October 18th, 2013 , by John Beeler
“It’s very humbling to me,” guitarist/composer Chris Schlarb says of performing with the members of his Psychic Temple project. “It’s a truly phenomenal band of musicians.”
Schlarb has just set out on a tour of the American Southwest with that ensemble in tow, promoting the release of their second LP, Psychic Temple II, and the Psychic Temple material is very much built to accommodate the virtuosity of his band.
“All the guys in the band are like jazz musicians or can hang on that level. So you’ve got to give them some room to contribute their own thing—you sort of recontextualize this music,” explains Schlarb. While this tour unifies these players as sidemen around the singer-songwriter material from Psychic Temple II, he points out that in their respective musical lives, “Each one of them is a leader of their own project. There’s an honor to that for me, to be in charge for a little while. That also gives me some confidence as an artist.”
Chris Schlarb and Psychic Temple kicked off their tour in Phoenix, AZ this Thursday, followed by a Friday night show on Oct. 18 at High Mayhem in Santa Fe, an Oct. 19 concert at Austin’s Salvage Vanguard Theater, an Oct. 20 date at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton, TX, and on Oct. 30th a performance at Le Corusse Rouge in Bakersfield, CA.
“I think anybody who likes the material on the record,” says Schlarb, “or any of my material at all, will like what we’re doing—it’s sort of the most ambitious large-scale work for an ensemble that I’ve ever put together.
June 7th, 2013 , by John Beeler
Lily and Madeleine are hitting the road for the first time.
“We’re kind of making it a family vacation,” explains Lily Jurkewiecz, the younger of the two sisters that make up the acoustic duo. Lily and Madeleine, who followed up their viral video success by recording an EP of original material, played—and sold out—their first-ever live shows earlier this year. Now their EP, The Weight of the Globe, has been picked up for a June 11 release by Asthmatic Kitty, and the duo is set to make a handful of appearances in the Midwest and Northeast.
The sisters kick off the summer with a show in their hometown of Indianapolis this Saturday, June 8, in the Deluxe Room at the Old National Centre, followed by their first-ever East Coast show at Joe’s Pub in NYC on June 11, and a June 12 performance at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.
They’re also excited about their upcoming performance at the Clawhammer festival in Oshkosh, WI, from July 20-21. “I’m looking forward to connecting with other musicians,” says Madeleine. “That’s going to be neat.”
Are they anxious or intimidated at the thought of playing their first shows outside of Indiana? No, Madeleine laughs. “People have asked us that, and I think like, ‘Am I supposed to be intimidated?’ I feel really good about it. It’s going to be like a whirlwind, I think, but we’re just along for the ride.”
After the full-band sound of Weight of the World, these live dates mark a return to the stripped-down sound of the duo’s home recordings—accompanying their own voices on keyboard and guitar—but the two look forward to heading back into the studio with the new material that they and songwriting partner Kenny Childers (Gentleman Caller) have written for their first full-length album.
The sisters hint that we can expect the new material to be slightly more optimistic that their melancholy first recording, thanks in part to the possibilities opened up by their sudden musical success. “The EP was mostly about the feelings of like anxiety and restless that come with being a teenager—teen angst—but the new stuff is more about the excitement of this new adventure” as musicians, says Madeleine; it’s “more positive. We’re excited about it.”
These summer dates mark a rare chance to see the two perform live. Lily is heading into her senior year of high school this fall, and Madeleine is off to start her first year of college. They’re taking their parents and younger brother along to the East Coast dates, which they’re looking forward to not just as a performing opportunity but as a change of scene.
“We don’t know what to expect from New York,” says Madeleine. “I’ve just been there once, and Lily’s never been.”
“It’ll be fun,” says Lily. “It’ll be a family adventure.”
June 4th, 2013 , by John Beeler
We have not one, not two, but four shows in just three days for Asthmatic Kitty artists Fol Chen and Denison Witmer in London, starting on June 3.
Denison’s recently released self -titled album has received glowing praise from the likes of Uncut, who gave it an 8/10 and said “it’s a beauty” and featured one of Denison’s tracks on their Best Albums of the Month compilation. Denison will play his first headline UK show at the Angel in Islington on June 3. He follows that and then an invite only show at Black’s, also in London on June 4 (for an invite, please email tom at asthmatickitty dot com. Denison then heads north to Manchester for a show at the Castle on June 5. All ticket details are available on the tour page.
Fol Chen will make their way into the UK for their first London show for 3 years when they play a free gig at the Shacklewell Arms, London on June 5. Tickets can be downloaded here. They’ll be playing songs from their brand new long player The False Alarms described by The Line of Best Fit as “everything is meticulous, deliberately ingenious. It all flows excellently; there’s no disjointed genre-hopping here.”
October 9th, 2012 , by John Beeler
Sufjan Stevens will jingle-jangle his way across America, bringing yuletide cheer to your local music club, sharing reverent hymns and pop carols from his upcoming Christmas album Silver & Gold. “The Sirfjam Stephanapolous Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Spectacular Music Pageant Variety Show Disaster” will be a tragic-comedic feast for the ears and eyes. Sufjan will be joined by a 5-piece band (including Rosie Thomas, Nedelle Torrisi, Casey Foubert, James McAlister, and Ben Lanz) playing all the hits from both Christmas box sets. Send us your song requests!
All Grinches be forewarned: the show will consist entirely of Christmas music, inviting audience participation. Be prepared to sing along with bawdy bravura! Song sheets will be provided. There should be plenty of low-production props and gags, dollar-store giveaways, inflatable unicorns, cheap confetti, make-shift costumes, and Gloria in excelsis deo. Wear a santa hat, bring a flask (and a friend) and join the Sufjan Christmas Spectacular Sing-a-long in drunken revelry.
Extra-special guest Sheila Saputo—the hottest ticket from Gary, Indiana—will be opening all dates with her indelible ice-breaking pizzazz.
Twenty-four dates in less than 30 days, including Saxapahaw (Home of the Christmas Market!), Chattanooga (Deck the Ruby Falls!), Oxford (Ride the Christmas Double Decker Bus!), Missoula (Mother Nature’s Christmas Tree!), Providence (See Santa arrive at Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree Lighting!), and New York City (SantaCon 2012!).
Check your venue for availability.
Note on Bowery show in NYC: Due to legalities with the State of New York, the Sufjan Stevens show will not go on-sale until December 19th, two days before the show. The goal was to stop scalpers from getting ahold of the tickets by making tickets available only through will call. Unfortunately, state law prohibits paperless shows and making this on-sale two days before the Sufjan show was the best solution. Thank you for understanding as we try to provide an equal buying opportunity for all fans. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience this has caused anyone.