Archive for February, 2008

Feb 27 2008

Show Review: Wilco (9:30 Club, DC-2/26)

Published by under MP3's,Show Review

photo thanks to: kingpinphoto.com and NPR: All Things Considered

I have seen Wilco perform seven times before, but never have I seen them put on a show like they did last night at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. Simply put, Wilco is more vibrant than ever before. Jeff Tweedy appears healthier than I’ve ever seen him. I’ve never seen him play so passionately, interact with the fans so personally, or smile so much. If it weren’t for Wilco fine-tuning their music so magnificently, their enthusiasm could have deceived me into believing this was one of their first performances ever as a band.

Wilco performed many of their older songs that they don’t typically play. Perhaps it was the band’s decision to play their whole discography over a five-day period at Chicago’s Riviera theater that gave them this new renewed energy. Browsing their setlist’s from other shows though, including those in Chicago, I am led to believe that Wilco’s performance yesterday was one of their best ever. I would be surprised if it doesn’t eventually become a live album.

The 9:30 Club is a small-medium sized venue, perhaps housing a little less than a thousand people. Tickets for both shows sold out within ten minutes, which means the venue was packed with loyal fans (I mean, I wasn’t even able to pick up a ticket). Of course, many scalpers got their hands on tickets, but only loyal fans would pay the 200-400% increase from face value. With that said, it was awesome to see so many people singing along with songs from Mermaid Avenue, A.M., Being There, and Summer Teeth. At a break, a fan gave Jeff Tweedy a homemade Grammy, as the Foo Fighters robbed the band from the real one. Jeff Tweedy jokingly responded, “ Thanks for the Grammy. We already decided we didn’t want one.”

Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche are amazing musicians and fascinating to watch. I heard that Nels Cline is touring with 16 guitars, and he plays like a crazy man. Glenn Kotche is a phenomenal percussionist, and his creativity in making certain sounds is really entertaining. For example, last night he used a bunch of keys on the end of one of his sticks. I have no idea how he plays so much at one time, but respect him a lot for his talent. You should check out Kotche’s side project, and if you live in NYC, he is doing two solo sets with Bryce Dessner (The National) and Matthew Ritchie on March 13 & 14 at The Kitchen.

Thanks to Vox Populi (good review), here is an almost complete set-list (click “continue reading” to see it). I will be updating the list as soon as possible.

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Feb 27 2008

NPR Streaming Live Wilco Show From 9:30 Club, DC

Published by under MP3's,Muse News

I’ll be reviewing Wilco’s show yesterday at the 9:30 Club shortly (hint: It was spectacular), but in the meantime, you might be interested in streaming tonight’s second show there. Wilco came out at 9 PM EST, so if you see this post soon, you won’t have missed much. If not, then you can listen to it in the archives. I’m listening right now and it sounds great. The way that they are able to reconstruct their songs is amazing. Be expecting more posts up on the site soon.

Wilco – You Are My Face

Wilco – What Light

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Feb 23 2008

Forest City Lovers – The Sun and the Wind

Published by under MP3's,Video

For those who like: Feist, Cat Power, Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, Andrew Bird

I rarely come across an album that I want to listen to from beginning to end. There is always at least one song, often more, that tempts me to hit the skip button. With the Toronto band Forest City Lovers, that is not the case. In fact, I have already put the album on repeat quite a few times. I only came across the band a few weeks ago, and am absolutely in love with their 2006 debut album, The Sun and The Wind. If you are only plan to purchase one album within the next month, this is the album I recommend.

Forest City Lovers make me feel warm inside—something about their music is so familiar, yet new at the same time. The first time I listened through The Sun and The Wind, I felt that the band mastered knowing exactly what I wanted to hear; it is a talent to be able to not only know good music, but consistently produce it. This album entertains horns, banjos, chimes, violins, piano, and other surprises that make it the masterpiece that it is. The instruments never intrude on the vocals or guitar though. They just gently poke their heads out to say hello.

The female vocals are welcoming and comforting—and among the best out there next to Cat Power and Feist. Kat Burns’ voice is real and personal and sounds superb when sung in conjunction with their beautiful instrumental arrangements.

I know I am going to be gushing over this album for a while. And it deserves every second of it. This is truly a remarkable piece of work, and I love everything about it. I love the track placement. I love how all of the eleven tracks are less than three and a half minutes in length (and seven tracks are under three minutes). It’s not a second shorter or longer than it needs to be. It gets to the point. And now so will I. Buy this album. It is essential to have in your music catalogue. Listen from start to finish. And embrace.

Forest City lovers is based in Toronto, Canada and consists of Kat Burns (vocals/guitar/piano), Kyle Donnelly (bass/guitar/vocals), and Mika Posen (violin/piano/vocals). They have a new album coming out March 11, 2008 on Out of this Spark, entitled Haunting Moon Sinking. Some songs can be previewed on their Myspace, and I will be reviewing the album within the next few weeks. I’m also going to quickly mention that they released The Sun and the Wind independently, so the proceeds are going to the band.

