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Sufjan Steven’s horror/christmas claymation “Mr. Frosty Man”

29th Oct 12 (Mon) Leave a comment

Three Sufjan Stevens posts in a row?  Sorry… I promise I’ll get an October concert recap (Aimee Mann, Nellie McKay, Peter Mulvey/Kris Delmhorst, Dan Deacon) up soon… in the meantime, this new claymation/stop motion music video for Sufjan’s “Mr. Frosty Man” is perfect for both the Christmas & Halloween crowds…


Animation by Lee Hardcastle

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

~Dan – np: TomahawkTomahawk

Sufjan Stevens – Nov/Dec 2012 Tour

10th Oct 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

As reported last week, Sufjan Stevens is releasing a new Christmas boxset this winter – and now, he just announced a tour in the U.S….

Sufjan Stevens’ 2012 Tour Dates with Sheila Saputo

aka The Sirfjam Stephanapolous Christmas Sing-A-Long
Seasonal Affective Disorder Spectacular Music Pageant
Variety Show Distaster

  • Fri Nov 23, 2012 – Philadelphia PA Union Transfer
  • Sat Nov 24, 2012 – Washington DC 9:30 Club
  • Sun Nov 25, 2012 – Saxapahaw NC The Haw River Ballroom 
  • Mon Nov 26, 2012 – Athens GA The Georgia Theatre
  • Tue Nov 27, 2012 – Chattanooga TN Track 29
  • Wed Nov 28, 2012 – Oxford MS The Lyric Oxford
  • Fri Nov 30, 2012 – Dallas TX Granada Theater
  • Sat Dec 01, 2012 – Austin TX Emo’s East
  • Mon Dec 03, 2012 – Tucson AZ Rialto Theatre
  • Tue Dec 04, 2012 – Los Angeles CA The Fonda Theatre (formerly The Music Box)
  • Wed Dec 05, 2012 – San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall
  • Thu Dec 06, 2012 – Portland OR Aladdin Theater
  • Sat Dec 08, 2012 – Seattle WA Neptune Theatre
  • Sun Dec 09, 2012 – Missoula MT Wilma Theatre
  • Wed Dec 12, 2012 – Minneapolis MN Mill City Nights (Formerly The Brick)
  • Thu Dec 13, 2012 – Milwaukee WI Turner Hall
  • Fri Dec 14, 2012 – Indianapolis IN Deluxe @ Old National Centre
  • Sat Dec 15, 2012 – Chicago IL Metro
  • Sun Dec 16, 2012 – Cleveland OH Beachland Ballroom
  • Tue Dec 18, 2012 – Buffalo NY Asbury Hall @ Babeville
  • Wed Dec 19, 2012 – Providence RI Fete
  • Thu Dec 20, 2012 – Boston MA Royale
  • Fri Dec 21, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom
  • Sat Dec 22, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom

Sufjan Stevens will jingle-jangle his way across America, bringing yuletide cheer to your local music club, sharing reverent hymns and pop carols from his upcoming Christmas album Silver & Gold. “The Sirfjam Stephanapolous Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Spectacular Music Pageant Variety Show Distaster” will be a tragic-comedic feast for the ears and eyes.

Sufjan will be joined by a 5-piece band (including Rosie Thomas, Nedelle Torissi, Casey Foubert, James McAlister, and Ben Lanz) playing all the hits from both Christmas box sets. Send us your song requests!

All Grinches be forewarned: the show will consist entirely of Christmas music, inviting audience participation.

Extra-special guest Sheila Saputo—the hottest ticket from Gary, Indiana—will be opening all dates with her indelible ice-breaking pizzazz.

General admission goes on sale on Friday (10/12). Check your local venue for ticket links and availability times.  A very limited number of presale tickets will go on sale Wednesday October 10th at 10am (in whatever timezone the venue is in). Don’t worry if you don’t get a ticket on Wednesday – general admission goes on sale on Friday.  Click here to buy presale tickets (available at 10am on October 10th in the venue’s timezone).

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter & Scott AmendolaNot Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead

Sufjan Stevens’ Silver & Gold (Xmas EP #’s 6-10)

2nd Oct 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

Update: the stop-motion Lego video is at the bottom.

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

“Happy Holidays! On November 13, 2012, Asthmatic Kitty Records will release (another!) Christmas box-set extravaganza by the implacable singer/songwriter Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10, a compilation of 5 EPs recorded between 2006 and 2010.

