Archive for August, 2008

Aug 08 2008

Virgin Festival Preview: Five Artists You Need To See

Published by under MP3's

Apart from the obvious musicians you can’t afford to miss at this year’s V Fest, you know like Bob Dylan, here are five bands that you may not be familiar with, but should be. Don’t make the mistake of missing these shows. Virgin Fest is August 9 & 10 at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

Andrew Bird (Chicago, IL):

Also known by me as the bird man, Andrew Bird is one of the most talented musicians around today. He’s been creating music for a while, but his 2005 release The Mysterious Production of Eggs received critical acclaim and broke him out in the indie world. His other releases, including Weather Systems (2003) and Armchair Apocrypha (2007), are great as well. Besides playing guitar, he plays a nasty violin and is an amazing whistler. I’m proud to say he’s from Chicago.

Time playing:- 1:25 p.m.-2:10 p.m Sunday, south stage.

(sample) Andrew Bird – “Fiery Crash”

Myspace

 

 

Rodrigo Y Gabriela (Mexico City, Mexico):

Repeat after me, “Do not miss this show.” I first saw this talented Mexican duo at Bonnaroo 2007. They blew my mind. They are among the best guitarists I have ever seen, and are a blast to see live. I can’t wait to see them again. If you have children, you may need to cover their ears as Gabriela likes to curse between songs–in English.

Time playing: 4:35 p.m.-5:25 p.m Saturday, north stage

(sample) Rodrigo Y Gabriela – “Tamacun”

Myspace

The Black Keys (Akron, Ohio):

Just saw them at Lollapalooza and had a great time at their show. This is worth your time.

Time playing: 5:15 p.m. -6:15 p.m Sunday, south stage

(sample) The Black Keys – “I Got Mine”

Myspace

The Swell Season (Ireland):

Co-stars in the movie Once, Glen Hansard(The Frames) and Markéta Irglová make some beautiful music. The Swell Season album is a delightful blend of quiet piano, guitar and cello interplay and the perfectly complimenting voices of Irglová and Hansard. In addition to being featured at both Coachella and Bonnaroo this year, the song “Falling Slowly” was featured in the movie Once and was nominated for both an Oscar and a Grammy. I’m excited for this show.

Time playing: 2:15 p.m.-3:05 p.m Saturday, north stage.

(sample): The Swell Season – “Falling Slowly”

Myspace

Wilco (Chicago, IL):

If you read this blog: Duh. If you are new to this blog: Hello! See them. You probably had this one on your list anyway, but no one can be left behind!

Time playing: 7 p.m.-8:15 p.m Saturday, north stage

(sample) Wilco – “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”

Myspace

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Aug 07 2008

Wilco at Lollapalooza 2008

Published by under Chicago,MP3's,Show Review,Video

 

Credit: wbru.com

“Who are you gonna see, Wilco or Rage Against the Machine?” was the big question at Lollapalooza this year. It wasn’t a hard question to answer for many, as the two bands are, for the most part, on different ends of the musical spectrum, but it was still probably the biggest schedule conflict at the Festival. Even though I’ve seen Wilco perform plenty of times before, I couldn’t pass up seeing them again.

Wilco didn’t rock out at Lollapalooza nearly as much as when I saw them at the 9:30 club in DC earlier this year, but it was a great show nonetheless. The band wore awesome coordinating nudie suits that you can see in photos and videos I’ve linked to. They even played a new song, “One Wing,” which you can listen to below.

Setlist:

Misunderstood
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
You Are My Face
Impossible Germany
It’s Just That Simple
Handshake Drugs
Pot Kettle Black
One Wing
Spiders (Kidsmoke)
A Shot In The Arm
Jesus, Etc.
Hate It Here
Can’t Stand It
Walken
Monday
Outtasite (Outta Mind)

To stream/download Wilco’s set at Lollapalooza, check out You Ain’t No Picasso. Listen to Wilco’s new song below.

