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ha’fway 2017

4th Jul 17 (Tue) Leave a comment

Happy 241st birthday, United States!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Ah, the annual halfway through the year music recap where I rarely post an end of year recap. *eyeroll* Eh… I don’t blog much anymore… regardless, here goes for my Top 10 of 2017 so far…



Artist Album (style)

  1. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Mulhy & James McAlisterPlanetarium (indie rock)
  2. Burning GhostsReclamation (jazz metal)
  3. KXM (Doug Pinnick / George Lynch / Ray Luzier) – Scatterbrain (hard rock)
  4. Peter MulveyAre You Listening? (singer-songwriter)
  5. SexmobCultural Capital (jazz)
  6. David BazanCare (indie rock)
  7. Ani DiFrancoBinary (singer-songwriter)
  8. Future IslandsThe Far Field (indie pop)
  9. Mostly Other People Do the Killing (with Steven Bernstein of Sexmob) – Loafer’s Hollow (jazz)
  10. Incubus8 (rock)

Honorable mentions…

  • Albums by Lydia Ainsworth, Alt-J, Brian Marsella Trio’s Masada Book Two, Aimee Mann, Dave Douglas’ Riverside, and Throttle Elevator Music (Kamasi Washington).
  • EP – ANOHNI’s Paradise
  • Live – ISIS’ Live VII: 2.25.2010
  • Re-issues – Pink Floyd early years boxset(s), the Beatles Srgt. Pepper’s 50th, U2 The Joshua Tree 30th, Radiohead OK Computer 20th
  • Novelty – A**l Trump’s If You Thought ********* **** Was a Lot of People, You Should Have Seen My Inauguration 5″ vinyl (in “Seth Putnam form,” shall we say).

What’s still to come in 2017…

Claypool-Lennon Delirium 12″ (RSD wider-issue), Spotlights, Antibalas, Steven Wilson, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Mogwai, Radiohead OKNOTOK (physical), Failure live vinyl, Lo Tom (David Bazan, TW Walsh & Starflyer 59 folks), Celldweller, The National, Secret Chiefs 3, Weird Al boxset, plus much more, I’m sure.

