RSVP HERE: Combo Chimbita and Sun Ra Arkestra Play Knitting Factory + MORE (Holiday Edition)

Welcome to our weekly show recommendation column RSVP HERE – your source for the best NYC shows and interviews with some of our favorite local live bands. This week we’ve doubled up and listed the best shows from 12/20-New Years!

My favorite show of 2019 was Combo Chimbita at Ace of Cups in Columbus, Ohio, so I’m so happy to be ending this year’s RSVP HERE column with an interview with them! The NYC-via-Colombia tropico-psychedlia meets cumbia rock band has a live set that takes you to another dimension of afro-futurism punk. Combo Chimbita consists of vocalist Carolina Oliveros, Prince of Queens on analog synths, Niño Lento on guitar and Dilemastronauta on a drum set that includes unique percussion instruments and crazy looking cymbals. Frontwoman Carolina Oliveros’ voice is so powerful it will make you cry and the way she plays the guacharaca is so intense it’s almost scary – I seriously thought she might slice someone’s head off. On their latest release Ahomale, which is a Yoruba word that means “adorer of ancestors,” Oliveros set out with the intent to connect with ancestral cosmology, a spirit that becomes animated in their live show.We spoke with the band about their Sun Ra Arkestra, music in Colombia, and inspirations behind their live show…

AF: What were some of your favorite cities you visited and shows you played while on the road in 2019?

Dilmeastronauta: LA, San Juan, NY

Niño Lento: San Juan, PR/Chicago/LA

Prince of Queens: This year we went to so many places! Playing in San Juan in January was amazing, LA, Chicago and Austin is always great for me – so many friends and the crowds are always amazing. One of my favorite shows was in Berlin for Día de los Muertos with Turbo Sonidero; that was an incredible party.

Carolina Oliveros: Berlín, Barcelona e Italia, LA, Chicago

AF: What are your favorite records to listen to while on the road?

D: SunRa “Nuclear War is a Mother Fucker,” Concha Buika “Don’t Explain”

NL: Bocanada (Gustavo Cerati), Lejos de Mi Amor (Polibio Mayorga)

PoQ: When you spend so much time on the road you listen to too much music sometimes… I like silence honestly! But I think always at some point during tour we hit that moment where we listen to classic rock and español and we all sing soda stereo really loud with the windows down.

CO: Me gusta mucho escuchar mucho afrobeats. Me pone alegre y contenta.

AF: What are the differences in the way the direction of music is going in Colombia vs the US?

D: Both cities offer something unique. I feel like NY provides me with access to witness more of the Caribbean diaspora music while Colombia offers its own roots plus, rock, metal etc.

PoQ: I think music in the US might be driven more by the diaspora and the immigrant experience. A lot of amazing music coming out from Colombia feels more focused on re-imagining and inspired by tradition and roots music. I think they are both super relevant and in many ways crossover.

CO: Se que colombia musicalmente en este momento es un gran referente, siento que se está haciendo mucha música que está conectada a las raíces.

AF: What are your favorite percussion instruments to use during your set?

D: Timbal!!!

PoQ: I don’t play it but the Carolina’s guacharaca is special.

AF: What is the inspiration behind the synth sounds you use?

PoQ: I love techno and sound design in general. I always try to approach synth playing more as a sound design tool than a traditional keyboard per se. I love analog sound and just unexpected freak out moments of synth.

AF: What are some of the biggest inspirations and influences on your live show? What are you looking forward to most about your show with Sun Ra Arkestra?

D: I look forward to witnessing the legacy of Sun Ra among the members of his band, their ability to improvise and to be colorful.

PoQ: Too many inspirations! I’m inspired by artists than transcend time and generations. Sun Ra Arkestra, los Wemblers, tabou combo, BIG sound on stage and full on rhythm. I’m not really a religious person but music is spiritual and powerful sound and stage presence can take you places far and deep. That’s what I am into. Honestly just meeting them and hearing them play. So much to learn and experience.

CO: Me gusta muchos lxs artistas que son únicxs y espontánexs y que proponen algo diferente en vivo, que no tienen miedo a explorar y dar creatividad para sus shows. James brown, Janis Joplin, mayra Andrade, La Lupe , celia cruz , concha buika. Tocar con Sun Ra será una de las experiencias más impactantes de mi carrera. Agradecida con tu interés de tocar con el combo .. sera una noche memorable, para ser feliz y hacer vibrar al público. Si quieren candela, candela le vamo a dar !!