Expanding on the tradition of the first box-set (Songs for Christmas, Vols. 1-5 from 2006), Silver & Gold is a generous document of five more years of holly-jolly jubilee — Christmas caroling, sleigh-bell-ringing, collaborative songwriting — undertaken by Sufjan and his various musical cohorts. Originally intended as gifts for family and friends, these musical snapshots have been re-mixed and re-assembled for the public in an exquisitely-designed gift box containing all the Yuletide pleasures money can buy: Christmas stickers, temporary tattoos, lyric sheets and chord charts, a paper ornament, an apocalyptic pull-out poster, photos, illustrations, and extensive liner notes—a veritable Christmas feast for the eyes and ears.

The album features collaborations with a running line-up of friends and musical peers, including Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Cat Martino (Sufjan’s right-hand woman on all things Age of Adz), Sebastian Krueger (Inlets), Gabriel Kahane, Vesper Stamper, and members of Danielson (Daniel, Elin, Lilly, and Ida). Sufjan’s own indelible aesthetic and his tireless oblique strategies (in vain pursuit of the perfect Christmas song) maintain the album’s center of gravity, resulting in an abundant compilation (nearly 60 tracks) that investigates the canon of devotional hymns and holiday pop songs with reckless abandon (totaling nearly three hours of music).

Silver & Gold surpasses its predecessor both in style and scope by taking a wider stance and embracing a more liberal ethos. The box-set sails through musical fashions as various as ornaments on a Christmas tree (covering songs from John Dowland to Johnny Marks). The folksy old-world renaissance of Gloria (Vol. 6) gives way to bi-polar impertinence on I Am Santa’s Helper (Vol. 7). Christmas Infinity Voyage (Vol. 8) looks to the cosmos (and the drum machine) for inspiration, while Let It Snow (Vol. 9) and Christmas Unicorn (Vol.10) show a giddy return to form, unselfconsciously reveling in all the bubble-gum show tunes from the 1950s and 60s (“A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” to name a few).

There are also 18 original songs intermixed throughout (some of them co-written or wholly composed by guest collaborators). Sufjan’s contribution to the Christmas canon exhibits an ever-expanding canopy of approaches: there’s the moody and affectionate Christmas ballad (“Happy Karma Christmas”), an ecclesiastical take on the Burl Ives classic “Silver & Gold” (re-titled here as “Justice Delivers Its Gift”), the rowdy, garage-rock, rumble-in-the-snow-bank (“Mr. Frosty Man”) and the psychedelic pop-anthem (“Christmas Unicorn”) that attempts to reconcile new age magic, fantasy fiction, and the commodification of Christmas with expository deftness.

Silver & Gold is more than just another Christmas album, but an ongoing exercise in theme and variation, an annual tradition that offers this songwriter a chance to experiment with fashion and technique without taking himself too seriously. Sufjan’s playful (yet purposeful) expedition through the superficial landscape of sugar plum fairies and marshmallow fluff has produced an exuberant musical account of “all things Christmas” in the pursuit of the sublime. What distinguishes this project from the glut of Christmas albums saturating the market today are Sufjan’s unguarded enthusiasm for the genre itself (the sense of freedom he shows in celebrating with reverence and rebellion) and the belief that Christmas music contains a multiplicity of sacred and secular significance (from Baby Jesus to Babes in Toyland) that is ultimately ours for the taking. It’s safe to say that no one has taken it further than Sufjan, for better and for worse.

Thanks for listening and may all your Christmas dreams come true.

Silver & Gold will be available in digital download, a CD box-set available November 13th, with a limited edition of 2000 vinyl box-sets available later this year or early 2013.

A special edition of the vinyl boxset, which will include some extra surprises, is available to US/Canada/EU for pre-order:

http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/album/silver-gold

The CD Boxset includes: (price not listed yet)

1. Five CD EPs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos  (non-toxic & safe for children)

4. A paper ornament (self-assembly with directions)

5. An apocalyptic pull-out poster

6. Song lyrics and chord charts (sing along with your friends and enemies)

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design (by Sufjan Stevens, drug-free since 1975)

8. Extensive liner notes (introductory salutations and an essay on the Christmas tree by Sufjan Stevens, and a few theological words on the End Times by Pastor Vito Aiuto)

The vinyl boxset includes: ($120 + S/H)

1. Five EPs on 6 vinyl discs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos

4. A paper ornament

5. A 40-page Christmas songbook with vocal and piano reductions

6. A Christmas coloring book

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design

8. Extensive liner notes

Whoa!

