So you know and love the annual I AM Festival in September, but it gets even better! We are launching a new series this summer to bring you great national indie acts leading up to the big show, starting July 12th with Bearstronaut, The Stepkids, and local favorites Slander, Street People and the Weird Beards at the Hygienic Art Park for the kick-off to SailFest weekend on July 12th. More info at the event page here.
: The Stepkids are spiritual heirs to an era when funk was far-out and soul went psychedelic; a time when afros were longer, heels were higher, flares were wider and lapels were bigger. Oh, and songs got freakier. That era between 1968 and 1974, between the appearance of Norman Whitfield behind the production console of Temptations records
and the emergence of disco. This is the period that the Stepkids recall, and they do it superbly well, perhaps helped by the fact that they are skilled musicians. Hardly surprising to learn they cut their teeth touring with Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill and 50 Cent, and are sufficiently dexterous that they have in their young lives done everything from perform in punk bands to score movies and commercials. Pardon the vintage vernacular, but these cats can play. They’ve only been together for about a year, but already they’re wowing crowds – including jaded audiences at this year’s South by Southwest – with their live shows, where they dress head-to-toe in white and use kaleidoscopic lights to enhance the psychedelic nature of the music. They’re signed to LA’s Stones Throw label (whose roster includes Madlib, Aloe Blacc, J Dilla and James Pants
), and they’ve recorded an eponymous debut album that does for 70s soul and funk – that music’s most expansive, mind-expanding period – what Ariel Pink did for 80s MTV pop.
Bearstonaut: Dance is a loose term, but it’s also an inevitable directive. Whether on stage or on record, Boston electronic-pop quartet, Bearstronaut, has made a name in their hometown for sparking instant dance parties. Despite their rather frigid-weather Northeast origins, Bearstronaut has been dubbed “tank-top pop” due to their warm, tropical synth-pop sound. Their growing reputation has been staked on tw…o distinct entities: their energetic, engaging live performances, and their uber-polished, glossy home recordings. After self releasing an EP in 2009, Bearstronaut inspired the creation of one of Boston’s most in-demand record labels, Vanya Records. Bearstronaut has garnered several nominations from media and other music organizations (“Best Electronic Act,” 2012 Boston Music Awards; “Best Electronic Act” and “Song of the Year,” 2011 Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll; 2011 CMJ “Top Bands To See”; “Best New Act,” 2010 Boston Phoenix BMP).
The next weekend, come see Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside on July 19th at the Oasis Pub, and opening the show is our own Daphne Lee Martin and her award-winning ‘Moxie’. More info at the event page here.
Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside’s
new record Untamed Beast is a visceral rock and roll romp. Like a cross between “Ella Fitzgerald and Tom Waits” (Mashable) Sallie has established herself as one of the most powerful female voices in indie rock. Ford and her group – Tyler Tornfelt (upright bass), Ford Tennis (drums), and Jeffrey Munger (lead guitar) – recorded the album’s 11 tracks with Adam Landry and Justin Collins (Deer Tick, Middle Brother) at Jackpot! Studios in the band’s hometown of Portland, Oregon. … On the new album the band creates a powerful statement on finding freedom through defying conformity. Through clever (often racy) turns of phrase, Sallie twists traditional notions of gender and genre. She says “it’s time for a girl to infiltrate the boys world of rock n roll and grab it by the balls. To me rock n roll isn’t a genre, it’s an energy.” From the exuberantly sexy “Do Me Right” to the free-spirited cry of “Party Kids,” Untamed Beast has a lust for life. Untamed Beast is the follow up to 2011′s Dirty Radio which Brooklyn Vegan called “phenomenal [and] monumental.” In 2011 Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside made their national television debut on Letterman, were one of the most talked about new performers at Bonnaroo, the Newport Folk Fest and Bumbershoot, and were championed by Jack White and The Avett Brothers. www.sallieford.com