Inspired by a taste for the surreal, Cleveland's Mr. Gnome has been creating a singular amalgam of gritty, space-psychedelia since 2005, gaining them an ever-growing cult following across North America and Europe, as well as praise from the likes of Rolling Stone, Paste, Spin, Bust, and more. With a nod to the off-kiltered, the constantly touring duo are set to release their third full-length album, Madness In Miniature, October 25th on El Marko Records. While the previous two albums offered mere glimpses, the new album is an all-encompassing gaze into two delicate yet roaring, hypnotic yet beautifully disconcerting minds that come together to make sense as one.
Singer/guitarist Nicole Barille and drummer/pianist Sam Meister bring an unfiltered approach to their craft, allowing for emotional and sonic variance. The duo's mood swings are mirrored by the band's surreal album artwork and music videos, all created by Barille and Meister themselves. Madness in Miniature twists from soft lullabies to interstellar chaos. The intricately woven musical tapestries and hallucinogenic interludes pounded out by the duo represent an expansion and perfection of the stylistic character Mr. Gnome had previously become synonymous with.
Like the previous album Heave Yer Skeleton (2009), the new record was recorded at Josh Homme's (Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures) Pink Duck Studios in Los Angeles. The Madness in Miniature sessions signal the band’s second opportunity to partner with Pink Duck Studio Manager and Engineer, Justin Smith (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal, Arctic Monkeys, Them Crooked Vultures). Portland’s Beau Sorenson, who mixed the previous two albums, is back as well.
Sleepy Kitty is more than a band: it's an all-in multi-media artistic collaboration. After spending the '90s drumming in Harvey Danger (London/Polygram), and the '00s in Chicago's Bound Stems(Flameshovel), Sult heard Brubeck's voice in her band, Stiletto Attack, and couldn't shake it. Strictly for fun, they started mashing weird sound experiments into their natural pop instincts, and quickly had a batch of art-cracked, catchy songs. At the same time, they were designing and printing t-shirts and rock posters together. They called it all Sleepy Kitty—and they now run both their band and their print shop out of a formerly abandoned brewery on St. Louis's Cherokee Street, which has since become the city's unofficial printers' row (you can check out their print work at sleepykittyarts.com). After two self-released EPs—Hustlin' Kets (2007) and What I Learned This Summer (2009)—and some great opening slots for the Dresden Dolls, Chuck Berry, and Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, Sleepy Kitty caught the ear of Euclid Records' Joe Schwab. The band's live show is a whirlwind: Brubeck loops her vocals live, crafting walls of girl-group harmonies above the tube-driven blast of her vintage Super Reverb. Sult plays at the edge of the stage with her—when he can contain himself to his drum throne. Infinity City transmits the power of their live show but reveals their canny control of pop architecture: "Gimme a Chantz!" opens with a theatrical flourish before bounding into a crowd of surging '90s-era harmonies; garage-cranked "Speaking Politely" makes way for the delicately observed details of city-breakup ode "NYC Really Has It All," and the Velvets/Fab Four mash note "Seventeen" revels in their influences.
Cave of Swords
Middle Class Fashion
Jenn (Paper Dolls, Tight Pants Syndrome) meets Brad (A Bit Shifty). Productivity ensues in the form of piano, drums, vocal harmonies, and some other stuff too. Having formed in February 2010 and playing their first show three weeks later, Jenn and Brad--with new addition Brian (Tight Pants Syndrome, Maxtone Four) on fuzz bass--are wasting no time. They can be seen playing in local St. Louis venues and beyond.