Entries tagged with: Asthmatic Kitty

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an album that came out this week on Asthmatic Kitty

First Wilco cancelled an Indiana show in protest of the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (which could legalize discrimination against the LGBT community), and now a handful of record labels with offices in Indiana are protesting too. Asthmatic Kitty, Secretly Group, Joyful Noise and more have signed a letter titled "Music for Indiana," which reads:

We are a group of independent record labels and music businesses based in Indiana. We are deeply disappointed with the recent passage of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the message that it sends to those both in and out of our state. At the very least, this is a poorly written and unnecessary piece of legislation. At the worst, it provides a path to legal discrimination.

We join the chorus of Indiana residents and businesses calling on Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana General Assembly to repeal the IRFRA. Additionally, we appeal to our state government leaders to enact legislation clearly protecting the civil liberties of LGBT individuals to assure that none of our employees or neighbors may be discriminated against due to sexual orientation or gender identity.

Some businesses and individuals have taken action to suspend or reduce participation in Indiana's economy. While this sort of action is well-intended to place pressure on government leaders to repeal or fix this law, we feel an isolationist approach can sometimes be misguided. As music companies, we cherish the power which music and art can have in promoting social progress. We believe cultural events can be a great opportunity to put a glaring spotlight on injustice. We will continue to proudly call Indiana home, and we call on others in the arts community to address this issue constructively. To musicians with events scheduled in Indiana -- please follow through and perform. While canceling shows is one way to protest, a greater statement can be made by coming here and using your art to influence the policy debate that is occurring locally. You can insist that the venue you play publicly states that they will not discriminate under any circumstances. If the venue won't do that, rebook your show with another venue that will. Your performance can be a rally. We need your support locally.

Signed with respect,
Asthmatic Kitty Records
The Bishop
Bloomington Guitar & Amp
Cultural Cannibals
Dead Oceans (Secretly Group)
Flannelgraph Records
Fort William Artist Management
Indy CD & Vinyl
Jagjaguwar (Secretly Group)
Joyful Noise Recordings
Jurassic Pop Records
Landlocked Music
Luna Music
Magnetic South Recordings
Mahern Audio
Meitus Gelbert Rose LLP
MOKB Presents
Russian Recording
SC Distribution
SC Publishing (Secretly Group)
Secretly Canadian (Secretly Group)
Spirit of '68 Promotions

An email from Asthmatic Kitty also adds, "We welcome other music businesses in Indiana to join in signing with us." You can do so here.

photos by PSquared Photography, words by Andrew Sacher

Linda Perhacs @ Mexican Summer 5
Linda Perhacs

One of my personal favorite rediscovered gems from the late '60s/early '70s psych-folk era is Linda Perhacs' Paralellograms, an album quite literally ahead of its time that mixed the contemporary folk sounds of that era with eerie layers of dissonance that didn't become commonplace in folk music until decades later. Linda's been slowly gaining recognition and reigniting her career in recent times, having just made her NY debut at the Mexican Summer 5th Anniversary that took place in October. I unfortunately missed that show, but BV's Bill Pearis was there and said she had probably the biggest crowd of the day, seemed taken aback by all the love from the audience, and sounded great. Durga McBroom, who has also done backup for Pink Floyd, sang with her at the show, and some of Linda's well-known fans like Devendra Banhart (pictured below) were in the audience. Pictures and videos of her set from that show are in this post.

Now, after talking about it for some time, Linda has finally announced that she'll release The Soul of All Natural Things, the loooong-awaited followup to Parallelograms, on March 4, roughly 44 years after its predecessor initially came out. The album is coming out via Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty label, and as discussed, features contributions from Nite Jewel and Julia Holter. The new album's first single is "Freely," a song that picks up right where Parallelograms left off and still sounds entirely of the moment considering artists like Marissa Nadler, Jessica Pratt, Mariee Sioux and others are keeping this sound alive. Her voice is still in fine form too.

Watch the video for the new song, along with the album's tracklist and more pics/videos from Mexican Summer 5, below...

Continue reading "Linda Perhacs releasing 1st LP in over 4 decades on Sufjan's label (new song ++ belated pics & video from her NY debut)"

Sufjan Stevens @ Bowery Ballroom in 2009 (more by Vincent Cornelli)

Asthmatic Kitty is giving away a 10-song sampler. Tickets go on sale at 10am for the two Sufjan Stevens shows at Beacon Theater. All dates HERE. The video for "John Wayne Gacy Jr", below...

Continue reading "free Asthmatic Kitty sampler, Sufjan Stevens tickets "

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Julianna Barwick - Cloudbank (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Eluvium - Similes (MP3)


"I sort of decided that I wanted to do something that I hadn't done before, or at least not since I was a teenager," said [Eluvium/Matthew Cooper]. "I wanted to work more in the pop space and to use lyrics as an instrument."

