Michael Franti & Spearhead

Musician, humanitarian, and children's book author, Michael Franti, is recognized as a pioneering force using music as a vehicle for positive change as well as his unforgettable, high energy shows with his band, Spearhead. With the multi-platinum success of his song "Say Hey (I Love You)" and the chart breaking 2010 release of "The Sound Of Sunshine", Franti and his band guarantee a show that will be thought provoking as well as a fun dance party! "Music is sunshine," says Franti, one of the most positive and conscious artists in music today. "Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose." Franti has a brand new single, "I'm Alive (Life Sounds Like)" hitting radio now leading into his brand new album this summer.

G. Love & Special Sauce

Like a classic novel it all starts at a chance meeting one rainy, fall night in Boston, when fellow torchbearers of new roots Americana, Seth and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers invite Garret Dutton aka G. Love onto their tour bus after a gig to share their love of back road blues. This mutual affinity leads to G. Love sharing the stage with The Avett Brothers at a summer music festival both are playing. The collaboration, sounding so natural and right, deepens, so much so, eventually G. Love asks Scott and Seth Avett to not only play on his new record, he asks them to produce it as well.
Inspired by this shared musical heritage, the result is Fixin' To Die, a collection of rearranged traditionals, a classic cover, and a slew of G. Love originals, many simmering for over a decade, all sharing a common goal: to strip away all pretense and capture the original spirit and sound G. Love has cultivated over his entire career but never fully embraced until now.
It takes a lot of hard work to speak the truth. And, in an age where most music has been regulated to countless ones and zeros it's even harder to make honest music without all the usual trappings. On his fourth Brushfire release, G. Love has left the hip-hop blues, a genre he has helped define, if for only a moment to make arguably his most sincere and candid record to date.
As Scott Avett says, "There's a little bit of this record on all the previous G. Love records, you just had to look for it. This is the record we all knew he should make and he could make, but again, he had to open himself to the core to make it. That's the difference. Ultimately the songs tell us what needs to happen; it's just our job to be prepared and identify that. Let's just get in there and see what the room evokes, and it was just go, go, go, which is the way we like it. I mean the whole session was cut in just over a week."
As G. Love confesses,
"It was an emotional recording session and I was truly blown away by the level of focus, care and passion Scott & Seth brought to it. We felt connected the entire time - it was instantaneous. It always feels like crunch time in the studio but it never felt like that with these guys. It was a team thing, no drama, no agenda. It was a tremendously positive and encouraging experience. This is the most inspired I've ever felt making a record - let's just put it that way. I'm still buzzing about it."
It's easy to hear why. Produced and engineered in the inspiring sanctuary of Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina, the sessions underlying pulse is unabashedly, 100% pure and genuine country blues. From the ragged jangle of its opener "Milk & Sugar" and floorboard stomp of Bukka White's "Fixin' To Die," over the loping lilt of "Home" and longing for "Katie Miss," through the greasy fried "Get Goin'" and moonshine reverb of "Heaven," to the hip shake hootenanny in Paul Simon's infamous kiss off "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," G. Love and The Averts deliver a life lesson in how to find a song's sweet spot.
Best of all Fixin' to Die is a true divergence from G. Love's previous records and the function and preparedness of a dogged work ethic by some of music's hardest working artists who earned their stripes the old-fashion way, veracious songs, road weary odometers, and sweat stained live shows. Yet, with G. Love and The Avetts, it's more than just stamina and gumption to sound authentic and profound. It's the ability to distill the sepia toned essence of the time honored past and use it to take the risks needed to forge the future.
Scott Avett remarks, "For me, at a time when I was really into heavy music and leaning that way further and further, G. Love really opened a door that let me see another side of music that was really clever, good vibe, great melodically, great lyrically, and not always about the fight of typical hard core stuff. It baffles Seth and I that the roots world has not just taken G. Love and catapulted him into the sky; he's a king of that world and they don't even know it. If John Hammond is, he is; if Bob Dylan is, he is too."
As an insatiable musical omnivore, G. Love somehow manages to synthesize his iconic influences by shedding their layers to find that harmonic convergence where song and listener bare their souls to each other speaking nothing the raw boned truth. On Fixin' to Die G. Love has done just that; he has mined the sonic ore of his heroes only to emerge with a fresh lode of precious stones. Yet remarkably, what makes this session such a rarity in today's music world is the lack of polish that makes these songs truly shine. By allowing the infectious simplicity of these songs to stand in all their ragged glory, G. Love has paid the greatest respect to his muses and the collaborative spirit.
"It's a nod back and a step forward. It's a return to the roots of what made me G. Love in the first place. The music I fell in love with and learned as a teenager, which is such a developmental time in one's life, but especially pivotal in your music life. That when you decide you wanna play guitar right? I was 16 when I discovered folk music, the blues, and Bob Dylan and that was simply the backbone for everything that followed for me musically. I mean this is my second decade as a recording and touring musician. I'm looking into the next phase of my career, and although at heart I've always been a roots musician I want to emphasis it more now. I want to carry on the tradition not in a nostalgic way, but by keeping it fresh, real and unexpected, and we did it with this session."

