Archive for the 'live shots' Category
WARNING: Lengthy post ahead
I have to remind myself that last year, I said the same thing to myself, and probably to a few close friends, but this time it just might be true. It’s not because I don’t love many aspects of what ACL stands for and what it brings to the community and many music fans from all over the world, because that would be disrespectful to much of the music community that I respect. I just think that our relationship, which holds many a dear memory, has run it’s course. These things happen. Things change when you get older, and well, we grow apart. Although the idea of severing the relationship a year before your 10 year anniversary, and our 9 year, seems a bit thoughtless on my part so don’t call this final.
I can remember the days when I just attended the festival as a fan, and not as a writer. Or maybe I should change that to blogger, because if I were truly a serious writer, my devotion to bringing you every little detail of my experience year in and year out, would be more devout. Probably because there might be a paycheck involved, and not that dollars inspire more, but when there are priority shifts in life, sometimes they do. Not necessarily inspiring creativity, just inspiring more focus.
But, it was good this year I do have to say. There were moments that moved me to tears. In pure joy and in utter disgust. But isn’t how relationships are? You take the good with the bad.
I’ll have to admit, that when the lineup was first revealed, I was a bit put off. I won’t state the obvious reasons, because I think if anyone who reads this blog would be smart enough to figure that one/two/three reasons for that. Old/who cares/and let’s pull from the easy popular sell. But the middle ground was pretty damn sweet after taking a long look, aside from the fact that most of the bands, I had already seen this year as they had been through a few times already, but such is the burden of living in the great city of Austin, Tx. Bore. But it presented a great opportunity for a base of music fans who might not have the opportunities that I have been granted, to see some really great middle ground acts that are doing some really good things. Read moreNo comments
In a curious move by someone, Tiny Vipers were booked to play one of my personal favorite venues in town, The Parish. Curious because Tiny Vipers, as much as I feel they should be, aren’t a big drawn in this town, if in many. Tiny Vipers are the work of one talented creative voice named Jesy Fortino, and as incredibly enticing and rewarding as her music can be with a patient listen, it’s not a huge draw for many. It’s one woman with one guitar, engaging time, sound and space in a way that most artists would struggle to even attempt.
Being the 4th time that I have witnessed Fortino work, it was as magical as previous. Somewhat recluse, Fortino weaves her catalog of work seamlessly with an intensity and restraint that compliments her craft. No need or seeking audience appreciation, just a dedication to the art.
And for the 4 folks that continued to chat during the set until I asked you to shut up…I really don’t know what to say other than..stay at home if you don’t want to watch the music and experience the experience. Either that or Shut The F*** Up!!
Photos by Mary Rehak
Minus the Bear just recently released their Dangerbird Records debut titled Omni, which has been spending some time spinning around here.
Tenacious photog Mary Rehak took some shots of the band’s recent performance @ La Zona Rosa on Sunday night
Is the buzz bigger than the band?
It’s a question that comes up from time to time, and the buzz surrounding the “experimental rock” band from L.A. called Warpaint has steadily and rapidly become ever so present. Some might attribute some of that to the band’s attractive looks and playful attitude. Thursday Feb 24ht was a chance to address that question. The band took the stage in Austin @ the Parish opening up for The Akron family, to a crowd eagerly awaiting the arrival of the female outfit in what would be their first performance in Austin since turning heads at CMJ 2009 and landing a recording deal shortly there after with the Rough Trade label.
With a 6 song EP the only recorded material released by the band at this point, the band had plenty of room to spread it’s wings and showcase material that the band might have marked for their full-length debut, reportedly due out sometime in the first half of 2010.
I was definitely curious as to what the band had planned for filling the drummer position, which has been the one spot that has remained fairly fluid with several taking turns on the beats for the constant trio fronting the band. Reports of experimenting with a drum machine, concerned me, but the appearance and performance of Stella Mozgawa served the lineup well. Starting out the set with an all instrumental jam, the band members worked into establishing their talents and instrumental roles on stage. Bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg bouncing up and down while laying down the thick infectious and at times a bit funky, bass lines driving the songs in the appropriate places along with the experience of Mozgawa on drums. Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman sharing the spotlight graciously taking turns adding effectively placing their guitar styles and talents adding to the dynamic of each track. The instrumental lead rolled into the single “Stars” which showcases the band’s talent for image evoking lyrics wrapped in lucid guitar sounds. While the band readily shares vocal responsibilities throughout the set, it becomes clear that guitarist and vocalist Emily Kokal is an undeniable force in the democratic unit. Comfortable with her guitar, which at times sounds influenced by the moody tense style of Disintegration era Cura ala Robert Smith, and vocally resembling another 80′s icon Siouxsie Sioux, Kokal blends sounds and textures within the alternating rhythms that warrant attention.