Cooper went back to work, scrapping the album he'd been working on and creating a new set of songs, this time with words...Cooper has been calling Similes a pop record since he finished it. His label people tell him not to, that this is misleading, that in the market pop means something entirely different than these ethereal songs. But Cooper remains stubbornly attached to the label. "Oddly, I kind of feel that I have yet to make a record that isn't a pop record," he said. "I listen to what I've been doing with ambient and noise and drone and textural stuff and relative to what I was usually influenced by, like Stockhausen or Steve Reich or John Cage, it just seems so much more pop. There are chord changes and melody. It's really not that far from the concept of pop music."
[Pop Matters]

The new record from Portlander Matthew Cooper aka Eluvium, Similes, out now on Temporary Residence (the same label The Books signed to for their new LP, The Way Out, due in July). Eluvium is going on tour for the month of May, and about half of those shows will be with another dreamy, textured solo band, Brooklyn's Julianna Barwick. They play (Le) Poisson Rouge on Wednesday, May 19th. Tickets are on sale.

Julianna recently signed to Asthmatic Kitty. Her debut on that label will be out in 2011. She's expected to release another record too, a collaborative album put together with previous tourmates Roberto Lange (Epstein and Helado Negro) and Jonathan Dueck. Her debut, Sanguine, getting a vinyl re-release on M'Lady's in June. And the song above is from her recent Florine EP.

Videos of Elivium songs from the new record and all tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Eluvium - new album out on TRL (MP3), touring (dates) w/ Julianna Barwick (who signed to Asthmatic Kitty) "

by Andrew Frisicano

DM Stith plays The Stone on X-Mas...
pictured @ 92YTribeca in October (more by Vincent Cornelli)
DM Stith

The Stone has a great lineup of innovative pop-based acts scheduled for this December. Curators Sam Kulik (multi-instrumentalist who plays trombone in Nervous Cabaret) and David Garland (singer & songwriter and host of WNYC's "Spinning On Air" and "Evening Music") are the month's guest curators at the space.

Let's get into some highlights.

Skeletons Big Band and Capillary Action bring their new large-ensemble compositions (which Skeletons have been playing out since September) to the venue on Sunday, December 6th.

DanielsonDanielson will somehow pack his "family group" into the venue for a night of music on December 22nd. They just put out a new 7" single on his Sounds Familyre label. The video for its lead track "Moment Soakers" is below. Later that night, you can also see M6, a six-person vocal ensemble that performs the work of innovative composer Meredith Monk.

Sisters Ruth and Merrill Garbus (the latter of which heads tUnE-yArDs) will split an evening on December 23rd.

Diane Cluck is there on December 16th.
Larkin Grimm plays after David Garland on the 17th.

Rob Moose plays violin and other instruments with Antony and the Johnsons, My Brightest Diamond, Sufjan Stevens and others. He plays his first-ever solo show at the venue on December 18th.

Currituck County aka Kevin Barker is the late show on the 19th, and the one and only Dave Deporis will be there on the 27th.

And for those with an open Christmas Day, the venue presents an 8pm set from Asthmatic Kitty-signed songwriter DM Stith and a 10pm set that promises to be entertaining: David Garland (piano, clarinet), son Kenji Garland (some-input mixer) and guests present "Processing Xmas" which will features "Familiar seasonal songs processed and emancipated; family improvs; audience sing-alongs; a warm get-together on a winter night."

On December 29th Extra Life, typically a brooding, dark prog ensemble, will play as a duo, with frontman and guitarist Charlie Looker accompanied by the group's violinist Caley Monahon-Ward.

Then the month and year end with "JOHN ZORN'S ANNUAL END OF THE YEAR IMPROV" on Dec. 30th, and a TBA New Year's Eve event.

The Stone's full December schedule is below...

Continue reading "The Stone's December lineup (is really great) - Danielson, DM Stith, Skeletons, Dave Deporis, David Garland & more"

DOWNLOAD: Jookabox - You Cried Me (MP3)

Jookax record release show (by Dave Evans)

Asthmatic Kitty Records is representing in two neighborhoods of Brooklyn tonight (11/7). Sufjan's BQE movie screens one last time at the Bell House along with a performance by the Osso Quartet (see review of the 92yTribeca show). It's not clear if Sufjan Stevens will be there to introduce the film or not, though it seems reasonable that he would if he's in town. Tickets are still available.

