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Welcome to Flashback Friday — a look back on the week in music. I’ve posted some noteworthy news on the Facebook page (what? You haven’t become a fan yet? Do that. Now.), but here are the gems:
- The White Stripes have, indeed, broken up. The writing has been on the wall for a while, what with Jack White’s multiple endeavors and some subtle hints in the Under Great White Northern Lights documentary. But still. Bummer.
- The Avett Brothers hinted at an album in mid-2011. If this is true, I will be very, very happy. Speaking of happy…
- Fleet Foxes promises their long-awaited new album will be released on Tuesday May 3rd. The title track is now available for download on their website. Southern California dates:
- May 6 -Spreckels Theatre – San Diego
- May 7 – Hollywood Palladium – Hollywood
Not much to report when it comes to new releases. Save your money for the next few weeks, with gems from Bright Eyes and other indie darlings waiting to hit your ipod.
The one spectacular release has been receiving buzz from all sorts of media and word of mouth: Barton Hollow from the Civil Wars.
I had the pleasure of seeing them at the Hotel Cafe in December, and it was, without a doubt, one of the best live acts I had seen in 2010. Joy Williams and John Paul White possess a chemistry unlike any other duo I can think of. Their folky acoustic sound can put one to sleep on one track, and be the perfect road trip device the next.
Check out the album live streaming here via Spinner, and see what I mean.
Then, buy Barton Hollow and have it forever and ever.
It’s been a month since I’ve been to a show. A month. What is wrong with me? Thankfully, that will all change tomorrow as I head from behind the Orange Curtain and into LA to see the Avett Brothers and Brandi Carlile. That should be a great Friday night show: chill, with a few songs to get me going. My days (and nights) have been busy to say the least lately, and it should be nice to sip a drink, sit down, and listen to Brandi and the Brothers Avett.
There are tons of other shows playing this week, and I’ve narrowed it down to about two a day for you guys. If you have a ticket to any of them, I covet that confirmation code.
The Avett Brothers and Brandi Carlile (w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals) @ Nokia Theatre [of course I’m going to list the show I’m heading to. Say hi, yo.]
Listen: The Avett Brothers – Slight Figure Of Speech
Aimee Mann @ Largo [great, intimate venue for her.]
Matt & Kim [left] @ Music Box, L.A.
School of Seven Bells @ Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa
Belle & Sebastian with Jenny & Johnny @ The Palladium [anyone have a free, extra ticket? This should be a great show. Jenny & Johnny is, of course, a duet consisting of Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) and Jonathan Rice. Their debut album is fantastic.]
Listen: Jenny & Johnny – Scissor Runner
The Soft Pack @ Detroit Bar
Tired Pony [members of Snow Patrol, R.E.M., Belle & Sebastian] @ El Rey
Jenny & Johnny @ the Troubadour
Broken Bells [left] @ The Wiltern [James Mercer of the Shins teams up with Danger Mouse for a positively unique sound. Loving their album.]
Lissie @ Troubadour [Newcomer solo artist is the darling of indie radio stations. Check her out.]
Listen: Lissie – Bully
The Like @ Detroit Bar
Going to any shows this week? Excited for any coming up this month? Leave a comment.
Nick Hornby and Ben Folds – Lonely Avenue (Nonesuch)
Yes, that Ben Folds. And yes, that Nick Hornby. Brick. High Fidelity. Teaming up for what is to be a very intriguing album.
Author Hornby and musician Folds collaborated on this album, with the former writing the lyrics and the latter taking care of the music. Since Hornby has had no experience in songwriting, which is a different beast from the short stories and novels he’s used to penning, it will be interesting to see how Folds can translate them.
Buy Album: Lonely Avenue
download mp3: From Above
From two masters of their craft, we move on to newcomer Cameron Mesirow, who performs under the name of Glasser. This solo artist has been getting a fair amount of play on indie radio, for good reason. Her strong voice compliments the vast amount of strings and percussion she uses, without it being overwhelming. She only broke out onto the scene last year with her first EP, and I doubt we’ll be hearing less of her anytime soon.
Buy album: Ring
Download mp3: Home
Listened to either album? Think I missed one that deserves to be talked about? Leave a comment.
