Category Archives: BTR Artists on Tour

BTR Artists On Tour: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Uz Jsme Doma

For many of us, fall marks the end of carefree summer nights and the beginning of school. You may have to say goodbye to half-day Fridays and warm, sunny days, but there are a few things to look forward to. Many bands are gearing up for their fall tours. This month, we’ll see what Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Uz Jsme Doma are up to.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (SJDK) had a great summer this year. A whopping 20,000 people attended their free show at Prospect Park in Brooklyn. However, if you weren’t among the dancing masses that night (and why weren’t you?), you still have many opportunities to see this Brooklyn-based soul/funk show-stopper live.

This fall, SJDK is touring through the Midwest and Europe. They’ll be performing tunes from their recently released fourth album, I Learned The Hard Way. A crisp, smooth record that takes inspiration from Stax and Motown, this latest work takes SJDK’s neo-soul aesthetic to another level. Sharon’s voice crackles with emotion, and the Dap-Kings’ brass-heavy rhythms magnify her  passionate, soulful words.

SJDK is reminiscent of Sam Cooke, James Brown and Aretha Franklin, but they are a definitively modern phenomenon. Let Sharon teach you her moves and get seduced by the Dap-Kings powerful brass—and you might understand why over 20,000 people braved mosquitoes and simmering temperatures in a 7,000-person capacity venue. They’re just that good.

September 04 – Snowmass Townpark – Snowmass, CO
September 14 –  Puyallup Fair – Puyallup WA
September 17 – Buster’s, – Lexington, KY
September 18 – Minglewood Hall – Memphis TN
September 19 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO
September 20 – The Blue Note –  Columbia, MO
September 21 – Midland Theatre –  Kansas City, MO
September 23 – The Showroom at Palladium – Dallas TX
September 24 – La Zona Rosa – Austin, TX
September 26 – Orpheum Theatre –  Phoenix, AZ
September 27 – The Lensic – Santa Fe, NM
September 28 – Ogden Theare –  Denver, CO
October 13 – Kaufleuten –  Zurich, Switzerland
October 14 – Les Docks –  Lausanne, Switzerland
October 15 – Nancy Jazz Pulsations – Nancy, France
October 16 – Live Music Hall – Koln, Germany
October 17 – Trix – Antwerpen, Belgium
October 19 – Huxley’s – Berlin, Germany
October 20 – Grosse Freiheit 36 – Hamburg, Germany
October 21 – WDR TV Rockpalast – Bonn, Germany
October 22 – Tonhalle – München, Germany
October 23 – Bloom – Mezzago, Italy
October 26 – Apolo – Barcelona, Spain
October 27 – Le Vigean – Bordeaux, France
October 28 – L’Olympic – Nantes, France
October 29 – La Cigale  – Paris, France
October 30 – Aeronef – Lille, France
November  1 – Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands
November  3 – Roundhouse – London, UK
November  4 – The Ritz – Manchester, UK
November  5 – Queens Hall – Edinburgh, UK
November  6 – Tripod – Dublin, Ireland

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

The four friends that make up The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (POBPAH) originally got together to perform at keyboardist Peggy Wang’s birthday blowout at a Brooklyn warehouse back in 2007. Since then, however, they’ve stayed together and started honing their pop repertoire.

Pains turns melancholy lyrics into upbeat, twee-pop tunes with wispy boy-girl vocals and fuzzy guitar riffs. Their tunes are refreshingly simple yet polished, catchy yet dark underneath. Taking inspiration from My Bloody Valentine and The Field Mice, Pains melds sugary sweet harmonies with hazy guitars and earnest vocals.

Since 2007, Pains has been working the Brooklyn indie scene and playing venues like Cake Shop and Dead Herring. Last year, they released two EPs on Slumberland Records. Stellar reviews and  critical acclaim from outlets like Pitchfork, Stereogum and The New York Times propelled the group out of the Brooklyn circuit, and now they’re gearing up for a tour this fall. They’ll be hitting up some key cities on the east cost (Brooklyn, Philly, Boston) before heading to the west coast.

Uz Jsme Doma

Uz Jsme Doma may be the strangest band you’ll encounter. The Czech prog-rock quintet has been around since 1985, when their punk-inspired music was considered illegal by the communist Czechoslovakia. Their membership has changed over the course of these past 25 years, but their music maintains its energetic, genre-bending spirit.

Uz Jsme Doma has received many labels over the years: intellectual punk, Slavic tone provocation, orchestral punk, ska, melodic avant garde and many others. In one way or another, each of these labels can be applied to the band. Though completely arranged as if they were classical compositions, their songs are so complex and full of tumultuous energy that you’d think they had to have been improvised. Shifts between time signatures and rhythms that accent off-beats and half-beats throw the melodies into dense, forceful chaos. Inundated with sixteenth notes, the tunes move at high-speed without stopping to catch a breath. In short, Uz Jsme Doma’s music is exhausting (in a good way).

Touring through Canada and the East coast this fall, Uz Jsme Doma is sure to be a fun, unforgettable live experience. They’ll be releasing their seventh album, Jeskyne, which, like all the others before it, is jam-packed with insatiable energy and a loyalty to the discord and freedom of punk rock.

Uz Jsme Doma LIVE!!!
September 23 – Daniel Street Club – Milford, CT
September 25 – Building 16 – Providence, RI
September 26 – Lesco – Montreal, Quebec, Canada
September 28 – Zaphod Beeblebox – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
September 29 – Sneaky Dee’s – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
September 30 – Bug Jar – Rochester, NY
October 1 – The Rock Shop – 249 4th Avenue – Brooklyn, NY
October 2 – 12th Annual Czech Street Festival – New York, NY
October 4 – Maxwell’s – Hoboken, NJ
October 5 – M Room – Philadelphia, PA
October 6 – Black Cat – Washington, DC
October 8 – Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH
Ocober 9 – Orion Sound Studios – Baltimore, MD

Link to this article:

– Ivana Ng


BTR Artists On Tour: Deer Tick, Candy Claws and Yeasayer

Both veterans and newbie bands alike are starting out on their fall (gasp!) tours. So, it is time to celebrate the glory days of summer concerts while you still can!

