Some names are just made for music. Hall & Oates, Sonny & Cher, Van Halen, and now we can add KaiserCartel to the list. The moniker is derived from the last names of Courtney Kaiser & Benjamin Cartel, two musicians ingrained in the New York music scene who crossed paths many times before striking up a friendship. Soon after, the pair decided to jump in a car together, heading off into the sunset to play each other’s songs and maybe sneak in a smooch or three. This year they released their debut album March Forth (Bluhammock), which is a playful romp through sunflower harmonies (“Season Song”) and glorious melodies that make you think there are triple the number of band mates than there really are (“Okay”). They recently made an appearance in the BTR Live Studio, and now have been crowned our artists of the week. Here are 5 things you should know about KaiserCartel:
1. The Brooklyn duo look damn good in cardboard cutouts (“Okay”) and are impervious to Chinese water torture (“Oh No”).
2. They love kids. Courtney is an elementary music teacher and Benjamin is an early childhood art teacher.
3. Court & Ben are active planeteers as evidenced by their recent summer tour hooptie, a Toyota Prius.
4. They travel with a ragtag bunch known as The Crayons, comprised of Daniel (frisky feline), Emily (pondering pooch), Bill (happy hippo), Billy & Joel (star-crossed lovers), Esther (hippity-hopper), Happy Smurf (Capricorn), Irving (velveteen rabbit), and Kevin (wily wiener dog).
5. The two are romantically involved, which means they spend almost every waking moment together whether it be waking up for their first Folgers cup or hitting the touring trail. Even the name of their album is a nod to the first time they finally got to hang out. If you’d like a chance to be sung up close to (a recurring event at their shows is the couple walking off stage mid-song to serenade the audience), their next set of dates has already been inked for the rest of the month. They are:
Oct 10 Union Hall – Brooklyn, NY
Oct 12 World Cafe (with Matt Hales of Aqualung) – Philadelphia, PA
Oct 13 Cafe 939 (with Matt Hales of Aqualung) – Boston, MA
Oct 14 Schubas Tavern (with Matt Hales of Aqualung) – Chicago, IL
Oct 15 Swedish American Hall (with Matt Hales) – San Francisco, CA
Oct 16 Paul Gleason Theater (with Matt Hales of Aqualung) – Los Angeles, CA
Oct 18 Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA
Oct 20 Music Millennium (In-Store Performance) – Portland, OR
Oct 25 Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, MA