"Wake Me Up When September Ends"
- Green Day
September doesn't know what it wants to be. On one hand, it's a pretty kick ass month with beautiful weather that feels like a wonderful extension of summer (in New York anyway). On the other, it's a turd of a month synonymous with the end of summer with a back- to-school buzz kill. True, there are many people who prefer fall weather and the start of autumn (I don't, but do love that it's pumpkin spice latte season again), but for the most part, it's a "Debbie Downer" of a month. But, music can lift you up when you're feeling down any time, any place, and any where. Beach balls and sunbathing may be gone for this year, I've got three bands - all different and completely amazeballs in their own way - who will get you passed the sunny season that just went in your rear view.
Ume is an Austin trio that evokes the best music of the 1990s - at least in my opinion. The ferociously hard-rocking, hard-working band (Lauren Larson, Eric Larson, and Rachel Fuhrer) just wrapped up touring for their 2011 album Phantoms, and are about to back into the studio to record its follow-up. But, let's talk about their summer for a minute. They've been touring with 1990s icons Toadies and Helmet, filmed an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations (it aired yesterday), and, oh yeah, they opened for Jane's Addiction at Lollapalooza. Yep, one day they received a phone call from Perry Farrell, who personally invited them to open up for his band at an after-party following Lollapalooza. Not too shabby.
Earlier this summer, the band performed two songs (watch and awe Lauren Larson's guitar styling) and sat down for a chat on "A-Sides" in front of a dozen or so rock and jazz students at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY. Boy, did those kids get a first-hand lesson in how to rock. Watch. Listen. Love.
Ume perform Hurricane II & Dancing Blind Live
If you're just too old or simply interested in something a little more mellow today, TEEN is the band for you. (Act now, and I'll throw in a lovely set of steak knives.) The Brooklyn-based band, who dropped their debut full-length album In Limboyesterday, will take you on a magical, trippie ride with or without the use of narcotics. (Stay off drugs, kids.) Led by Teeny Liberson of Here We Go Magic fame, who formed the group with sibs Lizzie and Katherine along with longtime BFF Jane Hershups, the group has been getting a lot of notice lately thanks to their unique sound. TEEN, whose record release show is tomorrow at Glasslands in Brooklyn, will open for Ariel Pink at Webster Hall in New York City on Sept. 14 and tour with Hospitality in Chicago on Sept. 29. Last month, prior to a performance at an A-Sides Live! show, the girls performed two tracks (watch "Huh" below, visit www.asidesmusic.com for "Roses & Wine"), and sat down for a table-side chat at the Digital Arts Experience in White Plains, NY. Watch below.
TEEN Perform "Huh"
An "A-Sides" trifecta wouldn't be complete with a few troubadours to round out the edition. Caravan of Thieves, who hail from Bridgeport, CT, released their third album, The Funhouse, earlier this year, and have been bringing their gypsy-swing on the road - fittingly - ever since. The four-piece, which consists of Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni, Ben Dean, and Brian Anderson, stopped by the Digital Arts Experience last month to film an A-Sides session. Following their performance of "Eat You," they sat down for a chat. Ch-ch-check it out.
Caravan "Eat You"
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.
Follow Jon Chattman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asidesmusic