Thursday, June 30, 2011
Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong
Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes
August Burns Red - Leveler
Curren$y - Covert Coup EP
William Fitzsimmons - Gold In The Shadow
Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Wye Oak - Civilian
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We’re New Here
Decemberists - The King is Dead
Smith Westerns - Dye it Blonde
Cults - Cults
Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
Monday, June 27, 2011
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
The Antlers – Burst Apart
Moving Mountains - Waves
Atmosphere – The Family Sign
Middle Brother – Middle Brother
Honorable Mention (in no particular order):
Dawes - Nothing Is Wrong
The Decemberists - The King is Dead
Iron & Wine - Kiss Each Other Clean
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo
Okkervil River - I Am Very Far
Yuck - Yuck
I've been on a big time folk kick lately and started looking for new artists to get into. On my adventures through the internet I stumbled upon Justin Townes Earle and was immediately hooked. The first thing that drew me to Earle was his persona; he's tatted all up and down his arms and his swagger oozes James Dean. This outlaw persona undoubtedly comes from a history of drug addiction and as recently as 2010 he was arrested for assault and public drunkenness. But don't be fooled, Earle is not just an image, his music is damn good. His sound is heavily influenced by his upbringing in Nashville, Tennessee. Earle's sound is your typical folk music but with a healthy serving of both country and bluegrass mixed in.
He released his first EP, Yuma, in 2007 and has been nothing short of prolific since. He released his first full length, The Good Life, the next year and his work just keeps getting better. His strongest album from start to finish, 2009's Midnight at the Movies is a great place to start if you're trying to get into Earle. The album is his most poppy effort but never loses sight of his folk roots. Not to mention, it features a phenomenal cover of The Replacements' "Can't Hardly Wait". After the break you can listen to some his tunes and check out some tour dates.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
They've been playing a few new songs live, one of which is "Below My Feet". It's everything you'd expect from them, so check it out below and get excited for the next album, which is due to be recorded this year.
Friday, June 24, 2011
The inaugural top 5 list will deal with my favorite tracks to end an album. I've found that far too many great albums drag out and end with a whimper. This list is dedicated to the albums that keep you hooked until the very last chord.
The Bending by Hopesfall, from the album The Satellite Years (2002)
Foreground by Grizzly Bear, from the album Veckatimest (2009)
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Luke Rathborne started off the 3rd (and longest) day of the Northside Music Festival with a quick but excellent set over at Spike Hill. The singer-songwriter is self-deprecating and witty and his live band provides the perfect accent to the furious garage rock he plays live. His live set is completely different from his recorded material and while his EPs are both good, the hard rocking live show he puts on is definitely preferable.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Today is Tuesday and everyone knows that means new records come out. While I know many of you are probably chomping at the bit to hear the new Bon Iver disc, you should probably head over to Spin.com to stream the new self-titled debut by Unknown Mortal Orchestra. It oddly reminds me of Dirty Beaches at some points while also sounding a bit like The Growlers, with a sort of haunted beach-rock sound but with some funkier parts. So really, it might have something for everyone.
Monday, June 20, 2011
My own personal Northside Music Festival was kicked off by Atlas Sound at St. Cecila's church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The venue, as you can see above, is an absolutely gorgeous chapel where the pews acts as the seating. The chapel provided the perfect space for Bradford Cox's beautifully, haunting drone. The set was almost exclusively new songs as Cox told the crowd he had forgotten how the old ones go. There were still some old songs sprinkled in like "Sheila" and a folked out version of "Walkabout" featuring some excellent harmonica. Throughout the set, I felt like I was in a trance as Cox layered each different part of the song on top of one another creating a dense and enveloping combination of vocals, guitars and ambient noise. Jessica Amaya of Brooklyn Vegan took some really beautiful photos of the show. Check them out.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Director Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" is not for the casual moviegoer. In fact, a group of giggly young women in the row in front of me walked out about a third of the way through the movie (to my relief, as they were very annoying). If you see this movie, which I recommend you do, be prepared for something you've probably never seen before. Its been advertised as a kind of dramatic version of "The Wonder Years," but its really more along the lines of Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" and Aronofsky's "The Fountain." Both of which are superior films. Despite its flaws, which I will describe in detail, "The Tree of Life" should be praised overall for its technical achievement and the risk that Malick took in spending the last 10 years making this unique film. In an age of "Transformers" sequels and "Mr. Popper's Penguins," it is incredibly refreshing to see a risky film like this get made at all, let alone have a fairly wide-release.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Punchdrunk, the London based theatre company responsible, has settled nicely into the Chelsea district of New York City, renovating the formerly condemned McKittrick Hotel into a demented, creepy space straight from a film noir nightmare. As I was ushered into the hotel's bar (the waiting area before you enter the performance), it was as if I was instantly brought back to the 1920s/1930s. Everything, from the decorations to the attire of the bar staff, was straight from a time capsule. When my card (two) was called, myself and my fellow "deuces" gathered at the entrance, where we received the ground rules and our masks, which would turn us into anonymous, voyeuristic ghosts for the duration of the evening.
