August 26, 2011

Hell's Kitchen Music Society (HKMS) is a music showcase for various artists specifically selected by our staff. From going to shows, playing in bands of our own, or talking about our favorite records with our customers, it is a facet of our lives that we live and experience everyday. HKMS was created as an extension of something that we all love, music. Throughout the year we will feature a rotating roster of artist and musicians that reflect our current tastes in music. Nepenthes will sell  music and merchandise as well as special limited edition selections just for our store.

Current list of artists:

EFFI BRIEST are six Brooklyn and New York City based musicians - Corinne Jones, Elizabeth Hart, Jessica Stathos, Jessie Gold, Claire Harlam and Sara Shaw. The band takes their name from a German nineteenth century novel featuring Effi Briest, a tragic female protagonist who is cast out by society. However, the aim of EFFI BRIEST is to write a new narrative for the disenfranchised character - one of free will - rather than embody the melancholic underpinnings of the novel.

Rhizomes is the debut full length album from EFFI BRIEST. The nine-song opus, Rhizomes, unleashes a propulsive beat that drives angular guitars and bone chilling vocals over dark bass, dense drones and clattering, dance-like percussion. The atmospheric psychedelia owes as much to Arthur Russell as to Amon Duul. Rhizomes includes two of the band’s UK singles on Loog Records, and seven more previously-unreleased original songs. There are brilliant videos for both singles; the cinematic “Long Shadow,” directed by Brandon LaGanke, is making its way around the internet, and showcases the six-piece during their most formidable hour. Mak Kern’s stunning animation for EFFI BRIEST’s palindrome song, “Mirror Rim,” is bound to boomerang back if you missed it the first time. Also, out now is a split with Peaches on Blast First Petite as part of the label’s ongoing 12-inch tribute series to Suicide. Over the past year, the band has been at work on their second album.

Mike Wexler is a songwriter, guitarist & singer.  Solo his songs are about looking for new avenues to explore using only the most basic materials: guitar and voice. On record & live he is helped out by many outstanding NY musicians from far-flung musical backgrounds (rock, experimental, free improv). The songs often employ extended instrumental passages and techniques, and run the dynamic gamut from the brink of silence to peak volume. They are psychedelic and exploratory, charged with a shadowy spirituality, but also focused on the real, the present moment, and the future.

Up Died Sound is Nicky Mao (guitar, vocal, violin), Tyler Nolan (guitar) and Jordi Wheeler (bass). Strongly rooted in the past and present of the New York City music scene and connected through a shared desire and focus to make music that crosses the divide, Up died Sound are not idle onlookers.
Their tasteful unpredictability is exemplified through the scope of the projects they've been a part of and the places they've been. Former and current bands include: Effi Briest, La Ostracina, The Occasion, Skeletons, Vaz, Glasser, Janka Nabay's Bubu Gang, Hiro Kone, among others. Their physical travels (Jordi's two year sojourn in a bunker outside Aranjuez, Spain; Nicky's contemplation over gypsy and street music in Turkey, Greece and Asia) become apparent in an unhindered necessity for the music to travel, to gain perspective, to move forward.

Invisible Conga People is a duo made up of New Yorkers Justin Simon and Eric Tsai. Their music could be described as psychedelic, slow-pulse boogie. Their first single "Cable Dazed" was released by Italians Do It Better (Glass Candy, etc), and their second single "In A Hole" was just released by DFA (LCD Soundsystem, etc). Relying on vintage (and in some cases, home made) gear, Simon and Tsai construct songs that are often syrupy in pace. Darkened tones mingle with floating percussion and vocals are processed to nearly melancholic depths. In addition to ICP, Justin Simon also heads up the Mesh-Key Records label, which specializes in Japanese psychedelic music and has released albums by Yura Yura Teikoku, Nagisa Yoko, Chie Mukai and We Acediasts

Highlife is New York based songwriter Sleepy Doug Shaw. Shaw moved from his hometown of London, England at the age of 19, arriving onto the NYC music scene in 2003. At that time accompanied by only by an acoustic guitar, he was soon showcasing his preternatural singing abilities and strong focused fingerpicking blues skills around the city playing under the moniker Sleepy Doug Shaw; and before long he had joined the entrancing psychedelic soul band White Magic.