Sufjan Stevens Lego Movie

~Dan – np: Carla Kihlstedt & Matthias BossiNiagara Falling: Tales for the Stage, III

REVIEW: My Brightest Diamond @ Pantages Theater (Tacoma, WA – 9/22/12)

24th Sep 12 (Mon) 3 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Outside of a college football traffic-filled I-5 and a rainbow roll sushi before the show, there was no opener for My Brightest Diamond this weekend for me.  She was the first after “dinner break” act for Tacoma’s 9/22-9/23 weekend Broadway Center Free For All.  A free one-off show in the Pacific Northwest by one of my absolute favorite artists!!  Well, free outside of the time and gas money… I wasn’t going to pass this up.

Dressed in colorful balls, spikes, and pipe cleaner, My Brightest Diamond (Shara Worden) started the show by coming out in a mask and dumping two large trash bags full of bright orange balloons on the stage.

She played a short set, but hit some great high-points from her three album catalog and switched around a lot on various instruments: ukulele, keyboards, mbira, electric guitar…

Product Details Product Details Product Details

Setlist:

  • We Added It Up
  • Golden Star
  • Escape Routes
  • Be Brave
  • Apples
  • High Low Middle
  • I Have Never Loved Someone
  • Inside A Boy

Her quirkiness and fun-loving vibe shone through.  This being a free show, I’m hoping she attracted some new followers with her charms.  As far as what’s next for her?  Well, she’s bound to show up on someone’s record here, or a collaborative single there, or a remix album over there, or a new album in a bit.  She’s currently not specifically touring; so any chance she comes through your parts for a one-off show – check her out.  You shan’t be disappointed!

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Chevelle at Crystal Ballroom on 9/25.

~Dan – np: ChevelleThis Type Of Thinking (Could Do Us In)

My Brightest Diamond PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Aimee Mann’s “Labrador” {remake of “Voices Carry”}

20th Sep 12 (Thu) 1 comment

Wow… the new Aimee Mann video for “Labrador” is a shot-for-shot remake of her video in ‘Til Tuesday for “Voices Carry“… clever, silly.

Labrador (2012)

Voices Carry (1985)

Boy, how she’s changed.  I much prefer newer Aimee Mann to ’80s Aimee Mann.  Her new album, Charmer, just came out this week… and she heads out on tour next week (click here for dates & the “Charmer” music video).  I’ll be at the Portland, Oregon, date on October 2nd.

~Dan – np: Aimee MannCharmer

Glen Phillips – Coyote Sessions

19th Sep 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Just uploaded to bandcamp by Glen Phillips (the voice of Toad the Wet Sprocket) is Coyote Sessions.

Go here to buy it (only $7 for the full album):

http://glenphillips.bandcamp.com/releases

Here’s the 411…

This album is a collection of beloved orphans – songs I’ve played live but never put on a record, or co-writes that other artists have cut but I hadn’t gotten around to recording.

Coyote Sessions is also an experiment in recording. My friend Sean McCue lost his previous studio in the Tea Fire a couple years ago, and recently finished building a new workspace, Coyote Road Studio. It’s a big open room, with a distinctive sound. We wanted to see how truly we could capture a real performance – no electronic mixing, no overdubs, just a single microphone a couple feet away from me and players moved around the room to balance the sound. We hope you like the results.

**** Full album includes a video for Greer Zoller ****

Musicians:
Glen Phillips – Vocal, Acoustic Guitar
Sean McCue – Electric and High Strung Guitars, Percussion
Jim Connolly – Acoustic Bass, Piano
Alastair Greene – Electric and Steel Guitars
Tariqh Akoni – Electric Guitar
Bill Flores – Pedal Steel, Weissenborn, Mandolin
Anna Abbey – Piano
Tom Lackner – Drums

~Dan – np: Derek WebbStockholm Syndrome

Mike Patton scores ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’

19th Sep 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

This just in from Ipecac…

We wanted to let you know, that Mike Patton just wrapped up his score for the much buzzed about film, The Place Beyond the Pines. This is the new film by acclaimed director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), who chose Patton to provide the music.

The film stars Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes and Rose Byrne. It got rave reviews at the recent Toronto International Film Festival and is slated for a 2013 release.

The Place Beyond the Pines is the multi-generational story of a motorcycle stunt rider (Gosling), who considers committing a crime in order to provide for his newborn child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician (Cooper).

~Dan – np: Ben Folds FiveThe Sound of the Life of the Mind

Ben Folds Five & Fraggle Rock

18th Sep 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

Ben Folds Five & Fraggle Rock.  ‘Nuff said…

PS- BFF’s new album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind, just came out (via PledgeMusic).  I’ve spun it about 20 times already… love it!  You can also get it now via Amazon.

~Dan – np: John ZornRimbaud

Tori Amos “Flavor” (from the forthcoming ‘Gold Dust’)

31st Aug 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

Tori Amos is turning into too serious of an artist.  I still love her, though… here’s the premiere video for “Flavor” from the forthcoming album Gold Dust, out on Deutsche Grammophon on October 2nd, 2012.