BreakThru Radio’s got a few suggestions to help you spend the cash from that summer job wisely. In this edition of BTR Artists on Tour we are checking in with Deer Tick, Candy Claws, and Yeasayer to see what they are getting into on the road.

“I’m not a fan of flashy websites.”  So states lead singer/songwriter (and website designer) John J. McCauley III of Rhode Island rock band Deer Tick, on the group’s bare-bones virtual home. Composed of a single page without any graphics or photos, the simple banner “Deer Tick, A Band” is at the top, giving his comment a certain wry understatement.

While the site is about as stark as possible, it is also remarkably and refreshingly informative. The page is solid and satisfying—it explains how the band started, who the members are, where the name came from, what they’re currently working on, and offers an easily-accessible resume of all tour dates, past, present and future.

The same straightforward approach seems to be carried out in every aspect of Deer Tick—their music, their concerts, their identity. The sound is rock ‘n roll, no flash, but plenty of substance. At times Dylan and at others a Mermaid Avenue Billy Bragg. McCauley’s gritty voice delivers the stuff of a true, old-school songwriter and he is backed by band members who truly know their instruments. In an age full of musicians doing innovative work with loops, beats and synth, these men remember the value of strings reverberating against wood and know how to mine that poetry. The beautiful retro simplicity of bass, guitar and voice on songs like “Ashamed,” stand as proof that those mines are far from empty.

Deer Tick also make a point of playing great, raucous, real rock shows for their audiences. Spin magazine voted them one of the must-hear acts of Lollapalooza 2010, and Brooklyn-based blog Duke Street echoes the band’s no-frills mentality by stating boldly, “When it comes to playing live, Deer Tick doesn’t fuck around.”

With their latest album, The Black Dirt Sessions, out on June 8th, and a heavy tour underway, John J. McCauley himself took time to tell BTR a bit about life on the road with these no-nonsense rock ‘n rollers.

BTR: Looks like you guys just got back recently from an extensive East Coast tour with Dr. Dog & Those Darlin’s–how was it?
McCauley: Like you said, it was extensive. It was fun though. Quite an adventure. We love playing with Darlins and the Dr. Dog guys were great. Turns out I knew the guy Eric who was playing drums for Dr. Dog. I didn’t even know until our first show with them.

BTR: Discover any good/new food?
McCauley: Punjabi in New York City is the dopest.

BTR: Meet any cool people?
McCauley: I met Danny DeVito at Coachella.

BTR: Do any fun shopping?
McCauley: I buy stupid shit on tour, like t-shirts with stupid sayings on them. My favorite says “Shut the DUCK up!” and it has a picture of a duck with duct tape around its bill.

BTR: What’s one of your favorite places to play & why?
McCauley: I like Austin, Seattle, St. Louis, and Toronto. Good combination of awesome crowds, good music scene, good food, and of course, vice.

BTR: You mention on your website that your “live shows tend to go a bit haywire”…  what does that mean?  How do you make your shows memorable?
McCauley: Well, that’s kind of a difficult one to explain. We’ve done some funny things. I crowd surfed into a ceiling fan once and broke it. Sometimes we lose our clothes, light money on fire, light guitars on fire, there’s silly string, confetti, pinatas. It kind of depends on our mood, and drunkenness.

BTR: Any memorable audience moments?
McCauley: Sometimes we’ll have people from the crowd play with us. One time this 6-year-old girl “played” a guitar solo in “These Old Shoes”. That was adorable. Then there was this rad dude in Chicago who came up and slayed some harmonica on a cover of “Maybelline”. Those moments are really fun for us.

BTR: How do you take care of yourself on the road?
McCauley: I’m pretty sure I don’t.

BTR: Entertain yourself?
McCauley: I read a lot of rock ‘n’ roll biographies and autobiographies. I like true crime books too. I just finished The Brotherhoods by William Oldham, true story of two high ranking NYPD detectives who were hitmen for the Mafia. This American Life is a great podcast to listen to in the van. We’ve got the new Phosphorescent, and Delta Spirit, and stuff like that, (and) the entire Nirvana and Replacements discography.

BTR: Anywhere you guys are headed on the upcoming tour that you’ve never been before or are especially excited to visit?
McCauley: We’re doing a bunch of gigs in Florida, a state we haven’t played too often. I’m excited for that, especially since we’ll be playing with Dead Confederate.

BTR: What are your fall plans?  Working on any new projects?
McCauley: I don’t know. I think the MG&V record might come out then. We’ll just have to wait and see.

We might have to sit tight for that next record, but don’t wait to see this depthful rock group that truly walks the walk.

Deer Tick LIVE!!!

July 29 – Crobar – Miami Beach, FL
July 30 – Engine Room – Tallahassee, FL
July 31 – Buckhead Theatre – Atlanta, GA
Aug 1 – Exit In – Nashville, TN
Aug 3 – Proud Larry’s – Oxford, MS
Aug 4 – Hi-Tone – Memphis, TN
Aug 5 – Off Broadway – St. Louis, MO
Aug 6 – Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL
Aug 7 – Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL
Aug 8 – Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL
Aug 9 – Mickey Finn’s Pub – Toledo, OH
Aug 10 – Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, Ontario
Aug 11 – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Cleveland, OH
Aug 12 – Capitol Theater – York, PA
Aug 13 – Webster Hall – New York, NY
Sept 10 – End of the Road Fest – Dorset, United Kingdom
Sept 20 – Botanique – Brussels, Belgium
Sept 28 – Cargo – London, United Kingdom
Sept 29 – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, United Kingdom
Sept 30 – Deaf Institute – Manchester, United Kingdom
Oct 1 – Captain’s Rest – Glasgow, United Kingdom
Oct 2 – Auntie Annies – Belfast, United Kingdom
Oct 3 – Whelans – Dublin, United Kingdom

For a band whose artistic aim is to create a soundtrack for the natural world, it seems slightly counterintuitive that Colorado’s Candy Claws would choose samples, pre-captured sounds and synthesizers to achieve that goal. However, their electronic approach works surprisingly well.  With dreamy, layered orchestral pieces that subtly blend elements of electronica with sophisticated surfer pop, Candy Claws successfully build a sound that evokes nature without simulating it. Whispered vocals and ambient sound effects twist through each song, creating a path to guide the wandering listener.

