Entries tagged with: Chris Walla
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Amber Zbitnoff
Long-running singer/songwrriter and former Waxwing frontman Rocky Votolato is returning this year with his eighth solo album, Hospital Handshakes, which is due out on April 21 via his new label home No Sleep. It follows releases on Barsuk and other labels, making him at least the second artist after Harvey Danger to team up with both Barsuk and No Sleep. The record was produced by former Death Cab for Cutie member Chris Walla, who also produced Harvey Danger frontman Sean Nelson's recent solo album and many other records.
While Rocky's often heard without too much more than an acoustic guitar, the album's lead single "The Hereafter" is the kind of catchy, driving indie rock that wouldn't be out of place on another Walla-produced album, Nada Surf's The Weight Is a Gift. And while it still retains Rocky's intimacy, there's also an undeniable Springsteen influence on those anthemic melodies. Listen below, via Stereogum.
Rocky's gonna get even more intimate when he goes on his living room tour which begins in Orcas Island, WA this week (3/12) and wraps up in Seattle in late April. Like they usually are on these living room tours, the venues are unannounced, but advance tickets for most dates are on sale.
The tour's NYC stop is technically in a living room, but it's a living room that frequently doubles as Bushwick DIY venue Suburbia. It happens April 2 with a great lineup featuring another '00s Barsuk songwriter, Kind of Like Spitting's Ben Barnett (now on Topshelf), and former Vivian Girl Cassie Ramone. This show actually has no advance tickets; it's $10 at the door.
That's one day after Kind of Like Spitting's full-band tour with The City on FIlm (Braid co-frontman Bob Nanna's other band) hits NYC at The Studio at Webster Hall (4/1). Opening that one is the No Sleep-signed Lee Corey Oswald, and the band Living Room... who live at Bushwick venue Suburbia. Tickets are still available.
All Rocky Votolato dates are listed, with the new song, below...
by Andrew Sacher
photo: Death Cab at Beacon Theatre in 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
As discussed, Death Cab for Cutie is releasing their eighth album, Kintsugi, on March 31 via Atlantic -- their last with Chris Walla and first with an outside producer (Rich Costey) -- and they've now premiered its first single, "Black Sun" (one of three songs they recently debuted live). As you'd probably expect if you've heard the last few Death Cab albums, it's much cleaner and bigger sounding stuff than the band's introverted beginnings, and you can especially hear that they brought a big-name producer on board for this one. Listen for yourself, via the lyric video, below.
The band also announced a tour, much of which is with The Antlers, whose Familiars was one of our favorite albums of 2014. Unfortunately no NYC show at the moment. All dates are listed below.
Longtime Death Cab for Cutie member/producer Chris Walla recently left the band, but Death Cab are moving forward, and have now announced details for their upcoming eighth album. It's called Kintsugi ("the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum, highlighting cracks rather than hiding them"), and will be out on March 31 via Atlantic. As noted previously, though Walla does contribute to the album, it was recorded with Rich Costey (Interpol, Mew, Jane's Addiction), and marks their first time working with an outside producer.
No music has been revealed from it yet, but that's the album artwork above and you can check out the tracklist below...
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Mandy McGee
Sean Nelson, former frontman of Harvey Danger (who were among the '90s bands we just highlighted), is in NYC for a few weeks helping a friend out with a new musical, and while he's here he'll play a one-off show at Union Hall on August 21. Sean's performing with his wife Shenandoah Davis, and support comes from Brooklyn's Prairie Empire and Michigan's Small Houses. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Sean's debut solo album, Make Good Choices, came out last year via Really Records. If you've yet to hear that, it's a quality record of pop songwriting that should appeal to fans of Harvey Danger's swan song, Little by Little..., or Death Cab for Cutie, who Sean's collaborated with multiple times and whose now-former member Chris Walla produced, contributed to, and co-wrote a few songs on the new LP. You can hear the whole thing on Rdio and stream two of its tracks below. Sean also contributed to last year's holiday compilation on No Sleep Records, the label that recently reissued Harvey Danger's classic debut, Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone?.
Song streams and Union Hall show flyer below...
Outside Lands photos by Samantha Saturday
Chris Walla w/ Death Cab in 2012 (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
Chris Walla, original member and guitarist of Death Cab for Cutie (as well as a producer for them, The Thermals, Mates of State, The Decemberists and many other bands) has announced that he's leaving the band after 17 years of being a member. Here's his statement:
I think I long for the unknown. It might be that simple.The remaining band members also added, "We've had an incredible 17 years of making music with Chris and are very proud of what we've accomplished together, including our 8th studio album which we have just put the finishing touches on."
