Tony Simon, a/k/a Blockhead, has been making and releasing utterly distinctive, funky and emotive music for the last two decades. Blockhead grew up in downtown New York City. As the son of an artist, surrounded by visual culture, he early on found that his passion was for music, for the sonic. A fan of a whole range of sounds, especially hip-hop, Blockhead steadily built a tremendous collection of tapes and later CDs from innumerable artists, a quiet accumulation of knowledge and know-how. After a brief stint as a rapper, he realized his calling was behind the boards and not on the mic - and from there he began to produce beats. Since making that decision, he's kept pretty busy: carving a niche as a sought-after underground beatmaker that people call when they want something special. Blockhead produced nine tracks on Aesop Rock's critically acclaimed album "Labor Days." Additionally he produced half the tracks on Aesop's follow up EP, "Daylight." He has also worked with other indie giants Atmosphere, Murs, Mike Ladd and Illogic. In between, he found time to complete a break beat album entitled "Blockhead's Broke Beats," with ten hard-hitting instrumental tracks, which was released on Mush Records, the US home of cLOUDDEAD.
For more than 27 years, the NYC-based and critically acclaimed Slackers have been touring the world with their blend of Ska, Reggae, and Soul. Since the early 1990s, the Slackers have released fifteen records and countless singles while their live performances feed their fans with their energetic sets of ecstatic music. And the press agrees: Modern Vinyl says "For some bands, hitting 25 years together seems light years away. For The Slackers, it's a cause for celebration. The band is deeply rooted within the ska movement, while their self-proclaimed "Jamaican Rock n' Roll" sound sets them apart from many bands today. Other press state that the Slackers are "the best ska band in the world" (Rude International), "the pick of the US crop" (Metal Hammer), "the sound of New York' (New York Times), "is about as close to perfect as it gets" (Ink 19), and "one of the best bands in the United States" (axs.com). Their festival performances have included Punk Rock Bowling, Fest Florida, Boomtown Fair, Santa Monica Pier Twilight Concert Series, Rebellion Fest, Summerjam, Mighty Sounds, Ruhrpott Rodeo, Shamballa, Pouzza Fest, Montreal Jazz Festival, Austin Reggae Fest, Dour Fest, Lowlands, and many others. Their headline dates include venues such as a 3-night stand at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, Slim's in San Francisco, House of Blues in Anaheim, Irving Plaza in NYC, a 2 night stand at the Bell House in Brooklyn, 3-night stand at Reggie's in Chicago, and a 3-night stand at the Flamingo Cantina in Austin.
“Each record I make is more of an amalgamation of who I am,” says John Grant. “The more I do this, the more I trust myself, and the closer I get to making what I imagine in my head.”
Even when the Michigan-born man released his debut solo album Queen Of Denmark in 2010, Grant laced sumptuous soft-rock ballads with an array of spacey, wistful synthesizer sounds, increasingly adding taut, fizzing sequencers, nu-synth-disco settings and icy soundscapes to the mix on 2013’s Pale Green Ghosts and 2015’s Grey Tickles, Black Pressure, the latter The Guardian described as, “variously agonising, hilarious, uplifting and moving: another bravura display from a unique songwriting talent.”
Now, with his fourth solo album Love Is Magic, Grant continues to evolve, creating his most electronic record yet, in collaboration with Benge (Ben Edwards), analogue synth expert/collector and a member of electronic trio Wrangler, Grant’s collaborators earlier this year under the collective name of Creep Show on the album Mr Dynamite.
Produced by Grant (together with Benge and Paul Alexander), and engineered by Benge at his Cornish studio, the diamond-hard, diamond-gleaming Love Is Magic, “is closer still to how I’ve always wanted my records to sound, but I didn’t know how to go about it,” Grant says. Already mentioned above, he also called on bassist Paul Alexander of Denton, Texas maestros Midlake, renewing a working relationship that began on Queen Of Denmark. “Paul trained in music theory at UNT in Denton, Texas with an emphasis in Jazz and I knew he would come up with beautiful harmonies, so I unleashed him on the backing vocals,” Grant enthuses. “He comes up with interesting angles rather than the obvious and also plays some of the best bass lines I’ve ever heard.”
