New songs and videos from Angelo De Augustine, available now

November 17th, 2022 , by

Angelo De Augustine has shared “27” and “Hologram,” a new double single available now via Asthmatic Kitty Records at all DSPs and streaming services here. A limited edition cassingle is available exclusively at our official AKR store here.

These singles are Angelo’s first new music since 2021’s collaborative LP with Sufjan, A Beginner’s Mind, and his first solo work since 2020’s dual tracks “Santa Barbara” and “Blue,” the two new singles find Angelo exploring Greek and Roman history, monsters and ghouls, evil, death, faith, love, destruction, and opposing deities. These originals – recorded, produced, and mixed by Angelo – hint at a larger sound to come and a profound artistic evolution years in the making.

Angelo began work on “27” in 2019 while recording initial demos that would become A Beginner’s Mind, and features instrumental assistance from Sufjan. “Hologram” alternately disguises its depths in the body of a simple folk song. Starting in 5/4 time, the track’s octave-jumping melody morphs into a 3/4 waltz, before transitioning into a 4/4 chorus. The song’s lyrics depict dystopian and hellish landscapes painted with age long myths, games of telephone, what it means to be evil, and how evil itself is often misunderstood.

Angelo has released two videos accompanying the tracks, a video shot by Angelo himself and edited by Jessica Calleiro viewable below or here, and an animation of “Hologram” by Matt Czap which you can view below or here.A limited edition of translucent blue cassingles is available for purchase here.

Released today: Esther, by The Welcome Wagon

November 4th, 2022 , by

We’re so proud to announce that Esther, the newest album from The Welcome Wagon, is available today, November 4th, wherever you listen to music. Click here to start listening. 

You can also buy the CD or LP (in translucent pink vinyl) here. Also available are bundles that include a custom-screen printed tote (which you can buy for $15 here), a special hand-made cassette, and an archival quality 16″x24″ print of Monique’s artwork here.

Earlier this week, Monique and Vito and friends played a record release show – a “Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Record-Release Special!” – which you can watch here (or below). There’s special guests, grapes and cheez-it’s, Thanksgiving cake, gifts, music, and neighbors.

The album, Esther, is as much about homecoming as it is about making peace with—and a home in—uncertainty. “It became apparent to us that so many of these songs were about coming home, or leaving home, or reckoning with the homes we grew up in,” says Vito, “plus we wrote them in our home.” 

“Making a home in this world is one of the hardest and most beautiful things any of us ever do,” says Monique. “Our music helps us to do that—to make a home, together with our family and friends—and we hope that somehow our songs might help others to make a home wherever they are, too.”

Join us Tuesday night for The Welcome Wagon – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Record-Release Special!

November 1st, 2022 , by

On Tuesday November 1st at 8pm EST, join us and The Welcome Wagon for the premiere of their “Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Record-Release Special!” 

Filmed in a retired Lutheran chapel somewhere in the swamps of Jersey, this special features songs from the duo’s new album Esther, as well as some classics. Surrounded by friends and family in the audience, Monique & Vito are joined on stage by a host of talented musicians plus a few special guests – and hopefully you!

Sign up for the premiere by clicking here and join Monique & Vito live in the chat – and it’s not too late to pre-order the album, including a bundle with extra goodies.  Click here to order.

[YOUTUBE EMBED]

Welcome Wagon release “Matthew 7:7,” new song and video from forthcoming album

October 12th, 2022 , by

With a new album due November 4th, The Welcome Wagon have just released a new song and music video: “Matthew 7:7,” available for viewing below, or listening here.

Directed by Alex and Aaron Craig, the video features Monique and Vito Aiuto in a church in Brooklyn. This is the second Welcome Wagon video by the Craig Brothers, who also directed “Would You Come and See Me In New York?” in 2012. (The new video features a cameo from that video – see if you can spot her!) 

As with the previous Welcome Wagon single, “Isaiah, California” (which you can hear here), Monique also created a painting to “Matthew 7:7.” 

Monique began to paint after a decade away from the easel while locked down with Vito and their son Isaiah in their Brooklyn home. In isolation, she realized she’d neglected the very thing that connects her to herself, to God, and those around her, her gift, her purpose, art. To return to her creative practice, Monique recalled the sun drenched studios of The Cooper Union, where she attended from 1992 – 1996. Paintbrush in hand, she would listen to the muffled crackle of Psalms on tape cassettes home-recorded by her grandmother Esther. These recordings and paintings form the heart of this new album. 

“Vito gave me the beautiful green Bible whose cover is in this work. He said, ‘Maybe you could use it in one of your paintings, maybe you could cut it up?’ I think God would appreciate that. There’s something about people being delighted by their own creativity that God really digs,” says Monique about the painting.Pre-orders for the album (translucent pink vinyl LP!) are here. Also available at that link are bundles, including a custom-screen printed tote, tickets to a very special Welcome Wagon release party livestream, a special hand-made cassette, and an archival quality 16″x24″ print of Monique’s artwork. 

