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Buke and Gase offer new song, USA + Dublin tour date(s) - August 29, 2014

Let's get the most fun part out of the way first: Buke and Gase have just posted their new song "Seam Esteem" to Bandcamp for free download. Grab it:

"Seam Esteem" premiered on All Songs Considered. You can also stream it on their Soundcloud.

I know what you're thinking: These announcements came out of the blue. What gives? Well, hopefully you're already one of the lucky internet browsers who caught wind of the their Soundcloud postings from March to June of this year, during which the duo shared aural snapshots & snippets of recent improvs, recording experiments & works-in-process. As the band put it: "These sketches became the basis of our Soundcloud #MondayMissions project. Inspired by an article by Brad Troemel " in The New Inquiry Magazine about "athletic aesthetics”, we began posting a short track every Monday as an exercise in communicating more with our audience and involving them in the process. This required us to take a stab at our standards of Quantity-Vs-Quality on a weekly basis, and the sense of urgency to reveal something vulnerable gave us an added creative boost."

It's finally been revealed what all this (atypical-for-them) internet activity was leading up to: namely, the finished song "Seam Esteem," some chatter about a new record in-the-works and, more concretely, a 9-date tour that will take them through the northeastern quadrant of North America: Montreal to the north, Chicago to the west, Philly to south and, naturally, a Brooklyn homecoming.

And here's another more concrete thing: the entire run of #MondayMissions in the form of a single-playlist. (At least as long as they leave it live on the interwebs.)

We'll wrap up this post with a little congrats to the Bukes on their latest experiment. We've been blown away since the day we met them with their ability to balance considerable creativity and freedom with the qualities needed to spread the products of that creativity far & wide: resourcefulness, a work ethic, self-sufficiency and a general capability to get shit done. DIY has always been part of Brassland's DNA, and continues to be part of it, be it This is the Kit's relentless European touring, or Jherek Bischoff's home-recorded orchestral innovations. But Buke and Gase have embodied the idea in ways that would challenge any band in the history of music, ever.

It's been a joy to work with them, and we hope to continue doing so — which reminds us, they're also planning to take part in this crazy event we're doing in Ireland this December. You can BUY TICKETS for their first ever Dublin gig right now. More plans in the UK and Ireland to come...

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Brassland @ National Concert Hall in Ireland this December - August 20, 2014

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 the music of Bryce Dessner
- 4:30pm: This is the Kit
- 6:30pm: Buke and Gase
- 8:00pm: Sounds of the South featuring Frazey Ford, Matthew E. White with members of Megafaun and Fight the Big Bull performing music collected by American folklorist Alan Lomax

On Sunday, comes the European debut of Doveman's Burgundy Stain Sessions featuring:
- Glen Hansard (Swell Season, Once, The Frames)
- Paul Noonan (Bell X-1)
- Lisa O'Neill
We'll add more guests and sidepersons to this post as we confirm them.

You can BUY TICKETS right now. Or check this video playlist if you want a preview of what's in store.

Note that the lead video includes Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver), the dulcet-toned dude who co-founded the Sounds of the South project; however, he will not be part of our weekend. We're sad about that. We're also sad to report that the inspiration for the SoS project — song collector Alan Lomax — will not make an appearance. (Lomax passed away in 2002, so it's not like anyone was expecting him.) Point being, the amazing music that inspired both Vernon & Lomax will be in full effect. So it's all good.

We know what you're thinking: Brassland has done events at Australia's Adelaide Festival & Germany's Haldern Pop. But the National Concert Hall? -- that sounds like quite an upgrade! And you probably have other important questions: Do they serve beer at NCH? (Or, well, at least Guinness?) How about veggie burgers, and light bites featuring kale? (Actually, we're not sure if Ireland does kale. Sorry Brooklyn!) For the record, we have already confirmed NCH serves drinks. We'll work out some food recommendations closer in.

Now for the other whys & hows: About a year ago we began a conversation with our longtime acquaintance Gary Sheehan—NCH's head of programming—about a weekend of concerts that would plot the common ground between the hall's new Perspectives series and the music associated with the Brassland label.

We decided the crossover is a place where folk, classical and alternative rock traditions meet in unexpected ways without getting bogged down in either classical music conventions or folksie informality. Together, we plotted a weekend that focused on musicians whom, on the surface, seem to be do one thing really well, but actually do an entirely other thing just as well. I.e. A rock guitarist who writes composed music for strings & things (i.e. The National's Bryce Dessner); alternative rock & folk groups whose music sounds unusually well-composed (Buke and Gase, This is the Kit); and, of course, the two main stage concerts which treat 20th century vernacular song with the respect & attention usually reserved for 18th century German dudes in powdered wigs. In a roundabout way, we're trying to show how the song-based traditions of Ireland & Scotland deserve just as much respect.

