Monthly Archives: July 2008

Live from Piano’s, NYC with Takka Takka

Today kicks off the premiere of a brand new show on BTR- Live from Piano’s, NYC. DJ Annie hosts the program, where you’ll hear a different band each month. We’re excited to be making our maiden voyage with Takka Takka- a great NYC band that just finished up a residency at the venue, all leading up to the release of their new album on the 29th. Check out the show for some awesome tracks from Migration, the band’s sophomore effort.

Blogger of the Week: Mp3 Hugger

We’re psyched to have Kevin over at mp3 Hugger hold court as our featured blogger. He’ll be here all week! He’s also the guest on DJ DoseU’s Anatomy of a Blogger. Check out today’s post:

The fact that I’m probably a generation older than your average music blogger means I have the edge when it comes to looking back on historical musical vehicles. Not sure if it helps or hinders though when I’m trying to establish whether a new act is any cop but one listen to the Permanent Smilers and I’d figured they’d be worth further inspection. Led by Richard Lemongrower (he has his own record label called Citrus Sounds you know) this is an act that pulls from the constituencies of a different time. The fact that the Permanent Smilers were there in the first place makes it all the more authentic. ‘Temporary’ has an early nineties feel that recalls the Wedding Present, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and the Wonderstuff (check the grunge opening too). Nostalgia has an audience you see, even if that audience is now more preoccupied with nappies and mortgage rates than what is streaming piping hot from their stereos. If you’re still plugged in though the Permanent Smilers new album ‘Jazz Liberties’ is all the electricity you’ll ever need.

-mp3 hugger

BTR Live Studio: Elizabeth Harper & The Matinee

Elizabeth Harper, Michael Flis, Scott Rosenthal,and Andy Zehnal join us today for a live performance of a bunch of their new songs. Maia also had the chance to chat with the group about their next album, plans for touring, biking in New York, the subway, and what music Elizabeth listens to when she’s all by her lonesome. Hall & Oates, anyone?

Seriously, we love them! Find out more at and see ’em live in September.

Next Show: 9/16 @ Zebulon – Brooklyn,NY

00:00 Elizabeth Harper on BTR Live Studio
00:49 Someone Real To Love
04:29 Interview
06:10 In The Pain
09:42 Interview
10:47 Catch The Light
15:03 Interview
18:15 Let Me Take You Out Tonight
21:57 Jealousy
25:46 Interview
27:45 Carried Away
30:34 Do You Follow Me
34:51 Sunday Night
37:17 Interview
39:14 Love Doesn’t Matter

Artist of the Week: Chairlift

This week we honor Chairlift, a band from Brooklyn, New York making their way into the realm of modern indie recognition with their subtle and haunting new wave sound. Aaron (Guitar), Patrick (Drums) and Caroline (Vocals) have done well for themselves with their much anticipated album, Does You Inspire You, soon to be released on Kanine Records, with whom they recently signed.

The album is a rhythmic combination of new wave and the sort of ambient rock often found in groups like Yo La Tengo and Joanna Newsom. The melodies are delicate and the vocal sounds and lyrical content coming from Caroline Polachek are soft and intimate while powerful and mature. Stand out tracks include “Garbage”, “Somewhere Around Here”, and “Make Your Mind Up”.

The band kindly took time out of their busy touring schedule to explain some details of the new album when Patrick Wimberly explained, “Our new album is our first full-length. We’ve spent almost a year writing and recording it.  It was recorded at Great City Productions with the extremely talented producer Britt Meyers. The writing process for us seems to vary from song to song. Usually Caroline or Aaron will come to rehearsal with an idea and then we will spend weeks or even months putting all of our ideas into the song. In the end, it comes out as a Chairlift song.”

It seems they are moving in leaps and bounds, especially since the release of the MGMT remix of a single off of Chairlift’s new album titled “Evident Utensil”, which is currently sold on 7-inch vinyl. The attention given to the uncharacteristically major label group (Columbia Records), MGMT (friends of Chairlift), no doubt translated to the enthusiasm and anticipation from bloggers and the like for Does You Inspire You.

