Friday, May 29, 2009


This is the first of many exciting updates we'll be sending you this summer as Riot Act continues to evolve (Did you know that, although working with bands and labels is our core jam, we now also work with non-profits, on films and books, and with corporate clients? We do--more on that soon). We are lucky, honored and proud to announce that our team is expanding, and as such, it is prudent and rad to now introduce you to the new folks at Riot Act: Nathan Walker, Dave Depper, and superinterns Lacey Whittaker, Lacy Weathersbee and Dale Gellerson. Oh, and Doctor Wu. Commence meeting and greeting!

Nathan Walker: Tour/Viral Publicist, Company Strategist, Bro.

Born in 1976 to one of the Midwest's finest folk musicians, Nathan spent most of his teens failing to piss his father off by playing Body Count, Public Enemy and Run DMC as loudly as possible. Realizing that it was okay to love all different types of music even if you were a 50 year-old folk singer, Nathan began his long career in the music industry starting as a freelance photographer before eventually working as music editor for Seattle's Tablet Magazine (R.I.P., Tablet). A stint as music editor at Resonance Magazine (also R.I.P.!) was followed by working for the esteemed 2:30 Publicity firm for a couple of years before moving to the woods with his lovely wife to open a small, organic cafe.

Even living in a small town of 16,000 couldn't keep Nathan from taking part in the music industry. He booked a weekly Friday night show at his cafe, often hosting touring bands like Ladyhawk, Tiny Vipers and the Immaculate Machine, thus helping to corrupt the musical minds of dozens of teenagers. Two months after opening his cafe in Anacortes, he, along with Beat Happening's Bret Lunsford, resurrected the 20 year-old Knw-Yr-Own record label, releasing six albums in the span of two years. In addition, he helped to book, promote and run sound for the world famous What The Heck festival. After eating a perfect pizza in Portland, Nathan, his wife and their two cats relocated and joined the amazing team at Riot Act Media. To date, Nathan has over a decade of experience in the music industry and has helped with PR campaigns for Mt. Eerie, Electric 6, Grizzly Bear, Women & Children, Karl Blau, D+, El Capitan, the Lights, the Drones, Whalebones, the Gift Machine, Stuart & Caan, Of Montreal, the Hold Steady and many more. E-mail Nathan (at) riot act media dot com. Dave Depper: Business Manager, Junior Publicist, Computer Genius.

Dave became a central figure in the Portland music community almost upon arrival. Through his extensive experience playing in and, often times, guiding the business dealings of his various bands (Dave was a key member of Spin Art artists The Village Green, and currently plays with Loch Lomond, Norfolk & Western and Jolie Holland; he's also appeared on countless records including White Hinterland's "Phylactory Factory", The Minus 5's "Sad Hasselhoff", Laura Gibson's "Beasts of Seasons" and others), he has booked and promoted shows, produced albums, guided marketing campaigns from the artist's position and knows, inside and out, the complexities of bringing a project to fruition. He has also performed consulting work for legendary Portland indie label Hush Records. A former music writer, Dave is also intimately familiar with what a publicist/journalist relationship should be. He currently lives in Portland with his wife, cat and turtle. E-mail Dave (at) riot act media dot com. Matthew Kopel, Webmaster Deluxe.

M. Kopel has been with Riot Act since 2008, and works behind the scenes updating the slammin' website he designed for us, He is one half of the design duo Doctor Sandwich; you should hire him should you find yourself in the market for a slammin' website of yr own. Contact M. Kopel through the Doctor Sandwich website. Our SUPERINTERNS: Lacey Whittaker, Lacy Weathersbee, Dale Gellerson and Doctor Wu.

