Backyard Tire Fire Blazes Through Midwest With ‘The Places We Lived’

Indie rock/roots band Backyard Tire Fire really are burning hot right now, minus the nasty rubber smell that their name implies. Hailing out of Bloomington, Illinois, they’ve played shows with the likes of Jason Isbell, Clutch, William Elliott Whitmore, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, to name a few.

Next on the horizon for these fellas is a full-length release through Brooklyn’s own Hyena on August 26th, titled The Places We Lived- and a tour to boot! (see dates below) “How In The Hell Did You Get Back Here,” “Shoulda Shut It” and “Rainy Day” are your classic love stories of raw, untampered song writing tempered by in-studio production wizardry, with the best of both shining through. Quite a lovely relationship indeed.

The 15-date-and-counting tour will commence at Metro in Chicago with an album release party, and continue through the rest of the summer. Backyard Tire Fire will be taking the stage with Ha Ha Tonka for those dates, and as if that’s not enough, there’ll be more following with Reverend Horton Heat in December. Then there’s that date with Dr. Dog on July 27th at the Forecastle Festival in Kentucky…oh the possibilities, right!?! Make sure to check out the dates below for a show near you, and look for The Places We Lived on August 26th-tour dates after the jump!


White Rabbits Scurry Into Prospect Park

They say that indie bands are the equivalent of deer in the headlights when it comes to TV show appearances. They also say that it has become trendy to feature them on those very same shows in the eyes of network producers. But hey, either way you look at it, being on TV is cool, right? Just ask the White Rabbits, who literally pulled over and ran around their van on the side of a highway when they got the good news!

They’re part of the growing phenomenon of new music on TV (featured in Time Out New York), but that’s not all. They played Letterman last July in support of their latest album Fort Nightly , and are on to bigger and better things as this blog entry unfolds. There’s a tour (includes U.S. dates!) with Spoon and The Walkmen, and a highly anticipated sophomore release slated for early 2009! That’s not even the end of it, either–they have a documentary in progress, which is also expected to be finished in early 2009.

Hop on over to Prospect Park this Tuesday, July 15th for what’s sure to be a fantastic show with Spoon, the Rabbits themselves, and Jay Reatard. As for the whole deer in the headlights thing…well, lets just say rabbits react a little differently in bright lights.

MP3: White Rabbits – Kid On My Shoulders

DeLeon Does Justice to Past

Mix old-school tradition with the melting pot that is Brooklyn, NY and you’ll turn out the stew that is DeLeon. And I’m not talking about 70s or 80s “old school.” Try ancient. Front man Dan Saks is making music with the group that earnestly modernizes the Sephardic Jewish style. Now that’s old school, but with a revival if you will. Having played their first show at the Bowery Ballroom just over a year ago, they have since expanded their show to DC and Boston. With their debut album out this summer, more dates will follow including July 20th in Brooklyn and 27th in LA.

To sit through the music is to immerse yourself in a culture-rich rollercoaster of taste and expression, with tunes like “La Serena” and “Rahelika Baila” to excite to the point of clapping along. The conveniently mellow “En El Cafe” ends the album with a pleasant math equation: old plus new equals interesting. Perhaps having previously toured with acts such as My Morning Jacket or Outkast influenced Saks, who also plays with The LeeVees (another JDub artist, formed by Guster’s Adam Gardner).

While tough to pinpoint, DeLeon seems to be describable in one word…no, one city. Can you say Brooklyn? DeLeon can, probably in more than one way.

MP3: DeLeon – Be Still Angelino

Miss Alabamy Once Again: The Birmingham Sound, Neal Hemphill Style

Nothing says “hot diggity, thats doggone good” like the Muscle Shoals and Stax sound that poured out of those studios back in the day. Nothing except Neal Hemphill and The Sound Of Birmingham, that is. The follow up to a previous compilation of vintage soul from Neal Hemphill’s Sound of Birmingham and Hemphill Studios, these ditties are the result of 20 years worth of music from Bessemer, Alabama.

Neal Hemphill WAS grassroots American Idol, no joke. He would allow anyone and everyone to come into his studios and play, and if they were better than the next guy, they could come back by way of a personal invitation from the man himself. Out of those studios came the likes of Frederick Knight, who would later write one of disco’s most memorable: “Ring My Bell,” and Roscoe Robinson.

The album, officially titled The Birmingham Sound: The Soul of Neal Hemphill Vol. 2 , boasts the return of artists like Ralph “Soul” Jackson and David Sea, new soul greats Bobby Dobyne, Cortez Greer and Sam Frazier, and more!

As if the new release wasn’t enough to grovel over, the Rabbit Factory Southern Soul Revue is returning to NYC with Ronnie Spector for a show at JellyNYC McCarren Park Pool Parties July 6th at 2 PM and is very easy on the wallet–FREE.

So, check out this sweet pile of soul out on Rabbit Factory, or even live if you so prefer, and see if you’re still missing ol’ Alabamy–all y’all gotta do is wait until July 7th!

Poster after the jump!


Doom Metal, Darkwave, Goth/Industrial and EBM (or “How I Learned to Stop Moping and Start Dancing”)

Growing up right outside of New York City in the early nineties meant that I could actually discover music by listening to the radio – a novel concept these days, unless you’re talking college radio, online streaming or podcasts. Of course there was all of the mainstream crap that’s still out there today, but we also had stations like K-Rock that (back then) actually played current bands who weren’t wildly popular and/or didn’t create boring, formulaic radio rock. It was there that I first heard the Brooklyn “goth” band Type O Negative and became a huge fan. (I maintain to this day, however, that Type O is hardly a goth band – they’re way too sarcastic and not nearly gloomy enough.)

So I started searching for more dark music like them, and came across San Francisco band Switchblade Symphony (Cleopatra Records ). They were everything I was looking for at the time: creepy female vocals, synths, and drum programming. I picked up their first album, Serpentine Gallery , and listened to it constantly. The song “Dollhouse,” with its updated Siouxsie-esque sound, was probably my favorite. One of my good friends who I’d introduced them to bought Bread And Jam For Frances , and when we found out that they were playing live at Newark goth club QXT’s , we got tickets right away. At the show, they also played some new songs from the soon-to-be-released The Three Calamities .

I then somehow found myself in need of music that was even darker, and before I knew it I was at the local record store buying a copy of My Dying Bride ‘s The Angel and the Dark River (Snapper Music ). That album, while hauntingly beautiful, finally scared the gloom out of me. I understand now that My Dying Bride are classified more as doom metal than goth, but at the time I though they out-gothed my goth side.

I discovered what quickly became my favorite radio show, “The Industrial Revolution,” on WSOU , Seton Hall’s Pirate Radio (sadly, it’s no longer broadcast). The two-hour show aired once a week and played all of the latest and greatest goth/industrial/EBM out there, introducing me to acts like Front Line Assembly and Pigface . Pigface’s Gub even includes the track “Suck” written and sung by Trent Reznor before he re-recorded it for Broken .

Once I had heard enough on WSOU that I was no longer content just listening at home or in my car, I convinced my friends to come with me to QXT’s for their industrial night dance parties. Here we heard a lot more EBM, synth-pop and darkwave while dancing our butts off, including Haujobb , Bypass Unit , and Apoptygma Berzerk . The DJs would even mix in a few good natured 80s hits, like Gary Numan’s “Cars ” and Berlin’s “Metro “.

Nowadays, I go to indie rock shows, and Newark seems awfully far away from Brooklyn… But I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for the darker days of my past!