April 8th, 2010 , by

By Juliana Paciulli

Last time, on Fol Chen: John Shade made his fortune. Bing & Co built a pyramid, the pyramid, and took the battle to Shade. It all fell apart. The world? In ashes.

And now, on Fol Chen: John Shade is dead.  A mysterious letter. The end of one end, and a beginning on another one. A new chance at a new world. But not one given so easily, things are not so clear as they once were. Long live John Shade.

For the uninitiated, this is Fol Chen. After receiving praise from NPR for their debut, releasing a remix album, recording a BBC Session and a music video with the Laker Girls, Fol Chen has created Part II: The New December. The album shores up the group's slippery identity further still. This is Fol Chen's most focused work – as consistent as it is consuming, as enjoyable as it is unusual. For more info, visit their website here.
On Saturday, Fol Chen begin their tour with Liars, starting in LA and ending in Seattle, before heading off to Europe. Info here

"In Ruins" (Download)


January 29th, 2010 , by

Fol Chen had an incredible 2009, with rave reviews of their debut album, Part One: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made. They shot a video with the Laker girls. They covered Prince’s "The Beautiful Ones" for Spin’s Purplish Rain compilation and Pink Floyd’s "In The Flesh" for MOJO’s tribute to The Wall. They hit the airwaves with live performances on the BBC and KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic and were featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. They were remixed by many (including Liars) and did remixes of many others (including Junior Vasquez).
So, how do you top that for the new year and the new decade? Well, you start with a tour with the Liars, start work on a new LP, and in your free time work with Emmy award winning director Chris Wilcha to provide folks on a high concept music video shot in India to tide everyone over til the next record. Click here for tourdates.


August 12th, 2009 , by

Photo by Juliana Paciulli

The pyramid was built, the plans set in motion, necessary parties were contacted and contracted. Now Samuel Bing, Melissa Thorne and the gang are preparing for their next assignment. Is it geodesic in nature? Urt-like? Subterranean? We can’t make out the cryptic scrawling they left on the post-its here at AK HQ.

Fortunately, they also left behind an EP that they have asked us to propagate to the masses, you, free of charge. It is an interlude, collecting the residual remixes, both by and for Fol Chen, and features the likes of Liars, Simone White, Epstein AKA Roberto Lange, Rafter and more! Download it (for free!) here.

And before Fol Chen leave and begin their second phase of gestation, they will give their live musical presentation in the City of Angels this Friday at the Echo as part of LA Weekly and Aquarium Drunkard’s ROCK N ROLL SUMMER CIRCUS. Then Fol Chen will head over to Europe for a string of dates. You can check out their tour dates here.


June 25th, 2009 , by

Fol Chen is having an incredible 2009 thus far, with rave reviews of their debut, Part One: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made, as well as their shows in NYC and the UK. But never one to rest of their semi-anonymous laurels, they are staying plenty busy. SPIN recently invited them to cover Prince’s "The Beautiful Ones" for their Purplish Rain compilation, which will also include contributions from Of Montreal, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Chairlift, Lavender Diamond, and many more. Read more about compilation here.

While on tour in the UK, Fol Chen stopped into the BBC studios to record a live session, and now that they’re back home they will guesting on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic on July 13th. You can tune in and listen live at 11AM EST here. In weirder news, TommyBoy Entertainment LLC commissioned Fol Chen to remix house legend Junior Vasquez – who himself has worked with the likes of Beyonce, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey and Madonna. Or in other words, all artists you wouldn’t expect reading about on the Asthmatic Kitty website until this very moment.

Don’t miss Fol Chen when they come through – which is to say in LA at PDG Performance hall this Friday (details here), or later during their fall tour. Oh, and here is some terrific footage of them covering the Beastie Boys’ "Sabotage" at the Echo. And thanks to Sasha Frere-Jones for finally introducing the New Yorker readership to the Laker Girls (here).

 "Insecurities (Fol Chen Remix)"


May 19th, 2009 , by

BreakThruRadio, which is a fine listen by the way, recently covered Fol Chen. The write-up, quite a delicious read, includes references to coal mining, Kid Icarus, and Disney artist kiosks. That warrants attention in our books. If you have a few minutes, spend them perusing this fine piece on BreakThruRadio, right here.


