Brassland was founded around a dream about an island. Imagine a cross between a commune, an artist's colony and the television show Giligan’s Island: a bunch of creative people voluntarily stranded, making new things, and having ridiculous adventures.
Last week in Berlin that dream came true. Endless, Nameless was an experimental music festival bringing together 80+ artists to the Funkhaus. In the week prior to the public-facing festival, the artists hung out, explored & collaborated in the dozens of nooks, crannies & studio spaces throughout this enormous, out-of-time feeling facility. Originally the Funkhaus was build to be the home of East Germany's central radio station, and...
After last night's Oscar broadcast, one of the label's co-founders Alec Hanley Bemis wrote a thing about the f**ked-upness of the Oscars' relationship to music in 2016 and posted it to Brassland's F'book page. Alec has some strong opinions on the matter, having met Elliott Smith in 2000, soon after Smith's own Oscar appearance changed the singer-songwriter's lifefor better & worse. And it feels relevant to post here seeing as two of our artists & two mentors/friends of the label were caught up in the competitive scrum of the Academy Awards this year. (To reel 'em off, label co-founder Bryce Dessner co-composed the soundtrack to The Revenant; The Gloaming's singer Iarla Ó Lionáird had a pr...
If you spend any length of time in New York City, you'll be familiar with double happiness. Most urbanites learn the phrase from seeing it on a seemingly random assortment of Chinatown store awnings: bars, travel agencies, 99¢ shops, low-cost bodywork outlets, et. al. Traditionally associated as a good tiding in Chinese wedding ceremonies, there is even a character for the concept 囍 which is actually a doubling of a single character 喜 which, in turn, means joy.
Which is our (typically) roundabout way of saying: we wonder if we can make ^^ (double Christmas Trees) a thing?
Which is our still-more roundabout way of saying we have a ^^ surprise for you new seasonally-appr...
It's rare that our artists have not one but two major tours happening in the United States simultaneously. So, contrary to our usual practice of filling these news updates with random yuks, jokes & asides, we'll get right to the point. (But yes, technically the image we've used with this news story counts as a joke.)
Here is where you Americans can catch The Gloaming.
- 02 Los Angeles, CA: Bovard Auditorium, USC
- 05 Seattle, WA: Benaroya Hall
- 07 AnnArbor, MI: UMS at Michigan Theatre
- 09 Minneapolis, MN: Walker Art Center
- 10 Chicago, IL: Old Town School of Folk Music
- 11 Philadelphia, PA: Annenberg Center for the Performing Ar...
Oh hi. Recently we've heard some grumbling about these news updates on brassland.org. "It's so long I didn't read it," people complain. "Why do your news updates take such a roundabout way of getting to the freaking point?" one friend told us. (i.e. Note the picture that goes with this particular update, a barely relevant #selfie of Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and some dude with a hat from the most recent installment of the MusicNOW festival.) Finally others criticize: "You could say the same thing with far less verbiage." Basically "TL;DR" one might say, if one cared to use contemporary internet slanguage.
So, in the interest of quickness we're going to start explori...
Brassland has landed in Ireland! No awkward puns or repetitive use of verbs intended! For a thorough round up of what's going on, take a listen to this hourlong podcast prepared by Dublin's National Concert Hall. It also serves as a great capsule history of the label.
Alternatively, if you try to observe the "pod-" in podcasting, you may download part one and part two from Soundcloud (or, if you're a real traditionalist, via iTunes). They were produced by the most-excellent Ben Eshmade in honor of NCH's just-as-excellent Perspectives series which launched this year with our Brassland weekend as its flagship presentation.
Dia dhaoibh! We have some news for you and it's completely craic for anyone in the general vicinity of Éire. If you haven't given up on this post already due to confusion, or offense at our half-assed use of Celtic greetings & Irish slang, please read on: Brassland has plotted an event at the National Concert Hall of Ireland (NCH) this December. It's going to be awesome.
The location is Dublin; the dates are December 13 and December 14. On Saturday we'll present a marathon of individually ticketed shows. It kicks off at 3pm with three intimate gigs in their Engineering Library and finishs up that evening with our headliner in the main room:
- 3pm: Crash Ensemble performing t...
Brassland is always looking for qualified interns with a strong interest in the music industry. Our interns gain first hand experience in the label side of things with the possibility of experience in publishing and management.
All positions are unpaid.
Must live in the greater New York area for the duration of internship.
Must be available for at least two full days a week
Must be in at least junior year of college
Submit resume AND cover letter to this contact form with the subject line: I WANT TO BE AN INTERN OR HELPER PERSON!
- Your top 5 all time favorite re...
It always bothers me to see people writing RIP when a person dies. It just feels so insincere and like a cop-out. To me, RIP is the microwave dinner of posthumous honors. Lou Reed
There's this moment at the end of Lou Reed's Berlin concert film when his face changes from a sphinx-like scowl into a gracious glow. It's after Antony sings a cover version of the Velvets' "Candy Says." Transformed in the hands of his protege, Lou rewards Antony with a warm smile all the more precious for its rarity.
I'm not big into mourning celebrity deaths. There was a day in 1990 when Jim Henson died (almost simultaneous with Sammy Davis!). That was memorable i...
Guten Tag! After our recent experience bringing most of our active roster to Australia's Adelaide Festival, the label has begun to keep an eye out for distant cities which might play host to this thing that we do. This August's Haldern Pop Festival in northwestern Germany has answered the call! Billing itself as a "small, cozy festival in the Lower Rhine area," the actually not-so-small fest has an amazing history and plays to a sold out audience of about 5,000 people every summer.
Festival organizer Stefan Reichmann came to us a few months back, asking about artists who might participate in the 2013 edition. This is the Kit, Buke and Gase and Jherek Bischoff said yes! (Bras...
Hi Australia! Here's a cool thing! A half-dozen artists on Brassland's roster (along with a handful of our peers, mentors and friends) are heading Down Under in the first week of March, under the aegis of the Adelaide Festival. The shows are an outgrowth of a long-running conversation between David Sefton, Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival, and Alec Hanley Bemis, co-founder of Brassland. Blurring the lines between composed music, art-rock, and the indie scene, the boundary-crossing program we've created is in the tradition of the LA Phils upcoming Brooklyn Festival (2013), BAMs second annual Crossing Brooklyn Ferry event curated by Bryce and Aaron Dessner, and Les Nuits de...
The theme for the new year at Brassland might be "collaboration," with several of our artists teaming up for various "special projects" and some more classical pursuits.
Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman) has begun working with a new band called The Gloaming, an Irish/Celtic-oriented group which also features Iarla Ó Lionaird, Dennis Cahill, and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh. They will play in globalFEST 2012 this weekend, a sold-out festival featuring twelve artists held at New York's Webster Hall. A few days later Buke and Gase will enjoy a change of pace, performing in the New York Guitar Festival on January 12th alongside Sonic Youth's Lee Renaldo and guitar goddess Kaki King. All t...
Well, it's almost 2012, which means our ten-year anniversary festivities are almost over. We want to take a couple minutes to thank all of our long-time fans, along with the new followers we gained over the past couple months, for joining us for an internet party of sorts. The Song-a-Day Giveaway of music downloads lasted throughout November, with a distribution of freebies running the gamut of Brassland material. It included everything from early demo tracks by The National to songs by three new bands recently signed to the label.
We even got some nice press about the November celebration, with articles in Spin, the Guardian, BrooklynVegan (here and here), Pitchfork, Exclaim, S...