Entries tagged with: The Bird and the Bee

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by Bill Pearis

Touche

Los Angeles duo Touché is a new musical project from Bram Inscore and Alex Lily, both of whom were in Obi Best if you remember them from a couple years ago. Both have long been part of the LA scene, with Bram playing with Beck, Charlotte Gainsbourg and recently took over bass duties in Twin Shadow after Russ Manning left to concentrate on his project, Rush Midnight (is this a trend?). Alex, meanwhile, sang backup with The Bird and the Bee.

The duo, whose music is shiny electropop with a strong ear for hooks, will release their debut album, It's Fate, next year but the first single, the catchy "I'm a Man Not a Machine," is out now and you can stream it or watch the video below. Also below are some remixes by the likes of Daedelus and Lee Cooper (aka Twin Shadow keyboardist Wynne Bennett).

Touché will be in NYC next month for a show at Glasslands on December 19. No openers have been announced but tickets are on sale now. The duo will then be back in NYC for a show at Cameo on January 4 with Tippy Toes and Future Screens. No advance tickets for that one, just $7 at the door.

All upcoming Touché tour dates are listed below, along with song streams.

Continue reading "Touche ready debut LP, playing NYC shows (dates, streams)"

photos by Sarahana, words & photos by Chris La Putt, SXSW shots by Graeme Flegenheimer

"Was asked to have my picture taken at the She&Him show because "I dress like Zooey" compliment of a lifetime" - Brandi Bullar.

She & Him @ SXSW
She and Him

She & Him, backed by The Chapin Sisters, played the first of their two sold-out shows at the Bowery Ballroom last night, March 29th. They're celebrating the release of their second album, aptly named Volume Two. The crowd was a full of Zooey Deschanel look-alikes with floppy hats and fancy bows adorning their heads waiting for some sunny vocals and a blue-eyed beauty (and her partner and expert guitar player M Ward). I was hoping (unrealistically) for a guest appearance by Tilly and the Wall who contibute to "In the Sun" on the album, but no such luck. They did play the song though. Full setlist below.

The Living Sisters (sans Inara George) @ Bowery Ballroom
The Living Sisters

Opening for Zooey and M. Ward at the Bowery were the the Living Sisters who started the show off with wonderfully offbeat old timey standards with modern lyrics (something to the tune of asking their boyfriends to tie them up in double knots). The band is made up of LA's Eleni Mandell, Inara George (of Bird and the Bee fame), and Becky Stark (Lavender Diamond), but Bird and the Bee backing vocalist and lead singer of Obi Best, Alex Lilly filled in for the Bee as Inara is in LA expecting a baby. Their debut album Love to Live is out today on Vanguard Records.

She & Him finish their March tour tonight (3/30) at the Bowery (The Chapin Sisters open this time), then play scattered days in April, May and June including Coachella, Sasquatch and Bonnaroo. All dates, more pictures from the first night at the Bowery and some from SXSW with a video of Zooey hopping around onstage at the El Rey, below...

Continue reading "She & Him played SXSW & Bowery Ballroom (pics, setlist) w/ the Living Sisters (Becky Stark, Eleni Mandell, Inara George)"

photos by Ryan Barkan

John Oates & The Bird & The Bee & the baby @ the El Rey Friday night

The Bird and the Bee

The Bird and the Bee, a jazzy [L.A.] synth-pop duo, has a fantastic single (with an unprintable title) ["Fucking Boyfriend"] imploring a hesitant beau to be a real boyfriend already. It's a sassy chastening of noncommittal dudes. But when vocalist Inara George sings it while very clearly pregnant, as she did at the sold-out El Rey Theatre on Friday, the tune has an even blacker sense of humor.

"This song has more meaning when I'm like this," George said, pointing to her stomach to room-wide chuckling. Her husband, the director Jake Kasdan, may have protested that he made it official a long time ago. But it was one of many arched-eyebrow moments in a set of smart, fluffy pop made by two talents not taking themselves at all too seriously.