Anyone who has ever told you that they can smoothly run their business without the aid of SUPERINTERNS is lying their face off. We're so thankful to have a crew of interns who are not only smart and funny, but who have extensive experience in the music and media universes. Former Biz 3 intern and current Girls Rock! Chicago maven Lacey Whittaker learned a ton from the firm that handles Daft Punk, Aesop Rock and Jean Grae. Incredible photographer Lacy Weathersbee works in the photo department at Playboy, and has been around for every step of many bands' career development--she's helped put on shows, and knows how things work. Former Riot Act Media superintern Dale Gellerson is now back with us, and we couldn't be happier! He has helped us do the dirty work during many campaigns, and is back for more hands-on experience in the independent music PR world. Doctor Wu (pictured at left) is also a new addition to the Riot Act family, but he mostly sits on my desk and types things on my laptop like /..////////////////////';;;p-=p-ddddddddddd because he is a kitten. Thanks so much for reading---and please check out some of what's on deck (pictured at left and typed below)--do get in touch if there's anything we can get for you, or just to say hello. Please refrain from writing any overly lengthy e-mails to Doctor Wu though, as I have to read them to him, which is time-consuming. Hope yr well, Joan / Riot Act. E-mail me at Joan (at) riot act media dot com. MUSICS TO ASK US ABOUT RIGHT NOW: *ALL SMILES (SELF-RELEASE) * BLACK WHALES (MT. FUJI) * CITY LIGHT (BANTER RECORDS) * GLORYTELLERS (SOUTHERN) * LEONARD MYNX (WALLY UNO MUSIC) * MURDOCKS (LABEL TBD) * LOCH LOMOND (HUSH RECORDS) * POCKET (FRAGA) * PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT (KILL ROCK STARS) * QUIETING SYRUP (LOVITT RECORDS) * SCREAMING FEMALES (DON GIOVANNI RECORDS) * VORTIS (SELF-RELEASE) * WEINLAND (BADMAN RECORDING CO.) * FILMS TO ASK US ABOUT RIGHT NOW: "SOME DAYS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS" MOVIE STARTING JAMES MERCER (THE SHINS) AND CARRIE BROWNSTEIN (SLEATER KINNEY, THUNDERANT), DIRECTED BY MATT MCCORMICK (RODEO FILM CO.), PRODUCED BY NEIL KOPP AND DAVID CRESS (OLD JOY, PARANOID PARK) NON-PROFITS TO ASK US ABOUT RIGHT NOW: NOISE FOR THE NEEDY FESTIVAL 2009 (JUNE 10-14, W/CONSTANTINES, ART BRUT, THROW ME THE STATUE, GRAND ARCHIVES, CRYSTAL ANTLERS AND MORE) * PAUL GREEN SCHOOL OF ROCK ALL-STARS (WEST COAST ALL-STARS SUMMER TOUR '09) CORPORATE CLIENTS TO ASK US ABOUT RIGHT NOW: * SIGHT WORKS * MR.VOLATILITY *

Monday, May 11, 2009


As you have likely gleaned, there's a lot going on here at Riot Act! LET ME KNOW WHAT I CAN GET FOR YOU/TELL YOU MORE ABOUT. Release info and tour dates are below. xo Joan/Riot Act


5/12: Pocket feat. Yuki Chikudate (Asobi Seksu): "Sampo" single
6/9: Portland Cello Project : THE THAO AND JUSTIN POWER SESSIONS (Kill Rock Stars)
6/30: All Smiles:  OH FOR THE GETTING AND NOT LETTING GO (self-release)
7/27: Quieting Syrup:  SONGS ABOUT A SICK BOY (Lovitt Records)

8/18: Vortis: S/T (self-release)
9/8: Glorytellers:  ATONE (Southern)



Nick Jaina on tour NOW in further support of his Hush records release, "A Narrow Way".

City Light on tour NOW with Her Space Holiday (City Light is playing AND acting as HSH's band!)

6/10-6/14: Noise For The Needy Fest '09, Seattle, WA. Featuring the Constantines, Throw Me The Statue, 1990s, Art Brut & more (


Screaming Females:  POWER MOVE (Don Giovanni)
The Life And Times: TRAGIC BOOGIE (Arena Rock)
The Twang:  I LOVE IT WHEN I FEEL LIKE THIS (Arena Rock)

Weinland:  BREAKS IN THE SUN (Badman)
Leonard Mynx: VESPER (Wally Uno Music)
Loch Lomond: "Blue Lead Fences" single 7' (Hush Records)
Origami Ghosts: SHORT MOMENTUM (self-release)
Pocket feat. Robyn Hitchcock: "Surround Him With Love" single (self-release)
The Rhombus: LADDERS EP (Public School Records)
The Traditionist: SEASON TO SEASON (Banter Records/Better Looking Records)


05.12.09 - San Antonio, TX @ Rock Bottom
05.13.09 - Austin, TX @ Mohawk
05.14.09 - Houston, TX @ Walter's on Washington
05.15.09 - Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
05.16.09 - Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
05.17.09 - Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn
05.18.09 - Carrboro, NC @ Local 506
05.19.09 - Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
05.20.09 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary
05.21.09 - Brooklyn, NY @ Bell House
05.22.09 - Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs
05.23.09 - Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk
05.24.09 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
05.25.09 - Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room at Crofoot
05.26.09 - Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
05.27.09 - Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
05.29.09 - Missoula, MT @ The Other Side
05.30.09 - Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
05.31.09 - Portland, OR @ Backspace


06.02.09 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox w/Joe Lally
06.03.09 - Newport, KY @ Southgate House Parlor w/Joe Lally
06.04.09 - St. Louis, MO @ Firebird w/Joe Lally
06.05.09 - Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen w/Joe Lally
06.06.09 - Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room w/Joe Lally
06.07.09 - Toronto ON @ Sneaky Dee's w/Joe Lally
06.09.09 - Montreal QC @ Le Divan Orange w/Joe Lally
06.10.09 - Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East Upstairs w/Joe Lally
06.11.09 - New York, NY @ Cake Shop w/Joe Lally
06.12.09 - Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall w/Joe Lally
06.13.09 - Washington DC @ The Black Cat Backstage w/Joe Lally