Will I continue with blogs in the future? I don’t know. :P

Dan – np: Critters BugginMuti -EP-

Favorite Albums & Concerts of 2016

16th Dec 16 (Fri) 1 comment
To my fellow music friends… here are my favorite 25 albums that I heard/purchased in 2016… still more to discover as I dig into 2017 and catch up on 2016 stuff…
  1. Car Seat HeadrestTeens of Denial (lo-fi indie rock) fave song: “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales” (#6)
  2. Glen Phillips (of Toad the Wet Sprocket) – Swallowed by the New (singer-songwriter) fave song: “Criminal Career” (#3)
  3. SiaThis Is Acting (pop) fave song: “Alive” (#2)
  4. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (rock) fave song: “Ful Stop” (#5)
  5. WussyForever Sounds (lo-fi indie rock) fave song: “Dropping Houses” (#1)
  6. Holy FuckCONGRATS (groove electronic) fave song: “Tom Tom” (#2)
  7. Elliott SmithHeaven Adores You (indie rock) fave song: “Plainclothes Man” (#6)
  8. Steve Taylor & the Danielson FoilWOW to the Deadness -EP- coffin (indie rock) fave song: “Wow to the Deadness” (#1)
  9. Circle of DustMachines of Our Disgrace (hard industrial) fave song: “Machines of Our Disgrace” (#2)
  10. Lily & MadeleineKeep It Together (singer-songwriter duo) fave song: “For the Weak” (#2)
  11. Charlie Hunter, Bobby Previte, and more – Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Mouth (jazz) fave song: “No Money, No Honey” (#7)
  12. Allison Miller’s Boom Tic BoomOtis Was a Polar Bear (jazz) fave song: “Fuster” (#1)
  13. David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion) – Blanco (indie rock) fave song: “Little Landslide” (#7)
  14. Anna TivelHeroes Waking Up (singer-songwriter) fave song: “Black Balloon” (#2)
  15. The Jelly JamProphet Profit (prog rock) fave song: “Care” (#1)
  16. Dave Douglas’ High RiskDark Territory (jazz with electronics) fave song: “Celine” (#1)
  17. Amendola vs. BladesGreatest Hits (jazz) fave song: “Lima Bean” (#1)
  18. Damien JuradoVisions of Us on the Land (indie rock) fave song: “Exit 353” (#11)
  19. Greydon SquareOmniverse : Type 3 : Aum Niverse (rap/hip hop) fave song: “Defiant” (#5)
  20. Elysian FieldsGhosts of No (sultry indie rock) fave song: “Shadows of the Living Light” (#11)
  21. Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree) – 4 ½ -EP- (prog rock) fave song: “My Book of Regrets” (#1)
  22. OpethSorceress (prog metal) fave song: “Will o’ the Wisp” (#4)
  23. ScandroidScandroid (keyboard electronic) fave song: “Aphelion” (#3)
  24. The Claypool-Lennon DeliriumMonolith of Phobos (weird rock) fave song: “Cricket and the Genie, Movement I: The Delirium” (#2)
  25. Kaada & PattonBacteria Cult (ambient experimental) fave song: “Immodium” (#7)
Stand-Out Live Music in 2016: chronological
  • {8 Apr} Peter Mulvey w/ Anna Tivel :: Alberta Rose Theatre :: Portland, OR
  • {22 Apr} Sufjan Stevens, BØRNS, Parov Stelar, LCD Soundsystem & more :: Coachella 2016 :: Indio, CA
  • {23 Apr} CHVRCHES, Guns N’ Roses, Gary Clark Jr., Ice Cube, GoGo Penguin & more :: Coachella 2016 :: Indio, CA
  • {24 Apr} Sia, Kamasi Washington, Wolf Alice, Joywave & more :: Coachella 2016 :: Indio, CA
  • {16 Jun} Holy Fuck :: Doug Fir Lounge :: Portland, OR
  • {25 Jun} Flight of the Conchords with Eugene Mirman :: Keller Auditorium :: Portland, OR
  • {28 Jul} Ozomatli :: HiFi Music Hall :: Eugene, OR
  • {29 Jul} Weird Al Yankovic :: Cuthbert Amphitheater :: Eugene, OR
  • {13 Aug} Buster Keaton’s The General film with live score by Mark Orton, Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, Todd Sickafoose :: Bohemia Park :: Cottage Grove, OR
  • {29 Oct} Failure presents Fantastic Planet’s 20th Anniversary :: Star Theater :: Portland, OR
  • {9 Nov} Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket :: Alberta Rose Theatre :: Portland, OR
  • {17 Nov} Car Seat Headrest :: The WOW Hall :: Eugene, OR
Looking forward to much more in 2017…
DT

ha’fway 2016

4th Jul 16 (Mon) Leave a comment

Happy 240th birthday, United States!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Ah, the annual halfway through the year music recap where I never post an end of year recap. *eyeroll* Eh… I don’t blog much anymore… regardless, here goes for my Top 10 of 2016 so far…

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Artist Album (style)

  1. SiaThis Is Acting (pop)
  2. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool (rock)
  3. WussyForever Sounds (indie rock)
  4. Holy FuckCONGRATS (live electronic)
  5. Elliott SmithHeaven Adores You (soundtrack) (indie rock)
  6. Steve Taylor & the Danielson FoilWOW to the Deadness -EP- (indie rock)
  7. David BazanBlanco (indie rock)
  8. Allison Miller’s Boom Tic BoomOtis Was a Polar Bear (jazz)
  9. The Claypool-Lennon DeliriumMonolith of Phobos (rock)
  10. Damien JuradoVisions of Us on the Land (indie rock)

What’s still to come in 2016…

Chevelle, Peter Mulvey (it’s in the can), Alex Somers’ score for Captain Fantastic, John Zorn (about every month), TOOL (music done, lyrics nearing completion?), Sigur Rós (maybe 2017), Charlie Hunter, and based on kickstarters/pledgemusic that I’ve supported: Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate, Derek Webb‘s Mockingbird Remixed and Fleming & John, plus much more, I’m sure.