Or maybe Sufjan will be in Williamsburg instead, checking out Jookabox (formerly Grampall Jookabox) whose album Dead Zone Boys was released on his label on November 3rd. The show is at Bruar Falls. Or maybe he'll just wait to see Jookabox when they/he plays Cake Shop on Tuesday (11/10). MP3 above. Video and all dates below...

Continue reading "Sufjan might be @ Bell House, Jookabox will be @ Bruar Falls (new album, MP3, video, 2009 tour dates)"

photos by Vincent Cornelli

Osso Quartet

"Hey, I'm your host: DJ Sufjan. Thanks for coming," he says, trying to stir the audience.

It will be a night of art -- but exactly how, or what kind of art, no one is certain.

Stevens speaks for a brief moment and introduces the first act, singer/songwriter DM [Stith]. Unlike most folk singers, [Stith] is backed by six other musicians: a percussionist, a bassist, a cellist, two violinists and a viola player. The classical backing only serves to assist his enchanting howl, which channels Eastern rhythms. His short set is defined by simple, delicate arrangements, like an appetizer before the main course.

A few moments pass, and Stevens climbs the stage once more. This time, he explains that his second album, "Enjoy Your Rabbit," was an electronic experiment that no one seemed to understand. As a result, he had the songs rewritten for the string quartet Osso, a group of classically trained women who perform interpretations of Stevens' songs. Stevens' experimental computer distortion transforms into high notes. The audience, formerly busy in conversation, is respectably silent. Dreamy sequences approach and linger as each song reaches a close. It is, most definitely, a non-traditional take on a classical medium. [NYU News]

After the live music came a screening of the BQE movie. The pictures in this post are from the third show on Saturday night. They did it at 7:30pm, 10:00pm, and then again st 12:30am (technically Sunday morning). The show is now on tour (though without Sufjan to introduce things), and will play NYC one more time. It happens at The Bell House on November 7th, and tickets are still on sale. More pictures from 92Y below...

Continue reading "a BQE evening w/ Sufjan Stevens, DM Stith & the Osso Quartet @ 92YTribeca in NYC - pics "

photos by Tammy Lo, words by Andrew Frisicano

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens played the first show of his four-night NYC run last night (10/4) at Bowery Ballroom. The set mostly covered material from Seven Swans (visited extensively at ATP NY in Sept.), Michigan, Illinois and new tracks. Full setlist and more pictures from that show, below.

His current tour dates (including all four NYC shows) are with Sufjan's Asthmatic Kitty labelmates Cryptacize (who are touring with Fiery Furnaces this November). That's just one of many goings-on Sufjan has with the Asthmatic Kitty label he co-founded. He's collaborating with his step-father (also the label's other co-founder) Lowell Brams on Music for Insomnia, Brams' debut and part of the label's Library Catalog series. The album, due December 8th, also includes contributions by Bryce Dessner (of the National and the Long Count) and cover art by Asthmatic Kitty's DM Stith.

Stith will be opening at Sufjan's Osso Quartet/BQE shows at 92YTribeca on October 24th and 25th. Two two screening on the 24th are sold out, but there's still tickets for the show on the 25th.

The Osso Quartet is taking that show on the road at the end of October into early November. The last show of the tour was to be at TBA venue in Philly. Instead it appears that they're closing out the tour at the Bell House on Sunday, November 7th. Tickets are on sale now. If is unclear if Sufjan will actually be at the new date. He will be at 92Y, but not on the rest of that tour.

In 2000, Asthmatic Kitty artist Shannon Stephens was interviewed by Sufjan to discuss her just-released debut album. He interviewed her again a few weeks ago to catch up and discuss The Breadwinner, Shannon's first album in 10 years, which came out September 8th. In the new interview (more of a discussion), Sufjan revealed some interesting things about himself...

Sufjan: I'm at a point where I no longer have a deep desire to share my music with anyone, having spent many years imparting my songs to the public. Although I have great respect for the social dynamic of music--that it should be shared with others, that it brings people together--I now feel something personal is irrevocably lost in this process. Now, while I refuse to act wholly on this impulse (I refuse to take my audience for granted in spite of my mood), I'm still trying to find the value of the song in private. Having spent ten years in private (not sharing your music), can you offer some wisdom on this matter? Does a song have any meaning even it's not shared?
A new video from Shannon is posted below.

More pics, video and the setlist from Sufjan's 10/4 Bowery show, with the above mentioned Asthmatic Kitty goodies, below...

Continue reading "Sufjan Stevens played Bowery Ballroom (pics, setlist), Brooklyn BQE show added & other Asthmatic Kitty news"

DOWNLOAD: Shannon Stephens - In Summer in the Heat (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Fol Chen - The Longer U Wait EP (ZIP)

Sufjan Stevens

Tickets for the NYC shows on Sufjan Steven's upcoming tour with Cryptacize go on sale this Saturday (August 15th) at 10am...