The band demonstrated it’s versatility with a 4 part vocal harmony on “Billie Holiday” while leading into a live version of “Beetles” that resounded more ominous and darker than it’s recorded version, showcasing Kokal’s influence on the band’s result. The set also featured a new track that hadn’t even be graced a title, along with a lengthy instrumental jam to close out their stage time, featuring members of Akron Family joining on stage for the “jam”. Warpaint spread their wings for sure, and showed the audience that there is more to the quartet than looks and a few catchy songs. They showed us that there is definitely more in store for both the band members and the rapidly growing fan base.
And the answer to the question is…No1 comment
Blind Pilot and The Low Anthem played The Parish this past Thursday night, and being a fan of Blind Pilot, and in anticipation of their performance in what could be the most appropriate venue for their sound, The Low Anthem didn’t have quite the effect on me as I anticipated. That’s not to say that they didn’t impressed fans in attendance and gain many more with their performance, it just wasn’t my thing.
Blind Pilot put on a performance that by night’s end had a majority of the crowd singing along and bouncing along to the sounds, with smiles and cheers all around at the end of each song. A sight not often seen this days, and an experience that one strives for when attending shows.No comments
As mentioned before, Brooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers recently released their follow up to their self-titled 2007 release, Exploding Head. The album has already garnished positive responses from critics, and is destined to make fans of those who may have found their debut a bit abrasive and unapproachable.
The weather on Sunday suitably fitting for a day full of APTBS, dark, gloomy, and drizzly, started with an instore appearance at Waterloo Records that had casual unsuspecting shoppers hurrying to complete their purchases as the bands performance grew ever more intense as each song progressed. Unfortunately the weather forced the show scheduled for the outside stage at Mohawk to move to the smaller confines of the inside stage, and a PA that may have not been suited for the intense, incredibly loud, warped sounds of APTBS. No offense to Mohawk, but there has to be a better solution to the weather issue.
For those who managed to squeeze into the tiny room inside and got close enough to see the show, which couldn’t have been easy through the dense cloud of stage fog, the band delivered an all out assault on the senses. As the show progresses the intensity increases with the effects building into waves of distorted, effect heavy, sounds complimented with visual effects and strobe lights that intoxicate the soberest of observer. Exploding Head seems all too appropriate. As the show completed it’s climatic finish, I walked away slightly disoriented and with the feeling that I had been punched in my right ear. Might sound a bit unpleasant to many, but the experience for many is just what they bargained for, and APTBS delivered.
And yes, I wore earplugs.
Despite not having the drummer (fired) for this show @ Stubbs, Jessica Lea Mayfield and band performed a flawless set on Tuesday night. Jessica’s brother David filled in behind drums at times as well as did the guitarist.2 comments
Not being one for the traditional, a performance on the same stage by two of the more successful musical exports from Austin, yielded a more preferred option for the 4th of July. Sans lyrics, both the Octopus Project and Explosions In The Sky still manage to hold my attention with their performances, and with a sold out show this night, one would assume that many others feel the same way.
The past few years of constant touring and festival appearances show well as the Octopus Project beat and bleep their way through a sweaty set that proved as much a fan favorite as the headlining act. It’s hard not to find yourself bobbing along as the band shows their skill on the collection of electronic equipment that rivals some of the biggest electronic bands in existence, while still incorporating the traditional guitars and drums. Don’t forget about the always impressive theremin handling by the lovely Yvonne.
Celebrating 10 years in existence as a band, Explosions In The Sky took the stage to a slow intro and balls dropping into the crowd, launching into a set the flowed seamless and brought wave upon wave of sweeping guitars. All eyes of the sweat drenched crowd fixated on the band that dances with their instruments as they move in unison with the sounds they create. Here’s to 10 more years for both bands.No comments
photos by : Joel Sumner
Since being made painfully aware that I had been missing out on one of the greatest rock bands around currently, I’ve dedicated myself to the idea that, albeit a rare event, I was not to miss The Constantines live show if it came anywhere near Austin. It’s true, the band doesn’t make the trip from Canada down to these parts often, but when they do, you can bet that there will be a throng of true Constantines fans there to savor every moment. True to that statement, was the show on Saturday night @ Emo’s inside.
In the current musical climate of reinvented folk rock testing your patience or tripped out mind-f*** pseudo psychedelic dribble, The Constantines play pure and simple rock-n-roll. You know, the stuff that got us to where we are today, lest we forget our history. Just 5 guys, with guitars and drums, belting out the real life events, emotions, and feelings of characters that we all know too well.
The size of the crowd, being a bit smaller than what I was expecting, made up for their lacking in mass, with their raw enthusiasm and obvious appreciation for the band. As the band tore through their mass collection of material, bringing to life the obvious highlights of their catalog, “Shine A Light”, “Nightime/Anytime (It’s Alright), and “Young Lions”, you could feel the intensity of the crowd increase with each passing song. It was one of those rare and fleeting moments where you can find yourself unified by music, with the people surrounding you, reinforcing the reality that you are alive, and life is nothing short of great, if only for that evening. Compliments of The Constantines.