AF: What are your plans for 2020 and the next decade?

D: I wanna tour in Latin America, it has become a dream I would like to fulfill.

PoQ: Travel to South America, write some new music and keep exploring, searching and interpreting those energies that keeps us together making music.

CO: Seguir poniendo sabor en el fogón. Haciendo beats poderosos , mucha letra que conecte y retumbe , muchos lugares para conquistar y mucha Alegría y nuevos amigxs

RSVP HERE for Combo Chimbita & Sun Ra Arkestra @ Knitting Factory on 12/28. All Ages / $25-$30

More great shows this week:

 2/20 Tall Juan (single release), Future Punks @ Knitting Factory. All Ages / $15 RSVP HERE

12/20 Surfbort, Bodega, Weeping Icon @ Market Hotel. All Ages / $15 RSVP HERE

12/20 Dinowalrus, Clone, It’s Over @ Trans-Pecos. All Ages / $10 RSVP HERE

12/21 Varsity (NYC debut), Emily Reo, Winter, Lunarette @ Market Hotel. All Ages /$15 RSVP HERE

12/22-12/30 The 8 Nights of Hanukkah with Yo La Tengo @ Bowery Ballroom. 18+ / $40 RSVP HERE

12/27 Veda Rays, No Ice, The Due Diligence @ Alphaville. 21+/ $10 RSVP HERE

12/28 GWAR @ Warsaw. All Ages / $25 RSVP HERE

12/28 Death By Sheep Holiday Party: Deli Girls, Dreamcrusher, Grooming, & more @ Trans Pecos. All Ages / $10 RSVP HERE

12/29 Deer Tick: Tick Tock @ Brooklyn Bowl. 21+ / $35 RSVP HERE

12/29 New Bomb Turks, The Atom Age, Spite Fuxxx @ Saint Vitus. 21+ / $25 RSVP HERE

12/20 Godcaster, Fantasy, Bug Fight, Water From Your Eyes @ The Broadway. 21+ / $12 RSVP HERE

12/31 The Strokes, Mac DeMarco @ Barclays Center. All Ages RSVP HERE

12/31 Priests (last show before hiatus), Russian Baths, Anti Ivry-Block @ Rough Trade. 18+ $25 RSVP HERE

12/31 Wavves @ Baby’s All Right. 21+ / $40 RSVP HERE

12/31 Gnarcissists, Native Sun, Max Pain and The Groovies, Sunflower Bean (DJ set) @ The Broadway. 21+ /$20 RSVP HERE

12/31 The Jesus Lizard @ Brooklyn Steel. 16+ / $65 RSVP HERE

12/31 Cloud Nothings, Field Mouse, Patio @ Knitting Factory. All Ages / $35-$40 RSVP HERE

12/31 Rubblebucket, Guerrilla Toss @ White Eagle Hall. 21+ $25 RSVP HERE


Nipsey Hussle Laid to Rest in LA

This Thursday, funeral services and city-wide celebrations were held across Los Angeles to honor slain rapper Ermias Joseph “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom. Shot fatally outside Marathon Clothing, a store he co-owned near the intersection of Slauson and Crenshaw in South LA, on March 31 by a man policed have identified as Eric Holder, the Grammy-nominated rapper and activist made a name for himself by putting out a series of mixtapes from the mid 2000s onward, finally releasing his acclaimed debut LP Victory Lap just last year on his own label. Admired for his integrity, Nipsey remained staunchly independent and had previously invested in STEM programs for inner-city kids.

Nipsey’s emotional farewell was held at Staples Center and attended by more than 20,000 people, including fans, loved ones, and a few famous faces, too. Tributes poured in from Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Barack Obama, Snoop Dogg, and longtime girlfriend, actress Lauren London, with performances from Jhené Aiko, Stevie Wonder, and others. While his funeral procession, for the most part, brought many LA residents together, violence erupted on Thursday afternoon when a drive-by shooting at 103 and Main resulted in another senseless death. Tragically, this would’ve been the last thing Nipsey wanted; he was set to meet with LAPD officials to find ways to end gang violence in his community, despite his former affiliation with a sub-group of the Crips. His death is still under investigation but appears to stem from a personal conflict and is not believed to be gang-related. He was 33.

