Since 2014, we've made it a semi-annual custom to put out holiday music.* The best place to dig into our catalog of seasonably appropriate tunes is this playlist co-curated by Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, whose Christmas Spells EP we released in 2015. It includes not only holiday selections from the Brassland catalog but hep December-ish songs from Joni Mitchell, LCD Soundsystem, Mariah Carey, Sufjan Stevens, Mary Margaret O'Hara & other talents major and minor. (But mostly major.) The embed below goes to Spotify but the link leads to versions on YouTube & Apple Music as well if those are your preferred streaming jams. (Also we won't complain if you buy our songs off Bandcamp or other dow...
It will take us a few days to process the path that America has just chosen. Since we are a record label not a person, we see our role as amplifying the voices of the artists who we work with. It would be accurate to say that most of them are shocked by the result of last night's American presidential election and that many of them are horrified.
If you feel similarly, it is a good time to donate your money & time to causes which support civil liberties. The National have suggested these organizations:
• Planned Parenthood
• Southern Poverty Law Center
• Democracy Now
We're sure there are many worthy entities who will pursue an agenda of social p...
Brassland is 15 years old. We don't have a specific birth date because things were a bit hazy in the early days. But we are planning to celebrate — offline, online & in product form — thru summer 2017. We will revisit some long-dormant artists who we've worked with over the years. There will be occasional, special vinyl things. We're exploring a subscription offering for the hardcore fans among you. And, finally, we are finding new ways to foreground the increasingly ornate & renown family tree that has sprouted up around the label & our community of artists.
We are kicking off our year of mild partying & retrospective looks with a series of shows at Ti...
Guess what happened last week? Spring sprung into summer and three of our artists began their journeys on the road. (Not to be confused with On the Road, though that's good too.) Why just last week Doveman and Clogs played exceedingly rare live shows -- Doveman in New York's Bryant Park, and Clogs at Los Angeles's Bootleg Theater. And Jherek Bischoff played a three gigs at London's Village Underground, all of them opening for Amanda Palmer. And they'll all be playing more shows in the near future!
I know what you're thinking: "Thanks a lot Brassland, how about you tell us about these gig before they happen? You pretentious NYC a**holes."
We're having an internet party all month with a Song-a-Day Giveaway on this site and on our Facebook page.
Check out the announcement on Pitchfork & learn how to acquire songs like this early, unreleased demo by The National. It's a song that's never otherwise been recorded or commercially released.
We're not certain of the exact date Brassland was born (that's how it goes with origin myths), but we know it was sometime in the fall of 2001 that Alec Hanley Bemis and the twins Bryce & Aaron Dessner put out the first pair of records by The National & Clogs. Instead of popping open some champagne corks in private (well, we might do that too)...
Let's cut to the chase: here's some FREE MUSIC. That's what you want, right? Well, click away to enjoy a compilation representing 10-years of good music making (via Bandcamp).
Brassland Sampler for 2011 (FREE!) by Brassland
And while you're here consider friending/fanning/following us on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud if you're into that kind of thing.
To cut to the chase for a second time: If you're reading this today there's a good chance you came to us via this most excellent profile about the label's 10th anniversary in London's Guardian newspaper. It's been a big-in-England kind of year for the label & our artists. High Violet, The National's third record...
Just like a steamy bowl of ramen, Brassland is tingling the senses of the Japanese folks! Our digital catalog will be available there beginning on February 16th, followed by selected titles being available in physical edition on March 9th.
The National / The National
The National / Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers
Buke And Gass / Riposte
Doveman / The Conformist
Shouts out to our Japanese partner Hostess for making this possible. Definitely head over to their site and check out how many yen a record costs! It's a thrill, if not just to see surprises like what The National lyrics look like in Japanese!
We told ya once, and darn tootin we'll tell you twice. Not only did NME pick the new Clogs record as one of the most underrated albums of 2011, but also our very own bundles of love Buke & Gass, with NME saying "they sound like nothing you've ever heard before." Check out this live version of Bundletuck they posted:
Be warned, Buke and Gass are comin' for ya Europe! Be sure to check out their artist page for the latest tour dates! If you're too lazy to clickity-click, they'll be there in February, including a bunch of dates in Holland curated by our generically named pals in The National.
Clogs will arrive in the UK in May to survey the damage tha...
Hello New Yorkers (and those who have really big budgets for traveling to shows). Over the next month and a half, a bunch of artists on the Brassland label, as well as some close friends and associates, are playing at the Ecstatic Music Festival. Booked by Brassland friend Judd Greenstein in cahoots with his New Amsterdam collective, it starts today and runs through late March with well over a dozen concerts at the Kaufman Center's Merkin Hall in midtown Manhattan.