05.24.09 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios CD RELEASE SHOW
06.06.09 - Portland, OR @ Roadside Attraction
06.11.09 - Boulder, CO @ Laughing Goat
06.20.09 - Denver, CO @ Meadowlark
06.24.09 - Prescott, AZ @ Raven Cafe


05.25.09 - Quincy, WA @ SASQUATCH FESTIVAL


05.12.09 - Columbus, OH @ The Tree House
05.13.09 - Fremont, MI @ The Church
05.14.09 - Chicago, IL @ HOUSE SHOW
05.15.09 - Iowa City, IA @ Public Space One
05.16.09 - Madison, WI @ The Project Lodge
05.17.09 - Minneapolis, MN @ Nomad


06.11.09 - Seattle, WA @ Triple Door
06.12.09 - Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater
06.13.09 - Eugene, OR @ Cozmic Pizza
08.19.09 - Meinig Park @ Sandy, OR
08.23.09 - Lake Oswego, OR @ Millennium Plaza Park


05.12.09 - Pensacola, FL @ Sluggo's (all ages)
05.13.09 - Gainesville, FL @ The Kickstand (all ages)
05.14.09 - Athens, GA @ The Hanger (all ages)
05.16.09 - Asheville, NC @ No Kids Night (all ages)
05.17.09 - Chapel Hill, NC @ The Nightlight (all ages)
05.18.09 - Richmond, VI @ The Czar (all ages)
05.21.09 - Baltimore, MD @ Charm City Art Space (all ages)
05.22.09 - Philadelphia, PA @ Danger Danger Gallery (all ages)
05.30.09 - Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell's (all ages)


05.28.09 - Davis, CA (Cool As Folk Radio Presents) @ Sophia's w/ Shelly Short
06.02.09 - Merced, CA @ The Partisan
06.03.09 - San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord
06.04.09 - Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place
06.05.09 - Santa Rosa, CA (promo) @ The Last Record Store
06.06.09 - Bend, OR @ Old St. Francis School
07.11.09 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Street Fair



Friday, May 8, 2009


Witness the new self-titled album by the Chicago quartet Vortis—the group's fourth full-length, though in many ways a new beginning as the recorded debut of Louie Calvano (bass, guitar, vocals), Jim DeRogatis (drums), Chris Martiniano (guitar, bass, vocals, and art), and Tony Tavano (guitar, vocals).

The band formed in mid-2000, taking its name from the pre-World War I movement spearheaded by writers James Joyce and Ezra Pound and graphic artist Wyndham Lewis. Their goal: "To perpetuate violent structures of adolescent clarity" throughout life—that is, to live with the lust for life and joie de vivre of a teenager, which the band members thought was an ideal definition of rock 'n' roll half a century before the sound was born. Lewis gave both the original Vorticists and the band they inspired their emblem—the revolving energy cone, a symbol of power—and his work adorns the cover of Vortis.

The band's original lineup of DeRogatis, Martiniano, Tavano, and vocalist/lyricist F.T.—a.k.a. "the Fellow Traveler," a.k.a. Michael Weinstein, longtime professor at Purdue University and the author of 23 books of political philosophy—was dedicated to what F.T. called "punk-rock agitainment." It performed regularly in Chicago and throughout the Midwest and released three albums: Take the System Down (Thick Records, 2002), God Won't Bless America (Thick Records, 2004), and Warzone (self-released, 2006)—after which F.T./Weinstein left to devote all of his creative/anarchist energies to his political writings.

With three vocalists and four songwriters in the current lineup, the music on Vortis is less overtly political but no less thoughtprovoking, and even more intense. Recorded by Dan Dietrich at Wall to Wall Studios after two years of steady gigging in Chicago's underground, it reflects the band's well-honed live attack, which has been likened to a speeding freight train threatening to but never quite flying off the rails of its aggressive but melodic, old-school but forward-looking brand of art-punk.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009




The second single of Pocket's 2009 Singles Project is up TODAY for yr listening pleasure on his website, Featuring Asobi Seksu singer Yuki Chikudate, "Sampo" will be released on May 12th from Fraga Music.

This single will be accompanied by “Swept” featuring Lorraine Lellis (Mahogany, Somnambulants) and three super rad remixes by Mux Mool, Blue Eyes and Craig Wedren (Shudder To Think).