That New New

I never need to watch another music video (or eat another potato) again thanks to this starchy bit of Tierra Whack genius.

Kaytranada teamed up with VanJess for “Dysfunctional,” a teaser single for the as yet unannounced follow-up to 2016’s 99.9%.

Hand Habits’ placeholder LP came out in March and remains one of the best of the year thus far; check out this video for “wildfire,” which was inspired by the recent California wildfires and makes a poignant statement about our 24-hour news cycle.

Ahead of their May tour with Refused and the Hives, Bleached have returned with a stripped down song called “Shitty Ballet,” their first single since 2017 EP Can You Deal?

Emily Reo’s Only You Can See It is out today, and she’s shared the video for its lead single “Strawberry” to celebrate.

Mega Bog has released the first single from their forthcoming concept album Dolphine (out June 28 via Paradise of Bachelors).

SASAMI put together a video starring her grandma for the single “Morning Comes,” from her excellent self-titled debut, out now.

Blonde Redhead frontwoman Kazu Makino is going solo with her forthcoming album Adult Baby (and she’s launching a record label of the same name). Details are scant for now, but there’s a video for the vibey first single, “Salty,” which features Ryuichi Sakamoto, Mauro Refosco (of Atoms For Peace), and Ian Chang (Son Lux).

Aldous Harding is back with another song from her forthcoming LP Designer, out April 26 via 4AD.

Atlanta’s Mattiel has announced the release of their sophomore album Satis Factory via ATO Records (out June 14) with a fun video for lead single “Keep the Change.”

Brooklyn band Crumb prep their debut full-length Jinx for release in June with a video for its lead single, “Nina.”

Jackie Mendoza continues her streak of beguiling biligual electronica with “Mucho Más,” from forthcoming LuvHz (out April 26 on Luminelle Recordings).

Clinic are set to release their first album in seven years, Wheeltappers And Shunters, on May 10 via Domino Recordings. After previously sharing a video for its first single “Rubber Bullets,” the art-rock weirdos return with “Laughing Cavalier.”

Longtime Animal Collective videographer Danny Perez has directed a truly bizarre Dating Game-meets-Beetlejuice video for the title track to Panda Bear’s recently released Buoys.

Recent Partisan Records signees Pottery have shared another single, called “The Craft,” from their No. 1 EP, which comes out May 10.

Feminist art-punk quartet French Vanilla have a new LP coming out on June 7 called How Am I Not Myself? and have shared its lead single “All the Time.”

Amsterdam’s Pip Blom drums up some anticipation for Boat (out May 31 via PIAS/Heavenly) with a video for latest single “Ruby.”

Courtney Barnett shared Tell Me How You Really Feel outtake “Everybody Here Hates You” ahead of its official Record Store Day single release for Rough Trade (the exclusive 7″ will also feature B-side “Small Talk”).

Watch Fanclub’s Leslie Crunkilton play a crushed out ghost in the video for their latest song, “Uppercut.”

If you’re missing SXSW, The Pinheads have your cure – their video for “Feel It Now” compiles footage from this year’s festivities, including the band’s set at Burgerama 8. The Aussie’s sophomore record Is This Real comes out May 24.

West Virginian indie rockers Ona release Full Moon, Heavy Light on May 10 and have shared its mellow second single “Young Forever.”

Jesca Hoop has signed to Memphis Industries for the release of her next LP STONECHILD, which arrives July 5. It’s first single, Shoulder Charge, features Lucius.

Swedish supergroup Amason announced the August release of their first record since 2015’s Sky City with a new single, “You Don’t Have to Call Me.”

The National shared a cinematic video for “Light Years,” from I Am Easy to Find, out May 17.

