Tag: Cold War Kids

Preview: SummerStage 2017

Back in 1986, the City Parks Foundation created SummerStage in the spirt of Central Park’s original purpose — to serve as a free, public resource to help culturally enrich the lives of New Yorkers through live concerts, dance performances, and other cultural events.  And the festival’s first few years revealed relatively humble beginnings as its first few years of live programming were at Central Park’s Naumberg Bandshell; however, with artists such as Sun Ra Arkestra and legendary South African vocal act Ladysmith Black Mambazo and an impressive list of others playing those first few years, Summerstage, SummerStage quickly developed a reputation for presenting one of the most diverse array of artists across a variety of cultures, genres and styles — and they’ve continued to do so throughout its 30 plus year history. Over the past handful of years, SummerStage’s organizers have expanded the festival beyond Manhattan with shows hosted in parks, bandshells and and makeshift stages across the city’s other five boroughs, and from covering the festival throughout most of the history of site, it’s a wonderful afternoon or evening with your friends and neighbors; plus, there’s nothing like catching acts that keep you in touch with your inner child.

2017’s SummerStage season will begin in earnest on June 3rd with the legendary and imitable Mavis Staples, a national fucking treasure if you ask me, with contemporary blues artist Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely Good Music to round out a night of soul, gospel and blues at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield. And the rest of the lineup for his year continues an incredible run of must-see acts. Some other highlights will include:

And of course, there are a handful of benefit shows presented by The Bowery Presents at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield to help support City Parks Foundation’s continuing efforts to present free arts programming to New Yorkers and that lineup is equally impressive.

SummerStage will also be expanding its family-friendly pre-show workshop offerings this year to include dance classes, beatboxing lessons and introductions to DJing and Latin percussion. These interactive workshops will take place prior to elect SummerStage shows throughout the summer and all ages are encouraged to come out to your local park to participate. This year, the pre-show workshops will being with a DJ lesson from Scratch DJ Academy and a beatboxing tutorial with beatboxer Exacto before Digable Planets’ Coffey Park show — and other workshops will include salsa dance lessons in St. Mary’s Park and a poetry class in Marcus Garvey Park.

For more information and schedules check out SummerStage here: http://www.cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage/

Featuring core members, founder and creative mastermind Isaac Flynn (vocals), who comes from a family of musicians and whose parents own Lawrence, KS‘ well-regarded guitar store, Mass Street Music; Eric Davis (keys, synths) and Garrett Childers (guitar, vocals), the Kansas City-based indie rock act Hembree received regional and national attention with the release of “Can’t Run Forever,” a shimmering and slickly produced, dance-floor friendly track that simultaneously nods at 80s New Wave, St. Lucia, and Interpol simultaneously.

Building upon the success of “Can’t Run Forever,” a track that has seen as of this post, over 500,000 Spotify and YouTube streams, the members of the Kansas City-based band went to record new material at Los Angeles-based Sunset Sound Studios with Chris Coady, who has worked with Beach House, Future Islands and Yeah Yeah Yeahs; but when Flynn returned home to Kansas City, he decided that those sessions should be tabled, and that it was time for the band to take a much different approach. “After ‘Can’t Run Forever’ came out, I was feeling the pressure to make our second single bigger and better, and found myself putting limitations on my writing,” Flynn explained in press notes.. “After being frustrated for several months, I decided to record whatever I want; just let it all pour out.” And with that mindset, Flynn, his bandmates Davis and Childers recorded their latest single “Holy Water,” with Foreign Fields’ Eric Hillman contributing additional production and Joe Visciano, who has worked with The Kills, Jamie xx and Beck mixing the proceedings.

