Monthly Archives: August 2008

BTR Live Studio: Little Grey Girlfriend

Today we feature an exclusive live performance and interview with Little Grey Girlfriend! Today we feature an exclusive live performance and interview with Little Grey Girlfriend! The band stopped by our studios earlier this week to perform special versions of many songs from their new album Cells Planets.

These talented, formally trained musicians count Bjork, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Brian Wilson, and Jon Brion among their influences, but have carved out a unique voice. Innovative songwriting paired with creative instrumentation creates  music that defies categorization, existing in a plane somewhere between jazz, indie rock, electronica.

Support the musicans you know and love.

Little Grey Girlfriend plays Mercury Lounge on September 15. Be there!


Hello My Name Is…with The Walkmen, A.i., and The Brobecks

The Walkmen

Fresh off the release of their latest long player You & Me, The Walkmen are currently touring throughout the Pacific Northwest. We caught up with drummer Matt Barrick to get the story on how the band got their name.

“I don’t think there is a very interesting story,” he says. “None of us are particularly fond of the name. It was a long time ago, just a random thing, I think Walt (Martin, organ/bass) came up with it, but it might have been Hamilton (Leithauser vocals/guitar). And, we just had a long list of bad names, and we just sort of crossed them off, you know, then we had our first show, and we just had to have a name, so we picked one,” finishes Barrick. ” It doesn’t  really make for a great story.”


A power trio from West Los Angeles, A.i. have had the weird experience of first being signed to a major label, only to end up going the independent route due to the nature of their hard-to-market, electronically-based music.

“We used to be playing in the back of our folks’ house, when we were youngsters, you know, doing a little psychedelia and writing songs,” says lead singer Nick Young. “Pablo (Manazarek) brought over his Dad’s (Ray Manzarek of The Doors) keyboards, all these really cool synthesizers and stuff, and we started experimenting with writing with electronics, with triggers and electronic drums. My younger brother has a really unique drum set with about 19 triggers on it, so he can play electronic drums with his live drums. Anyway, he was in his dentist’s office, and he read an article on Artificial Intelligence, and it clicked, like, ‘hey, this would be a cool name for a band.’ It just stuck with us.”

“We came up with it way before that movie came out,” he laughs.

What an awesome dentist office! Mine always had nothing but those lame Highlights magazines, for kids, you know, with the Timbertoes?

The Brobecks

What, on Earth, is a Brobeck?

“It is the name of a girl who Mike Gross (guitar) and Dallon  Weekes (lead vocals) went to high school with,” says Dave Chisholm, the former trumpet and keys player for the Salt Lake City, Utah-based band. “She always got called to the office, but nobody knew her. The name is an ode to the unpopular, so to speak.”

How interesting is that! A girl who is always being heard over the intercom, being called to the office, yet no one really knows who she is. Kind of creepy, actually.


APW Re-cap

Ok, Ok, so we might be a little late, but here were Phil’s thoughts from APW on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of August:

All aboard the All Points West Express. The inaugural music and arts festival had a green mindset (recycling for swag, encouraging the use of mass-transit, free water spigot sites), big names (Radiohead, Kings of Leon, The Roots), and a great sound system. No muffled lyrics here, just pure sonic bliss.

The highlight of the festival (besides Radiohead of course) came from an artist who never laid a finger on an instrument. Pittsburgh’s Gregg Gillis simply set up a wooden table on stage with two laptops, and one had the initials GT adorning the front. You could feel the excitement of the crowd as two stage maestros dressed as cops brought out copious amounts of toilet paper and custom designed leaf blowers. The opening notes of “Once Again” started the set and an explosion of bodies rushed from backstage. These lucky participants hooted and hollered to the pleasure of everyone while tossing swimming toys, TP, and large condom shaped balloons into the crowd. The sensation reminded me of my first two years of college, as random groping and grinding occurred throughout. Gregg asserted his dominance with two events: 1) He had the whole crowd bumping to Kelly Clarkson, and 2) He tossed a pool lounge chair into the audience and took a flying leap onto it as his adoring fans held him up. I have seen fun in its purest form, thy name be Girl Talk.

Brazilian funky bunch CSS did not disappoint as they cycled through almost every song from their new album, Donkey. Love Foxxx was wearing a colorful (to say the least) ensemble that looked like she just tussled with a piñata, barely survived, and wore its streamer entrails as a trophy. The group invited two neon aerobic dancers on stage that presented different dances for almost every song. During “Alcohol” Love Foxxx asked one of them, “What’s your favorite mixed drink?” and the dancer quickly responded with “Alcohol”.

Cat Power looked healthy and happy as she playfully hugged friends off stage during the opening riffs of her set. I overheard a number of festers inquiring about who she was and what kind of music she played, and one girl even had the nerve to say that she sounded like Fiona Apple. I quickly whipped around and informed her that Chan was five years her senior and released her first album one year before Apple. ANYWAY, Cat Power lured many fans into her loving arms as she sang with a ferociousness that cleared the rain away and summoned much needed sunlight.

