Sunday, July 26, 2009

Adventures at the Library: Part Two

So my musical adventures continue. Clinton Macomb Library I appreciate you and your musical selections. I am a musical listening machine lately. I have to drive everywhere so I have had some time to listen and make some new impressions. So here are three more thoughts for three more records.

Art Brut: "Bang, Bang Rock & Roll"
The record starts with:
Formed a band
We formed a band
Look at us
We formed a band

Hell yeah they formed a band and this 2005 release is amazing. Tough, fun, rock love. I love this record because it is so much fun, the lyrics are interesting, and it defintely announces hey we are a band, these are our songs, love them, hate them, f-you. I think overall it is a nice record to remind yourself to not take yourself to seriously. Art Brut released a new record "Art Brut vs. Satan," this pushes me over to edge to want to own it, listen to it, and probably dance around my bedroom with a dinosaur as a microphone.

Dr. Dog: Fate
I LOVED THIS RECORD!! It's my favorite of the three I have listened to during this library round. This 2008 release missed my listening ears. Oh my gosh I love it. It's fun, it's americana, it's roots, it's just plain good. As people were talking about My Morning Jacket they should have been speaking louder about this record. It's cool and breezy, not to cocky or arrogant. If this record was a person I would love to hang out with it. Who wouldn't really. GET THIS RECORD!!! I wish I would have a year ago.

See them live:
Jul 31 2009 12:30A
Pickathon Portland, Oregon
Aug 1 2009 8:30P
Pickathon Portland, Oregon
Aug 3 2009 9:00P
Bethlehem Musikfest Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Sep 18 2009 7:00P
Nightfall Concert at Miller Plaza Chattanooga, Tennessee
Sep 19 2009 9:00P
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Bristol, Virginia
Sep 20 2009 2:00P
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Bristol, Virginia
Sep 28 2009 9:00P
The Orange Peel Asheville, North Carolina
Sep 29 2009 7:30P
The Loft Atlanta, Georgia
Sep 30 2009 8:00P
The Howlin’ Wolf New Orleans, Louisiana
Oct 1 2009 10:00P
Chelsea’s Cafe Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Oct 2 2009 12:00P
Austin City Limits Festival Austin, Texas
Oct 3 2009 1:00P
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Golden Gate Park San Francisco, California
Oct 5 2009 8:30P
The Brookdale Lodge Brookdale, California
Oct 6 2009 9:00P
Henry Fonda Theatre Los Angeles, California
Oct 7 2009 9:30P
Club Congress Tucson, Arizona
Oct 9 2009 10:00P
Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct 10 2009 9:00P
Belly Up Aspen, Colorado
Oct 11 2009 9:00P
Fox Theatre Boulder, Colorado
Oct 12 2009 9:00P
The Bottleneck Lawrence, Kansas
Oct 13 2009 9:00P
The Gargoyle Club St. Louis, Missouri
Oct 15 2009 9:00P
The Mad Hatter Covington, Kentucky
Oct 16 2009 8:00P
Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, Ohio
Oct 17 2009 8:00P
Mass Moca North Adams, Massachusetts
Oct 20 2009 9:00P
Gravity Lounge Charlottesville, Virginia
Oct 21 2009 9:00P
Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, North Carolina
Oct 22 2009 8:00P
Ottobar Baltimore, Maryland
Oct 23 2009 9:00P
Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 24 2009 9:00P
Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Josh Ritter: The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
I really got into Six Feet Under a few years ago and there was a beautiful end scene where a track from Josh Ritter was featured. The song was "Come and Find Me." So I took his advice after many listens and tried to find him. I found this record, The Historical Conquest of Josh Ritter" and was underwhelmed and to be honest kind of bored. Six tracks in I was just not into the record. Help me people! I don't understand what everyone loves about him! Is it just this record? Is it him? One track does not a great artist make. Is there anybody out there who will help me understand? in Detroit

I can say that I am one lucky lady to be able to see Wilco twice within the same week. Good luck and fortune rarely shows itself in this way and when it happens in this manner than I run with it and take full advantage.

Last Tuesday was Wilco at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Michigan. Wilco indoors doesn't happen very often and going back into my memories I think it has been since 2005 where I saw them indoors. What a treat!! Indoors made a difference with hearing the delicate percussion lines in songs from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and just how good Nels Cline really is.

