Spawned from the vernal heat of the Florida swamps amidst swirling patterns of pine orchards and pre-Columbian artifacts, Prince Rama was whispered into the ears of Taraka Larson, Nimai Larson, and Michael Collins in the summer of 2007 by the clanging of prayer bells and goat-skin drums. They left the Hare Krishna farm where they were staying to go to art school and form a creative nucleus in Boston. There, their engaging and often unpredictable ritualistic live shows attracted a rapid cult following, replete with collective chants, werewolf summonings, Sanskrit invocations, and the distribution of various handmade percussion to members of the audience. Now, as a sister duo, their often unpredictable live shows incorporate elements of psychedelic ceremony, performance art, and dancefloor initiation rites. In only four years, Prince Rama have released a prolific six albums and toured in four of the seven continents, recording with members of Animal Collective and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Their art has been exhibited internationally at the Whitney Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and the MoMA PS 1 VW Dome, to name a few. In January 2015 they had their first solo retrospective at CULT Exhibitions in San Francisco. Taraka recently published a manifesto on the “NOW AGE” that puts forth Prince Rama’s aesthetic and metaphysical philosophies, which has been met with both hatred and praise from art and music worlds alike. One thing is certain: whatever it is they are, Prince Rama are constantly breaking the mold of what is acceptable to forge a dizzying universe that is wholly their own.
If extroversion had a musical embodiment, it would be in the sounds and rhythms of Brooklyn newcomers LEGS. Blending modern indie pop with Stax-worthy hooks, they are a mobile cauldron of everything retro and cosmopolitan. LEGS was formed in 2013 by Seattle-based Tito Ramsey, his brother Jack, their childhood friend Charles Larson, and Ecuadorian brothers Juan Miguel and Herman Marin. Produced by Nick Stumpf (Caveman, Coke Weed) and tracked in Quito, Ecuador, the forthcoming debut album, Altitud, represents a cohesive statement of collective musical vision developed over two years of touring and recording. At moments, the songs veer into asymmetrical art rock, with rises and falls that nod to Stop Making Sense. At others, they swing unapologetically into the great tradition of disco, with tishy hi-hats and soaring synth pads. LEGS is 100% guaranteed to make you feel athletic, kinetic, sexy, benevolent, cosmopolitan, declamator, exotic, extroverted, hungry, naive, nocturnal, and possibly wry.
Vocals, keyboards: Tito Ramsey / Keyboard: Jack Ramsey / Guitar: Charles Larson / Drums: Juan Miguel Marin / Bass: Herman Marin
Self-described as “the world’s sweatiest band,” Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt is “founded on the principal that, through partying, we can accomplish anything.” It is a collective that was created in 2008 by then-SUNY Purchase student Neil Fridd. Tampa Bay Times:
“Going to a Terror Pigeon show isn’t about watching a band play live; it’s about strangers coming together to share an evening dancing, singing and reveling like there’s no tomorrow.”
Ava Luna is a quintet from New York City, comprised of members Ethan Bassford, Felicia Douglass, Julian Fader, Carlos Hernandez, Becca Kauffman. Carlos sings and writes the tunes; Felicia and Becca do vocal harmonies and dance steps; Ethan plays bass and Julian plays the drums. Ava Luna have announced a new album called Infinite House, the followup to 2014’s Electric Balloon.
M.A.K.U Soundsystem is an immigrant band form New York City. With most of its members hailing from Colombia, M.A.K.Uembodies an active quest for identity through sound and bodies in motion, and puts on a party for everyday people. Born in 2010 the band has independently released two full-length albums, one EP, and toured across the US with their fiery grooves.
The Adventures of Kaila & The Kid is a new group that is gonna blow you away. Hailing from NYC and calling themselves beat rhymers, this duo which features Kid Lucky and Kaila Mullady, combine beatboxing, rapping, spoken word, scatting, and vocal sound effects into an awesome display of vocal abilities that translates into amazing songs and a good time! Building themselves on the streets of NYC literally, these street performers, are bringing a fresh new vocal style called beatrhyming which is the combination of beatboxing and rhyme flow or floetry at the same time! This is the first official beatrhyme duo ever.
