Entries tagged with: Sufjan Stevens
by Andrew Frisicano
[Gabriel] Kahane is twenty-seven, and his listeners seem roughly the same age. He is well on his way to developing an original creative personality; his music absorbs everything from nineteen-twenties neoclassicism to blue-grass and modern indie pop, with potent melodies bridging the disparate styles. [New Yorker]Kahane kicks off a residency at the Rockwood Music Hall on June 1st (tonight). He'll be there Mondays at 10pm through the rest of the month.
On June 12th, Kahane also performs at PS 139 Auditorium (330 Rugby Rd, Brooklyn) as part of the Ditmas Park Concert Series...
"Come hear the remarkably creative and talented singer-songwriter/pianist Gabriel Kahane, performing with a host of special and equally talented friends."One of the singer's most well-known friends would have to be Sufjan Stevens, who appears on Kahane's eponymous 2008 disc. Kahane in turn is credited with "the piano cadenza on Sufjan Stevens' 'You are the Blood'" from the Dark Was the Night compilation.
All tour dates, with a video of Kahane performing Craigslistlieder material, below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: I Was a King - Norman Bleik (MP3)
Oslo, Norway's I Was a King are headed to America for a fairly extensive US tour, including two stops in NYC: May 30 at Mercury Lounge (with UK's great The Wave Pictures) and May 31 at Union Hall. The band's self-titled debut came out earlier this month via The Control Group, who have released albums by The Figurines and El Perro Del Mar.
For all intents and purposes, I Was A King are a duo: Frode Strømstad, who's a Norwegian indie gadabout and owner of Hype City Records) and Anne Lise Frøkedal (who also fronts her own excellent band, Harrys Gym). The album was actually made in Brooklyn, at the Ladybug Transistor's Marlborough Farms studio with big help from head Ladybug Gary Olsen and fellow Norwegian Emil Nikolaisen of Serena Maneesh. Sufjan Stevens helps out on a few tracks, as does Danielson. Live, the band is fleshed out to a five-piece, including ex-Serena Maneesh member Håvard Krogedal on bass.
If you like '60s pysch pop, '90s psych pop (Elephant 6), Dinosaur Jr. and Teenage Fanclub, chances are you're going to like I Was a King. Teenage Fanclub, actually, are punnily namechecked on the band's first single, "Norman Bleik," which you can download at the top of this post. Video of them performing the song on Norwegian television and all tour dates below...
photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
"Shuffle Mode," the Brooklyn Philharmonic program on Thursday night [2/26] at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, put the orchestra on an equal footing with two indie-rock bands: Clogs, from Brooklyn, and Bell Orchestre, from Montreal. Both are connected to better-known indie-rock bands: two members of Clogs are in the National, and two members of Bell Orchestre are in Arcade Fire.All three groups were on stage at the same time (playing in "shuffle mode"). Though the music is/was mostly intrumental, as promised, there were guest vocalists. Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) sang one song with Clogs and the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and then Shara and Sufjan Stevens joined Clogs for the song "We Were Here". More pictures below...
More to the point, both include conservatory-trained musicians writing what's essentially chamber music, using the same pool of ideas as nominally classical contemporary composers: Minimalist repetition, elements of traditional music and a rediscovery of melody. [NY Times]
by Andrew Frisicano
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."
Stith 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...
DOWNLOAD: THE POLYPHONIC SPREE - HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Death Cab For Cutie - Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: OVER THE RHINE - ALL I EVER GET FOR CHRISTMAS IS BLUE (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: RYAN ADAMS - HEY PARKER, IT'S CHRISTMAS (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: SMASHING PUMPKINS - RUDOLPH THE RED NOSE REINDEER (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: SUFJAN STEVENS - JOY TO THE WORLD (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: LIZ PHAIR - WINTER WONDERLAND (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: EELS - CHRISTMAS IS GOING TO THE DOGS (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: THE WHITE STRIPES - SILENT NIGHT (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: BRIGHT EYES - BLUE CHRISTMAS (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: RILO KILEY - XMAS CAKE (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: ROGUE WAVE - CHRISTMAS (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: MY MORNING JACKET - SANTA CLAUS IS BACK IN TOWN (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: WEEZER - THE CHRISTMAS SONG (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: THE KINKS - FATHER CHRISTMAS (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: MORPHINE - SEXY CHRISTMAS BABY MINE (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: DEERHOOF - THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: PEARL JAM - SOMEDAY AT CHRISTMAS (MP3)
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...