The project’s core musicians, Ryan Hover and Kay Bertholf, decided to create an album based around a 1951 illustrated guide to sea life, titled The Sea Around Us. The album itself, In The Dream of the Sea Life, was released in 2009 and incorporates sound recordings of the ocean from trips to Italy and the Philippines.
The musicians’ fascination with the complex intricacies and mysterious patterns inherent within nature are well reflected in the construction of the album. They state their intention to create “…the sound of the ocean, very simple,” and offer a beautiful take on that endeavor.  Hidden Land, the follow up to In The Dream of the Sea Life, will be released on August 3rd.  Hover and Bertholf, along with a group of friends who help translate their lush creations to stage, are touring the West Coast  through September in support of the new album.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the ocean come to life.

Candy Claws LIVE!!!

July 29 – Crepe Place w/ Pepper Rabbit – Santa Cruz, CA
July 30 – Spaceland w/ Pepper Rabbit – Los Angeles, CA
July 31 – Beauty Bar w/ Pepper Rabbit – Las Vegas, NV
Aug 2 – Velour w/ Desert Noises, The Apache – Provo, UT
Aug 6 – “Hidden Lands” Release @ Hi Dive w/ Vitamins – Denver, CO
Aug 8 – “Hidden Lands” Release @ Art Lab w/ Gobble Gobble, M Pyres, Kites Sail High – Fort Collins, CO
Aug 21 – Bohemian Nights @ New West Fest – Fort Collins, CO
Sept 1 – The Foundation w/ Magic Kids – Lubbock, TX
Sept 3 – Trunkspace w/ Magic Kids, Titus Andronicus – Phoenix, AZ
Sept 5 – Bottom of the Hill w/ Magic Kids – San Francisco, CA
Sept 8 – The Media Club w/ Magic Kids – Vancouver, British Columbia
Sept 9 – The Vera Project w/ Magic Kids – Seattle, WA
Sept 10 – Backspace @ Music Fest Northwest w/ Abe Vigoda – Portland, OR
Sept 11 – Visual Arts Collective w/ Magic Kids – Garden City, ID
Sept 13 – Kilby Court w/ Magic Kids, The Mynabirds – Salt Lake City, UT
Sept 14 – Hi Dive w/ Magic Kids – Denver, CO
Sept 16 – Replay Lounge w/ Magic Kids – Lawrence, KS
Sept 17 – Hi Tone Café w/ Magic Kids – Memphis, TN
Sept 18 – Muse Music w/ The Very Most and Adam & Darcie – Provo, UT
Sept 24 – Pygmalion Music Festival – Champaign-Urbana, IL
Sept 25 – Midpoint Music Festival – Cincinnati, OH

Brooklyn’s Yeasayer have a sound that they describe on Myspace as “Enya with bounce.” I would argue that they’re low-balling themselves a bit, having impressively translated their experimental sound from the raw, earthy qualities of 2007’s All Hour Cymbals to smooth-tongued dance beat rhythms on this year’s Odd Blood. Released in February through Secretly Canadian, the successful reinvention on their new record proved Yeasayer’s musical mettle as they passed the dreaded sophomore album test with flying colors. Many talented artists struggle with their second release as it presents a distinct challenge: further define your established identity while offering fresh material. On Odd Blood, with its distinct ‘80’s influence, pop vocals and crisp polish, band members Anand Wilder, Chris Keating and Ira Wolf Tuton deliver a timely makeover of their already inventive sound.

The band has had several unique performance opportunities. 2008 found them supporting Beck in concert, touring with such heavy hitters as MGMT, and playing live in the Paris metro for one of La Blogotheque’s “The Take-Away Shows”.  2009 brought a lull in their live action as they worked to finish Odd Blood, but this winter they were busy promoting the finished product throughout Europe before completing an exhaustive list of U.S. venues in the spring. These hard-working musicians are back in action with a fall tour including Australia, the UK, and a select group of U.S. dates. Hopefully,  they will land a show in your neck of the woods.

Yeasayer LIVE!!!

July 28 – Metro – Sydney, Australia
July 29 – Prince of Wales – Melbourne, Australia
July 30 – Splendour In The Grass – Brisbane, Australia
Aug 1 – FujiRock Festival – Niigata, Japan
Aug 12 – Oya Festival – Oslo, Norway
Aug 14 – Haldern Festival – Haldern, Germany
Aug 15 – Sziget Festival – Budpest, Hungary
Aug 16 – Lucerna Music Festival – Prague, Czech Republic
Aug 18 – Rocking Chair – Vevey, Switzerland
Aug 20 – Frequency Festival – St. Polten Green Park, Austria
Aug 21 – Pukkelpop – Hasselt-Kiewit, Belgium
Aug 22 – Lowlands Festival – Biddinghuizen, Netherlands
Aug 23 – Doornroosje – Nijmegen, Netherlands
Aug 24 – Wedgewood Rooms – Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Aug 25 – Slade Room – Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Aug 27 – Reading Festival – Reading, United Kingdom
Aug 29 – Leeds Festival – Leeds, United Kingdom
Sept 28 – Mr. Smalls Theatre – Millvale, PA
Sept 29 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
Sept 30 – Bluebird Nightclub – Bloomington, IN
Oct 1 – Cannery Ballroom – Nashville, TN
Oct 2 – Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Oct 3 – Trustee Theatre – Savannah, GA
Oct 4 – State Theatre – St. Petersburg, FL
Oct 5 – The Fillmore at Jackie Gleason – Miami, FL
Oct 7 – Club Firestone – Orlando, FL
Oct 8 – Union Green – Tallahassee, FL
Oct 9 – House of Blues – New Orleans, LA
Oct 10 – Austin City Limits Festival – Austin, TX