Sufjan Stephens keeps his fans guessing. His first two releases were his state-titled Michigan and Illinois allowing fans to assume that 48 more albums were to come.
However his latest album is titled The Age of Adz and that isn’t the only difference. Gone is the wistful banjo strumming, and in its place are synths and other devices.
Take a listen, as NPR is streaming the entire album for free here.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think about the album.
The Age of Adz releases October 12 on Asthmatic Kitty Records.
One of the most hyped festivals of the year – the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival – just announced it’s 3 day lineup.
That’s right: Jay Z. Well, last year Paul McCartney headlined Friday night. Coachella keeps you guessing, y’all.
One interesting change from last year? As of right now, they’re doing away with single day tickets, and demanding you fork over $269 (not including fees, of course) for a three day pass. Nice.
I don’t know much about tragedy. In my mundane, everyday life, “tragedy” is TicketMaster malfunctioning, thus hindering my chances of going to a show.
I have a good life. I know it.
Then, disaster hits what is already one of the poorest areas of the world. I can’t comprehend what it’s like to have the ceiling crumble during an earthquake. Heck, I live in the earthquake capital of the world, right? California has been bracing itself for the Big One for years. But our infrastructures can handle a 7.0. Haiti’s cannot.
Yes, SATC is a music blog. But sometimes I veer to the idealistic. At times In rare moments, there is more to life. Like… life.
The one, albeit small, silver lining about this tragedy?
Haiti is getting attention.
Hopefully (though not guaranteed), the aid will not stop. Not only will rebuilding efforts be needed for years to come, but the country and its people need relief from the poverty they were already in. The majority of Haitians live on less than $2 a day. The country has had to endure plenty of natural (and political) disasters which have made life in the Carribean nation far from paradise.
A Haitian musician, Richard A. Morse of the mizik rasin group RAM, has been one of many who have taken to Twitter to put a voice to the tragedy. He has given a blunt play-by-play of the aftermath, while offering his own commentary as well. And that is one small part of why I love music. It allows one to give a voice to so many things – good, bad, awful, silly. It combines so many mediums – written and spoken word, instruments – and allows one to pour out their heart, and another to embrace it.
Since the quake, I took a crash course in Haitian music. Mizik rasin and vodou drum beats are popular styles in Haiti, making RAM a staple since their beginning in the early 1990’s.
Incredible organizations are mobilizing efforts to get manpower and materials to Haiti. Add your voice by donating your money.
Here are three organizations you can donate to:
And one more: text HAITI to 90999 and $10 will be charged to your phone bill, and automatically donated to the Red Cross.
(Back to regularly scheduled sarcastic music blogging.)
This Thursday, check out a free outdoor show featuring Tyrone Wells and Meiko.
I’ve featured Meiko a few times before, and been a fan of Tyrone for years. Tomorrow, they’re teaming up for “The Sound of Summer,” a weekly concert in downtown LA’s Pershing Square and sponsored by 100.3FM.
Meiko goes on at 8pm, and Tyrone’s set starts at 9.
Dowload MP3: Tyrone Wells – More
More info: The Sound of Summer
My uncle gave me A Fine Frenzy’s CD “One Cell In The Sea” the day before Christmas Eve 2007. It also happened to be the day before my grandmother would pass away, but we did not know that at the time.
A few hours after she died, I drove to my apartment to be alone for awhile. My uncle had said that despite the name, A Fine Frenzy was actually a singer/songwriter named Alison Sudol. I just knew I needed something to drown out the loud nothingness that was taking over my brain.
The drive from my parent’s house to my apartment was the longest 45 minutes ever – I remember every stretch of nothing as I cut through LA County into Orange. Sudol’s voice was both strangely muted and present as she sung of love and loss. The vocals were soothing and and strangely beautiful, and the music – with piano performed by Sudol – was well suited for her voice.
Her new song, “Blow Away” is the first single off her album Bomb In A Birdcage which will be released in September. Fans of Feist and Regina Spektor will be pleased. If the song is any indication, Birdcage will be much more pop-influenced than the piano-driven One Cell In The Sea.
What do you think?