Monday, June 13, 2011
To prepare myself and our loyal readers for the madness to come, I will be previewing some of the best musical acts that will be performing on this momentous occasion.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
I showed up early to catch Future Islands' set and was very impressed with both their sound and energy. Their sound can be likened to fellow electronic artists like Gang Gang Dance or even Passion Pit but with one huge difference; the vocals. Sam Herring's deep growl wouldn't be out of place in a hardcore band but it seamlessly blends with the music as he hops around the stage thumping his chest and slapping his face to the beat.
I was really curious about seeing Titus in this sort of scenario. Every time I had seen them in the past, they were the headliner in a much smaller venue. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from their set or the crowd given that most people were there to see Okkervil River. Needless to say, Titus brought the house down and definitely gained quite a few new fans (at least my friends Bryant & Odin).
With Okkervil River, just having released their new album I Am Very Far, I was expecting a set full of new tracks but there were only 6 including albums highlights "Wake and Be Fine" and "The Valley". The rest of the set was full of fan favorites from previous albums Black Sheep Boy, The Stage Names and The Stand-Ins. The crowd was into it, the band was energetic and everyone was clapping and singing along. An all around great performance worthy of your attendance.
For Titus Andronicus' (short but sweet) and Okkervil River' set lists, Future Islands' video for Tin Man and the rest of the dates for this tour keep reading.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
First, TOOL IS LOOT...
WORK IN PROGRESS PERFORMANCE
Wally Cardona + Jennifer Lacey: TOOL IS LOOT
Friday, June 10, 7 PM
"TOOL IS LOOT is a duet made via a curious process of disorientation. For one year, choreographers/dancers Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey worked apart, in the US and France, respectively. Each solicited weeklong encounters with non-dance experts, allowing the opinions and desires of an “outsider” to shift what they knew about creating short solos. These experts included an astrophysicist, a sommelier, an architect, a film editor, a medical supply salesman, a kinetic sculptor, a baroque opera singer, an art critic, an acoustician, and a social activist.
Now in residence at EMPAC, Cardona and Lacey come together in the duet, TOOL IS LOOT, with their identities simultaneously undone and strengthened. They ask the question: What comes after you don’t know anymore?"
Here's a great quote from the performers:
"We would like to believe that our bodies and our brains are fantastically flexible and responsive to change, containing—at any moment—both the abstract and the specific. Well... what we’ve learned is that this is both gloriously true and frustratingly untrue. But that’s okay, really, and this dance proves it. There will be a swan, a prince, a robot, sexual behavior, and two chairs. Sometimes all at once."
— Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey
And then later that night, Compositions for a Sound Dome
Compositions for a Sound Dome
Friday, June 10, 8:30 PM
"With 24 loudspeakers suspended in the air as a sound dome, eight composers who participated in the workshop Composing for Large Scale Multi-Channel Loudspeaker Environments present their explorations of sound, music, and space. Led by Hans Tutschku (Harvard University), the 6-day workshop immersed artists in the study and composition of pieces to be performed with many loudspeakers, going far beyond what we know as “surround sound”. The unique opportunities at EMPAC allowed participants to work in three spaces with a large number of loudspeakers to develop their ideas. The concert will include a broad range of approaches to this singular sonic challenge."
Also, don't forget that Celeste Boursier-Mougenot still has two installations up. Check our post on that here.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Portugal. The Man, an act who I unfortunately had to miss in NYC this last weekend, is releasing a new album, In the Mountain in the Cloud, on July 19th. They've opened up pre-orders on their site (with some truly awesome deals), but more importantly, they are streaming snippets of each track from the album. Just went through them all, and I think this album is going to be killer, which is really what we've come to expect from this band. So go to their site and enjoy.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
On Thursday, the clean version of Curren$y's new song "She Don't Want a Man" surfaced on the internet. Now, thanks to Pocket Full of Paper, there is an uncensored version up and it is unbelievable. Look out for this track on Curren$y's new album Weekend at Burnie's which is due out June 28th.
Curren$y - She Don't Want a Man