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5/16/2018
Kris Gruen announces Summer Tour

With venues and radio shows around the country Kris heads out to share news songs from his upcoming release Coast & Refuge.

3/25/2018
Benjamin Cartel releases first single "Coast Town" from Flickering Light

Benjamin Cartel is no stranger to making music that quickly connects with its listeners. That's something he's always excelled at, first with the substan- tial attention and acclaim accorded his duo Kaiser Cartel, and then, with a return to his solo career. To date, the latter has yielded two highly acclaimed efforts, an EP called Money and Love and a full length outing entitled Gothenberg, each of which helped broaden his reputation while underscor- ing his obvious ambitions. “Coast Town”, the first single off his upcoming release Flickering Light, sees him moving the needle even further, opening up a sonic palette that not only reflects his expansive musical vision, but also reflects his attention to craft and detail through astute, articulate arrangements and a sound that's both stirring and sublime. Co-produced by longtime colleague Mike Cohen and recorded at Trout Studios in Brooklyn (home to recordings by Evan Dando and Joan as Police Woman) and Flower Studios in Minneapolis (which birthed records by The Replacements and The Jayhawks), the new album found Cartel intimately involved in every detail of the process. With Cartel playing guitar and drums, Cohen contributing guitar, and Kieren Mul- vaney anchoring the proceedings on bass, the results verify that fact that Flickering Light is easily Cartel's greatest achievement yet.

1/23/2018
Aloud lands song in Sundance World Premiere "Kusama Infinity"

We're exctited to have Aloud's song "Such a Long Time" featured in the this world premiere at this years Sundance Film Festival. The film is about a fledgling yet fierce young Japanese artist who moved to New York City in 1958 after writing to Georgia O'Keeffe to express admiration and seek guidance on how to break into the New York art scene. Miraculously, O’Keeffe wrote back, and an emboldened Yayoi Kusama left behind what she considered the conformist culture of Japan to assert herself in the Big Apple. Inspired by the 1960s American political and social revolution, Kusama’s avant-garde innovations garnered notoriety but little fame or success as she pioneered audacious and unprecedented soft sculptures, staged nude Vietnam protests, and fashioned dazzling polka-dot creations. Encountering both racism and sexism in a realm dominated by men whose work often directly pilfered her concepts, she eventually returned to Tokyo and voluntarily retired to a mental institution. Only in the last couple of decades has the rest of the world caught up to Kusama’s radical vision. A documentary many years in the making, Kusama - Infinity lovingly finds a form that captures the ineffable power of her work and embodies the elusive yet magnetic voice of this genius only now, at 88, receiving her due.

10/24/2017
Kris Gruen supporting Alejandro Escovedo

Kris will be supporting Alejandro Escovedo on short run of major Western cities early November. Nov 4 - Santa Fe, NM - GiG Performance SpaceNov 5 - Denver, CO - The Soiled Dove UndergroundNov 7 - Salt Lake City, UT - The State Room

See AllFeatured Tracks
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Album: Music For Outcasts
Genre: Folk
Mood: Cheerful, Comical, Heartfelt, Laid Back, Mellow, Positive
Instrumental: Yes
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Album: Flickering Light
Genre: Alt Rock, Singer/Songwriter
See AllFeatured Artists
Soft News

The self effacing title of Soft News’ debut album, Used Melodies, belies its true nature as an innovative cover album of reimagined 80s pop songs. Each song, from Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself,” to “Love Touch” by Rod Stewart is completely stripped of the decade’s trademark glitter and bombast. In contrast, the sound that pervades Used Melodies is intimate, exposed, and soothing. From the first track to the last, Erik Laroi (the man behind Soft News) inspires trust in the listener. His pitch perfect production, crooning voice, and nuanced arrangements deliver the sense that you’re listening to indie renditions of the Great American Songbook. The collection of songs that Soft News covers on Used Melodies weren’t so much diamonds in the rough as diamonds covered in rhinestones, glitter, and neon-colored feathers. Laroi tenderly stripped them of their shimmer and glue to reveal the true gems sparkling beneath. Used Melodies was a passion project. Over the past four years, he’s been recording covers in his home studio, selecting songs as the inspiration strikes. He was grocery shopping when “Separate Ways” by Journey came on over the sound system. Laroi couldn’t shake the melancholic alternate version that was cycling through his head and so he recorded it. He did this with approximately 30 songs from the 80s and early 90s (there are two exceptions: a gorgeous version of Big Star’s 1975 classic “Holocaust” and a complete re-interpretation of Pulseprogramming’s 2003 IDM-inspired track “Blooms Eventually”). Laroi enlisted Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields, Jon DeRosa) to mix them. Laroi had no commercial intent for the project but while mixing, Newman heard an album in the works. Laroi and Newman picked their twelve favorite covers and Used Melodies was born. It will be released on Newman’s label, Mother West, in fall 2014. If you hear a hint of Kings of Convenience in Laroi’s rich, clear vocals, it may be because they are his Norwegian countrymen. Originally from Norway, Erik Laroi spent much of his childhood in Detroit and London. This is where he soaked up 80s pop culture, making weekly trips to the record store with his older brother to pick up the latest album by New Wave cult bands like New Order, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and The Smiths. As he got older, Laroi’s tastes broadened, discovering bands like Red House Painters and Low, as well as singer-songwriters like Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell. This wandering path of musical exploration led him to create Used Melodies, an album that takes a decidedly grown-up approach to childhood nostalgia – resurrecting it to fit the present. Used Melodies by Soft News was recorded and produced by Erik Laroi in his home studio in New York. The album was mixed by Charles Newman and Ray Ketchem (Elk City, The Mendoza Line). The tracks feature backing vocals by Lorraine Lelis (Mahogany, Aarktica) and Margaret White (Sparklehorse) and string arrangements by Perry Serpa (TV On The Radio, The Sharp Things) and Jean Cook (Ida, Mountain Ocean Sun).

Seldom Family

Channeling echoes of the nostalgic 50’s and the angular emptiness of 80’s post-punk, Pennsylvania’s Seldom Family conjure up sparse landscapes of sound.

Aloud

Aloud is a four-piece rock n’ roll band fronted by songwriting team Henry Beguiristain and Jen de la Osa. The two have written songs together since their teens growing up in Miami, Florida. Beguiristain and de la Osa moved to Boston shortly after high school to form Aloud. Over the years, they have created a catalog of songs wide in range, but always influenced by the 60s soul and rock music they grew up on—with a particular affection for harmonies. While the two each have their own distinctive vocal style they are at their best singing together. The two married in 2010. Aloud's music has been featured on NPR's Innovation Hub where it has the honor of being the show's theme song, ESPN, FOX, TV and just recently on a national TV spot for Ashley Furniture. The band has been written about in the Huffington Post, Elmore Magazine, Impose, the Boston Globe, and Time Out to name a few. They play regularly in the northeast, have done two national tours and have been invited several times to the CMJ and SXSW music festivals, and have shared the stage with acts such as Lady Lamb, Lake Street Dive, Cage the Elephant, Alpha Rev, and Hunter Valentine. Recorded at Boston's Q Division studios as part of the Converse Rubber Tracks series and produced by Benny Grotto, the band currently has a new double A side single and video in the works for release early next year with national tour plans to follow in the spring.

Benjamin Cartel

Benjamin Cartel is no stranger to making music that quickly connects with its listeners. That’s something he’s always excelled at, first with the substantial attention and acclaim accorded his duo Kaiser Cartel, and then, with a return to his solo career. To date, the latter has yielded two highly acclaimed efforts, an EP called Money and Love and a full length outing entitled Gothenberg, each of which helped broaden his reputation while underscoring his obvious ambitions. “Benjamin Cartel’s songs can often conjure the same subliminal tension as that of a Randy Newman or John Prine” -.American Songwriter

The Ton Ups

Regarded by many as the original Williamsburg Band. Hey, somebody had to be. The Ton Ups still live and roam the streets of Williamsburg Brooklyn. The Ton Ups play driving garage rock.

Ceramic

Brooklyn Based Acoustic Folk, rock and blues band with catchy rustic dream ballads.

Cottage Sounds Unlimited

Born in Los Feliz and residing in Brooklyn, Cottage Sounds brings together a widening group of friends and collaborators to this continually growing collection of music and songs.

Ape Shifter

Prog-Metal ensemble APE SHIFTER will be releasing their debut album early 2017! APE SHIFTER is all instrumental and reaches from rockin' 70's riffs played with punk rock ferocity to creeping metal grooves. Intense Simian Instrumental Rock from the nasty pits of the Hellabrunn Zoo.

Jon DeRosa

Influenced by vocal standards of the 1940's, teenage jukebox anthems of the 50's, and the mod and girl-group sounds of the 60's, DeRosa combines them all to create a cocktail of song-driven atmospheric chamber pop. __________________________________

The God Bombs

Brooklyn based Industrial punks The God Bombs are poised for an explosive debut year. The trio will celebrate the release of their 5 song EP 'Hex' with a North American tour opening for Ministry and Chelsea Wolfe, two of the largest acts in modern goth metal. On 'Hex' frontman Justin Symbol, guitar/keyboardist Jabbath Roa and percussionist Edrick Subervi have forged a bold new sound, channeling equal parts abrasive hip hop (Death Grips, Ho99o9) and 90s dark alternative (Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Prodigy), with an immediate and urgent DIY New York mentality. With their energetic and heartfelt live performances, The God Bombs provide an honest and critical look at a world of excess, distortion, consumption, and confusion.