Tag: Jack White

Tim Carr is a Marin County, California-born, Los Angeles, CA-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, who grew up within a family of musicians. Unsurprisingly, at an early age, Carr was immersed in music, and as a result, he eventually studied jazz drums at the California Institute of the Arts. After earning a BFA, Carr began working with a number of renowned and notable acts including HAIM, Julian Casablancas, Nick Cave, and Lucinda Williams, among others. Carr can also claim a stint as a member of The Americans, with whom he performed on Late Show With David Letterman. Additionally, as member of The Americans, Carr has recorded with T. Bone Burnett and was featured in the Emmy-nominated documentary American Epic (which was produced by the aforementioned T. Bone Burnett with Jack White and Robert Redford.)

As a solo artist, Carr’s work can be described as minimalist folk, inspired by African rhythms, French Romantics and 60s pop, mixed with instrumentalist melodies — and interestingly enough, his work caught the attention of Robert Redford, who featured material off Carr’s 2016 effort, The Last Day of Fighting on the soundtrack for his movie Watershed alongside material from Beck and Thom Yorke. Carr’s forthcoming EP Swing & Turn is the anticipated follow-up to The Last Day of Fighting, and the EP reportedly derives its name after the feeling of movement, with the material sonically and thematically being a dance between intimacy and independence. The EP’s latest single is the hauntingly beautiful “Take Me There,” which is centered around Carr’s plaintive and tender falsetto, shuffling rhythms, some strummed acoustic guitar and a coda that ends with a bluesy blast of electric guitar, and finds Carr balancing a balladeer/troubadour-liek introspection and thoughtfulness with a cinematic vibe. That shouldn’t be surprising as the song is focuses on the desire to escape apathy, highlighting the difficult but necessary need to either let go and fully love — or to let go of a love, and as a result, the song has a bittersweet air to it.

New Video: King Tuff Releases Surreal and Meditative Visuals for Shuffling and Cosmic Album Single “Psycho Star”

Kyle Thomas is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who’s the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded indie rock recording project King Tuff. And much like countless other musicians, Thomas grew up in a fairly musical home, where he was encouraged to play several different instruments — particularly guitar, keyboard and drums; but interestingly, it was a Fender Stratocaster that his father brought for him when he was 7 that served as a constant source of inspiration. After high school, Thomas spent his time writing songs and playing with a number of bands. “I would go on tour, but i never really took it as a serious job up until a couple years ago, when I decided to really make an effort at it. It’s been a real long, slow practice,” Thomas once publicly said. 

Thomas’ first release was a self-made CD-R distributed by Spirit of Orr Records, and the album consisted of rough version of songs, white he later released on his official debut 2008’s Was Dead, which was released through Tee Pee Records’ sister-label The Colonel; however, after not receiving much attention for his work as King Tuff, Thomas went on to other creative pursuits including stints in bands like Witch, Happy Birthday and Ty Segall’s backing band, The Muggers. Thomas’ 2012 sophomore, Bobby Harlow-produced, self-titled, full-length effort was released by Sub Pop Records and charted at #21 on Billboard’s Heatseeker Albums chart while debuting at #14 on CMJ’s charts, before eventually climbing to #2, knocking Jack White’s Blunderbuss from its top charting position. 2013 saw the re-ssiue deluxe edition of Was Dead, which charted at #8 on Billboard’s Heatseeker charts. 

Thomas’ third, full-length effort, 2014’s Black Moon Spell continued his ongoing collaboration with Bobby Harlow and featured Ty Segall as a guest drummer on the title track — and the album continued a run of critical and commercial success, with the album debuting at #1 on Billboard’s Heatseeker charts, and was once #1 on the CMJ College Radioplay chart. 

Last week, Thomas released his first single in four years, “The Other” the album title track off The Other, which is slated for an April 13, 2018 release through Sub Pop Records. And while his self-produced effort will continue his reputation for hook-driven rock, the material reportedly finds Thomas ditching the goofy, rock-‘n’-roll bacchanalia for much more expansive arrangements, a diversity of instrumentation with lyrics that also reportedly straddle the fence between painful rumination and reconnecting with the childlike and innocent aspect of yourself. Additionally, the album features guest spots from Ty Segall (drums), Jenny Lewis (vocals), Greta Morgan (vocals) and Mikal Cronin (saxophone).  And while being a decided change in sonic direction, Thomas views the album as a psychic reset of him. “I let the songs lead me where they wanted to go, instead of trying to push them into a certain zone. King Tuff was always just supposed to be me. When I started doing this as a teenager, it was whatever I wanted it to be. King Tuff was never supposed to be just one thing. It was supposed to be everything.”

