Knitting Factory Brooklyn Presents - Early Show
AM & Shawn Lee
Cold Blood Club, Wishes & Thieves
361 Metropolitan Ave
Brooklyn, NY, 11211
Doors 7:00PM / Show 8:00PM
This event is all ages
AM & Shawn Lee
Celestial Electric finds L.A.-based indie-pop auteur AM and London-based groovemaster/experimentalist Lee pooling their talents to create a unique brand of electro-soul that achieves seamless pop perfection, while mining a startlingly broad array of stylistic influences. The resulting blend of heartfelt, warmly melodic songcraft and vivid, inventive soundscapes underlines the artists' abiding love for all manner of vintage genres, encompassing pop, soul, funk, jazz, Brazilian tropicalia, Turkish psychedelia, and soundtracks and library music from the '60s, '70s and '80s.
Cold Blood Club
Cold Blood Club, a new outfit out of Brooklyn, is putting a new spin on the indie dance/pop sound with an edgy blend of soul and rock influences. Inspired by life in New York and the likes of New Order, Depeche Mode, Broken Social Scene and The Flaming Lips, guitarist/songwriter Tom Stuart and bassist Jesse Reno (Radio America) embarked on a studio project that has quickly evolved into a collective of well-matched musicians turning out powerful, original material and exciting live shows.
Fronted by powerhouse lead vocalists Kendra Jones and Brad Peterson (Earlymay), Cold Blood Club was soon joined by wunderkind drummer Shin Kamei (Angela Jane) and flame haired violinist Hilary Davis (Bella Koshka).
After only a handful of shows, the single “White Boyz” was picked up by W Hotels as a soundtrack for their behind the scenes coverage of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2012. CBC credits the single and their well-received live performances for a steadily growing following within the New York indie scene. Their debut EP, a commanding, fist-pumping ode to urban life entitled “Headlines & Firefights,” debuts fall 2012.
Wishes & Thieves
A band is like a science experiment. Different elements combine to form something new. In this way, Wishes and Thieves is the perfect example of good chemistry. The group combines a myriad of contrasting elements – rock, digital-inspired beats, R&B, soul, Radiohead-style detours—into something new and vibrant they call “electronic induced pop,” a term adopted from an early review. It’s a potent sonic mix of atmospheric vocals, heavy bass, hip-hop drums, and indie rock guitar that has quickly earned the group a fervent following and comparisons to the likes of Bjork, Brazilian Girls and Portishead.
On the group’s EPs, Lighthouse and the upcoming Forest Fire, the band plays with those different elements, creating a cerebral sound that also grooves, a digital soundtrack with organic musicianship. It’s fire and water, together. “The title tracks to our two records – they’re all about fire and water, sonically and even visually. It’s going from one element to the next,” says singer Jolanda Porter.
The musicians themselves each contribute distinct and contrasting elements, so it’s surprising how quickly the band bonded. Wishes and Thieves initially took shape in 2010, when long-time collaborators Mike MacAllister and Joe Higgins found themselves stymied by the lack of direction in their other musical projects. “Collaborating with other people never worked out,” says MacAllister. “We decided to do something on our own just to have fun.” “From there, it evolved organically,” Higgins added.
Though it started as an instrumental duo, the band quickly took in drummer Will Clark and then added Porter, who was a recommendation from a friend but an unknown quantity. As Higgins admits, “We didn’t quite know what we were looking for in a vocalist.”
Thankfully, Porter proved to be the missing piece of the equation. Her soulful, chameleon-like vocals wrapped around the other musicians bringing warmth and cohesion to the group’s sound. “I remember thinking this was going to work after recording the first song,” says the singer. “It never felt like I was just laying vocals over tracks – it sounded like a collective effort from the start.”
Recording quickly, the band self-produced and released the EP Lighthouse just months after forming, earning immediate accolades. The record landed on Last.fm’s “New Discoveries of 2011” year-end list (“It was a nice surprise, even though we were below Rebecca Black,” jokes MacAllister) and winning approval from the likes of famed David Bowie producer Tony Visconti and hip-hop legend Mos Def. Porter was even selected as one of Lucky magazine’s “Most Stylish Girls in Music,” alongside buzzworthy acts Zola Jesus, Rachael Yamagata, Neon Hitch and somebody named Lana Del Ray. The album also birthed the band’s esoteric name, as the phrase is mentioned in the record’s opening track. “I knew what that lyric meant to me when I wrote it,” says Porter. “But we’ve never told each other why we each liked it.”
The group’s live show, which sees the band members often shifting between guitars and electronics mid-song while Porter enchants the crowd from center stage, also won converts. “Our stage show is the same concept as the record – we do everything live,” says MacAllister. “I hate that moment when you hear an instrument and no one is playing. With us, you can connect every sound to a visual; there’s no man behind the curtain.” (See and hear the proof at this year’s South by Southwest music fest)
For their second EP, Forest Fire, the group composed the majority of the album in the rehearsal studio, taking musical sketches and working together to form finished tracks. Within each song, the vibe often mutates, as “Let You In” starts in a slinky groove and morphs into a upbeat rock vibe. Meanwhile, the growing percussion crashing through the first single “Forest Fire” gets visually recreated in the song’s video, where the group trashes a once-sedate living room by the track’s end.
The disparate sounds and fiery imagery in “Forest Fire” could serve as an important introduction to the group. “Like everything we do, that song started out one way and ended another,” says MacAllister. “I think it all goes back to the elements we bring in. We start with our own individual ideas, rework them to compliment each other and when it’s done, we’ve created something we all really like that, on our own, we would never have come up with.”