April 23rd, 2009 , by

London: beware. If you are harboring the lecherous fugitive John Shade, Fol Chen is bound to smoke the weasel out ala Scotland Yard. Their 6-day, 7-gig blitz tour of London will leave no stone, rolling or otherwise, unturned. They will be bringing their electro-art-pop goodness to you this June. See dates here.


March 11th, 2009 , by

One of the most important aspects of music is listening. A close second is partying. When you combine the two, you get something like a Listening Party. Just so happens Fol Chen is throwing a grand total of three of these grand inventions in the next week or so. Yes there will be giveaways.
In San Francisco, you can hear Part 1: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made at the BLOW UP at Rickshaw Stop on March 13th, 10pm (coincidentally the night following Rafter and Viva Voce – leave the place with at least a little party left alright guys?). Tickets here
In Ann Arbor, The Blind Pig is hosting Nomo with The Chap. Fol Chen albums will be given away for free that ticket. Tickets here.
Finally, Denver gets some loving from Fol Chen’s popcrowave oven on March 20th at La Rumba at their monthly LIPGLOSS. Details here.


February 21st, 2009 , by

"Cable TV,’ from Part 1: John Shade Your Fortune’s Made, by Fol Chen. Video directed by Chris Wilcha, the only living person to have directed both Ira Glass and Mr. T.

The story continues: Melissa Thorne hopped a Pan-Am flight back across the mountains. She tapped her feet and watched ball lightning dance outside the window, illuminating in flashes a vast and mysterious world of cloud—lumpy buttes and bluffs and canyons, diagonal seas of billowing mist. It stormed the whole way home. The plane tossed and jittered like the molded plastic plaything of some drunken child god. Speaking of drunk . . . (Click more to continue reading). . . Phat Jeph was snoring at Melissa Thorne’s feet in a recycled thrift-store dog-suit. They could only afford the one ticket, so G-Bone and Wass were stuck down below with the checked bags, wrapped tight in foil and packing tape, breathing through straws. Melissa Thorne had forged a doctor’s note saying she was neurasthenic and required the companionship of a therapeutic service animal. But Phat Jeph was resisting his role. Every half-hour, he’d sneak a sip of schnapps from his carry-on and the oily pepperminty stench would drift up into the aisle. The other passengers were too sick with turbulence to notice a thing, but Melissa Thorne kicked him hard in the ribs nonetheless. "Get your act together," she hissed. She glanced out the window to make sure Samuel Bing was on point. The lightning flashed and there he was, flapping furiously away just beyond the red light at the tip of the wing.

Things looked dodgy when they reached the gate at LaGuardia—too many eyes, too many uniforms—so they adapted Plan C and split up. They’d meet when they’d meet. Melissa Thorne washed up in the bathroom, tried to scrub the anxiety from under her eyes, and took a second to sigh before heading outside. She spotted Samuel Bing, drenched, dripping his way across the concourse, but she looked straight ahead and hustled to the curb to flag a cab. On her way out the door she passed Phat Jeph. He was crawling through the baggage claim, sniffing at corners, whimpering for added canine realism. He lingered just long enough to see G-Bone and Wass stumble off the conveyor belt. G-Bone was peeling the last bits of tape from his wrists when the air grew suddenly cold and Phat Jeph saw it happen: a weird swirling shadow fell over G-Bone’s sneakers. It crawled up his pants legs, growing deeper and denser and darker as it climbed. Phat Jeph sobered up quick. He tore off his dog face and yelled to warn Wass. "Run," he shouted. "It’s Shade!"


February 13th, 2009 , by

Not convinced that Fol Chen might just be the last, best hope for pop in these dark times?

Take a listen for yourself. Though their debut album, Part 1: John Shade Your Fortune’s Made, doesn’t come out until next Tuesday, is exclusively streaming the entire album for free right here. You’ll find that the album somehow manages to be the perfect soundtrack to both a cheesy Valentine’s Day Montage, or a geeked-out 1234567890 Party. Perfect timing,, thanks!

You can preorder the CD for $10 (+S&H) here , or the LP for $12 (+S&H) here.


February 11th, 2009 , by

Ken Tucker at NPR’s Fresh Air just reviewed Part 1: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made, the new debut album from Fol Chen. He seemed to like it. Hey, so do we! Click here to read and listen to his take.

The album comes out next Tuesday, but you can preorder the CD for $10 (+S&H) by clicking here, or the LP for $12 (+S&H) here.

« Previous PageNext Page »