Announcing Esther, a new album from The Welcome Wagon

September 7th, 2022 , by

We are thrilled to announce a brand new album from The Welcome Wagon: Esther, for release on November 4th, 2022. 

As a preview of the album, The Welcome Wagon (Monique and Vito Auito and friends) are releasing the first single “Isaiah, California,” which you can hear by clicking here, or watching the visual below. 

Esther is as much about homecoming as it is about making peace with—and a home in—uncertainty. “It became apparent to us that so many of these songs were about coming home, or leaving home, or reckoning with the homes we grew up in,” says Vito, “plus we wrote them in our home.” 

“Making a home in this world is one of the hardest and most beautiful things any of us ever do,” says Monique. “Our music helps us to do that—to make a home, together with our family and friends—and we hope that somehow our songs might help others to make a home wherever they are, too.”

You can read more about the album here.

Pre-orders for the album (translucent pink vinyl LP!) are here. Also available at that link are bundles, including a custom-screen printed tote, tickets to a very special Welcome Wagon release party livestream, a special hand-made cassette, and an archival quality 16″x24″ print of Monique’s artwork. 

“Remember Magic: A Tribute to Ray Raposa” in Portland, Oregon & San Diego

August 31st, 2022 , by

On July 30th we shared news from the family of Raymond Raposa, long-time Asthmatic Kitty band Castanets and Raymond & the White Freighter: “It is with great sorrow that the family of Raymond Raposa announce his passing today.  Raymond was a wonderful son, brother, uncle, friend, and musician. He will be greatly missed.”

On September 25th in Portland, Oregon at Polaris Hall and on October 9th in San Diego at The Casbah, friends, family, past band members, and collaborators will gather to perform and remember Ray. All proceeds will be donated to Central City Concern and Shoreline Community Services.

Ticket links:
Sept 25 – Polaris Hall – Portland, OR

Oct 9 – Casbah – San Diego, CA

New video for Sufjan’s “Fourth of July” April Base Version

July 4th, 2022 , by

Today, on July 4th, Sufjan has released a video of the new April Base version of “Fourth of July,’ directed by Michael O’Neal and Adam Prieto.

This follows last Friday’s release of two alternate versions of the song, “Fourth of July.”

Both versions were recorded around 2014: “Fourth of July (April Base Version)” was recorded in Eau Claire, WI at Justin Vernon’s April Base studio, and “Fourth of July (DUMBO Version)” was recorded in Sufjan’s old studio in Brooklyn, NY.

The original version of “Fourth of July” appeared on Sufjan’s 2015 album, Carrie & Lowell. As is (and was) his custom, Sufjan would often rework different versions of his songs while recording an album, and “Fourth of July” was no exception. (Other versions & remixes of the song were released on “The Greatest Gift” mixtape and on the “Exploding Whale” 7” single.) These two latest versions were recently found on old harddrives. The refrain of the song, “We’re all gonna die,” invokes a meditation on human mortality and fragility, even as it acts as an anchor of stoic hope. Its solemnity invites listeners to feel comfort, connection — even joy — wrought from great pain and loss. 

The song has recently had a resurgence with listeners — which may speak to a deep national grief and sense of loss. As we head into this Fourth of July weekend — a U.S. holiday marked by war (and death) — let us reflect on what it means to live in fullness in the face of death.

The limited run physical 7-inch in red will be released in December 2022, which marks the 10-year anniversary of Carrie’s death.

New versions of Sufjan’s “Fourth of July,” pre-order of 7-inch available now

June 30th, 2022 , by

Today, July 1, on his birthday, Sufjan Stevens is releasing two alternate versions of his song, “Fourth of July.” Listen here, or you can pre-order a red 7-inch with these two songs here or with your preferred record store. A Fourth of July T-shirt is available here, and a bundle including the shirt, the 7-inch, The Greatest Gift, the Carrie & Lowell Live 12-inch single, and of course the Carrie & Lowell LP is available here.  

A video of the April Base version, directed by Michael O’Neal and Adam Prieto, is available here.

Both versions were recorded around 2014: “Fourth of July (April Base Version)” was recorded in Eau Claire, WI at Justin Vernon’s April Base studio, and “Fourth of July (DUMBO Version)” was recorded in Sufjan’s old studio in Brooklyn, NY.

The original version of “Fourth of July” appeared on Sufjan’s 2015 album, Carrie & Lowell. As is (and was) his custom, Sufjan would often rework different versions of his songs while recording an album, and “Fourth of July” was no exception. (Other versions & remixes of the song were released on “The Greatest Gift” mixtape and on the “Exploding Whale” 7” single.) These two latest versions were recently found on old harddrives. The refrain of the song, “We’re all gonna die,” invokes a meditation on human mortality and fragility, even as it acts as an anchor of stoic hope. Its solemnity invites listeners to feel comfort, connection — even joy — wrought from great pain and loss. 

The song has recently had a resurgence with listeners — which may speak to a deep national grief and sense of loss. As we head into this Fourth of July weekend — a U.S. holiday marked by war (and death) — let us reflect on what it means to live in fullness in the face of death.