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews' is a rare artist who can draw both the unqualified respect of jazz legends and deliver a high-energy rock show capable of mesmerizing international rock stars and audiences alike. With such an unprecedented mix of rock, funk, jazz, hip-hop and soul, he had to create his own name to describe his signature sound: Supafunkrock!

3rd Bass

3rd Bass were a rap group in the late 1980s and early 1990s, notable for being one of the first interracial rap groups in history. Like the Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass helped prove that white rap was viable both critically and commercially.

MC Serch (Michael Berrin), Pete Nice (Pete Nash) and DJ Richie Rich (Richard Lawson) were the three founding members of the group. Richie Rich was a local d.j. and is African-American, Nice was a student at Columbia University and hosted a hip hop show on WKCR. MC Serch rapped at clubs and block parties and released a single called "Hey Boy" on Idlers, an independent record label.

Sam Sever, a producer, convinced Nice and Serch to work together in 1987. Sever, Prince Paul, and The Bomb Squad produced The Cactus Album (The Cee/Dee), a critically acclaimed debut LP.

J. Rabbit

"The theorem of turntablist as musician has been long proven in the capable hands of DJ LOGIC, whom with jazz as his foundation has become a wax innovator by crossing genres and sprinkling his sound across the map. As one of the world's most accomplished turntablist's, DJ LOGIC is widely credited for introducing jazz into the hip - hop realms and is considered by most as a highly respected session musician and an innovative bandleader.

Since his emergence in the early nineties amidst the Bronx hip-hop scene, the New York City based deejay has been amassing a veritable mountain of collaborations ranging from the likes of: MEDESKI MARTIN AND WOOD, CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE, VERNON REID, CHARLIE HUNTER, JACK DeJOHNETTE, JOHN MAYER, BEN HARPER, MOS DEF and THE ROOTS, to name but a few.

These days, DJ LOGIC is focusing on studio endeavors, producing notable projects such as: Re-imagination with jazz piano phenomenon ELDAR ; collaborating with VERNON REID on a project he co-founded called the Yohimbe Brothers ; touring with CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE in support of Live at Tonic ; participating in a side project called SOLESIDE (featuring KYLE HOLLINGSWORTH from STRING CHEESE INCIDENT and SPEECH from ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT) and co-anchoring a rock band with JOHN POPPER (The John Popper Project featuring DJ Logic) . LOGIC'S body of work also includes three highly accomplished solo albums (Zen of Logic; The Anomaly; Presents Project Logic), all released on Ropeadope Records.

DJ LOGIC and his role as an electronic-music ambassador keeps him at the top of his game. Whether the scratch artist instructs tablas to flirt with drum 'n' bass (such as on his NINA SIMONE and BILLY HOLIDAY remixes found on Sony Legacy's Remixed and Reimagined volumes) , or while meshing free styling MC's with Afro-Cuban rhythms (such as on 'Share Worldwide Funk' - a remix produced for JACK DeJOHNETTE and Golden Beams Collected, Volume 1 ) , LOGIC can always be found paying homage to his predecessors while contributing his vision to the deejay genre. While the context of his work may vary, DJ LOGIC'S spinning skills are definitely beyond reproach. He works with a phenomenal roster of invited guests, and he knows how to pick his collaborators as well as his samples. With a growing catalogue of recordings under his belt, DJ LOGIC'S supreme musicianship and catholic tastes will allow him to journey wherever an infectious groove may take him.

From its first track, Dessa's new full-length Parts of Speech (6.25.13, Doomtree Records) announces itself as something different. The Doomtree veteran and inveterate wordsmith — having proved her mettle in the fields of creative non-fiction, spoken-word and hip-hop — jettisons all genre expectations on "The Man I Knew" and croons a heartbreaking lament to a disintegrating relationship at an explosively-building clip.

From this moment on Dessa — oft--described as "Mos Def plus Dorothy Parker" for the wit and flow shown off on previous solo albums A Badly Broken Code and Castor, The Twin — proves she has truly coalesced as an artist, transcending the restrictions of genre to reveal an astonishing multi-platform voice.