“Holy Water” is a decided change in sound, as the swaggering and propulsive track nods at Kasabian and Primal Scream as the band pairs an an arena rock and dance floor-friendly hook with a slick production featuring layers of undulating synths, twinkling keys, enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats with a “we’re ready to take over the world right this fucking moment” feel. Interestingly, part of the song’s anthemic nature stems from the song’s overwhelmingly positive message. As Flynn says of the song, “The song started with me making a conscious decision to stop letting the bad win. It was time to start embracing the obstacles and then doing my best to overcome them. I really just want to be true to myself and good to others, and I want the same for other people. Perhaps that’s the message from this song.” Certainly, considering how maddening and dire everything seems on a daily basis, any positive message seems desperately necessary.  Unsurprisingly, since the single’s release at the end of last year, the song has seen regular rotation on 10 Midwestern radio markets including Columbus, OH; St. Louis, MO; and the Kansas City area — and the track has seen over 250,000 Spotify steams as of this writing.

 

 

The band will be going on a run of tour dates in the Midwest, with the first show of the tour, finding the band opening for Cold War Kids. Check out the tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
3/25 Columbus, Express Live
3/27 Omaha, Reverb
3/28 Iowa City, The Mill
3/29 Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews
3/30 St. Louis, Blueberry Hill
4/24 Omaha, Reverb
4/25 Davenport IA, Raccoon Motel
4/26 Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews
4/27 St. Louis, Blueberry Hill
4/28 Kansas City, Record Bar
4/29 Columbia MO, Rose Music Hall

New Video: The Swooning and Heartbreaking Visuals of From Indian Lake’s “Blank Tapes”

Joey Vannucchi is an Indian Lakes, CA-bssed singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose solo recording project From Indian Lakes derives its name from the small community near Yosemite National Park where he grew up on 40 acres of land with virtually no electricity, aside from a sparely used generator. His latest effort Everything Feels Better Now can trace its origins to when Vannucchi recorded the skeletons of tracks for the album in the cheaply rented basement of a coffeeshop. He then traveled to Fairfax Studios in Los Angeles, where producer Kevin Augunus, who has worked with Delta Spirit and Cold War Kids and and engineer Gavin Paddock assisted Vannucchi in slowly stripping way tracks that needed to be replaced from the basement and home studio recordings and fleshing out material where necessary.

As for the completed album, it was released earlier this year to critical praise from the likes of Consequence of Sound and NPR Music for the “rawness of its emotions” and its “moody indie rock songs that look to the terse internal monologues of Now, Now and the atmospheric pop of Mew.” Vannucchi’s latest single “Blank Tapes” consists of lushly chiming and shimmering guitar chords, propulsive and rolling drumming and anthemic hook paired with Vannucchi’s plaintive falsetto vocals — and while the comparisons to Now, Now and Mew seem sensible to me, it doesn’t quite capture the swooning Romanticism at the core of the song or the fact that sonically speaking that this particular single manages to nod at both Silversun Pickups and classic shoegaze.

Directed by Joshua Hailing, the recently released video for “Blank Tapes” follows two young lovers and captures the ecstatic joy and heartbreaking agony of a relationship, and in some way the video is meant to be an allegory for more than the typical ups and downs of young love — hell, of any love, really. “I wanted to create an isolated world,” Hailing explains in press notes. “Everyone has their own ‘Sarah,” he continues. “They find themselves in this euphoric site with the idea of either someone, something or themselves. We become intoxicated with this image of how we wish things could be, and use it as a scapegoat to hide away from our own confusion, frustrations and denial.” And the video subtly reminds the viewer that love can often be a heartbreaking and confusing business, resulting in the endlessly lingering ghosts of our lives.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays White Lung Return with an Anthemic, Radio-Friendly, Power Chord-based New Single and Trippy Visuals

“Sister,” the latest single off Paradise will further cement the trio’s reputation for urgent, anthemic hook-laden, power chord-based rock paired with some of the band’s most incisive and probing lyrics to date. Sure, the song may possess a radio-friendly, studio polish but it’s still as forceful as ever. Interestingly, the recently released video was directed by Justin Gradin, who also directed the video for “Hungry,” and the video features a desperate man’s attempt at finding love with two beautiful strangers. As Gradin explains in press notes “In a lonely world a man seeks to find love through his telephone. He discovers two women with whom he becomes obsessed with from their captivating and elegant conversations. In the end, these two women’s thrilling lives and escalating partying leave the man feeling isolated and rejected again.It’s basically a 90s chat line commercial on PCP.”