Besides the quest for sound, “the lyrics, of course, continue to be very important to me,” says John. “They’re just snapshots of everyday life where myriad moods and every sort of horrible and hilarious occurrence one can imagine mix with the pedestrian resulting in the absurdity and beauty of life.”
Anyone familiar with Grant’s story will recognise his battles - with addiction and health, with trusting love and relationships. From this turbulence he’s forged another riveting collection of often brutal diatribes and confessionals, where humour, fear, anxiety and anger overlap as Grant, with trademark candour, figuratively exposes the machinations of his saturated brain. It’s epitomised by the album’s brilliant opener ‘Metamorphosis’, almost as if his warring psyches are facing up to one another, as impervious synth-pop and brain-on-fire imagery (“Tiki bar, rat soufflé, Buik regal, Marvin Gaye”) melts into dream-ballad introspection (“Questions left unanswered, spiritual extortion”) and back to synth-backed mania.
THE NO’S: No cameras, no recording devices, no outside food or beverage, pets, weapons, drugs, alcohol, or illegal substances. No stage diving, No crowd surfing. No refunds.
We are back with an evening of sexy holiday fun!
Don't worry, The Mad Reckless is still filled with hot dancing, laughter and the glamor of modern burlesque, but this time, it's all wrapped up in Holly and Cheer!
Come watch as our dancers "unwrap" to some of your favorite seasonal classics and maybe even discover some new traditions.
Meet us under the mistletoe for a night of celebrating the season... after all, isn't it nice to be a little naughty?
Bozeman, MT-based bluegrass quartet Kitchen Dwellers are riding the wave of their sophomore release, Ghost in the Bottle, an album produced by Leftover Salmon's Andy Thorn. The album also features Twiddle's Mihali Savoulidis, who joined the band in the studio to record the album's first single "Vision of More." The band continues to relentlessly tour the country, captivating audiences with their own unique style, dubbed "Galaxy Grass." Formed while attending college at Montana State, the group has burst onto the bluegrass scene sharing the stage with acts such as Railroad Earth, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters and Twiddle. In recent years the band has begun to tour nationally, hitting notable venues and festivals around the country including The Brooklyn Bowl, The Fox Theatre, Delfest, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Northwest String Summit, and The Frendly Gathering.
Local presale starts Thur Sept 13 at 10 am. General on sale starts Fri Sept 14 at 10 am.
Low. A band from Duluth, Minnesota, formed in 1993. Featuring Alan Sparhawk on vocals and guitar and Mimi Parker on vocals and drums and Steve Garrington on bass. Sparhawk and Parker are married with two children; they first met in fourth grade in rural Minnesota. Garrington is the latest addition to the band, longtime bassist Zak Sally previously replaced original bassist John Nichols and Sally departed the group after the release of Great Destroyer.
Low released its first album, I Could Live in Hope, in 1994 (producer by Kramer) on Vernon Yard Records. Pegged as "slowcore," due to the band's minimalist soundscapes and the beautiful harmonies of Sparhawk and Parker, which stood in stark contrast to the era's fascination with "grunge." Low continued to work with varied producers and released a constant stream of critically acclaimed albums (e.g., Long Division, Curtain Hits the Cast, Things We Lost in the Fire), one-offs, collaborations and other miscellany, including a classic Christmas album, aptly titled Low Christmas. Throughout, Low toured the world and eventually found themselves in the company of acts such as the Dirty Three, Radiohead and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Sparhawk has formed a few side projects, notably the dirty punk blues band, The Black Eyed Snakes and, most recently, the rock trio The Retribution Gospel Choir. Low's latest album, Drums and Guns (produced by Dave Fridmann), was released in 2007 on Sub Pop Records.
THE NO'S: No cameras, no recording devices, no outside food or beverage, pets, weapons, drugs, alcohol, or illegal substances. No stage diving, No crowd surfing. No refunds.