"I wanted to investigate the idea that a cohesive record isn't always made cohesive by having twelve songs that sound the same. I figured when you make a mixtape for a friend, you can get away with a range of genres and a lot of dynamic change. Why can't I approach an album like that? The sequence has to be just right, and we worked hard to nail it, but the thing that holds this record together is the sensibility of the lyrics, rather than a uniform theme."

Track two kicks off a stunning hat-trick of the record's standout numbers. "Call Off Your Ghost" is an admittedly haunting dirge on the "struggle for grace in the wake of a long relationship." An arena-sized chorus tucked into a melancholy lullaby, "Ghost" has that unique ability to perfectly soundtrack new love or bitter breakup at the same time.

Dessa then puts her fists up for "Warsaw." The track boasts a beat like Azealia Banks playing Pacman, which provides a background for our emcee's confident, hypnotic flow. Narrative takes a backseat to mood here, as Dessa spits impressionistic one-ups like "I sleep with both eyes open, standing up," daring you to blink first.

"Skeleton Key" contains Parts of Speech's mission statement: "I haven't met a locked door yet." An ode to female self-reliance that doesn't waste ambiance for message, the track plays like a great, lost M. Night Shyamalan movie, calling forth an era out of time in the story of a woman, a key and a bottomless reserve of courage.

"This record involves multiple narratives. It explores the same themes of love, loss, connection and communion as a lot of my work, but the angle and lens through which they're explored sets this album apart from my previous ones. The production techniques were new for me too — we spent a lot of time crafting a record that could include live players, Doomtree production, and sometimes a blend of the two."

While the album is born of Dessa's artistic vision, it benefits from the collaboration of her varied friends. Parts of Speech owes much of its impact to its diverse production. Dessa got her start as a member of Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree — eventually going on to help manage the group's business affairs as they launched their own label — and members Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger lend their production to several tracks.

The players in Dessa's live ensemble all contributed to the record, as did several top-flight Minneapolis musicians working in rock, folk, and opera. She even enlisted a cellist she found on Pandora to make the gorgeously-layered foundation of penultimate track "It's Only Me."

Dessa, born and raised in Minneapolis after her parents met at a Duluth music store, was valedictorian of her high school, eventually skipping a year of college and graduating with honors before she could legally drink. Armed with a philosophy degree, the intrepid Midwesterner spent her nights as a waitress and days writing reference manuals used by doctors in the implantation of pacemakers.

"Language and verbal communication were important in my family. If I could argue my way into a later curfew, that argument was entertained. My parents may have regretted that policy later but it was a great motivator to help me develop a facility with words."

A love of words is evident in both Parts of Speech's title and its ethos, as Dessa's philosophy training surfaces too. The rousing chorus of "Fighting Fish" references the Greek philosophical paradox of Zeno's Arrow. "Beekeeper," polished up from a starker appearance on Castor, finds Greek god Prometheus repossessing fire from the humans. "Sound the Bells" sings of Mercator, the cartographical genius who pioneered flat maps of a round world.

Parts of Speech could be made by no one but Dessa, but in its evolution and awareness it is the perfect culmination of the journey started with 2010's A Badly Broken Code. Middle album Castor, The Twin was in many ways a blueprint for Speech. The earlier albums were praised widely for their focus and depth, but Speech shows a fantastic breadth.

By uniting a wealth of different tones and narratives under Dessa's unmistakable poeticism, Parts of Speech greatly resembles Sherwood Anderson's modernist fiction classic Winesburg, Ohio. Dessa creates a new world, populating it with complex characters, beautiful sonic landscapes and refreshing, assertive production.

An album that can boom out of a car window after its summer release, or soundtrack a November night in, Parts of Speech marks a highpoint in Dessa's career and demonstrates the crossover power of the rising star's burgeoning arsenal.

-Zack Rosen

The Main Squeeze

The Main Squeeze is a raging funk experience born within the thriving live music scene of Bloomington, Indiana, and currently residing in Chicago, IL. Since coming together in late 2009 The Squeeze have managed to establish a unique sound and identity in a short period of time. Some of their most recent accomplishments include….

Winning an international battle of the bands in Macau, China against bands from all over the World.

Handpicked by Rolling Stones Magazine to open for The Roots and Janes Addiction at the official Superbowl XLVI tailgate party in Indianapolis.

Played for over 1,000 fans at Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2012.

