Wed October 22nd, 2014
Minimum Age: 18+
Doors Open: 8:00PM
Show Time: 8:00PM
Next week, the CMJ Music Marathon will fill New York City with even more great music than normal. Every fall, the festival brings hundreds of bands to the city’s many venues, and NPR Music will be there again this year. On Oct. 22 at (Le) Poisson Rouge, NPR will present a free concert featuring a multi-genre lineup of rising stars, and they’d love to see your smiling faces there.
For a chance to snag free tickets to the show, follow @nprmusic and @allsongs on Twitter.
Squarespace is the exclusive sponsor of this NPR Music event.
This is a general admission, standing event.
For some, living a dream is a privilege…a blessing, if you will. For others, it’s more of a calling. There’s no doubt that Elle Varner’s creative journey should be filed in the latter category, but even as her destiny unfolds before her, she can barely believe her eyes.
Hers was a childhood steeped in hooks and verses, melodies and choruses. Whether flipping through her mother’s Motown collection, singing along to Burt Bacharach classics or accompanying her songwriter parents to their recording sessions, music was an ever-present force. It’s the only life she knew. “Growing up in the studio was absolutely normal for me, but looking back, I realize that it’s not a very common environment for a kid,” Elle says. “At an early age, I absorbed so much about music and learned how to create a song, from beginning to end. My dad always asked for my opinion about what he was working on and I remember my mom would ask, ‘What word should I add here?’ They really empowered me.”
With the release of her debut album, Perfectly Imperfect (MBK Entertainment/RCA Records), which she wrote and co-produced, it’s evident that her early experiences have served her well. Crafting the album also proved to be a full-circle moment for the 23-year-old singer/songwriter as she enlisted the help of her parents – Jimmy Varner and Mikelyn Roderick – both of whom contributed their production and vocal arrangement talents and pushed Elle toward, and beyond, the bounds of her creativity. When asked to describe her feelings about the finished product, Elle takes a moment to ponder the question. “I can honestly say that I’m in love with every song on this album,” she says, matter-of-factly.
Continue reading on Elle Varner’s Facebook page…
Elle Varner official site
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“Ices” is a celebration of flight, levity, and the conviction that you can leave earth. You take wing in an airplane, you go to real places when you dream, you have out-of-body experiences, you get high, you lose yourself in someone else.
When we started work on these songs, I was beginning a gradual move to California, constantly traveling back and forth from New York. I was experimenting. I was falling in love. Our studio in the Hudson Valley was full of electronics and computers and the sounds of future ships sailing throughthe vastness of space, and I sometimes forgot where I was. The first songs we wrote were called “flying 1”, then “flying 2”, and so on, which eventually evolved into songs on the album. Flight became a metaphor for the ignition of the imagination. The process created a lightness in me, a freedom and positiveenergy that I?d never before felt or explored.
This recording session became a two year music and spiritual retreat with my psychic twin brother, Eliot. A private journey during which we abandoned old habits and familiar sounds. We got really geeky and experimented in our studio. We obsessed over sympathetic magic, “Ancient Aliens”, and the NBA. We allowed everything we loved to find its way in: Persian percussion, hip-hop beats, lo-fi, hi-fi, Pakistani pop, Link Wray, Jason Pierce, gospel, dub. We developed new systems; we worked with synthesis, software, and samples; webecame producers. The Hudson Valley was home base, but I wanted to keep flying. I wrote songs in California, recorded vocals in Atlanta, and worked with Clams Casino in Brooklyn.For the first time, Lia Ices felt like an inclusive project with its own identity, not just a name.
“Ices” as a whole is devoted to these certainties. While we have evolved, we are still animals. We respond to planets, patterns, and cycles. We require the sounds of our origins. We live in the future but stay bound to the primitive and primordial. We will always want tribe, we will always want rhythm, we willalways need music to guide us into our deepest sense of what it means to be human. So we hear sounds from all over the planet in this album. We devour so much music, and with this album we allowed ourselves to claim bits from all of it.
Lia Ices official site
Lia Ices at Jagjaguwar.com
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Lia Ices on YouTube
Photo credit: Jersey Walz
B.J. The Chicago Kid
B.J. The Chicago Kid is one of the most explosive, yet mature, soulful artists/writers of our young generation. Following the love of his life, BJ married to music at a young age and has since been living his dream. BJ’s talents have assisted artists such as Mary Mary, Musiq Soulchild, Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Kanye West, Usher, Mario, Mary J. Blige, and Jamie Foxx via writing and performing.
B.J. The Chicago Kid official site
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B.J. The Chicago Kid on YouTube
The story of Cayetana is the story of punk rock. No matter the age, no matter the place, punk rock is all about seizing a moment in time. It is about not waiting for approval or permission to create art. Punk rock is simply about doing it yourself and doing it now. So, it did not matter that these three friends came together to start a band yet knew very little about their instruments. This was their journey to take together. And from there, Cayetana was born. Learning and growing together these friends have crafted a sound that is as organic as music can possibly be. So, it is no surprise how perfectly everything fits into place here. The memorable vocals, the affecting lyrics, the rolling, imaginative bass, and the steady, spiky drums all showcase the remarkable chemistry of three musicians / friends completely in tune with one another. Pulling from elements and influences of indie and folk, Cayetana’s sound is all inclusive. It’s raw and unflinching, imperfect and beautiful. Yes, Cayetana grabbed their moment. Yes, Cayetana is punk rock.
Cayetana on Facebook
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Cayetana on Bandcamp