Your Vegas – A Town and Two Cities

Their debut full-length album A Town and Two Cities proves that Your Vegas is more than just dreamy accents and good looks. The UK imports are a solid unit of great musicianship with the pop sensibilities of predecessors like the Beatles and fantastic musical talent to boot. A Town and Two Cities shows off the remarkable songwriting of front man Coyle Girelli (vocals), whose heavy lyrical themes blend beautifully with his smooth voice and Your Vegas’ fluid and melodic sound.

The disc begins with the wildly catchy “It Makes My Heart Break,” a great pop rock song to lay the tone for the album. Single “In My Head” follows in a smooth pop rock fashion that features great driving beats from drummer Mal Taylor and again showcases Girelli’s beautifully smooth voice on a well-crafted track. Mat Steel‘s guitar hooks are infectious as the track moves from ambient and smooth to loud and hard in a dynamic whirlwind.

“Birds of Paradise” and “Aurora” venture into harder, funkier musical territory, yet retain Your Vegas’ signature bouncy hooks that make you want to get up and dance around. The latter, a love song in which Girelli sings, “The world is turning just for us,” exemplifies the great production job done by David Bendeth on A Town And Two Cities as the track is seamless.

“Troubled Times” is a heavier song that immediately opens with catchy guitar hooks, smooth and beautiful keys provided by Mark Heaton, and staccato rhythm hard on the down beat. In the same heavy vein, “The Way The War Was Won” intros with a low, delicate keyboard and Girelli sings with soft and breathy vocals. Though fairly depressing subject matter, “The Way The War Was Won” is able to maintain an uplifting quality: “If I ever see blue skies in my town / You know I’ll kiss the ground we walk on… / So put down your guns / And that’s the way the war was won.”

Moving into the meta namesake track of the band, “Your Vegas” asks Karma to “guide me home” over an upbeat tune and Girelli’s strained vocals. Bassist Jon Langford provides a pulsing and bass line in “Up Until The Lights Go Out,” driving the warped and wailing yet melodic keys. “I Wish You Were Somewhere Else” is a classic pop rock song featuring hugely melodic chords and Taylor running all over the drum kit. The last track, “Salvador,” intros with a low hum leading into soft keys and breathy, sexy vocals from Girelli.

Overall, A Town and Two Cities is a great album that leans on classic pop rock sensibilities, yet stakes its own claim and brings a uniqueness to the genre that is sure to please. Your Vegas is hugely talented in constructing beautiful and ambient songs that bring a peace and happiness to a chaotic world. You can catch Your Vegas on the road with Duran Duran (dates below) and be sure to pick up a copy of A Town and Two Cities, in stores now.

Tour Dates:
Apr 30 – WaMu Theater, Seattle, Washington
May 02 – Sleep Train Pavilion, Concord, California
May 03 – Santa Barbara Bowl, Santa Barbara, California
May 04 – Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, California
May 06 – Dodge Theatre, Phoenix, Arizona
May 06 – “Carson Daly Show” — Debut T.V Appearance!
May 08 – Valley View, San Diego, California
May 09 – The Joint, Las Vegas, Nevada
May 10 – The Joint, Las Vegas, Nevada
May 12 – Wells Fargo Theatre, Denver, Colorado
May 14 – Rosemont Theatre, Chicago, Illinois
May 15 – Masonic Temple Theatre, Detroit, Michigan
May 17 – Chastain Park Amphitheater, Atlanta, Georgia
May 18 – UCF Arena, Orlando, Florida
May 19 – Mizner Park Amphitheatre, Boca Raton, Florida
May 21 – Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Raleigh, North Carolina
May 22 – Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 27 – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland
May 28 – Agganis Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Jun 13 – Bonnaroo Festival, Manchester, Tennessee
Aug 01 – Lollapalooza @ Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois
Aug 09 – All Points West Festival, Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey

Tracklisting: It Makes My Heart Break, In My Head, Birds of Paradise, Aurora, Troubled Times, The Way the War Was Won, Your Vegas, Up Until the Lights Go Out, I Wish You Were Somewhere Else, Salvador

Your Vegas: website | myspace | interview with Coyle & Mat | live review
Universal Republic: website


Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson New Album, Summer Tour with White Rabbits

Brooklyn musical secret Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson will be releasing his self-titled debut record July 1st on Say Hey Records. Grizzly Bear‘s Chris Taylor recorded the album and his bandmates Chris Bear and Dan Rosen appear on the record, as does TV on the Radio‘s Kyp Malone. Says Malone, “Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson is my favorite songwriter right now.”

Miles’ brief yet inspirational life story already contains enough Gump-esque moments of cultural serendipity to make it a shoe in for a 2025 behind the music segment, if not a full blown overly- sentimental nostalgia piece about coming of age in downtown Manhattan and Williamsburg in the first decade of the millenium.

The eponymous long player to be issued by Say Hey Records is the first recorded document after years of false starts, self-sabotage , and amiable persistence in the face tragedy. Born in Oregon and raised in Portland and Eugene, Miles spent much of his youth on the road traveling with his comedian father as he played venues across the U.S. After completing high school, Miles gravitated eastward and was in New York by 2000. Immediately he immersed himself in the burgeoning music scene; going to shows and eventually forming a few bands. Miles recorded no less than 5 albums in various early projects like Jackson Plastic, Mud Cub, and Jesus Jackson, but sadly (“fortunately” according to Miles ) they never glimpsed the light of day.

Each incarnation met it’s demise from a combination of erratic behavior, venue banishment, and indiscreet drug use. Frustrated and fatigued, Miles descended further into addiction, leading to a stint in which he made his bed on the benches of Coney Island. But, throughout it all, Miles continued to distill from his shabby surroundings the inspiration and imagery that make up his debut record.

The album begins with the demented campfire sing-a-long, “Buriedfed”, a dirge disguised as a rave up, and it sets the pace for an album filled with unrepentant confessions played with abandon. MBAR takes the listener through a flawless sardonic narrative, detailing loss, excess, and blurred memories, all the while with an irresistible humor.

Look out for the MBAR sophomore LP in 2009, produced by Kyp Malone.

Tour Dates:
4.30 – Mercury Lounge – NY, NY
5.01 – Union Hall – NY, NY
5.11 – Cake Shop – NY, NY
5.20 – Schubas – Chicago, IL
5.21 – 400 Bar – Minneapolis, MN
5.23 – Caterina Winery – Spokane, WA
5.24 – Berbati’s Pan – Portland, OR
5.27 – Bottom Of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
5.28 – The Echo – Los Angeles, CA
5.29 – Beauty Bar – Las Vegas, NV
5.30 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT
5.31 – Bluebird Theatre – Denver, CO
6.02 – The Bluebird – St. Louis, MO
6.04 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
6.05 – Black Cat – Washington, DC

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson: myspace

Tapes ‘n Tapes "Hang Them All" Video

From the recently released Walk It Off, Tapes ‘N Tapes have created a new video for their über-catchy song, “Hang Them All.” Directed by Jonnie Ross (Belle & Sebastian, Menomena) the video is aptly described as Raising Arizona meets Been Caught Stealing.

The band is currently touring Walk It Off (dates below), so make sure to catch them live when they play near you!

