Norah Jones Talks Talib Kweli In Teaser Video for New Album

One of the tracks on Norah Jones’ upcoming album … Featuring is a collaboration with rapper and lyricist Talib Kweli, called “Soon the New Day.” “I never really thought that I’d be singing with rappers, necessarily,” says Norah in a new video clip. “…We share a common love of certain music that even though we do very different things with it… that’s kind of our common stepping stone.”

…Featuring will hit stores November 16th and will showcase her collaborations with Kweli and 17 other artists, everyone from OutKast and Q-Tip to Herbie Hancock and the Foo Fighters.


Joanna Newsom Kicks Off Fall Tour This Weekend

Catch Joanna Newsom live this month as she makes her way from Tucson to Carnegie Hall!

Sat. Nov. 6 — Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre

Sun. Nov. 7 — Phoenix AZ @ Orpheum Theatre

Wed. Nov. 10 — Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater

Thu. Nov. 11 — Austin, TX @ The Paramount Theatre

Sat. Nov. 13 — New Orleans, LA @ Tipitina’s

Mon. Nov. 15 — Tallahassee, FL @ The Moon

Tue. Nov. 16 — Tampa, FL @ The Ritz Ybor

Thu. Nov. 18 — Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club

Fri. Nov. 19 — Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel

Sat. Nov. 20 — Richmond, VA @ The National

Sun. Nov. 21 — Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live

Tue. Nov. 23 — New York, NY @ Carnegie Hall

[Read more...]

Jack White-produced Laura Marling Single To Be Released Nov 9th 2010

Third Man to Release Jack White-produced Laura Marling Single on November 9th 2010

Laura Marling blue

20-year old English folk star Laura Marling is the latest artist to take part in Third Man Records’ Blue Series of releases. The series of limited edition 7-inch records, produced by Jack White and recorded at his own Third Man Studios in Nashville, has featured releases from Wanda Jackson, The Black Belles and Secret Sisters, amongst others. [Read more...]

The Weepies Thrill at SPACE

The Weepies
Space – Evanston, IL
10/30/2010

When you break it down, there are  three key components to a great live music experience – the band, the crowd and the venue. While hundreds of variables contribute to the success of those parts, those are the things that really determine the success of that live show. When all the pieces click together though – magic can happen.

Such was the case with The Weepies at SPACE in Evanston on Saturday October 30th. [Read more...]

Norah Jones Talks About Collaboration With Grammy Winner Herbie Hancock


On November 16, Norah Jones will release …Featuring, an album filled with her musical collaborations from the past decade. The 18-songs album includes duets ranging from musical legends such as Ray Charles and Dolly Parton, to modern-day icons the Foo Fighters and OutKast.

Check out a brand new video of Norah Jones talking about her collaboration with Grammy Award winner Herbie Hancock on the song “Court & Spark.”

Santah is coming to town

Santah
White Noise Bed
Self-released
santahmusic.com

They’re young. They’re passionate. They’re from downstate Illinois. What more can you ask from a quintet who plays live with strangely controlled energy – then finds a way to channel that energy into the recording studio.

They are Santah. [Read more...]

Say YES to Willis

Daphne Willis
What to Say
Vanguard Records

Daphne Willis

Daphne Willis knows exactly who she is – now it is time for you to find out. By way of introduction; she is a smart and soulful songwriter. Her spunk and sass translate to relevant pop that resonates with confidence and passion for what she is doing.

“What to Say” Willis’ most recent release jumps off with Everybody Else a crackling bit of indoor fireworks that lets you know she is here and paying attention isn’t an option; it is an obligation.

Willis delivers pop with a heavy hand dipped into the pool we know as soul music resulting in multi-layered music worthy of someone far beyond her 23 years on this earth.

On “What to Say” Willis has clearly been paying attention to her elders – but does nothing to impersonate or channel them. She is her own woman and the music is better for it.

Far Away is another chance for her to showcase her songwriting that – at times – alternates between the obligatory internal rhyme schemes often found in better hip hop songs and her signature style which is both charming and accessible.

All I Know continues to feature her unique hybrid songwriter style – while upping the ante with more intricate arrangements that support her clear and confident voice.

This ambitious release includes twelve songs – each songs flashes its own individual vibe – each very clearly and unabashedly he work of a youngster with the talent of her elders.

