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Stars Like Fleas announce Fall tour (Including Forward Music Festival, Iceland Airwaves, and shows with High Places and Dark Meat)

By August 24, 2008No Comments

Stars Like Fleas

Stars Like Fleas

MP3: Stars Like Fleas – “I Was Only Dancing”


After quietly releasing a number of highly-praised, mostly hand-traded cult releases over several years, Stars Like Fleas re-emerged recently with new clothing, sonic plastic surgery, and a desire to shed its underground trappings and engage audiences in the flesh. Almost instantly creating a stir and an overnight name for themselves in the overcrowded and sentiment-suspicious Brooklyn music scene, the Fleas began selling out exponentially larger shows in secret spaces as well as established venues. The group now has a brand new label home in the US, the esteemed Hometapes label which released the band’s third album, The Ken Burns Effect on June 3, 2008.

Stars Like Fleas may truly represent a new branch on America’s phylogenetic musical tree, distinguishing themselves through an unlikely alchemy where anxiety and confrontation accompany something candid, joyous and unashamedly romantic. In already-mythic, transformational performances (praised in The Wire, Time Out, the Village Voice, etc, and countless blogs), Stars Like Fleas create music of its own haunted species; as accessible and humane as it is unsettling and extreme.

The Ken Burns Effect, a document of the band’s growth over the past year, is an iconoclastic but more immediate, organic and lush album than its predecessors Sun Lights Down On The Fence, and Took The Ass For A Drive. When Fleas-fan, the composer Nico Muhly (arranger to Björk, Grizzly Bear, and Antony & The Jonsons) helped pass along early recordings drafts from The Ken Burns Effect to Björk producer/collaborator Valgeir Sigurðsson, the band were invited to Iceland to complete the record with him.

FUN FACT: Stars Like Fleas features (ex) members/contributors of TV on the Radio, Scarlett Johansson’s band, The Fiery Furnaces, Beirut, Tall Firs, Celebration, Mercury Rev, The Silent League and additional contributions by Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Sean Lennon, Fantomas)


08.22.08 The Stone New York, NY
09.10.08 The Bug Jar Rochester, NY
09.11.08 The Casbah Lounge Hamilton, ONT
09.12.08 The Music Gallery Toronto, ONT
09.13.08 The Ford Plant Brantford, ONT
09.14.08 Lab.Synthese Montreal, QC
09.15.08 No Radio Records Ithaca, NY
09.16.08 Brillobox Pittsburgh, PA *
09.17.08 Grog Shop Cleveland, OH *
09.18.08 The Empty Bottle Chicago, IL #
09.20.08 Forward Music Festival Madison, WI
09.21.08 The DAAC Grand Rapids, MI
09.22.08 Oberlin College Oberlin, OH
10.04.08 Market Hotel, Brooklyn, NY $
10.17.08 Iceland Airwaves Festival Reyjkavik, Iceland
11.09.08 Le Poisson Rouge New York, NY

* = w/ High Places
# = w/ Adventure
$ = w/ Dark Meat

Watch some Stars Like Fleas videos:

What the press has said about The Ken Burns Effect:

“A dreamy experimental-pop band that pushes against band-ness — [the] new record has an eerie power — an original and mysterious record” – Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

“”[Notable Release – 8/10] dreamy and calamitous — loaded with soft vocals, harsh noise, and an utterly unpredictable drift from gorgeously plaintive country-folk balladry to explosive outbursts of distortion and bludgeoning drums — deeply confounding — a journey worth taking” – Under The Radar

“[with] tracks that drift from beautiful symphonies to discordant pandemonium on a whim, the album stands as a work of mad genius” – NPR (Second Stage)

“TOP TEN: both accessible as your average indie rock band and puzzling as the most abstract soundscapes — In the hands of some artists, a combination like this would spell disaster. Here, a perfect balance has been struck between conceptual electronics and emotionally weighted songwriting” – XLR8R