“Psycho Star” is The Other’s first official single is a funky and soulful track based around an arrangement of arpeggiated keys, sinuous bass line, shuffling drums, wah wah pedal effected guitars and a disco-like hook but lyrically the song finds its narrator musing about his place in an indifferent and mysterious universe. It’s obvious that the viewpoint on the album is to look upward and outward towards the cosmic, the infinite.  

Directed by Cameron Dutra, the recently released video for “Psycho Star” is a surreal concept that follows the video’s director, King Tuff and backing dancers as they’re about to shoot their video but pulls back to focus on some of the random passerby, a roller skater lost in her music, and a paranoid truth-teller and psychic. At times, the visuals are gloriously lo-fi, nodding at VHS video and cheap car dealership commercials while at other points, being remarkably slick, as well as a mediation on life and death. 

New Audio: North Mississippi Allstars’ Explosive Yet Moody Tribute to R.L. Burnside

Comprised of Hernando, MS-based sibling duo Luther (guitar, vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, piano, synth bass, programming and vocals), the sons of renowned pianist, vocalist and producer Jim Dickinson, North Mississippi Allstars are a critically applauded, commercially successful, multi Grammy Award- nominated, Grammy Award-winning Southern fried rock/blue duo celebrated their 20th anniversary together with a national victory-lap-like tour, and reportedly along the way, the duo booked studio time in Memphis, New Orleans, their father’s studio in Hernando, MS, and about six other cities, writing, tracking and recording their recently released eighth full-length effort Prayer for Peace, an album that finds the band based around the boogie blues and fuzzy funk of their live sets and a message of positivity, inclusion, hope and the power of familial bonds.

Co-produced by Boo Mitchell, and featuring guest spots from an incredible list of friends and associates including Oteil Burbridge, who has had stints with The Allman Brothers Band and Dead & Company; Grahame Lesh, a member of Midnight North and The Terrapin Family Band, vocalist Sharisse Norman, Dominic Davis, a member of Jack White’s backing band and Shardé Thomas, vocalist/fife player and daughter of Mississippi blues legend Otha Turner, Prayer for Peace features both original and covers and will further cement the band’s reputation for celebrating the blues’ legacy and history while pushing it into new, contemporary directions; in fact, the Electric Blue Watermelon: Screwed and Chopped EP found the band meshing the classic blues sound with Houston’s screwed and chopped hip-hop movement, creating a sound that was bluesy yet lysergic.

Interestingly enough, the first single off the Grammy Award-winning duo’s eighth full-length effort is a stomping, swaggering, arena rock-friendly cover of R.L. Burnside’s “Long Haired Donkey” that features explosive slide guitar riffs played through layers upon layers of effects and a tight groove. Reportedly, the song is a nod to the duo’s early years when fellow Mississippi bluesman R.L. Burnside took them under his wing. After Burnside’s death in 2005, the duo paid homage to their friend and mentor by adding “Long Haired Donkey” to their setlists, making it a live show staple before they officially put it on wax, 15 miles west of St. Francis Hospital where Burnisde spent his last days. And as a result, the recorded version possesses a moody and spectral vibe underneath the free-flowing, you-were-there improvised feel.

Renowned, iconoclastic and deeply influential filmmaker Jim Jarmusch is best known for his independent films 1984’s Stranger Than Paradise, 1986’s Down by Law, 1989’s Mystery Train, 1995’s Dead Man, 1999’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, 2003’s Coffee and Cigarettes, which featured cameos from Bill Murray, The RZA and The GZA and others, 2005’s Broken Flowers, 2013’s Only Lovers Left Alive and 2016’s critically applauded Patterson. And as a musician and composer, Jarmusch has composed music for several films and released two albums with Jozef van Wissem, a Dutch-born, Brooklyn-based minimalist composer and late player. But along with that Jarmusch is the leader of a locally-based stoner rock trio SQÜRL, which features his colleagues/collaborators and friends Carter Logan and sound engineer Shane Stoneback. Interestingly, the members of the trio can trace its origins back to 2009 when Jarmusch, Logan and Stoneback teamed up to write and record the original score for the film The Limits of Control. Echoing the varied Spanish landscapes captured within the film, the three wound up writing and recording a slow-burning set of psych rock, initially released under the band name Bad Rabbit. Following those session and a name change to SQÜRL, the trio wrote and recorded 3 EPS of originals that explored the boundaries of country, noise and psych rock.

In 2013, the members of SQÜRL collaborated with Dutch-born, Brooklyn-based minimalist composer and lutenist Jozef Van Wissem to compose, write and record the critically applauded score for Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive; in fact, the score earned that year’s Cannes Soundtrack Award from a consortium of film and music critics, and as a result the quartet performed the material off the film at a number of festivals including that year’s inaugural All Tomorrow’s Parties Iceland, Primavera Sound, Big Ears Festival, as well as a set at Jack White‘s Third Man Records, which was recorded and released as a live album.