Grizzly Bear shined through with harmonies and reverb that lulled listeners into a dream state. Their last album, Yellow House, is the kind of record you can’t appreciate on the first listen. You must delve into it repeatedly to appreciate every nuance of the glockenspiel and the banjo. Group founder Ed Droste even pulled out an ivory recorder similar to the ones music teachers passed out in elementary school. In the end, their live set was much friendlier and the crowd proved it while swaying to and fro to the delightful melodies of “On A Neck, On A Spit”.

One aspect of All Points West that had me overjoyed was the contingent of world acts in attendance. Malian king & queen of funk, Amadou & Mariam, showed up ready to shake it down. Side by side they churned out hit after hit that caused a stir in everyone’s joints. Amadou sported a gold guitar that would have made Elvis jealous. Brazilian jam band Forro In The Dark kept the soul train moving with percussion work that was pied piper like. They brought out special guest Miho Hatori for three songs, including fan favorite “Paraiba”. Mexican acoustic metal duo Rodrigo y Gabriela didn’t even speak a word, but one could argue that they didn’t have to. Their fine tuned fingers amazed the audience, especially Gabriela who looked like she was just shaking her hand wildly against her guitar.

Of course, there was also some band named Radiohead that closed out two nights. One fact that I noticed and loved was that they don’t ever announce who they are or where they’re from. After watching their performance, in the immortal words of  Notorious B.I.G, “If you don’t know, now you know…”

All in all, this was a fantastic start to what will hopefully be an annual event for the tri-state area. Cheers to AEG LIVE/Goldenvoice for bringing the spirit of Coachella to the east coast.


Artist of the Week: Silver Jews

We love Silver Jews here on BTR, so it’s only appropriate that one of our most-spun bands of August get their place as Artist of the Week. Here ’em all over BTR this week! Oh, and see them live:

08/28 Milo Columbus, OH
08/29 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, OH
08/30 William Pitt Union Assembly Pittsburgh, PA
08/31 Crofoot Pontiac, MI
09/02 Lee’s Palace Toronto, ON,CAN
09/03 La Sala Rossa Montreal, QC,CAN
09/04 Iron Horse Music Hall Northampton, MA
09/05 Middle East Boston, MA
09/06 Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY
09/07 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
09/09 First Unitarian Church Philadelphia, PA
09/10 Black Cat Washington, DC
09/11 Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, NC
09/12 Grey Eagle Asheville, NC
09/13 Variety Atlanta, GA
09/14 Jack Rabbits Jacksonville, FL
09/15 The Social Orlando, FL
09/16 Club Downunder Tallahassee, FL
09/17 One Eyed Jack’s New Orleans, LA
09/18 Walter’s on Washington Houston, TX
09/19 Emo’s Austin, TX
09/20 Hailey’s Denton, TX
09/22 Plush Tucson, AZ
09/23 Casbah San Diego, CA
09/26 Echoplex Los Angeles, CA
09/27 Fernwood Resort Big Sur, CA
09/30 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
10/02 Neumo’s Seattle, WA
10/03 Neurolux Boise, ID
10/04 Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, UT
10/05 Bluebird Theater Denver, CO
10/07 Waiting Room Lounge Omaha, OH
10/08 Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, MN
10/09 Picador Iowa City, IA
10/10 Metro Chicago, IL
10/11 Birdy’s Indianapolis, IN
10/12 Exit/In Nashville, TN

BTR Live Studio: Matt Singer Band

Today we’re presenting an exclusive live performance and interview with the Matt Singer Band. Matt’s new EP, The Drought (Family Records, 2008) will be released next week. The band is celebrating with an awesome CD release show at The Living Room. Check out the session and interview here.

We’ve been fans of Matt ever since we first laid ears on his last album, 2006’s All Us Heathens.

We were tickled pink when Matt & company stopped by our studios for the live performance you’re about to hear. I also had the chance to speak with Matt about lots of fun things including our shared New Jersey heritage, the new album, and the truth behind his song Stacy J.

Matt Singer plays The Living Room on 8/27 in New York, NY

Live from Pianos, NYC: Helicopters

We’ve got our 2nd edition of Live from Pianos with Chicago-based band Helicopters. Check out their set, recorded at Pianos on August 8th.

BTR Live Studio: Sunroom

On today’s show you’ll hear a live performance and interview from New York City acoustic folk trio Sunroom. We’re big fans here at BTR!

Sunroom recorded their self titled debut album in a hot and sweaty east village apartment in June 2007 and have since spent the last year performing all around the city, composing new songs, and planning their next move!

Upcoming Shows:

9/12 @ The Living Room – New York, NY

9/25 @ The Dog And Pony – New York, NY