The Squeeze just released their debut self titled album in June 2012. Much like each member's varied backgrounds and influences, the album itself contains an eclectic blend of inspiration which seamlessly navigates through funk, rock, electro, and jazz, while still rooting itself in something that's uniquely their own. Whereas 'First Drops' found the band searching for their voice in the studio, their newest offering picks up miles beyond where they left off. Just one listen to tracks like the epic "I'll Take Another" (clocking in at nearly ten minutes), the soulful trifecta of "Where Do We Go", or the impeccable horn arrangements on "Mama Told Me" and it's clear that the band possesses a musical maturity well beyond their years.

Their unique ability to tackle and funkify such a wide variety of music makes each show a unique experience in its own right. Their live performances, which fuse soulful vocals, intricate jams, tight grooves, and ripping solos have helped them develop a dedicated and rapidly growing fan base in the Midwest and the East Coast earning them slots at music festivals such as Bonnaroo, Summer Camp, Equifunk, Big Pig, and GlowFest.

If you've ever wondered whether the juice is worth the squeeze, you should look no further – The Main Squeeze is sure to be hitting a city near you sometime soon, leaving their crowd funkified and freshly squozen.

Magic Man

Magic Man began as a duo who grew out of spare moments and idle hours during a summer spent volunteering on different organic farms. Their debut album 'Real Life Color' was released in 2010. Magic Man is now a 5 piece Providence based synth-pop outfit who are working on their 2nd album. New tracks will be released soon.

Said The Whale

Vancouver's Said The Whale has been on a steady upward trajectory for the past six years, as relentless touring and a prolific string of releases have led to successes including a JUNO Award in 2011 for New Group of the Year and nationally charting singles. In 2013, the tireless five-piece — which includes dual songwriters Tyler Bancroft and Ben Worcester, drummer Spencer Schoening, keyboardist Jaycelyn Brown and bassist Nathan Shaw — will continue to break down doors by releasing its most adventurous and hook-filled batch of songs yet.

The band formed in early 2007 and, following some early EPs, released the debut-full length Howe Sounds/Taking Abalonia in 2008. Said The Whale began to amass a grassroots following through frequent tours, and they scored a string of Canadian radio successes with the albums Islands Disappear (2009) and Little Mountain (2012). These albums earned attention from media outlets like Spin, BBC 6 Music, and Consequence of Sound, and the band was profiled in the nationally televised CBC documentary Winning America. Said The Whale has been nominated for two more JUNO Awards in 2013 for Alternative Album of the Year and Recording Package of the Year (alongside art director Andy Dixon) for Little Mountain.

In keeping with this inexhaustible work ethic, the band is releasing another new collection of songs in the form of the four-song I Love You EP, due out June 18, 2013, on Hidden Pony Records. Once again teaming with longtime studio collaborator Tom Dobrzanski (We Are the City, the Zolas) at his Monarch Studios, the musicians pushed their musical limits and honed their love of fast, punchy pop-rock.

"In the past I've felt pressure to write 'radio' songs, or 'cool' songs or whatever, but this time I went into the writing process with mindset of 'Fuck everything, I'm just going to write what makes me happy,'" says Tyler Bancroft, explaining that the songs were written with a clean slate and no expectations. Ironically, what resulted were some of Said the Whale's catchiest, most accessible songs yet. The singer observes, "It turns out I just like pop music."

This affection for melody shines on I Love You's title track which is led by a surge of post-punk guitars and careens between spiky choruses and a sunny, sock hop-inspired bridge. Elsewhere, the Worcester-sung "Barbara-Ann" is a buoyant blend of heartfelt romance and '60s-style vocal harmonies, while "Mother" is a synth-heavy new wave banger. These upbeat songs were mixed by Canadian studio guru Gus Van Go (Hollerado, the Stills).

"I spend so much time chipping away at my thoughts, trying to get to the core, and right now I'm finding it easy," Worcester says. "I've never felt more creative." He adds that the lovestruck mood of "Barabara-Ann" was inspired by a couple who own a hammock store in Vancouver. "It's a proposition to someone special, suggesting that we too can live together like this this beautiful pair of chilled out lifers," he reveals.

The EP offers a taste of Said The Whale's fourth album, due out this fall. These latest sessions found Bancroft taking on the role of co-producer, and he guided each song in bold new directions without adherence to genre. "Rather than record in one big session, we used the 'hip-hop method' of doing two or three songs at a time," he reflects. "This let us focus all of our energy on each song without getting overwhelmed."

The new material was penned in a surge of creativity that found Bancroft and Worcester letting their guard down and following their instincts. "My songs on this album are the most vulnerable songs I've ever written," notes Bancroft. "Lyrically it's the most honest I've ever been."