End Notes

  • Now in its 12th year, Record Store Day promises another Saturday afternoon of rare releases, in-store performances, and general celebration of all things vinyl for dedicated crate-diggers and more casual music fans alike.
  • Radiohead has issued a statement on the now-concluded investigation of the 2o12 death of their drum technician during a stage collapse in Toronto.
  • A new clip for Perfect, the Eddie Alcazar film being released by Brainfeeder’s recently-established movie production house, features snippets of its soundtrack by Flying Lotus (who says his next LP is ready).
  • Vampire Weekend will celebrate the release of their next album Father of the Bride with three New York shows in Buffalo, Kingston, and a day-long affair at Webster Hall that includes a bagel breakfast, pizza lunch, and three separate sets (including one that will consist of the new LP in its entirety).
  • Coachella is upon us! In addition to the premiere of Childish Gambino and Rihanna’s Guava Island film, the festival will feature Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Lizzo, Janelle Monáe, Anderson .Paak, Maggie Rogers, Kacey Musgraves, Christine and the Queens, the first US appearances by Black Pink and Rosalía, and more. But the legendary fest hasn’t been without conflict; Solange dropped out this week, citing production issues, and a worker was killed in a fall setting up for the fest last weekend. In happier news, a new doc about Beyoncé’s epic headline performance last year is set to hit Netflix April 17; watch the trailer below.

NEWS ROUNDUP: Kesha Vs. Dr. Luke, New Music, and MORE

New Motions Filed in Kesha / Dr. Luke Legal Battle

Kesha’s ongoing legal battle with Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald rages on, with a few new developments this week. Though a New York judge sided with Dr. Luke and Sony music following Kesha’s 2014 allegations that the producer had drugged and assaulted her, Dr. Luke is now suing for defamation, and other pop stars have been pulled into the back-and-forth.

Both Lady Gaga and Kesha made statements implying that Dr. Luke had also assaulted Katy Perry, though both Dr. Luke and Perry denied any assault had taken place back in August. This week, Kesha’s lawyers pointed out that this doesn’t mean an assault did not take place, in a response to Gottwald’s summary-judgement motion.

Lady Gaga’s 2017 deposition was also unsealed, and Gaga made some pretty powerful statements in support of Kesha, saying that as a survivor of sexual assault herself, she recognized Kesha’s “depression and fear” as evidence that something terrible had happened between the two. As Luke’s lawyers questioned her testimony, Gaga said they should be ashamed of themselves and that they were all a party to Kesha’s ongoing victimization; and her words are heartening for all survivors of sexual assault: “Well, you know, when men assault women, they don’t invite people over to watch. And when this happens in this industry, it is kept extremely secret, and it is compounded by contracts and manipulative power scenarios that actually include this very situation that we are all in right now…. How about all of the women that are accused of being liars and how she was slut shamed in front of the world, how about that?”

Of course, many have pointed out that while Gaga seems to support assault victims, her willingness to work with accused pedophile R. Kelly sings a different tune. Though Gaga has since apologized for the unfortunately-titled duet “Do What U Want (With My Body)” and removed the 2013 single from streaming platforms, critics say she still has to answer for her collaborations with Chris Brown and photographer Terry Richardson – both of whom have been accused of sexual assault.

Bottom line – though much of the entertainment world is having its Time’s Up moment, the music industry still has a lot of reckoning to do when it comes to the #MeToo movement.

That New New

Rico Nasty burst onto the scene in 2018 with her mixtape Nasty, and so far, 2019 looks promising as well; the rapper’s latest collab with Kenny Beats follows the equally infectious “Guap (LaLaLa).”

Brooklyn post-punks Weeknight have expanded their lineup from a duo to a quartet, opened a bar in Bushwick, and today released their sophomore album Dead Beat Creep.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard took a short break last year after releasing five (!) albums in 2017, but they’re back with a kitschy new video for “Cyboogie.” They haven’t released further details, but it’s likely there’s a new record (maybe even multiple records?) on the horizon from the Australian psych-rockers.

Yves Tumor released a powerful video tackling police brutality for “Noid,” one of our favorite singles from last year’s excellent Safe In The Hands of Love.

Stella Donnelly shared a video for “Lunch,” from her forthcoming Secretly Canadian debut Beware of the Dogs, which arrives March 8th.

Emily Reo will release Only You Can See It, her follow-up to 2013’s Olive Juice, on April 12 via Carpark Records, and has shared the first single, “Strawberry.”

Animal Collective’s Avey Tare (a.k.a. Dave Portner) announced his latest solo album Cows On Hourglass Pond with a new video.

