Sunday, February 1, 2009



Greetings and salutations, friends! It is by far the toughest winter month of the year, as spring is on the horizon and we're all sick of wearing the same three coats for the past three months. HOWEVS, Riot Act is hecka busy staying warm and plowing through this thing because we've got (yes, I'm going to go there) HOTT RELEASES for you, the reader, to chew on, tours for you to go see and incredible things for you to write about and enjoy. Without further adieu, what to look fwd to is below.

ARENA ROCK RECORDING CO.: Riot Act Media is proud as punch and as moved as a U-haul to announce that we now get to operate as the publicity arm of the incredible, Portland, OR-based Arena Rock Recording Company label! ARRCO, the label that brought you Elf Power, Harvey Danger, Superdrag, Call and more, was co-founded in the mid-1990s by current owner Greg Glover, and is home to such incredible artists as The Ecclesia, The Life and Times, Sabertooth, Stiffwiff, Talkdemonic, Wroom, The Twang and more. ARRCO puts out hecka rad re-releases as well (Larry Norman, Daniel Amos, Sonseed), and is known for their incredible LP packaging and love of getting stuff pressed on 180-gram vinyl. You shall hear plenty of ARRCO news in '09, friends!

LEONARD MYNX: Lucky peeps in Portland, Cali and Colorado will get to see the Mynx this spring as he gets around in advance of the release of his incredible upcoming full-length, Vesper (out April 21st on Wally Uno Music)...the album, recorded by Adam Selzer (Norfolk & Western, M.Ward) in his famous Type Foundry studio, features a bevy of PDX music superstars, including Selzer and other folks who've played with M. Ward, the Decemberists, Weinland and more. Check out "Northwest Passage" and "Valley of Sickness and Death" at his MySpace page, here:

LOCH LOMOND: LL has just released a free/donation-only five-song EP called "Trumpets for Paper Children" on Hush Records, which you can grab here ( The band's 7" for their new single, "Blue Lead Fences", is out soon, and they've got a ton of parties and shows confirmed for SXSW, which they will dominate mightily. Stay tuned for more on Portland's most dynamic, crushing chamber pop septet.

MISC.: Misc. is the moniker for the studio project by Badman label founder/producer Dylan Magierek, and we are SO excited to work on such an incredible release—"Happiness is Easy". Recording under the Misc. alias for the last decade, his tracks have appeared on compilations alongside Elliott Smith, Spoon and Red House Painters. Over the last few years, Magierek devoted portions of studio time with some of the artists he has recorded to create a full length album; The result is a moody, cohesive, instrumental heavy record -with vocals by gifted Los Angeles poet-songwriter Daniel Ahearn lending fantastic, stirring, ardent stories to half of the tracks. Misc. travels some of the same atmospheric, yet song driven territory as Mogwai, Low, and Explosions in the Sky. The album will be available on the Badman site in late February, and will be in stores on April 7th. Feel it!

NICK JAINA: One of America's best songwriters and most captivating, arresting musicians is planning a late spring tour, which we'll no doubt be filling you in about soon! His newest album, "A Narrow Way", is out now—NPR says of Jaina, "... full of the kinds of songs that sound as if they could have been written in any one of the past several decades, as comfortable next to Cole Porter as they are Tom Waits or (to a lesser degree) the Black Heart Procession."

ORIGAMI GHOSTS: These dudes are touring their hearts out this month in support of the just-released "Short Momentum" full-length. The whole album, produced by Kevin Suggs (Cat Power) and mastered by Kramer (Galaxie 500, Low) is a reverb-soaked hookfest full of soaring vocal melodies, thumpy drums and warm, sailing cello....this is the band's second effort, behind 2007's "Solving My Own Puzzles", which, like "Short Momentum", was released on the band's own label, Hand To Mouth Media. If you're in Cali, Texas or New Mexico, you are in luck! Check our TOURS page for details.

