Monday, October 17, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Here's a review of Blitzen Trapper's "American Goldwing" written by Dylan Hume. Band photo by Tyler Kohlhoff.
Does that mean I don't like it? No. Certainly not. But for a band that has put out four records in five years on a big indie label, their musical evolution seems to be, and I want to be careful about how I use this word here, stagnating.
The album starts strong, and is spotty throughout. Some of the uptempo rockers give you that tingling feeling, like the one you got when you heard "Destroyer of the Void" for the first time. Some of the slower, folkier tunes are pleasantly reminiscent of "Furr." In fact, there wasn't really a moment on the record when I wasn't reminded of one of their old records, which, given how good their older records are, isn't really a condemnation of the band. But it does speak to some nebulous flaw, some missing creative enzyme. I wanted something a little bit (just a little bit) new.
Blitzen Trapper's seemingly effortless blend of several distinct tropes from country, rock and folk music suggest that the band is comprised of individuals who are careful listeners and dedicated fans of those artists who first recognized the potential that lay within blurring the lines of genre. I hate to say "You know who I'm talking about," but if you don't know who I'm talking about, you probably shouldn't be listening to Blitzen Trapper in the first place. It is great music if you like other, older great music.
Luckily for me, I love great music, and Blitzen Trapper makes great music. The album is full of great songwriting, period. Lyrically, it's as good as it's ever been, maybe even better than "Furr," which I regard as a high point of lyricism for the entirety of 2008, and not just for Blitzen Trapper.
The album is also full of great musicianship and production. Everything sounds crisp, the band sounds tight. The cuts sound live, more or less, with the exception of a few moments of studio indulgence by the band. These guys are purists. They wouldn't be making these kinds of records if they weren't, and I respect them for it.
But I can't forgive the album for its inconsistencies. These guys are really comfortable making this kind of music. And they've made a lot of it in recent years, and I can't ever see myself telling them to stop. I just happen to think artists should be more comfortable with doing something different. I know I'm probably in the minority here. I'm going to go listen to the album again, all the while hoping that I'm wrong. - DH
American Goldwing Tracks:
Might Find It Cheap Fletcher Love the Way You Walk Away Your Crying Eyes My Home Town Girl In a Coat American Goldwing Astronaut Taking It Easy Too Long Street Fighting Sun Stranger In a Strange Land
Friday, September 9, 2011 Crystal Ballroom, Portland OR Music Fest North West
Monday, September 12, 2011 Music Millennium, Portland OR in-store @ 8PM!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 Easy Street (Queen Anne), Seattle WA in-store 7PM!!
Friday, October 7, 2011 Mystic Theater, Petaluma CA w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Saturday, October 8, 2011 Soho Restaurant & Music Club, Santa Barbara CA w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Sunday, October 9, 2011 Belly Up, Solana Beach CA w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Monday, October 10, 2011 Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix AZ w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 Sol Santa Fe, Santa Fe NM w/Smoke Fairies & Dawes
Thursday, October 13, 2011 Club Dada, Dallas TX w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Friday, October 14, 2011 UTOPIAfest, Utopia TX
Saturday, October 15, 2011 Manship Theatre, Baton Rouge LA w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Sunday, October 16, 2011 Bottle Tree, Birmingham AL w/ Smoke Fairies
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 Variety Playhouse, Atlanta GA w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 Mercy Lounge, Nashville TN w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Thursday, October 20, 2011 Headliner's Music Hall, Louisville KY w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Friday, October 21, 2011 Orange Peel, Asheville NC w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Saturday, October 22, 2011 Cats Cradle, Carrboro NC w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Monday, October 24, 2011 Black Cat, Washington DC w/ Smoke Fairies & Dawes
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 Webster Hall, New York City NY w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Thursday, October 27, 2011 Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia PA w/ Dawes & Smoke Fairies
Friday, October 28, 2011 Royale (MA), Boston MA w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
Saturday, October 29, 2011 Mohawk Place, Buffalo NY w/ The Belle Brigade All Ages!
Sunday, October 30, 2011 Opera House (ON), Toronto Ontario w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland OH w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 Calvin College Fine Arts Center, Grand Rapids MI w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
Thursday, November 3, 2011 Metro, Chicago IL w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
Thursday, November 3, 2011 Reckless Records (Broadway), Chicago IL In-Store! @ 6PM
Friday, November 4, 2011 First Avenue, Minneapolis MN w/ Dawes
Saturday, November 5, 2011 Turner Hall, Milwaukee WI w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
Monday, November 7, 2011 Fox Theater (CO), Boulder CO w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
Thursday, November 10, 2011 Rickshaw Theater (BC), Vancouver Canada w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
Friday, November 11, 2011 Neptune Theatre, Seattle WA w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
Sunday, November 13, 2011 McDonald Theatre, Eugene OR w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Fillmore, The (SF), San Francisco CA w/ Dawes & Belle Brigade
www.blitzentrapper.net www.facebook.com/blitzentrapper http://twitter.com/blitzentrapper
Monday, August 29, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
CASS MCCOMBS TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM, HUMOR RISK, NOVEMBER 8, 2011 LISTEN TO/DOWNLOAD HUMOR RISK’S “THE SAME THING”
We are pleased to announce that the prolific Cass McCombs is to release his second album this year, Humor Risk, on November 8, 2011.