Tour Dates:
04/29/08 Common Grounds Gainesville, Florida
04/30/08 Bottletree Birmingham, Alabama
05/02/08 Antone’s Austin, Texas
05/03/08 Hailey’s Denton, Texas
05/06/08 Club Congress Tucson, Arizona
05/07/08 The Casbah San Diego, California
05/08/08-09 Troubadour West Hollywood, California
05/10/08 Fillmore San Francisco, California
05/12/08 W.O.W. Hall Eugene, Oregon
05/13/08 Richards on Richards Vancouver, B.C., Canada
05/14/08 The Showbox Seattle, Washington
05/16/08 In The Venue Salt Lake City, Utah
05/17/08 Bluebird Theater Denver, Colorado
05/27/08 Tripod Dublin, IE (Story Bud Festival) *ADDED
05/28/08 ULU London, UK *VENUE CHANGE
05/30/08 Barfly Birmingham, UK
05/31/08 Stereo Glasgow, Scotland
06/01/08 Club Academy Manchester, UK
06/03/08 Nouvelle Casino Paris, France
06/04/08 Recyclart Brussels, Belgium
06/05/08 Rotown Rotterdam, Netherlands *MOVED from Amsterdam
06/06/08 Doornroosje Nijmegen, Netherlands
06/07/08 Bang Bang Club Berlin, Germany
06/09/08 Logo Hamburg, Germany
06/10/08 Gebaeude 9 Cologne, German

Tapes ‘n Tapes:
website | myspace | Walk It Off review | live review

The Jealous Girlfriends Video, Album, Tour Dates

New Yorkers The Jealous Girlfriends will release their debut video for single “How Now” from the self-titled LP on Good Fences due June 17th. You can listen to the entire album on AOL Spinner this week.

The Jealous Girlfriends’ lush pop sounds are perfect for long summer nights full of ambient guitar and keyboards with beautiful synth melodies and strong, gorgeous vocals from guitarist, keyboardist, trombone player Holly Miranda and guitarist/vocalist Josh Abbott. Previously one of the music scene’s best kept secrets, The Jealous Girlfriends aim to break out now that they’re signed with Good Fences Records. Catch the band on tour (dates below) beginning in late May with Sea Wolf through the end of June.

Tour Dates:
May 22 – St. Louis, MO @ Bluebird
May 23 – Nashville, TN @ Exit / In
May 24 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
May 25 – Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
May 30 – Boston, MA @ Paradise
May 27 – New York, NY @ The Mercury Lounge
May 28 – New York, NY @ The Mercury Lounge
May 29 – Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Bar
May 31 – Quebec, QC @ Le Cercle
Jun 01 – Montreal , QC @ Le Divan Orange
Jun 03 – Toronto, Ontario @ El Mocambo
Jun 04 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
Jun 05 – Chicago IL @ Schuba’s
Jun 06 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Jun 07 – Winnipeg, MB @ Parkway Theatre
Jun 09 – Calgary, AB @ The Republik
Jun 10 – Edmonton, AB @ Velvet Underground
Jun 12 – Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club
Jun 13 – Victoria, BC @ Lucky Bar
Jun 14 – Seattle, WA @ High Dive
Jun 15 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Jun 17 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Jun 19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo Plex
Jun 20 – San Diego, CA @ The Casbah

The Jealous Girlfriends: website | myspace | live review

Hello Tokyo – The Fire, Philadelphia Pa.

Brooklyn pop rockers Hello Tokyo kicked off a tour in support of their new album Sell The Stars in Philadelphia at The Fire on Friday night and totally owned the place. The band arrived not long before their scheduled set time, but managed to change, talk with friends and family, greet me, and set up all with time to spare.

Normally a trio, Hello Tokyo added two more for the live show and played a high-energy set, showcasing the great material from the new record. They opened with Sell The Stars‘ closer “I Spy,” asking, “Do you think you want me?” atop Vince‘s driving guitar riffs and a thumping bass line from John. The poppy “Run To You” and “Midnight Snack” found their way into the middle of the set as Kat pumped her fist in the air or dancing around the stage to Sam‘s beats and Eavvon‘s melodic keys.

