Entries tagged with: Ramona Falls

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photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

EL VY / Wye Oak / Julien Baker @ Bowery Ballroom - 11/13/15
Wye Oak
Julien Baker

EL VY released their debut album Return to the Moon at the tail-end of last month via 4AD, and their tour in support of it hit NYC this past weekend for sold-out shows at Bowery Ballroom on Friday (11/13) and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday (11/14). The band is led by Matt Berninger (who fronts The National) and Brent Knopf (who fronts Ramona Falls and used to be in Menomena), and they were joined by drummer Andy Stack (of their tourmates Wye Oak), backup vocalist Moorea Masa (who also sings on their album), and another guitarist/bassist. Brent is the band's multi-instrumentalist and he switched around a lot from keyboards to acoustic guitar to electric. And Matt Berninger was as distinctly Matt Berninger as ever, doing Matt Berninger things like quickly going from standing still and somberly singing to screaming and thrashing around the stage and slamming his mic to the ground. Now that he's a guy who's headlined Barclays Center, it was a treat to see him up close and personal. As for the setlist, they played all of Return to the Moon and also covered Fine Young Cannibals "She Drives Me Crazy" (which they've been doing the whole tour), which got a good portion of the crowd singing.

Wye Oak provided direct support, with a set that leaned pretty equally on their more rocking material and the poppier sounds they explored on last year's Shriek. As they always do, they sounded super full considering they're just a two piece. And speaking of sounding full with a small stage setup, Julien Baker, the young Memphis singer/songwriter who opened both NYC shows, sounded really great with nothing more than her voice and clean electric guitar. Her debut album only just came out (via 6131) but it's clear that she's already a super confident performer. A lot of her stuff is somber and introverted, but she could really belt it when she wanted to. The shows with EL VY were just two of her three NYC shows this weekend. She also played a late show at Mercury Lounge with Eliott Brood on Saturday (Mina Tindle was supposed to open the MHOW show but had to cancel).

If you haven't yet, read our interview with EL VY. More pictures from Bowery below...

Continue reading "EL VY (The National, Menomena), Wye Oak and Julien Baker played two NYC shows (Bowery Ballroom pics)"

by Andrew Sacher


The National frontman Matt Berninger and former Menomena / current Ramona Falls frontman Brent Knopf have teamed up as EL VY ("pronounced like a plural of Elvis; rhymes with 'hell pie'"). Their debut album, Return to the Moon, will be out October 30 via 4AD, and the lyric video for its title track is out now. Matt's singing is pretty much the way it is in The National (so, really good) but musically this song is closer to bouncy '80s new wave. Watch/listen, and check out the album artwork and tracklist, below. Here's what the press release has to say about it:

Return to the Moon sounds exactly like you'd hope a collaboration between these artists would: Berninger's darkly funny, lyrical storytelling and his immediately identifiable sense of melody, offset by Knopf's playful, architectural arrangements and inventive production. Knopf explains, "I never worried about sending Matt something unfinished. He's able to imagine where it can go. He can grab the four bars that will become the
core of the track and develop them into something amazing."

The National and Ramona Falls are both currently preparing upcoming releases, so EL VY is not a replacement or a side project, but a glimpse into an alternate musical universe: a universe in which Berninger never left Cincinnati, and Midwestern punk Mecca the Jockey Club never closed. A universe in which Mike Watt and the late D. Boon of the punk band Minutemen are every bit as iconic as Mick and Keith, and a teenager's sense of rebellion is fed by the dark social politics of middle America.

"This record is more autobiographical than anything else I've written," says Berninger, "but the details aren't true. It's written in the voices of a few invented characters, composites of different people - myself, my wife, and other people I was thinking about."

The duo is also going on tour with a backing band, including two NYC shows. Those happen on November 13 at Bowery Ballroom and November 14 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets go on sale Friday (8/7) at noon.

All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "The National's Matt Berninger + Menemona / Ramona Falls' Brent Knopf = EL VY -- debut LP & tour coming (dates, video)"


The goal of the Everything is New project is to empower the children of Light of Love Children's Home, many of whom have been rescued from bonded labour, child prostitution, homelessness and abject poverty. The project creates the opportunity for the children to 'star' in the cultural forms they themselves consider most meaningful - popular music and cinema.
The Everything is New project has resulted in two albums, both of which are out January 20: Sun Choir, which was composed and recorded by Scottish art-pop band Marram with the kids of Southeast India's Light of Love Children's Home and features guest appearances from Jarvis Cocker, Owen Pallett, Irvine Welsh and more; and BOATS where artists such as Four Tet, Rustie, Dan Deacon, YACHT, Bear in Heaven, Deerhoof's Greg Saunier, Max Tundra, Gang Gang Dance and more took samples of the children and built songs around them.