SCREAMING FEMALES: SF are also playing a bunch this month, this time in their 'hood: NY and NJ. As soon as their new full-length, "Power Move", drops on Don Giovanni this April, the band will be touring like bananas, including some dates with the incredible Throwing Muses. Power Move is Screaming Females at the top of their game—Marissa Paternoster, heralded already as the principal delegate for this era's "new generation of femme shredders", as renowned writer Jessica Hopper noted in the Chicago Reader, is at her bombastic best, firing off gritty, urgent solos and spitting radical magic into the mic that builds upon the oeuvre of those before her (Patti Smith, Corin Tucker, Iggy Pop) and will undoubtedly inform those after her. You do not want to miss these bros live. Serious.

THE LIFE AND TIMES: Another band you do not want to miss live is TLAT. They're going to be announcing some shows soon, and will be touring later in the year in support of their upcoming "Tragic Boogie" LP on Arena Rock. Blisteringly loud, unbelievably lush and brilliantly lit with white light, the sound created by these three gentlemen live belies their numbers, and the album is a killer, too. The muscular 26" kickdrum thump of songs like 'Fall of the Angry Clowns' is not just heard live but felt in the belly. 'Let It Eat' recalls Blonde Redhead in 5th gear at 125mph, anchored by Eric Aberts' headbob-inducing bassline by the time we reach the chorus. Ex-Shiner. Feel it.

THE RHOMBUS: San Francisco-based The Rhombus use plain language, elements of musique concrete, simple synths, guitar and drum machine to bring lyrical anecdotes about shopping for towels at Target to vivid life alongside songs built upon psychedelic tales of giants and destroying the sky—and it all makes perfect sense. The band's upcoming "Ladders" EP comes hot on the heels of 2008's "Margins" full-length; Hennesy made limited-edition handcrafted covers for each copy (now out of print in that format), and Public School Records released the album on vinyl (CD included!) in December of 2008; Dates announced soon!

THE TRADITIONIST: Songwriter Joey Barro & Co. have been busting ass in the studio alongside greats like Superchunk/Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster, even though his upcoming full-length, "Season to Season" (out on Better Looking/Banter Records this March) has yet to be released. Barro is putting out several releases this year, including a split EP with Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips that starts being recorded early this month, because he is just that prolific and amazing—and he's got dates in LA and San Diego this March.

WEINLAND: We are so honored to work with Weinland. It's rare for a contemporary artist to sit down and write a timeless album; an album that hits that spot in your brain responsible for registering perfection and revelry. An album that is instantly familiar, magical, and right. Yet after only a few listens to "Breaks in the Sun", out on Badman Recording Co. this April, you'll know it's still possible. It's the follow up to 2008's critically acclaimed La Lamentor (Badman Recording co), and was committed to 2" tape amidst sleep deprivation, whiskey consumption, and trust. What resulted is musical brilliance possessed with a rare dynamism and immediacy, at once frighteningly intimate and reverently edited. A ton of dates this April are confirmed; more news soon.

VALLEY OF THE VAPORS INDEPENDENT MUSIC FESTIVAL: A shining beacon in the increasingly bloated, expensive and impossible to navigate worlds of the industry's more established multi-day music festivals (SXSW, CMJ, Coachella, Bonarroo, etc), The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival (VOV) is gearing up for its 5th and biggest year yet, with bands traveling from as far away as Australia, Canada, Israel, New York, California and all points in between to play the fest's small venue, which is situated in the middle of gorgeous Hot Springs National Park. These bands make up the fabric of a global community of DIYsters, as well as the many dedicated sponsors and volunteers that have helped the VOV fest (a 501c3 public charity) produce original, forward-thinking and independent music events in the small town of Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas since 2005. THIS YEAR'S LINEUP, which includes Monotonix. Pretty & Nice, AIDS Wolf, The Queers, Poison Arrows, Pink Spiders and more, can be viewed at We are psyched and honored to work towards bringing this fest the attention it deserves.


Xo Joan

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