Playing in Boston
Where: Great Scott
When: Thursday, January 20th
Where: Great Scott
When: Thursday, January 20th
For starters you have the whisperer sounds of Horse Feathers. Justin Ringle is the heart and soul of this group. Hailing from Idaho, Justin moved to Portland, OR back in 2004 and hasn’t looked back since. The line up has changed around him over the years but mainly it’s his guitar, vocals and some string instruments surrounding him (cello, violen, etc).
Then we jump over to Shearwater whose make up revolves mostly around the piano workings of Jonathan Meiburg. This Austin based outfit includes members of Okkervil River (actually, it just one member as Will Sheff is no longer in the band). And I should actually say former member of Okkervil since Jonathan is no longer in that band either. So yeah, the connection is/was there and it’s safe to say that if you like Okkervil River that you will enjoy Shearwater.
Both bands are rooted in orchestral composition but definitely give off a different vibe making this show a nice mixed bag of sounds.
Castaways (Shearwater; Off of The Golden Archipelago)
Download the Daytrotter Sessions for Horse Feathers
Frontman, Tim Harrington, is a bit of a character. His humor is on par with that of Zack Galifianakis. For example, back in the summer when their new album, Root for Ruin, was leaked the band setup a special Paypal account where those who stole the album could go and pay to be forgiven for their sins. There was also a message that said, “Pay extra and you’re also forgiven for sex sins and stuff AND we’ll tell Jesus to send you cookies.”
This personality carries over to their live show but not so much in words but more through body language. A lot of jirating and bouncing around because lets face it, this is dance music and you better put on your dancing shoes if you plan to go tomorrow night.
Price: $17.50 advance / $18 day of show
Time: Doors at 5:30
Opening Acts: Bodega Girls
Location: Royale Boston – 279 Tremont Street
Marco is better known as one-half of the Duo, a New York City avant garde jazz duo that includes drummer Joe Russo. I use to catch their act back in college when they’d shoot up from NYC to play the now closed Valentia’s bar in Burlington, Vermont. This was your typical hippie hang out and Joe and Marco knew how to make the patrouli fly. Just thinking about those cold winter nights with the steam soaked windows keeping outsiders from peering in to see what the fuss was all about makes me nostalgic.
Last we spotted Marco was behind the ivories playing for Surprise Me Mr. Davis, a side project of The Slip. Here he plays with Reed Mathis from Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey on bass and Andy Borger from Ani DiFranco’s band on drums. You are sure to see some serious jazz improvisation at this show. Check out Marco jamming a piano solo from earlier this summer at Montreal International Jazz Festival.
They may not sing any of their songs in English but it doesn’t mean you can’t understand what these Swedish psych-rockers are laying down for your listening pleasure. For those looking to take a trip back to the psych-rock days of the late 60’s and early 70’s, your wishes come true at Harper’s Ferry when Dungen come strolling into town.
I’ve only caught these guys once live and it was at an outdoor festival in the hot blazing sun. In other words, not the greatest environment. A dark, dank room filled with the stench of years of drunk college kids is just the right shade of gray for their sound. Plus, you’ll want to catch a show at Harper’s before the legendary venue makes it’s departure from the ever so fading music venue scene in Boston.
They only just released their debut album last year and already they’re opening for bands like The Thermals and playing at high profile venues such as the Paradise Rock Club. So that should give you some inclination as to their infectious indie rock sound. The most notable comparison is Pavement as lead singer (Joseph D’Agostino) vocals tend to skate the same off-key, high pitched screaming lines as Stephen Malkmus. It also helps when a little known online publication called Pitchfork gives your debut a whopping 8.3/10.
Watch them play Wind Phoenix live on KEXP:
Looking back at the last few years of my musical experiences, I can still safely say that seeing Deerhunter at the new ICA here in Boston in their giant glass theatre room overlooking the Boston harbor was one of my top 10 shows of all time. Yeah, the environment was a huge reason for this but man, can these guys rock. And I don’t mean “throw beer bottles into the crowd” kind of rock (although I wouldn’t put it past them to do this), but their sound is so explosive and dynamic that it demands your attention.
It wasn’t long ago that Deerhunter were in town playing at Royale to give us a glimpse of their forthcoming songs off of Halycon Digest (now out and YOU MUST BUY NOW). Word has it that this show was kind of a let down with respect to playing time. According to this Phoenix review, it took awhile to get the sound adjusted and since Royale follows the same pattern that The Avalon use to with concerts ending around 9:30 / 10 to let all the clubbers in, they only got to play about an hour. So hopefully this time around they’re given more time to throw the crowd back on their heels so folks like Chris over at Kids Like You & Me can have his epic show to tell someones grand kids about.
A couple of videos for you to check out – One oldie from Cryptograms and one newbie from Halycon Digest
The Avett Brothers @ House of Blues
Belle and Sebastian @ Wang Theatre
Gang of Four will be releasing their first album in about sixteen years on January 25th via Yep Roc. The album is called Content and features the song “Never Pay For the Farm”, which you can download for free by signing up for their fan newsletter. Gang of Four have influenced countless bands, including one of my all time favorite bands – Hot Chip.
The beachy punk sound of Best Coast comes straight from the brain of Bethany Cosentino, a former Hollywood-baby star (See some commercials from this ABCNews Amplified episode). She’s every indie kids dream girl. When she was fifteen she turned down the major labels to her parents dismay. She moved to New York City to learn how to write, became homesick after hearing “California Dreamin” on the Subway, dropped out and started writing perfect 50’s era girl group lyrics. Helped by Bobb Bruno, the multi-instrumentalist, and now Ali Koehler who joined the band this past July from the Vivian Girls, they’ve got a great So-Cal punk fuzed beach sound. Bethany’s vocals also have a Jenny Lewis / Rilo Kiley vibe. It’s been known that Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth is a fan, which means YOU MUST BE A FAN TOO YOU BRAINWASHED INDIE KID! But seriously, I’ve enjoyed their album so far. I have heard some mixed reviews about their live show but my hope would be that Bruno elaborates on his guitar parts during the live set.