DOWNLOAD: The Welcome Wagon - Sold! To the Nice Rich Man (MP3)
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...
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)
On December 9th, we [Asthmatic Kitty] will proudly unveil the very first release from DM Stith: the EP, Curtain Speech.David and Sufjan don't have anything coming up, but Shara Worden aka My Brightest Diamond has a bunch of shows scheduled.
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.
And since we're talking about Asthmatic Kitty, check out the winning entry in Rafter's recent video contest below...
"What a fitting day to announce the complete list of artists involved with our upcoming album DARK WAS THE NIGHT - the February 17th 4AD release that will benefit the Red Hot Organization. It's World AIDS Day, and in honor of that, we bring you the exciting news."More info on the previously mentioned comp below...
photos by Ryan Muir
Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) rocked BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House at BAM's all-night party The Takeover [Saturday] night. While it was a little weird to see a rock show at a sit-down theater, her music was suited to the venue. She manages to somehow sound delicate and strong at the same time, filling the theater with sound, but causing the audience to hold our collective breaths for fear of overwhelming the poor girl. She had five other people on stage with her, with a sax/clarinetist, a pianist and a violinist in addition to a bassist and drummer, lending a chamber pop flavor to the mix.More pictures below...
Let not all this lead you to believe that the girl cannot rock, though. She totally shreds on the guitar. It creates a good incongruousness to her fragile voice.
She played a few new songs, although this was my first time seeing her, so I wouldn't have realized. But they were as well received as the older stuff. Though the show was almost an hour long, she played about seven songs. I don't know if it was the setting, the hour, or what, but each song seemed to last forever (in a good way) creating an ideal atmosphere in which to kind of bliss out.
She wrapped up the show by inviting Sufjan Stevens onstage (he had curated and hosted the night's performances) for a cover of Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight."... [AM NY]
No word on a dunk tank or jumping castle, but the Brooklyn Academy of Music sure knows how to throw a party. And they have asked Sufjan Stevens to curate the music component for an evening that will also include DJs, video art, and horseplay. The event, entitled TAKEOVER, takes place Saturday September 27th, 2008 from 9PM to 4AM.Tickets are $20. BAM's last takeover featured extinct band Be Your Own Pet. Nico Muhly is performing at (le) poisson rouge tonight (9/9). Naomi Shelton recently played Summerstage with members of The Budos Band who are also her Daptone labelmates. More St Vincent tour dates HERE.
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House will house the musical selections, which features St. Vincent, The Budos Band, Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens and Brooklyn Youth Chorus singing Nico Muhly and other works. Our [Asthmatic Kitty's] good friend Deborah Johnson is providing a video installation. For more details on the event, including a list of films and other activities please visit the TAKEOVER website here.
this is pretty cool....
For his final project as an undergrad at England's Huddersfield University, Miller came up with Colour It (Red), a book/compilation combo inspired by his favorite indie rock jams and the (Red) organization, which raises money for the AIDS/HIV-battling Global Fund.Feist, who played Hammerstein Ballroom last time she was here, plays the Prospect Park Banshell in Brooklyn this Wednesday July 9th. The show is sold out, but you can always listen for free from outside the fence. Feist is also back in NYC on July 25th to appear on Good Morning America.
Taking a cue from such indie megahits as LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends", Panda Bear's "Comfy in Nautica", and Joanna Newsom's "Peach, Plum, Pear", Miller crafted a coloring/activity book sure to tickle pink-- er, make that red-- even the most hardened, poker-faced, arms-crossing indie music fiend.