10-04: New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom (tix)
10-05: New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom (tix)
10-06: Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (tix)
10-07: Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (tix)
Also there's the BQE screenings coming up, which just added an extra showing.

Speaking sof Sufjan Stevens, Shannon Stephens, an Asthmatic Kitty labelmate of his, has a new album, The Breadwinner, coming out September 8th. It'll be her first in nearly 10 years. Sufjan played drums on her album that came out in 2000. He also interviewed her that same year...

Sufjan Stevens: This is a business question. Do you acknowledge any sort of christian market, or is that bunk? Would you be willing to participate in the christian market?

Shannon Stephens: Honestly, I feel that the christian music market was created out of a need for safety by separation. People wanted to know that the music they were listening to would not contaminate their souls or the souls of their children. The truth is that we are not contaminated by our culture, but by our own hearts. I do think it's important to feed the fire as little as possible, but shutting out the world and creating a safe subculture is not what Christ commanded us to do. Rather than making absolute judgments about christian bands or labels, I try to take them on an individual basis. Sometimes people ask me if I play "christian music"--I don't even know what to say. I'm a Christian, and I play music, but is it all praise and worship? No. I feel more comfortable outside of the box, where things are more dangerous and oftentimes more real.

"In Summer in the Heat" from Shannon's new record, is above. Tracklist and album art are below.

Cryptacize recently recorded a live session that was just posted as a free download and video on Luxury Wafers. Grab that here

Another band on Asthmatic Kitty, Fol Chen, recently put out a free remixes EP, The Longer U Wait, with contributions from "Liars, Simone White, Epstein AKA Roberto Lange, Rafter and more!" That's linked above, with art, tracklist and tour dates below...

Continue reading "Sufjan Stevens tickets, Shannon Stephens, a free Fol Chen EP"

Sufjan Stevens

One of our favorite things around here [at Asthmatic Kitty] is seeing our artists meander around the country spreading great music, so you can imagine our giddiness when two of our artists decided to pal up and tagteam an east-of-Lake-Minnentonka tour. The team? Sufjan Stevens and Cryptacize.

We wanted to make this as equitable for all of the fans so there are a few things to read carefully here. Due to the sizes of the venues, tickets will be limited. With that in mind, we wanted to avoid ticket scalpers and ensure that as many fans as possible could attend these shows. Tickets must be picked up at will-call the night of the show (not mailed), tickets are non-transferable and purchaser must present a government-issued photo ID. Also, there is a two ticket limit per purchaser. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Tickets go on sale Saturday the 15th. We'll post the purchase links on Thursday, but the venues will be handling the purchasing and will turn those on when they can (we have no control over what time Saturday they turn the links "on").

Coincidentally, Sufjan also has a film and corresponding soundtrack about the BQE to be released in October as well. Although this tour has nothing to do with that... [Asthmatic Kitty]

Those tour dates, which kick off September 21st in Philadelphia, end with a four-night NYC run. Two nights at the Bowery Ballroom (October 4th and 5th) and two nights at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (October 6th and 7th). According to Asthamtic Kitty, tickets will go on sale sometime Saturday.

The new dates come after Sufjan's September 12th set at ATP NY, but before his October 24th appearance at the 92YTribeca BQE screening.

Cryptacize last visited NYC in July while on tour with Casiotone for the Painfully Alone.

Full dates below...

Continue reading "Sufjan Stevens - 2009 small venue tour (dates), 4 NYC shows "


In late October Osso will begin a North American tour in support of their debut record Run Rabbit Run, a re-arrangement of Sufjan Stevens' Enjoy Your Rabbit--a genre-bending electronic instrumental song cycle referencing the animals of the Chinese zodiac--for the string quartet. The album is due out October 6 on Asthmatic Kitty Records. Also featured on the tour will be screenings of Stevens' The BQE, a 40-minute symphonic and cinematic exploration of New York's infamous Brooklyn-Queens Expressway....Asthmatic Kitty recording artist DM Stith...will also perform.
Tickets for the NYC BQE screenings on October 24th, which will have Sufjan in attendance, are currently sold out. Sufjan will be playing a set at ATP NY on September 12th. Full dates and more info on the Osso + BQE tour (with DM Stith on most dates) below...

Continue reading "Osso Quartet playing re-arranged Sufjan Stevens album on tour w/ BQE movie & Asthmatic Kitty label-mate DM Stith"

Sufjan BQE

"Sufjan Stevens premiered The BQE, a film and musical suite exploring New York City's infamous Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival in November 2007. The critically applauded performance featured 36 performers including a band, a wind and brass ensemble, string players, a horn section, projected film footage of the expressway and five hula hoopers. On October 20, Asthmatic Kitty Records will release The BQE (also available via Rough Trade in the UK, P-Vine in Japan, Spunk in Australia).