The limited run physical 7-inch in red will be released in December 2022, which marks the 10-year anniversary of Carrie’s death. Hear the songs here, or below.

New album from Half-handed Cloud, Flutterama, available now

June 17th, 2022 , by

Flutterama, the seventh album from Half-handed Cloud (John Ringhofer), is available for purchasing and listening now. Check your local record store for the Oxidized Tape Brown LP, or you can buy an LP bundle for $45 that includes the LP, a union-made sew-on patch, some Half-handed Cloud balloons, an 11×17 artwork poster, and a Half-handed Cloud made-in-USA tote bag here. The LP and CD and cassette (in Wild Bilberry Purple!) are also available.

Listen to the album here.

This release (and indeed every Half-handed Cloud record!) is a milestone for the label. Our second catalog release, AKR002, was the 2001 reissue of Half-handed Cloud’s 1999 self-released album, Learning About Your Scale. We’ve been putting out Half-handed Cloud music since then –  for over twenty years now! At a time when so many things feel so very ephemeral, we feel deeply honored to have been the long-standing home for Half-handed Cloud. John’s music is sobering and honest, but it is at the same time exuberantly joyful, profound, and ultimately hopeful. Flutterama is no exception. It’s in this spirit of great joy that we hear throughout the record that we release Flutterama into the world today — with the hope you receive it in the same way. 

Half-handed Cloud is also touring in the US. Since John and his family live in Finland, this is a very rare event! Be sure to check the tour dates below. (Note: some tour dates are still in progress, so stay tuned to Half-handed Cloud’s Instagram account.)

Half-handed Cloud Tour:

Tue June 21st – TBD (western Virginia?)

Wed June 22nd – TBD (Asheville, NC?)

Thu June 23rd – NASHVILLE, TN
The Well – Green Hills – 7pm / 7:30pm
4002 Granny White Pike – $10
@music_at_the_well
w/ Eve’s Curse
@evescurse

FRI JUNE 24TH – ATLANTA, GA
Bell Street Burritos – 9pm
Krog Street (facing the Beltline)
112 Krog Street #1A – $10
@bellstreetburritos

SAT JUNE 25TH – CHATTANOOGA, TN
Cherry Street Tavern – 10pm
@cherrystreettavern
719 Cherry St – $10 Cover
Opening for Taylor Hollingsworth
@shataytaytottingsturf

SUN JUNE 26TH – KNOXVILLE, TN
The Pilot Light
106 E Jackson Ave
(in Knoxville’s Old City)
8pm, w/ Maspeth

TUE JUNE 28TH – PHILADELPHIA, PA
Evangelical Church Of The Atonement
1542 E Montgomery Ave (Fishtown)
@atonementfishtown – $10
Doors 7:15 / Start: 7:30
Opening for The Chairman Dances
@thechairmandances

“Swallowing The Water You Walk On:” New Half-handed Cloud Single available now

June 1st, 2022 , by

“Swallowing The Water You Walk On,” the second single from Half-handed Cloud’s forthcoming album Flutterama, is available for listening now. You can hear it on your preferred platform here.

This song, a fuzzy and organically meandering tape machine bricolage, comprised primarily of vari-speed pianos, handclaps, and deflating latex balloons, peeks out from under the covers for a way through failure and ruin, by embracing transformational weakness and surrender.  “Swallowing The Water You Walk On” is very possibly the heart of Half-handed Cloud’s new Flutterama album.

Flutterama is scheduled for release in just a couple of weeks on June 17, 2022. It’s available for pre-order here (or check with your local or online record store) on LP in Oxidized Tape Brown vinyl, CD, or Wild Bilberry Purple cassette, alongside a limited-edition patch and a biodegradable balloon. 

A handcrafted artist’s book by John Ringhofer, limited to only 15 copies, is also available for purchase in a special LP bundle. (Note: we are currently sold out of these! But they’re still neat to look at – see below for video – and we have an almost-as-good bundle that includes balloons, a patch, and a poster here). These individually-numbered artist’s books, made with the 180-year-old cyanotype (architectural blueprint) process, utilize “genuine Finnish sunlight,” and incorporate moving parts and hand-painted sections. 

Half-handed Cloud (aka John Ringhofer) and AKR and our artists have been collaborating together for a long time (HHC’s first album is AKR002, our second release!). HHC posted a series of posts on HHC’s Instagram account a number of weeks ago that provide a lot of fun details, including a rare interview with John Ringhofer and Sufjan from 2002 at WBAR. Listen to that here, and be sure to follow HHC on Instagram here.If you missed it, you can watch and listen to the first single, “Handles,”alongside a video shot in John’s adopted home of Helsinki, Finland with Super-8 movie film here.

Finally, be sure to check out HHC on Markly Morrison’s Low Profile podcast, which includes an interview and a terrific cable access performance by John Ringhofer of several HHC songs both classic and new. You can listen and watch here

Next Page »