Chris Douridas (KCRW) & MFG Present
School Night! featuring: MNDR
The Ludlow Thieves, Reuben and the Dark, Gospels, Guest DJ Shy Kidx, resident DJ Jason Eldredge (KCRW/East Village Radio), Guest DJ: Chris Douridas (KCRW), & Matt Goldman (MFG)
61 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
School Night! featuring:
If New York-via-Bay Area noise artist Amanda Warner had to boil down the thinking behind MNDR — her synth-pop project with producer Peter Wade — that might be the her mantra. The first single on Feed Me Diamonds, MNDR's first full-length album and Ultra Records debut (March 2012), is called "#1 in Heaven." It's about Patty Hearst. "It captures the moment when right and wrong are so clear and money and wealth and power don't mean anything to you anymore," Warner says of the relentlessly catchy track, which arrives January 17th with a video directed by Cody Critcheloe, a.k.a. Ssion. She could easily also be describing MNDR's rise from the underground.
Just three months after MNDR’s first EP release, E.P.E., (Wondersound 2010), the team had a global smash on their hands: Mark Ronson & the Business Intl.'s "Bang Bang Bang," featuring Q-Tip and MNDR. The track sold more than 3.5 million copies and helped introduce the world to Warner and Wade's smart, hooky songwriting. MNDR was profiled as an Artist to Watch in SPIN, Billboard, Q, and NME magazines, performed on Letterman, Kimmel, Carson Daly, and Jools Holland's TV shows, and took the stage at Pukkelpop and V Fest — all as an unsigned artist. Shazam named MNDR a breakthrough act and the project earned an MTV O Awards nomination. While the praise was streaming in, MNDR developed a super-energetic live show propelled by innovative reactive visuals designed by digital artist Jamie Carreiro and built up a dedicated fanbase. So when the time came to ink a deal, MNDR stuck to their guns.
"It was a really hard decision to say no to huge record deals or working with huge producers," Warner says. "There's a lot of passion in our music. It's a fully thought-out idea and we fought and said no to big things to keep it that way."
Feed Me Diamonds is the result of Warner and Wade's tireless efforts to translate raw emotions into music that grooves without excess glitter. The pair first teamed up in 2008 after discovering a mutual love of gear, sci-fi, and cults. Warner studied classical piano and bass as a kid in North Dakota and got her start in a Minneapolis noise band before moving to California and immersing herself in rave culture. When she relocated east to design the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' touring synth rig, she met Wade, a young studio vet who'd seen it all as an in-house producer and engineer for Sony Music under Tommy Mottola.
"Early on we made decisions about keeping it dark sounding and industrial, not spit-shine pop," Warner says. That's a perfect description of the songs on Feed Me Diamonds, which was inspired by performance artist Marina Abromovic's story about how her revolutionary father was supposedly murdered by ingesting ground-up gems. Glitchy "Sparrow Voices" is about global economics — "Individuals trying to break out of the mentality of just being worker drones," Warner explains. “Faster Horses” draws its inspiration from Henry Ford’s famous quote, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
While there are several songs on Feed Me Diamonds about "challenging money, wealth, power and the class system," the disc — which is being mixed by powerhouse engineer Tony Maserati (Beyoncé, Lady Gaga) — is dominated by songs with even more personal starting points, like mesmerizing "Draw the Curtains," which explores "when sexy is dark or when you want to be dark," Warner explains. Fans have reacted to these emotional songs in a major way, and MNDR note that not a week goes by without someone tweeting lyrics from “I Go Away.”
"There's no apologies with MNDR," Warner says. "It's not always shiny and clean but it's gonna be a good time and people really connect with the songs. We've found our audience and our home."
The Ludlow Thieves
Staggering from the wreckage of a car accident that claimed seven lives and left him the sole survivor, The Ludlow Thieves’ front man, Danny Musengo, had a shift in perspective. He was finished working the midnight shift at a gas station on a highway in Iowa; he was moving to NYC and dedicating himself to music. Having grown up singing gospel songs in his church, music was where he found peace and purpose, especially after the accident.
The Ludlow Thieves are the realization of the sound, sensation, and dedication he had been pursuing since the accident.
Dan Teicher, the band’s guitarist and producer, had been looking—albeit, impatiently—for the right band for his entire life. With a master’s degree in classical music composition, he honed his craft while biding his time. He scoured NYC for band mates with similarly outsized ambitions that were capable of the enormous sound he dreamt of.
