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Wes Kirkpatrick

In 2009 Wes Kirkpatrick relocated to Chicago from Denver, and has been working on his solo debut album Naps & Nightmares ever sinces. Recorded with Chad Weis (tour manager and sound engineer for Martin Sexton, Mason Jennings, Ben Kweller) at his new Minneapolis studio "The Devil's Workshop", this album has been Wes' driving force and he is finally ready to make it available. "A lot of love, hard work, good times and not so good times went into it. I stuck with it until it was exactly the way I wanted it to be. I didn't want to rush this one." says Kirkpatrick. The album documents the transition of leaving his friends and family in Colodrado and the process of adapting to life in Chicago.

Naps & Nightmares will be released on March 1st by My Forlorn Wallet Records, and a Chicago release show should be announced shortly.

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NYC Hip Hop awesomeness: A.M. Breakups

A.M. Breakups seems like a suitable name for this Brooklyn-based producer. Each beat is so well crafted and mixed, that he undoubtedly neglects countless girlfriends in the creation of any given project. His album “Clink Pieces,” downloadable for free on bandcamp, showcases his dynamic beatmaking prowess paired with a diverse array of underground rap talent. The beats swell triumphantly and jitter with glitchy goodness matching the varying energy of each rapper involved with interspersed moments of cacophony adding a pleasant juxtaposition to the otherwise sweet electronic-edged programming. Be wary that unregulated listening may result in attention starved loved- ones and potentially heartbreaking text messages. - Broke MC

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The Caulfield Sisters are back with 2 new songs

Shoegaze Dream Pop is something we'll never get tired of - and as we are dudes, we'll add that we find the genre particularly enticing when lady singers with beautiful voices are involved... Brooklyn's own The Culfield Sisters have been at it for quite some time, but they haven't lost their verve for gorgeous pop melodies disguised in a thick layer of distortion. The trio just released two new songs - “Caterwauling”, streaming here, and “I See Your Face”, the first new original tracks from this all-girl trio since their debut EP “Say It With Fire” was released several years back. Shows in support of this release will be announced soon. Tracks can be purchased here.

The Caulfield Sisters - "Caterwauling"

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LI artists on the rise: Nature of City

Last week at The Studio at Webster Hall, Long Island-based trio, Nature of City, masterminded by bassist/vocalist Josh Pillbox, played their first show of 2011. NOC donned rubber Nixon masks as the whispering chants and swirls of dissonance of “American Dream” radiated from the stage. The band revealed their faces for the avant-garde take on funk, jazz, and metal, “Big Tommy”, and took a turn for the eerily melodic of “Binomial Pharmaclature,” the ticking time bomb of heavy distortion and haunting vocals of “Daddy Alarm Clock,” and the polyrhythmic duals between syncopated bass lines and shredding guitar solos of “Six Kinds of Wednesday”. Closing with the nightmarish and intricate interplay of pitch-shifting vocals and echoing instrumentation of “Ugly Like Me,” NOC’s set left the audience craving more. The good news is that Nature of City plan to release their debut LP, “Spacemen Need Earthsuits,” (in the picture) in April of this year. - Meijin Bruttomesso

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Tristen's, "Charlatans at the Garden Gate" Review

“Tame that nasty shrew cause she knows what you’re up to/you gotta keep her thin and hungry so she’s eager for your love.” So begins folk pop songstress Tristen’s first full-length, Charlatans at the Garden Gate (through American Myth Recordings), which plays out like a modern fairy tale as she references dark jungles, court jesters and tadpoles. As a synthesizer blares prettily, she sings the opener “Eager for Your Love” (which you can download for free here) in poignant, honeyed vocals that set the stage for the entire LP.


Traditionalist in melody and original in lyrics that have a poetic appeal, the album unfolds 11 tracks in an illustrative, story-like manner amidst folky acoustic strumming, plucky keys (“Matchstick Murder”) and sporadic suggestions of country influence (“Heart and Hope to Die”). Though Charlatans has indie darling appeal, the soaring, bell-like vocals have a maturity and a powerful quality that would mainstream well. And while there is no shortage of finesse – from beautiful background harmonies to the use of strings, like on “Wicked Heart” – one of the album’s best qualities is the sense of humor that quietly creeps into the instrumentation. It comes out occasionally with a flamboyancy and fullness in the vocals and instrumentation that is reminiscent of The Pretenders, or when she channels Nancy Sinatra with cooing sweet talk, like in “Baby Drug,” or the country-influenced bounce in the percussion.
 

Charlatans simply proves that Tristen knows how to do what she does, and she does it well, making a retro style fresh and satisfying both the desire for lyrical depth and beautifully-crafted melodies. The playful speculations about love, even when on the rocks, aren’t heavy or literal, but artfully masked in metaphors, and as a result, the album is expressive and meaningful without being too weighed down.


*Tristen’s CD release show is Jan. 21 at The Basement. – Jessica Pace

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