MP3> The Constantines ‘I Will Not Sing A Hateful Song’No comments
Brooklyn’s School of Seven Bells captured my attention @ SXSW 2009, and although Black Moth Super Rainbow were the main event for Tuesday’s show, the dreamy lush synth-rock sounds of SOSB secured future fans on this night, without a doubt. Bathed in deep red light, the Deheza twins backed by Benjamin Curtis, delivered a sexy, sultry set of songs, including personal favs “Connjur” and “My Cabal” that washed over the venue and the captivated audience.
So, they don’t have a drummer, big deal. Have you seen the twins sisters that front this band? Totally makes up for not having a drummer.
The Mohawk was testing out a possible new PA for the venue, and it sounded absolutely amazing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it becomes a permant fixture for future shows.No comments
Two bands, in two different places in their careers, and two bands that both hold specific memories for me in regards to the music that they make.
Great Northern, more recently had captured my attention @ a show that I happened across purely by accident a couple of years ago @ Club DeVille. I couldn’t help but become completely engaged with the beautiful, soaring, melodic arrangements produced by the band and the seductive, smokey vocals of Rachel Stolte. Over the past couple of years the band’s sound has evolved, moving the guitars forward in the mix, leading the songs more directly, rock forward, while still holding on to their trademark sound. The 3rd time to see the band live, only confirmed this band evolution. A welcomed one at that. Stolte and guitarist/love interest Solon Bixler have clearly taken the helm and are moving the band along in a direction that will hopefully have them in my sites for years to come.
The Dears speak more to a past interest of mine, specifically to the No Cities Left record years, and the opportunity to catch the band’s live performance, has managed to slip by me over the years. As the band has hovered through the interest of fans and critics alike over the many years, while scratching the surface a ceiling to their career that might have lead to bigger things, they continue to produced albums that manage a relative holding position for their career. Being quite honest, my interest in the band this evening was to hopefully catch a glimpse at the band that acquired those moments for me during those early years, and although a glimpse shimmered for a few moments, I felt that the band had shed that skin, and my opportunity to live those songs as they were once performed has passed. The band’s performance was solid, Murray Lightburn was the front-man I expected to see, and the crowd gathered for this Monday night, many of which I might expect not might even be much familiar with the rich history of the group, left entertained and content.No comments
When listening to the lyrics of Elvis Perkins it’s hard to not assume some connection between the words and the life of the man behind the words. Yet, as easy as it could be a practice in self loathing and pity, the songs of Perkins embody a sense of hope and wellness within his world, and his life.
Elvis Perkins In Dearland brought the solemn, beautiful, passively uplifting talents to the Parish on Monday night, following a much buzzed performance by opening act, Other Lives. Perkins and his band Dearland, as he fondly announced them, drifted through their set precisely, conjuring up hints of Lennon and Dylan at times, while staying firmly grounded in Dearland. Leaning heavily on tracks from the bands self-titled 2009 release, selections including “1, 2, 3 Goodbye”, “Chains, Chains, Chains” and “I Heard Your Voice In Dresden” drew instant acceptance from the audience, while a rousing rendition of “Doomsday” performed with members of Other Lives, closed out the seductive set.
Elvis Perkins In Dearland Tour: Read moreNo comments
My Bloody Valentine produced one of the most memorable and historic albums of my music listening years, as well as for many others that have come to understand it’s significance and place in modern rock-n-roll. There were no hit singles on this record, the songs don’t necessarily stick in your head for days on end, but it felt like something that was completely different, but no so much to turn us off. By industry standards, it was a quiet statement by a band, that left a impact on music fans that has survived the test of time, and still resonates with many. Loveless was the record, and although some might argue differently, was the album that secured My Bloody Valentine’s place in music history for many of us.
The opportunity to see this band perform once again in it’s original conception, had pretty much vanished from my mind as happening in my lifetime, but despite years of separation and almost fading into ghost’s of music past, they have resurfaced. And they happened to pick Austin as one of the 5 U.S. dates to perform their glorious return.
What transpired this night @ The Austin Music Hall, almost escapes words. The band is legendary for their loud shows, and free earplugs at the door at the request of the band were in order if you didn’t already come prepared. With little to say to the audience or even amongst themselves, My Bloody Valentine proceeded to launch an all out assault on the senses. A visual, auditory battering that enraptured the audience and left many paused as to what they were witnessing. An experience so powerful, and moving, words cannot do it justice. I’ve been to many a live music event in my day, and what took place on the stage that night was the pinnacle of my experience. It wasn’t about the songs, or the band, but something lying deep within what the two combined was powerful on a completly different level. Music from a time less complicated, less contrived, unpretentious, and simply more fun. A smile on my face from start to finish. A constant check to see if I was really wearing earplugs, and possibly a tear or two. Beautiful!