EL VY Proves to Be More Than Just a Side Project, with Debut Release, “Return to the Moon”

el vy

The much buzzed about EL VY creates an inspiring album, Return to the Moon, out now via 4AD. Consisting mainly of Matt Berninger of The National and Brent Knopf of Ramona Falls/Menomena, what the duo creates is something honest, heartfelt, and truly unique.

Like when all high profiled musicians break off from their main band, there seems to be a bit of a back and forth skeptical reaction that travels throughout the internet. I believe it was in Pitchfork that I had read a blurb stating that Berninger and Knopf were “incompatible” as musicians. To be honest, yes, they kind of are incompatible as musicians; but on the bright side, that is exactly what makes this combination work well.

The first two singles shined light on the blending of two parties; first with “Return to the Moon (Political Song for Didi Bloome to Sing, with Crescendo)” and the follow up “I’m the Man to Be.” The first singles were definitely a departure from Berninger’s deep and heavy sounds of The National, but it allowed us to see a more upbeat version of what he has to offer. Knopf on the other hand, brings a stunning element of instrumentation to the table that sometimes provides a lively vibe, and other times, a haunting and unusual sound. The mixture of these elements seem to work completely, as they weave throughout each track of the record.

The biggest misconception that a listener can have going into this, is that it’s going to sound like a “National” record. It’s not. Then Berninger would just be working on National songs right now (Right? Right.). What would be the point? The voice is there, but the content isn’t always as heavy. You’re going to dance, you’re still going to get depressed as hell, and you are going to love every moment of it.

Releasing a series of lyric videos directed by the multi-talented Tom Berninger, it provides multiple songs with an intimate look to capture your attention even more. Tracks such as “Happiness Missouri” bring a haunting, yet determined sound into play, while harmonies fill the album in pieces such as “Silent Ivy Hotel,” or the chilling musicianship of “Paul is Alive.” Songs such as “No Time to Crank the Sun,” offers up Matt’s signature delicate crooning, as “Need a Friend,” shares a more vibrant sound, that brings Knopf’s intricate brand of musicianship to the table. Together they create a truly special musical experience within Return to the Moon.

Each piece on the record is strong enough to stand on their own, which is perhaps why the group decided to release a track one at a time leading into the record. Return to the Moon is perhaps the finest record of 2015; mark my word.

EL VY is currently on tour, recently kicking off their Eastern U.S. dates, with two stops in New York. Friday at Bowery Ballroom, and Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. See you there kids.


DIIV Launches Video on Rolling Stone, Tour Dates in Tow

Zachary Cole Smith’s side project, DIIV, has certainly gained a lot of exposure in the past year, and the height of their popularity just keeps on growing. This week the band released the dreamy new video for “Doused,”  via Rolling Stone. The dreamy video goes perfectly with the haunting track which mixes in some of the most colorful and intriguing live footage you will ever see.  Launching a big premiere on Rolling Stone, it seems obvious that DIIV may become just more than a side project. It’s already a phenomenon.

The band has just kicked off a massive U.S. tour this week, and will be headed directly to Europe soon after.