Can you "help James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem find all his friends" by completing a maze? Care to "make Beirut's carousel pretty by colouring it"? Are you man or woman enough to "find the grizzly bear that does not fit"?? [Pitchfork]
sing-along @ Carnegie Hall, NYC Feb 13, 2008 (Kathryn Yu, P4K)
Sufjan Stevens treated show-goers to "The Star-Spangled Banner", while Kinks man Ray Davies led a bill-wide sing-along. Also on-hand for the evening of charity and good cheer: Band of Horses, Philip Glass, Marisa Monte, Ashley MacIsaac, Phamie Gow, Tibet-born Nawang Khechog, and the monks of Drepung Gomang. To learn more and find out how you can help, head to the Tibet House U.S. website. [Pitchfork]
Ray Davies @ Camden Roadhouse, Oct 28, 2007 (CRED)
Band of Horses, Tom Verlaine and Ray Davies join Sufjan Stevens and Philip Glass on the lineup of this year's Tibest House benefit concert at Carnegie Hall. Ray Davies also played the show in 2005. What I remember most about it is that he has really enthusiastic fans. This year's show is on Wed. February 13th....
Concert tickets are $35-$108 and can be purchased by calling 212.247.7800 or in person at the Carnegie Hall Box Office (57th Street & Seventh Avenue). Concert-only tickets are not available through Tibet House.Sufjan has also played it before.
Sufjan Stevens w/ fans outside Southpaw, Brooklyn - Dec 17, 2007 (CRED)
Celebration @ Onion Holiday Party, NYC - Dec 18, 2007 (CRED)
Ben Keith, Pegi & Neil Young, & Ralph Molina @ United Palace - Dec 18, 2007 (CRED)
* Jaymay is playing Union Hall
* Public Enemy is playing Irving Plaza
* Bjorkestra & Sun Ra Arkestra @ Paul Robeson Theater ("Surprise show")
* Mark Ronson, Aaron Lacrate & Rakim are DJing Love
* Neil Young plays his 6th & final NYC show @ United Palace
* David Cross, Dave Hill, Janeane Garofalo & others @ Blender
* The Setting Suns (Interpol/Swervedriver) play Mercury Lounge
* Rufus Wainright, Teddy Thompson & friends raise money @ Highline Ballroom
* Dewey Cox & band (Walk Hard) are playing a promotional party @ Knitting Factory
* Watch the first 10 minutes of Walk Hard online
* Lily Allen is pregnant
DOWNLOAD: I Heart Lung - Let It Snow [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: I Heart Lung - Carol of the Bells [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: I Heart Lung - Little Drummer Boy [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: I Heart Lung - Silent Night, Holy Night [mp3]
DOWNLOAD: I Heart Lung - Santa Claus Vs. Dracula [mp3]
I Heart Lung’s Christmas EP is full of free-form improvisations based loosely on themes from Christmas carols. “Little Drummer Boy” is the most interesting and coherent of the bunch. It takes its time getting around to the theme from the actual song, first delivered on hovering e-bowed guitar around four minutes in. Even then, you really have to concentrate to realize that the drawn-out phrases are echoing the “pah-rum-pah-pum-pums” we’re all used to. [Pfork]Sufjan Stevens @ Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY - Dec 17, 2007
Southpaw, Park Slope Brooklyn—A Pen America Center's "PENultimate Lit" series continued Monday night as Rick Moody inverviewed both Sufjan Stevens and Wesley Stace about how writing shapes and informs their music. During the Q&A, an audience member asked which comes first the music or lyrics? Sufjan said that the music; while for Wesley, the lyrics. Sufjan's favorite authors? Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor and Sherwood Anderson. [dietrich]* Neil Young plays his 5th show at United Palace
* Death By Decibals Tour: featuring Vader
* Lupe Fiasco plays Irving Plaza
* The Onion Holiday Party w/ Celebration
* The NY Mag Holiday Party w/ We Are Scientists
* Sufjan Stevens @ Southpaw
* Sounds Familyre is giving away Christmas songs
* A City Harvest benefit @ Europa
* Mr. Scruff opens for Francois K at Deep Space at Cielo
* The Robert Glasper Experiment with Q-Tip @ Highline Ballroom
* Knitting Factory hosts Pittsburgh Slim
Pittsburgh Slim is the man behind that horrible "girls kissing girls" song. Reasons to go: You have Pittsburgh pride, you're thinking Jay-Z could show up, or you're hoping they might reenact the video in some way live on stage.