The pair's El Rey set was heavy on Hall & Oates numbers, and though indie rock has long since resuscitated that band's reputation as secret songwriting savants, George and Kurstin revealed them as crack arrangers as well. Kurstin's an effortlessly gifted keyboardist, and alongside a sprawling backing band (featuring opener Juliette Commagere, very able with guitar and vocal duties), the group dug deep into hits such as "Kiss on My List" in ways that snide hipster peers couldn't replicate. [LA Times]

The Bird and the Bee played L.A.'s The El Rey Friday (3/5), where John Oates made a surprise appearance during their Hall & Oates-heavy set, which is fitting considering that the duo's new record is a Hall & Oates tribute album. Interpreting The Masters Volume 1: A Tribute To Daryl Hall And John Oates comes out March 23rd on Blue Note. The album has eight covers and one Bird and the Bee original. Their version of "I Can't Go For That" is streaming exclusively below. That track, album tracklist and more pictures from the LA show, below...

Continue reading "The Bird & the Bee (& baby) played LA w/ John Oates (pics), releasing Hall & Oates tribute album (stream a track here) "

photos by Chris La Putt

the Bird and the Bee

"Last weekend I went to see The Bird and The Bee, and it was a fantastic experience from beginning to end. If you ever have the chance to catch them, don't miss it! I've played them a couple times in my podcasts, but Inara George and Greg Kurstin really put something special into their live performances.

The show I saw was at Zankel Hall, which is part of Carnegie Hall and just as beautiful as the main stage. The duo played several tunes from their latest album, Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future, which was OK by me, since that record is full of winners like the crazy-catchy Love Letter to Japan." [Whitney Matheson]

The Bird and the Bee played two NYC nights in a row on Friday and Saturday, first at Brooklyn rock club The Bell House, and then at the much fancier Manhattan establishment, Carnegie Hall. Chris La Putt was at both. The pictures below prove it...

Continue reading "The Bird & the Bee @ the Bell House & Carnegie Hall - pics"

Lily Allen

On February 10th, 2009, Capitol Records will release It's Not Me, It's You, the follow-up to Lily Allen's critically acclaimed 2007 debut, Alright, Still. Recorded at Eagle Rock Studios in Los Angeles, the album finds Lily in top form, creating a record Blender's recent "In The Studio" feature described as "part God, part country and all middle finger." Allen wrote and recorded the album's 12 songs with producer Greg Kurstin (the bird and the bee), who worked with her on three songs for Alright, Still - "Everything's Just Wonderful," "Alfie" and "Not Big."

"We decided to try and make bigger sounding, more ethereal songs, real songs," says Lily, who will be touring the U.S. in the spring. "I wanted to work with one person from start to finish to make it one body of work. I wanted it to feel like it had some sort of integrity. I think I've grown up a bit as a person and I hope it reflects that."

All of those spring tour dates haven't been announced yet, but it looks like Lily will be taking Natalie Portman's Shaved Head out on the road with her in April. Surfaced dates include April 1st at House of Blues in San Diego and April 20th at Roseland Ballroom in NYC. The latter goes on sale Friday at 10am via LiveNation.com.

The Bird and The Bee have shows scheduled in February and March in support of their new album Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future (out now).

All known Lily Allen dates below...

Continue reading "Lily Allen's new Greg Kurstin-produced album & some 2009 Tour Dates w/ Natalie Portman's Shaved Head"

DOWNLOAD: The Bird & The Bee - Don't Stop the Music (Rihanna) (MP3)

The Bird and the Bee @ Spiegeltent (more by Gabi Porter)
Bird and the bee

In 2009, Blue Note Records-one of the world's most legendary labels-will celebrate two milestones when it commemorates both the 70th anniversary of the label's founding by Alfred Lion, as well as the 25th anniversary of its re-launch in 1984 under current President Bruce Lundvall, with a global celebration. In events befitting a label known for offering The Finest In Jazz Since 1939, the coming year will feature the music, imagery and legend of Blue Note with a range of multi-media offerings, including live concerts, special digital and physical re-issues and new releases, The Blue Note 7; an all-star tribute band of current jazz luminaries, book releases, festival honors, merchandise and much more.

