Band names are important. If you're named the Fluffy Princesses and sound like Brutal Knights there is certain to be a tragic disconnect. Then there is Heavy Creatures. They could be Dirty Animals or Sexy Beasts - essentially you'd just need an adjective to convey purringly thick swagger and a noun that remained as primitive as possible and you would get the idea. Heavy Creatures is fronted by two women who use classic 60s female harmonies in "Family Tree" as effectively as they combine their vocal power to create a primal drum circle feel in "Love Come Down." And the music - well, shit is heavy. It chuggs along beneath grandly gesturing keyboard and guitar lines while toying with the blues and psychedelic music so cleverly you're hard pressed to assign them a genre. These creatures understand the meaning of "momentum" and "build" and "crescendo" so well, you'd swear they were mounting a charge on all the mediocre bands in NYC. Heavy Creatures is the closest thing to Jefferson Airplane when they were interesting, sexy and just a bit creepy we've seen, so put on something beaded and dig.
Last night, former Brooklynites and current touring the USA-ites Blood On The Wall played a homecoming gig at Other Music in NY to celebrate the release of their must have LP on the Social Registry Liferz (out now!). Our man on the scene Erik Carter reports:
Blood on the Wall's set at Other Music was short, loud, and well, loud. Sounding like the hottest new alternative band from somewhere back in the ’90s, the band ripped through a set of both old and new songs and ended with crowd favorite "Mary Susan." Guitar strings were broken, cables were jerked, and a good time was had by all.
For those of you who want to check the band this weekend, the trio are headlining the Music Hall of Williamsburg with the also excellent Cause Co-Motion (What's Your Rupture? recs) supporting. Tickets are avails here.
E also took some photos, which you can check by clicking here.
When we all came together to start RCRD LBL, the one band I knew we had to work with (before we had a BETA or even a name) was White Rabbits, who I heard shortly after they all moved to New York from Missouri in the summer of 2006. They won me over the first time I saw them play—something about the way their music thumped and swung and dangerously careened between being a perfect little soulful rock and roll maelstrom and falling apart under its own propulsive energy really got to me. They had that angry young man swagger of the Jam and Specials, matched with the pop precision of black American music from the ’60s. They also had great shoes—mostly Clarks desert boots and loafers. I guess you could say whatever image I had of a dudes being a "real band", they were it.
Since then, they've released a fantastic debut album Fort Nightly, played Letterman, toured non-stop and at some point, found time to record a new single that pays tasteful homage to the vibe of Bob Dylan's classic "Rainy Day Women #12 and 35"—you know that whole Salvation Army band sound. It's called "Cotillion Blues" and we're premiering it here exclusively on RCRD LBL today and for a little after that too.
Singer/guitarist Gregory Roberts was kind enough to take some time to chat with us about how the song came to be and fill us in on various other Rabbit-relevant things. You can read that after the jump and also download their hit, "the Plot" using the links below.
Also, the Rabbits are playing a FREE show at BAM in Brooklyn this Saturday. Info is linked below.
Thanks to the guys and their crew for hooking this up. We're glad to have you on board.
- Elliot Aronow
It seems like just the other day I was whistling down the highway with two of my greatest friends and we were all remarking how great the van was running and how sad we would be when it finally died on some distant day too faraway to conceive. We talked about our future, grown-up selves setting it on fire and jumping it over the Giraffes van, driving it into the East River or even entering it into a demolition derby. Mitchell, selfless coward that he is, volunteered to man the camera from behind a flame-retardant concrete barrier. I think Shilpa was asleep, but I'm sure that for any of the above stunts, Shilpa would have been buckled into the passenger seat, if not strapped to the roof wearing one of those dorky aerodynamic helmets like Bill Cosby had in Leonard Part VI.
Well, it was just the other day that we were having this conversation, a week ago today to be exact, and the van barely made it through the night. It died about half an hour outside of our first road show, which we made only by the heroics of Jim Paradise from Fresh Kills, who had traveled out to Ohio to play with us (and kicked much ass). We ended up being in Athens for 4 days, played three shows there (one as Creedence Clearwater Revival, yahoo!) and would still be there if it wasn't for some big sacrifices from a friend we made in Ohio and our old pal, Danny Barria from the Big Sleep, who gets a big fucking gold star for picking up Mitchell's car and driving through the night to retrieve us and our gear for the show this weekend. Big thanks also to Zack from We March who wandered around looking for some poor sucker to eat the worm from a bottle of tequila on Friday night and to Mitchell for pointing him to where I was taking a much-needed nap in a booth. Apparently, I am sucker for all occasions...