Stand Out Tracks
Everybody Else
Far Away
What to Say
Still Tryin’

Norah Jones to Release New Album of Star-Studded Collaborations

On November 16th, Norah Jones will release …Featuring, an album of the multi-platinum selling, multi-Grammy Award winning singer Norah Jones’ musical collaborations from the past decade.  The 18 songs on the album include duets with such legends as Ray Charles, Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton, and with 21st century icons from OutKast to the Foo Fighters. [Read more...]

Reel in this “Cast Off”

The Gentle Guest
Cast Off Your Human Form
Amble Down Records
www.myspace.com/thegentleguest


One of the more interesting elements weaving through the music of The Gentle Guest is there is a whiff of Delta and dose of Americana – but somehow some old fashion punk-rock sensibilities slipped into the Petri dish. [Read more...]

EVEREST TO PREMIERE “LET GO” ON “LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON” ON OCTOBER 12TH, PRIOR TO JOINING MY MORNING JACKET AT TERMINAL 5 IN NYC

EXTENSIVE TOURING WITH MATT COSTA, GUSTER, AND OTHERS CONFIRMED

everest mike piscitelli

Burbank, CA – Los Angeles-based quintet, Everest will premiere the track “Let Go” on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on October 12, before joining friends My Morning Jacket soon after at Terminal 5 on October 23. The band’s first television performance in support of their sophomore album, On Approach (Warner Bros. /Vapor Records), will be surrounded by a handful of dates with Guster, as well as Grace Potter and the Nocturnals followed by several solo headline shows. Everest will then join Matt Costa for an extensive month-long North American tour. All tour dates listed below. [Read more...]

Meet Elizabeth Cook and see her new video “All The Time”

Elizabeth's WELDER is out now! She's also on tour now!

Elizabeth Cook is a contemporary country artist and her new song  “All The Time,” off her 5th album Welder, is receiving heavy rotation on CMT.  If you haven’t heard of Elizabeth before, she has a very colorful and interesting background.  Here are some fun facts about Elizabeth:

  • She received her first major recording contract via a fax machine at her local Wildwood Ace Hardware.
  • She has performed over 300 times at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Elizabeth hosts a morning radio show on Sirus Radio called “Elizabeth Cook’s Apron Strings.”
  • Welder is her 5th album released
  • Elizabeth grew up in rural Flordia and is the youngest of 11 half-brothers and sisters
  • Her father learned to play upright bass in a Georgia prison band while serving 11 years for running moonshine

“All The Time” video and Tour Dates after the jump….

[Read more...]

I Heart Radio Discover The Green Children

I Heart Radio has handpicked The Green Children as their featured artist for the October round of NEW! Discover & Uncover. The band is giving fans the chance to stream “Dragons” off of their forthcoming release, Encounter, available online and in-stores October 12th.Encounter will feature 12 original tracks ranging from dance-driven to acoustic ballads including “Tell Me,” “Black Magic,” and the album version of the new single “Dragons.” Head over to IHeartRadio.com and hear what all the buzz is about!

The Green Children will be performing live on October 15th at the Webster Hall Studio in New York City. For more information, head over toTheGreenChildren.com.

Tired Pony Play at Irving Plaza TONIGHT in NYC

Tired Pony performed on Letterman last night. Ok so some of us went, “who the hell is Tired Pony?” Tired Pony is a dash of Peter Buck from REM and pinch of Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol.  What a mix right? If you are one of the lucky few that live on the East Coast check Tired Pont out TONIGHT at Irving Plaza in NYC! They are also set to perform at Oct 4 at the El Rey in Los Angeles. These are their only American shows!!!

The Weepies “Overwhelmed” By Sold Out Shows Across U.S.A

5 SHOWS ALREADY SOLD OUT, MANY MORE TO FOLLOW


The Weepies’ nationwide tour is shaping up to be a smashing success alongside a milestone Billboard debut for their new album ‘Be My Thrill’ (Nettwerk Records), which landed in the Billboard Top 40 and at #8 on the Top Digital Albums Chart.

Here’s what they posted on their Facebook page this week: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response: five shows are sold out already: Minneapolis, Seattle, Londonderry, and two shows in Chicago (Evanston). A whole bunch more are going to sell out shortly – New York, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Ann Arbor, Philadelphia, Austin, Annapolis, DC…don’t wait to buy your tickets! Some are 90% sold out right now.” [Read more...]