I Love You EP is the sound of a band already on the top of its game breaking free from all expectations and boldly reinventing its identity. And with a new full-length close behind, expect to see more new sides to Said The Whale soon.

California Wives

"I felt like I was asleep for years," says California Wives' lead vocalist / keyboardist Jayson Kramer of his decision in 2009 to leave behind a promising career in medicine for a professional go at music. Jayson's first experience with music began at age 6, playing classical piano up until he was 16. Along the way he started writing songs as hobby, taking influence from bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Oasis, and later electronic music such as Autechre and Aphex Twin. The hobby continued through his undergrad years at Boston University as a pre-med student until, "a weird thing happened when I finished my MCAT and all the studying stopped. I was completely honest with myself for the first time in my life and recognized that I had no desire to go on to medical school. This is when I took a more serious turn toward music, which is something I realized I should have been doing all along." Around this time he moved back to his hometown of Chicago where he was introduced to drummer Joe O'Connor and bassist Dan Zima, who had be playing together since high school.

California Wives debut album, Art History, will be available September 4, 2012 through Vagrant Records.

California Wives is:
Jayson Kramer - Lead Vocals, Keyboard and Rhythm Guitar
Dan Zima - Bass, Vocals
Joe O'Connor - Drums
Graham Masell - Lead Guitar

Just who is the hunk of burning love we have come to know as Oreo Jones?

He is as unique as his Cosby sweater – a bearded brother who summons multiple musical personalities for every new project. But at the heart of it, Oreo Jones is just a true emcee mixing everything he's got – literally beats, rhymes and life – into a bracing hip-hop stew. In the spring of 2010, Jones grabbed the Indianapolis music scene by the throat with the release of his Delicious EP. Anchored by the success of the single "Good Times" – which was prominently featured on several national music blogs – the album reached #4 on the Hypem.com Twitter chart.

Fast forward to the NOW … and Jones is preparing to launch his latest juggernaut with his debut solo long-player, Betty, dropping on Sept. 4 on the estimable Rad Summer label. This platter showcases the same gregarious personality while featuring songs about the trials, tribulations and everyday shenanigans that are at the soul of Oreo Jones. Through clever story telling and a sick flow, Jones takes us on a very personal tour through the parts of life that built his character.

Eschewing the sample-based production that made the Delicious EP so yummy, Betty provides thick-cut, genre bending beats that you can sink your teeth into. The lyrics tackle everything from slavery on "House Nigga", to a more laid back cuts like "No Coast" – an electronic daydream about kickin' it West Coast while landlocked in Naptown. By the end of the record, it is clear that Oreo Jones has broken the mold and will defy all expectations. Betty is Jones' musical testament to becoming his own man – not to mention the best emcees ever named after a cookie! The standout single "Needy" – outlining Jones' desire to make Betty a beacon of light in the choppy seas of the rap game – will have a video forthcoming early next month.

Prior to Betty, Oreo Jones was known for the sheer diversity of his projects. He has a natural ability to pull in people from all walks of life to create unique and memorable music. Last year, Jones linked up with indie rock bands We Are Hex (Roaring Colonel, Third Man Records), Jookabox (Asthmetic Kitty, Joyful Noise), The Woodhands (Paper Bag Recordings), and Fair Fijola to craft the Oreo Jones & Friends EP to benefit VH1′s Save The Music project. And his love of ALL things female lead to the infamous Black Fabio collaboration with DJ Action Jackson – a concept mixtape that featured the single "Reggie Miller" (think Digital Underground's Sex Packets meets Handsome Boy Modeling School).

Who knows what's else is in store for someone with as many badass ideas as Oreo Jones ... packing the dance floor AND having all the ladies screaming just might not be enough..

The new eclectic and soulful project of Kristen Newborn. Their amazing live show is full of loops, ambient beats, and incredible energy.

A resident of Chicago, Colin Rebey better known as PHENOM has hit the ground running. In just less than a year, Rebey has moved quickly in establishing residencies at some of the most highly populated clubs in Wicker Park, Wrigleyville, and downtown. He currently maintains 5 weekly residencies playing all genres and fulfilling the needs of any of his crowds whether it be the upscale downtown dinne
rtime crowd at Hub51 for his Friday residency or something a little more full throttle such as his 10pm-5am high energy sweat soaked Saturday night residency at evilOlive, one of Chicago's most talked about venues.

Phenom has toured throughout the midwest and has hit both coasts taking his show on the road for crowds extremely pleased with his intertwining of genres.