The Sun and the Wind (2006):

Forest City Lovers – Song For Morrie

Forest City Lovers – In Flight

Forest City Lovers – Beneath Rocks & Sands

Deciding which songs to feature was nearly impossible. They are all great. If you like songs, you will love the album.

Site | Kat Burns’ site (check it out)| iTunes| Zunior| Myspace (Buy CD directly from band)

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I love this music video for “Don’t Go, Please.” It was filmed by the band in 2007 when touring Western Canada, from Toronto to Victoria.It goes perfect with this music.

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Feb 23 2008

Indie Muse Looking for Partner Sites

Published by under Muse News

Do you have a music blog or know someone who does? We here at Indie Muse are looking for sites that would be interested in partnering up with us (via the blogroll), that feature similar music. We have been running Indie Muse for a while now and would love to continue spreading the word on the site so people unaware of it can potentially find new music that they like (and hopefully you have enjoyed, thus far.) Also, we want to endorse other sites that we think our readers would like, as we can’t feature every great musician out there, as much as we would like to.

If you enjoy our blog and have a site of your own that you think we would like (that’s right RIAA!), then please shoot off an email to David (at) indiemuse (dot) com, or just use the contact form below. We are NOT looking to get more traffic to the site by any means necessary. This is a passion project, and our number one priority is to promote the music we love. The number of loyal readers we have to the site is astounding, and I can’t thank you guys enough. You all have great taste in music and I love hearing from you (and your recommendations.) We will be reviewing all the sites that contact us, and will only be supporting those that we visit ourselves.

[CONTACT-FORM]

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Feb 21 2008

Dustin Kensrue

Published by under MP3's

 

In celebration, albeit somewhat late celebration, of his announcement of a new album this year, I thought I’d do a small little write up about one of my favorite songwriters, Dustin Kensrue, singer/guitarist of california experimental rockers Thrice and as of last year, solo acoustic act. Kensrue’s 2007 solo album Please Come Home is a delightful mix of acoustic folk and a little bit of blues, layered underneath Kensrue’s emotional croons. Though the lyrical content of the some of the songs can be preachy (Kensrue’s lyrical work on Thrice’s Vheissu also took a very unexpected Christian tinge), the album is overall a beautiful example of how versatile Kensrue is and how well his voice works over acoustic. And although the music could most accurately be compared to more pop sounding singer songwriters like Jack Johnson or John Mayer’s acoustic work, don’t let that deter you, the album can be enjoyed by fans of any acoustic work. To the straight up, fast paced blues tale of addiction and adrenaline “Blood & Wine,” to the bouncy, folksy “Consider The Ravens,” a parable of maintaining faith in the hardest situations. I’m also going to take this opportunity to give you guys a couple mp3s from the 2007 Thrice release The Alchemy Index, Vol. 2: Water. If you’ve ever heard Thrice’s older material, forget what you know and download these mp3s. You’ll recognize Kensrue’s moans but Water is a beautiful, relaxing blend of atmospheric guitars, echoing piano, shimmering vocal harmonies, computerized drums and volume swells so definitely check it out if you’re a fan of atmospheric type music.

 

From Please Come Home:

“Please Come Home”

“Blood & Wine”

“Consider The Ravens”

 

From Thrice’s The Alchemy Index, Vol. 2: Water:

“The Whaler”

“Digital Sea”

 

Myspace | Official Site | Amazon | iTunes

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Feb 21 2008

Show Review: Bon Iver (Rock and Roll Hotel, DC- 2/19)

Published by under MP3's,Show Review

Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to see Justin Vernon, a.k.a Bon Iver, open for Black Mountain at the Rock and Roll Hotel. In the middle of Vernon’s forty-five minute set, he played “The Wolves: Act I and II,” and asked the crowd to help out by chanting “What might have been lost.” As corny as this may sound, hearing this live made me realize that a lot would have been lost if I had missed this show.

Those in attendance seemed engaged and every so often when I looked back, I saw mesmerized faces that looked similar to my own when I first heard Bon Iver’s music. I could tell there were a lot of people who were hearing Vernon’s music for the first time, which is not surprising given his debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago released the same day as the show. Speaking with others, I know I wasn’t the only one there who came mostly to see Bon Iver.

The show was exactly what I imagined it would be, except that I was under the assumption that Bon Iver would be playing solo. He has songs with percussions, so I knew there might be someone helping out at times, but I pictured him playing acoustically by himself. Instead, he was supported by his friends Michael and Sean on the baritone guitar and drums, and they all sounded great. “Blindsided” was definitely the highlight of the show, with Vernon jamming it up. He was all over the place, messing with different knobs, and doin’ the ole rock n’ roll bender downer (below pic). Sure enough he managed to knock the mic stand down. If you have a chance to see Bon Iver live, do it. I unfortunately wasn’t able to stay for Black Mountain, but heard they put on a good show. If anyone else saw them, please share your thoughts.


the ole rock n’ roll bender downer

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Feb 21 2008

Rediscovering the Video: Vol. 2

Published by under MP3's,Video

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MP3: Tim Williams – “Novel”

Directed by: Josh Horowitz

Basically created from tons of stills, the video above is a perfect example of bringing something new to the table. While it exists in a genre that has been seen and done, this video takes an interesting perspective and its movements draw you in.