– Britt Sondreal

BTR Artists On Tour: Dum Dum Girls, Matt & Kim, and Wye Oak

Time to board the BTR tour bus again! This month we get the skinny behind life on the road from The Dum Dum Girl’s Dee Dee!  Plus, a look at two sweetheart sets–Brooklyn’s unstoppable dance duo Matt & Kim, and Baltimore’s folk rock innovators Wye Oak– both are playing the upcoming NYC Siren Fest!

Several of our favorite artists will be stopping there to strut their stuff before traveling on to the next town, and BTR gets to come too.  We’ll have a booth complete with giveaway goodies, so make your way to Coney Island and come check it out!

Dum Dum Girls (Photo by Jack Plunkett)

Sub Pop artists the Dum Dum Girls have had a big year of firsts. In 2010 the group has released their first full length album, I Will Be, they played SXSW for the first time, and just wrapped their first official European tour. All of these accomplishments and it’s not even July. The ladies-about-town, comprised of lead singer and founder Dee Dee Penny and her three friends Jules, Bambi, and Sandra Vu, have given the production qualities and structure of ’60’s girl groups a makeover for today’s music scene, writing on topics from psychedelic drugs (“Bhang Bhang, I’m A Burnout” ) to the identity theft of religion (“Catholicked“).  Informed not only by the age of the beehive but by all subsequent musical decades as well, DDGs spin punk and garage-rock inspired licks into music, coloring the edges of sugar-pop with a darker crayon.

Not surprisingly, I Will Be was produced by Richard Gottehrer, songwriter of ’80’s girl group resurgence hits “My Boyfriend’s Back,” and “I Want Candy,” as well as producer for vintage-singed rock peers The Raveonettes. A perfect fit for the retro sounds of Dum Dum Girls, who have paused, briefly, before heading back out on the road, ping-ponging from the U.S. to Europe and back through October. Dee Dee took some of that precious time to share a bit of her road-wise perspective.

BTR:  You just finished your first major European tour. How was it?
DD:  It was overwhelmingly great. I had a hard time accepting it was really happening. Collecting all of these priceless memories in cities all over, playing my songs with the girls, seems too good to be true. Primavera was a perfect, surreal ending.

BTR:  Any new favorite places?
DD:  Ravenna, Italy — a wild, beach side show preceded by a delicious meal.

BTR:  Discover any lovely new foods?
DD:  A secret cocktail in Venice, Italy consisting of strawberry-banana puree, vodka, and something else.

BTR:  Do any good shopping?
DD:  London for vintage shoes and outrageous stage wear, and Barcelona for Deadstock sunglasses and yet another black dress.

BTR:  How do you entertain yourself out on the road?  Any current favorite podcasts, albums, books, or must-watch hotel TV?
DD:  Yoga podcasts, prank call downloads from Longmont Potion Castle, autobiographies, Rimbaud, and BBC World News.

BTR: Are you inspired to write new stuff on your travels?
DD:  I store it up on tour and it spills out when I get home.

BTR:  Looks like it will be a busy summer for the girls; what are your fall plans?
DD:  New EP, our own USA tour.

Keep that promise for new material on your radar, and in the meantime be on the lookout for four women dressed in black with killer rock hooks headed to a city near you. Plus listen up for music from the Dum Dum Girls spinning here on BTR!

Dum Dum Girls Live:

June 30 – Bottom of the Hill* – San Francisco, CA
July 01 – Echo* – Los Angeles, CA
July 02 – Casbah* – San Deigo, CA
July 03 – Detroit Bar* – Costa Mesa, CA
July 15 – Slottsfjell Festival – Tonsberg, Norway
July 16 – Arvika Festival – Arvika, Sweden
July 17 – Bakken – Copenhagen, Denmark
July 18 – Dour Festival – Dour, Belgium
July 20 – Handelsbeurs – Ghent, Belgium
July 22 – Valkhof Affaire – Nijmegen, Netherlands
July 23 – Glazart – Paris, France
July 24 – The 1234 Festival – London, United Kingdom
July 25 – Tramlines Festival – Sheffield, United Kingdom
July 26 – The Cluny – Newcastle, United Kingdom
July 27 – Cabaret Voltaire – Edinburgh, United Kingdom
July 28 – Sound Control – Manchester, United Kingdom
July 30 – TBC – London, United Kingdom
August 1 – Soundlabs Festival – Rosetto Degli Abruzzi, Italy
August 2 – Soundlabs Festival – Rosetto Degli Abruzzi, Italy
August 5 – Plage de Rock Festival – St. Tropez, France
August 6 – Rote Fabrik – Zurich, Switzerland

* = w/ Crocodiles

Matt & Kim (Photo by Tod Seelie)

Matt & Kim are Brooklyn dance punk darlings Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino. The pair met while attending Pratt Institute, started dating, then started music in 2004 and haven’t looked back since. They prove that necessity is indeed the mother of invention with their full steam ahead approach that found them learning their instruments after deciding to start a band. While the approach might seem backwards to some, it has allowed Matt & Kim a certain freedom to risk, to play and to (gasp!) have fun with their new endeavors—luxuries that some artists, caught up in the worries of “the industry,” can’t always seem to afford.

