Berklee Hosts CMJ Showcase at the Knitting Factory October 25

By 
Margot Edwards
October 3, 2008
Lucius
Annie Lynch and the Beekeepers
Teletextile
Tiny Animals
Turkuaz
Christopher Barnes and Ieva Berberian
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist
Photo provided by the artist

Berklee College of Music, Heavy Rotation Records (HRR), and the Berklee Internet Radio Network present their second annual CMJ Music Marathon showcase on Saturday, October 25 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Knitting Factory Tap Bar. The showcase features rock, indie-pop, funk, folk, and ambient music by alumni and HRR artists Annie Lynch and the Beekeepers (HRR), Christopher Barnes (HRR), Lucius, Teletextile, Tiny Animals, and Turkuaz (HRR). 

The event is all-ages and open to both CMJ badgeholders and the general public free of charge. For more information, please call 212 219-3132 or visit berklee.edu. The Knitting Factory is located at 74 Leonard St. (between Broadway and Church), New York, New York. Now in its 28th year, the CMJ Music Marathon is New York's largest music event, attracting bands, fans, and music industry professionals from around the world.   

MC'd by Berklee alumnae Jenn Mundia and Andrea Setaro, the showcase also includes free raffles for two badges to attend next year's CMJ Music Marathon and SanDisk Sansa mp3 players. Free copies of student-run label HRR's latest CD, Dorm Sessions Volume 5, featuring showcase artists Turkuaz, Annie Lynch and the Beekeepers, and Christopher Barnes, will also be available at the event.

The BIRN will air interviews and in-studio performances by Berklee showcase artists in the week leading up to the event, and will be on hand to record performances and interviews at the showcase for later broadcast on its Air Alumni channel. Beyond Berklee's showcase, The BIRN also plans to phone in promos and updates from the trade show during CMJ. Check it out at thebirn.com.

Artists are listed in order of appearance.

Teletextile's rich sounds grew out of collaboration between Berklee alumna Pamela Martinez, a multi-instrumentalist songwriter, and Brian Hamilton, a pianist turned sound designer. They moved to Brooklyn in 2007 and found the missing pieces to their sonic puzzle in guitarist Dan McCool and drummer Luke Schneiders. Hamilton has since transformed the band's live show by building analog effects, achieving textures that previously could only be created in the studio. As recent packed shows have reflected, the result is an epic spectrum of sound that gets people moving. Teletextile's first CD, care package, introduced the group's distinctively layered sound. The band is currently working on a follow-up album.

Christopher Barnes, a native of New Hampshire's Granite Coast, began piano training at six and was composing by 13. He moved to Boston in 1998 to pursue biology at Boston University. After earning his degree, Barnes was accepted at Berklee, where he studies performance and songwriting. During his time at B.U., he dabbled in sound expression and experimentation, joining the Kingston Loft's Red Light Productions. The experience left him with an assortment of mixed adventures and full of song inspirations. Barnes is joined on his minimalist—yet atmospheric and melodic—songs by vocalist Ieva Berberian, who is also a Berklee student.

Lucius is an indie-pop group that was formed in 2006 at Berklee by lead singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig. After graduating from Berklee, Wolfe and Laessig quickly found their way to New York and added instrumentalists Nick Anderson on drums; Jim Robertson on electric and acoustic bass; and fellow alumni Aki Ishiguro on guitar and Ayako Higuchi on keyboard. The band is influenced by and likens its sound to such artists as Little Dragon, Alex & Sam, Feist, the Beatles, and Björk.

Tiny Animals, comprised of legendary juggler, circus tumbler, and Berklee alumnus Chris Howerton and his four-foot tall sister Rita Maye, renowned for her abilities in haberdashery and Gelfling incantation, have finally joined forces to create some of the universe's best rock music ever—a musical movement so powerful some even refer to it as "The Great Conjunction!!!" With the help of the deep-lunging Anton Kreisl, an accomplished bassist and nightbird caller, this band is bound for fame and glory. The power trio's music is a blend of indie rock mixed with early '90s alternative rock and a dash of pop-sensibility.

Annie Lynch and the Beekeepers is an acoustic indie-folk group comprised of Berklee alumni Lynch on guitar and vocals and Mat "Twain" Davidson on mandolin, banjo, accordion, vocals, saw, and clarinet; and students Alexandra Spalding on cello and vocals and Ken Woodward on upright bass. Annie Lynch and the Beekeepers create and perform honest music, influenced and inspired by love and the ever-changing, incomprehensible, whole wide world. This is a band of friends, music-makers, explorers, wanderers, wonderers, creators, lovers, fighters, and hopefully inspirers. The group's tour last spring included a performance at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

Turkuaz, Brooklyn's funkiest and brightest, was founded by Taylor Shell and Dave Brandwein, who met at Berklee. As members of the Galaxy Smith Digital Media Collective, they are kicking into high gear with an eight- to 13-piece high-energy band that includes alumni Jon Wilson, Mat Davidson, and Jen Hirsh, and students Greg Sanderson and Chris Brouwers. The band's influences range from the Talking Heads to James Brown and P-Funk—creating a show that mixes sounds from all over the board. Turkuaz puts the emphasis on groove, fun, and getting the room moving with catchy vocal hooks and dirty funk grooves. They recently opened for Spiritual Rez with Bernie Worrell in Boston.

Heavy Rotation Records (HRR), Berklee's student-run record label, was developed for students to gain hands-on experience running a record company. The label's staff oversees all aspects of the label's management, creating and implementing plans for A&R, marketing, sales, touring, graphic design, web development, and accounting. HRR has released 10 CDs since 1995. They include the all-female CD Shekinah: 13 Artists, distributed by Epic Records; Apollo Sunshine's second album, coreleased with spinART records; and Dorm Sessions Volumes 1–5. In addition to Apollo Sunshine, up-and-coming artists that have appeared on Dorm Sessions compilations include Big D & the Kids Table, Annie Clark (St. Vincent), and the Click Five (then known as Oscar Bravo).

The Berklee Internet Radio Network's five channels represent Berklee's first radio presence in its 61-year history. Launched in May 2007, the centerpiece of the network is channel 1, which is completely programmed by student DJs, all of whom are musicians—bringing a unique perspective to the playlists and commentary. BIRN channel 2 broadcasts interviews, seminars, clinics, and exclusive live performances, shining a spotlight on emerging artists as well as some of the biggest names in music. Channels 3 and 4 highlight Berklee's alumni, and channel 5 broadcasts programs from Berklee's International Network schools. The network boasts brand-new, state-of-the-art studios to handle its ever-expanding operations. The BIRN is a credit-earning course and thriving student-operated organization.