The comprehensive package features the CD soundtrack, the DVD of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway film footage, a 40-page booklet with extensive liner notes & photographs and an accompanying stereoscopic 3-D Viewmaster® reel. Furthermore, Asthmatic Kitty will release a limited edition double gatefold vinyl edition of The BQE on 180-gram vinyl with a large-scale 32-page booklet including liner notes, photographs and a black and white version of a 40-page BQE-themed Hooper Heroes comic book. View a video trailer of The BQE below.

On October 24, 92YTribeca will host the premiere screening of The BQE DVD with an introduction by Stevens. At the screening, the Osso Quartet will perform selections from Run Rabbit Run. Tickets for this event go on sale July 23."

Sufjan Stevens is playing ATP NY on September 12th. BQE trailer and more info below...

Continue reading "Sufjan Stevens releasing The BQE, appearing at NY screening"

DOWNLOAD: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Old Panda Days (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Optimist vs. The Silent Alarm (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cryptacize - Blue Tears (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cryptacize - One Block Wonders (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cryptacize - Mini-Mythomania (Edited by C Spencer Yeh) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Cryptacize - Tail & Mane (MP3)


"Cryptacize is former Kill Rock Stars artist, Nedelle Torrisi, plus Chris Cohen of The Curtains/ex-Deerhoof and Michael Carreira. Mythomania is their second album - out now on Asthmatic Kitty. Cryptacize deals in the unforgettable melody, the forsaken chord and the extravagant sentiment."
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (aka Owen Ashworth) released two albums earlier this year -- a singles collection, Advance Base Battery Life, and his fifth LP, VS. Children, both on Tomlab. "Old Panda Days," from the former, and "Optimist vs. The Silent Alarm," from the latter, are posted above.

Ashworth is currently on a summer-long North American tour, which has been fleshed out with a full schedule, listed below. He'll be playing Friday, July 3rd at the Market Hotel with Katie Eastburn and tourmates Cryptacize.

Unlike his recent European tour, which featured CFTPA as a four-piece band, these Casiotone dates will be solo. Sets will include "selections from Vs. Children & Advance Base Battery Life plus reworked olden times CFTPA classics in solo formation."

Cryptacize's new album Mythomania was released on April 21st. Three tracks off that album, and one made "mini", are available for free above. Buy it HERE.

Ashworth (Casiotone) recently posted a Myspace note about his tour plans for the fall, with info on how you can get him to play your town. That's posted below, with all tour dates and a selection of videos from his June 27th tourstop in KY, and some Cryptacize videos, below...

Continue reading "Cryptacize & Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - 2009 Tour Dates (Market Hotel), MP3s, albums, videos, stuff"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Asthmatic Kitty, K Records, Tomlab SXSW 2009 All Star Revue Mixtape (MP3)

Tomlab Mixtape

Tomlab SXSW Mixtape Tracklist (mixed by Rafter)
No Kids - Prisoner of Desire
Fol Chen - Cable TV
LAKE - Blue Ocean Blue
Jeremy Jay - Gallop
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Old Panda Days
What's Up - Seasonings Greetings
Grampall Jookabox - The One Thing
Parenthetical Girls - GUT Symmetries (Deerhoof Remix)
Rafter - No Fucking Around
Desolation Wilderness - No Tomorrow
DM Stith - Thanksgiving Moon
Tara Jane ONeil - Believe
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (Owen Ashworth) just finished playing a bunch of shows at SXSW this past week (his "HELL WEEK" TEXAS TOUR). If you're in Austin, you may have caught him last night (3/19) at Ms Bea's free Todd P patio party.

In April, Cftpa will tour Europe on the "'VS. CHILDREN VS. EUROPE' FULL BAND TOUR" in support of new album Vs. Children, out in early April on Tomlab. The record will be Ashworth's first new-material LP since 2006's Etiquette (see art and track list for the new record below). The label also just released a Casiotone "singles, covers, collaborations, & other rarities" record, Advance Base Battery Life, in early March.

Cftpa returns to the States in June/July for dates that include a Friday, July 3rd, Market Hotel show with Cryptacize.

The Donkeys, who sometimes tour as Casiotone's backup band (not sure if that's the case on any of the upcoming dates), played the BV day party on Thursday.

All tour dates, and Vs. Children artwork (by Heidi Anderson) and track list, below...

