Last Friday I got invited out to shoot the 5th Anniversary party for Downtown Records.
Downtown Music, LLC is an independently owned company which operates Downtown Records, Downtown Music Publishing, Downtown Music Services (Licensing Group), RCRDLBL.com and Downtown Recording Studios. Downtown Records is comprised of its Downtown and Mercer Street imprints and joint venture partners Dim Mak, Fool’s Gold, and Mad Decent Records.
Downtown Records is distributed by Universal Music’s Fontana Distribution, with certain releases distributed by ADA. Offices are located in New York and Los Angeles.
Some people on the label
* The Like * Fyfe Dangerfield * The Drums * Scissor Sisters * Amanda Blank * Art Brut * Brett Dennen * Cold War Kids * Eagles Of Death Metal * Gnarls Barkley * Justice * Kid Sister * Lissy Trullie * Major Lazer * Mapei * Miike Snow * Mos Def * MSTRKRFT * Santigold * Spank Rock * White Denim * Cyndi Lauper * Kitty, Daisy & Lewis * Asa * Carla Bruni * David Gray * Femi Kuti * Jesse Harris * Ozomatli * William Fitzsimmons
Tonights show was gonna have sets by The Suzan, Lissy Trullie, White Denim, Art Brut and A-Trak.
First up was The SUZAN. THE SUZAN are a Japanese all-girl band formed by Rie(Key&G), Saori(Vo&G), Nico(Dr) and Ikue(Ba)-self proclaimed “riot-girls”. They gathered as a band in 2004 after sisters Rie and Saori had created a unique sound more influenced by the disslike of what they heard in Japanese Pop music. The music THE SUZAN plays is absolute original sound that takes in every kinds of music; Pop, Wild dance, Punk, Garage Rock and so on. The results THE SUZAN produce is a fresh sound easy to memorize but an exciting new sound for your soul to fall in love with .
THE SUZAN’s live shows are full of energy that makes the audience happy, smile, and dance- no matter what the crowd、This exciting live energy comes from their experiences touring supporting such bands as Peter Bjorn and John, The Go-Team, The Bishops, Radio Birdman not only in Japan but in UK, France, Germany and the US- where throws of unsuspecting new fans have sworn allegiance to THE SUZAN. In the summer of 2007, THE SUZAN released their first full album in Japan and toured Europe where they got the attention of Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John to produce their next record. This long awaited new record, Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat, is out this fall on Fool’s Gold / Downtown, where the first single “Home” has already caused much stir and anticipation for more. THE SUZAN are band you must keep your eyes and ears on to not miss the excitement they will be creating around the world.
This is the 3rd time I’ve shot one of The SUZAN’s set and they are always alot of fun. Really nice girls too.
Mr Goldbar Vimeo
Next up was Lissy Trullie. Trullie was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to New York City at the age of 16 with her mother. She attended Walnut Hill School, a boarding school in Natick, Massachusetts with a focus on performing arts, and then attended Parsons in Greenwich Village, New York City, where she studied graphic design. Trullie performed at art openings, but soon gravitated towards the downtown rock scene. Trullie spent time working as a model, a dishwasher, a janitor, and a disc jockey at the Beatrice Inn. She has appeared in the fashion magazines Elle, SOMA, and Jalouse, and was the face of actress Chloë Sevigny’s clothing line. She posed in one of photographer Ryan McGinley’s early portraits in 2002. Trullie was the inspiration and model for the debut clothing line of Moses de la Renta, the son of fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. Trullie described her modeling as “just a way for me to make money during college” to Time Out New York.
Trullie fronts a four piece rock band, also named Lissy Trullie, which includes Trullie on vocals and guitar, Josh Elrod on drums, Eben D’Amico, formerly bassist with Saves the Day, on lead guitar, and Ian Fenger on bass. The group often performs a cover song in their live sets, including Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend”, Hot Chip’s “Ready for the Floor”, which is included on their debut EP, and Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”. The band made their U.S. television debut on Last Call with Carson Daly performing the single “Boy Boy” at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, California on June 3, 2009.