At a party, DT asked a friend if he knew any singers with a unique voice. The friend passed along the contact info for Danny Musengo, describing his sound as “Rod Stewart on two packs of smokes.” Within weeks, DT and Danny had met and were at work on The Ludlow Thieves, a moniker DT had cooked up while writing songs that would appear on the band’s debut.
Days before the duo was set to record some of the songs, the drummer scheduled for the sessions tore ligaments in his right hand. In a panic, DT contacted another mutual friend asking for a drummer that was “trained in jazz, had rock ferocity, and knows the pocket of a beat like a funk drummer.” He was given the name of Walker Adams, a Berklee Grad from the Upper West Side of Manhattan who had played with St. Vincent. The sessions went so well, musically and personally, that Walker was immediately asked to become a permanent member of the band.
Together, the trio have sculpted tunes equally at home in Nashville and Brooklyn. With a sound that is as enormous as it is exuberant, the music’s intensity can be traced back to a highway in Iowa where gratitude and purpose ignited a band.
The Ludlow Thieves are DT, Danny and Walker, but a revolving cast of hoodlums fleshes out their sound by shaking, scraping, banging, slapping, singing, stabbing, and seducing music out of their instruments. They have found friends in singers, pianists, string ensembles, orchestral brass players, jazz trumpeters and saxophonists, and countless audio engineers. These mischievous melodic mutts are essential to bringing The Thieves’ indulgences to musical fruition live and in the studio. All in all, there are over 30 instruments on their debut album.
The sound is occasionally lush and often covered in dust; it is a rustic exploration of the grand and the intimate through an American lens.
The songs and arrangements came easy, but the recording process was like trying to take a whale for a walk—a slow, challenging, and ambitious undertaking. Recalling the recording process, DT says, “Music is a demanding mistress, and this album had me asking for mercy at some points.” Sculpting the sound through a long process of trial, error, and trying again, the completed album is exactly what The Ludlow Thieves hoped it would be—an engaging, dynamic, experimental record with strong roots in the American songwriting tradition.
Still, before even releasing their first album, their music has been featured in commercials and films, and they have been voted Artist of the Month by New York’s premier independent music magazine, The Deli.
DT says he and the rest of the Thieves advise all listeners to keep a mop close by during initial listening sessions of the album—“there are going to be a lot of melted faces out there. Floors might get stained with the rock sauce.”
Reuben and the Dark
Calgary’s Reuben and the Dark is a collection of five multi instrumentalists and vocalists led by Reuben Bullock. The group makes chilling, emotive folk and soul driven by dark, introspective lyrics that explore the duality of misery and joy.
Boasting a rare chemistry sparked by the relationship of Reuben and brother and percussionist Distance Bullock, Reuben and the Dark has emerged organically from Canada’s stellar independent scene on the strength of often anthemic compositions that translate the language of emotion into song with haunting clarity.
Arts&Crafts is pleased to announce Reuben and the Dark as its latest signing.
Their debut album, produced by the UK’s Chris Hayden (Florence & the Machine) and Stephen Kozmeniuk (Madonna, Nicki Minaj, and The Game feat Kanye West) being completed now for release in 2014.
“Bullock’s voice is intimate and immediate; note-perfect to deliver his testaments and make them resonate. He somehow manages to evoke some of the greatest folk singers without even once sounding imitative.”– ffwdweekly.com.
“Reuben and the Dark write sing-along anthems that ebb and flow like the ocean, highway dreams that feel like a big rig in the prairie night. Their soaring harmonies have a joyous, almost worshipful feel to them. Hearing Reuben Bullock’s expansive vision of the human heart, you can almost feel the slow-motion wind in your hair, the honest sun on your skin.” – Sled Island
“You may be one of the few cognoscenti who have heard of Reuben Bullock, in which case pat yourself on the back for being ahead of the curve. If you’re like the rest of us, consider yourself in for a treat: the few bloggers and writers who’ve discovered him are predicting huge things for this young Calgarian. ” – Calgary Folk Festival
“The fact that a virtually unknown singer can effortlessly draw comparisons to some of the biggest names in roots / folk music today speaks volumes, but the fact he doesn’t ever try to fit into an easily defined label or limit his creativity is what is truly staggering.” – Hero Hill
Gospels is Alex Frenkel, Mike Gordon, Alex Marans, Gabe Garzón-Montano and Owen Murphy. Taking up residence under one roof in Forest Hills, NY, they set about building their house into a 3-floor recording studio, where they have recorded their first EP, "Animal Feelings."