~Dan – np: dredgThe Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion

Sigur Rós “Dauðalogn” (video)

29th Aug 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Gorgeous new stop-motion video for Sigur RósDauðalogn” (from the album Valtari):

Form the Mystery Film Experiment. Video by Henry Jun Wah Lee, partly filmed over the lava fields in Yakushima Japan. Find more Valtari/Mystery Film Experiment videos at:

~Dan – np: Dan DeaconAmerica

Levi Weaver “Rogue Boat” (video)

22nd Aug 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

It seems like just weeks ago that singer-songwriter Levi Weaver was playing my living room… oh wait, it was (Eugene house show review here).  His latest music video just came out.  Check out “Rogue Boat” here:

“Rogue Boat” is from his latest EP, I Am Only A Tiny Noise.  Listen and buy that one over at Bandcamp or over at the Amazons!

~Dan – np: Levi WeaverI Am Only A Tiny Noise

PHOTOS & SETLIST: “Weird Al” Yankovic @ Lane County Fair (Eugene, OR – 8/17/12)

20th Aug 12 (Mon) 3 comments

What to say about “Weird Al” Yankovic?  Stunning musicians, crazy stamina, insane costume change schedule, immaculate performer!  Here’s what he played a glimpse at his costuming for his recent show at the Lane County Fair in Eugene last Saturday…

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • Polka Face
  • TMZ
  • Interview w Eminem (video)
  • Smells Like Nirvana
  • Interview w Uma Thurman (video)
  • Party in the CIA
  • Weird Al movie trailer (video)
  • Huge Medley:
    • Beverly Hillbillies
    • You Can Have Whatever You Like
    • Tattoo
    • eBay
    • I Want a New Duck
    • Rye or the Kaiser
    • Spam
    • My Bologna
    • Spider-Man
    • Lasagna
    • Eat It
  • Interview w Rob Pattinson (video)
  • Amish Paradise
  • Interview w Megan Fox (video)
  • Craig’s List
  • 30 Rock ending credits/Titanic (video)
  • Perform This Way
  • Interview w Jeff Bridges (video)
  • White & Nerdy
  • Dirt PSA (video)
  • Fat
  • Encore: The Saga Begins
  • The Addams Family (intro on keys only)
  • Yoda (with “Grim Grinning Ghosts” & Hawaiian War Chant)

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Pojama People (Frank Zappa cover band) with Ike Willis on vocals (!) at WOW Hall (8/31).

~Dan – np: AntibalasAntibalas

Aimee Mann’s new “Charmer” (video)

17th Aug 12 (Fri) 1 comment

What a better double for Aimee Mann than Laura Linney?

Charmer” is from her upcoming album, also called Charmer, due out September 18, 2012.

She’s hitting the road, whether as herself or as a robot, this Fall…

AIMEE MANN – 2012 TOUR DATES

  • 27 SEPTEMBER 2012 The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA^^
  • 28 SEPTEMBER 2012 Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz, CA^^
  • 29 SEPTEMBER 2012 The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA^^
  • 30 SEPTEMBER 2012 Uptown Theatre, Napa, CA^^
  • 02 OCTOBER 2012 Aladdin Theatre, Portland, OR^^
  • 03 OCTOBER 2012 Neptune Theatre, Seattle, WA^^
  • 04 OCTOBER 2012 Egyptian Theatre, Boise, ID^^
  • 06 OCTOBER 2012 The State Room, Salt Lake City, UT^^
  • 09 OCTOBER 2012 Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO^^
  • 10 OCTOBER 2012 Lincoln Center, Fort Collins, CO^^
  • 11 OCTOBER 2012 The Lensic, Santa Fe^^
  • 12 OCTOBER 2012 Rialto Theatre, Tuscon, AZ^^
  • 13 OCTOBER 2012 Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles, CA^^
  • 24 OCTOBER 2012 The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA^
  • 25 OCTOBER 2012 The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA^
  • 26 OCTOBER 2012 Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA^
  • 27 OCTOBER 2012 Town Hall, New York, NY^
  • 03 NOVEMBER 2012 Berklee Performance Center, Boston MA^
  • 04 NOVEMBER 2012 Higher Ground, S. Burlington, VT^
  • 06 NOVEMBER 2012 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON^
  • 08 NOVEMBER 2012 Capitol Theatre, Columbus, OH^
  • 09 NOVEMBER 2012 20th Century Theater, Cincinnati, OH^
  • 10 NOVEMBER 2012 Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI^
  • 11 NOVEMBER 2012 Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, WI^
  • 13 NOVEMBER 2012 The Pageant, St. Louis, MO^
  • 14 NOVEMBER 2012 Park West, Chicago, IL^
  • 15 NOVEMBER 2012 Park West, Chicago, IL^
  • 16 NOVEMBER 2012 Stoughton Opera House, Stoughton, WI^
  • 17 NOVEMBER 2012 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN^
    ^ w/ Ted Leo
    ^^ w/ Field Report