Too much explanation, you say? Well, here's a trailer for what looks to be a sweet ass Alan Lomax documentary about America's "patchwork culture" derived, in this case, from Irish, Scottish & British tradition:

(If you're hooked, watch the doc in full right here)

In a less genealogical sense, we think it's self-evident that there's a commonality between the poise & chops that Doveman brings to the singer-songwriter tradition; the intensity and virtuosic-ish-ness of Buke and Gase's take on post-punk; and the way the Sounds of the South and This is the Kit find, in folk music, the same aesthetic aspirations & deep insights into human potential that others find only in composed music. And, of course, the connections between the artists playing our weekend, Ireland and The National's extended family tree shouldn't go unmentioned. For a catch up, check out The Irish Times' recent oral history on The National's decade of memorable concerts in the country — or, heck, just look at this gift box which "The U2ers" had delivered to the boys from Cinci backstage in Dublin last month.

Does that answer the question about if there'll be drinks? Did that last quip just lose Doveman a shot at getting Bono to sing a tune with him? (No worries! We're holding out for Sinead, cause she's the boss.)

Anyhoo, the NCH has prepared a press release explaining the weekend right here. Forward that link to any friends who might find Brassland-dot-org style news stories to be overly chatty and rambling.

Go ahead, read up at that other site.



Okay now that you're back, a special thanks Mr. Gary Sheehan who we've known since the early '00s when he was a show promoter interested in the cross-genre explorations of our artists Clogs and Erik Friedlander. It's been nice reconnecting with him a ways down the road.

Hopefully, Brassland's December weekend in Dublin will become part of our story & your story, very soon...

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Call For Interns - June 16, 2014

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 glenn AT brassland DOT org with the subject line: “I WANT TO BE AN INTERN OR HELPER PERSON! (______ season)”:

Spring Internship: Jan – mid May
Resume submissions due December 1

Summer Internship: mid May – late Aug
Resume submissions due April 1

Fall Internship: Sept – Dec
Resume submissions due August 1

- Your top 5 all time favorite records
- 5 most recent concerts attended
- A favorite or funniest YouTube video
(Don't worry - we won't judge you...much.)

- Duties vary based on your expertise (writing, programming, etc.). It will almost definitely include packing vinyl and CDs — and updating websites.
- Previous interns have gone on to bright futures as employees and freelancers here & at other music-related companies

Demonstrate your genius in (1) blogging, (2) Soundcloud, (3) Bandcamp, (4) Flickr, (5) YouTube, (6) Tumblr, (7) MyShopify or (8) some crazy internet thing we've never heard of. (Nothing dirty, please.)

If you can do all that, you're hired!


People Get Ready announce new album, NYC gigs - April 23, 2014

When is a band more than a band? People Get Ready has inspired that question since their self-titled debut was released a year and a half ago. The shows in support of the record blew many people away, and took place everywhere from DIY clubs around Brooklyn, to a cross-country opening slot for Deerhoof, to "high art" performance spaces like BAM, LA's Skirball Center and Duke University. The group frequently adds auxiliary performers and homemade instruments (i.e. a "circumstantial guitar" strapped to its wearer's back and dragged on the ground by its headstock), but sometimes they simply attack their songs as a ferocious (in a joyful way!) four-piece. NPR’s Bob Boilen has ranked their performances among his top concerts of the year two years running now, including a nod as his single favorite gig of 2012. Bob's a fellow who sees literally hundreds of gigs a year. Big deal, huh?

We think of it in simpler terms. People Get Ready are like that kid in high school who was weirdly good at everything: their club gigs are hot sweaty dance parties; their "performance" pieces combine movement & music in ways that defy audience expectations for both rock & dance audiences; and, oh yeah, their songs are also catchy as hell. To use a sports metaphor, this band is a "triple-threat." Not that we've seen them play touch football or anything. I think they prefer just hanging out at the beach.

And, now People Get Ready are getting…ready to... Erm, well, just listen here:

Now let's try that again: We're proud to announce the band's sophomore full-length Physiques will be released on June 24. Produced by Brooklyn friend and recent tour mate Greg Saunier of Deerhoof, the album began as a collection of deliberately incomplete sketches developed over three months of improvisation, revision and accidental magic. To set the scene, the three months of tracking took place at the Clocktower Gallery in downtown Manhattan, a legendary "alternative art" space which has (sadly) just been shuttered for renovation into condos. (To answer your question: No, neither People Get Ready nor any Brassland employees gets first divs on one of the condos. New York real estate is an experience in tough love.)