This is not to say the two don’t take their music and business efforts seriously. Within two short years, they had built a formidable online following through sheer DIY determination, playing in any and every venue possible and utilizing social networks to their full grassroots marketing capacity. Known for dazzling audiences both large and small with an inexhaustable enthusiasm, their success seems to follow a simple but fail-proof recipe: 1)  write a kick-ass pop song 2) spread the word online, then 3) shake your booty in live concert for 45 min to 1 hour. When asked in an Each Note Secure interview about what keeps them inspired on the road, Matt admitted that they often play top 40 hip-hop, defending its potential for creative ingenuity within the industry.

Matt & Kim’s first self-titled album came out in the fall of 2006, followed by Grand in 2009 with the Fader Label. Grand’s hit single “Daylight” has been remixed several times and featured in a whole slew of media slots ranging from NBC’s “Community” to a fully translated “Simlish” version on The Sims 3’s indie rock “radio” station.  2009 brought them both an MTV Breakthrough Video award and a Best Video Woodie for “Lessons Learned” .

No strangers to Siren Fest, Matt and Kim played the Stillwell Stage back in 2007 but this year marks their first return. Even if you can’t catch them on Coney Island, they’ll be touring pretty rigorously through the Midwest until September so do your best to hunt them down!  (Rumor has it that Kim has been known to try crowd-top booty dancing, so stick close to the front.)

Matt & Kim Live:

July 3 – The Piazza at Schmidts – Philadelphia, PA
July 6 – Lupos Heartbreak Hotel – Providence, RI
July 17 – Siren Festival – Brooklyn, NY
August 1 – Naeba Ski Resort – Niigata, Japan
August 6 – Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL
August 20 – Pukkelpop Festival – Kiewit, Hasselt, Belgium
September 15 – The Westcott Theater – Syracuse, NY
September 16 – The Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
September 17 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
September 18 – Majestic Theater – Detroit, MI
September 19 – Metro – Chicago, IL
September 21 – Majestic Theater – Madison, WI
September 22 – First Ave – Minneapolis, MN
September 23 – The Granada Theatre – Lawrence, KS
September 24 – Ogden Theater – Denver, CO
September 27 – Rickshaw Theatre – Vanouver, BC
September 27 – Showbox at the Market – Seattle, WA
September 29 – Roseland Theater – Portland, OR
September 30 – The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA
October 1 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA
October 2 – Henry Fonda Theater/Music Box – Los Angeles, CA
October 6 – The Clubhouse – Tempe, AZ
October 8 – House of Blues – Dallas, TX
October 9 – Austin City Limits Festival – Austin, TX
October 12 – House of Blues – New Orleans, LA

Wye Oak (Photo courtesy of Wye Oak)

This year’s Siren Fest has a bit of a romantic theme with quite a few musically gifted duos playing the festival. Falling in line with this theme, Baltimore’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack are the pair behind the indie folk rock sounds of Wye Oak. Like their pop counterparts Matt & Kim, Jenn and Andy also formed through necessity, looking fruitlessly for other members before realizing they would need to be self-sufficient to find the sound they sought. So, while Andy keeps busy on simultaneous drums and keyboard, Jenn works with guitar and sings lead with a voice both tough and tender. The sound they create, like fellow Baltimore-based duo Beach House, is surprisingly powerful for such an intimate set-up. Personalizing the political and vice versa, the duo has drawn comparisons to indie vets Yo La Tengo, but if there is an invocation to be detected here it lies more with the roots-folk vibe of Fakebook than the “iconic” YLT sound of I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One.

Their debut If Children was first released independently in 2007, then again after signing with Merge in 2008. A sophomore album The Knot came out in 2009 to resounding critical praise, the band having successfully deepened the music and solidified their identity. With lyrics like “My creator/Doesn’t make a good neighbor,” April’s EP My Neighbor/My Creator bodes well for the new material ahead, too. At the start of a tour that will take them up and down the East Coast, they’ll be out on July 17 along with Matt & Kim, BreakThru Radio, and, hopefully, you!

Wye Oak Live:

July 17 – Siren Festival – Brooklyn, NY
July 20 – Johnny Brenda’s^ – Philadelphia, PA
July 22 – Rock & Roll Hotel^ – Washington, D.C.
July 25 – Whartscape – Baltimore, MD
August 17 – Daniel Street Club* – Milford, CT
August 18 – Rock & Roll Hotel* – Washington, D.C.
August 19 – Cat’s Cradle* – Carrboro, NC
August 20 – Grey Eagle* – Asheville, NC
August 21 – The Basement* – Nashville, TN
August 23 – The Frequency* – Madison, WI
August 26 – Schubas* – Chicago, IL
August 27 – Grog Shop* – Cleveland, OH
August 28 – Horseshoe Tavern* – Toronto, Ontario
August 29 – Il Motore* – Montreal, Quebec
August 31 – Iron Horse* – Northampton, MA
September 1 – Mercury Lounge* – New York, NY
September 2 – Middle East* – Cambridge, MA
September 3 – Johnny Brenda’s* – Philadelphia, PA
September 4 – Maxwell’s* – Hoboken, NJ

^ = w/ Deer Tick
* = w/ Lou Barlow

Link to this article:

– Britt Sondreal

New Album Release: Beach Fossil’s self-titled LP

Upon first listen, Brooklyn-based Beach Fossils self-titled LP seems like the epitome of the chilled-out summer album. They’ve got two plunking guitars, weaving poppy lines around a distant bass line. The drums bump and thud along with the occasional tambourine rattle, the pace never accelerating above a stroll. And, of course, it wouldn’t be 2010 without the ubiquitous reverbed-out vocals, which blanket the entire record in a dreamy, washed-out haze.  With these ingredients, Beach Fossils deliver about what you’d expect: mellow pop that speaks to the lazy days of deep summer, and recalls the shimmering of hot air rising off concrete and that unique feeling of exhaustion that only comes after a day spent outdoors doing absolutely nothing.