Empress Of has teamed up with Perfume Genius to record a new version of “When I’m With Him.” The track originally appeared on last year’s album Us.

On the heels of last year’s studio album Marauder, Interpol have released a stand-alone single, “Fine Mess,” to drum up more buzz for the world tour.

Dua Lipa released an epic video for “Swan Song,” from the soundtrack to “Swan Song,” from new movie Alita: Battle Angel, which arrives in theaters on Valentine’s Day.

The Chemical Brothers will release their ninth studio album No Geography on April 12, their first LP in three years. They’ve previously shared singles “Free Yourself” and “MAH.”

The Mountain Goats will release their 578142268539th record via Merge on April 26th. It’s called In League With Dragons and is vaguely themed around a wizard doing normal things like attending a Waylon Jennings show and trying out for a baseball team.

Canadian punks PUP share their vision of a dystopian future in a clip for “KIDS,” from their forthcoming album Morbid Stuff, out February 5.

End Notes

  • Ariana Grande got a shitty, culturally appropriative tattoo and surprise! the Chinese characters don’t mean what she thought they meant. Kingsford Charcoal responded with the best troll ever. The singer released a new remix of “7 Rings” featuring 2 Chainz this week.
  • Tekashi 6ix9ine (rapper Daniel Hernandez) pleaded guilty to nine counts including firearms violations and racketeering stemming from his November arrest. His charges could have resulted in a mandatory minimum of 47 years, but his cooperation with authorities to identify members of his alleged gang may yield a lighter sentence. Tekashi was on probation for a 2015 incident in which he appeared in a sex tape involving a minor.
  • There’s an ABC drama in the works that’s based on John Mayer’s song “Heart of Life,” from his 2006 LP Continuum.
  • Cardi B and Offset are back together… for now. The couple welcomed their daughter, Kulture Kiari, in July, but split soon after due to Offset’s reported infidelity. Cardi recently starred in a Pepsi commercial set to air during this Sunday’s Super Bowl, despite having declined to perform in its halftime show out of solidarity with kneeling players.
  • Portishead’s Beth Gibbons and the National Radio Symphony Orchestra will release a live album titled Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 (Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs) on March 29 via Domino; check out the trailer and interactive website detailing the performance.
  • NPR is streaming Jessica Pratt’s new album Quiet Signs ahead of its February 8 release date.
  • LOTR director Peter Jackson is said to be making a documentary about the Beatles’ Let It Be.

INTERVIEW: Emily Reo talks Olive Juice, DIY Touring, & Basilica SoundScape

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Emily Reo photo by Daniel Dorsa

Emily Reo‘s swirling brand of bedroom pop is the kind that makes you feel like you are sinking and floating all at once. Recording almost every sound herself, from watery beats to hazy synths to manipulated vocal loops, Reo has produced two albums in the last five years: 2009’s Minha Gatinha and last year’s Olive Juice. The first, for all its lo-fi dreaminess, had a certain sense of mystery that made it irresistible, particularly in a moment where home recording was having a hey day. Looking back, the record feels more like a raw collection of experiments than the fully-realized aesthetic Reo achieved with Olive Juice, which saw the artist revamp some of that early material while adding a batch of exciting new tracks and a stirring cover of Built to Spill’s “Car.”

To compare the songs side-by-side is to see how much Reo has grown in five years, and is an indicator of how far she can and will go as she continues to tour, produce tracks, and write new material. It’s with this in mind that the curators of BasilicaSoundScape, now in its third year, included Reo in this year’s lineup alongside acts like Julia Holter, Tim Hecker, Swans, White Lung, and Deafheaven. Taking place two hours north of NYC at Basilica Hudson in a reclaimed 19th-century factory, the festival features readings, art installations, and a host of sister events and afterparties that, when taken together, fly in the face of the huge, corporate-sponsored festivals that have cropped up all over the US these past few summers. AudioFemme will be on-hand for the event next weekend (September 12-14th), and though weekend passes are sold out, single day tickets are still available. We chatted with Reo about her involvement with the festival, her DIY approach to touring and making music, and the frustrations she faces as a woman in the industry.

AudioFemme: I’ve been a fan since Minha Gatinha. What propelled your decision to re-work some of those songs for Olive Juice?