Continue reading "Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - 2 new CDs, Tomlab SXSW Mixtape, 2009 Tour Dates (Market Hotel)"

photos by Tim Griffin

DOWNLOAD: DM Stith - Pity Dance (MP3)

DM Stith

"DM Stith's first full-length debut comes out in March. Right, right; not soon enough, we agree. Well, you can check out "Pity Dance," the first single, right now. Two ways: watch it, with a beautiful and haunting video directed the accomplished Ryan Jeffrey (below), or listen to it by downloading the mp3 (above). The iTunes exclusive single is just $1.99 and includes a cover of Randy Newman's "Suzanne." Watch for Heavy Ghost next month.
DM Stith played Cake Shop on Friday night (2/27). More pictures from that show and the above-mentioned video (again), below...

Continue reading "DM Stith @ Cake Shop, NYC - pics"

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Chris Schlarb- Twilight Athens (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: DM Stith - Around the Lion Legs w/ Sufjan & Shara (MP3)

DM StithIn December, Asthmatic Kitty signee DM(Dave) Stith released the Curtain Speech EP, a five song collection (featuring the 7-minute epic "Just Once") that put him on the indie-pop radar.

On Friday, February 27, Stith will visit the Cake Shop for an early 8:30pm set on a bill that includes local spaz-rock Pterodactyl, Chicago's Sonoi, and a TBA.($7, 21+)

Stith's full-length, Heavy Ghost, out March 10, will feature guests that include Shara from My Brightest Diamond, and Asthmatic string-puller Sufjan Stevens (performing on "stapler, scissors, and a stationary fan" - via Stith's Dec 18th blog). The album, "recorded in bedrooms, churches, kitchens and instrumental rehearsal halls around the East Coast," comes packaged in a sleeve desgined by Stith, a graphic designer.

DM Stith also visited Daytrotter about a week ago. Of the session he says, "If you listen to only one, make it 'Braid of Voices.'"

His new record's first single,"Pity Dance," just came out on iTunes, with a video (see below), and a b-side a cover of Randy Newman's "Suzanne."

Chris SchlarbStith labelmate and fellow ghost-lover Chris Schlarb is performing his 2007 debut, Twilight & Ghost Stories, on Saturday, Feb 7th at The Stone with 8pm and 10pm sets.

The album, an adventurous, contemplative found-sound composition, was pieced together from snipets submitted to Schlarb by fifty musicians. It was "performed" in Athens, GA, on December 8, 2007, using only Section IV (of X). You can read the full story here), and check out a piece of the performance, which Schlarb titled "Twilight Athens" (MP3 above).

On the Red Hot benefit comp Dark Was the Night, due next Tuesday, Stith contributed backup vocals to the Sufjan-Buck 65-Serengeti track, "The Blood Pt. 2." The song remixes the Castanet's "You Are the Blood," which Sufjan also covers, and extends to nearly 11 minutes, on the album.

Asthmatic Kitty's Rafter was just in town and played a show at Cake Shop. All DM Stith dates, the video, and new album tracklist, below...

Continue reading "Asthmatic Kitty's DM Stith dates & video, Chris Schlarb's upcoming NYC shows"

DOWNLOAD: Chris Schlarb - Section IV (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Chris Schlarb - Section I (MP3)

Chris Schlarb

To those located in the New York City area, Asthmatic Kitty are happy to announce a rare opportunity to experience a performance of musician and producer Chris Schlarb's debut solo record, Twilight & Ghost Stories in its entirety. Chris will be performing this modern composition on Saturday, February 7th, at The Stone with many of the artists who assisted in the creation of this work of personal identity and catharsis. Twilight is a dense 40-minute work featuring a disparate cross-section of musicians from the avant-garde, independent folk, jazz, and electronic communities. When performed with a live ensemble the piece is conducted using a custom built lightbox to simulate the layers of sound found on the album.

Performance will feature all New York-based musicians
Diane Cluck - voice and acoustic guitar Shannon Fields - omnichord, glockenspiel, clarinet Roberto C. Lange - electronics (Savath y Savalas) Mick Rossi - piano (Philip Glass Ensemble) Katherine Young - bassoon G. Lucas Crane - tapes, electronics (Vanishing Voice) Tom Abbs - acoustic bass, dijeridoo Chad Taylor - drums (Iron & Wine) Chris Schlarb - acoustic guitar, electronics, lights and special guests

Chris Schlarb's Twilight & Ghost Stories - Saturday, Feb. 7th @ The Stone, 8pm & 10pm

words by Lauren Mooney, photos by Stephanie F. Black

Welcome Wagon

The Brooklyn church smelled like frankincense and was packed with folks in scarfs and sweaters and hats -- Andy Friedman & the Other Failures opened up the evening with rockabilly-tinged folk songs about drinking wine all day and going on road trips. The sense of heartbreak and longing for middle American landscapes was so much that Friedman broke a guitar string and had to borrow Welcome Wagon's for the closing numbers.