Anyway, check out the Physiques track list below.

1. Rainbow
2. Physiques
3. Crueller
4. Aquarium Date
5. Jealousy
6. Sooooooooon
7. Hot Fruit
8. You Should Have Seen Our Face
9. Blockbusterer
10. Bees

PRE-ORDER the record right now:
- Bandcamp
- CD + t-shirts

A hallmark of the People Get Ready experience, of course, is that live show. No matter the setting, their gigs are never less than a sweaty, kinetic party. With so much hype surrounding People Get Ready’s performances, it would be a bit of tease not to announce some New York shows.

- April 29: Brooklyn, NY: Union Pool (w/ Jolie Holland)
- June 19: New York, NY: North End Way (River to River block party)
- June 24: Brooklyn, NY: Rough Trade NYC (record release show)

Keep your ears peeled for new news...

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This is the Kit record with Aaron Dessner, release EP, tour Europe - March 03, 2014

This is the Kit are gigging again in Europe, revisiting many of the same cities they hit while opening The National’s autumn 2013 tour of the continent. Stops include capitals such as Paris, Berlin and a sold out date in London. (They've also added a May follow-up gig due to the demand.) Here are the dates:

15 Reutlinger, Germany - Burning Eagle Festival Warm-Up
17 Metz, France - La Chaouée
18 Beauvais France - La Maladrerie Saint-lazare (w/ Melissa Laveaux)
21 London, UK - The Lexington SOLD OUT
22 Manchester, UK - Gullivers
24 Rees-Haldern, Germany - Haldern Pop Bar
25 Hamburg, Germany - Nachtasyl
26 Berlin, Germany - Berghain Kantine

21 London, UK – Scala (w/ La Femme)

Speaking of The National, the tour follows close after a January recording sessions in the Brooklyn studio of Aaron Dessner. (Just in case you're new around here, Aaron is the label's co-founder & a member of The National.) There's a picture from the sessions at the top of this news story. Dessner and This is the Kit frontperson Kate Stables worked with a who’s who of American indie musicians, including Aaron’s brother Bryce Dessner, Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett (producer for The Gloaming, Glen Hansard) and Matt Barrick (drummer for currently on-hiatus The Walkmen). We expect to release the results of these sessions in autumn 2014 on This is the Kit’s third full-length, an LP consisting of the Dessner-produced tracks. (We said expect so no promises on the release date -- patience is a virtue!)

To commemorate the new activity, however, the band are releasing an untraditional EP called Wriggle Out the Remakes just before their March tour. Billed as “remixes” the EP actually includes only minimal traces of its primary source material, that source being This is the Kit’s recently reissued underground masterpiece Wriggle Out the Restless. Meant as a showcase for the durability of Kate Stables’ songs, the EP release features covers, reinterpretation & reimagining of her songs by frequent PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish, Francophone Domino Records signee François of the Atlas Mountains and Bristol pals Rachael Dadd, Ichi and Elliot E & the Ritournelles. Leading off the EP is a new song “Magic Spell,” chopped & diced into unrecognizability by Tythe aka Julian Peck. (Note that this recording of "Magic Spell" is not drawn from Aaron's sessions - rather it's the result of some studio tinkering the band has been doing on the side. The home for the original version of this song is yet-uncertain...)

Order your copy of Wriggle Out the Remakes here:

In other "content" news, the band have a trove of videos in the works. First they've released a homespun music video for “Magic Spell” (Tythe remix) which you can see below. Next up are a dozen tour diary-style clips from the autumn gigs with The National. These will be released throughout the month of March, three new videos each week. Subscribe to Brassland's YouTube channel to catch them all. The tour diaries were shot by TiTK tour manager Rasha Shaheen. Thanks Rasha!

For the detail-oriented amongst you, for their March tour This is the Kit will consist of Kate (singing/guitar/banjo) , Rozi Plain (vocals/bass) and Jamie Whitby-Coles (drums), pictured below.

We are also expecting guest appearances by Vincent Mougel (kidsaredead) and Neil Smith (The Liftmen) at some shows along the routing. And how do you ask did Kate enjoy her trip to New York City? Well, due to poor documentation of the Brooklyn recording sessions, we don't have too much to show you - though we did make her take this tough looking New York-ish selfie.

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