This year he has shared the stage with national touring acts including A-Trak, MSTRKRFT, Laidback Luke, Nero, Dillon Francis, Boys Noize, Wolfgang Gartner, Mt. Eden, Dirty Loud, Lucky Date, The Killabits Kreayshawn, Derrick Carter, Flosstradamous, Wale, Sir Michael Rocks and VIP J (The Cool Kids), Tennille, Raekwon (Wu Tang Clan), Million Dollar Mano (Tour DJ for Kanye West), Drop The Lime (Trouble And Bass), Sammy Bananas (Fools Gold), DJ Zebo, Willy Joy (Trouble And Bass), Deathface on the Fall Of Man Tour in Louisville Kentucky (Trouble And Bass), Hollywood Holt, and many more weekly!

Faux Paw

Faux Paw is a band from Lafayette, IN formed in the fall of 2011. Gordon Wantuch and Garrett Ney met while doing the singer/songwriter thing at open mics around town and decided to start a rock n roll band together. They met Tom Lageveen and Stephen Freeman at a show or a party and yada yada yada, slugs and snails, puppy dog tails, Fleetwood Mac, Television, Steely Dan, Wilco...

Woodstove Flapjacks

The Woodstove Flapjacks have been entertaining eager masses for over 6 years. Continuing the traditions of early American Stringband music, The Flapjacks mix booming vocals, harmonica and kazoo, banjo's, guitars, mandolin, ukulele, and washtub bass into a raucous good time. This focus on traditional tunes allows the listener to step back to a time when lyrics were written from experience and music was hashed out on a front porch. Lead vocalist Matt Scherger once described the resurgence of stringband music as inevitable, due to the fact that the interest, as well as ability, seems to skip a generation

Left Lane Cruiser

This whiskey fueled two-man frenzy of blues-driven rock'n'roll noise straight from Fort Wayne, Indiana promise to hit you like a shock wave and show you a foot-stompin' good time. Left Lane Cruiser is comprised of Joe Evans on slide guitar and vocals with Brenn Beck on one big-ass bass drum, harmonica and a toolbox full of percussive gear. The raw blues duo of LLC have practiced through thick and thin to hone a sound unlike any other and have been together long enough to have previously released a couple of self-produced EPs. "Let your soul drive what you do" is the premise of their music, "give it all you got, and everything is an instrument: trash cans, paint trays, hubcaps, ladders, you name it."
Learning their craft by playing at house parties, at the corner streets of their home town, and rehearsing in a heatless garage, they have developed their personal take on the North Mississippi Hill Country sound. They have toured relentlessly, sharing the stage with artists such as Robert Belfour, Black Diamond Heavies, Hillstomp, and Chris Cotton among others. They have also appeared at the infamous Deep Blues festival in River Falls Wisconsin in 2007.

"Bring Yo' Ass To The Table" is the culmination of everything these boys have experienced as a band during the four years of their existence, it's "greasy hot, shaved dry, and crazier than your smokin' methed-up ex-girlfriend who keeps singin' 'Down By The River I Shot My Baby' thru a two-dollar pawn shop mic she jerry-rigged thru that ol' gunshot black & white TV in the backyard and dedicating it to you with love m*therf*cker" to quote Deep Blues guru Rick Saunders.

In September 2008 Left Lane Cruiser embarked on their first European Tour. The first few shows were cancelled due to issues with passports upon initially arriving in the UK, forcing the two members to return to the United States for several days. Problems with passport were then resolved and Left Lane Cruiser resumed the tour.

Their third album, All You Can Eat, was released on Alive Records, September 15, 2009.

The band released its fourth album on March 1, 2011, on Alive Records, some of which was recorded with the John Wesley Myers, the keyboard player for the Black Diamond Heavies, also signed to Alive Records.

Rusty Redenbacher

As part of the Indianapolis based group, The Mudkids, Rusty Redenbacher released four albums, notably their latest release, We Are Dynamic and People Like Us. What connected audiences to The Mudkids was the way they blended hip-hop, jazz and rock elements together. Stepping out of that group atmosphere for a little bit, emcee Redenbacher releases his latest installment, The Tinkerer. With this project, Redenbacher blends together old school hip-hop with rock and explores pretty much anything that comes to his mind, jumping between rapping, producing and DJing and drawing from influence as diverse as Full Metal Jacket and Fleetwood Mac, just to name a few.