Sonar Chicago 2010; The Multi-Media Post

Sonar Chicago
Millenium Park & Chicago Cultural Center – Chicago, Il
9/09/10 – 9/11/10

sonar

From SonarChicago.com, “Sónar is the festival of advanced music and multimedia art that takes place at various venues in Barcelona (Spain) in the third week of June since 1994.

Sónar is a pioneering festival that is unique in terms of its format and content: a leading international benchmark thanks to a carefully assembled range of culture that combines entertainment with artistry, the avant garde and experimentation, featuring the most consolidated artists and trends in electronic music and their interactions and hybridisations with other genres…

To date, Sónar has travelled to London (an annual event since 2002), New York, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Frankfurt and Tokyo, among many other destinations, and in late 2010 a special format festival will be held for the first time in the North American city of Chicago, on 9, 10 and 11 September.

Sónar Chicago is the result of an initiative by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs -the public office planning and promoting musical, performance, and visual arts events in Chicago-, the Institut Ramon Llull, -the consortium made up of the Government of Catalonia and the Government of the Balearic Islands-, Advanced Music -the creators of Sónar festival – and AC Entertainment -the promoter of the Bonnaroo festival.”

With that said, here are the artists I was able to experience…
[Read more...]

New EP from The Tallest Man On Earth Available Today on iTunes! Download “Like the Wheel” from Sometimes the Blues Is Just A Passing Bird

New EP from The Tallest Man On Earth Available Today
on iTunes! Download “Like the Wheel” from
Sometimes the Blues Is Just A Passing Bird

tallest man on earth

Artwork for Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird EP

Surprise! Before anyone woke up this morning, an EP no one knew was coming has been made for sale in the iTunes store.
The Tallest Man On Earth’s new EP, Sometimes the Blues Is Just A Passing Bird, will be for sale exclusively on iTunes until its official release date. CDs, LPs and digital copies will be available at all othe retailers on November 9th, 2010 (8th in UK).
At many of the Tallest Man On Earth shows this year, Matsson closed his set with a new song titled “Like the Wheel.” It quickly became a fan favorite, with YouTube videos spreading virally, and the sets closing on a high note night after night. We are happy to share this song today!

Ray lights it up again!

Ray Lamontagne
And the Pariah Dogs
God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise
Sony Music
www.raylamontagne.com


Ray Lamontagne is a genius in the purest form of the word. His music transcends labels – his persona is low enough on the radar as to not invite the tabloids into his personal life  yet his new disc – “God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise” somehow managed to debut at #3 on the charts this week.

He is more than a singer songwriter – he is a craftsman creating moods and sharing thoughts through impeccable  lyric writing and a deft hand at creating a melody suited for his – the most lonesome and troubled voice this side of Roy Orbison. [Read more...]

Sarah Jaffe Tuesday Night at Schubas in Chicago!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 9:00 PM
21+ $8.00 ($10 Door)

Where has the time gone? One day I feel so caught up with the world and the next I realize Sarah Jaffe is performing at Schubas on Tuesday!!

Sarah is out promoting her new release Suburban Nature off Kirtland Records.  It is in stores now if you must have a copy or go to http://www.kirtlandrecords.com/store.htm to order your vinyl.  Suburban Nature is her first full length album and she’s also toured with the likes of Norah Jones.  Not too bad for just on album out. [Read more...]

DARK DARK DARK Announce US Tour, Release New MP3

TOUR BEGINS OCTOBER 2nd, NEW ALBUM, WILD GO, OUT OCTOBER 5th

Minneapolis-based chamber-folk sextet Dark Dark Dark are taking to the road this fall in support of their new album, Wild Go (released October 5th on Supply & Demand Music). The tour kicks off on October 2nd, with a big hometown record release show at First Avenue in Minneapolis, and ends up in New York for the CMJ Music Festival.

[Read more...]

RAY LAMONTAGNE AND THE PARIAH DOGS’ GOD WILLIN’ & THE CREEK DON’T RISE DEBUTS AT #3 ON THE BILLBOARD TOP 200

(New York, New York) Ray LaMontagne’s 4th studio album God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise debuts at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the Digital album chart selling over 64,000 units.  This marks a personal sales best for Ray and ties his debut chart position at #3 for Gossip in the Grain.  The first single off the album, “Beg, Steal or Borrow” is currently #2 on the AAA chart which is also a career high for Ray.