Hello Tokyo ended their night with the bouncy and infectious single “Radio.” Kat kicked into high gear, jumping around the stage, interacting with her band and amping up their energy just by being near them. If Hello Tokyo is east coasting near you, get yourself to the venue and dance around to their delicious brand of upbeat pop dance rock. Be sure to chat up the band, as well — Kat is toothache sweet and Sam kept everyone laughing. Hello Tokyo is a great group of musicians making great music that is definitely worth your time.

more @ flickr

Tour Dates:
Apr 30 – New Brookland Tavern/West Columbia, South Carolina
May 01 – Smith’s Olde Bar/Atlanta, Georgia
May 03 – Indy500 Festival/Indianapolis, Indiana (SOLD OUT!)
May 04 – Dirty Jack’s/Cincinnati, Ohio
May 07 – Club Cafe/Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
May 08 – Brother Bean Coffee House/Seneca, Pennsylvania
May 12 – Oasis/New London, Connecticut
May 16 – Dr. Watson’s Pub/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 28 – Stranded In Stereo Presents../New York, New York
Jun 14 – Memories Lounge/Richland, New Jersey

Hello Tokyo: website | myspace | Sell The Stars review

[where: Girard Ave, Philadelphia PA 19124]

New Music Tuesday!

Out Today!!

Your Vegas A Town and Two Cities
The Constantines Kensington Heights
The Roots Rising Down
Les Savy Fav After The Balls Drop
Langhorne Slim Langhorne Slim
Boris Smile
Jamie Lidell Jim
Portishead Third
Wallpaper T Rex EP
Madonna Hard Candy

Tapes ‘N Tapes – First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia Pa.

Mid-west rockers Tapes ‘n Tapes are currently touring their new record Walk It Off, and they stopped through the wonderful City of Brotherly Love last week. Josh, Matt, Jeremy and Erik played a phenomenal set and turned a difficult task like following White Denim into something much more manageable.

Before the band began playing, Erik (bass, vocals) walked up to the front of the stage and chatted me up, as well as the guy I was standing next to. Erik was super friendly, thanking us multiple times for coming out to the show and then informing me that I might want to move to the other side of the stage if I planned on taking pictures because, “I’m not very photogenic.” It was too cute.

The basement of the Church wasn’t packed out, which was surprising, as Tapes ‘n Tapes are definitely a pretty big deal right now. A blond girl behind me was explaining to a tall kid in glasses that the last time Tapes ‘n Tapes was supposed to play Philly, they canceled 45 minutes before the show was to start so that they could perform on Letterman instead. While it’s best to fact check, I’m not going to, but opt for saying that that’s a huge letdown to Philly fans… and letting down Philly fans is never a good idea, as observed by the sports fans in this town.

Regardless of the size of the crowd, Tapes ‘n Tapes delivered a great set full of off-the-wall energy. Erik lauded Jerry’s skills as a drummer (and rightfully so), but failed to mention how sick of a bass player he is. Erik was the happiest guy in the room, rocking out on stage as he took bass line after bass line for a walk, setting the rhythm for Josh’s (vocals, guitar) poppy riffs and Matt’s (keys) upbeat melodies. Though playing many tracks off the new record for obvious reasons, Tapes ‘n Tapes delved into some older material, causing the crowd to get even louder and crazier with “Omaha,” among others.

The crowd was pumped as the set wound down and continued clapping and chanting in hopes of receiving the always anticipated encore. When the band failed to return, one audience member jumped up on stage, grabbed Josh’s mic and began chanting and clapping his hands high in air, with waning hope that Tapes ‘n Tapes would come back out. The Church’s lights came on and the crowd grew silent for a minute, letting it sink in that the band wasn’t coming back out, then booed for a minute before heading towards the doors defeated.

You can still catch Tapes ‘n Tapes on tour (dates below), just hope they have enough time for an encore in your town.

more @ flickr

Tour Dates:
May 02 – ANTONE’S/AUSTIN, Texas
May 03 – HAILEY’S/DENTON, Texas
May 07 – THE CASBAH/SAN DIEGO, California
May 12 – WOW HALL/EUGENE, Oregon
May 14 – THE SHOWBOX/SEATTLE, Washington
May 17 – BLUEBIRD/DENVER, Colorado
May 31 – STEREO/GLASGOW, Scotland

Tapes ‘N Tapes: website | myspace | Walk It Off review