Then one of Asthmatic Kitty Records' latest creations got ready to take the stage -- the husband and wife team (Rev. Vito Aiuto and Monique) that make up Welcome Wagon are actually the pastor and wife of a congregation that meets at this same place on Sunday evenings. You can see why this church works in Williamsburg - they were the perfect combination of hip and genuine - if there is such a thing.

Sufjan Stevens played producer and came onstage first to make sure the stage was in order. And then the couple took the stage joined by many others - including back-up singers plucked from the choir and Stevens himself on banjo, guitar, backup vocals and triangle.

The most endearing thing was how the Reverend and his wife faced each other throughout the performance - and often broke into slight smiles. All the songs from the record were played - stopping every four songs or so to exemplify a real "welcome wagon" experience which consisted of giving away Monique-made cookies, the record and Polish sausage from Greenpoint. The winners were decided on who had moved to New York the most recently, who had traveled the farthest from the show and who had a Christmas birthday ("since you get gypped" said Aiuto).

Candy Stations added a warmth to the show by projecting visuals (flowers, stars and snowflakes) on big white balloons that hovered above the stage and twinkling white Christmas lights were draped over microphone stands. The highlight of the show (besides the unexpected giveaways) was the cover of The Smiths' "Half A Person." Morrissey's woe is me candor was turned into a joyous explosion of musical cuteness.

Welcome Wagon will be playing with Andy Friedman & the Other Failures again, at the latter's album release show at Southpaw in Brooklyn on January 29th. Tickets are on sale. More pictures from the last show below...

Continue reading "The Welcome Wagon, Sufjan Stevens & Andy Friedman played St. Paul's Lutheran (pics), next show is Southpaw (tix)"

DOWNLOAD: The Welcome Wagon - Sold! To the Nice Rich Man (MP3)

Welcome Wagon

The debut album by The Welcome Wagon unveils a ramshackle sing-a-long enterprise of a Presbyterian pastor (the Rev. Vito Aiuto) and his wife (Monique) wrestling out the influences of folk music, religion, popular culture, and church tradition in a collection of songs that is as soulful as it is good-humored. This gorgeous brew is reflected in the group's repertoire, which unflinchingly consolidates a vast history of "sacred" song traditions: from Old Testament psalms, to Presbyterian Psalters of the 17th century, to iconoclastic pop innovators of the 1960s (The Velvet Underground), to charismatic Catholics of the 1970s (Lenny Smith), and into the melancholy lovelorn pop of the 1980s (The Smiths). There are even a few originals. Armed with a particleboard parlor guitar and a plastic glockenspiel, pastor and wife stumble their way through an arresting catalog of hymns--hallowed and unholy--with the simple desire to know their Maker--and to know each other--more intimately. The result--due, in part, to producer/arranger Sufjan Stevens--is an awe-inspiring collection of hymns, pop covers, and originals that render soulful stunts from quiet skirmishes of home recordings. [Asthmatic Kitty]
Since we were already on the subject of Asthmatic Kitty releases that Sufjan is involved with that are coming out next week, I thought it was a good time to mention this one too. Welcome to the Welcome Wagon is out December 9th which is the same night of the release show at a church in Brooklyn...

Continue reading "The Welcome Wagon - Sufjan-produced album, release show"

DOWNLOAD: DM Stith - Just Once (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: DM Stith - Thanksgiving Moon (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: DM Stith - Be My Baby (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: DM Stith - Around the Lion Legs w/ Sufjan & Shara (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sufjan Stevens - That was the Worst Christmas Ever (MP3)

DM Stith

On December 9th, we [Asthmatic Kitty] will proudly unveil the very first release from DM Stith: the EP, Curtain Speech.

We signed David Stith after listening to just two demo songs. Yes, they were that good. And then, after a year of careful recording and revising, Stith finished Curtain Speech. It is an EP that - we admit - is little more than a tease for the upcoming 2009 full length, Heavy Ghost. Still, Curtain Speech is exquisite; a complex, atmospheric set of whispered songs. This EP gives us something to savor while we wait.

David and Sufjan don't have anything coming up, but Shara Worden aka My Brightest Diamond has a bunch of shows scheduled.

And since we're talking about Asthmatic Kitty, check out the winning entry in Rafter's recent video contest below...