Entirely self produced (for the first time) God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise was recorded in two weeks at LaMontagne’s home in the woods of western Massachusetts.  The newly restored historic home served as a homemade recording studio for Ray and his fellow musicians.

Critics are raving over the newest addition to LaMontagne’s canon. The New York Daily News’ 5 star review says the album is, “one of the stand out releases of the year” and says LaMontagne “approaches Van Morrison’s greatest leaps into the mystic.”  Associated Press calls it, “one of the year’s best” while the Boston Globe calls it “an absolute gem.” Both the Los Angeles Times and USA Today give the album 3 1/2 stars (out of 4). [Read more...]

Joanna Newsom’s Tucson And On, Etc Tour!


Joanna Newsom’s triple album, Have One On Me, is getting farther out all the time now on Drag City. But she doesn’t just sit still at that crazy harp of hers, weaving her press between the strings – no, she goes from city to city, country to country, continent to continent and hemisphere to hemisphere so that she can get an hour-and-a-half of peace per evening sitting at that harp! So far in 2010, she’s put out an album, toured in the Eastern and Midwestern U.S., performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, toured in Europe, performed on Later with Jools Holland, toured in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and then headlined the Green Man Festival. Now, all she has to do is remember to BREATHE! Oh and also, do another round of dates of U.S. in November. These shows will take her across the Southwest and the Southeast on up to New York, where she’ll play the previously announced performance at Carnegie Hall (so calm down, okay?). Oh and by the way, before Joanna kicks off this November tour, she will be playing shows throughout the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Italy and Israel. Whew! Have One On Me? More like have a couple hundred on her! The girl don’t quit! [Read more...]

NEW SINGLE FROM JASON REEVES, “HELIUM HEARTS,” AVAILABLE ON iTUNES TODAY!!!

“Helium Hearts,” the new single from multi-platinum songwriter Jason Reeves, will be available from all digital retailers tomorrow, followed by a radio impact date of September 20th. The track, which is currently streaming on Reeves’ MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/jasonreeves), is the first single from Reeves’ long-awaited new album, The Lovesick — due for release this winter on Warner Bros. Records.

Produced by Adam Smith, The Lovesick features songwriting collaborations with WBR’s Senior Vice President of A&R Kara DioGuardi, who signed Reeves to the label; as well as Reeves’ frequent collaborator, singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat. Reeves co-wrote 10 tracks on Caillat’s platinum debut Coco, including the smash hit singles “Bubbly” and “Realize,” as well as 10 tracks on the deluxe edition of her album Breakthrough, including current hit single “I Never Told You.” [Read more...]

This “Lemonade” not too tart – not too sweet

Lily Schaffer
Lemonade
Self-released
www.lilyschaffer.com

Lily Schaffer LemondaHer voice is salty – sweet – easy on ears as honey on the tongue. Her name is Lilly Schaffer and her disc “Lemonade” is just what it sounds like – a little complex – a little delicious – and completely refreshing.

Schaffer comes out of the gate like a sepia chanteuse spinning her ancient musical yarns through her own neo-modern filter. By the end of “Lemonade” we are slowly seduced into the singer/songwriter world of the 21st century.

“Lemonade” is a collection of smart – well-crafted songs by this veteran of Chicago’s open mic scene. She explores the standard questions of love and identity – but does so with wit and warmth meted out carefully so as to not distract from the music.

Stand Out Tracks

Rubber Match
Everything You Read
The Sweetest Thing

Sharon Van Etten Tours With Junip & Announces Record Release Shows!

SHARON VAN ETTEN TOURS WITH JUNIP AND ANNOUNCES RECORD RELEASE SHOWS. NEW ALBUM, epic, OUT 10/5 ON BA DA BING!


EpicCoverArt

It’s official. Sharon Van Etten is well on her way to winning over all across the states who are lucky enough to see her perform. In addition to playing select shows in the southeast withMarissa Nadler in advance of her forthcoming Ba Da Bing! release, epic, Sharon will join Jose Gonzalez’s new band, Junip, on her first nationwide tour in November. First, she’ll give hometown audiences a treat with two very special record release shows in October. People are quickly falling in love with Sharon Van Etten, and for very good reason. Don’t miss out.

[Read more...]