At their best, Beach Fossils conjure memories of Peter Bjorn and John, circa 2006, when the absurdly catchy “Young Folks” became the theme for the summer and seemed to be playing out of every orifice imaginable that could be affixed with a speaker *. Beach Fossils aren’t going to find themselves in any AT&T commercials like PB&J (they’ll need more bongos and songs that start with whistling for that), but in songs like “Youth,” “Vacation,” and “Daydream,” they turn out irresistible,  shimmering, lo-fi pop that many will leave on repeat through the last days of August.

Unfortunately, over eleven tracks — mostly of lesser versions of the three previously mentioned — Beach Fossils can’t maintain their cool. The lackadaisical chill-out drags just a bit to long, and the relaxing freedom of youthful summertime ennui begins to sound like affected indifference, drenched in reverb. The album comes to an uninspired end with its final track “Gathering.” The song — basically a minute and a half of ocean sound effects and a meandering bass-line — gives the impression that the band ran out of ideas, and then gave up.

Despite the shortcomings of the record as a whole, Beach Fossils have mastered lo-fi Brooklyn pop, and if they figure out a way to build on this sound and break up the monotony, they’ve got a truly excellent sophomore effort in their future. For now, they should be content with an LP good enough to serve as the soundtrack to many a Brooklynite’s mid-August rooftop relaxation.   There are plenty of bands in Brooklyn who would torch their flannels for that honor.

* Let’s not speak of how the single, and the album Writers Block on which it appeared, reached maximum saturation far too quickly, and continued to get played almost everywhere, until those of us who had previously adored the song couldn’t stand to hear another note of it because all it began to reminded us of were AT&T commercials and standing in line at Target.

Beach Fossils LIVE!!!

Jun 18 – Middle East Upstairs – Cambridge, MA
Jun 19 –  Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
Jun 22 –  KUNG FU NECKTIE Philadelphia, PA
Jun 23 –  DC9 – Washington D.C.

Link to this article:

– Thomas Seely

BTR Artists On Tour!

Hurry up! Even though there are great shows all throughout the wintertime, touring does slow down during the holidays. Bands have families too, and it’s the time of year to spend with them instead of running around entertaining us all over the country. Here are three bands you should catch on their tours beforehand.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros is the brainchild of Alex Ebert, originally of Ima Robot. He got dropped from his major label, moved to the woods, eschewed cell phones, and wrote music as fictional character Edward Sharpe. His songs are sprawling, cinematic, folk-pop tunes, enhanced by his girlfriend’s incredible voice. Their song “Home” has been licensed quite a lot. You might recognize it from Gossip Girl or Community, just to name a few. I haven’t seen this act live, but if their recent performance on David Letterman is any indication, their hippie earnestness makes for a particularly entertaining show. They’ll be all over the West Coast before taking a break for winter.

11/24 – El Mocambo Club – Toronto, ON, Canada
11/25 – El Macambo Club – Toronto, ON, Canada
11/27 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
11/28 – High Noon Saloon – Madison, WI
11/29 – The Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN
12/1 – Boulder Theater – Boulder, CO
12/2 – Sheridan Opera House – Telluride, CO
12/4 – The Bell Tower – Pullman, WA
12/5 – Neumos – Seattle, WA
12/8 – The Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, BC, Canada
12/9 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
12/10 – WOW Hall – Eugene, OR
12/12 – Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
12/14 – The Mayan – Los Angeles, CA

This time last year Real Estate was still in their parents basements in New Jersey, occasionally venturing to Brooklyn to play uncrowded shows. Now the little Jersey band that could is playing big venues and was one of the best acts at CMJ. Dreamy, summery rock is exactly the kind of pick-me-up you need for your emerging winter blues. It seems fitting, since this was one of the first bands I discovered in 2009, to end the year catching them on tour. Their live show has improved leaps and bounds since last winter. They sound like a band that’s been touring around for much longer than a year. Catch them in these size venues while you still can!

11/24 – Echo Curio – Los Angeles, CA
11/25 – Modified Arts – Phoenix, AZ
11/26 – Black Market – El Paso, TX
11/27 – Mohwak – Austin, TX
11/28 – City Tavern – Dallas, TX
11/29 – Sticky Fingerz – Little Rock, AR
11/30 – The Lyric – Oxford, MS
12/1 – 529 – Atlanta, GA
12/2 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
12/3 – TBD – Baltimore, MD
12/4 – Market Hotel – Brooklyn, NY

Capgun Coup is Conor Oberst’s Team Love’s latest signee. Like the record label, they are from Omaha, Nebraska, and will tour much of the South through Christmastime. They play rickety punk tunes that sound a lot like other similar 60s-inspired bands these days – Ty Segall, for instance. Capgun Coup is one of the few bands touring all the way through the holiday season, though they’re a band I’d recommend any time of the year.

11/24 – Bottleneck – Lawrence, KS
11/25 – Outland Ballroom – Springfield, MO
11/27 – Hailey’s – Denton, TX
11/28 – Mohawk – Austin, TX
11/29 – Cin El Ray – McAllen, TX
11/30 – Walter’s on Washington – Houston, TX
12/1 – Spanish Moon – Baton Rouge, LA
12/2 – One Eye Jacks –  New Orleans, LA
12/3 – Alabama Music Box – Mobile, AL
12/4 – Sluggos – Pensacola, FL
12/5 – The Social – Orlando, FL
12/6 – Common Grounds – Gainesville, FL
12/7 – Lenny’s – Atlanta, GA
12/8 – Proud Larry’s – Oxford, MS
12/9 – The Rev Room – Little Rock, AR
12/10 – George’s Majestic Lounge – Fayettville, AR
12/11 – Mojo’s – Columbia, MO
12/12 – Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA
12/13 – Waiting Room – Omaha, NE
12/27 – Bourbon Theatre – Lincoln, NE

Link to this article:

BTR Artists On Tour: Generationals, Sharon Van Etten, and WHY?