Guest DJ Shy Kidx
What’s considered to be “punk” is constantly evolving, so it makes sense that the latest group of musical outcasts have embraced laptops instead of traditional instrumentation in order to make music that is truly innovative. Epitaph has always been a trailblazing label when it comes to finding new talent regardless of genre or geography and nothing could make that more evident than the signing of Italian electronic dance music sensation Shy Kidx. Cutting his teeth as a teenager playing in punk bands, Shy Kidx has since honed in his talent as an artist on the cutting edge of electronica and he is about to take his unique brand of EDM sound Stateside as one of the most compelling artists of the year .
"Originally Shy Kidx was a collaboration between me and my friend that started as something we just did for fun. Eventually he left the band but I never gave up—and I think the fact that I've always been involved in the production aspect of my own bands allowed me to pick things up pretty quickly," he explains, adding that he was influenced by a slew electronica pioneers such as the Bloody Beetroots and Skrillex. After touring extensively and building a palplable buzz around his music, Shy Kidx started getting calls from labels including one from a brand that had a huge influence on him growing up.
"One day I was working on songs my studio and the next day Brett Gurewitz was sending me a message that he wanted to sign me to one of my favorite labels," Shy Kidx explains when asked about how he ended up on Epitaph, "it was crazy but it proved that music was really getting people’s attention." Although Shy Kidx's rise has been relatively fast, from the beginning he's fully immersed himself in electronic music, built a huge fanbase who religiously attend his live shows and, true to his work ethic, he’s almost never seen without the laptop he wrote and produced the Orion EP on.
"I bring my laptop with me on the road even when I'm not touring so all of these songs were written in different parts of the world which I think gives them their own character," he explains. Correspondingly from the carefully controlled chaos of "Orion" the shimmering pop gem "Majestic 12," this EP shows the incredible sonic range that Shy Kidx has been able to achieve, a fact that he will put to the test when he realizes another dream this summer by bringing his upbeat dance party to The Vans Warped Tour.
Furthermore Shy Kidx has no doubt that he'll be able to captivate Warped fans due to the sheer power of live shows. "To me the attitude in electronica and punk rock are the same even if there are no lyrics in the music because they both come from the underground," he explains. "There's a definite relationship between those two worlds because neither one is doing what we're traditionally supposed to be doing with music—and that's what drew me to both genres in the first place."
While Shy Kidx freely admits that his moniker fits hits personality, songs like "Final Warning" do the speaking for him via hypnotic synthesizers, syncopated drums and Earth-shaking grooves that are a far cry from the typical drum and bass soundtrack you’ll hear at dance clubs. "The most amazing part about electronic music to me is that it's so international and it just seems to keep growing; it's like there's a community all over the world and we're all working toward the same goal," he explains.
Shy Kidx is undeniably ready to take on the worlds of both punk and EDM with this EP and he shows no signs of stopping there, so we recommend stopping and taking notice before he's a household name. "I've always dreamed of doing things like Warped Tour and I feel so lucky that Epitaph believes in this type of music so much to give me a chance even if it's not the traditional thing they release," he summarizes. "I just can't wait to bring this music to whoever wants to hear it and make people dance."
resident DJ Jason Eldredge (KCRW/East Village Radio)
With individual taste and a passion for musical risks, Jason Eldredge appeals to the avid music lover as well as the casual fan seeking a soundtrack to their life’s adventures.
Jason’s musical education started at an early age. “It was obvious to everyone around me that I had a real fondness for music, so babysitters and older kids were always feeding me the cornerstone albums of that time."
“Later on in school, my friends would ask me to create mix tapes for their parties. I never really thought that much about it, but other people seemed to realize that I had a knack for it.”
Jason became a “public radio junkie” while living in Chicago listening to WBEZ. He was involved in the local theater scene and finally moved to the West Coast to pursue his acting career. He discovered KCRW and became a volunteer almost immediately. “I showed up to my volunteer interview in a tie and brought along a portfolio. I knew what I wanted and was determined to be involved with the station.”
Jason's desire for accessibility in introducing the newest jam or resurfacing the occasionally forgotten gem brings a mixture of sounds that is consistently varied and original. “I always take chances. Sometimes the things I think people are going to hate end up being what people love the most. That's one of the best parts of my show.”
Jason was previously named by Billboard Magazine as one of the ‘Top 30 Under Thirty’ in the music Industry for his music supervision work in film and television. His credits include: HBO’s Six Feet Under (music coordinator), The Closer for TNT, and Free Radio for VH-1. He has been featured in other print and online publications such as Monocle Magazine, Hamptons Magazine, LA Weekly, and Mashable.