BRADLEY HATHAWAY ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF FOURTH ALBUM, A THOUSAND ANGRY PANTHERS

BRADLEY HATHAWAY ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF FOURTH ALBUM, A THOUSAND ANGRY PANTHERS


(Goshen, Arkansas June 22nd 2010) Spoken word poet turned folk singer songwriter Bradley Hathaway has digitally released his fourth album entitled A Thousand Angry Panthers. The four song EP is a quick emotional glimpse into the recent life of Hathaway. Loss, love, searching and faith intertwine themselves throughout Panthers all the while we enjoy the soft twang of Hathaway’s contagious voice. [Read more...]

Emily Hurd’s Daytime Fireflies

Emily Hurd
Daytime Fireflies
Self-released
www.emilyhurd.com

The very things that attract us to a potential mate – tend to be the same things that eventually become the most annoying habits or affectations that person possesses.

Emily Hurd is a smart and gifted songwriter who has released a collection of bold and textured songs. Her quirk is a lisp that whistles at times while it is almost completely inaudible on other songs.

I am not – by any means – making fun of Hurd – I am curious why she plays it up on some cuts and downplays it on others. She creates these sweet little moody pieces of music that draw you in either through a rolling melody that tugs at the heartstrings or by visual images that read like Don Robertson vignettes.

There are moments where her dramatic flair delves into the melodramatic – but her lilting voice and the innocence in her delivery forgive any misstep.

The title cut “Daytime Fireflies” combines a vintage show-tune with some later Beatles’ orchestral fidgeting. Lyrically it is filled with irony (literary irony as opposed to the misnomer that Alanis M. sang about a number of years ago) that  makes the listener think – and then smile to themselves as they unravel the idea within the musical context. [Read more...]

THE WAYLONS announce release of NEW SINGLE / Next Show Union Pool on 7-21

THE WAYLONS ANNOUNCE RELEASE OF NEW SINGLE – Liquored Heroics b/w The Whole World NEXT SHOW, UNION POOL, WEDS JULY 21 w/DIEHARD and WORLD WAR


The first song of the Waylons’ new single series, ‘Liquored Heroics,’ is now available online at
www.waylons.com. The single is part of a series of summer releases available only through the
band’s website and at The Waylons’ summer performances.

[Read more...]

MATT HIRES RETURNS WITH “THE EP”

MATT HIRES RETURNS WITH “THE EP”;
FOUR-SONG COLLECTION INCLUDES BRAND NEW TRACKS,
PLUS NEW RENDITION OF “HONEY, LET ME SING YOU A SONG”
STATE LINES TOUR – PART 2” WITH FULL BAND
SET TO KICK OFF SEPTEMBER 3RD IN ORLANDO;
PRE-SALE TICKETS AVAILABLE JULY 14TH AT THE NEWLY LAUNCHED MATTHIRESMUSIC.COM

F-Stop Music/Atlantic recording artist Matt Hires has announced details of his upcoming new EP, entitled simply, “THE EP.”  The four-track collection will go on sale at all digital retailers on August 17th.

Produced by Eric Rosse (Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles), “THE EP” is highlighted by a newly recorded version of “Honey, Let Me Sing You A Song.”  In addition, the EP includes the song’s original album version – first found on the Tampa-based tunesmith’s acclaimed 2009 debut, “TAKE US TO THE START” – as well as two brand new tracks.  “Honey, Let Me Sing You A Song” will hit Hot AC radio outlets nationwide later this year. [Read more...]

Sharon Van Etten Releases New Album, Epic, Out October 5th on Ba Da Bing!

SHARON VAN ETTEN RELEASES NEW ALBUM, EPIC, OUT OCTOBER 5TH ON BA DA BING!

sharon bykristiannasmith

“I can’t recall hearing anything more beautiful in all my life.” — Robin Hilton, NPR

“Love More stuns on its own terms, but what’s better– and entirely appropriate, given the song’s overarching theme of the deliverance possible in perseverance– is the way it teases of the music Van Etten might now make. It proves that she deserves our patience.” — Grayson Currin, Pitchfork

Tour Dates after the jump…

[Read more...]

Old Timers Bring Down the House

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park
Jethro Tull/Procol Harum
Sunday June 20, 2010

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

Going to see Procol Harum was a leap of faith for me. Growing up and being so heavily influenced by lead vocalist Gary Brooker was one thing – seeing him and the band playing songs that are four decades old was another.