~Dan – np: TristezaPaisajes

REVIEW: Sigur Rós @ Edgefield (Portland, OR – 8/9/12)

10th Aug 12 (Fri) 1 comment

PHOTOS below from Sigur Rós’ Tumblr
(unless otherwise noted)

Sigur Rós is magical.  This was my 6th time seeing them, and quite frankly, it doesn’t get any less magical each time I am graced with their presence.  They don’t really speak to me on a linguistic level, but they blow me away on a musical and emotive level.

The sweeping movements that scream, the melodies that bleed, the ambient passages that don’t go anywhere by going everywhere.  The playing with light and shadows, the simplest/minimalist way to make a huge f*cking point.  That is what Sigur Rós is to its fans.

Their latest album, Valtari, is… well, it seems more minimalist than their prior albums.  It came out in late May 2012, and I’m only a few dozen spins in.  I’m still trying to let it sink in.  It’s slower going than the first spin of Agaetis Byrjun and ( ) for me.  It’s not a hooky (bwahaha!) as Takk… or Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust.

Is Valtari anything different than I’d expect from Sigur Rós?  No, not really.  It just hadn’t broken through to me, yet.

Despite Valtari not quite breaking through yet, the anticipation for this tour was killing me.  I had last seen Sigur Rós in October 2008 (review at my photo to the left), and I had last seen lead-singer Jónsi (solo) in April 2010 (review at my photo to the right).

The short trailer for the tour based on the Iceland rehearsals and the tour opening show in Philadelphia had me giddy…

After a delightful drive up and bite to eat at McMenamins’ Black Rabbit with a friend, we hit the venue right about 6 and found a nice shady spot on the lawn.  Opener Julia Holter went on at 6:30 as scheduled…

She played a mellow, 40-or-so-minute set with her 3-piece band (unless there was another member out of my sight).  We were far enough away and the crowd was a bit restless; so her set was more of a backdrop to discussions, people watching and decisions on pizza.  I’d have liked to get into her music more, but sadly things were not conducive to that.  Since she’s from Los Angeles, perhaps I’ll get another chance soon.

After a fairly short set-change, Sigur Rós hit the stage…

This was my first time seeing them in an outdoor venue.  No fancy lights bouncing Orri’s silhouette off the walls, no starting the show behind a white sheet, no cannons of confetti blasting.  Some of the “magic” was missing on the venue side of things, if you ask me – but I don’t think any magic was missing in the music.

Setlist: an hour & 45 min

  • Ekki Múkk
  • Svefn-g-englar
  • Olsen Olsen
  • Gong
  • Andvari
  • Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása
  • Í Gær
  • Vaka
  • Sæglópur
  • Hoppípolla
  • Með Blóðnasir
  • Festival
  • Varúð
  • Hafsól
  • Dauðalogn (on setlist, not played)
  • Encore: Popplagið

Many times throughout the set, within 2 or 3 notes, the crowd was clapping and hooting in anticipation for the song that was just started.  I love that I live in a day and age where I can escape and listen to good live music that sells out a large outdoor venue.  It’s not just the pop stars & starlets that draw a crowd, and it’s nice to see Sigur Rós’ progression and success over the years.

The lesser Valtari-focus made room for a great mix from their catalog, and I think songs from the different eras worked well together.  Some of my favorites from the night… “Svefn-g-englar” leading into “Olsen Olsen,” “Vaka,” “Sæglópur,” “Hoppípolla,” and the show-capper “Popplagið.”

Despite always knowing that they’ll end the show with an epic 10-15 minute “Popplagið,” I don’t think I could choose a better song to end a beautiful night on.

~Tumblr-Rós photos from Seattle 8/8~

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more Sigur Rós – North American tour dates below.

Next shows for me… Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier Live SModcast on 8/17 (Portland) and Weird Al Yankovic on 8/18 (Eugene / Lane County Fair).