You can listen to and download the album track, “The Same Thing,” here: http://www.dominorecordco.com/cassmccombshumorrisk
Humor Risk was recorded in various homes and studios in California, New York, New Jersey and Chicago, and was produced by Cass McCombs and Ariel Rechtshaid, with whom he created WIT’S END, and before that, CATACOMBS.
Humor Risk is an attempt at laughter instead of confusion, chaos instead of morality, or, as fellow Northern Californian Jack London said, “I would rather be ashes than dust!”. Musically, it is more rhythm-based, tempos swifter to nearly rocking, than the sparse WIT’S END. Infectious melodies are outlined by a wry lyricism that expresses the stories of characters from McCombs’ native land. Rather than fulfilling the stereotype of the confessional singer-songwriter, he describes the lifestyles and feelings of those that surround him, with more love than judgment: drugs, Scientology, Western America, and so on, in allegorical form. Humor Risk portrays yet another façade of this versatile, incredibly talented and much underrated artist.
Humor Risk will be available on CD, LP and digitally.
To pre-order the album, click here: http://www.dominorecordco.com/humorrisk
The tracklisting for Humor Risk is as follows:
1. Love Thine Enemy
2. The Living Word
4. To Every Man His Chimera
5. Robin Egg Blue
6. Mystery Mail
7. Meet Me At the Mannequin Gallery
8. Mariah (sketch)
What’s been said about WIT’S END:
“what might be his best LP yet . . . a gorgeous album of despair, the most believable evidence yet that McCombs is living up to his own legend” -- Pitchfork [Best New Music]
“Songs so unassuming they sneak up and slay you” -- SPIN
“’Buried Alive,’ and parts of ‘Saturday Song’ and ‘Memory’s Stain’ — creepy-lovely processionals held together with major-minor movement — could go up against anything in pop so far this year.” – The New York Times
“On Wit’s End, he places both himself and the entire singer-songwriter tradition on trial, his personal salvation dependent solely on the purity of personal expression. Clearly, as an artist, he is not making any compromises. He’s not coming home any time soon. But McCombs is making music as if his soul depended on it.” – Tiny Mix Tapes
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sufjan Stevens, Live at the Prospect Park Bandshell, August 2nd 2011
By Dylan Hume
Sufjans Stevens and his band played to a sold-out crowd at the Prospect Park Bandshell Tuesday night. The show, one of the few ticketed events at the bandshell this summer, was a fundraiser for BRIC Arts, the organization that runs the Celebrate Brooklyn! Performing Arts Festival, now in it's 33rd summer season.
The Brooklyn vibe was palpable, to say the least. At one point during his set, Sufjan gestured vaguely eastward, saying, "I live right over there." He wasn't the only one, and the hometown energy of the crowd fed the band as they progressed through their set.
Stevens is known for his lush orchestrations, and last night they were on full display, but the band was impressive in its economy. The ensemble was not too big, and filled out by a complement of two trombonists, two flautists, and two drummers, along with a few other instrumentalists, backup singers, and Sufjan, of course, on guitar and synth. That a band of that (relativiely) moderate size could make such a big sound was remarkable, as was their dynamic range and unfailing precision.
Even more remarkable was the visual aspect of the show. Stevens is a dedicated artist, taking painstaking steps to make sure that every part of his performance is in line with his concepts. The lighting and the artwork displayed on the stage were incredible in scope and meticulous in execution.
Most of songs on Tuesday were from Stevens' 2010 album, "The Age of Adz," which was partly inspired by the work of visual artist Royal Robertson. Stevens gave an homage to Robertson before proceeding with a tremendous visual display of beautiful and haunting projections during "Get Real Get Right." As the show came to its climax during the epic closing number, "Impossible Soul," Stevens appeared on stage wearing suit made primarily from balloons as dozens of enormous, translucent beach balls flooded the audience and four tall, brightly-colored flailing-arm inflatable tube men popped up from nowhere. It might have been overwhelming, if it wasn't so captivating.