He has deejayed live for the MTV Video Music Awards, Oliver Peoples, Ace Hotels, Soho House, Santos Party House, Flavorpill, The Standard Hotels, The Bowery Hotel, Armani, and The House of Blues.
W Hotels and The Patina Group run exclusive mixes produced by Jason in a variety of their establishments worldwide.
In addition to his work in music, Jason has acted in a variety of commercials, films, and stage productions. He studied acting with the Atlantic Theater Company in New York and completed the BFA acting program at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has also studied photography at UCLA and recently completed a major candidacy in Art History at Columbia University.
Guest DJ: Chris Douridas (KCRW)
"I plan an interview like a trip," says longtime music curator, radio host, and two-time Grammy nominee Chris Douridas. "I know I'm going to get from here to there, but the side trips and roadside attractions are always the most interesting." Chris' penchant for crossing borders has led him to audiences around the world. Throughout most of the 90's, Chris held the music director position at KCRW. As host of KCRW's popular daily new music program Morning Becomes Eclectic (1990-1998), he was the first to play demos from then-unsigned artists Beck, Gillian Welch and eels, among many others.
While Chris was still in his KCRW role, Geffen Records enlisted him to identify and recruit new artists as an A&R consultant, bringing to the label the bands Remy Zero and That Dog. Two years later, he became an A&R executive at DreamWorks Records where he brought in the eels and Propellerheads, among others.
While at DreamWorks and KCRW, he hosted the debut season of Sessions at West 54th, a weekly PBS music performance and interview program, which bowed in the summer of 1997, and is still in syndication. The show featured interview segments filmed by D.A. Pennebaker, and extended sets from Beck, Fiona Apple, Ben Folds, Sonic Youth, and Zap Mama, along with the television performance debuts of Belle and Sebastian and Jane Siberry, among many others.
Chris is probably best known in film circles as a music supervisor and consultant for major motion pictures and television series, having put together music for Northern Exposure, the Austin Powers series, One Eight Seven, As Good as It Gets, Heat, Grosse Point Blank, Grace of My Heart, American Beauty (GRAMMY nominee for Best Soundtrack), One Hour Photo, Down With Love, The Girl Next Door, The Chumscrubber, Rumor Has It, the record-setting Shrek 2 (GRAMMY nominee for Best Soundtrack) and Bobby, the Robert Kennedy tribute from director Emilio Estevez.
As the new millenium began, Chris set new standards in the online arena as the former VP at AOL Music where he created, produced and hosted the popular Sessions@AOL interview and performance program. For Sessions, Chris interviewed Paul McCartney, U2, Moby, Radiohead, Peter Gabriel, Madonna, Nelly, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow and Avril Lavigne, among hundreds of others.
Also a creative programming consultant for Steve Jobs and Apple's iTunes Music Store, Douridas created and produced the inaugural two years of the live performance and interview series, iTunes Originals, featuring Paul Simon, Jack Johnson, Alanis Morissette, Sting, Willie Nelson, Bjork, PJ Harvey, and others. Additionally, Douridas created and curated the launch of iTunes Essentials, an ongoing series of downloadable music playlists for the iPod culture.
In his voice-over work, Chris was recently heard in the Nissan Shift TV commercial campaign.
He continues his dedication to discovering and nurturing unsigned and forward-leaning artists through his global radio program, heard on KCRW-FM and KCRW.com.
& Matt Goldman (MFG)
MFG Productions is an event production & promotion boutique based in downtown Los Angeles. We have produced influential live music and DJ events since 2006, having averaged over 200 shows per year ranging from 100 to 10,000 people in attendance. Our partners include music festivals, international hotel chains, relevant magazines, influential radio stations, leading beverage brands, and every facet of the apparel industry. We are consistently approached for our understanding of current and future trends in art, fashion, design and, most importantly, music.
“Matt Goldman is an LA nightlife titan, responsible for Thursday’s Dance Right at La Cita and Monday’s School Night at Bardot, as well as the bi-coastal Swimming with Sharks summer pool parties at the NY and LA Standard Hotels. And then there’s the match-made-in-heaven team-ups with Mad Decent and Scion, the one-off after-parties for poised-to-be-huge bands like Foster the People, the secret shows with M.I.A. and Spoon... should we keep going? Because [MFG] is...”
- Excerpted from Paper Magazine Nightlife Issue
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