~Dan – np: TestamentDark Roots of Earth

July 2012
29 & 30 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Skyline Stage at The Mann
31 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Prospect Park Bandshell

August 2012
1 – Toronto, Ontario @ Echo Beach at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
3 – Montreal, Quebec @ Osheaga Festival Musique Et Arts
5 – Chicago, Ill. @ Lollapalooza
8 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Paramount Theater
9 – Portland/Troutdale, Ore. @ Edgefield Amphitheater
11 – San Francisco @ Outside Lands
12 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Tomahawk – mini-tour & 7″ Waratorium

31st Jul 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

Tomahawk are hitting the road briefly this fall to warm us up for their mid-winter release.

Fall 2012 Tour dates:

October 27    Nashville, TN    Exit/In
October 28    New Orleans, LA    Voodoo Music Experience
October 29    Memphis, TN    New Daisy Theatre
October 31    Dallas, TX    Granada Theatre
November 1    Houston, TX    Fitzgerald’s
November 2-4    Austin, TX    Fun Fun Fun Fest

Tomahawk will preview music from their new album Oddfellows (due out Jan 2013 on Ipecac Recordings) with the release of a 7″ vinyl single titled Waratorium on 11/23/2012 (Record Store Day/Black Friday).  The b-side will be an original etching by famed cartoonist and comics scholar Ivan Brunetti.  A digital release for the single follows a week later.

Tomahawk is Duane Dennison (The Jesus Lizard/Unsemble), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle/Fantômas/Melvins Lite), Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle/Faith No More/Mondo Cane/etc) and John Stanier (Battles/Helmet).  The teaser for the upcoming album is here:

~Dan – np: Fear FactoryThe Industrialist

REVIEW: Fiona Apple @ the Schnitz (Portland, OR – 7/26/12)

30th Jul 12 (Mon) 1 comment

Fiona Apple in Minnesota (July 2012)

Poetic and pop-forward, yet jazzy on record, Fiona Apple turned out a full force band show at Portland’s Schnitzer last Thursday.  She bounced around her back catalogue, only playing a handful from the new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.

What to like about what she played?

Just about everything.  The pain & hurt in “Shadowboxer,” the disappointment in “Paper Bag,” the anger in “Get Gone,” the positivity and whimsy in “Extraordinary Machine.”  I would have loved to hear a live rendition (with vocal loops) of “Hot Knife” from The Idler Wheel, but overall, I was pleased with what she gave us…

Setlist: about 90 mins

  • Fast As You Can
  • On the Bound
  • Shadowboxer
  • Paper Bag
  • Anything We Want
  • Get Gone
  • Sleep To Dream
  • Extraordinary Machine
  • Werewolf
  • Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)
  • Daredevil
  • I Know
  • Every Single Night
  • Criminal
  • Carrion
  • Not About Love
  • Encore: It’s Only Make Believe [Conway Twitty]

Fiona’s rocking band was helmed by Blake Mills on guitar (the show opener as well), and rounded out by Sebastian Steinberg on bass, Amy Wood on drums, and Zac Rae on keys.

Fiona is on the top of her game, and I just hope that it’s not another 7 years before we hear something new.  But even if it is, I know it’ll be a delight.

The Appropriate Linkage:

She just ended her 2012 summer tour (dates below), but check out her TOUR PAGE for Fall dates that start in September.

Next show for me… Sigur Rós @ Edgefield (Portland) on Aug 9th.

~Dan – np: CelldwellerSoundtrack for the Voices in My Head, Volume 2

Fiona Apple — 2012 Tour Dates
6/19 – Ithaca, NY – State Theatre
6/20 – Baltimore, MD – Lyric Opera House
6/22 – Mashantucket, CT – MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods
6/23 – Holyoke, MA – Mountain Park
6/24 – New York, NY – Governors Ball at Randall’s Island
6/26 – Washington DC – Warner Theatre
6/27 – Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theatre
6/29 – Danbury, CT – Ives Concert Park
6/30 – Boston, MA – Citi Performing Arts Center
7/1 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
7/3 – Montreal, QC – Olympia Theatre
7/4 – Toronto, Ontario – The Sound Academy
7/6 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Cain Park
7/7 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
7/10 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
7/11 – Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theatre
7/13 – Nashville, TN – The Ryman Auditorium
7/14 – St. Louis, MO – Peabody Opera House
7/16 – Minneapolis, MN – Orpheum Theatre
7/17 – Kansas City, MO – The Midland by AMC
7/20 – Denver, CO – Paramount Theatre
7/21 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kingsbury Hall at University of Utah
7/24 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum
7/25 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre
7/26 – Portland, OR – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
7/28 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
7/29 – Hollywood, CA – Hollywood Palladium

“Atlas” by Daniel Johns

20th Jul 12 (Fri) Leave a comment

Australian musician, Daniel Johns (of Silverchair & The Dissociatives), winner of 21 ARIA awards and three times winner of APRA’s songwriter of the year, has written, arranged and performed an epic new piece called “Atlas” in a unique collaboration with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Qantas Airways. The piece forms the soundtrack for the new Qantas brand and 2012 Olympics advertising.