Proceeds from the project go to the charity Scottish Love in Action which feeds, clothes, houses, educates and provides medical care for over 500 children through the Light of Love Home and School. You can stream Rustie, YACHT, Jarvis Cocker and Four Tet's tracks below.

There's also a 70-minute feature film that's included with physical copies of the Sun Choir album. You can watch a short and a not so short making of videos below...

Continue reading "Jarvis Cocker, Four Tet, Max Tundra, YACHT, Rustie and more contribute to 'Everything is New' charity project (streams)"

photos by Melissa O'Hearn


Husband-and-wife indie pop duo Mates of State stopped by the Toyota Soundwave tent at Bumbershoot in Seattle to play us a few songs. One of those songs was a new track called "Now We're Gonna Get It" which we caught on video with the help of director Paul Greenhouse. Watch that performance below.

The segment, which includes our funny hosts Dave Hill and Billy Jones, was part of a three-hour live BrooklynVegan show dedicated to Barsuk Records. John Roderick of the Long Winters, Ramona Falls, David Bazan, and Say Hi also all stopped by to perform or talk to us (Ra Ra Riot didn't show up). Audio from the whole day is coming soon. Meanwhile check out pictures of all of them along with the Mates of State video, below...

Continue reading "watch Mates of State play a new song (a BrooklynVegan Soundwave Session), part of Barsuk @ Bumbershoot (pics)"


Like we did at Firefly, Lollapalooza, and Outside Lands, BrooklynVegan will be taking over 2-3 hours of the Soundwave tent each day at Bumbershoot in Seattle this Labor Day Weekend. We'll have a mix of live interviews and performances with our hosts Dave Hill and Billy Jones, and a very special 3 hour session on Sunday dedicated to Barsuk Records' 15th anniversary.

The Soundwave tent is #18 on the Bumbershoot map. Check our the full fest schedule HERE, and our current, full Soundwave tent schedule below. See you in Seattle!

Continue reading "Bumbershoot this weekend, look for BrooklynVegan & Barsuk in the Soundwave tent (schedule)"


Bumbershoot is returning to Seattle this year from August 31 to September 2 at Seattle Center. This year's lineup was just announced, and it includes Death Cab for Cutie performing Transatlanticism (in case The Postal Service reuniting wasn't enough Ben Gibbard nostalgia for you), Kendrick Lamar, MGMT, The Breeders, The Zombies, Alt-J, Deerhunter, Baroness, Crystal Castles, Gary Numan, Joey Bada$$, Eric Burdon, Bob Mould, David Bazan, Charli XCX, Redd Kross, The Men and more.

Tickets (3-day passes, 2-day passes, and single day tickets) for the festival are on sale now.

Full lineup below...

Continue reading "Bumbershoot 2013 lineup & tix (Death Cab for Cutie, MGMT, Kendrick Lamar, Breeders, Zombies, Alt-J, Deerhunter & more)"

Ramona Falls

Ramona Falls, the project of ex-Menomena member Brent Knopf, will be going on a North American tour in 2013. All of the dates on that tour have not been announced yet but we know that it hits the NYC area on February 2 at Glasslands with Mitten and February 7 at Maxwell's with The Explorers Club and Kurt Baker. Tickets for the Glasslands show and the Maxwell's show are on sale now.

Ramona Falls released his last album, Prophet, earlier this year. The video for that album's track, "Fingerhold," and a list of all dates below...

Continue reading "Ramona Falls touring in 2013 (dates)"

by Andrew Sacher

DOWNLOAD: The Helio Sequence - October (MP3)

The Helio Sequence at Siren Fest 2008 (more by Leia Jospe)
Helio Sequence

The Helio Sequence are finally set to followup their 2008 breakthrough LP, Keep Your Eyes Ahead, with a new album, Negotiations, due out on September 11 via Sub Pop. Negotiations pretty much picks up where Keep Your Eyes Ahead left off -- nothing new but if you're a fan of the band it's not a bad listen. It also sounds a bit like The Walkmen. You can download the lead single, "October," at the top of this post. Also below is the album's cover art and tracklist.