Trullie signed with Downtown Records and re-released her debut EP in October 2009, including four new songs. The band began working on their debut album in late-2009 with Bernard Butler producing, formerly of the band Suede. The band toured the UK in September–October 2009 with The Cribs and Adam Green. Trullie was chosen to represent fashion designer Max Azria for the Hervé Léger Fall 2009 collection. Underground filmmaker and photographer Richard Kern photographed the advertisements and directed a video for Trullie’s cover version of “Ready for the Floor”, in which Trullie wears clothing from the collection.
I hadn’t ever seen the band live, but it was really quite good. Also a crew of very nice people.
Downtown Music Vimeo
gian mazcour Vimeo
Te next band to hit the stage was White Denim. White Denim is a four-piece rock band hailing from Austin, Texas. Their music draws influence from dub, psychedelic rock, blues, punk rock, progressive rock, soul, jazz, experimental rock with home-based recording, jamming approach, intense looping work and unusual song structures. James Petralli – vocals, guitar, Joshua Block – drums, Steve Terebecki – vocals, bass, Austin Jenkins – guitar
In March 2005, the two bands Parque Touch (Josh Block, James Petralli, Lucas Anderson) and Peach Train (Steve Terebecki) played a show together at Beerland in Austin, Texas. After the show Steve was asked to play bass for Parque Touch and the band became four, playing under the pseudonyms Byshop Massive (Lucas), Bop English (James), Nicholas Mallard (Josh), and Terry Beckins (Steve); however, in February 2006, Lucas moved to Russia and the resulting power trio changed its name to White Denim. The new line-up began playing the local Austin circuit while recording punk-infused, psychedelic blues-rock in Block’s 1940s Spartan trailer.
In 2007, the band self-released its first EP entitled Let’s Talk About It on 7″ only, but later these tracks became available on iTunes. While on tour in 2007, the band recorded its second album and sold copies as a nine-song “tour EP” entitled Workout Holiday, which was only sold at shows. Workout Holiday caught the ear of new record label RCRD LBL (an online record label), and the band signed on to re-record three of the songs from Workout Holiday. These songs were exclusively released as the RCRD LBL EP, one MP3 track at a time over the course of the first few months of 2008.
Since these releases, the band has toured extensively, playing shows including SXSW and CMJ Music Marathon, and also received the award of “Best New Band” at the 2008 Austin Music Awards. In order to reach European listeners, the band signed to UK record label Full Time Hobby (home to The Hold Steady and Viva Voce) for an overseas release. The first release on Full Time Hobby was the single “Let’s Talk About It” b/w “Darksided Computer Mouth”. On June 23, 2008, the band released its debut album, the Workout Holiday LP, which consists of re-recorded songs from the band’s first two self-released EPs along with some new tracks. The band has since released two more singles in Europe off of Workout Holiday: “All You Really Have To Do” b/w “DCWYW” and “Shake Shake Shake” b/w “All Truckers Roll”.
Back in the US, White Denim released their debut US full-length LP, entitled Exposion in late 2008. Originally sold during their Spring 2008 tour as a CDR with the title 11 Songs, the album was made available in digital format from their official website on October 19, 2008. The band teamed up with Austin’s Transmission Entertainment for the distribution of Exposion in the US; however, the two parted ways in mid-2009.
White Denim’s third full-length album, Fits, was released via Full Time Hobby on June 22, 2009. The record was initially released in Europe only, but after signing their first US record deal with Downtown Records on July 10, the band release Fits on October 20, 2009. This album was also packaged with Exposion as a bonus disc, giving the band’s second LP a proper US release.
In September 2010 White Denim announced the addition of second guitarist Austin Jenkins to the band’s line-up. On September 23, 2010 the band self-released a collection of 12 tracks under the title Last Day of Summer. The release notes state “This record is something we made as a little summer retreat from our ongoing work on the third full length. Many of these tunes have been bouncing around since the formation of the band back in 06. We were super pumped to utilize a few fresh and casual musical approaches on this record.”. It is available to download for free (with an option to make a donation) from the bands official website.
Downtown Music Vimeo
Co-Headliner Art Brut was up next, another band I’ve heard alot of and alot about but had never seen perform live. I was excited to see this performance and I wasnt at all et down. Art Brut are an English and German indie rock band. Their debut album, Bang Bang Rock & Roll, was released on 30 May 2005, with its follow up, It’s a Bit Complicated, released on 25 June 2007. Named after French painter Jean Dubuffet’s definition of outsider art — art by prisoners, loners, the mentally ill, and other marginalized people, and made without thought to imitation or presentation—South London’s Art Brut were tagged by NME as part of the “Art Wave” scene that also includes bands such as Athlete, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc Party.
