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Painted Caves
United States
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Middle Eastern-influenced psychedelic grooves meet California surf rock.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Painted Caves have earned a reputation for their highly original, Arab-American music and mesmerizing live performances. Built on a foundation of Western experimentation and Middle Eastern tradition, the group uses traditional folk and jazz instruments (oud, daf, trumpet, flute) as a base and focal point against a backdrop of hypnotic rhythm (guitar, bass, percussion) and dreamy, uplifting songwriting. Seamlessly melding shoegaze distortion with delicate microtones and vocal harmonies, their music transports the listener from the sands of the North African desert to the sunny beaches of Baja California and the great ocean beyond, with infectious grooves and lyrical hooks keeping company on a musical journey that is inspiring, reflective, and celebratory. They have made frequent appearances at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Chill on the Hill, and at Madison's La Fete de Marquette '13, the Lake Moon Festival '14, and Summer Soulstice Festival '14. The group made their international debut at the Amarrass Music Festival in New Delhi, India in Nov 2014 and played select dates around the Midwest in Summer/Fall 2015. Their debut album 'Painted Caves' has been getting rave reviews and frequent radio airplay and is scheduled for worldwide release this March on Amarrass Records.


April 11 – Alverno Presents 'Jones Uncovered', Milwaukee, WI
June 10 – River Rhythms, Pere Marquette Park, Milwaukee, WI
June 13 – Marquette Waterfront Festival, Madison, WI
July 2 – Summerfest, Milwaukee / Briggs & Stratton Stage
July 7 – Chill on the Hill Summer Concert Series, Milwaukee, WI
August 4 – Skyline Music Series, Milwaukee, WI
August 21 – Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA), Madison, WI

"Like the official house band for the North African Surfer's Guild, Painted Caves navigates the desert sands out of the Near East, into the African plains, and out beyond the great Western Ocean... Primitive Music For Modern Machines." "One of the best bands from the Brew City, 'Beautiful' is one word to describe Painted Caves, which fuses traditional Arabic music with rock, psychedelic, and folk" (Milwaukee Art Magazine).

Global Village Top 40 Albums For May 2015 - Chris Heim, KMUW 89.1 Wichita NPR, May 2015

"Painted Caves is a true genre-bending gem" - David Savage, host of Unfiltered Camels on KZSC Santa Cruz 88.1 FM, April 2015

"Dreamy yet with a rock sensibility, the songs are elegantly composed psychedelia rooted in Lubbad and Kashou’s Near Eastern heritage. The reverberant jangle of a Silvertone electric guitar harmonizes with the eerie twang of the oud as drumsticks meld with hand-slapped percussion. Minor keys set the tone for music that suggests an altered reality in a beautiful Kasbah of the mind." - MilwaukeeExpress.com, Feb 3, 2015

“Milwaukee band Painted Caves play Middle Eastern-influenced psychedelic grooves that more or less follow the Silk Road in reverse, back toward India... It’s safe to say that there is no group anywhere in the world who sound anything like them.” - New York Music Daily

"...an alchemical marriage of '60s rock and age-old Arabic folk, producing an offspring entirely contemporary and ageless." - The Shepherd Express

“Palestinian Notes Emerge from Painted Caves” - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Arthouse Rock" - Indian Express (Dec 2014)

"Painted Caves may be one of the best bands in Brew City... 'Beautiful' is one word to describe Painted Caves, which fuses traditional Arabic music with rock, psychedelic, and folk, making it one of the few truly unique bands" - Milwaukee Magazine (Mar 2013)

“Richly Hypnotic, Unique Middle Eastern Psychedelic Grooves from Painted Caves” - New York Music Daily

"Painted Caves emerges as a great work of art!" - Inside World Music

"Infectious danceable pop" - Milwaukee Record

"Summer Sound" - BayView Compass.com (Jul 2013)

Their self-titled, self-produced, locally-released album held the number one position for overall airplay for over 16 weeks at college radio station WMSE 91.7, the song “Paper Tigers” has stayed in constant regular rotation at AAA radio station 88.9 Radio Milwaukee for over 2 years, including winning the station’s New Music Wednesday competition against well-established national acts. The album has also appeared on top 10 lists by Chicago 91.5 WBEZ’s Tony Sarabia, Massachusetts 89.7 WTMD’s Scott Mullins, The Shepherd Express Milwaukee, and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


Painted Caves' first public gigs were in late 2012 and since then have performed at indoor venues like the Milwaukee Art Museum (Nov '12, Mar '13, 2014), The Kohler Arts Center (Oct '14), The Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, and at large outdoor festival events like Madison's La Fete de Marquette (July '13), The Lakefront Festival of the Arts (June '14), Bay View’s “Chill on the Hill” summer concert series (July '14), and Milwaukee’s Summer Soulstice Festival (June '14). In November 2014, Painted Caves made their international debut headlining the Amarrass Music Festival where they also collaborated with Indian master musicians Lakha Khan, Barmer Boys, and with Malian kora player Madou Sidiki Diabate.
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