I was lucky to have a space that allowed me to peer through the crowd and have a direct view of Nels' hands as they fly on this Jazzmaster. Holy good and so beautiful. The night was full of great jams both new and old. Nothing was better than the first encore with Poor Places into Reservations and then topping it off with Spiders (Kidsmoke). Those songs almost haunt me. It made me stop moving. Stand still. Listen. It was like I could see the ghosts of my past. The air in the room changed to like everyone was accessing a memory with a line like "I've got reservations, about so many things, but not about you."

The night was fun, lots of really good midwest jams. The crowd was so fabulous, singing along, having fun. I danced the whole evening and sang along on the top of my lungs. I was having a rough day and let me tell you Wilco (as promised) did make it better.

(Hummingbird LIVE)

Royal Oak Set List:
Wilco (the song)
Bull Black Nova
You Are My Face
A Shot in the Arm
One Wing
Handshake Drugs
A Magazine Called Sunset
Deeper Down
Jesus, etc.
In A Future Age
Impossible Germany
I'll Fight
Summerteeth (started and restarted)
Sonny Feeling
Hate It Here
Can't Stand It
I'm The Man Who Loves You

Poor Places
Spiders (Kidsmoke)

2nd Encore
You Never Know
Heavy Metal Drummer
California Stars (w/female fan choir)
Red-Eyed and Blue
I Got You (At The End of the Century)
Hoodoo Voodoo
I'm A Wheel

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Womans Work

I watch So You Think You Can Dance every Wednesday without fail. I watch it with great friends of mine I literally have known ALL of my life (trust me there are baby pictures involved). There are two words that get my stomach in a knot, or make me pause, or make me stare off into space and those words are: breast cancer.

Last night this piece was performed to represent the struggle. I have never been more moved in my life. Never a dance or art for that matter has pushed me over the edge more than this piece. Even sitting here writing this I have tears in my eyes.

The song was an excellent choice, the dancing was superb, the male dance Ade got it. He completely got what it was to support someone with the struggle. To want to catch them, hold them up, never leave them alone. He was SO strong. It is such an AMAZING piece.

The video shows the story and the thankfulness of the judges for being able to have the courage and strength to dance this piece. I am so thankful.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Deastro: Growers EP

Download a free Deastro EP: Growers


Sunday, July 19, 2009


To be young and to be in Detroit. There are some great bands in this newly found fair city of mine. One of my favorites is this delightful band Javelins, probably one of my favorite bands in Detroit. This indiepop band always puts a smile on my face and gets me excited about the possibilities of music. The band is really nothing I have heard before. Tight pop with eerie sounding distorted tracks makes one early to fall in love with.

Last night I enjoyed them at The Lager House. A quick set that was fully enjoyable made me excited about this three, now turned four piece. Matt Rickle, Matt Howard, Julian Wettlin, and Will Yates bring strong indie sensibilities with their influences of My Bloody Valentine, Talk Talk, Stereolab, and Built to Spill to help you understand the low-fi love I give to their jams.

Please check out there record, Heavy Meadows, a smart ten song collection chalk full of this wonderful sound and delightful jams. Erica Froman from the lovely band Anathallo loans her beautiful and stunning voice to give many of these tracks depth and success. I hope you can check them out, I have and will continue.

Javelins - "Out on the Sand" from Suburban Sprawl Music on Vimeo.

If you are in the midwest please check these jams out:
Jul 22 2009 Midwest Fest 09 Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Jul 28 2009 The Pike Room w/ CURSIVE Pontiac, Michigan
Aug 14 2009 F*cking Awesome Fest @ The Majestic Detroit, Michigan
Aug 16 2009 Gold Music Festival Rochester, Michigan

Friday, July 17, 2009

Music at the Library: Part One

In the last year my life has kind of flipped upside down and I have found myself in the state where my drivers license told me where I reside. Which means I am in suburbia for just a little while longer. Which means I now have a library where I can actually check out books (for awhile there I lived in different states, never long enough to change my address, hence no library card.

This new library has an amazing collection of music. One that makes my jaw drop a little and wish that their 'alternative' section was my own personal library. So I am going to go back in time a bit. Listen to records that I always wanted to hear but there were many moments I couldn't afford. ahhhhh....the beauty of the library!!

First installment:

Love is All: A Hundred Things that Keep Me Up All Night
Most favorite record that I will probably go and purchase soon. It was so fun. So delightful. The record was released late November 2008 so it slipped through the radar as I obsessed over best of the year lists, which the unfortunate November release gets stuck in between the cracks. Dancerockpop jams! Love it. Have to have it and I hope you do as well.