People’s Champs is an all-star collective featuring the highly fashionable vocalist Cole Williams (Pimps of Joytime, That’s My Cole) and Haitian-American singer / flutist Melanie Charles (Rat Habitat), both born and raised in Brooklyn. Members of People’s Champs have performed internationally with artists including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Lip Talk, Bajah and Dry Eye Crew, Cuddle Magic and Delicate Steve, among others. People’s Champs feature members of The Superpower Horns, the recording studio horn section for Beyoncé Knowles.They arranged the horn lines on two of Beyoncé’s top albums, her 2013 surprise album ‘Beyoncé’ and her 2011 effort ‘4’. The song “Love on Top”, featuring the horns prominently, won aGrammy Award. When asked about the horn section, Beyoncé recently gushed, “those guys are genius!”
The story begins years prior to Mail the Horse, when a group of musicians and artists gathered weekly in a lofted woodshed or cold-water kitchen in coastal New Hampshire to share their work and collectively scratch some itch none of them could reach on his own. In this setting, longtime songwriting partners Michael Hesslein & Michael “Donny” Amidon and rhythm section Brendan Smith & William Lawrence discovered they shared a common aesthetic, and bonded over a love for timeless rock & roll, the short-fiction of Raymond Carver, and skewed, harrowing outsider folk music.
During the winter of 2010, through situations both fortunate and destitute, the four friends found themselves sharing a dilapidated Bushwick duplex next door to a motorcycle club. It served as a home and recording studio, and slept many dozens of travelers, becoming known as Gates Motel. In the summer of 2011 Chris May passed through, who once had a weekly gig with Brendan playing Kinks covers at a London bar. After hearing mail the horse, Chris learned the pedal steel guitar, joined the band, and the current formation was born.
Mail the Horse has spent the past four years honing in decades of influences, from Gram Parsons to Nick Cave, into viscerally executed folk-rock. The music conveys the fraternal bond of the members and an attitude carved out by New York City. Playing countless shows in NYC, from a sold-out NYE supporting The Felice Brothers to a backyard Kegger hosting some of Nashville’s finest bands, and several national tours, Mail the Horse are in that small class of DIY bands who drag keyboards and pedal steel into punk houses. Their music has grown mature and swaggering, and the new record, Planet Gates, brings their finely-tuned songcraft to the forefront.
Theo Kandel is an up and coming young singer/songwriter from New York City. His songs are Americana-styled stories of loneliness and romance. the production on his self-titled EP ranges from plain picking and singing to full on folk-pop: mandolins, accordions, slide guitars and big harmonies on the choruses.
Listening Center is the alias of drummer and electronic musician, David Mason. Drawing primarily from influences such as the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, lost film/TV soundtracks, and Kosmische Musik, Listening Center presents a patchwork of imagined pasts/futures, in which the listener can make his or her way through an undergrowth of dream-like melodies and electronic sound palettes which have the effect of being now reassuring, now unsettling.
Shivering Timbers is Sarah Benn, Jayson Benn, joined by Daniel Kshywonis, musicians who call Akron, Ohio home. Their story developed when Sarah and Jayson Benn started singing and crafting songs for their then-infant daughter. As she grew the music began to take shape, and a band was born. The music was discovered by friend Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) when we were invited to perform at his birthday party. The first album was subsequently recorded at Auerbach’s Akron studio, a collection of home-spun dark folk songs and fractured fairy tales called “We All Started in the Same Place”. One year later, they met Brian Olive (Greenhornes, Soledad Brothers, Dr. John), and Sarah sang harmonies on his solo album “Two of Everything”. Soon they were at his Cincinnati studio recording the second album, “Sing Sing”. Shortly after, they met Daniel Kshywonis playing drums on the street and instantly gravitated toward his inventive style, and invited him out on tour. The trio has been together ever since, though sometimes Sarah and Jayson still tour as a duo.
Stone Cold Fox is an Indie Rock Band from Brooklyn, New York. Comprised of members from California to Maine, the band’sinception was a fairy tale that only Brooklyn could write. With influences from all genres and decades, from American Roots Music to Electro-Indie Pop, the band strives to create a cohesive blend of the old and new. Kevin Olken Henthorn is lead vocalist/guitarist; Ariel Loh is keyboards/synths; Aaron Hamel is on drums, Graham Stone — guitar, Justin Bright — bass.
Bryce Hackford makes sound recordings that range from pop and art music to the field and sound for industrial use; performssolo, with groups; produces sound and music for theatrical work, film, dance; experiments extensively with DJ format, including Deep Trouble. He has performed with Rhys Chatham, Arp, Delia Gonzalez and other composers. “Fair” out via Prah Recordings.
Tim Love Lee is an English musician, record producer and DJ. He is the founder of Tummy Touch Records and a pioneer of electronic dance music and trip hop. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s Lee released three albums and three commercially available mix albums. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and does a radio show every Tuesday evening on East Village Radio.