New Audio: White Lung’s Radio-Friendly, Kick Ass New Single Reveals a Subtle Refinement and Modernization of Their Sound

http://cache.vevo.com/assets/html/embed.html?video=GBCEL1500766&autoplay=0 With the release of their first three full-length albums, Vancouver, BC-based trio White Lung — comprised of Mish Barber-Way (vocals), Kenneth William (guitar) and Anne-Marie Vassilou (drums) — have seen a growing profile across the blogosphere for a […]

Initially begun as the solo recording project of Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jake Hays, Maudlin Strangers over the last year has expanded to a quartet featuring Hays, along with Jeff Lehrer (keys, guitar), Kenneth Benson (bass) and Richie McPherson (drums) for live shows.

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the better part of the past year, you may recall that I wrote about Hays’ single “Stay Young” off his EP Overdose, and similarly to Big Data, Hays’ sound doesn’t have the prototypical lo-fi sound you’d expect from most bedroom-based indie rock producers; in fact, “Stay Young” revealed a slick and densely layered production style that buzzed with an anxious urgency in a song that was reminiscent to MGMT’Oracular Spectacular – but much darker. And as a result, Hays has seen his profile rise nationally as he’s tour with Bad Suns over the winter, and is currently touring with Cold War Kids. (You can check out the remaining tour dates below.)

Hays’ latest single “Sunny Day Rain” will further cement his reputation for a slickly produced sound comprised of cascading synths, sinuous bass lines, four-on-the-floor drums and sensually cooed vocals and anthemic hooks to create a sound that’s shimmering enough to be dance-floor ready — and yet under the surface there’s something murkier and ominous.

Tour Dates

1/10/15 – Fitzgerald’s Downstairs – Houston, TX #
11/11/15 – The Sidewinder – Austin, TX #
11/12/15 – Dada – Dallas, TX #
11/15/15 – Pub Rock – Phoenix, AZ #  With Strange Names #

Supporting Cold War Kids *

Comprised of Darren Weiss (vocals and drums) and Danny Present (bass), the Los Angeles-based duo of Papa have been playing music in a variety of bands and projects since they were 11.  The duo have spent the past couple building up a national profile as they’ve toured the country’s major festival circuit, and have opened for the likes of Cold War Kids, Of Monsters and Men, Girls, Handsome Furs, and Florence and the Machine, among others and after an incredibly busy schedule, the duo went into the studio and began working on material that reportedly is a change in sonic direction that was largely influenced by the experiences they’ve had over that period , playing half-filled clubs to sold-out amphitheaters, self-releasing material and having major label support and back again.

Weiss and Presant’s latest single “Hold On” is the first original material they’ve released since the release of their 2013 full-length effort, Tender Madness and the single is a funky track with a propulsive rhythm, soaring hooks paired with urgently sung lyrics to craft a song that feels anthemic and club-ready while possessing a direct, intimate emotionality. It’s radio friendly pop that feels and sounds carefully and thoughtfully crafted while possessing an upbeat, swagger.

Weiss and Present will be embarking on a short West Coast tour over the later part of the fall. Check out the tour dates below.
Tour Date: 
Nov 27  – The Echoplex  Los Angeles, CA
Dec 1 – The Chapel  San Francisco, CA
Dec 2 – Don Quixotes  Santa Cruz, CA
Dec 6 – Constellation Room   Santa Ana, CA
Dec 9 – The Casbah    San Diego, CA
Dec 10 –  Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