Will I continue with blogs in the future? I don’t know. :P

Dan – np: AuragamiFormation (single)
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SETLIST: David Bazan @ Gutenberg College (Eugene, OR – 4/24/13)

25th Apr 13 (Thu) Leave a comment

David Bazan at Gutenberg College, EugeneDavid Bazan is off on another jaunt of a 40+ house concert tour.  Last night’s show at the McKenzie Study Center at Gutenberg College wasn’t technically a “house,” but it still had that living room feel.

He showed up a tad late, but after quickly setting up, he entertained a few questions and then kicked into his set…

Setlist: about 75 minutes

  • Q&A #1
  • Hot Girls [Headphones]
  • Fewer Broken Pieces
  • Big Trucks [Pedro the Lion]
  • Man In Me [Bob Dylan]
  • Q&A #2
  • “I write it down for what it’s worth” [new song, no title mentioned]
  • Hard To Be
  • Virginia
  • Shit Talker [Headphones]
  • Q&A #3
  • Wolves At The Door
  • Selling Advertising
  • Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives [Pedro the Lion]
  • Q&A #4
  • The Fleecing [Pedro the Lion]
  • Cold Beer and Cigarettes
  • Q&A #5
  • Strange Negotiations
    No Encore

David Bazan at Gutenberg College, Eugene

Some Bazan-related news…

David Bazan and friends - Overseas1) His newest side-project Overseas is up for pre-order now.  If you pre-order it, you get a download of the full album immediately.  I got it a couple weeks ago, and I dig it.  Overseas is David Bazan, Will Johnson, Matt Kadane and Bubba Kadane…. and in the 2nd Q&A I asked if they were going to tour.  He said that they will likely do a limited set of dates: a few Texas dates, New York area dates, and then a limited West Coast run (LA, SF, Portland, Seattle).

2) On this tour, though he didn’t have them available last night, is a art print that comes with a download code for a Covers EP.  He didn’t have them last night, but noted that we could buy it online (soon) without shipping fees.  He should have them soon on some of the other dates on this tour.  He mentioned the Bob Dylan cover, Radiohead’s “Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box,” and a few others will be included.

The Appropriate Linkage:

This was his second date of this tour… check out more tour dates below (sorry, many are already sold out).

Next show for me… Infected Mushroom at McDonald Theater (4/25).

~Dan – np: Pet Bottle Ningen – Non-Recyclable
Pet Bottle Ningen - Non-Recyclable

David Bazan – Spring 2013 House Show Tour

04/23/13 Tue – Portland OR – SOLD OUT
04/24/13 Wed – Eugene OR – SOLD OUT
04/25/13 Thu – Redding CA
04/26/13 Fri – Sacramento CA – SOLD OUT
04/27/13 Sat – San Francisco CA – SOLD OUT
04/28/13 Sun – Hollister CA
04/29/13 Mon – OFF
04/30/13 Tue – Los Angeles CA – SOLD OUT
05/01/13 Wed – Costa Mesa CA – SOLD OUT
05/02/13 Thu – Riverside CA – SOLD OUT
05/03/13 Fri – San Diego CA – SOLD OUT
05/04/13 Sat – Tucson AZ – SOLD OUT
05/05/13 Sun – Phoenix AZ – SOLD OUT
05/06/13 Mon – OFF
05/07/13 Tue – Graham TX
05/08/13 Wed – San Antonio TX – SOLD OUT
05/09/13 Thu – Houston TX – SOLD OUT
05/10/13 Fri – Baton Rouge LA
05/11/13 Sat – New Orleans LA – SOLD OUT
05/12/13 Sun – OFF
05/13/13 Mon – Orlando FL – SOLD OUT
05/14/13 Tue – Jacksonville FL – SOLD OUT
05/15/13 Wed – Augusta GA – SOLD OUT
05/16/13 Thu – Atlanta GA – SOLD OUT
05/17/13 Fri – Columbus GA
05/18/13 Sat – Birmingham AL – SOLD OUT
05/19/13 Sun – Memphis TN
05/20/13 Mon – OFF
05/21/13 Tue – St Louis MO – SOLD OUT
05/22/13 Wed – Kansas City MO – SOLD OUT
05/23/13 Thu – Tulsa OK – SOLD OUT
05/24/13 Fri – Oklahoma City OK – SOLD OUT
05/25/13 Sat – Lubbock TX
05/26/13 Sun – Los Alamos NM
05/27/13 Mon – Prescott AZ
05/28/13 Tue – Las Vegas NV
05/29/13 Wed – OFF
05/30/13 Thu – Davis CA
05/31/13 Fri – Chico CA – SOLD OUT
06/01/13 Sat – Phoenix OR (Medford)
06/02/13 Sun – Portland OR – SOLD OUT

http://www.undertowstore.com/artist/overseas

REVIEW: David Bazan @ House Show (Portland, OR – 2/15/12)

16th Feb 12 (Thu) 1 comment

David Bazan is a busy man… he just got done with a 40+ date band tour in Nov/Dec 2011, and now he’s off and running with another near-40 date living room tour in Feb/Mar 2012.  His proximity (Seattle) to me (Oregon I-5 corridor) means I get to take in a lot of his shows.  Even though I just saw him with his band at Sam Bond’s in December, the living room tours are so fun and intimate.  I had to hit the Portland show last night…

He arrived about an hour late… first night of tour, and got stuck in traffic coming out of Seattle.  The good thing: hanging out in someone’s living room and kitchen sippin’ a beer is waaaaay better than hanging out at a stinky club playing LMFAO on loop.

After setting up his small cube amp, he kicked into his set…

Setlist: about 70 minutes

  • Cold Beer and Cigarettes
  • Wolves at the Door
  • Hard to Be
  • Q&A #1
  • Priests and Paramedics [Pedro the Lion]
  • Transcontinental [Pedro the Lion]
  • Shit Talker [Headphones]
  • Q&A #2
  • Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box [Radiohead]
  • Options [Pedro the Lion]
  • Virginia
  • Bearing Witness
  • Q&A #3
  • Strange Negotiations
    No Encore

A little shorter set than in the past, but I think that may have been due to running late.  The original “everyone needs to be out time” was 10pm, but he didn’t get going until 9:15pm.  So, for the rest of the living room tour, don’t judge the set length on Portland.  Despite the shorter set, I think it was a pretty good show… David was in a great mood and quite chatty as usual.

The somber take on “Wolves at the Door” was excellent… slower and a bit haunting compared to the version the band was belting out last year.  Another favorite was the return of the Radiohead cover that he played last year.  First three notes and goosebumps.  Such a great song.

There weren’t any new tunes played, which was a bit striking – as David is working on a new album, and it might even be done and to the label (Barsuk) by the beginning of May.  He said it could come out in August/September, but a lot of that depends on delivery to the label.

The Appropriate Linkage:

This was his first date of this tour… check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… MEDGE (bellydancing) at Cozmic Pizza (2/17) and then post-rockers Talkdemonic at Sam Bond’s Garage (2/24).

~Dan – np: John Zorn’s The DreamersO’o

David Bazan – Winter 2012 House Show Tour

2/15 – Portland, OR
2/16 – Sacramento, CA
2/17 – Oakland, CA
2/18 – Los Angeles, CA
2/19 – Long Beach, CA
2/20 – Orange, CA
2/21 – Carlsbad, CA
2/22 – Phoenix, AZ
2/24 – Clinton, OK
2/25 – Denton, TX
2/26 – