News

April 21, 2010

Buke and Gass Media Round-Up, Shows in May

This past Tuesday, WNYC's Radiolab invited Buke and Gass on their show. In an interview and live performance from their rehearsal space out in Brooklyn, Arone and Aron reveal how their music is like "a recently retired schoolhouse janitor riding the back of a big horse that's galloping over different scenes" (or, more succinctly, "the loudest miniature fuzz"). Not to mention the performances were pretty tight. To grab the free mp3 or stream the (un-embeddable) show, click here.

In addition to WNYC, Stereogum's Quit Your Day Job had Arone and Aron explain their, well, day jobs. For those not in the know, Aron performed in and designed/built instruments for the Blue Ma...


April 19, 2010

Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers Available on Limited Edition Vinyl

In the spirit of the just-passed Record Store Day (4/17), we thought we'd clue you in on a new item that's that we made available for the occasion in two of our favorite New York record shops. Manhattan's Other Music and Brooklyn's Sound Fix Records were exclusive stockists for limited-edition vinyl copies of The National's second album, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers. The LP in an edition of 500 copies features subtly different art work (more color!) and sounds pretty good. We're proud. At this point, both stores have sold out of their initial allotment of LPs.

Those who missed out can still find the vinyl version of Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers at the Brassland...


April 5, 2010

Doveman and Friends to Play Music Set to Movies

UPDATE: Word has been received at Brassland HQ that this show will be delayed until the summer. More details will appear here as they filter in!

On April 25th, Doveman will appear at Le Poisson Rouge to perform songs from his cover album Footloose and latest Brassland release, The Conformist.

As part of LPR's Unsilent Film Series, the event will screen selections from the dancing flick as well as the 1971 fascist-era drama. If you've ever wanted a little Bacon with your Bertolucci, this is your event.

Doors open at 10:00 pm for a 10:30 showing. Seating is limited and not guaranteed, so arrive earlier rather than later. Advance tickets are $10 and ca...


March 29, 2010

Clogs

The past month or so was busy for Clogs -- in addition to releasing their fifth full-length album, The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton, the band played high-profile shows in Minneapolis, New York, and Knoxville. We thought we'd recap the month's doings in further detail.

Pitchfork rated The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton an 8.2/10.0 while stating:

Like their new approach to cover art - once muted and minimal; here a spectrum of vivid color - The National's Bryce Dessner and Co. have crafted a new version of Clogs that revels in pushing boundaries and redefining their sound... Lady Walton contains the most accomplished and varied music Clogs have...


March 25, 2010

Brassland Welcomes Buke and Gass to the Family

Remember the allusion to a new Brassland band posted earlier this week? Well, the time has come to let you in on the scoop: Brassland has signed Brooklyn-based two-piece Buke and Gass to its roster. Known for playing a wide variety of self-modified instruments (among their more prominent inventions are the "buke," a baritone ukelele, and the "gass," a guitar/bass hybrid), the band is currently finishing its Brassland debut, which will come out later this year. Look for more details to come.

In the meantime, you can catch the band this weekend in Knoxville, TN, where they will perform with The Ex at the Big Ears Festival on Friday, March 26th. After their set, the band will set...


March 24, 2010

Doveman, Nico Muhly in New York Observer, Playing Big Ears Festival

Last week, Doveman and Nico Muhly performed a two-night stand at The Kitchen in Manhattan as Peter Pears, their duo project. In addition, Doveman played some of his own tunes. The program made the New York Observer's cultural highlights of the week.

In addition to the Observer, New York magazine wrote a nice profile on Doveman. For those that want to know the man behind the pretty face, this article provides a start. A sample:

Despite naming his most recent album The Conformist, in the pop world Bartlett is anything but, and he has clearly never been driven by conventional rebellion. He grew up in Vermont, where his interests included basketball, traditional Iris...


March 22, 2010

Big Ears Festival = Brasslandapalooza

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...


March 15, 2010

The National Name New Album, Play Fallon and Bell House

As of early last month, The National had announced that their new album, still untitled, would come out in May, specific date also unknown. Well, you can now fill in those details - last week, news broke that the album shall henceforth be known as High Violet and it shall be available in fine retailers and e-tailers on May 11th.

In addition, the band put up HighViolet.com, a microsite featuring a few clips shot from the studio and a rotating set of pictures (a la AmericanMary.com) taken during the recording sessions. While bloggers were busy posting the new album cover (left) and linking readers to the new website, the band appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where they de...


February 17, 2010

New Clogs Album Ships Early Only at The Brassland Store, Lantern Now on Limited-Edition Vinyl

On March 2nd, Clogs will release their fifth studio album, The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton. Their first long-player since 2006's Lantern, The Creatures was recorded in Brooklyn and Sydney over 2007-2008 and features a variety of guests, including Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), Sufjan Stevens, Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner (The National), and the Osso String Quartet.

Now for the new news. As of today, you can pre-order the album from The Brassland Store, where it will ship early and arrive at your doorstep before it's available in fine music retailers across the country. We've put together a few bundles that you can choose from:

Bundle #1...


February 15, 2010

Nico Muhly Writes His First Opera for Met and Lincoln Center, Kitchen Gigs Coming Up

Late last week, the New York Times ran an article on Nico Muhly's new opera, written in collaboration with Craig Lucas for the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center's first joint commissioning project. Describing the commissioning program, the performance time line, and a brief plot synopsis, the article provides a good overview for Nico's latest project:

The work will make its debut in June 2011 at the English National Opera, which will share in the production’s cost with the Met. It will come to the Met for the 2013-14 season. It will be the fourth time that the Met and the English National Opera have co-produced a show since Mr. Gelb took over, in a system that has e...


February 1, 2010

The National Set Release Month for Album, Announce Tour

It's been well over a month since The National last made news in these parts. At the time, they were boasting a four and a half star rating on YouTube! for their Google commercial and were well at work mixing their follow-up to Boxer. Last week, the band announced that the as-yet-untitled album will be released worldwide this May on 4AD. Matt sat down for an interview with Pitchfork to discuss mastering the record, the possibility of naming it Summer Lovin' Torture Party, and having Sufjan sing back-up.

In addition, the band will play a few shows that straddle the album's release, including: The Big Ears Festival (3/28) in Knoxville, TN; a two-night stand at The Natio...


January 25, 2010

MusicNOW Celebrates Fifth Year, Announces 2010 Lineup

In 2006, Brassland co-founder Bryce Dessner (also known for his work in The National and Clogs) created the MusicNOW Festival in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, in order to highlight the work of contemporary musicians and artists "that take risks and do not fit neatly into categories." Held at Memorial Hall, MusicNOW has stayed true to its mission, inviting artists as eclectic as Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bear, The Books, Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Kronos Quartet.

Earlier this month, MusicNOW announced their lineup for 2010. Running from Tuesday, March 30, through Thursday, April 1, the fifth incarnation of MusicNOW will feature Joanna Newsom, St. Vincent, Justin Vernon (of Bon...


January 12, 2010

Clogs To Release New EP in January 2010, New Record in March

Back in September, Asthmatic Kitty posted a playlist that included a new song by Clogs. Featuring Sufjan Stevens and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), "We Were Here" was teased as a possible track off their follow-up album to 2006's Lantern. Over the past three months we've hammered out details and now have information on the album, including title, tracklist, and artwork.

You can read a lot more details than even we know as reported on the internet websites Stereogum and Pitchfork.

Recorded in Brooklyn and Sydney over the course of 2007 and 2008 then mixed & finished over the next year and a half, The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton includes performan...


December 21, 2009

Doveman Update: New Video, Curating Mercury Lounge Show, Playing Kitchen

With his tour opening for Swell Season now complete, Doveman is off the road and taking a breather. While he was traveling North America, however, the video for "Breathing Out," a song off The Conformist, premiered on Spinner. Using only two shots, director Marc Anthony Thompson (better known as Chocolate Genius) succinctly explained his working process:

"I rarely make films for other people. I pick up my camera for very few reasons: The hotel has good light. The music inspires me. My lover isn't shy. 'Breathing Out' matched 2 of my criteria."

Very nice. You can watch the video below:

On January 12th, Doveman will curate and play his first...


December 14, 2009

The National Featured in Google Ad, New Record, New Website, New Twitter

It's been a while since we last heard from The National. At the time, they were working diligently on their new album, playing a few shows, and releasing a cover of Polaris' "Ashamed of the Story I Told" for the benefit album Ciao My Shining Star. Later, various band members popped up in a couple of "the" projects - The Long Count, The Conformist. But on the whole, pretty quiet.

Then we saw this little anthem:

The Google ad, titled "Out of Office," features "Apartment Story" from the band's most recent album, 2007's Boxer. So far, the spot sports a respectable 4 1/2 star rating on YouTube!, though one dude named "Syntox" got rather catty ("Th...


November 16, 2009

Doveman Featured on NPR, Continues Tour

As Doveman kicks off the second half of his November tour tomorrow with a solo show in Los Angeles, we thought it fitting to provide you with an update regarding Doveman-related activity on the World Wide Web. Last week, NPR's World Cafe featured "Breathing Out" and "Angel's Share" from his latest album, The Conformist, on their broadcast. Here's what they had to say about the new release:

With the release of 2005's The Acrobat, 2007's With My Left Hand I Raise the Dead and a legally contentious album in which he covers the soundtrack to the '80s movie Footloose, Bartlett established Doveman as a true sleeper. His third album of original material with Dovem...


November 4, 2009

Doveman Plays Fancy Loft Party for CMJ, Touring With Swell Season

In case you haven't paid attention to our frequently updated shows page, Doveman's hitting the road with Oscar-winners The Swell Season. They kicked off the tour last night in Toronto and will make their way through the Northeast and West Coast. To see exactly where and when Doveman will land (pun alert, sorry!), click here.

Meanwhile, in somewhat more exclusive & shmancy news, Doveman gave an unofficial CMJ performance a week or so back to celebrate the release of The Conformist. Held at a friend's loft in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, he was backed by a string quartet and friends Sean Lennon, Charlotte Kemp Muhl, Jennifer Charles (of Elysian Fields), Justin...


October 16, 2009

Doveman

For those unawares, Doveman's latest album The Conformist will be hitting the shelves of fine music retailers next Tuesday. To celebrate our upcoming release, The Brassland Store is holding a special offer (with special pricing) for pre-orders of The Conformist. The skinny:

Bundle #1 - includes The Conformist, With My Left Hand I Raise the Dead, and a Doveman t-shirt
Bundle #2 - includes The Conformist and a Doveman t-shirt

Act fast - bundles will last until we run out of t-shirts.

Now, watch some lil' preview videos we put together featuring audio courtesy of Doveman's The Conformist and visuals courtesy of Bertolucci's The Conformist. Act...


October 9, 2009

Bryce & Sufjan & Shara Sitting in a Tree

Last week on Pitchfork, one could find a strange plethora of Brassland-related stories detailing the various doings of Bryce Dessner, Sufjan Stevens, and My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden. We thought we'd compile them below for your convenience.

The lead item was an announcement regarding Clogs' new song, titled "We Were Here," that features vocals from both Sufjan and Shara. Pitchfork's description was rather accurate: "an airy, delicately orchestrated affair with the voices of Stevens and Worden floating over a complicated bed of acoustic instruments." To listen to the previously unreleased jam, check out Asthmatic Kitty's AK Radio.

Later in the...


September 28, 2009

Brassland Profiled on Asthmatic Kitty

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...


September 21, 2009

Pela Announces Break Up

Last Friday, Brooklyn Vegan posted a letter written by Pela announcing that the band's no longer together. We at Brassland thought we'd re-post the letter, taken from Pela's website:

Thank you, and good night.....

It is with great sadness that we write you today. Pela's collective journey has come to an end.

Over the past 2 years we've faced tremendous obstacles. We recorded an album twice, had a falling out/legal battle with our old label, fired 2 managers, had a big record deal fall through, and Billy had a hand injury followed by a foot injury.

We've worked tirelessly to get our music out of ourselves and into your ears. We wo...


September 17, 2009

Jay-Z + Nico-M = Hip-Hop

In the past, we at Brassland headquarters figured that Baby Dayliner was about as hip-hop as any artist on the roster would get. But consider this: At the encore for last week's 802 Tour show in Harlem, Nico Muhly played Mariah Carey's "My All" and joined Doveman and Sam Amidon in a rendition of R. Kelly's "Relief." This followed hot on the heels of Jay-Z's recent claim that indie rock could "push hip-hop to go even further."

With that in mind, this week's Pitchfork review of Hova's new album The Blueprint 3 brought up a musical partnership that we found particularly intriguing:

"...Jay-Z's probably right about about his claim this year that hip-...


September 16, 2009

The 802 Show at Miller Theatre Reviewed by NY Times

Last week, The 802 Tour reconvened for a one-off performance at Columbia University's Miller Theatre. While we at Brassland certainly liked the show, another, more important source enjoyed it, too.

The New York Times voiced its appreciation of the show's "seamless flow" in its live review, mentioning Doveman in particular, whose "piano-driven ballads, including some from a forthcoming CD, The Conformist, had a shadowy, confessional intimacy that was accentuated by his tremulous, nearly whispered croon."

Nico Muhly was given a positive appraisal, as well, with the Times mentioning in particular his "appealing instrumental compositions [that] drew on Philip Glass&#...


September 11, 2009

Tickets For Dessner Brothers' Composition, The Long Count, Now On-Sale

As we mentioned in June, Bryce and Aaron Dessner will be performing their new, 70-minute composition, The Long Count, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival on October 28th, 30th, and 31st at 8 pm.

The composition - which features a 14-piece ensemble as well as guest vocalists Kim and Kelley Deal (The Breeders), Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), and Matt Berninger (The National) - combines music and visuals (courtesy of Matthew Ritchie) to, according to BAM, "create a song-filled myth about the beginning of time." The National's e-mail newsletter was more direct, mentioning that the piece is loosely based on Popol Vuh, a Mayan creation myth revolving aro...


September 9, 2009

Pitchfork Posts News on New Doveman Album

As you may remember, Doveman released a couple of songs to Brooklyn Vegan and Stereogum as a preview for his upcoming album. Yesterday, Pitchfork posted a little story revealing the album's title (The Conformist), cover (pictured left), tracklist, and a new song featuring The National's Matt Berninger, which you can stream below:






The Conformist will be released October 20th.

In other, more immediate news, The 802 Tour is having its sole 2009 show tonight at Columbia University's Miller Theatre. Featuring Doveman, Nico Muhly, and Sam Amidon "playing each other's music," they're also bringing in a...


August 10, 2009

802 Tour Reprised for Wordless Music Series

In August 2008, the 802 Tour - named after Vermont's only area code, curiously enough - made its way up and down the American coasts (with a couple stops in Canada). Featuring Green Mountain State natives Sam Amidon, Doveman, and Nico Muhly, the shows were collaborative efforts with each musician assisting the others in livening up each others' songs in a casual atmosphere; Sam played folk ballads, Doveman whispered his lamp-rock creations, and Nico performed high-brow, classical "pieces." The shows were a success.

If the previous paragraph induced either nostalgia (assuming you attended) or regret (assuming you didn't), there's good news - it's back. On Sept...


July 27, 2009

AHB-Curated Happy Ending Music and Reading Series Coming to Joe's Pub

For the past few months, Brassland co-founder Alec Hanley Bemis has been working as a "musical guru" of sorts with author Amanda Stern's Happy Ending Music and Reading Series at Joe's Pub in New York City. The series - which the Village Voice has described as "perenially killer" - is holding its latest installment on Wednesday, August 5th. Curated by the guru himself, the evening's theme is titled "Process and Progress," which AHB's blog describes as "creativity in action - how makers actually make what they make."

The night's musical lineup features saxophonist Colin Stetson - who's worked with Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, TV on the Radio, and The National (a...


July 24, 2009

The National Finish up US Tour, Cover Polaris for Benefit Album

The National have been pretty occupied this summer in a low key kind of way, playing shows and working on their latest studio creation. Recently, their short tour of the Midwest - which also included a stop in Ottawa - ended with a headlining spot at the Pitchfork Music Festival on July 18th.

In other news, a stream of The National's take on Polaris' "Ashamed of the Story I Told" has been circulating around the interweb. We enjoyed it and thought maybe you'd like a listen:





For those unaware, the song is the group's contribution to Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy, a tribute/benefit album for...


July 20, 2009

Bryce Dessner Composes for Kronos, Interviewed by Pitchfork

It's been a slow July in Brassland, with nearly three weeks having passed since our last news post. But while we've kept our summer lazy, Bryce Dessner has stayed a busy boy. In addition to playing at the premiere of "2x5" by Steve Reich in Britain on July 2nd, there was the premiere of Bryce's own piece, "Aheym," for Kronos Quartet at Prospect Park this past Thursday for the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. Following Kronos's performance, the paper of record wrote a nice little review that mentioned (in passing) both The National and Clogs. Some video from the event:

Also worthwhile is this Pitchfork interview with Bryce, asking him about his various en...


July 1, 2009

A General Bryce Dessner Update

In our previous update on The National, 15 year-old Scott G. wrote us an e-mail asking about the band's new album and its creative process. Seeing the value of digital communication, National and Clogs guitarist Bryce Dessner sat down and composed an electronic letter for us, as well, detailing the various projects that will be keeping him busy over the next few months. So without further ado...

An Update On My Music-Related Happenings, by Bryce Dessner

Hello everyone - happy rainy summer! There are a few big events for me coming up this summer and fall that I felt like I should share with you. They are happening in various locations both in NY and elsewhere so hop...