“Your first listen to The Ken Burns Effect — is kind of like your first kiss. It’s hard to describe in a few words. You feel a little confused, a little elated, a little unsatisfied — The disorientation makes you giddy — The addictive, come-hither quality doesn’t fade away — you have heard other “experimental bands,” [but] this is a new kind of energy.” – Nylon Magazine

“one of the year’s most ambitious and daring records — Sometimes, I think The Ken Burns Effect deserves a 10.0. Sometimes, it feels like a 2.0. You might hate it. You might love it. But you need to hear it” – Pitchfork

“When I first heard ‘I Was Only Dancing’ it moved me to tears — this really is a special piece of music. Song of the year so far” –

“[a] stunningly beautiful ride, experimental passages blending seamlessly into welcoming billows of pure melody — The Ken Burns Effect makes me dream.” – Dusted Magazine

“Here’s your new favorite band: their album is under an hour and it swallows universes whole” -Cokemachineglow

“[full of] lushly-orchestrated pop epics — “I Was Only Dancing,” is a precise audio replication of a cloudburst falling on parched earth, sandwiched between slices of warm sunlight. Bathe/bask in it and you’ll see why it’s already one of my favorites of the year” -3hive

“nothing short of astonishing — Moments of hushed meditative intensity erupt into howling storms of futility — Mahlerian in scope and sound” -SOUNDSECT

“Stars Like Fleas is the best band in New York — one of those rarest of albums that completely defies any comparison — They take more risks than is probably advisable, and sometimes their shows flirt with disaster, but more often than not they create something utterly captivating and closer to a religious experience than I’m even comfortable with.” -Yer Sweet Chimneys

“When it comes to experimental music — Stars Like Fleas cement their spot at the top — a truly unique experience. The Ken Burns Effect grows on a listener like moss, and once it has its roots in you, you won’ t be able to shake it free” -Soundcheck Magazine

“Is Stars Like Fleas a folk-pop band with experimental elements, or the reverse? If The Ken Burns Effect aims to make that question unanswerable, it’s a resounding success”-Time Out New York

“Stars Like Fleas is the Broken Social Scene of Brooklyn — the arrangements are thick and rewarding, even in their weirdest states — a great album”-Impose Magazine

“[live review] one of my favorite upcoming groups — by the end all eyes and ears were wide open”-Café Eclectica

The Ken Burns Effect — will not only defy characterization, but will probably be the big break for one of New York’s most sublime and continuously undiscovered bands” -Paper Magazine

“This Brooklyn collective of free-radical networkers — display an uncanny ability to splat together Flaming Lips pop, free-jazz blat, bluegrass, laptop noise, Talk Talk’s moody Laughing Stock moves, harp runs, and shape-note singing. And that’s just in five minutes.”-Village Voice

“As if being one of the most fascinating live bands in New York wasn’t enough, Stars Like Fleas’ The Ken Burns Effect takes the group’s aesthetic-weird, wondrous, naïve, bewildering-and wrangled it into a full-length that finally does overdue justice to their immense promise — one of those rare records that you want to hear on headphones to uncover each nook and cranny of its myriad contours. It’s a record that you want to live in.” -Todd Burns (Editor – Stylus Magazine, Village Voice, eMusic)

“a sprawling mix of folk, Americana, free improv — the band can transform a dingy room into something as gorgeous and sweeping as the Great Plains” -New York Press

“Stars Like Fleas — soar purely on the power of emotion and angush — an artfully woven spiderweb of sound” -Treblezine

The Ken Burns Effect continues SLF’s astral trajectory — spare and intimate, but brimming with cacophony — excellent — Recommended!” -Other Music

“moves in awe-inspiring slow motion — like the kind of music you dream; disjointed and choppy on the surface, but at the core all interconnected and beautiful — it’s exhausting.” -Baeble Music Blog

“a graceful album that has an assured stride and a strong sense of direction — an eye-opening experience”-The Line of Best Fit


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