When he and the band strode out on stage in polo shirts and dress slacks – I thought it was someone’s grandpa got lost and wandered up onto the stage.

When he opened his mouth to sing; I was sure I was in the right place – maybe not the right time. His voice was flawless. How can this be 2010? This guy – this 65 year old man sang like it was 1972. The band worked their way through the old catalog and the new and about the time they got to “Conquistador” was I was in fits. At “Whiter Shade of Pale” you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Next – classic rock’s favorite leaping gnome took the stage at the breezy out door arena.

For the youngsters who are looking to expand into true “alternative’ music, the best place to start is Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull.

They were the original “alternative” band back in 1968.

While the rest of the rock music scene was screaming guitars and ripping off Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon, Tull was doing covers written by the likes of King Henry the 8th (you know the guy – fat, royal, cuts off heads…)

Anderson and company found a way to blend rock and roll with folk music – dashed with a little medieval-prog rock. Then they centered it all around Anderson and his flute.

With hits such as “Aqualung,” “Locomotive Breath,” and “Songs of the Wood” the group has sold over 60,000,000 records.

Tonight – despite all the years – all the tours – they played with the enthusiasm and humor of kids on a lark.

Anderson’s cod piece is gone (thankfully) but his trademark quasi-yoga poses and his urgent flute playing carried the night.

Martin Barre – guitar virtuoso and long time Anderson compadre – is 64-years old and I put his playing up against any of the younger players out there. He had been doing what he does on that Paul Reed Smith 513 for a long time – but his power and his passion come through on every note.

They blended the old hits with the newer cuts and gave the audience exactly what they came for – a rousing set of incredible music played by outstanding musicians.

This will likely be the highlight of the summer for live music. Not too many bands can span as many generations as these two bands. Even less bands out there could put on a show like I witnessed.

If you get a chance to see either of these bands – by all means – this is no nostalgia act. This is real rock and roll.

Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos:

Interview with Mike Grubbs from Wakey! Wakey!

IMG 1329

Between busy schedules of being the lead singer and songwriter from indie rock band Wakey! Wakey! and playing bartender “Grubbs” on One Tree Hill, Michael Grubbs took the time to answer some questions on how the summer tour is going and what music he recommends for 2010.

Keep reading for our interview with Mike.

[Read more...]

Wakey! Wakey! Plays Sold Out Show at Schubas!

Wakey! Wakey!
Schubas – Chicago, IL
6/16/10

wakey wakey 2

Like many others I hopped on the Wakey! Wakey! bandwagon via One Tree Hill. I honestly had no idea who WW was until I saw Mike Grubbs play “Grubbs” on One Tree Hill and I have to say I was hooked. His catchy lyrics and fun hooks really got me reeled in. I was oh too excited to hear he would be coming thru the Chi. I knew I had to try and catch this show. Even tho it was a school night for me, I made the tread out to the city and boy am I glad I did!

More photos and set list after the jump! [Read more...]

And art rock for all…

Canasta
The Fakeout The Tease and the Breather
Self-Released

Canasta Press Photo

The Chicago art-pop-rock combo Canasta has a way of releasing  records that are relaxing, but in no means lazy. They are ambitious without being overwhelming. They are textured soundscapes filled with thoughtful and intelligent lyrics moving delicately about the pastiche of musical ideas.

Sound pretentious? I thought you might think so. (College writing class wasn’t wasted on me.) Canasta is a group who relishes the process of playing music and making music that is as timeless as it is contemporary. The music is as conversational as it is narrative.

On The Fakeout The Tease and the Breather they deliver on the promise they made with their earlier release “We Were Set Up” (which includes the best Chicago song of the 21st century, “Slow Down Chicago”).

Part of the group’s success us that they are – for the most part – multi-instrumentalists. They all take a hand at singing with Matt Priest  handling most of the heavy lifting. Elizabeth Lindau offers perfect complement to his laid back style.

Lindau also plays the violin and keyboard and percussion. As a matter of fact guitar player Jeremy Beckford and drummer Josh Lava seem to be the only two listed that don’t have more than one instrument after their name. This does not discount their contributions to the band – it exemplifies the opportunities the other musicians provide.

Another of the rewards derived from listening to Canasta is the unpredictability of the music. While most pop music is predictable and can be played along with after a listen or two, Canasta arranges the songs with care and a sharp focus. They bring everything they have to the table very time.

