Europe: part V

30 06 2014

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound

After a quiet winter and spring, and a few warm up shows to get things rolling again, the Uptown Machine is ready to roll and we’re going big for Summer.  DoDivision and the Double Door were tons of fun, and now it’s time to get on a plane and show Europe what’s up.  JCBUS will be playing the Cognac Blues Passions Festival on July 4th, then making a quick run into Holland for our Dutch premiere at Conincx Pop Fest in Elsloo, NL.

For those keeping tabs at home, here’s our international touring check-off list; 8 down, only 187 more countries to go!

  1. USA – 08/07/07
  2. Canada – 07/16/10
  3. Spain – 09/16/10
  4. Italy – 10/04/11
  5. France – 05/02/13
  6. England – 10/17/13
  7. Belgium – 10/19/13
  8. Netherlands – 07/05/14

Here Comes the JCBUS/Escourt Tour

7 11 2013

Made it home safe & sound from Europe (love how our Spanish jaunts always end in the beautiful Basque region, but wasn’t thrilled about missing the memo on Euro daylight savings and getting to the Bilbao airport an hour earlier than we thought).  Now’s time to bring the funk to 8 lucky Midwest & East Coast towns with the mighty Escort crew, NY’s finest live disco extravaganza.  First show is next Friday in Ferndale, MI, a great room we haven’t played since 2012’s JJ Grey & Mofro tour.  In fact, we’re making it back to a couple of towns we don’t hit as often as we’d like, like Minneapolis and Boston.

Nov 15-18 Escort opens, JCBUS closes, Nov 20-23 JCBUS opens, Escort closes

We Wanna Be Free To Do What We Wanna Do

30 09 2013

Since the band has been off the road for two weeks, and my wife it out of town for work, I’ve had the opportunity to catch up on some “Classic Albums” on Netflix, good music nerd shit that the missus always votes down when we actually time to watch anything.  Disraeli Gears, Aja, Graceland, Paranoid, 2112, The Band, all the classic rock faves are there, but I stumbled on the Primal Scream “Screamadelica” episode last night, and took a blissful trip back to 1990 and realized how much of an influence it had on me. – BT

While Screamadelica came out in 1991, WHFS has been spinning “Loaded” and “Come Together” the year before and I was instantly hooked.  Considering that I was speeding along on a steady diet of Fugazi and Jane’s Addiction in high school, it’s still a little mystifying why a bunch of sampler-wielding E’d out Glaswegians would grab me…

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Europe 2013

19 09 2013

Can’t believe that we’ll be touring Europe in less than one month.  After touring Spain and Italy in 2010 and 2011, we stayed Stateside in 2012 (in our defense, we did tour the States 3 times that year, that’s a lot of driving), but now we’re making up for it, since we had three incredible shows in France in May of this year.

Making our UK and Belgium debuts (London, Oxford, Leuven, Antwerp), returning to France (making our Paris debut), and finally making it back to Spain, an incredible country that has been so good to this band.

Check the dates, and please tell your European friends and family:

Not making it to Amsterdam yet, or returning to Barcelona, Valencia, or Vitoria-Gasteiz (Helldorado!) but absolutely thrilled to play Paris (we just had a day off there last time).  And then we have to hustle back to prep for November’s JCBUS/Escort co-headline tour!


JCBUS/Escort Tour

11 09 2013

JC- Escort Ad Matt

Thrilled to announce our co-headlining tour with the mighty ESCORT, NYC’s finest disco orchestra extravaganza, this November.  We got to hang with Adeline and the fellas at City Winery after they turned Taste of Randolph out back in June, and we’ve got a good feeling about this one.  We’ll close the Midwest shows, they’ll do the honors on the East Coast, and we’ll have some old friends popping up to DJ along the way.  Tickets go on sale this Friday September 13, you don’t want to miss these shows.

Desert Island Albums – Volume 2

19 08 2013

Beck – Midnite Vultures (1999)



Midnite Vultures is both an excellent party album and an excellent fuck soundtrack.  With the exception of the frenetic opening track Sexx Laws (which, due to its energy and immediacy was my wake up song for the better part of my sophomore year in college) the album maintains a chill, rolling vibe that suits both romance and revelry. Beck crafts decent vibe and employs many sounds that I consider 90s hallmarks: the overblown horns in the first two tracks, the gleefully trashy drums throughout, the SFX like laser zaps and dumped garbage cans sprinkled here and there… His lyrics are hilarious and layered in a way that allows him to spout wisdom without taking himself too seriously.
Damning confession: Get Real Paid came on and I was moved to dance like Buffalo Bill.
Mitigating disclaimer: I was well into my second bottle of wine, and had just purchased a full-length mirror.



  • Sexx Laws: Arrive home, offer your guest a drink

  • Nicotine & Gravy: Initiate makeout sequence

  • Mixed Bizness: Discard clothes as you make your way to the bedroom,

light-to-medium petting

  • Get Real Paid: Excuse yourself to go ‘freshen up’, splash some water on your

junk, take a moment to get nasty in the bathroom mirror

  • Hollywood Freaks: Tonsil hockey Stanley Cup, mutual manual stimulation

  • Peaches & Cream: Oral stimulation -give

  • Broken Train: Oral stimulation -receive

  • Milk & Honey: Everyone’s favorite number

  • Beautiful Way: Initiate genital intercourse

  • Pressure Zone: Bang it the fuck out

  • Debra: Cool down -cuddle if applicable; if not, retreat to bathroom and make weird noises. If your guest is experienced, they will be dressed and ordering a Lyft by the time you emerge

Desert Island Albums – Volume 1

12 08 2013


JC here.  The blog’s lain fallow for a while so I’m starting a new series to be published at least weekly if not semi-weekly.