Wilco – One Wing (Live at Lollapalooza ’08)

Video: “Impossible Germany” Live at Lolla ’08:

YouTube Preview Image

For more videos of Wilco at Lollapalooza, check out The Set List.

For more lolla coverage, visit my Examiner column. 

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Aug 06 2008

Panther- 14kt God

Published by under MP3's

 

14kt God is the new album on Kill Rock Stars from Portland, Oregon duo Panther, an album which I downloaded on a complete whim not knowing what it would sound like. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard a zainy mix of math rock riffing with enough groove and pop hooks to keep your head bobbing. Fans of !!!, Maps & Atlases or music that will get you moving will delight in Pather’s 14kt God.

 

mp3: “Decision, Decision”

mp3: “On The Lam”

 

Myspace | Kill Rock Stars | Website

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Aug 05 2008

Allston (Boston) Rock City

This is a mix of great songs from bands in Boston that, despite my best efforts, won’t get unstuck from my head. And there’s a reason they’re stuck there. That being that they’re great. And when I feel that void creeping in, the one I get after scrolling through all 7,000 songs on my iPod and not finding a single thing to listen to, that I click a random link from one of these bands myspace pages, and hopefully find something new to latch on to. So hopefully, one (or more!) of these tracks will become your new obsession. So folks, here you go, a brief introduction to Allston Rock City. (Some of these albums might be a bit tough to get, so if any of it strikes your fancy, shoot me an e-mail (PeterNC9@gmail.com) and I’ll steer you in the right direction.)

Tulsa – Mass – Clouds of distortion, jagged classic-rock guitar solos, and Carter Tanton’s reverb drenched voice, floating through the song in his best Jim James. This is one of those songs that makes you want to storm a castle with an army at your back. In slow motion. Up hill.
If you dig My Morning Jacket, you’ll love Tulsa. Grab I was Submerged, and look for their newest LP sometime this fall.

The Toothaches – It’s All Gunna Be OK – And after you stormed your castle, settle down with the Toothaches. From their first LP, A Month of Sundays, this is one of the happiest songs I know. And as I sit here, hung-over on a Sunday, it’s all I need. Also pictured above. They’re adorable. Oh god, don’t tell them I said that. They’ll hurt me.

Hooray For Earth – Warm OutHFE are kind of like if the dude from Islands fronted Nine Inch Nails. Or if Beck decided to redo Odelay as a grunge epic. I’ve used this line in a past review, but if the birth of a star were to have a soundtrack, the Cellphone EP (and Warm Out) might be appropriate. Also one of my favorite songs in recent memory.

Helms – It Takes Skin to Win – If Slint formed a super group with Explosions in the Sky, and wrote more hook-oriented songs, it’d almost be as good as Helms. I’ve had this song stuck in the back of my head for three years. And their live shows are unlike anything else in town. Their album McCarthy is a good place to start.

King Tuff – LadyKing Tuff isn’t from Boston, so this is kind of cheating. But he writes brilliant 60s power pop. Super lo-fi, completely self-recorded, he sounds like a more cohesive Television. I was introduced to King Tuff at a show my band played last summer in Vermont. Toward the end of our set, he strode in, looking like a grizzlier Neil Young, walked on stage, picked up a guitar, and just started shredding. He didn’t say anything, it was unreal.

Ketman – Oubliette – When I first saw Ketman, I thought I’d walked in on a Meat Puppets show. They were recently voted best new band in Boston by a reputable weekly mag, and are definitely the best power-trio in town. I did an interview in Performer Magazine with them this month. Their new album, El Torro, is like a hard slap in the face. In a good way.

Twink – What The DickensTwink’s one-sheet describes his music as “chaotic toytronica.” A Very Fine Adventure sounds like one of Jon Brion’s freaked out instrumentals, or b-sides to the I Heart Huckabees soundtrack. Slightly atonal toy piano floats through elaborate arrangements of other toy instruments, synthesizers and a whole bevy of phasing, pulsing instruments I can’t name. It’s a trip, freak out. But make sure a pillow or a friend is handy, you’ll eventually want to cuddle.