The Silent Years: The Globe. This is a local Detroit band with band members of bands of my past that I just loved. Since I have been home I have seen them a few times and have really enjoyed myself. This record defintely didn't disappoint. Fun, beautiful questions, slow though not boring. Here's a little taste.

Liam Finn: I'll Be Lightening. This Record was released in 2007 and I have had a couple of tracks floating in my itunes. The whole record is lovely and I was lucky to give it a whirl but it's not something I have missed since returning to the library. It was nice but forgettable.

Black Mountain: In the Future.
Let's Just say this was my least favorite of the bunch. Known as retro-psych the record was released early 2008. It was guitar solos without much substance. I didn't finish it. I returned it without thinking twice. I kind of forgot about it until I went through my list and remembered what i was up to!

So there are the four reviews of records newer and older. I have another large stack that I am slowly wading through. Enjoy!

Wolfgang Amedeus Phoenix

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix has been a delightful addition to my music catalog. It's fun, energetic, and powerful. It's one of the few records that when the record is over you swiftly start it over again.

There are some great songs that are easily put into a mix tape with fun summer jams. It's a fantastically fun record with wonderfully crafted pop songs that are easy to shake your shoulders to. The lyrics are crafted to engage the loner or the lonely and I have fallen for its sweetness.

I had heard quite a lot of buzz around this band and with the record. I was skeptical at first but it's a delightful record that gets played often when i am working or if i am driving in my car. I highly suggest that you put this record on, clear your furniture, and dance the night away.

You can check them out on tour:

September 13 : Monolith Festival – Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO, USA
September 16 : Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, USA
September 19 : Urban, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
September 21 : Slowdown, Omaha, NE, USA
September 22 : First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, USA
September 25 : Rumsey Playfield – Central Park, NYC, USA – SOLD OUT
September 26 : Rumsey Playfield – Central Park, NYC, USA


October 1 : Tipitinas, New Orleans, LA, USA
October 2 : Austin City Limits Festival, Austin, Texas, USA

If you can't see them on tour you can still follow them on twitter:Wearephoenix

Wilco (my thoughts)

There are few bands that really shake me to the core. Anyone that has hung out with me a few times will eventually understand that the love of this band runs deep. Wilco put out a really fantastic follow-up to the 2006 rock record Sky Blue Sky with this new record Wilco (the album). This record shares some really fantastic new songs; the fun and lite wilco (the song), a duo with the lovely Feist on You and I, and the chilling Bull Black Nova.

I have read somewhere that this is a record of confidence, and I couldn't agree more. These five gentleman have brought their confidence, experience, and ability to craft great songs onto one of the most stripped down Wilco records to date. It continues to amaze (and delight) that this band keeps getting better with time. The record is not Yankee Hotel Foxtrot or a Ghost is Born. It's this stripped down great rock sound. At first I thought these jams could be B-sides from Sky Blue Sky but I couldn't be more wrong. There is a beautiful rich tone to this record. It's calm, unassuming, and straight up great!

and hearing it live is even better!!

on Monday I had the opportunity to see Wilco live on Coney Island. The night began with Wilco (the song). So fun, so exciting, and with a smile on my face some friends new and some who have loved Wilco forever with me sang-a-long for two and half hours of fantastic Wilco songs. They played my favorites (Hummingbird, Impossible Germany, Shot in the Arm, At Least That's What She Said). The energy they bring to a show is like nothing else I have seen or have encountered.

The show was a beautiful night and with a double encore my heart was happy. (Leslie) Feist came out to sing the duet "You and I" and I thought my jaw would fall off my face. Then Edward Droste from Grizzly Bear came out and jangled the tambourine and sang California Stars with Feist and band. Adding beauty to beauty Yo La Tango arrives to finish the encore with Spiders (Kidsmoke).

I think my favorite Wilco moment happened when Nels Cline, Jeff Tweedy, and the dude from Yo La Tango came together and created some beautiful harmonies with progressive scales creating both tension and harmony. Holy crap. Amazing.

A second encore included what my friend Ryan liked to call a shred off between multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone and the fabulous Nels Cline on the jam Hoodoo Voodoo. Moments of great rock and roll are no longer televised but I had the amazing opportunity to see it happen! Lucky for me I get to see them again next week!