On Sale Announcement for
Monday, March 11, 2013
The artists who would come to be known for posterity as Sparks commenced inventing their often-copied, seldom-equaled brand of music back around 1970, when pop was young and brash and the Southern California airwaves awash with a contingent of post-British invasion inspirations like The Kinks, Barrett’s Floyd, and The Seeds. The purchase of countless shiny-sleeved import LPs convinced young Ron and Russell Mael that this enticingly provocative presentation would be the ideal means by which to impress upon the public their idiosyncratic take on life, art, and everything. Their efforts crystallized in 1971, with the addition of another pair of brothers, Earle and Jim Mankey, and drummer Harley Feinstein, incorporated under the uncommon name of Halfnelson. Produced by wonderboy and kindred spirit Todd Rundgren, the group’s startlingly original debut yielded a local hit (‘local’ being Montgomery, Alabama); then vanished from view. Their label, with the mysterious logic that only record companies possess, decided that their sportcentric moniker was responsible for the album’s less-than-stellar performance, and suggested a Marx Bros-inspired name change: thus Sparks was born.
The Infamous Stringdusters are doing something right: earning critical acclaim, awards, and nominations aplenty; hosting their own successful music festival; forging their own record label, High Country Recordings; and quickly growing and enthusiastic fan base across the country. They sound like no one else, combining virtuosic chops on five traditional bluegrass instruments, with an ethos of pushing the genre forward. The Stringdusters’ live show takes improvised string band music to new places, combining musicianship and songwriting with experimental performance and contagious energy flowing between the band and crowd. And with “Silver Sky”, the first studio album on High Country Recordings, the band showcases their progressive nature and proficiency in the recording studio.
Special Guest: Thundercat
Flying Lotus’ albums are events. They’re not issued with a mechanic regularity and they don’t subscribe to recognized formulae. For those prone to astral traveling and metaphysical introspection they are another piece of the puzzle. For those, let’s say more ‘conventional’ listeners, the records are grand and ghostly sweeping movements – the sort of which are rarely undertaken at present. For being such a potent strain of future-thinking music, the scope of Flying Lotus’ full-lengths recall the ambition and vision of many older masters while at the same time look unflinchingly towards the beyond. As the psychic ripples caused by Flying Lotus’ Cosmogramma are still felt, the ground broken by its larger-than-life presence has proven to be very fertile soil indeed. That opus illustrated the universe that Flying Lotus inhabited, one in which Californian psychedelic gurus bumped elbows with Radiohead while the synthesizers were tuned to the strains of outré soul jams and the orchestra was conducted by the psilocybin-assisted movements of the deepest free-jazz nomads. From the neon afterglow of this ‘space-opera’ would come the vapor trails leading to FlyLo’s next revelation.
Date: May 30, 2013 @ 8:00pm
Elizabeth Caroline Orton, commonly known as Beth Orton, is a BRIT Award-winning English singer-songwriter. Known for her “folktronica” sound, which mixes elements of folk and electronica, she was initially recognised for her collaborations with William Orbit and the Chemical Brothers in the mid 1990s – but these were not Orton’s first recordings. She released a solo album, Superpinkymandy, in 1993. Since the album was only released in Japan, it went largely unnoticed by international audiences. Her second solo album, Trailer Park, garnered much critical acclaim in 1996. With the release of the albums Central Reservation (1999) and the 2002 UK top 10 album Daybreaker, Beth developed a devoted fan base. On her 2006 release, Comfort of Strangers, she has moved towards a more folk-based sound and away from the electronic sound of past albums.
Such seeming contradictions are what make Hitchcock a credible narrator to his incredible kingdom of song, the one he’s built on a foundation of dreamlike, whimsical, tragic comedy and set to gorgeous and slightly askew melodies for the last 30 years.“What makes this record for me is the musicians I was able to gather,” says Robyn Hitchcock of Olé! Tarantula, a surreal vision and Technicolor celebration of life – from its inception and the whole catastrophe of it – till its groovy decay and inevitable last breath. “To me, the whole record is sadness cloaked in fun. But under that sadness, more fun,” says Hitchcock. Recorded in Seattle in September 2005 and March 2006, Hitchcock is joined throughout Olé! Tarantula by the Venus 3 – Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin – old friends who he notes are also “3/4ths of the Minus 5 and half of R.E.M.”