Get into it. And please, don’t be shy, contact these people, find where they’re playing, enjoy their tunes, and support local music!

3 responses so far

Aug 04 2008

Human Highway – Moody Motorcycle

Published by under MP3's

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Human Highway is the collaboration between Nick Thorburn (of Islands and previously the Unicorns) and Jim Guthrie (who used to be in Islands as well an accomplished solo musician). “Moody Motorcycle” is sort of a folky doo-wop album influenced by music from the 50s and 60s such as The Everly Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel. The album still has an Islands vibe in terms of song writing, but if you listen to any of Jim’s music, you can his influence very clearly. Thorburn’s and Guthrie’s voices blend very nicely and although Thorburn’s voice is slightly more prominent, it is the combination that makes it sound so good. The album is light and accessible, yet substantial and original enough to differentiate itself from the rest. It will satisfy both fans of Islands and Jim Guthrie and good music in general.

“Moody Motorcycle” comes out August 19th and you should buy it because it’s good.

MP3: Human Highway – Sleep Talking

Bonus MP3sMP3: Islands – Humans
MP3: The Unicorns – I Was Born (a Unicorn)

MP3: Jim Guthrie – All Gone
MP3: Jim Guthrie – Time is a Force

Suicide Squeeze | MySpace | Jim Guthrie | Islands

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Aug 01 2008

Indie Muse August Update

Published by under MP3's,Muse News

Every once in a while it’s time for another Indie Muse update. It’s like a quarterly update, from a CEO perhaps, but much more random and much less important…to a point where it’s really not like that at all. Oh well. Just think of this as mini-posts that wouldn’t on their own justify a real post.

1)  Examiner.com has offered me the position of  “National Music Examiner” for the site. It’s really a great honor to have been asked, and you should check out my column, as it will be Indie Muse on steroids. Also, browse through the rest of the site. I’m not just saying that because I write for them, it’s really a great site with Professional (AP), National, and Local writers…I wouldn’t have agreed to write for them if I didn’t think so.

2) I’ve never posted this Midlake “Roscoe” remix by Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve. It’s great.

 Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Roscoe (Midlake Remix)

3) Three of the writers for the site, Akhil Bhatt, David Nyman, and Sam Doty are in a band. I like to think of myself as their manager, though we never really discussed anything. Just kidding.

Abandoned Hospital Ship – Aperture

Abandoned Hospital Ship – Immortality Institute

4) Looking for an apartment/house? Check out HotPads.com, the official apartment/housing search engine of IndieMuse.com (I work for them and they are awesome).

5) I got an email a few weeks ago from a reader asking about Amplive’s Tokyo Police Club remix featuring Aesop Rock and Yak Balls. Below is “The Baskervilles,” the final track from Tokyo Police Club’s recently-released Elephant Shell. Here is a video of Amplive working on the remix.

Amplive – The Baskervilles (Tokyo Police Club Remix)

6) Thanks again to all of our loyal readers! If you have any recommendations or just want to drop me a line, my email is David (at) indiemuse (dot) (com). I would love to hear from you. Have a good August everyone!

5 responses so far

Aug 01 2008

Bonnaroo Goes Supernova!

Published by under MP3's

 YouTube Preview Image

Sorry I’m late with the post, but there are a few good reasons why I wasn’t so prompt in writing my review.

  • I’m busy, but in reality I’m quite lazy
  • This years Bonnaroo made an impact on me that wasn’t as simple and easy to understand as previous years.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that Bonnaroo is still the same fun-loving tent city I know and love, but something was different this time around. Let me explain it this way: Two years ago, when I went to my first Bonnaroo, I also attended Lollapalooza a few months later. There was absolutely no comparison between the two. While Lollapalooza (although still very successful, I’m sure) stumbled with predetermined set durations and security guards, Bonnaroo was a truly awe-inspring experience. Freedom and the emotions associated with it were strong and most importantly, they were pure. Lollapalooza felt more like concerts in the park, Bonnaroo felt like a true festival.