They can be light and playful then turn on a dime and be dramatic and poignant – before drifting back into something else which might just be an infectious beat. They can get intimate and then anthemic.

The Fakeout The Tease and the Breather is a solid album – a necessity for anyone who enjoys smart music that resides at the corner of pop and art.

To find out about this summer’s local shows, log on at www.canastamusic.com

Stand Out Tracks
Becoming You
I Was Going with This Magazine
Reading the Map Upside Down

Nathaniel Rateliff & Tallest Man On Earth Sells Out Lincoln Hall

Nathaniel Rateliff & Tallest Man On Earth
Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
5/28/10

Nathaniel Rateliff & Tallest Man On Earth Lincoln Hall

(Photos by Max Erhlich)

I recently told my friend how much I liked the catchy and pretty awesome songs from DOM, one of the newest buzz bands, despite the fact that (based on lyrics, originality/sincerity, and a Pitchfork Interview) I’m not “rooting” for them. Nathaniel Rateliff, while not exactly making the most groundbreaking music, is someone that one (and especially the sold-out crowd at Lincoln Hall) roots for, on the other hand. The coolest thing about Rateliff’s set was that it featured reflective, acoustic, lyric-based stories that sonically isn’t too far removed from newer bands like Band Of Horses and Blitzen Trapper, but provided something more to grip; AND, it did all this in sweet three-minute packages. Not drawing out a slow-paced tune is key, I feel. The 5-piece was able to repeatedly thank the crowd for being so polite and appreciative, many of whom I’d imagine will catch them at Lincoln Hall’s brother-venue Schubas on July 21st, as well as fitting in ten strong songs.

Nathaniel Rateliff & Tallest Man On Earth Lincoln Hall

Nathaniel’s vocals, which are often backed up, drops to the deep tones of Bill Callahan or Mark Lannegan. I wrote down lyrics from all ten songs in hoping to find the track names that way, but unfortunately the press on the band is still fairly limited in that sense. The songs I have stars by, which I am able to find, tend to highlight the newer material from the late April release of this year, In Memory Of Loss. One of the most available tracks floating around the blog-world was an In Memory track that came towards the end of the set, “Early Spring Till.”

“Whimper and Wail,” another track available on their MySpace might have been the show-highlight; perusing their MySpace and available songs on the Internet give a pretty good indication of what to expect from the albums, and being a Tallest Man On Earth fan is a pretty strong endorsement for Nathaniel Rateliff. Another strong endorsement is that Kristian Matsson (thee Tallest Man On Earth himself) seems to be a pretty big fan. Amazingly, this was my first time at Lincoln Hall – amazingly because I go to shows a lot, and have been very close to coming here a lot. Like Park West, the disco ball really adds an awesome touch to any band, which spins during the end of sets. The song I had starred as liking the most had the lyrics “I guess you caught me in my…” Be sure to check that out among his two albums, and certainly get a ticket for the upcoming show; definitely the best outlet to here the band’s beautiful arrangements.
I was fortunate to get into this show (esp. for free) after it had been sold-out for a while, and although TMOE was the initial draw, it was Nathaniel’s publicist that got me in. I’ll only breeze by the important the Tallest Man On Earth notes – this will not be easy because the whole thing was awesome and I’ll spent the majority of the waking hours thinking about the show (the waking hours have been all but three hours), so I sort of won’t. He gave us some extra songs because it’s the last one before he takes a two month slumber before Pitchfork, and the cover songs were the most fun. If you haven’t heard TMOE before hustle over to YouTube and queue up the lyrics to “The Gardener,” one of the most played songs of 2009 for me.
I’ll let ya drool over the set list.

1) The Wild Hunt
2) 1000 Years
3) I Won’t Be Found
4) The Gardener (“a song about flowers”)
5) Kids On The Run
6) The Drying Of The Lawns
7) Pistol Dreams
8) Where Do My Bluebird Fly?
9) By Your Side (Sade)
10) I’m Going Back
11) Troubles Will Be Gone
12) Love Is All
13) Graceland (Paul Simon)
14) Burden Of Tomorrow
15) King Of Spain
16) I’ll Keep It With Mine (Dylan) w/ friend Amanda
17) The Man In Me (Dylan) w/ Lots of friends!!!
18) Like The Wheel

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