Emily Reo: That rules, thanks for listening to the early stuff! Over the course of developing some of the songs from Minha Gatinha for my live set I started to prefer the newer versions, and really wanted to share what they had grown into. Minha Gatinha to me feels more like a collection of rough demos than a proper release and I wanted to give some of those songs a better chance.

AF: How did your ideas about production and your recording process change between the two projects?

ER: Between Minha Gatinha (2009) and Olive Juice (2013) I spent the better part of four years teaching myself more about recording and production while also honing in on a more specific sound that I identified with. Where Minha Gatinha was the process of figuring out how to write songs, Olive Juice was the process of taking songs and turning them into a cohesive package with an intentional aesthetic. More specifically, I started using more advanced recording programs, learned the basics of mixing and EQ-ing, and realized my personal limitations and the benefits of working in a studio with other people.

AF: Now you’re branching into producing other artists’ songs, like Yohuna’s excellent “Para True”. How did that collaboration come about, and is that a role you’d like to take on more in the future?

ER: After I finished recording Olive Juice, I started using midi to create sketches for future songs. In the process, I got really interested in making beats and learned more about production. When my good friend Johanne (Yohuna) asked me last year if I would add a beat to her song “Badges” I was so excited. Next I added a beat for “Para True” as well as mixing the track, which was a first for me and a great learning experience. I definitely see us working together more in the future, it’s something we’ve talked about for a really long time and we’ve sent things back and forth to each other for a few years now without much follow through. Her songs are indescribably gorgeous and it’s so rewarding to contribute something that can take them to the next level.

In general, production is something I would love to get better with and continue working on. Besides being a great skill to have for personal use, music production is generally a male dominated field which frustrates me a lot and just makes me want to learn how to do it myself even more. I know of so many incredible female producers that should be getting a lot more attention than they are, and I hope one day all pop songs aren’t still made by the same ~10 men. It would be really cool to have the skill and know-how to produce hits somewhere far very down the line if I don’t feel like DIY touring when I’m 50!

AF: So you’ve spent the last few years moving around a bunch, from Florida to NYC to Boston to Los Angeles. Has that affected your songwriting process? Do you feel at home in L.A. or are you contemplating another relocation?

ER: I actually just moved back to NYC in July. I loved my time in Los Angeles but haven’t been inspired to stay in one place for very long. And as much as I’d love to feel settled and stable, the process of moving around feels pretty liberating. For the past two years or so I’ve been living in short sublets, which allows me to experience a lot of different living situations between tours.

As far as moving affecting my songwriting process, it can be hard to get into a groove and really concentrate while I’m re-settling into each new place, but it keeps me from falling too deep into a routine. As long as I have somewhere comfortable to sleep and concentrate I can get things done. Until I find a place that really feels like home I’m enjoying spending time and working on projects with friends in different places, and might move again in the spring depending on how things are going.

AF: As much as you’ve remained nomadic, you’ve put down roots in that you’ve affiliated yourself with collectives like FMLY – how did your connection to FMLY come about? How does your affiliation with them help you further your goals as a musician?

ER: Honestly, FMLY is something that introduced me to a lot of guiding principles that I take with me everywhere I go, but it’s not something that I currently feel rooted with. The nature of a large and amorphous community/collective is that it’s ever changing, and because of this it isn’t always something that everyone will align with all the time. At one point it was exactly what I needed – I had just finished college and moved to NYC, and it introduced me to communal values and some really incredible people. But now my interests fall with taking a lot of the things I learned through my experiences with FMLY in a different direction than some other folks aligned with the collective might be interested in. Which is totally fine and great and the point of something like this – it should inspire creative and independent thought, not conformity. Sorry if this is vague or not the answer you were looking for, but I’m asked about FMLY a lot and although I’m super appreciative to have met many great people and been introduced to tons of rad communities through these ties, it’s just not something that has a direct daily impact on me or my music at this point in time.

AF: You just finished a bunch of dates with Cuddle Formation, playing mainly house shows, arts collectives, and other progressive spaces, called Utourpia. Can you talk a little about what organizing that tour was like?