Continue reading "DM Stith starring Sufjan Stevens & Shara Worden - MP3s"

DOWNLOAD: Rafter - Sweat (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Rafter - Salt (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Rafter - Juicy (MP3)


The EP began as a collaborative project with photographer Lizeth Santos to complete an art project a day. For Rafter, this often meant a self-made song entirely from production, vocals, to instrumentation, accompanied by a corresponding photograph from Lizeth. Asthmatic Kitty published a handful of these on their website, and they made their way onto blogs and forums from there.
Rafter's Sweaty Magic EP was released by Asthmatic Kitty in September. Three of the seven tracks on the disc are available at the top of this post for free. One of those songs first appeared on this blog last year.

TONIGHT (Friday, November 21) Rafter plays a very rare NYC show at Cake Shop at 8PM (his actual posted set time). That's it. 8 PM on a Friday, one Rafter show and then he's probably going right back to San Diego to live in obscurity for another two years.

A video and his only other scheduled date, below...

Continue reading "Rafter (Bunky) is here, and with a new EP - download some "

DOWNLOAD: Grampall Jookabox - Rill Bruh EP (ZIP FILE)

or, each track individually...

DOWNLOAD: 1. The Girl Ain't Preggers (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: 2. Ponta (Deppchef Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: 3. Peace Attack (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: 4. Air Penance (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: 5. That Steamboat Gothic Stomp (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: 6. Tic Tac Sumac (Future Rapper/ Liz Janes Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: 7. Bad Wis My 'Sploder (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: 8. That Steamboat Gothic Stomp (Ero Remix) (MP3)

Grampall Jookabox

Though signed to Asthmatic Kitty, Indiana's Grampall Jookabox is more Tim Fite than Sufjan Stevens. Check out the entire free "Rill Bruh EP" for download above.

Grampall Jookabox is in NYC to play two shows with PWRFL Power (Friday at Death By Audio and Saturday at Knitting Factory). All dates below...

Continue reading "Asthmatic Kitty's Grampall Jookabox touring, here, free EP "

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Danielson - Animal In Every Corner (Version) (MP3)


Secretly Canadian on Danielson:

Over the next few months we will be releasing brand new videos, unreleased mp3s from live shows, radio sessions, and the vault, as well as much much more. To start we're announcing two joyous events: the first domestic Danielson tour in over two years and the release on November 4 (December 1 in the UK) of Trying Hartz (First Fruits '94-'04), a two-disc retrospective of the first ten years of Danielson's body of work. Aside from fan favorite album tracks, it includes previously difficult-to-find songs, alternate takes, new intros & outros, and a few very choice live recordings. Also included are notes on each individual song by Daniel Smith himself as well as liner notes by best-selling novelist Rick Moody (The Ice Storm, Garden State).
Danielson will swing by the Knitting Factory in NYC on Halloween for the inaugural date of a month-long US tour - tickets are on sale. Joining (as part of the Famile and on their own) will be '60s-influenced pop trio Cryptacize, whose debut Dig That Treasure came out earlier this year on Asthmatic Kitty. Asthmatic Kitty is the "sister label" to Danielson's own Sounds Familyre. All tour dates and the "Trying Hartz" tracklist & cover art, below....

Continue reading "Danielson - new album, 2008 Tour Dates w/ Cryptacize "

proposing at a Rosebuds show, Rock and Roll Hotel - Jan 17, 2008 (CRED)

The Jealous Girlfriends @ Maxwell's - Nov 1, 2007 (Paul Bachmann)
The Jealous Girlfriends


* Tim Fite is playing Joe's Pub
* Antibalas is playing Southpaw
* The Rosebuds are playing Maxwell's
* Apes & Androids play Mercury Lounge
* Mission of Burma are playing Music Hall
* The Queers are playing Knitting Factory
* Luna Lounge celebrates 1 year w/ Michael Imperioli
* The Jealous Girlfriends are opening for Kevin Devine @ Bowery
* Blonde Redhead, The Raveonettes & School of Seven Bells @ Terminal 5
* UNGDOMSKULEN & The Shapes are playing Union Hall

"It's pronounced "UNG - DOM - SCHOOL - IN". They're from Norway. They play Cake Shop tomorrow, and they're touring the U.S.

"Don't Smash" is a cute cartoon by Asthmatic Kitty family member Tom Eaton. Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) is the voice of the bunny. The video is below. What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Saturday? (UNGDOMSKULEN)"

DOWNLOAD: Castanets - Sway (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Castanets - This is the Early Game (MP3)

The MP3's above came from the latest Castanets album "In the Vines". It came out in October on Asthmatic Kitty. I hear Castanets will be at SXSW in March, but before that, they'll be touring the West Coast (no East Coast at the moment). Those dates below....

Continue reading "Castanets - 2008 Tour Dates, In the Vines MP3s"