Since its very first recording session on January 6, 1939, Blue Note has grown from a small independent label to become the world's premiere and longest-running Jazz label. Today, Blue Note boasts a legendary catalog that includes such Jazz icons as Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Jimmy Smith, Grant Green, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, Donald Byrd, Andrew Hill and Ornette Coleman. The label's current Jazz roster keeps the tradition going, and includes many of today's most important voices such as Patricia Barber, Terence Blanchard, Bill Charlap Robert Glasper, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis, Jason Moran, Aaron Parks, Dianne Reeves, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Cassandra Wilson. And under Lundvall's watch, Blue Note has tastefully broadened its music pallet beyond jazz to include such acclaimed artists as Priscilla Ahn, Anita Baker, Al Green, Norah Jones, Amos Lee, Willie Nelson and the bird and the bee.

The Bird and The Bee have a show scheduled at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall on March 7th. Tickets are already on sale. One day earlier the band is also playing a show in Brooklyn. Tickets are also already on sale for that.

The Bird and the Bee's new album Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future will be released by Blue Note Records on January 27, 2009. You can hear a track from that at MySpace. Grab their non-album, new cover of Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music" above. All dates below...

Continue reading "the Bird & the Bee cover Rihanna (MP3), Happy Birthday Blue Note, new album & 2009 tour dates"

by Ryan Barkan

Gogol Bordello @ Irving Plaza (more by Jefferson)
Gogol Bordello

The second edition of this controversial new feature is back. "It's Not Selling Out Anymore" (or is it?)...

Pacific RiftAggressive racing game, Motorstorm, was one of the most successful titles for the Playstation 3 in 2007 (selling over three million copies world wide). It was only natural then, that Sony Computer Entertainment would get a sequel out in 2008. Enter Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. The game recently hit shelves in the US at end of October and in the UK this past week. The TV spot announcing the new game brilliantly matched Motorstorm's crazy, edgy style of racing on tracks in exotic locations with the "authentic energy" of Gogol Bordello's "Wonderlust King." Watch the video of the commercial below. Gogol Bordello tour dates are HERE.

While Gogol did not make the in-game soundrack, David Bowie, Clutch, Megadeth, The Hives, Simian Mobile Disco, Death From Above 1979, and more all made the cut. Eight of the forty-five songs are exclusive to the game including a remix by Diplo of Nirvana's "Swap Meet" *.

Thurston MooreSpeaking of exclusives, The Ramones' classic jam "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" was covered by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and singer Jemina Pearl (from the now defunct Be Your Own Pet). Their version exclusively premiered in this past week's episode of Gossip Girl. Love & Rockets made the episode too...though not as an exclusive.

Other Notable Licensing News:

On the tube, One Tree Hill had songs by Ra Ra Riot and Margot & the Nuclear So-So's; 90210 had Florence & The Machine, The Raconteurs, and The Bravery; Grey's Anatomy had The Bird And The Bee, Whitest Boy Alive, and Brett Dennon.

M83's "You, Appearing" provides a solemn background to a French commercial for Douleurs' "Pain Without Borders" commercial. Watch the video below. M83 is currently on a tour of the US (and in NYC this week).

Cadbury's new "Favourites" commercial features the song "Stars and Sons" by Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene. Watch the video below. Pics from the band's recent show at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple can be seen HERE.

Bad Brains

Supreme continues its love for musical collaborations with the announcement of a Bad Brains x Supreme collection. The line consists of a couple hoodies, a t-shirt, and two different styles of Vans shoes. Bad Brains have been busy lately playing shows in Austin, NYC and elsewhere.