Most notably, it kicks off on today with a FREE six-hour plus marathon headlined by our recent champs Buke & Gass, who will be showcasing a special collaboration with our acquaintances in the group Victoire. Thank heav...
How's it going? Have your New Year's Eve bruises become bearable yet? Did you smell bad when you woke up? Well all is renewed now!! It's a new year.
Speaking of newness, welcome to our brand-spanking new website! Thousands of emails, beaucoup internet wizardry, holiday interruptions and global hard work went into this new site! We are still working out the kinks so be gentle. If you are sentimental or need some time to adjust to the change, our old site is still up at http://www.brassland.org/v2 for a limited time. We don't think it's as good as this new one but, hey, we respect your nostalgia.
On that topic and speaking of oldness, did you know that this was Brassland'...
If you thought the Brassland site was awesome before, you are in for a nice surprise. Things just got even awesomer.
Now, when browsing through your backcatalog favorites, you can enjoy some videos right on the album page that that video is associated with. Say what? Well, for example did you know a video existed for "Sugar Wife" from The National's sophomore LP, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers? Hell, we barely remembered. But now the internet has come up, smacked us upside the head and reminded us.
Thank you internet.
What can we say? All that yadda yadda yadda text about these records goes down much better with some video & audio to check out. Clickity click an...
On May 11th, CocoRosie released its fourth full-length record, Grey Oceans. The release came and went without too much fanfare. Our friend Brandon at Stereogum noticed this and decided to run this op-ed article - featuring input from artists such as Antony Hegarty, Yoko Ono, Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) and Annie Clark (St. Vincent) - on the lack of critical discourse surrounding CocoRosie's music as well as critic's individual cowardice in embracing more challenging music generally. Brandon writes:
A few years ago I wrote a positive review of CocoRosie's 'The Adventures of Ghosthorse And Stillborn.' Too positive, it turns out: The publication that assigned it killed the piece at th...
A few weeks ago online retailer Amie Street was kind enough to offer a pair of The National's Brassland back catalog titles as $5 digital downloads.
For the next few weeks, they've expanded this to include a few of their other favorites on the Brassland label -- throwing in a free mp3 from these new titles just for the heck of it. Click here to check out the hot deals.
Alternatively, here's an album-by-album round up of the hot deals:
- Clogs's 2006 release, Lantern
- Doveman's latest effort, The Conformist
- Nico Muhly's Brassland debut, Mothertongue
- The National's self-titled debut
- The National's Cherry Tree EP
This weekend, the Big Ears Festival will take place in Knoxville, TN. Now in its second year, Big Ears aims "to offer an exciting and dynamic platform of musical and artistic discovery by artists possessed of singular and unique visions that stand apart from the mainstream." Such a goal leads to "considerably dope" lineups (according to Stereogum) and, when you think of "dope," you inevitably think of Brassland. Accordingly, the lineup - which features, among others, Nico Muhly, Doveman, Clogs, The National, and our latest roster addition (to be revealed Thursday) - is Brassland-heavy.
Leading up to the festival, Pitchfork wrote a couple of news stories, from which we've cond...
We at Brassland value community and collaboration, on building a collective sense of artistic purpose. That urge has increasingly led members of the Brassland stable toward working with those at Asthmatic Kitty, a label that shares this ideal. Building on this spirit, AK is currently running a weekly feature titled Labels by Alphabet. Michael Kaufmann, Asthmatic Kitty's A&R man, describes the premise as such:
Asthmatic Kitty is going to take the next few months to celebrate labels we feel have integrity and good taste. Every week we will celebrate a different record label and provide you with a brief description in the sidebar as well as a streaming radio playlist in our AKRad...
In an effort to keep up with Fox Sports, we at Brassland started our own Twitter account to provide an outlet for quick Brassland-related updates, random thoughts, and other "tweets." The extended Brassland family hasn't been immune to the Twitter craze, either - Nico Muhly, Erik Friedlander, and Doveman each have their own Twitter pages.
To accommodate all of this Brassland twittering, we've created a stream that updates the latest Brassland and Brassland artist tweets, making it easy to view what the entire Brassland roster is up to. You can read the updated tweets, nicely boxed in an aesthetically-pleasing baby blue, on our homepage as well as (for a slightly more in-depth tw...
This past Sunday, musicians that appeared on the Dessner-curated Dark Was The Night compilation descended upon Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall to play a show and help raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness. The performers included, among others, Bon Iver, Dirty Projectors, David Byrne, Feist, My Brightest Diamond, The National - pretty much everyone who falls under the "current strain of NPR-friendly indie rock perfect for Hamptons hammocks" (to quote one ambivalent Pitchfork write-up).
Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan were also present to cover the event. A few moments captured for posterity (photos by Amrit Singh and Natasha Ryan):
The Dirty Projectors
This past January, Doveman completed his first tour of the United Kingdom, hitting small venues in big cities but nevertheless making a considerable impression. (Mnemonic's Comment: "Doveman with Nic Muhly and Sam Amidon at Cafe Oto. This would have been the gig of the year if not for...Leonard Cohen at RAH. Worth every penny of the £100 ticket. I still have his songs going through my head now.")
Other Brassland artists, however, are making the jump to the musical equivalent of the English Premier League, playing venerable UK institutions both old and new. First with the old: while The National travel the European summer festival circuit, they'll make a stop in London on Augu...
In case you haven't heard (there's no reason you should have), Brassland has switched to influential label/distributor Touch & Go to meet its worldwide distribution needs, joining the ranks of notable upstarts like Love Pump United and Post Present Medium as well as classic labels such as Kill Rock Stars and Atavistic.
For a quick history, Touch & Go began in the early 1980's as a fanzine that started releasing 7" records. Then came Big Black, Slint, The Jesus Lizard, Shellac, and other bands that all aging hipsters know and love. As Touch & Go continued releasing albums, they began manufacturing and distributing records for other labels, including Merge and Drag City. Then came...
As previously announced on this site and elsewhere, Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National have produced a compilation for The Red Hot Organization in order to raise funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. Titled Dark Was The Night, the compilation will arrive in stores as a double-disc or triple-vinyl package (as well as a digital download, of course) featuring 31 exclusive tracks by a who's who of the independent music world, including David Byrne, Arcade Fire, Spoon, Grizzly Bear, Sufjan Stevens, and Andrew Bird, among others. And as it just so happens, several members of the Brassland roster make up part of that exclusive group.
To be specific, The National contribute "Far A...
Apologies dear readers for the lack of updates to this here website. We are in the midst of a complete site overhaul which we hope to have ready by the end of the year. So, we are busy sorting our HREFs and HTMLs, our XMLs and PHPs, et. cetera, et. cetera.
We assure you, it will be rad, and that we are hatching other plots, half-baked notions, and tie-in schemes with semi-famous independent rock bands.
For now enjoy this video from our latest and greatest, Doveman, as backed by The National. Yes, the sound is much less blown out live. Get your tickets now:
Until now, Brassland has lain dormant in 2007, but our extended family has remained quite active. Alec Hanley Bemis has gotten really into making smoothies for breakfast; we hear Aaron Dessner has already had to mow his lawn twice this summer season. Busy! A particularly hearty congratulations, though, to Brassland partner Bryce Dessner for his very successful MusicNOW Festival which took place in Cincinnati April 5-7. It featured performances by Amiina, Clogs, David Cossin, Irena & Vojtech Havel, My Brightest Diamond, Pedro Soler, and Sufjan Stevens -- as well as collaborations between many of the aforementioned artists. It was a magical weekend, made even more so by the presence of Brassla...
Congratulations to Brassland alumni Pela on the release of their new album Anytown Graffiti.
Be sure to give a listen to their Brassland release (and stellar EP), All in Time, and have the privilege of saying you knew them back when...
It has been an entire season since our last news update, and for that we apologize. We have been busy making music, receiving wisdom, curating festivals, and even going on dates.
Sorry to be so obscure, but that's what winter was like for all of us: full of ambiguity. And wait until you hear about Brassland's plans for 2007! We have no firm release dates, but many good projects "in the works." You'll just have to trust us.
For now, let us present three recent live videos from some members of the extended Brassland family. All of these were created by our unoffical "staff photographer" Vincent Moon.
#40.3 - The National - Start...
A few weeks back Brassland & mp3 blog Music.for-Robots teamed up to giveaway an entire EPs worth of free music by our entire active roster. Folks got the chance to hear an exclusive Baby Dayliner track, a live recording of a new Clogs song, a preview of Devastations' Coal and Erik Friedlander's Block Ice & Propane. Plus, an unreleased Pela track. There were a hundred or a thousand or a gajillion listeners. We're just not sure. For a brief time only you can download the entire series again:
Baby Dayliner's "The Morning Sun"
Clogs' "I Used to Do" (live on France Inter's White Sessions)
Devastations' "Sex & Mayhem"
Erik Friedlander's "Airstre...