(The Last Few) Weekend(s) in Pictures

All photos of Sidewalk Chalk and Fresh Cut Collective by T.J. Matzen

Check it: A bunch of you sent us some pictures of the last few weekends, which we love (That can be done at wudmusiccom@gmail.com). So, check out pictures of the Grace Weber Band, MODA Fashion Show and BBU Afterparty, and this weekend’s Fresh Cut Collective and Sidewalk Chalk show. Some of these are professional grade because, well, they’re done by professionals. Check out Marissa J Murdy’s photography page, who shot the Grace Weber photos, and MANDO Photography’s Facebook page, whose Armando Vega shot the MODA Fashion show shots. They put my ten-year-old basic digital camera pics to shame. More after the jump. Keep snapping those pics people!

All photos of MODA Runway Show by Armando S. Vera of MANDO Photography

All photos of Grace Weber Band by Marissa Murdy of Marissa J Murdy Photography.

Continue reading

Friday at Der Rath: Lower Dens w/ Yellow Ostrich + Grace Weber Band + 1,2,3

Baltimore’s Lower Dens formed in 2009 and hasn’t stopped makin’ music since. Vocalist Jana Hunter was previously known for her folky experimental work as a solo artist. However, the quartet of Lower Den is something more along the lines of drone-pop/ post-punk. Hunter is known for her haunting and enthralling vocals that are backed up by echoing guitar and bass. Their second album, Nootropics, is set for release on the first of May off of Gnomonsong Records, and with the growing craze over their mesmerizing single, “Brains” (released back in January), it’ll be awesome to finally hear what other alluring beats the band has in store for us. They’ll be at Der Rath this Friday so come hear them play for free!

Formed in Brooklyn, Yellow Ostrich is currently made up of three very talented musicians: Alex Schaaf, Michael Tapper, and Jon Natchez. However, Schaaf started Yellow Ostrich independently back in 2009 as one-man-band project. They just released their second album from Barsuk Records this past Tuesday (March 6) available on iTunes or at your fave record store. On the same label are indie legends Death Cab for Cutie and favorites such as Rilo Kiley and Phantogram.  On the new album you can expect to hear upbeat rockity rhythms that are a bit different from their 2011 album, The Mistress, but excellent and catchy all the same. “Strange Land” will get your head bobbing and heart throbbing so come be one of the lucky few to hear it live at Der Rath on Friday! Also, want a sampler of 9 Yellow Ostrich tracks for free?! Click here!

Did you hit up Starbuck’s sometime this past January? Of course you did—who can resist those holiday-friendly beverages of the gods? While you were waiting in line for your caffeinated goodness you may have heard Grace Weber’s track “Baby Come Down” off her self-released album Hope & Heart. A Milwaukee native and past member of the city’s Inner City Youth Gospel Choir, Weber’s music is both soulful and poppy. With the release of Hope & Heart back in September, Weber made a top ten spot on iTunes singer/songwriter charts and was Billboard Magazine’s “Artist to Watch.” She’ll be hitting up Madison after a show in Milwaukee in which she’ll be opening for Men at Work / singer-songwriter legend Colin Hay at Turner Hall. Weber describes her musical output as a “modern version of soul, in that I try to tell stories through my lyrics that I hope can touch people, and I always try to sing from an honest place.” You can read a full WUD Music interview with her posted earlier this morning by clicking here. With a presence and passion as fierce as Weber’s, it’s obvious you won’t want to miss her show.

Touring the country with Yellow Ostrich is 1,2,3. This up-and-coming band is comprised of four members: Nic Snyder, Josh Sickels, Mike Yamamoto, and Chad Monticue. Last June, the band released its first album New Heaven (it’s on iTunes!) through Frenchkiss Records. This label has discovered some excellent bands, such as The Dodos, Local Natives, and Passion Pit… I wouldn’t mind french-kissing them. Anyway, their music is both soulful and delicious— definitely worth being heard, so come see them along with Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, and Grace Weber Band this Friday 3/9 at Der Rath!