Definitely different than his rockier Silverchair stuff, more in the epic arena he’d been moving in with their last two albums… file this under “interesting.”  I’m curious how / where he’ll take this.

~Dan – np: Tin Hat & e.e. cummingsthe rain is a handsome animal

REVIEW: Levi Weaver @ House Show (Eugene, OR – 7/16/12)

19th Jul 12 (Thu) 2 comments

How did I get into Nashville-based singer-songwriter Levi Weaver?

Well, um… is “Yahoo! fantasy baseball league via twitter” a valid explanation?  Well, it’s how it went down.  After following him, he had posted something about his documentary String Theory, then I sent him a “hey next time you’re in Oregon let me know” message, and then he sent me a “well actually” message… and the rest is history.

This was only my 3rd house show to host and/or coordinate (Susan Enan & Peter Mulvey being the other two), but it went smoothly.  Levi is a delight to work with, and he’s a true professional.  He’s still in the midst of shooting the String Theory doc; so he had a two-person crew with him.

A little sparser attendance than I was going for due to being the Monday right after Oregon Country Fair, we still had a decent turnout for Levi’s lovely set.  I’m still getting familiar with his music, but from his hour-long set he started with “String Theory” (on mandolin) then Radiohead’sIdioteque” (with plenty of loops, bowed guitar and effects).

After my post-show delving into his music, other tunes played were: You Are Home, Which Drink?, Good From Evil, We’re Tornadoes When We Dance, Spirit First (I think?) and a few more.  Here are some shots from the show… I had front row couch seats… (click for larger)

He has tons of fantastic music out there.  Check it out on bandcamp (links below), support indie music, check him out when he swings by your town, and enjoy!

Civil War Between My Heart and Mind cover art You Are Never Close To Home, You Are Never Far From Home cover art The Letters of Dr. Kurt Gödel cover art
Twenty Thousand Miles cover art I Am Only a Tiny Noise cover art

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Bad Mitten Orchestre at WOW Hall on 7/21.

~Dan – np: Tin Hat & e.e. cummingsthe rain is a handsome animal

Dave Douglas – Be Still

16th Jul 12 (Mon) Leave a comment

My favorite living trumpet player is most definitely, without a doubt, the wonderful and talented melodic-lyricist Dave Douglas.  Next on the docket for him is Be Still, a collection of “deeply personal hymns and originals” with his new quintet featuring Americana vocalist Aoife O’Donovan.  It comes out on September 25, 2012, on Dave’s label – Greenleaf Music.

With Dave and (special guest) Aoife, rounding out the quintet is Jon Irabagon, Matt Mitchell, Linda Oh, and Rudy Royston.  Dave will also go out on a 50-date U.S. Tour in 2013 to celebrate his 50th birthday.  I hope to catch it, as it’s been a while since I’ve seen him.

More press on Be Still below…

Dave Douglas describes the title of his new release, Be Still, as “aspirational.” The continually evolving trumpeter and composer settles down for a ballad-like set that presents a series of hymns and folk songs with an intensely personal connection. Be Still brings out the most lyrical side of Douglas, and introduces both a newly configured Quintet, and an important new collaborator, vocalist and guitarist Aoife O’Donovan.

“Evolving” could easily apply to most of Dave Douglas’ releases, each of which seems to venture fearlessly into unexplored territory. This time, the journey is inward rather than outward, resulting in the most starkly personal album of his notable career. The intensity of Douglas’ focus on the music of Be Still is understandable given the album’s origins.

Douglas’ mother passed away last year after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer, and the hymns on this album appeared on a list she prepared for him to play at her memorial service. Douglas performed the music with his brass group at the service and an accompanying benefit concert. “Be Still My Soul” was one of those hymns, and the verses she chose to be sung felt to Douglas like a powerful imperative to go deeper with these church hymns and their meanings.

In the months after the service he continued to work with arranging the music, though initially reluctant to include the lyrics. On meeting O’Donovan in January of this year Douglas decided he had found the right vocal expression for the arrangements he wanted to make. The pieces on Be Still present a true marriage of folk song, congregational hymnody, sophisticated harmonies and rich rhythmic underpinnings.

When Douglas calls the album aspirational, he’s also referring to its title and the deceptively simple message it contains. “It’s a reminder to myself,” he says. “We are all so busy these days, and it’s a reminder to step back and reflect on creativity and depth of communication in the music. There are deep human interactions that go on in improvised music like this and they take time and patience to develop. Sometimes that means stepping away from the clutter of Twitter, Facebook, texting and traveling to focus on the essence of music in an intense way.”