9/07/12 @ Biltmore Cabaret- Vancouver, BC *

9/08/12 @ Music Fest Northwest- Portland, OR *
9/09/12 @ Neumos- Seattle, WA *
9/12/12 @ Larimer Lounge- Denver, CO *
9/13/12 @ Jackpot Music Hall- Lawrence, KS *
9/14/12 @ The Sandbox- Omaha, NE *
9/15/12 @ Triple Rock Social Club- Minneapolis, MN *
9/16/12 @ Empty Bottle- Chicago, IL *
9/17/12 @ Magic Stick- Detroit, MI *
9/18/12 @ The Great Hall- Toronto, ON *
9/19/12 @ Ill Motore- Montreal, QC *
9/20/12 @ Brighton Music Hall- Boston, MA *
9/24/12 @ Union Transfer- Philadelphia, PA *
9/25/12 @ Rock and Roll Hotel- Washington, DC *
9/26/12 @ The Southern- Charlottesville, VA *
9/27/12 @ Grey Eagle- Asheville, NC *
9/28/12 @ Exit In- Nashville, TN *
9/29/12 @ 529- Atlanta, GA *
10/1/12 @Warren Wilson College- Swannanoa, NC
10/6/12 @INDEX Festival- Deep Ellum, TX
10/9/12 @ Echoplex- Los Angeles
* w/ Wild Nothing
11/01/12 @ Pitchfork Paris Festival- Paris, France
11/02/12 @ The Rewire Festival- The Hague, Netherlands
11/03/12 @ Iceland Airwaves- Reykjavik, Iceland
11/05/12 @ Kuudes Linja- Helsinki, Finland
11/07/12 @ John Dee- Oslo, Norway
11/08/12 @ Debaser Slussen- Stockholm, Sweden
11/09/12 @ Loppen- Copenhagen, Denmark
11/10/12 @ Molotow- Hamburg, Germany
11/11/12 @ Bi Nuu- Berlin, Germany
11/12/12 @ Gebaude 9- Cologne, Germany
11/13/12 @ De Kreun- Kortrijk, Belgium
11/14/12 @ The Garage- London, UK
11/15/12 @ Plymouth Pavillions- Plymouth, UK w/ The Vaccines
11/17/12 @ Alexandra Palace- London, UK w/ The Vaccines
11/19/12 @ De Montfort Hall- Leicester, UK w/ The Vaccines
11/20/12 @ Deaf Institute- Manchester, UK
11/21/12 @ The Apollo- Manchester, UK w/ The Vaccines
11/22/12 @ Liverpool University- Liverpool, UK w/ The Vaccines
11/23/12 @ Doncaster Dome- Doncaster, UK w/ The Vaccines
11/25/12 @ 02 Academy- Glasgow, UK- w/ The Vaccines – Sold Out
11/26/12 @ 02 Academy- Glasgow, UK w/ The Vaccines
11/27/12 @ 02 Academy Newcastle- Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK w/ The Vaccines
11/28/12 @ Brudenell Social Club- Leeds, UK w/ The Raveonettes
11/29/12 @ 02 Academy- Birmingham, UK w/ The Vaccines
11/30/12 @ 02 Academy Bournemouth- Bournemouth, UK  w/ The Vaccines
12/01/12 @ Autumn Falls Festival @ AB- Brussels, Belgium
12/02/12 @ Le Guess Who Festival- Utrecht, Netherlands


Warm Ghost Releases Video For Claws Overhead

As readers of this site are probably aware, Paul Duncan is currently recording under the moniker of Warm Ghost. Initially conceived as side project that would allow him to experiment with electronics, synthesizers, drum machines and processed field recordings, Warm Ghost has grown into a full-fledged collaboration with Oliver Chapoy.

With their debut LP slated for release this fall, the duo have released a new music video for their song “Claws Overhead.” Check the video out down below and visit the band’s website for more info on upcoming tour dates.


Ivan & Alyosha Slot Additional Tour Dates

Fresh off a successful gig at the NXNE festival in Toronto this past weekend, Ivan & Alyosha have announce a number of additional tour dates in July and August with Brandi Carlile, as well as appearances at the Midpoint and Pygmalion music festivals in September. The Seattle band was jus on the road in the North East, taking part in New York City’s iconic River to River festival, before heading south for shows in Georgia and Tennessee. Check out the full list of dates down below.

28 – Bellingham, WA – Mount Baker Theatre*

29 – Seattle, WA – Woodland Park Zoo*

30 – Portland, OR – Portland Zoo Amphitheatre*


01 – Chico, CA – El Rey Theatre*

02 – Lake Tahoe, NV – Montbleu Casino*

05 – Sandpoint, ID – Festival at Sandpoint*

09 – Bozeman, MT – Emerson Cultural Center*

12 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown*

13 – Apple Valley, MN -Weesner Amphitheatre*

14 – Duluth, MN – Clyde Iron Works*

16 – Fargo, ND – Fargo Theatre*

20 -Aspen, CO – Belly Up*

21 – Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte*

23 – Eugene, OR – Jaqua Concert Hall*


23 – Urbana, IL – Pygmalion Festival

24 – Cincinnati, OH – Midpoint Music Festival

* = w/ Brandi Carlile

STRFKR Adds New Tour Dates

Having already racked up 28 sold-out shows in 2011 (and counting) while touring in support of their latest album, Reptilians, Portland’s own STRFKR have just announced a slew of new North American tour dates with appearances at several summer festivals.