Jarmusch and Logan followed their work on Only Lovers with performing improvised live scores of four silent films by American Dada and Surrealist artist and filmmaker Man Ray that employed the use of looping machines, synthesizers and pedal effected guitars — and the material drifted heavily towards experimental, ambient and drone-like soundscapes. The trio officially recovered to compose and record the ambient electronic music-based score for Patterson; however, with their forthcoming EP #260 slated for release through July 14th release, the trio reveal a return to form. And as you’ll hear on the EP’s first single “The Dark Rift,” the song features a droning and buzzing power chord-based riff paired with a simple yet propulsive rhythm section, which slowly twists, turns and morphs throughout the tracks four and a half minutes — and interestingly enough, the track manages to sound as though the band had been listening to the Melvins.



Live Footage: Chicano Batman Perform “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” on Conan

Comprised of Eduardo Arenas (bass, vocals), Carlos Arévalo (guitar), Bardo Martinez (vocals, organ, guitar) and Gabriel Villa (drums, percussion), the Los Angeles, CA-based quartet Chicano Batman have developed a reputation for specializing in a sound that draws from Brazilian tropicalia, psychedelia and classic soul — and for a growing national profile, as they’ve opened for Jack White, Alabama Shakes, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Gogol Bordello and others. Adding to that, the band has played at several of the country’s biggest music festivals, including Coachella and Bonnaroo among others.

Interestingly, the band’s latest album Freedom Is Free finds the band leaning heavily towards a classic soul and classic R&B-leaning sound. And in order to achieve that goal, the band enlisted the assistance of Leon Michels, who is best known for specializing in that classic soul sound with his work with El Michels Affair, The Arcs, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Black Keys and The Menahan Street Band. Additionally, Michels has had his work sampled in songs by Jay-Z and Ghostface Killah.

“Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” is the latest single off Freedom Is Free and as you’ll hear the song draws from slow-burning, classic soul and R&B while nodding at the sound of The Who Sings My Generation and A Quick One-era The Who and The Kinks — but if they added an organist and a handful of backing vocalist. And as a result, the song consists of a soulful, old-school, shuffling two step and a deceptively simple nature, as the song lyrically and thematically speaks of the complex and complicated nature of friendship. Throughout the song, the narrator openly recognizes that while human relationships are absolutely pleasurable and necessary if they forge a deep understanding and companionship; but they can also be frequently fraught with misunderstanding, bitterness, heartache and betrayal.

Recently, the members of Chicano Batman made their national television debut with an appearance on Conan, where they played a loose and fiery version of “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm) off their latest full-length effort.

New Video: Chicano Batman Covers the Strange and Conflicting Feelings that Friendship Inspires in Their Most Soul-Leaning Song to Date

Comprised of Eduardo Arenas (bass, vocals), Carlos Arévalo (guitar), Bardo Martinez (vocals, organ, guitar) and Gabriel Villa (drums, percussion), the Los Angeles, CA-based quartet Chicano Batman have developed a reputation for specializing in a sound that draws from Brazilian tropicalia, psychedelia and classic soul and for a growing national profile, as they’ve played a number of this country’s major music festivals including Coachella and Bonnaroo, as well as opening for a number of renowned acts such as Jack White, Alabama Shakes, The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Gogol Bordello and others. However, with the band’s forthcoming album Freedom Is Free — slated for a March 3, 2017 through ATO Records — the band reportedly decided to lean heavily towards a classic soul and R&B leaning sound. And in order to achieve that goal, the band enlisted the help of Leon Michels, best known for El Michels Affair, The Arcs, has played with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Black Keys and The Menahan Street Band and has had his work sampled by Jay-Z and Ghostface Killah.

Freedom Is Free’s latest single “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)” clearly draws from slow-burning, classic soul and R&B but has a subtle bit of rock ‘n’ roll at its heart as it dimly nods at early The Who and The Kinks — if they had employed the use of soaring organ chords and backing vocalist. And as a result, the song possesses an old school, shuffling two step. Interestingly, the song lyrically and thematically speaks to the complex and complicated nature of friendship, with its narrator recognizing that human relationships while pleasurable and necessary, can frequently be fraught with bitterness and betrayal. As the band’s Bardo Martinez explains in press notes “This is a song of betrayal in the most mundane sense. It’s about the trials and tribulations of friendship but a personal reflection on the painful realities of human relationships.”

Directed by Alan Del Rio Ortiz, the recently released music video follows a series of relationships that highlight how quickly a relationship can go from being the best thing that could ever happen to you, to quickly souring and leading to some sort of betrayal — sometimes minor but quite frequently deeply heartbreaking.