Be Still marks the recorded debut of the new incarnation of the Dave Douglas Quintet, completed by four remarkably diverse musicians: saxophonist Jon Irabagon, pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Rudy Royston. They are joined on six songs by the expressive vocals of Aoife O’Donovan of the progressive bluegrass band Crooked Still. The repertoire mines the rich melodies of traditional hymns and folk tunes, which gain even greater depth through Douglas’ intricate arrangements.

While the material on Be Still comes from traditions that Douglas may not have explicitly evoked in the past, the album is hardly out of character. His work has always concentrated on direct communication, basic emotions couched in complex expression. “I’m always looking, even in my own composition, to find some way to make something that might be very sophisticated still have these roots in something very simple,” Douglas says. “Jazz, even at its most complex, always has its roots in the music of the people, in popular music. That’s one of the reasons that I connected with these songs.”

Folk music purists would undoubtedly be affected by the crystalline clarity of O’Donovan’s voice on the tender “Be Still My Soul” or the Appalachian stomp of “High on a Mountain.” But underlying that back porch folksiness are intriguing harmonies and clever soloing, embodied by Irabagon’s pitch-perfect countrypolitan sax solo on “High on a Mountain.”

In addition to the classic songs, Douglas penned three new compositions for the album in the same spirit. “Living Streams” is a completely new setting for a traditional Scottish hymn, while “Going Somewhere With You” is as lushly tuneful as the surrounding material. The quintet tour de force “Middle March” was written just after Douglas heard the news of the death of legendary drummer Paul Motian and possesses a free-floating lyricism familiar from Motian’s own compositions.

Be Still is merely the latest new direction in a career that has been full of them, all pointing forward. One of the most influential and inventive composers and trumpeters in modern jazz, Dave Douglas leads several creative ensembles: Keystone, which performs his music composed for and inspired by film; Brass Ecstasy, the eclectic brass band; and his latest, the Sound Prints Quintet with Joe Lovano, Lawrence Fields, Linda Oh, and Joey Baron. He has served as the artistic director of the Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music at The Banff Centre in Canada for ten seasons, an honor he recently handed over to pianist/composer Vijay Iyer. Dave Douglas is also co-founder and director of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2012.

This latest incarnation of the Dave Douglas Quintet fully lives up to its diverse and ground-breaking predecessors. Saxophonist Jon Irabagon’s unpredictable career has led him from the off-the-wall antics of Mostly Other People Do the Killing to his decidedly straightahead leader debut The Observer, released shortly after he won the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. Matt Mitchell’s piano work strays from classical to the avant-garde, and lately has found him collaborating with innovators like John Hollenbeck and Tim Berne.

Chinese-Malay-Aussie bassist Linda Oh grabbed the jazz world’s attention with her self-released debut Entry in 2009, and further cemented her place as one of the music’s rising stars with this year’s Initial Here on Douglas’ Greenleaf Music. She reteams with her drummer from that album, Rudy Royston, in the Douglas quintet. Royston is best known for his long association with guitarist Bill Frisell, but his credits also include Ravi Coltrane, Jenny Scheinman, Jason Moran and Don Byron.

In the hands of these five musicians, these tunes are undeniably spiritual – but that’s less a result of their origins than the quintet’s deeply personal collective approach. “Music, in the way that I practice it, is my spiritual life,” Douglas says.

“My mother was pretty specific about the verses that she wanted sung, and as I started looking at them I realized I felt right at home here. You search a lot of places in your life. Especially from knowing so many evolved musicians I feel I’ve been exposed to many different traditions and different ways of viewing our place in the world. It’s amazing how all of them seem to lead back to the same place of unity and oneness. After working on this music and being in my mother’s church it felt like a return to the spiritual outlook I started out with, but with a deeper understanding and meaning for me. And now I don’t know, maybe that’s what she was really after!”

~Dan – np: Levi WeaverThe Letters of Dr. Kurt Gödel

Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind (album art)

14th Jul 12 (Sat) Leave a comment

The new Ben Folds Five record had a name and album art*… the art for The Sound of the Life of the Mind was posted on the PledgeMusic page yesterday:

Go to the PledgeMusic page to support:

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/benfoldsfive

7/17 update: The CD & vinyl is available for pre-order on Amazon now!!

*– “alleged album art & name.  If you remember what Ben Folds did for Way To Normal by leaking a nearly full “fake” album ahead of the regular album… well, take things with a grain of salt. :)

~Dan – np: CelldwellerFirst Person Shooter

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