In fact, when asked what the group is listening to in their spare time they mention their friends in MGMT. They’re also enjoying tunes from Brightblack Morning Light,  Notwist’s Neon Golden and according to Caroline, the book on tape of Fountain Head by Ayn Rand. As for their own music, the debut album is set to hit stores on October 28th and can be experienced at a stellar live performance near you.

Forming as recently as early 2006 after Caroline and Patrick met at school in Colorado and ultimately got together with Aaron after they all moved to New York City, they have just departed on a tour beginning in Omaha, taking them around to eastern seaboard from New York to Massachusetts, down to Atlanta, through Austin and quickly over to Los Angeles. Performing alongside the trio is Ariel Pink, an experimental beat-bosing solo artist from Los Angeles, of which Wimberly says”‘He and his band are incredible and we are huge fans. It’s quite an honor to be touring with Ariel.”

If you aren’t lucky enough to be graced by these gentle creatures then you can simply head on over to the live studio session and interview the group performed exclusively for BTR. Included in the session is a video performance of “Somewhere Around Here”,  formerly  titled “Deer Hunt.” Just make sure to dim the lights and begin your breathing exercises. After listening to this album you will  be shocked that it is only the first from the talented trio. We were so happy to have had these true artists come to full bloom in our studio and will always welcome them back with open arms and airwaves.

7/28/08  –  Zoo Bizarre [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Montreal, QC
7/29/08  –  TT The Bears [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Boston, MA
7/30/08  –  Knitting Factory [ w/ Ariel Pink + Mixel Pixel ] – New York, NY
7/31/08  –  People’s Center [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – New Haven, CT
8/01/08  –  M Room [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Philadelphia, PA
8/02/08  –  Sonar [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Baltimore, MD
8/03/08  –  Nightlight [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Chapel Hill, NC
8/04/08  –  Eyedrum [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Atlanta, GA
8/05/08  –  Ali Baba’s [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Tallahassee, FL
8/06/08  –  Spanish Moon [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Baton Rouge, LA
8/07/08  –  Walter’s On Washington [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Houston, TX
8/08/08  –  Hailey’s [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Denton, TX
8/09/08  –  Mohawk [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Austin, TX
8/11/08  –  Plush [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Tucson, AZ
8/12/08  –  The Echo [ w/ Ariel Pink ] – Los Angeles, CA

Review: Wolf Parade @ Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR

Knowing that I would be able to catch all of Wolf Parade allowed me to forget the time fiasco that was totally my fault. The interior of the Crystal Ballroom also helped to keep my senses busy. Giant frescoes lined the walls and as I had hoped, there was a glowing crystal chandelier hanging above the dance floor that was reminiscent of Beauty & The Beast.

I could have wasted time by gawking at the art and asking residents where the best hiking trails are, but the slow & steady rhythms of “You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son” started to belt out. I thought it weird that the Montreal outfit decided to open up with one of their slowest numbers, but it was as if they were trying to get it out of the way so they could pick up the pace in increments. Guitarist Dan Boeckner announced that his in-laws are in town from Toronto and that seemed to mean, “Let’s play the new stuff for mom & pops”.  From their latest release, At Mount Zoomer, the band launched into “Soldier’s Grin”, “Bang Your Drum”, and “Call It A Ritual”.  One fancy free lass enjoyed the material so much  she started to bang her shiny red pumps together in applause.

Personally, I favor the dance friendly sounds of Apologies to the Queen Mary, so I went buck wild when I heard the opening moog lines of “This Heart’s On Fire” and “Dear Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts”. The Crystal Ballroom’s ageing hardwood plank floor seemed to be rumbling underneath the joyous hops and swerving hips. Spencer Krug was slathered in so much sweat that I feared he would electrocute himself as droplets poured onto his keyboards.