And therein lies the one problem with the show as a whole: a tendency toward the schizoid. Stevens clearly wants to do everything all of the time, and is largely successful, but much like the album version of "Impossible Soul," it felt as though he was cramming too many ideas in to a medium that can only take the weight of so many distinct concepts.
Still, the show was one of the most impressive productions I've seen at a live rock concert in a long time. The Celebrate Brooklyn! season should be praised for its diverse lineup of considerable talents, but Tuesday's show was most definitely one of the highlights of the summer.
Friday, July 29, 2011
GRAMMY-NOMINATED RECORDING ARTISTS MUTEMATH ANNOUNCE "ODD SOUL INTRODUCTION TOUR" TO KICK OFF IN SEPTEMBER
BAND TO UNVEIL SONGS FROM ITS UPCOMING NEW ALBUM, ODD SOUL, IN INTIMATE SETTINGS
ODD SOUL DUE ON OCTOBER 4TH, 2011, ON TELEPROMPT/WARNER BROS. RECORDS
July 28, 2011- Burbank, CA - New Orleans' rock innovators MUTEMATH have announced that they will launch the Odd Soul Introduction Tour this fall. The tour finds the band, which is Paul Meany (vocals/keyboards), Roy Mitchell-Cardenas (bass/guitar), and Darren King (drums), unveiling songs from their upcoming new album, Odd Soul, which will be released on October 4th by Teleprompt/Warner Bros. Records. MUTEMATH will perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on the night of release.
The Odd Soul Introduction Tour kicks off on September 7th and concludes with a homecoming show in New Orleans on October 21st. The tour revisits intimate venues to provide fans with a unique opportunity to see MUTEMATH up close in many of the clubs they first performed at when starting out nearly seven years ago. A pre-sale for a VIP Package (which includes tickets, a physical and digital copy of Odd Soul, and a digital download of the track "Blood Pressure") has already begun. Regular tickets go on sale to the public on August 5th. Prior to September 7th, MUTEMATH will perform a few select special dates in August. Visitwww.mutemath.com for more details. All upcoming tour dates are listed below.
In other MUTEMATH news, the track "Odd Soul" is currently available to fans in a unique video mixer platform. The mixer, which premiered on digital and social media technology site Mashable.com, features a different video for each part of the song: drums, guitars, bass, vocals, synth, and background vocals. Listeners can solo, mute, and mix "Odd Soul" in real-time creating their own audio and visual mix. Due to varying connection speeds and hardware there are two versions available, a 4-track version meant for users on slower connections and a 6-track version for fans using up-to-date browsers on faster broadband connections. Versions can be chosen by visiting www.mutemath.com/oddsoul.
Odd Soul, which was produced by the band, is the follow-up to 2009's Armistice, which debuted at No. 3 onBillboard's Digital Albums and Alternative Albums chart, No. 4 on the Rock chart, and No. 18 on the Top 200 album chart, and was called a "must-have album" by the New York Post.
08/06 Tulsa, OK Brady District Block Party
08/13 Tokyo, JAPAN Summer Sonic Festival
08/14 Osaka, JAPAN Summer Sonic Festival
08/16 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour (sold-out)
08/20 Mobile, AL Saenger Theatre
08/25 New York, NY Mercury Lounge (sold-out)
09/07 Charleston, SC The Pour House
09/08 Greenville, SC The Handlebar
09/09 Columbia, SC New Brookland Tavern
09/10 Athens, GA 40 Watt
09/12 Raleigh, NC The Pour House
09/13 Wilmington, NC The Soapbox
09/15 Richmond, VA Canal Club
09/16 Charlottesville, VA The Southern
09/17 Poughkeepsie, NY The Loft
09/18 Hartford, CT Webster Underground
09/20 Providence, RI The Met
09/22 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place
09/23 Burlington, VT Higher Ground
09/24 Albany, NY Pearl Palooza (WEQX)
09/25 Cleveland, OH The Grog Shop
09/27 Ann Arbor, MI The Blind Pig
09/29 Lansing, MI The Loft
09/30 Milwaukee, WI The Rave Bar
10/01 Des Moines, IA Vaudeville, Mews
10/02 Lawrence, KS Bottleneck
10/07 Oklahoma, City, OK The Conservatory
10/08 Waco, TX Common Ground
10/09 San Antonio, TX Endless Music
10/11 Little Rock, AK Revolution Music Room
10/12 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone
10/14 Baton Rough, LA Chelsea's
10/16 Pensacola, FL Deluna Fest
10/17 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbit's
10/19 Knoxville, TN The Square Room
10/20 Birmingham, AL Workplay Theatre
10/21 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
For info, videos and photos of MUTEMATH, please visit www.mutemath.com.
Photo Credit: Claire Vogel