Liz Janes

The reason we're writing you today is we want you to meet our good friend Liz Janes. And more so—and we'll get to this later—to meet the realized incarnation of her vision, the sparkling vision of the individual. Namely, her new record, Say Goodbye, the culmination of a lot of fighting and surviving and reworking all-things reworkable. Liz's music-story and life-story involve a Great American Novelesque chain of living leading up to the Liz of 2010. Shorthand version: the piano recitals in the DC suburb she grew up in. Then sneaking off to jazz clubs in Philly. Or her sudden and dramatic withdrawal from the performing life after an incapacitating dose of Stage Fright-itosis (she was 13.) Then came her college days in the fertile music town of Olympia, Washington where Liz knocked around in the local improv scene, making loud noise with some very talented pals (one of them being Old Time Relijun's Arrington de Diynoso; they played in Toro Sec Toro together.)

As satisfying as Olympia's noise scene was Liz became a covert player of folk songs, a secret singer, a strummer in cognito! On a beat-up Sears guitar she was writing lullabies and gospel songs behind locked door, her first ever songs, the nascent brain children of a soon-to-be accomplished and busy songlady. But let's back up a sec. Right now we're 10 years in the past. Picture yourself in Olympia around the turn of the last century. Walls of trees as green as jade. Smoky mountains. Rain year-round. The basement shows, the house shows, K Records folks doing what all good K Records folks do. Once upon a time Liz was deep in it, deep in the avant of avants, deep in the combustion of spontaneous out-there-orama sounds. But those secret guitar and voice songs were always there. Hidin' out. Biding their time.

Then one fateful day she snuck off and set said songs to 4-track. In Liz's words it was terrible. Says Liz, "I am a one trick pony. Everything I do—there is one way that I do it. There is one way that I draw. One way that I sing. One way that I play guitar, and write a song. I often struggle with not being more versatile or multi-talented. Comparing myself to others is a terrible trap. It's not that I don't challenge myself to do more and try new things and to grow. It's just that I always come right back to being me, and making what I make." Liz's faith in those hidden songs might have been low but as a true and pure maker of music she wrote them because she had to, because they were there, gestating, waiting to be born, audience notwithstanding. And the secret remained just that, a secret.

"Now discipline is my only way to access the spontaneous. This is growing up, and this is growing older."

Say Goodbye abandons the searing, epic psyche blues vis-a-vis deconstructed old timey of her previous work for an intensely personal, truth-filled, new kind of pop music. Aided and abetted by Rafter's mad skills, the resulting piece of music is grand without the -ious and lush without treading on well-shod shoegazey paths. It's a warm, human, ornate new thing, lyrics paired down to the most minimal of philosophic wonderings/wanderings. The music ebbs and flows, bubbles out baroque passages, and envelops the listener in electronic warmth and cosmic analog sound, horns a-blazin', drums a-tishhking, Rhodes piano a-Rhodesing.

In the 10 years from Olympia to Say Goodbye Liz has bounced all around the country. (If you ask her she'll tell you she was too west coast for the east coast, too east coast for the west coast but that the great state of Indiana, with proper fairy tale resolution, is juuust right.) It's been a busy and colorful ride. The kind of fulfilling, healthy party most honest musicians only dream of. Good bands, long tours, new friends, great songs.

Liz sums up her trajectory from piano lessons to '10 saying, "I always loved music, but then I learned to love sound. I was always too shy to sing, but then I learned to make noise. I never understood the discipline of art, and only enjoyed the spontaneous. Now discipline is my only way to access the spontaneous. This is growing up, and this is growing older."

The Asthmatic Kitty Records Dept of Biographical Information


Fronted by tattooed blonde bombshell Lindsay Manfredi, American rock outfit Kaleidostars delivers powerful hooks, punk energy, and a glam rock swagger with aspirations to move audiences worldwide with its bold, ambitious, and inspired sound.

In some ways Lindsay Manfredi is a throwback to a 90s riot grrrl: a fearless, confident, and brainy feminist who is actively engaged in social causes (e.g., Lindsay is a co-founder of Girls Rock Indianapolis!, a rock camp for teenage girls). Lindsay's voice can be juxtaposed from gritty and raw to sweet and melodic sometimes within the same song. Lindsay is also a gifted lyricist delivering lines like "heading there, brace for impact" ("Autograph") and "we tend to take advice from lost souls" ("Soar"). It is clear to the engaged listener that Lindsay has a lot on her mind that she needs to express musically to connect with people experiencing their own hopes, dreams, and struggles.

Kalediostars formed from the ashes of Neon Love Life, an all-girl group Lindsay fronted that called it quits after it gained notoriety with an indie debut album due to a hectic tour schedule and a member moving away. Lindsay met future Kaleidostars' band mates Eric Klee Johnson and Marc Johnson at The Pop Machine recording studios in Indianapolis where Eric and Marc produced a Neon Love Life track for "Forevermind", a tribute record commemorating the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's "Nevermind". The Johnson-Manfredi-Johnson collaboration was a success scoring over 70,000 downloads of the release. "It was natural for us to work together after the disbandment of Neon Love Life," said Eric. "We have common musical sensibilities and a drive to make timeless, not timely, music".