I hear it's the flu...
Due to unforeseeable circumstances, tonight's show has been canceled. Please stay tuned for details about a rescheduled show.At least now there's more time to work on that Christmas song.
DOWNLOAD: Rafter - Anthropomorphic (MP3)
about the project...Here's another one and another one and another one and another one and another one and one more from Rafter and Lizbeth.
hi, i'm rafter (www.myspace.com/rafterroberts & http://asthmatickitty.com/musicians.php?artistID=7), and these songs are from a project i'm doing with my sweet and rad girlfriend lizeth - we both were feeling unproductive, and somehow ended up daring ourselves to finish 1 art project a day. we take turns giving the day a theme, and we both do something for it. for her, that's photos (www.lizethsantos.com) and for me it's songs. so i've been writing and recording a song a day... here's one of them, and her corresponding photo...
Rafter (Bunky)'s Asthmatic Kitty labelmate My Brightest Diamond is playing her show with Tim Fite at the Gramercy Theatre on Saturday (Nov 17). I have two pairs of tickets to give away. Do you want one of those pairs? E-mail BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM (subject: diamond) with the name of the Christmas song you wrote for Sufjan (or just tell me the last show you saw) (or recommend a song I should listen to). Include your first and last name. Two winners will be picked at random and notified ASAP.
and last, but not least (ok, maybe least)....
DOWNLOAD: Indie Blockedappela - Yes/No (Bunky)
DOWNLOAD: Indie Blockedappela - Golden Star (My Brightest Diamond)
DOWNLOAD: Indie Blockedappela - Come on Feel the Illinoise (Sufjan)
DOWNLOAD: Indie Blockedappela - Decatur, Or, Round of Applause For Your Step Mother! (Sufjan) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sufjan Stevens - That Was the Worst Christmas Ever (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sufjan Stevens - Sister Winter (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sufjan Stevens - Ding Dong (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Sufjan Stevens - Com on! Let's Boogie to the Elf Dance! (MP3)
"Asthmatic Kitty is proud to announce..."
It's Christmas time again! That means tightly bundled scarves, lively debates on the merits of real/plastic trees, a litany of Christmas television specials, and finding the perfect retro Christmas wrapping paper.It's hard to believe that this is the fourth year in a row that I've posted about Sufjan's Christmas music.
And gifts of course! Who could forget the gifts!
That's why Sufjan Stevens is busy working on a very special gift right now, for a very special person. And in the spirit of Christmas, that person will give Sufjan a similarly special gift.
Here's how it works: write an original Christmas song, record it, and email the song to us. Asthmatic Kitty will pick a winner, and that person will trade rights to their song for rights to Sufjan's song.
Just like a gift exhange, Sufjan's song becomes your song. You can hoard it for yourself, sell it to a major soft drink corporation, use it in your daughter's first Christmas video, or share it for free on your website. No one except Sufjan and you will hear his song, unless you decide otherwise. You get the song and all legal rights to it. We get the same rights to your song.
By submitting your song, you also give us permission to stream it online.
Interested? Click here . . .
outside Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC - Nov 3, 2007 (CRED)
Though the event had been promoted as a wild night of partying, music and movies, the overbearing rules made it more of a hostile takeover. It seemed that everywhere we went we were doing something wrong. No photos! No beer in the Opera House! No beer in the movie theater! (No seats, either.) You can’t stand here, you can’t go in through that door, you can’t go up to the café because we’ve let so many people in that human sausage links are now tumbling down the escalator! (No eating the human sausage links!)Earlier in the evening, Sufjan Stevens performed "BQE".
This was BAM’s first time hosting this ambitious event – the Times describes BAM’s executive producer Joseph V. Melillo as “looking somewhat overwhelmed amid a sea of hipsters”, saying “We lost our virginity tonight.” – so we really ought to be more gentle. In theory, Takeover was an inspired and well-programmed use of the building’s superb facilities. We just hope that if and when we takeover again, they let a lot less of us in. [Gothamist]
Next up for BAM: The National.
Sufjan Stevens @ BAM - Nov 2, 2007 (CRED)
The first set of pictures was pretty limited, so here's some more....