I don’t think we can overemphasize the importance of “the festival” in the world of music. It is crucially important that people have a place they can go to enter the group mind. A festival with extremely limited security presence, in the middle of nowhere and far from any truly crazy points-of-interest, makes for the best foundation on which to build a shared common experience–what a festival was truly meant to be. Lollapalooza, Vegoose, Langerado, Coachella, etc. all fall victim to the same issue. It’s not like these are bad festivals, they kick a lot of ass, but due to the demands of consumerism they are falling short of what a truly glorious thing it could be. Bonnaroo, in past years, was a festival I would describe as maintaining the mission statement of the honest, good-vibe festival except on a ridiculously large scale–now, im afraid to say it, but Bonnaroo may be going the way of the supernova as well.

Before I get into why this may be my last trip to Manchester, TN, let me reiterate that I saw some amazing shows at Bonnaroo 2008. My Morning Jacket’s balls-to-the-wall midnight set may have been one of defining moments of my musical life, Yonder Mountain String Band’s incredible fusion of bluegrass and other genres never ceases to amaze me. Jack Johnson and Eddie Vedder (what a surprise) may be one the most consistent musicians I’ve ever seen.

Basically, there is still something for everyone there. Unfortunately, when something gets as big as Bonnaroo does there will be those out there who go to Bonnaroo to prove they are bigger than music itself. In this case, of course, I’m talking about the biggest ego/biggest letdown in music–Kanye West.

Now, I wasn’t even at this show, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t feel the repercussions. Bonnaroo is just as important for artists as it is for fans. It’s one of the few truly solid chances an artist has to get on the level of his or her fans. Metallica did it, and they very well may be the biggest, hardest band Bonnaroo has ever had. Kanye West on the other hand, was a prime example of how an artist can be so delusional that they choose to create a rift with their audience based on the assumption that they think they shit gold. It may work in L.A. or New York, where the artist represents the market, but when you’re on stage and you and your fans are supposed to be sharing equal respect for the greater power: music,  you can’t act that way. Kanye’s “Glow In The Dark” show, described to me by a friend as “even cooler than Daft Punk Alive [sic]” turned out to be the equivalent of being struck impotent on your honeymoon. That could have been the best moment of his career. Shame on him for not apologizing to his fans right then and there.

But it wasn’t a simple event that injected the festival with anxiety, it is the unavoidable notion that we, as fans, are going to lose yet another fantastic outlet for loving people to commercial interests.

The Kanye example is only pertinent to the greater problem with choosing artists that truly reflect the values of the festival. One thing about Bonnaroo that I really enjoy is its transcendence in terms of variety. It is not just a crunchy-granola-jam-band festival, it is an agreement of music. Like a world conference bringing opposites together–legends and indie fledglings share the stage in a truly beautiful display. There is nothing wrong with having commercial stars at your festival. Before we went I was worried about the crowd Metallica, Jack Johnson and Pearl Jam were going to bring. I didn’t really see Kanye as much of a threat to the vibe. It was the exact opposite. Kirk Hammett’s modesty made my respect for him raise exponentially. Kanye’s ego put a horrible taste in my mouth.

SO what are we supposed to conclude on? Who is to blame here? The answer is this: no one is to blame, but the torch will soon enough be passed.

A festival is very much like a star.  It is the coalescence of elements into a fiery storm of pure energy. It is the gathering of like minds and like values. It is a celebration of the cosmic power of art. The unfortunate part is that sometimes stars become to massive for their own good. These congregations begin to manipulate the space around and inside until the artists believe they are bigger than the festival and in turn, the festival believes it is bigger than art.

Next year, think about giving your usual festival an honorable discharge.

10k Lakes Festival

Rothbury Festival

Up North Festival

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