I will miss being a quarter of this band, and will support whatever course Death Cab for Cutie chooses from here. I am profoundly grateful to Ben, Nick, and Jason, for the experiences that define my adult life. Truly grateful, beyond words. Thank you.
I am also grateful to, and deeply humbled by, all of our fans. Without you, music would be mere 'content', and nothing could possibly be sadder than that. Thank you all, so dearly.
We've just finished our eighth album, which is our first with an outside producer. That producer is a fellow named Rich Costey, and working with him in this capacity is one of the greatest joys of my professional life. Thank you, as well.
There are so many others to whom I am grateful--our crew, our management, our families, the Atlantic, Barsuk and Elsinor labels, the Billions team. Thank you all.
Deciding to leave the band was not, and is not, easy. It's really, really sad. I love my bandmates, and I'm proud of what we've done, and mercifully, those things don't change with my departure. Moving forward, my plans are simply to continue making music, producing records, and erring on the side of benevolence and beauty whenever possible. Darkness may find me, but I shall never choose it.
Chris is leaving after the band's festival dates this summer, all of which are listed below along with some photos from the band's set at Outside Lands in San Francisco over the weekend. Stay tuned for more info on that upcoming album.
Onetime Carissa's Wierd singer Jenn Ghetto has been releasing records as S since the band broke up back in 2003. (Carissa's Wierd would also spawn Band of Horses and Grand Archives.) But up until now they were four-track home recordings. With the forthcoming Cool Choices (9/23, Hardly Art), S is now an actual band. Says Ghetto:
At the start of 2012, in the middle of a break-up, I started writing this record. As with the others, the songs all started in my bedroom, but I convinced my metal drummer friend Zach McNulty to help me flesh them out (you guys, he uses a lot of restraint), along with my longtime friends Betsy Olson (bass) and Carrie Murphy (guitar) because I knew they were talented, I liked being around them, and they both had cars.Chris Walla brings a similar production style to Cool Choices that he did to Now Now's Threads and you can hear for yourself via first single "Vampires" which is streaming below.
We spent about a year getting the new songs livable. We played around Seattle, and then Hardly Art was like, "Hey if you are gonna make another record we would like to put it out." I got to know them when they reissued the Carissa's Wierd catalogue in 2010. And I was like "Yessssss!" So I tracked down Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) to engineer and produce this thing. I had worked with him on a few Carissa's Wierd albums some years back, and thought he would be a perfect fit.
S will be touring this fall, hitting the East Coast in October, including a visit to NYC during CMJ. No details beyond they'll be here then have been announced, but all other dates are listed, along with the song stream, below..
Seattle label Barsuk began its life as a way for This Busy Monster to put out their 7" singles, but began in earnest in 1998 with the release of Death Cab for Cutie's Something About Airplanes. The label is celebrating 15 years with four nights of special shows in Seattle and a special day at Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival which is Labor Day Weekend.
The Bumbershoot day (Sunday, 9/1) includes Death Cab for Cutie's performance of Transatlanticism in full, plus sets by Ra Ra Riot, Mates of State, David Bazan, and Ramona Falls. Tickets for Bumbershoot are still available.
The four-night Barsuk celebration happens November 8 - 10 at various Seattle venues, and will include performances by Nada Surf (playing Let Go in full), Matthew Caws and Julianna Hatfield's new project Minor Alps, Mates of State, The Long Winters, Cymbals Eat Guitars, David Bazan, DCFC's Chris Walla, Menomena, Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, "special guests" and more. Full schedule below.
Cymbals Eat Guitars will be touring back home from the Barsuk anniversary, which concludes with a show at Brooklyn's Knitting Factory on November 23. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (8/16) at 10 AM.
All Cymbals Eat Guitars tour dates are listed, along with the Barsuk 15th Anniversary line-ups, below....
By Bill Pearis
Minneapolis trio Now Now are currently on the road with The Naked & Famous, a tour which rolls into New York next week for a sold-out show on Wednesday (4/4) at Terminal 5. For those who want to see them in a less cavernous (yet still high-ceilinged) venue, Now Now play a headlining gig on Tuesday (4/3) at Cameo Gallery with Lightyear and Field Mouse. After their stint with the Naked & Famous, the band will then hook up with fun. who will be atTerminal 5 on June 15 and 16 (both sold out).