The Helio Sequence will support the new album with a tour that kicks off in September with appearances at Bumbershoot and MusicFestNW. Surrounding their slot at Fun Fun Fun Fest in November, they'll head out with Ramona Falls (the project of ex-Menomena member Brent Knopf) which brings both bands to NYC for a show at Bowery Ballroom November 15. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (8/10) at noon.

Speaking of Menomena, they also have a new album, Moms, on the way and will be supporting it with a previously discussed tour that hits NYC on October 11 at Bowery Ballroom. Since we last spoke, PVT have been added to that tour. Tickets for the NYC show are still available. A list of updated Menomena/PVT dates and a stream of "Heavy Is As Heavy Does" from Moms are below.

All lists of dates and all streams are below.

Continue reading "The Helio Sequence releasing new album, touring w/ Ramona Falls; PVT opening for Menomena on tour (dates & streams)"

Ramona Falls

Ramona Falls, which is now the main project of Brent Knopf, who left Menomena last year, will release their new album Prophet on May 1 via Barsuk. You can grab the first single, "Spore," via a widget below. The album art and tracklist are also below.

Ramona Falls will be at SXSW next week and will head out on a tour in support of the album in the spring. That tour includes NYC shows happening on June 13 at Glasslands and June 14 at Mercury Lounge. Tickets for the Glasslands show are on sale now and tickets for the Mercury show go on sale Friday, 3/16 at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (3/14) at noon.

All dates, album art, tracklist and widget below...

Continue reading "Ramona Falls announces new LP & tour (dates & new song)"


In addition to separate upcoming dates, The New Pornographers and The Walkmen have announced a week long tour together at the end of April. Unfortunately though, the only time they're stopping in New York is April 25 at Town Ballroom in Buffalo. All dates are listed below.

The New Pornographers have no upcoming dates in NYC, but contributors Neko Case and Destroyer do. Neko Case will be at The Bell House this Sunday (2/6) with Lost in the Trees and is playing a free show at Barnes & Noble in Union Square on 2/24 with Michael Showalter.

As previously mentioned, Neko Case sings on about half of No Color, the new album by The Dodos out March 15. The Dodos released the first track off the album, "Black Night," listen below. An immediate download of this song is available on The Dodo's website with the pre-order of their album. They also recently performed on Pitchfork's Tunnelvision, video below. The Dodos also announced tour dates, including an appearance at SXSW (but no NYC dates at the moment).

Destroyer, whose ninth full length Kaputt was just released on January 25, is going on tour with The War On Drugs. They're playing Webster Hall on April 3. Tickets are still on sale.

The New Pornographers also have announced a few April dates with Menomena (including Coachella). According to Menomena's website, they recently lost Brent Knopf, who left the band to "focus on Ramona Falls and other creative pursuits." Ironically, Paul Alcott of Ramona Falls' live band is replacing Knopf on Menomena's upcoming dates. In addition to touring with The New Pornographers, they also have dates with Maps & Atlases, and an appearance at SXSW.

Menomena will also be overseeing FILMguerrero's reissue of their debut I Am The Fun Blame Monster! which will be available this spring. As stated in a press release, the reissue includes "a CD/DVD package with extensive bonus materials." Their newest album, Mines, is out now via Barsuk.

All tour dates and videos and that Dodos song below...

Continue reading "a new Dodos song, Menomena minus a member, New Pornographers & Walkmen dates & stuff"

The National @ Outside Lands 2009 (more by Chris Graham)
The National

We have exciting news for you this morning. We are very pleased to announce the first tour dates in support of our new album in April, May and June.

The as of yet untitled follow-up to Boxer will be released worldwide in May on 4AD (specific date TBA). The shows begin at the Big Ears festival in Knoxville, Tennessee on March 28th followed in April by two special shows April 22nd and 23rd at the National in Richmond, VA. We will then play Royal Albert Hall in London on May 6th, Le Zenith in Paris with PAVEMENT on May 7, and Astra in Berlin on May 9 before starting a North American tour in Los Angeles at the Wiltern on May 22nd. Ramona Falls will be opening our US shows on the west coast. - The National

Their upcoming tour dates also include a headlining show at Radio City Music Hall on June 16th. All new dates go presale Tuesday morning (password = BloodBuzz). Radio City tickets are $39.50 and will also go on AmEx presale on Wednesday. ]

This will be the National's first album on 4AD which absorbed Beggars Banquet which is the label their last album was on. Other ticket links and all dates below...