October is a prime time for touring bands. After the summer break of August and before the family-centered time between Thanksgiving and the New Year, bands get their fall tour in during October and November. There are hundreds of amazing BTR bands coming to a town near you, but here are three nation-wide tours that we particularly recommend checking out.

Sharon Van Etten is Brooklyn’s latest break-through star. Last year at CMJ I caught her giving a performance in the upstairs part of Pianos. Her guitar and sorrowful voice captured the audience, and her humble attitude drew them in even more. “I can’t believe I’m here,” she gushed.  She must be gushing all over the place these days, because she’s now embarking on an enormous fall tour with Great Lake Swimmers and Rain Machine. Definitely no longer just a Brooklyn singer-songwriter, she’s bringing her gorgeous tunes to the South and Midwest, and will even head up to Canada before heading back home. Check out one of these dates!


9/29 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
10/1 – The Black Cat – Washington DC
10/2 – The ArtsCenter – Carrboro, NC
10/3 – The Southern – Charlottesville, VA
10/9 – Bottle Tree – Birmingham, AL
10/10 – One Eyed Jacks – New Orleans, LA
10/12 – 40 Watt Club – Athens, GA
10/13 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
10/15 – The Annex – Madison, WI
10/16 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN
10/17 – Double Door – Chicago, IL
10/18 – Magic Stick – Detroit, MI
10/19 – Lee’s Palace – Toronto, Ontario
10/20 – Il Motore – Montreal, Quebec
10/22 – Middle East Upstairs – Cambridge, MA
10/23 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
10/24 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
10/25 – Black Cat Backstage – Washington DC

are going on an absolutely massive tour in support of their fourth studio album, Eskimo Snow. It’s definitely a departure for the band. They’re part of the Oakland collective/label, Anticon, which is home to many hip-hop acts. WHY? often veers towards the hip-hop side of things, but this latest album is 100% indie rock. Not only are they traveling America from coast to coast, but they’re hitting up Australia and New Zealand in support of the album, as well. In addition to the tour, they’ve put together a funny series of fictional comedic videos about their “new manager” to promote the album. They’re pretty funny, and include an appearance by Dennis from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. You can check those out on the band’s myspace page, and you should check out the band at a town near you.


9/26 – Le Poisson Rouge – New York, NY
9/27 -The Grind – Worcester, MA
9/30 – Daniel Street – Milford, CT
10/1 – The Middle East – Cambridge, MA
10/2 – First Unitarian Church – Philadelphia, PA
10/3 – William Pitt Union – Pittsburgh, PA
10/4 – The Blind Pig – Ann Arbor, MI
10/5 – Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
10/6 – UW Madison Terrace – Madison, WI
10/7 – Triple Rock – Minneapolis, MN
10/9 – Bluebird – Denver, CO
10/10 – In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
10/13 – Department Of Safety – Anacortes, WA
10/14 – The Vera Project – Seattle, WA
10/15 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
10/17 – Great American Music Hal – San Francisco, CA
10/18 – Velvet Jones – Santa Barbara, CA
10/20 – Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA
10/22 – The Loft – La Jolla, CA
10/23 – Modified Arts – Phoenix, AZ
10/24 – Club Congress – Tucson, AZ
10/26 – Hailey’s – Denton, TX
10/28 – Bottletree – Birmingham, AL
10/29 – Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC
10/30 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrborro, NC
10/31 – Lenny’s – Atlanta, GA
11/2 – The Social – Orlando, FL
11/3 – Common Grounds – Gainesville, FL
11/4 – Club Downunder – Tallahassee, FL
11/6 – Spanish Moon – Baton Rouge, LA
11/7 – Walter’s on Washington – Houston, TX
11/8 – Fun Fun Fun Fest – Austin, TX
11/10 – Jackpot Music Hall – Lawrence, KS
11/11 – Firebird – St. Louis, MO
11/12 – Gardner Lounge – Grinnell, IA
11/13 – Rhino’s Youth Center – Bloomington, IN
12/12 – Meredith Music Festival – Meredith, Australia
12/13 – The Troubadour – Brisbane, Australia
12/15 – East Brunswick Club – Melbourne, Australia
12/16 – The Annandale – Sydney, Australia
12/17 – Montecristo Room – Auckland, New Zealand
12/18 – San Francisco Bath House – Wellington, New Zealand

The Generationals are bringing their brand of two-man indie rock to the East Coast and the Mid West this fall. Their delightfully inconsistent (in style, not in quality) debut album is a favorite here at BTR, so much so that we asked the band to play our CMJ showcase at Trash Bar. Lucky for us, they agreed to stop by on their October and November tour. They’ll be playing at Trash Bar on Friday along with Jumbling Towers, Holiday Shores, and The Loom.  If you can’t make it to the BTR showcase (which you should!) then you can see them on one of their many other dates across the country this fall.


9/30 – Howlin Wolf – New Orleans, LA
10/20 – The Summit – Columbus, OH
10/21 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
10/22 – TT The Bears – Cambridge, MA
10/23 – Trash Bar – Brooklyn, NY
1023 – Union Hall – Brooklyn, NY
10/24 – Rock n Roll Hotel – Washington DC
10/25 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
10/26 – Boone Saloon – Boone, NC
10/27 – Grey Eagle – Tavern – Asheville, NC
10/28 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
10/30 – Voodoo – New Orleans, LA
11/1 – Bottletree Cafe – Birmingham, AL
11/2 – The Basement – Nashville, TN
11/3 – The Bishop – Bloomington, IN
11/4 – Schuba’s – Chicago, IL
11/5 – Illini Union Courtyard Cafe – Urbana, IL
11/6 – The Pike Room at Crofoot – Pontiac, MI
11/7 – Garfield Artworks – Pittsburgh, PA
11/11 – Club Vegas – Salt Lake City, UT
11/27 – Republic – New Orleans, LA

Link to this article:

– Madalyn Baldanzi

BTR Artists On Tour: The Mumlers, The Fruit Bats, and Nite Jewel

The end of August is usually a slow time for touring. The lazy last days of summer are when bands take off before their big fall tours and ponder the lure and excitement of CMJ. Luckily, there are still a bunch of great bands braving the heat and getting into their hopefully air-conditioned vans to bring their music to you!