Kaleidostars recruited drummer Tony Medeiros upon Medeiros' return to the U.S. Midwest after spending several years in Los Angeles as a session and touring musician. Eric, Marc, and Tony last worked together in the paisley underground band Wonderdrug. Eric and Marc are record producers and mix engineers who have worked with the Airborne Toxic Event, Cold Stares, Tokyo Police Club, and John Waite who oversee the recording of the K-Stars' music.

Marc Johnson is a rock guitar phenom that colors Kaleidostars' sound with an iconic Gibson-Marshall guitar sound who crafts muscular riffs worthy of Mick Ronson, Jimmy Page, or Jack White. Bassist Eric Klee Johnson and drummer Tony Medeiros interlock to provide a sturdy sonic foundation that is sometimes groovy, sometimes straight-ahead – always powerful.

Kaleidostars released their debut single "From Here" in 2012 and have pledged to release (at least) one song every month during 2013; January's installment is the arena rock love anthem "Soar". The individually released tracks (available for digital download and streamed online at Bandcamp and Soundcloud) will ultimately compile Kaleidostars' debut release on Indie 500 records.


About Mathien—the nucleus of the band was formed at Southern Illinois
University Carbondale around the magnetic personality of
singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Mathien. Bassist Mike Schiff and drummer Omar Jahwar were initially drawn to Mathien's sharply observed lyrics and eclectic
musical influences. After signing with Midwest Music Group, relocating to Chicago
and releasing their debut "Hello Again" the band took to the road and became a
formidable live act selling out venues in Chicago and throughout the Midwest. In
the fall of 2010 with the addition of keyboardist Peter Wilkins the band returned
to the studio to begin work on their latest release "The Night I was an Alpha
Male". The album is available in CD format through the band's official website:
www.mathienlive.com and soon through all favored digital outlets including

Kate Myers, over a lifetime of traveling, living in various locales around the country, touring in backseats of vans surrounded by sweaty men, and spending time with relatives in Europe, has figured at least one thing out. Music is and will be a central element in anything that she does. "Music inspires my life, it's what I was destined to create," she says.

Coming from a musical family, beginning at a young age, Kate was surrounded by instruments and people who loved to play them. "We're like the Partridge Family during the Holidays. The whole family jams together." It was this upbringing and a portable Sony tape recorder that since the age of five-years-old has pointed Kate in the direction of making music. When she was in sixth grade, she learned to play the piano and the guitar and since then, she has been dedicated to practicing and perfecting her craft.

Her music is passionate and introspective. Drawing influence from singer/songwriters of the past (Jim Croce, Bob Dylan) and of the present (Conor Oberst, Fiona Apple), she has been able to create a style that is completely and recognizably her own and that transcends the standard coffee shop singer/songwriter genre. Her songs are stories of pain, love, hope and the experience that she has collected through her travels, her family and her years.

Kate's debut, self-titled album was released in 2004, her second album, "Blanket Sky" in 2006 and her most recent work, "Instant Clarification," in 2008. She has performed on stages all over the USA and Europe. Her fourth full length album 'Introducing the Ghost' is due this fall.

James Wallace & the Naked Light

It was once said that James Wallace would be the kind of guy you'd want on your side if you ever got into a music fight in prison. He'd probably tell you that too, just to clarify his position on not getting into a real fight in prison. That said, his penchant for dark and clever wordplay above eerily-cheery melodies, begs there may be a few twisted stories from his past that we've yet to hear.
Similar to what has often been said of Belle and Sebastian's earlier works, More Strange News From Another Star captures a distinct vintage quality channeled from some non-existent folk music period of decades past. Often referenced to Paul Simon in vocal range and use of textured percussion, Wallace's writing showcases a similar love of African music and Gospel harmonies. But more often than not, his band heads into the more ramshackle, go-for-broke qualities of the early Kinks. A kind of Rock and Roll bred with cacaphony that balances eerily well beneath Wallace's falsetto.
As for the influences in his stories, that is quite the rabbit hole to explore. Whether they be citied from one of his many wandering trips to China, his short residency as a piano player for a small Black Mennonite Church in Appalachia, or an oft mentioned tale about a mysterious box of letters found in an abandoned storehouse concerning aliens and the end of the world, Wallace seems to have a lot to draw on, and that well dosen't seem to be running dry anytime soon.



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