One thing I’m always looking for is innovation in the world of the video. Being the visual accompaniment to music opens the doors to all kinds of style and oftentimes it’s the twists on the usual that make for the most striking video. Still, the possibilities are almost endless. Today, I’m sharing a few of the more innovative videos I’ve seen in a while.

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Feb 19 2008

Song of the Day – 2/19/08

Published by under MP3's,Song of the Day

The best 26 minutes and 39 seconds of my day were spent listening to The Antlers 2007 release, In The Attic Of The Universe. Shy of even thirty minutes, this musical journey is exactly the kind of work that leaves you wanting more. Every so often I would find myself trying to get into the mind of The Antlers (a.k.a Peter Silberman) and the song would end, giving way to yet another side of the multifaceted artist. Every one of the eight songs is wonderful. The album opens with the found noises of nature and, from there, weaves a masterpiece of sound that never truly quits and most definitely cuts to the core.

Not afraid to use a variety of different sounds together, he works to ensure the purity and as a listener, his desire to express himself unfiltered certainly shows. Silberman’s voice was a little surprising at first and is walking the line in such a way that some people may be turned off–but give it a chance, you won’t be disappointed. (Also, many of the tracks are instrumental).

This track from the middle of the album turned up while on shuffle and I was hooked from there.

MP3: The Antlers – “The Universe Is Going To Catch You”

My biggest grudge against the album is its brevity. The second track, “Look!” is only 1:56 and more than half is the setup. But the payoff is fucking sweet…

MP3: The Antlers – “Look!”

MP3: The Antlers – “The Carrying Arms” (Awesome.)

MP3: The Antlers – “When You Sleep (My Bloody Valentine Cover)

Home | MySpace | Fall Records (Human Host, Page France) | Hype Machine

Pick up In The Attic Of The Universe from: iTunes | Amazon | Fall Records | eMusic

Pick up some more MP3’s (ep selections & covers) from The Antlers download page.

Also, here’s some of The Antlers side-project work: The Pet Ghost Project | Darby Cicci

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Feb 19 2008

Song of the Day – 2/18/08

Published by under MP3's,Song of the Day,Video

This just turned up in my library or something, but I’m truly glad I found it.

Charlemagne’s 2007 release, We Can Build An Island, is a raw, original album with a current of tradition running through. It’s a happy bit of twee rock and introspective shoegaze sharing the air with grunge and heartland rock mixed in.

Formerly located in Madison, Wisconsin, Carl Jones moved to New York and created the album, reminiscent of his previous group, NoahJohn, but with much more depth. It is an interesting creature that definitely doesn’t deserve to be sold short. The type of music they create is definitely something classic, but with a strong sense of vitality… and it makes all the difference.

MP3: Charlemagne – “First Day of Spring”

Charlemagne is not terribly complex or progressive in their songwriting. They call upon many tropes that are familiar to the listener and tease at the stylistic chord progressions of various generations. Hidden in the spaces, however, are the unidentifiable undertones that make the album feel honest, classic and truly, a pleasure.

MP3: Charlemagne – “Saturn Return”

Mp3: Charlemagne – “We’re Gonna Hate All Over This Town”

 

Home | MySpace | NoahJohn | SideCho Records | More Tracks @ Hype Machine

Get yoself some Charlemagne on: iTunes | Amazon | eMusic | SideCho

Here’s their video for “New Train”

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Feb 18 2008

Disc a Day: Week 7

Published by under Disc a Day,MP3's

February 11th

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Smog – Red Apple Falls

MP3: Smog – I Was a Stranger

MP3: Smog – Ex-con

February 12th

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Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It in People

MP3: Broken Social Scene – KC Accidental

MP3: Broken Social Scene – Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl

February 13th

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Radiohead – Amnesiac

MP3: Radiohead – Pyramid Song

MP3: Radiohead – Knives Out

February 14th

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Ratatat – 9 Beats

MP3: Ratatat – Track 1

MP3: Ratatat – Track 5

February 15th

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Radiohead – In Rainbows

MP3: Radiohead – Weird Fishes/Arpeggi

MP3: Radiohead – Faust Arp

February 16th

http://snocone.mu.org/reviews/images/postalServiceGiveUp.jpg

The Postal Service – Give Up

MP3: The Postal Service – The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
MP3: The Postal Service – Nothing Better

February 17th

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Beach House – Devotion

MP3: Beach House – Gila

MP3: Beach House – Some Things Last a Long Time (Daniel Johnston Cover)

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