Genres Assemble for Ellis Ashbrook

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a debate over whether this Brooklyn-based rock band’s funky harmonics are akin to Ween, 311, Janis Joplin or Phish. Their music teases between their male and female vocalists if they’re not meshing the two into a vocal instrument, while their bassist and drummer introduce highly controlled bouncing ear candy. If you saw them when they were in their early stages in Boston, you may have seen the lead guitarist restring his guitar mid song, unnoticed to anyone grooving to the recording. No wonder they won Best Boston Band and then went on to National Finalists, securing Best Guitar, at the international Emergenza band competition. Among their first shows in New York, they rocked Webster Hall and proved to industry vets that every song doesn’t require a predetermined path. If you’re the type to wonder off the beaten, check out their second album, Assemblage, out today. And don’t be surprised if your grandmother sold her household knickknacks to object assembly artist Tom Deininger who brought it all together for their album cover.

MP3: Ellis Ashbrook – Hard 2 B EZ

Take A Bite Out of The Sammies

This week marked the release of The Sammies’ brilliant sophomore record, Sandwich, packed with tasty pop gems that won’t disappoint.  The Charlotte, North Carolina quartet are no strangers to attention, having already enjoyed some success in 2006 when two songs from their debut self-titled album were featured in the Dane Cook / Jessica Simpson film “Employee of the Month.” Now Sandwich has got the blog chatter building for these garage rock enthusiasts.

Band members Frank Backgammon, Donnie Yale, Conrad Vacation and Bobby Freedom (yeah, right) recorded Sandwich at Winston-Salem studio Fidelitorium, run by famed producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement, Helium).  The record was produced by Ben Holst (Drive-By Truckers) and Billy Bennett (Drive-By Truckers, The Whigs), with equal input by The Sammies themselves.

MoRisen Records, also home to the band’s debut, released Sandwich this past Tuesday, September 23rd, and the band is going on a short Southern jaunt in support of it.  Listen to the track that got everyone talking below, and if you live in any of the states between Florida and North Carolina (ie. Georgia, Alabama), go help yourself to a Sammies Sandwich in the next few weeks!

MP3: The Sammies – Glisten

Our Main Squeeze: Passion Pit

Passion Pit
Chunk Of Change / Frenchkiss / BUY

Caffeine-buzzed, rainbow-saddling electro pop, peppered with squelches and squeaks, tugged along by a falsetto that sounds like a marvelously mangled indie rock take on Chipmunk Soul. All. That. And. More. On Chunk of Change, the debut from Passion Pit. A stick of dynamite. A punch in the gut. A perfectly potent introduction to one of 2008’s most exciting young bands, Boston’s crown jewel, and the owners of the best song we’ve EVER HEARD THIS MONTH, “Sleepyhead.” The EP descended last week via Frenchkiss Records, and should serve as plenty more than a taste of what’s to come on next year’s full-length debut. The New York Times loves it. And so do we. And so should you.

MP3: Passion Pit – “Sleepyhead”

Sometimes They Stream Albums: The Raveonettes Offer Free Glimpse Into New EP

The Raveonettes unveil the second installment in their digital-only EP series this week, with the release of Sometimes They Drop By . The Danish noir-rock duo made headlines earlier this month after surprising fans with a free remix EP to kick off the series, designed to follow up this year’s critical smash, Lust Lust Lust , with new perspectives and heretofore untouched aesthetics. Sometimes is streaming in full over on AOL Spinner.

ALBUM : The Raveonettes Remixed EP

Wu Goes Digital: 13 Albums Hit Digital Stores, New Albums to Come

Wu Tang Clan mastermind RZA released a video straight from Shaolin headquarters this month announcing that Wu Music Group is going digital. Thirteen classic Wu fam albums are already teed up to hit digital stores for the first time on September 23rd, including Wu Chronicles, The Swarm, The World According to RZA, and releases from Killarmy, Black Knights, and Shyheim. RZA also hinted at new material in the video. And if this message is any indication, he’ll be using the newly launched Wu Music Tube and Wu online headquarters to get the word out to fans first.