The Mumlers are a rag-tag band of musicians led by Will Sprott. They play rambling, wavering, old-timey sounding indie music with multiple instruments and the heart and soul to match. The band constantly multiplies and changes, and their road to their current line-up is pretty interesting. One day there was an instrument sale at a local high school, so Sprott and a few friends obtained as many instruments as they could. Now, that same collage of instruments heavily influences the band’s sound. You can check them out live all across the country starting with a string of California dates this September!

9/5 – Invisible Ocean Festival – Mendocino, CA
9/8 – Streetlight Records – San Jose, CA
9/11 – The Blank Club – San Jose, CA
9/18 – The Crepe Place – Santa Cruz, CA
9/26 – Henry Miller Library – Big Sur, CA
10/7 – Hemlock Tavern – San Francisco, CA
10/8 – Sophia’s – Davis, CA
10/17 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA
10/18 – The Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA
10/20 – Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
10/21 – Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
10/23 – The Mohawk – Austin, TX
10/24 – Hailey’s – Denton, TX
10/25 – One Eyed Jack’s – New Orleans, LA
10/26 – The Bottletree – Birmingham, AL
10/27 – 40 Watt Club – Athens, GA
10/28 – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC
10/29 – Black Cat – Washington DC
10/30 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
10/31 – Maxwell’s – Hoboken, NJ
11/1 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY

The Fruit Bats have been around for ten years now, and they just released a wonderful new album, The Ruminant Band. It’s light and airy, with upbeat songs that evoke feelings of happiness and triumph. It’s a great album for tough times. They’re heading out at the end of this month in support of the album. But this is no usual tour. In addition to all their dates at some of the major clubs around the country, they’re playing free shows in record stores! Not only are they giving fans the opportunity to check them out for free, but they’re also supporting one of BTR’s favorite causes: buying music! Make sure to make it out to at least one of these store dates if they’re coming to a city near you.

Fruit Bats (instores)

8/25 – Amoeba – San Francisco, CA
8/25 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA
8/26 – Spaceland – Los Angeles, CA
8/27 – Plush – Tucson, AZ
8/28 – Corazon – Santa Fe, NM
8/29 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
8/31 – GuestRoom – Oklahoma City, OK
8/31 – Opolis – Norman, OK
9/1 – Good Records – Dallas, TX
9/1 – The Loft – Dallas, TX
9/2 – Waterloo – Austin, TX
9/2 – Mohawk – Austin, TX
9/3 – Walter’s on Washington – Houston, TX
9/4 – Spanish Moon – Baton Rouge, LA
9/5 – Red Star Bar – Oxford, MS
9/6 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
9/7 – Grimey’s – Nashville, TN
9/8 – Exit In – Nashville, TN
9/9 – The Square Room – Knoxville, TN
9/10 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
9/11 – Black Cat – Washington DC
9/12 – Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
9/14 – Music Hall of Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY
9/15 – TT The Bears – Cambridge, MA
9/16 – Big Orbit’s Sound Lab – Buffalo, NY
9/17 – Southgate House – Newport, KY
9/18 – Zanzabar – Louisville, KY
9/19 – Orpheum Stage Door – Madison, WI
9/20 – Reckless – Wicker Park, IL
9/20 – Schubas – Chicago, IL
9/21 – Schubas – Chicago, IL

If real-good feel-good indie rock isn’t exactly your thing, why not head out to a Nite Jewel show this September? Nite Jewel is the moniker of Ramona Gonzalez, and she creates beautiful, dreamy, washed out electro-pop. She’s playing a marathon tour around Europe this September, so if you’re lucky enough to be there, make it out to one of these shows. If you do, you’ll get to see her unique method of making music from portable 8-track cassette players. Not only does she create music, but she’s a visual artist as well, and has done video installations. Nite Jewel is a cool, quirky artist you won’t want to miss.

Nite Jewel

8/22 – Young Art Gallery – Los Angeles, CA
9/3 – Via Latina – Coimbra, Portugal
9/4 – Plano B – Porto, Portugal
9/5 – ZDB Gallery – Lisbon, Portugal
9/9 – Ping Pong/An Crubin – Cork, Ireland
9/10 – Twisted Pepper – Dublin, Ireland
9/11 – Revolver – Oslo, Norway
9/12 – Numusic Festival – Stavanger, Norway
9/13 – Ladyfest with Geneva Jacuzzi – Copenhagen, Denmark
9/16 – Katapult/Studio 80 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
9/17 – West Germany with Geneva Jacuzzi – Berlin, Germany
9/18 – King Georg – Cologne, Germany
9/19 – Oscillations/Les Halles de St Gery – Brussels, Belgium
9/20 – La Dependance – Lausanne, Switzerland
9/22 – St Ex – Bourdeaux, France
9/23 – La Maroquinerie with The Fiery Furnaces – Paris, France
9/24 – Dynamo – Turku, Finland
9/25 – Korjaamo – Helsinki, Finland
9/26 – Ekko Festival – Bergen, Norway
9/28 – Chameleon – Nottingham, UK
9/30 – Star and Shadow – Newcastle, UK
10/1 – Stereo – Glasgow, UK
10/2 – Sneaky Petes – Edinburgh, UK
10/3 – Cargo – London, UK
10/4 – Lo Recordings Showcase – London, UK

Link to this article:

– Madalyn Baldanzi