his highly-anticipated sophomore Vancouver Sleep Clinic album Onward to Zion on October 18, 2019. 

Written in Bali, during a period of isolation last fall, Onward to Zion’s material is a decided and purposeful departure from the electronic driven sound and song construction — with Bettison writing much of the album on a $100 nylon guitar bought at one of Bali’s only music stores. “I’d started getting used to making three-and-half-minute songs with a beat and a hook-but the thing is that I don’t really come from making beats,” Bettinson explains in press notes. “I used to busk: that’s where I came from. The whole direction of this album changed for me once I realized I wanted to put the focus back on guitar again.”

Despite the seemingly simplicity of its origins, Bettinson’s sophomore Vancouver Sleep Clinic album is centered around a distinctly collagic sonic palette, encompassing a wide variety of things including ethereal atmospherics, psychedelic synth tones and hazy samples of 60s jazz-pop records. Along with that, the material represents a deliberate tonal shift from last year’s Therapy 1 EP and Therapy 2 EP.  “The Therapy songs mostly came from a place of frustration-just me complaining about the situation I was in back then,” says Bettinson. “When I sat down to think about the new album, I realized I don’t want my discography to reflect bitterness: I want to put something positive into the world. So even though it’s got some darkness, and it’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster at times, the album is very much coming from a place of love. I’d love for it to leave people feeling re-energized, and ready to just keep pressing on in their own lives.”

“Fever,” Onward to Zion’s third and final single is a gorgeous yet contemplative track centered around shimmering, strummed guitar and Bettinson’s sweetly plaintive vocals. While bearing a bit of a sonic resemblance to Parachutes-era Coldplay, the new single is a decidedly upbeat song focusing on perseverance and survival, ultimately saying that it’s okay to rely on others in your times of need. 

“‘Fever’ is the last song I wrote for Onwards to Zion and the final single to come out,” Bettinson says in press notes. “The timing feels special because ‘Fever’ really embodies the theme of perseverance from across the album and is written for the amazing people in my life that have inspired me and continue to help me press on in this journey.”

I’ve written quite a bit about the Newcastle, UK-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Sam Fender over the past 12-15 months or so. And in that same period, the rapidly rising British singer/songwriter and guitarist has received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for crafting rousingly anthemic, arena rock-like material with a broad focus on hard-hitting social issues — while also drawing from his own experiences growing up in Northeastern England.

This year may be a breakthrough year for the Newcastle-born and-based JOVM mainstay. His highly-anticipated full-length debut Hypersonic Missiles is slated for a September 13, 2019 relates through Interscope Records. Recorded and produced at Fender’s self-built North Shields-based warehouse studio, with longtime friend, producer and collaborator Bramwell Bronte, the album is reportedly fueled by Fender’s long-held belief that great guitar music with enormous hooks still has the power to influence people and change lives — and to even better themselves and change the world.

Hypersonic Missiles last official single “The Borders” continues an incredible run of pop anthems. While being slickly produced, the track is centered around deeply heartfelt and earnest songwriting and singing, shimmering guitars, a soulful horn solo, arpeggiated synths and an enormous, arena rock friendly hook. And while sonically the song is essentially one part Born in the USA-era Bruce Springsteen, one part Reckless-era Bryan Adams and Billy Idol and Rebel Yell-era Billy Idol, the song’s narrator tells a story about two boys growing up together as best friends and brothers-in-arms but who then go their separate ways. Throughout there are memories inferred and implied but not completely addressed, the wistful and halcyon-tinged nostalgia of people, places and times you can never get back. It’s a track that’s both personal and lived-in, yet universal and anthemic — and to hear that from a songwriter as young as Fender is a rare gift.

Fender will be embarking on a roughly month-long tour of the States. The tour will include an October 17, 2019 stop at The Bowery Ballroom. I saw Fender earlier this year at Rough Trade, and I can tell you that if he’s in your town, you should catch him. The guy is gonna blow up.

Tour Dates:
September 25 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile Cafe
September 26 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
September 28 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
September 30 – West Hollywood, CA – Troubadour
October 3 – Dallas, TX – Dada
October 4 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
October 6 – Denver, CO – Globe Hall
October 8 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Cafe
October 10 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
October 12 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern
October 14 – Montreal, QC – L’Astral
October 15 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
October 17 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
October 19 – Harrisburg, PA – Harrisburg University
October 20 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
November 22 – Academy, Manchester SOLD OUT
November 23 – Guild of Students, Liverpool SOLD OUT
November 26 – Rock City, Nottingham SOLD OUT
November 27 – O2 Academy, Glasgow SOLD OUT
November 28 – O2 Academy, Leeds SOLD OUT
 November 30 – Dome, Brighton SOLD OUT
December 1 – O2 Academy, Bournemouth SOLD OUT
December 3 – Pavilions, Plymouth
December 4 – O2 Academy, Bristol SOLD OUT
December 5 – O2 Academy, Birmingham SOLD OUT
December 7 – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
December 8 – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
December 10 – O2 Academy Brixton, London SOLD OUT
December 11 – O2 Academy Brixton, London
December 13 – Great Hall, Cardiff SOLD OUT
December 16 – Dublin, Olympia SOLD OUT
December 17 – Ulster Hall, Belfast SOLD OUT
December 19 – O2 Academy, Sheffield SOLD OUT
December 21 – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT
December 22 – O2 Academy, Newcastle SOLD OUT