Amidst their numerous tour dates, STRFKR also found time to film a new video for “Julius” with director Jason Miller. Check out the video and a full list of dates down below.


STRFKR Tour Dates

Aug 10, 2011 – Soho Restaurant & Music Club, Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 11, 2011 – El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Aug 12, 2011 – Outside Lands Festival, San Francisco, CA
Aug 13, 2011 – Outside Lands Festival, San Francisco, CA
Aug 14, 2011 – Outside Lands Festival, San Francisco, CA
Sep 2, 2011 – Electric Owl, Vancouver, Canada
Sep 3, 2011 – Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, WA
Sep 5, 2011 – Kilby Court, Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 6, 2011 – Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 7, 2011 – Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO
Sep 9, 2011 – 12th & Porter, Nashville, TN
Sep 10, 2011 – The Masquerade, Atlanta, GA
Sep 11, 2011 – Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Sep 12, 2011 – Black Cat, Washington, DC
Sep 13, 2011 – First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA
Sep 16, 2011 – Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY
Sep 17, 2011 – Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
Sep 18, 2011 – Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge, MA
Sep 19, 2011 – Il Motore, Montreal, QC
Sep 20, 2011 – Lee’s Palace, Toronto, Canada
Sep 21, 2011 – Majestic Theater, Detroit, MI
Sep 23, 2011 – MidPoint Music Festival, Cincinnati, OH
Sep 24, 2011 – Highdive (Pygmalion Music Festival), Champaign, IL
Sep 26, 2011 – Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL
Sep 27, 2011 – Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL
Sep 28, 2011 – Turner Hall, Milwaukee, WI
Sep 29, 2011 – The Cave, Northfield, MN
Sep 30, 2011 – The Vault, Sioux Falls, SD

Woods Set Summer Tour Dates

On June 14th, Woods will release their 6th full-length album, Sun & Shade, on their own Woodsist record label. This summer, the band will embark on a North American tour co-headlining with The Fresh & Onlys. Among the guests joining the band on tour are Kurt Vile, Ducktails and White Fence, all three of whom have recorded for the Woodsist label. Peep the  full list of dates below.

Summer Tour Dates

Sat-May-28    Hartford, CT            Comcast Theatre / B.O.M.B Fest 2011

Mon-Jul-11        Boston, MA            Brighton Music Hall *

Tue-Jul-12        Montreal, QC            La Sala Rossa *

Wed-Jul-13    Toronto, ON            Lee’s Palace *

Thu-Jul-14        Cleveland, OH            Grog Shop *

Fri-Jul-15        Bloomington, IN            Russian Recording *

Sat-Jul-16        Chicago, IL            Pitchfork Music Festival

Mon-Jul-18    Minneapolis, MN        7th Street Entry #

Tue-Jul-19    Fargo, ND                The Aquarium #

Sat-Jul-23    Vancouver, BC            Electric Owl #

Sun-Jul-24    Bellingham, WA        The Shakedown #

Mon-Jul-25    Portland, OR            Doug Fir #

Wed-Jul-27    Sacramento, CA        Sol Collective #

Fri-Jul-29        San Francisco, CA        The Independent #

Sat-Jul-30        Big Sur, CA            Woodsist Festival – Fernwood Lodge        ***SOLD OUT***

Sun-Jul-31        Big Sur, CA            Woodsist Festival – Henry Miller Library        ***SOLD OUT***

Tue-Aug-02    Los Angeles, CA        Echoplex #%

Wed-Aug-03    Phoenix, AZ            Rhythm Room %

Fri-Aug-05    Austin, TX            The Mohawk %

Sun-Aug-07    Oxford, MS            Cats Purring Dude Ranch %

Mon-Aug-08    Atlanta, GA            The Earl %

Tue-Aug-09    Asheville, NC            Grey Eagle %

Sat-Aug-13    New York, NY            Bowery Ballroom %!

Sun-Sep-04   Dorset, UK              End of The Road Fest

Mon-Sep-05  Manchester, UK      Sound Control *

Tue-Sep-06  Glasgow, UK         Stereo*

Wed-Sep-07  Bristol, UK       The Fleece *

Thu-Sep-08  London, UK      Scala *

* = w/ Kurt Vile and the Violators

# = w/ The Fresh & Onlys

% = w/ White Fence

! = w/ Ducktails