Continue reading "The National announce new 4AD album & 2010 Tour Dates (including Radio City Music Hall in NYC) "

DOWNLOAD: Rocky Votolato - Sparklers (live in East Palo Alto) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Phantogram - When I'm Small (MP3)

Phantogram @ MHOW during CMJ (more by Vincent Cornelli)

Andrew Kenny's band The Wooden Birds just got back from a tour with Great Lake Swimmers and will headline a close-to-home show at Maxwell's in Hoboken tonight (11/3). The soothing sounds of Peasant will open the show. Tickets are $10.00. Check out a recent video interview with the band below.

The Wooden Birds released their debut album on Barsuk Records earlier this year. Barsuk also recently put out the debut by Ramona Falls who just released a new video for the song "I Say Fever". You can watch that below.

Barsuk has two new releases scheduled for February 2010. Rocky Votolato's new album True Devotion will be out on February 23rd. "Sparklers" is one of the songs on that will be on that album. You can download a live version above. Rocky kicks off a tour in a couple of days, but not just any tour. He'll be playing in people's living rooms up and down the east coast. There's a NYC show in midtown Manhattan on November 6th. Tickets are on sale. All dates below.

The other album Barsuk is releasing in February will be by Phantogram who just got done playing a few shows during CMJ including one at Music Hall of Williamsburg with The xx and School of Seven Bells. The album "Eyelid Movies" will be released on February 9th. Download the song "When I'm Small" from that album for free above. Phantogram is now on a tour of Europe, but will be back soon. They play a free show at Brooklyn Bowl on December 19th. All dates below...

Continue reading "Wooden Birds tonight, Rocky Votolato touring, Ramona Falls video, free Phantogram show & MP3 & other Barsuk news"

DOWNLOAD: Ramona Falls - Russia (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Ramona Falls - Russia (Live on KEXP) (MP3)

Ramona Falls

Ramona Falls is the new band by Brent Knopf of Menomena. In August, he put out his debut, Intuit, on Barsuk. That record, as mentioned a while back, has guests that include Mirah and The Helio Sequence. A track from it is posted above, and the entire album is currently streaming at Barsuk.

Menomena is playing ATP NY on Sunday. Before and after that show, Ramona Falls is on tour. He'll play September 17th at Pianos, and then September 18th at Bruar Falls with Apocathary Hymns, Small Black, and Wildbirds and Peacedrums.

That Bruar Falls shows makes five upcoming NYC shows for Wildbirds, the first of which is opening for Deerhoof on September 15th at Le Poisson Rouge.

Two videos of Brent and all dates, below...

Continue reading "Ramona Falls (Menomena) on tour (dates) - 2 NYC shows including Brooklyn w/ Wildbirds & Peacedrums (their 5th)"

DOWNLOAD: Ramona Falls - Russia (MP3)

Mirah @ Highline Ballroom (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)

Mirah will be back in NYC for a show at the Bowery Ballroom on Saturday, October 10th. Tickets go on AmEx presale today at noon. General sale starts Friday, July 17th at noon.

She's still playing behind her latest record, (a)spera, which came out earlier this year on K Records. That disc has been met with, according to Metacritic, "universal acclaim."

Ramona Falls
Ramona Falls

Mirah makes a guest appearance on a new record by Ramona Falls (named after a place in Oregon), the the solo debut of Menomena's Brent Knopf. That record, Intuit, comes out August 18th on Barsuk Records, and Mirah is just one of the disc's many guests, which include members of The Helio Sequence, Loch Lomond, 31 Knots, Talkdemonic, Nice Nice, Tracker, Dat'r, Dear Reader, 3 Leg Torso and Matt Sheehy. Check out "Russia" from that album above.

Ramona Falls has an August/September tour planned that includes a pair of NYC shows. He'll be at Pianos on September 17th and has a TBA Brooklyn show on September 18th.

Ramona Falls album art, and all tour dates, below...

Continue reading "Mirah playing Bowery, appears on album by Ramona Falls (Menomena member solo) who is touring (dates & MP3)"