[from Crazy for You; due 07/27/10 on Mexican Summer]
Menomena are a bands band. They do everything that most bands wish they could do – write songs democratically, use very technical songwriting methods (Digital Looping Recording process in their case) and then attempt to replicate their studio sound in a live setting, and pull it off. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, it was around 2007 that they started to explode on to the scene after signing to Barsuk Records for the release of Friend & Foe. But the band has been around since 2000. It was in 2004 when they first gained some notieraitry from Pitchfork Media after a friend suggested they submit their self-produced album, I Am the Fun Blame Monster!, and received an 8.5/10, which in the Pitchfork world is quite an accomplishment. Whether you agree with the latter’s reviewing style, they do help bands whose music would otherwise go widely unnoticed due to their complex sound and often overlooked contribution to the musical community. There are thousands of these incredibly talented artists dotting our country and I’m grateful for sites like Pitchfork for helping to expose their talent.
As long as Film School have essentially been a band (late-90’s), they only have four full-length albums. The one that caught my ear was 2007’s Hideout off of the now defunct Beggars Banquet Records. However, this album didn’t feature any of the original members besides Greg Bertens. When Greg first started making music it was with members of Pavement and Fuck. You can hear this mixture of artists playing on the first record, Brilliant Career, back in 2001. It was in 2003 that they released an EP, Alwaysnever, on Scott Kannberg’s label Amazing Grease Records, which eventually led to their signing to Beggars (Scott is a member of Pavement who are on Matador Records and who also live under the Beggars Group umbrella).
The new album, Fission, has less fuzz and more straight-ahead pop sensibility. But even with the fuzz, Film School are very catchy and danceable, unlike some of the indie shoegazer bands out there.
The addition of The Depreciation Guild to this show makes it an indie kids wet dream line-up. Kurt Feldman (guitar, vocals, programmer) is also a member of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. For those unfamiliar, the latter blew up with the release of their self-titled album back in 2009 on Slumberland Records.
Rogue Wave / Midlake @ Royale – Monday
LCD Soundsystem @ Orpheum Theatre – Tuesday
GAYNGS @ Paradise Rock Club – Friday
The Tallest Man on Earth @ Somerville Theatre – Friday
Dark Star Orchestra @ Lowell Auditorium – Friday
Their music is a bit bouncy and not very straightforward but inside each song is a hidden pop melody. They have the David Byrne sign of approval to boot. Catch them at The Wilbur Theatre on Monday. Here’s a little clip from one of their live gigs up in Toronto.
Female solo vocalists are a dime a dozen these days. Ever since the explosion of artists like Feist and Norah Jones they’ve been raining from all corners. But every now and than a unique voice hits the airwaves. I wouldn’t call Laura necessarily a newcomer, although she is for me. Her first album release was back in 1999 and she collaborated with Bill Frisell, perhaps one of my all time favorite guitarists, back in 2003 on Troubled by the Fire. Catch these songstresses on Wednesday at TT the Bear’s Place.
Catch the ever so elaborate Of Montreal show at House of Blues on Thursday. New album, False Priest, is out this Tuesday on Polyvinyl so it’s sure to be an exciting week for Kevin Barnes and company. Stream “Some Kind of Awesome” from the new album below.
A show that I’m sure has all the Berklee kids geeking out, The Bad Plus are an Avant-garde jazz trio that know how to put on a good show. And they love covering rock and pop tunes like the ever so nostalgic Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule The World”.
Phish recently finished up their second half of their 2010 summer tour. Those of you who don’t follow Phish may have heard about the recent news of a fan taking a leap of faith off the balcony at Jones Beach Amphitheater.
The overall consensus in the Phish community about their performances this summer has been positive with most claiming that the Phish they once knew and loved is back and well on target. Phish has never been known for their crafty lyrics. Their attempts at poppy songs have never been a strong point for them. Sometimes they try to go for the latter but end up with a half-ass attempt at a catchy tune when all that they really need to create are launch pad rock songs that set the stage for the jamming prowess. Songs like Chalkdust Torture, which has been in their repertoire since the early 90’s.
One such “launch pad” of a new tune that has shown promise is Kill Devil Falls. The version from this mix is from their Mansfield, MA show back in June. I attended this show with some good friends and was quite impressed with this version. Glad to see it on this mix and for those of you not necessarily a fan of Phish but don’t mind listening to a rock song with some bite, stream this track and let me know what you think.
|Phish Live Bait 01
Film School was brought to my attention by Brad over at Bradley’s Alamanac a few years back when they released Hideout. While there are some indie shoegazer bands that I just can’t stand, these guys have a different sound. A sound that conjures up the right senses in my brain for wanting to bob and weave not just to stare down at my “shoes” and gaze in wonderment.
They’re latest album, Fission, is out now on August 31st on Hi-Speed Soul. It was intended to come out on July 20th on FFO Records but apparently something fell apart there. Don’t know the whole story but if you happen to know more about this, let us know in the comments. I’m listening right now to Heart Full of Pentagons from the new album and it’s even more rocking than any of the songs off of Hideout. A bit more straightforward sounding as well. Looking forward to hearing the rest.
The Depreciation Guild is playing with Film School on October 2nd here in Cambridge at TT the Bear’s Place and I must say, after watching the Tunnelvision video over at Pitchfork of their track About Me, I’m guessing this is going to be an event you won’t want to miss. To add fuel to the fire, they’re a The Pains of Being Pure At Heart spin-off, last years big indie breakouts.