The van was a 1992 Toyota Previa. I bought it in 2003 for $1100; it had 179,000 miles on it. I put 65,000 miles on it that year, playing shows in something like 37 states. I played with Metric, Broken Social Scene, the Dirtbombs, the Bronx, the Decemberists, Quintron and Miss Pussycat and a million other bands that nobody's ever heard of that meant way more to me than the names I just dropped. I drove it from Portland down through the Redwood Forest with my great friend Kris Gravesite to LA, was driven down the Pacific Coast Highway from Oakland down to LA by another great friend so hungover I felt like I was tripping, drove it through the Palm Desert into Phoenix... It went up to Montreal with The Big Sleep and I brought it as far North and West as Stanwood, WA (where they really know how to do biscuits and gravy, you'd be amazed) and I went down to Mile Zero on Highway 1 in Key West with The High Strung, the only band that will be left standing when everyone else has been voted off the island. When I joined Beat the Devil, I got great pleasure again and again from introducing Mitchell and Shilpa to my friends around the country and have them infallibly remark "Holy shit, man, you've still got the same van? I can't believe that thing is still running!" And yeah, I guess a lot of folks have stories about driving me home in it when I was too drunk to drive myself.
When I sold it to the garage for scrap for $150, the van had over 288,000 miles on it. I felt like I was shooting my horse. So here's to you, baby-- a drunkard's dream if I ever did see one.
We will be celebrating the life and death of our fallen comrade this Saturday, February 9th. Here's the details:
Beat the Devil w/ Stray Volts, Renminbi
98-104 Meserole Ave (at Manhattan)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
show starts at 9, we'll hit at 11
80 miles north of the RCRD LBL home base, up in Orange County (New York that is), two sets of brothers and their next door neighbor have come together to form Fab Nickel, a hip-hop crew that is dead serious about not taking themselves too seriously (and in turn have given us some of the most sincere rhymes to come from the Bronx area in a while). They are as allergic to chincilla pop radio rap as longtime Bronx whistleblower KRS-ONE but they spare us the sermons and instead give us tongue-in-cheek storytelling and punch lines that are a bit more Eazy E, Hieroglyphics or Big L than Blastmaster.
What began as five guys kidding around with a Casio turned into a crazy demo with dope production by member E-Pillz that landed them a deal at the end of '07 with Harlem hero Darrell "Digga" Branch (the man who made classics for Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Ghostface, Cam'ron and more) and his company Six Figga Entertainment.
Fab Nickel just laced us with "We Got It", a summer track five months early; the laid back guitar sample, the Premier-esque vocal scratch and lyrics for days. Love it now, ride to it in July.
Also, check out "Genius", a name-says-it-all track that manages to nod to every coast without sounding like it's trying to (E.S.G. coud just as easily slay this beat) on their MySpace page and check the remix featuring Lupe Fiasco.
- Jedd Katrancha
It's like this: last nite our pals Beat The Devil opened up for Vampire Weekend at the Bowery Ballroom and straight up blew some minds. To give you an idea of how it went down, they kicked off their set with bassist Mishka marching from the back of the room to the stage bashing a Balkan brass band-worthy bass drum with maracas (with admirable skill) while singer Shlipa stood on stage with a 5 foot shovel that bounced the vibes back to the crowd in front, only like way louder. And that was before she even starting casting spells with her voice.
Then, they played some new and old jams, including one song that our friend Lexy swore could be in a commercial, mostly cause its simple refrain "Do You Love Your Freedom?" sounded like a uncompromising punk rock band ala X being uncompromisingly poppy like a stadium rock band who just happened to be playing a club. Anways, they were rad so we wanted to reintroduce songs songs we released last year to you guys. Be on the watch for a new record out later this year.
New York-based quartet and RCRD LBL resident rock dudes Sam Champion are back with their second exclusive download for RCRD LBL, a song entitled “So Good To Me”, which recalls rock ‘n’ roll legends like T. Rex in terms of pure STOMP. The song starts off with a fierce, heavy drum beat, and doesn’t let up until the four minutes have passed and you've been hit with some good lookin'/soundin' hooks as well. We’ve always been a sucker for a good guitar riff coupled with handclaps.
Well played, Champion. Download “So Good To Me” at the link below and be sure to check our bros when they play Bowery Ballroom in NYC Feb 15 with another of our fave groups, Drug Rug.