ER: I love to travel and try to go on a long tour at least once a year, and since my partner Noah (Cuddle Formation) and I were planning on moving back to New York for a little while we figured the best way to drive across the country is on a tour. Tours give us the opportunity to visit as many places and friends as possible, while playing fun shows and making some gas money to keep us going. We basically made a list of all of the places we wanted to go, reached out to friends (or friends of friends) who live nearby and managed to book all of our shows. We’re really lucky to know such an incredible network of musicians across America who could help and/or point us in the right direction.

We were actually really surprised and honored that folks took interest in our method of “DIY touring,” which to us as musicians sans booking agents is just the only way we know how to tour and visit friends. The Fader even published a piece about Utourpia, DIY touring and communities in their print issue that just came out which was not something we would have expected going into this humble process!

AF: What were some of your favorite moments from the tour?

ER: Some highlights of the tour were in Vancouver at a space called Fingers Crossed, and a house show in Eau Claire, WI. We’ve always had incredible experiences in Canada between our first show in Montreal (in 2013) and Vancouver this year on Utourpia, and unlike shows we would play in New York or Los Angeles where a handful of people would come out and seem mildly interested these communities in Canada are incredibly supportive and enthused. Fingers Crossed is a gorgeous art space with every wall covered in murals and a bunch of risers built together by the collective. The environment was beautiful, the people that came out to the show were so fucking nice and the entire night was responsibly planned and purposeful. In Eau Claire we had the perfect house show situation, so many friends of the folks that lived at the house as well as parents came out (all-ages at it’s finest). I love when everyone can feel comfortable walking into a room whether they’re watching their friends or their kids play. That’s what it’s all about. The show was over right by 11 because it’s important to show your neighbors that you respect them and appreciate their willingness to have 5 loud bands play next to their windows, haha. And I honestly think Sayth (our friend Eric who also ran sound all night) played my favorite set I’ve seen so far on tour. There was a ton of talent as well as collaboration to make the show happen. I also really appreciated a space we played in Eugene, OR called The Boreal, which kept their safer space show policy on the front door. It’s important for both show-goers and artists to feel comfortable to create the best possible environment for a show.

AF: So what are your feelings, then, going into playing something like Basilica SoundScape? Because it’s oriented around the idea of an arts collective, it’s similar in some ways, but the scale is much different.

ER: I’ve admired Basilica SoundScape ever since it began and I feel so incredibly honored to have been invited to be a part of this. It’s definitely the largest scale festival I’ve been asked to play, and unlike festivals with corporate sponsorships or questionable intentions I don’t feel like I have to compromise anything. I’m also a huge fan of so many of the artists playing, it’s curated beautifully and everyone putting this together has been an absolute dream to work with. I realize that compared to everyone else on the schedule I’m like a kid walking into the first day of kindergarten, but the Basilica crew has treated me with so much respect and kindness I feel completely welcomed entering this prolific community.

AF: On Twitter, you voice a lot of frustrations with regards to sexism in the music industry. What do you feel are some of the biggest hurdles facing female musicians, and what can we all do, regardless of gender, to alleviate some of that tension?

ER: I wish I had a magical solution, but it’s a huge struggle not only for women but queer, POC and other artists of marginalized groups to get half as far doing double the work, and it doesn’t help that we’re constantly being treated in ways that make us feel completely deflated. I voice my frustrations (which are usually induced by sexist statements or actions I encounter both at shows and on the internet in regards to my music) in an attempt raise awareness of the very real experiences we have, and hope by doing so maybe someone out there will think before saying something offensive, or at least not deny that these oppressive acts take place with alarming frequency. I’m not trying to be the PC police, but the only thing I can suggest is for everyone to be extremely conscious of what you say and how you act towards the people around you.

AF: What’s your next undertaking? Can we expect another album soon-ish? More touring?

ER: I’m currently on tour with my good friend Warren playing in his band Foxes in Fiction, opening for Owen Pallett. With some other tour plans in the works. I also have some solo tour plans that I’m working on for early 2015 and am planning on spending the majority of winter writing and recording my next album. I have a smaller release that should be out before January as well, with more details to come next month!

Foxes In Fiction Tour Dates w/ Owen Pallett

09-08 Seattle, WA – Neumos
09-09 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Imperial Theatre
09-10 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
09-12 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
09-13 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
09-14 San Diego, CA – Casbah
09-15 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
09-18 Austin, TX – The Mohawk
09-19 Dallas, TX – The Loft[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]