Now Now's second album, Threads, came out earlier this month on Chris Walla's Trans Records. As you might expect from a label run by a member of Death Cab for Cutie, Threads is expansive, ocean-sized, heart-on-sleeve pop. (You can fill in your own late '90s/early '00s sensitive genre names.) It's a big, ambitious record that sounds like it was built for places like Terminal 5 and, who knows, it may not be long before they are headlining there themselves.
You can stream a couple Threads tracks at the bottom of this post and watch the video for "Dead Oaks" as well. Or you can stream the whole album on Spotify. All Now Now tour dates are below too...
also, we are mixing our record in TWO WEEKS with CHRIS WALLA! the new working title is "personal life" -The Thermals
The Thermals @ Pitchfork Fest 2k9 (more by Joseph Xu)
The Thermals have announced an April tour with Past Lives which includes a return to NYC. They'll play a show at Brooklyn Bowl on Tuesday, April 20th show (ahem, 4/20), almost a year after their last New York gigs in May '09. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 15th at noon.
Before then, the band has some West Coast dates lined up for February with their Kill Rock Star labelmates Thao & The Get Down Stay Down. "We will be playing all the hits, plus a few songs from our next LP, coming later this year," writes Hutch. As it says above, Death Can's Chris Walla is mixing the new album.
Walla and The Thermals have a long history together. Chris mixed The Thermals 1st LP More Parts Per Million (Sub Pop, 2003) and produced their 2nd LP, Fuckin' A (Sub Pop, 2004). The Thermals also supported Death Cab For Cutie on a few tours in 2003 and 2004.The new record is scheduled to be released by Kill Rock Stars on September 7, 2010.
The Thermals are no stranger to cover songs - they've long worked Built to Spill's "Big Dipper" into their sets, and the band's festival circuit shows last summer extended their covers repertoire to include songs like Green Day's "Basket Case" (video below). The Thermals aren't immune from the cover treatment either. Seattle's School of Rock band played their song "When I Died" at a January 9th concert. That spirited rendition, the Thermals' own cover-band antics and all tour dates are below...
That above picture is the cover for the forthcoming Tegan & Sara album, Sainthood, due out October 27th on Vapor Records. The record is being produced by Chris Walla (of Death Cab and many producing credits) and Howard Redekopp (who's worked with New Pornographers, Mother Mother, and others) - interesting in that they've both worked on past Tegan & Sara individually.
The pair (Tegan and Sara) have a few shows scheduled at the moment. Two of those will happen at NYC's Town Hall on October 30th and 31st (Mischief Night and Halloween). Tickets go on sale Friday at 10am.
Tiestoremixed Tegan & Sara's track "Back in your Head" in 2007. Now the three have collaborated again on "I Feel it in My Bones," a song that'll be included on Tiesto's new album, Kaleidoscope, out October 20th on Ultra Records. That song is streaming on his MySpace. Also guesting on the Tiesto album will be Jónsi of Sigur Rós, Kele Okereke of Bloc Party, Emily Haines of Metric, and others. Full tracklist is below.
Tiesto is going on a pretty big tour that kicks off with three nights at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. Tickets for those shows (9/24-9/26) are on sale now. All dates, the Tegan & Sara album back cover and tracklist, and more, below...
"On April 7, 2009, Merge Records will release the debut album from Seattle's Telekinesis entitled Telekinesis!. Telekinesis is the project of Michael Benjamin Lerner. Michael recorded Telekinesis! at Two Sticks Audio in Seattle with producer Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie, The Decemberists, Tegan and Sara). Michael wrote and sang all of the songs and played nearly all of the instruments on the album, but tours with a full band that includes David Broecker (guitar), Jonie Broecker (bass, keyboards), and Chris Staples (guitar)."Telekenisis have a few shows lined up for the next few months - none in NYC yet, but they will be playing Noise Pop, SXSW, and a bunch of dates with Ra Ra Riot.
Ra Ra Riot also have a bunch of shows lined up without Telekenisis. For NYC, it's just January 22nd at Bowery Ballroom which is the Planned Parenthood Benefit with Regina Spektor that sold out before it was even announced that they were also playing the show. They're also playing Noise Pop, and SXSW, and a bunch of dates with both Passion Pit and Cut Off Your Hands.
Cut Off Your Hands officially release their debut LP, You & I, via Frenchkiss Records on January 20th. Download the first single for free above. They're also playing SXSW (as are their labelmates Passion Pit).
All tour dates below...
Tegan & Sara's 'The Con' is a great album. I don't love-it-love-it, but I've been listening to it more than anything else - and I think it keeps getting better and better - some of the songs are really catchy. Here are all the videos associated with the album so far....