Check out a music video from each band below and check out Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, Grace Weber Band, and 1,2,3 in Der Rath tomorrow with a 8:30 start.

Interview: Grace Weber (Der Rath, Friday)

Tomorrow night, we’ve got a powerhouse of a lineup for you in Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, Grace Weber Band, and 1,2,3. For the middle two bands in that sandwich, the show will be something of a homecoming, as both Grace Weber and Yellow Ostrich are originally from Wisconsin and relocated to New York City. We were recently able to chat with Grace Weber about her Wisconsin roots, among other things – including Cash Cab and cheese curds. Check that out below followed by her music video for “Everything to Me,” and make sure to come to the free show, which starts at 8:30 at Der Rathskeller, to see if she wears her  “I was on the Cash Cab” shirt.

What was the hardest adjustment moving from Wauwatosa, WI to New York City? The absence of cheese curds?

The absence of cheese curds was definitely a difficulty I had to overcome (hoarding them in your apartment doesn’t work), but I learned to substitute slices of New York pizza for the curds. Otherwise, I think just getting used to the fast pace, high intensity atmosphere of New York was the biggest switch. In the right doses, the buzz of New York can be so inspiring and can keep you on your toes, but getting back to the Midwest recharges my batteries. I don’t know if I could handle New York if I didn’t get back to Wisconsin here and there throughout the year.

Who are your favorite Wisconsin acts?

Jeanna Salzer Trio, Paul Cebar, Yellow Ostrich, and Willy Porter!

How far back does your friendship with Yellow Ostrich go and how did it come to be?

Well, I know Alex through my good friend, Jeanna Salzer. I met him in New York actually when he played bass for Jeanna at a double-bill show I set up in the city. So, we don’t go very far back, but I know he’s an incredibly nice and cool person. It’s so exciting to see his and the band’s career take off.

Not only did you attract attention through an appearance on Oprah singing “Natural Woman,” but you were also on an episode of the game show Cash CabTell us a little about those experiences. Which was more surreal? Are there any plans for a Grace Weber talk show, game show, or variety hour?

Haha, oh yes, I was on Cash Cab, and it might have actually been more surreal than Oprah. When my Mom and I realized that we were going to be on Cash Cab, it kind of felt like winning the lottery. Like, one of those things you always dream of but never actually think will ever happen. We did horribly on the ol’ cab, but I got a shirt that says “I was on the Cash Cab!” so it was allll worth it.

I’m actually considering pitching a reality show to the Oprah Winfrey Network…I’ll keep you posted ;).

What’s the concept of your debut, Hope & Heart? Who and what inspired or influenced the album?

For Hope & Heart I really just wanted to introduce myself as a songwriter and pick out the best collection of songs that showed off my range as a singer and writer and represented who I am as an artist right now. We wrote around 35 songs for the album and out of those narrowed down the best 12. I wanted to touch on different topics in the album, have upbeat tracks and ballads, so that I could take the listener on a journey with me through the whole record. I’m so happy with how it turned out because I feel like it’s really me and it introduces people to who I am as a complete artist, the full palate so to speak.

Starbuck’s added “Baby Come Down” to its store playlist in January. What’s your Starbuck’s drink of choice?

Tall Chai latte!

If you weren’t a musician, what would your profession be?

Hmmmm, I think, I’d either try to be an actress on Broadway or be a producer of a really big TV show. The former because I’ve always kind of wanted to get back into musicals and theater and the latter so I could wear a headset and look important.

As succinctly in your response as possible, why should people come see your free show on March 9th with Lower Dens, Yellow Ostrich, and 1, 2, 3?

It will blow your mind. And I’ll give you a hug if you come. I promise.

Listen: Carter Tanton

Carter Tanton of Lower Dens released his solo album Freeclouds in November of last year and if you haven’t heard it yet you’re just missing out. Fight your musical illiteracy this weekend when he performs Saturday at FRZN at the High Noon.


Lower Dens will be playing here in Der Rath March 9th with Yellow Ostrich and Grace Weber!

Carter Tanton- Murderous Joy