This single is the next installment of his most ambitious and exciting project yet— a full-length’s worth of singles featuring a stunning lineup of both legacy musicians and newer artists, all of which will be released digitally and individually throughout 2009. Stems for each remix will be posted on the Pocket site for download for one month only corresponding with each single as it is released--and this one's no different. Also, NEWS FLASH: we just learned that, as part of this amazing project, there will be an ELABORATE AND CRAZY LIVE COMPONENT--it will happen later this year, and it involves an insane set. More on that later.

The first installment of Pocket's project, “Surround Him With Love” featuring legendary Soft Boys singer/guitarist Robyn Hitchcock--plus three additional remixes: KKS’ Space Disco Remix, the Somnambulists Remix, and The Stealth Remix--is out now as well. As part of the five-song single pack, Pocket is also releasing b-side “Let Her Close Her Eyes”, featuring musician/comedienne Shonali Bhowmik (Tigers and Monkeys).

Pocket's upcoming 2009 singles will involve Slim Moon (Kill Rock Stars, Shot Clock Management, Slim Moon and What Army), Mark Burgess, Steve Kilbey (The Church), Markese, Rick Moody (novelist), David Fischoff (Secretly Canadian), Ming (Ming + FS), Beatallica, Kendall (Mascott), Alien Skin (George from Real Life), Glenn Mercer (The Feelies), Mux (Ghostly), Elk City, The Wrens, Tanya Donelly (Belly), Sal Principato, Danny Seim (Menomena) and more TBA.

In a time where music is revisiting the concept of playing with projects that feature groups of disparate artists, often to great or horrible effect (from Bowie + Jagger + Bing Crosby in ‘85, Run DMC + Aerosmith in ’86, Celine Dion and R.Kelly in ’02—yes, that happened—and, more recently, N.A.S.A., or Timbaland + Cornell), LA-based Pocket (aka Richard Jankovich, formerly of NYC electro-pop band Burnside Project) gets it RIGHT. He's remixed Beck, Radiohead, Kristin Hersh, Of Montreal, Elk City, Joanna Newsom, Mendoza Line, Dirty on Purpose, Eskobar and many others, always to critical acclaim (“We've always been fans, but this is the deepest Pocket's gone yet. Outstanding.”—Stereogum, “Where Radiohead's version builds from spare beginnings (little more than Thom Yorke's voice and keyboards), Jankovich lets droning tendrils of noise poke into all that space, setting a thumping beat beneath.”--Pitchfork).

LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT TO CHAT WITH POCKET, Or if I can get you the digital download of the single and its remixes.


xo Joan/RIOT ACT!

Monday, May 4, 2009



There's a ton going on at Riot Act Media this week, and I'll be telling you all about it--starting with Lovitt Records artist Quieting Syrup. They're a tremendously brand new addition to the Riot Act roster, even though I've known Chicago-based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Stephen Howard for almost (Jesus!) a decade. This--this record--is finally happening now, after an entire musical career of Howard cutting his teeth as a team player. Over the years, he's used his considerable talents playing bass with indie darlings Denali and Capitol Records "droppies" Ambulette, and has played baritone guitar as a member of the self-proclaimed slowest band in Chicago, Pinebender. His full-time job is actually playing in a blues band called Mississippi Heat that travels the world, and recently toured Africa, which is bonkers. But I digress.

Howard might not be as fitting to the sideman role as he has led himself and others to believe; that's just how his career has developed. This record, Songs About A Sick Boy (you should have it now, if you can't find it in your pile, let me know) is INTENSELY personal in a real, heavy, harrowingly beautiful kind of way--not in an "I'm a songwriter who is whining about my breakup" kind of way. Howard, who has been a super central figure in the Chicago music community for over a decade and is affectionately known by most as "The Kid", has battled through major health issues pretty much his whole life. A total of 12 songs written over a period of 12 years, this album focuses almost exclusively on his health battles and subsequent emotional fallout following the ebb-and-flow cycles of affection, addiction and ailment. It's been written and recorded during Howard's continued recovery  and struggle with his various illnesses; songs here were often written from Howard's hospital bed but reflectively sung from his thrift store couch.

He says about it: "Some of these songs were written at a point in my life when things were really grim, when I was 15 and drowning in drama or 25 and going though surgeries. "My body was really failing me and I had so much time to recoup that music was an escape and a way to translate my anxieties. Now looking back, it becomes a marker for how far I've come."

His hopeful voice is one of defiance and faith. The songs offer an innocence and buoyancy, filled with the heartbroken confidence of a man who has just let go, sweetly singing himself to sleep in order to face the day again tomorrow. Stephen Howard is a bro, and he is brave, and he has made a great record, and I would love it if you could give the songs a listen and consider said record for review, or Quieting Syrup for a feature, or any kind of coverage you might see fit to run.

Please let me know if there's anything that I can get for you re: this release (like an interview or a digital download), and I'll get on it.