Apparently certain audience members were equally riled up, and their true nature was unleashed in a different way. A group of hipster nobodies with angled haircuts kept on colliding their way to the front with force. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they kept on and disappeared into the sweaty sea of bodies, but some actually had the nerve to push me out of the way only to stand directly in my view.

One frisky teen decided it would be a good idea to spin his body round and round like a top, careening into anyone within arm’s length. Another tough guy (who vaguely resembled Iceman from “Top Gun”…if he had freckles) was heading away from the stage when he clearly shoved a guy out of his path. When the innocent bystander confronted the punk, the freckly jerk started to mouth the words, “You wanna fight? Come on…let’s do it”. He even had the audacity to do all this with a yellow headband on. The sensible person did the right thing by laughing it off and putting his arm around his girl to enjoy the rest of the show. Of course, after it was all over, I had to tap him on his shoulder to chime in, “I had your back the entire time man.” Peaceful Portland? It seemed more like Pushy Portland .

Even with all these shenanigans going on, every single body was still in awe of the raw presence of Wolf Parade. Slightly muffled vocals (which I blame on the sound guy) didn’t stop fans from chanting lyrics and dancing their pants off. The band seemed to be ever so gracious, continuously thanking the crowd and calling us “sweet”. They returned for a three song encore that included the fierce “Fancy Claps” and a lengthy version of “Dinner Bells”. Afterwards, the ballroom lights switched on and I finally started to feel the exhaustion setting in. I walked to the back to pour free water from a construction orange cooler, checked the group off of my list of “must-see acts”, and called it a night.


New Show: Anatomy of a Blogger

Alright! It’s the first episode of our latest and greatest blog show on BTR.  DJ DoseU hosts this weekly show, each week talking to and spinning tracks chosen by a blogger of the week. This week, we were psyched to get a virtual visit from Jim over at Quick Before It Melts. You’ll hear Jim spin tracks from Albert Hammond Jr., Earlimart, Brendan Canning, and more- not to mention muse over various solo projects and other fun topics. We also want to wish a very happy birthday to QBiM- 2 years old today! Check out the show here.

New Oxford Collapse Record, New British Sea Power festival

Oxford Collapse: A New CD
British Sea Power: A New Festival

If the title confuses you, it should. First, let us get the given out of the way. Though slightly more conventional, no less exciting is the announcement of a new album from Sub Pop sweethearts Oxford Collapse. It will be titled BITS and released on August 5th and officially at the Glasslands in Brooklyn August 21st. Insiders claim the sound is much like hard experimental rockers, No Age. Oxford Collapse is a group from Brooklyn, New York who play often pounding Band of Horses-like rock music. On regular rotation here at BreakThru Radio, the group last released Remember the Night Parties in 2006. The current album is also especially spontaneous. According to the band, “We were standing outside of the studio figuring out a lot of these lyrics right before we recorded them.” Much of the group’s music includes improvisation from within the studio, creating a very personal listening experience. Keep a keen eye and a quick clicking-finger out for all of those tracks in weekly shows of the future. But the Oxford Collapse is not the only group to give birth to a creative baby in the last month. British Sea Power, another group familiar to listeners of, have brought their own creation to the music world, but no new album since their last, Do You Like Rock Music? No, this is much different.

British Sea Power

Believe it or not, British Sea Power, a UK group, has decided to create their own music festival called Sing Ye From the Hillside which will take place at a bar called the Tan Inn Pub in Yorkshire Dales, an area of Northern England, over the course of three days, (August 29-31). What is even more unconventional is their partnership with Dent Brewery to create their own beer for the festival. Potentially not a bad money-making move for this group of Brits. Even more of a draw is the fact that they will play a different set every day, one with music they created for the soundtrack for a movie called Man of Aran, a documentary about life unique to the Aran Islands off the western coast of Ireland. The other two sets will be filled with rare songs and others not-so-rare. And soon to be not-so-rare could be independent artists like the BSP seeking other untold avenues from which to make money. One can only hope those ideas are as good as more beer.