Iron MaidenVans recently released its fourth Iron Maiden tribute shoe, this time featuring the artwork from the Powerslave album. The Sk8-Hi and slip on models are available at the vans online store as well as local distributors.

Videos below...

Continue reading "It's Not Selling Out Anymore -- This Week in Music Licensing"

by Showtrotta

DOWNLOAD: Little Boots - Meddle (Designer Drugs remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Little Boots - Stuck on Repeat (Fake Blood Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Little Boots - Computer Fairyland Mixtape (MP3)

Little Boots

This summer you couldn't read an electronic music blog without coming across Little Boots (aka Victoria of Dead Disco). I first became familiar with her music through Fake Blood's excellent remix of her track, "Stuck On Repeat". Having only heard his version in which the vocals are very sparse, I was very surprised at how much she sings in the original versions of her tracks. Good stuff - which is saying a lot because - 1. I am really weird when it comes to vocals in electronic music, and 2. I [Showtrotta] really like very, very few female vocalists. Here's a video of her singing "Stuck on Repeat" while she plays the Tenori-on:

All the Hot Chip fans might be interested to know that Joe Goddard from Hot Chip (and Greg Kurstin from The Bird And The Bee) is producing her record.

Download three tracks above, one of which is Little Boots' free Computer Fairyland mixtape. The tracklisting for that is below. Also below: the dates and times of the four live sets, and the three DJ sets, Little Boots is playing in NYC during CMJ week...

Continue reading "Little Boots is in NYC for CMJ (4 live shows), MP3's, videos"

photos by Gabi Porter

The Bird and The Bee

Last night (September 30), The Bird and The Bee (Inara George and Greg Kurstin) played to a packed house at Spiegelworld - the same venue The Dodos played one night earlier. Fellow LA band Willoughby opened. If you missed it, there's always Maxwell's. More Spiegelpictures below...

Continue reading "The Bird and The Bee @ the Spiegeltent, NYC - pics"

by 'Week in Indie' Bill Pearis

Bird and the bee

Have you been to Spiegletent this season, or ever? The mobile space, which is in town for three months or so on the north side of the South Street Seaport, creates a Cabaret-like atmosphere filled with mirrors and brocade that, if you're seeing the right performance, can make for a lovely evening that can be worth the hassle of the location, the generally late set times, and pricey drinks. I think the key is going to see a band matches the charm of the space. There are two this week that I think fit the bill.

Monday night (9/29) it's the Dodos and Au. Maybe buzz on the Dodos has finally died down, but I was a little surprised to see this wasn't sold out yet. (Maybe it's the venue's prices and complicated ticketing system which is a pain). Tuesday night (9/30), it's L.A. duo The Bird and the Bee, and I think that may be the utimate Spiegletent event of the season. The electronics sprinkled jazz pop made by duo Inara George and Greg Kurtsin is tailor-made for coffee shops, hair salons and episodes of Grey's Anatomy, but that doesn't mean that it's not tuneful and charming in its own right. (Kurtsin is an in-demand collaborator, and co-wrote some of the best songs on Lily Allen's debut.) They are also prolific, releasing an album and two EPs over the last year-and-a-half that are all worth checking out. Their next full-length album, Ray Guns Are Not Just The Future, is due out on January 27, 2009 on Blue Note.

Live, The Bird and the Bee really come alive, fleshed out with back-up singers and a backing band featuring Kurtsin and George's session musician pals including ace drummer Joey Waronker. And Inara George is a funny, charismatic presence. Nothing against shambolic indie rock, but hearing a band this good with their effervescent songs can be a bit of a revelation.

If you miss Tuesday's show, The Bird and the Bee will be back in the NYC-area again on October 5th to play Maxwell's. It's the last night of their current tour. Tickets are on sale. All dates & a video below...

Continue reading "The Bird & the Bee - 2008 Tour Dates, the Spiegeltent"