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Invisible Children is a non-profit organization focused on ending the 26 year-long war in Central Africa where Joseph Kony has been abducting children and forcing them to fight as child soldiers. Curated by Alexandra Patsavas (Chop Shop Music) Feat: the Mountain Goats Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats) + Andy Cabic (Vetiver) Ivan & Alyosha La Sera NO
For more than a decade, DeVotchKa has been melting its sweeping collection of influences into an authentic and totally original blend of rock 'n' roll. With the release of the band's fifth album, "100 Lovers" (Anti- Records, 2011), the band headed back to the romantic influences of the Arizona desert with producer Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Neko Case) to create a compendium of short stories inspired by the varied moments the band experienced since the release of A Mad & Faithful Telling (Anti-, 2007). Like many bands, DeVotchKa spent much of their early years traveling the highways and byways searching for gigs and a musical direction. As time went on, the band began to foster important musical collaborations with the unequivocal Calexico and the seminal gypsy punks Gogol Bordello. DeVotchKa's first big break happened when Nic Harcourt, former music director for KCRW, introduced his listeners to a then unknown rock band of worldly sounds on his daily radio show, "Morning Becomes Eclectic". Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, who were listening that day, stumbled upon the sound for their movie, "Little Miss Sunshine". A critical and box office hit, the film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and, for DeVotchKa's soundtrack, a Grammy. The little band from Denver was suddenly internationally admired, headlining large venues and performing at practically every major music festival, from Coachella to Lollapalooza. After years of toiling in obscurity, the band was selling out shows from the Fillmore in San Francisco to First Avenue in Minneapolis, with breakout performances at Bumbershoot and Austin City Limits Music Festival. The love spread to Europe, which has become a yearly destination for the band. In 2011, DeVotchKa played a number of European and American festivals, including Glastonbury and a return to Bonnaroo. "100 Lovers" is the album DeVotchKa had always wanted to make. "How it Ends" was recorded and mixed in only nine days. On "A Mad and Faithful Telling," the band had more time and conducted complex arrangements and experimental recording techniques. For "100 Lovers", DeVotchKa spent over a year defining their sound, taking multiple trips to the desert studio to craft twelve new recordings. The final product is the bands strongest album to date, filled with songs fans will love, songs to draw in new listeners, and exciting numbers that fit nicely into their rousing live sets. With the new album, DeVotchKa have achieved success carving their own singular sound out of the worlds of rock, opera, theater, dance, and film. DeVotchKa is: Nick Urata: Vocals, guitars, Theremin, trumpet, piano Jeanie Schroder: acoustic bass, sousaphone Shawn King: drums, percussion, trumpet Tom Hagerman: violin, viola, accordion, piano
White Arrows may never divulge the source of their strange magic, but it's hard not to picture a mystic dance floor hidden in the midst of a tropical rainforest. The Los Angeles band stands at these balmy crossroads like a vision from an alternate reality: classic without leaning on nostalgia, visionary but not unfamiliar. What should be a collision of sounds and styles—ritualistic rhythm and four-four thump, synth sequences and strummed guitars, garage-y grind and airy atmosphere—is, in this quintet's capable hands, a fluidly seething whole. Call it Psychotropical pop, something both busy and breezy Call it Paul Simon in space (others have). Call it what you will. This is White Arrows. The White Arrows story begins with a blind boy. Singer Mickey Church was born seeing the world as an impressionistic smear. His vision was righted at age 11, but his imagination ran wild for the intervening years. Since he couldn't make out those around him, he assumed they couldn't see him either. He rode made-up horses and sung songs that didn't exist. His memory of growing up in L.A. is confined to smells, sounds and swaths of fuzzy color. Mickey's father, a student of African percussion, encouraged him and his little brother Henry to pick up instruments as kids, so they played what was around. With family back east, Mickey eventually left for NYU, and unexpectedly wound up with a degree in shamanistic ritual. Mickey's studies led him to examine the thin line that separates genius from insanity in art, and inspired him to create music that blurred familiar borders. In a Bowery basement, he made what would become the White Arrows EP—demos that took on new life once he returned home. Soon, Henry picked up the sticks. Their old friend J.P. Caballero joined on guitar, with Andrew Naeve on keys and beats, and Steven Vernet on bass. The five bonded over a shared love for sensory overload both aural and visual—essential to the White Arrows live show. And with only a 7-inch to sell, they toured with Cults, Those Darlins, and the Naked and Famous, played Sasquatch, opened for Weezer, and held residencies at home and in London. Late last year, however, the guys decided it was time to slow down. They've since been holed up in L.A.'s canyon country recording the songs that will make up their debut LP. Inspired by RAC's propulsive dance mix of their angular banger, "Coming Or Going," they challenged the Portland remix geniuses to produce the entire White Arrows album due out this summer. RAC agreed, and the first fruits of their labors come via an April digital EP led by "Get Gone," the kaleidoscopic single that pits Mickey's transcendent croon against a bursting blend of elements both organic and electronic. When all's said and done, you'll be as likely to find White Arrows playing Coachella as Electric Daisy Carnival. In either case, expect to sweat.
LA-based WHISPERTOWN is the latest iteration of the unique vision of Morgan Nagler (songwriter, lead vocals, guitar). What was once The Whispertown 2000 has morphed into a less structured version of itself, with Nagler’s unmistakable vocals leading a revolving cast of musicians and artists. As The Whispertown 2000, Nagler and company garnered support slots for Jenny Lewis, The Breeders, Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, She & Him, The Elected, Azure Ray, Maria Taylor and many more. The band soon caught the attention of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, inspiring the first signing to their own Acony Records. Shortly thereafter, the band released 2008’s Swim, their debut release from Acony, comprised of classic songwriting and harmonious folk-pop. WHISPERTOWN’S sophomore release on Acony Records, Parallel, sticks to Nagler’s earth grounded wisdoms while taking a turn toward a new form of lo-fi electronica. Parallel moves easily through rock gems like “Blood From Wine” and “State Of Mind” with lyrical prowess, only to be punctuated perfectly by stark dance tracks such as “Open The Other Eye.” Produced, recorded and mixed by Andy LeMaster (Bright Eyes), Co-Produced by Jake Bellows (Neva Dinova), and Executive Produced by David Rawlings, the stars have aligned here. This is classic music for the people.