Eddie Argos (lead vocals), Ian Catskilkin (lead guitar), Freddy Feedback (bass guitar), Jasper “Jeff” Future (guitar, backing vocals), Mikey Breyer (drums)
The band was formed in 2003 and played its first gig in May of that year. The band recorded Brutlegs later in 2003 containing the first versions of “Formed a Band”, “Modern Art” and “Moving to LA” and made it available. Angular Recording Corporation put out a compilation featuring “Formed a Band”. A journalist heard the song and sent an MP3 to Rough Trade and the label offered Art Brut a deal to release it as a single. Frank Black of The Pixies stated he was a fan soon after hearing them.
“Formed a Band” was released in the UK as a single in May 2004 reaching #52 on the charts. It also appeared on the soundtrack to FIFA Street 2 – a game for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube and PlayStation Portable. Blender described them as the best unsigned band in the UK. During the rest of 2004, they played gigs throughout the UK with The Fades including a first anniversary gig at the Tate Britain.
Another bootleg EP Brutlegs 04 was recorded featuring “Good Weekend”, “Bang Bang Rock & Roll”, and an acoustic version of “Moving to LA”. A double A-side was released in December 2004 on Fierce Panda reaching #49 on the charts. The album Bang Bang Rock & Roll was released in May 2005 with “Emily Kane” as the first single. The latter missed the UK Top 40 by two sales, yet remains the highest-charting single on Fierce Panda. Bang Bang Rock & Roll was produced by John Fortis, who has also worked with artists such as Razorlight, Maxim Reality, The Pipettes, Neneh Cherry and Assembly Now.
Art Brut have a quite widespread following of “franchises”, whose names range from AB0 (the original Art Brut) to AB3.14/Pi, AB² or even to AB17. The band We Are Scientists are also an Art Brut franchise, AB47. These franchises often record and play Art Brut songs during performances.
Chris Chinchilla amicably left the band for personal reasons in September 2005 forming new band Macaca Mulatta. He was replaced by Jeff aka Jasper Future, guitarist from Eddie Argos’ old band, The Art Goblins. The band appeared on the cover of the German edition of Rolling Stone magazine in September 2005.
Art Brut performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, on April 30, 2006, at Pitchfork Music Festival in June 2006, and at the Festival Internacional de Benicàssim and the Dour Festival in Belgium, in July 2006 and are due to headline the Two Thousand Trees Festival in July 2008. Art Brut also released a split 7″ with We Are Scientists, which was only released in America. We Are Scientists returned the idea and covered Art Brut’s song ‘Bang Bang Rock & Roll’ on the single. Their version of “Bang Bang Rock & Roll” is also available on their b-sides album Crap Attack.
The band released their second album, It’s a Bit Complicated, on Mute Records produced by Dan Swift , who has also worked with artists such as Help She Can’t Swim, Victorian English Gentlemens Club, Kasabian and Snow Patrol. The first single to be taken from the album, “Nag Nag Nag Nag”, was released on 20 November 2006, featuring the b-side “I Found This Song in the Road” and 5 live tracks from the Eurockéennes de Belfort Festival 2006. The song made Single of the Week in The Guardian’s “The Guide” section. In 2007 they played on the American NME Rock and Roll Riot tour with The Hold Steady. In the United States, the album reached #14 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and #32 on the Independent Albums chart.
The second single “Direct Hit” was released a week before the album featuring the B-sides “Don’t Blame it on the Trains” and ” I Want to be Double A-Sided”. “Direct Hit” appeared on the soundtrack of FIFA 08.
In February 2008 EMI released “Pump up the volume” the third single from “It’s a Bit Complicated” apparently without the band even knowing. There was no physical release of the single and only a video that was released after the single had been and gone. On 1 March 2008 Argos revealed on his blog that Art Brut have amicably left EMI. In August 2008 Eddie Argos announced on his blog that the band have been recording songs for the third album. Art Brut are also lined up to play various festivals over the summer.
In late 2008 Art Brut returned to the studio to record their third LP Art Brut vs. Satan which was released on April 20, 2009. The album was produced by Frank Black formerly of the Pixies. Art Brut vs. Satan was released to mainly good reviews scoring 75 on Metacritic. There were two singles released from the album “Alcoholics Unanimous” and “DC Comics & Chocolate Milkshake” The band toured throughout the year and played the Glastonbury festival amongst others.
In 2010 Eddie Argos released his album for his first side project under the name of “Everybody Was In the French Resistance.. Now” The album called “Fixin’ the Charts” was a collection of songs in responses to classic pop songs including responses to Michael Jackson, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas and Kanye West. The band also features Eddie’s girlfriend Dyan Valdes who is a member of The Blood Arm on vocals and keyboards.
Art Brut have been back in the studio in late 2010 to record their fourth album. This was confirmed by Eddie Argos on his Facebook profile.
Blaine Brothers Vimeo
And finally rounding out the bill was A-Trak. I shoot for A-trak alot and its always alot of fun. He always kills his sets and the crowd loves it every time. Expect coverage of the Fools Gold Family down at SXSW. Shoutout Nick Catchdubs, Hawaii Mike, Dust La Rock and Asian Dan too.
A-Trak (born Alain Macklovitch on March 30, 1982) is a Montreal-born DJ and turntablist. Montreal-born, New York-based A-Trak was the first DJ to win all three major DJ competition titles (DMC, ITF and Vestax), as well as being the first DJ to win five World Championships. He won the DMCs World DJ Championship in 1997 at the age of 15, making him the youngest and first Canadian winner of the competition. He was an honorary member of the prestigious, now defunct DJ crew Invisibl Skratch Piklz, and a member of The Allies alongside frequent collaborator DJ Craze.
Macklovitch is the younger brother of David Macklovitch of the Montreal-based band Chromeo, with whom he ran the record label Audio Research from 1997-2007. He, along with Nick Catchdubs then founded the Fool’s Gold Records label in 2007.
In the late 90′s A-Trak developed a notation system for scratching. He gave a lecture about it at the Skratchcon 2000 conference and published an article in Tablist Magazine. He has also appeared on the cover of multiple magazines including URB (twice), BPM and Status.
In 2004 Kanye West recruited him as his personal tour DJ, and he has worked closely with him ever since, including performances alongside the US rapper at MTV specials, the Grammy Award’s, multiple MTV Video Music Awards, and worldwide stadium shows. A-Trak also recorded scratches on Kanye West’s second and third studio albums Late Registration in 2005 and Graduation in 2007, and was an influence on the overall sound of the latter.
Over the years he has been endorsed by several brands including Serato Scratch Live, Rane DJ equipment, as well as clothing companies; Zoo York,Lifted Research Group and Circa. A-Trak also has a collaborative clothing line called “Sunglasses is a Must,” and released his own toy “Grateful Bear” with Kid Robot in 2009.
He is known for merging the sounds of rap and electronic music through his remix work, his 2007 CD “Dirty South Dance,” his production for Kid Sister and Lupe Fiasco, and his remixes for electronic artists including MSTRKRFT and Boys Noize. The hit single by Kid Cudi, Day ‘n’ Night, was released on an EP by A-Trak’s label Fool’s Gold.
In 2009, A-Trak collaborated with Armand Van Helden to form a disco house production duo under the stage name Duck Sauce. They released “aNYway” in October on Ministry of Sound. Other Duck Sauce tracks include “Grand Steppin”, “The Motion”, “You’re Nasty”, and “Barbra Streisand”.
In February 2010, it was announced that A-Trak will perform live shows with Travis Barker who had previously worked with their mutual friend, the late DJ AM
A-Trak has also become a streetwear culture icon, collaborating with Nike, New Era, Kidrobot, and Zoo York. The last couple of years have seen Trizzy headlining tours and festival stages the world over, as well scratching on Common’s classic Be, Kanye’s Late Registration and Graduation, and Kid Cudi’s Man On The Moon, as well as producing Kid Sister’s debut album Ultraviolet, songs with Lupe Fiasco, and original releases with Stones Throw and Kitsune.
In October 2010, he released a song entitled “Ray Ban Vision” with G.O.O.D. Music’s CyHi Da Prynce.
Paradoxal Inc Vimeo
Video I shot
Brook Bobbins Vimeo
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