The series is called Desert Island Albums and the concept is just that I’m going to be talking about albums that I love (and would wish to have with me were I stranded on a deserted island).

So, here’s volume 1, I hope yez all dig it.

Ben Folds Five [self titled] (1995)



This thing comes roaring out of the gate with Jackson Cannery; pounding piano, thumping kick drum, and Folds’ voice, plaintive but strong, imploring us to “Stop the bus”.  As the album progresses I am genuinely surprised  at how big this three-piece outfit manages to sound.  It’s partially due to recording/mixing, and mostly due to Folds’ fast-fingered piano work filling in every gap like musical caulk.  It sounds like he’s showing off but at the same time it never feels like he’s overplaying.  I was introduced to this album my freshman year in college by my roommate JC.  The only thing I knew by BFF was the song Brick which was at the height of it’s popularity and constantly playing on the radio.  We both hated it, but he insisted that they were actually a decent band and made me to check out their debut album.  I fell in love, and here I am writing about it 15 years later.  The album closes with one of my favorite resignation waltzes: Boxing, a ballad about a boxer who knows when to fold ‘em explaining to his trainer why he’s giving up.  A beautiful and aching wrap-up to a raucous, thrashy, bouncy, fun album -the necessary cool-down after an intense workout.



  • Jackson Cannery – “Stop the bus, I wanna be lonely”

  • Philosophy – “And it’s really not that you can’t see the forest from the trees -you just never been out in the woods alone”

  • Best Imitation of Myself – “Last night I was east with them, and west within -trying to be for you what you wanna see”

  • The Last Polka – “My my, the cruelest lies are often told without a word.  My my, the kindest truths are often spoken, never heard”

  • Boxing – “Well sometimes I punch myself as hard as I can yelling nobody cares, hoping someone will tell me how wrong I am”

Rouse Yourself Baby

27 06 2013

Just in case you hadn’t heard the news already, via innumerable sources, the video for “Rouse Yourself” is done, and you can watch it here.

Thanks to everyone who donated to via PledgeMusic to help us make it, and big shout outs to Jake Johnson and Aubrey Plaza for taking time to star in it.

Now back to the tour:

June 28 – Ann Arbor, MI (Ann Arbor Summer Festival)
June 29 – Indianapolis, IN (Northside Opti Park)
June 30 – Milwaukee, WI (Summerfest)
July 4 – Louisville, KY (Waterfront Park)
July 6 – Iowa City, IA (Firecracker 500 Fest)
July 11 – Grand Rapids, MI (Pyramid Scheme)
July 12 – Toronto, ON (Legendary Horseshoe Tavern)
July 13 – Rochester, NY (Big Rib Fest)
July 20 – Chicago, IL (Sheffield Gardenwalk)
Aug 9 – St. Louis, MO (Off Broadway)
Aug 10 – Dixon, IL (Blues Brews BBQ Fest)
Aug 11 – Appleton, WI (Mile of Music Fest)
Aug 14 – Seattle, WA (The Triple Door)
Aug 15 – Portland, OR (Lola’s)
Aug 21 – Philadelphia, PA (Morgan’s Pier)
Oct 6 – Austin, TX (Austin City Limits Music Fest)
Oct 13 – Austin, TX (Austin City Limits Music Fest)
Oct 17-26 – UK/France/Belgium/Spain

Howl. Is. Here.

23 05 2013
photo by Chris Rejano

photo by Chris Rejano

JCBUS keyboardist Andy Rosenstein reflects on the lead-up to this week’s release of our 3rd album “Howl” (out now on Bloodshot Records):

By the time I joined the Uptown Sound as a full member in the spring of 2011, they’d just finished recording their second album “Want More”. I’d been gigging with them as a sideman on and off since late 2009.

By the time the group got to thinking seriously about our third record in the fall of 2012, we’d been touring pretty heavily on “Want More” for over a year.

By the time we got up to Montreal to record what became “Howl”, we’d been touring and writing for few months, and had begun performing a few of the new songs live.

And from the time we finished recording “Howl” to its release this week, we’d been sitting on it for another four months.

So to say that I’ve been waiting for this week is a pretty serious understatement.

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On Your Marks…

13 05 2013
BT in action, photo by Kev

BT in action, photo by Kev

THIS JUST IN: Paste Magazine is streaming HOWL in it’s entirety!

At long last, it’s time to start touring again.  SXSW, Colorado, New England, those were all wonderful little warm-ups for the HOWL tour, which starts Tuesday night in Rochester, NY.  We wind our way back to Chicago just in time for the release of the new record (out May 21 on Bloodshot Records, for those who haven’t been paying attention), and then things really get crazy.  California, East Coast, Firefly, Midwest, celebrations of Independence, festivals, ribs, summertime, fireworks, and an inevitable return to Europe.

cover shot by Clayton Hauck

cover shot by Clayton Hauck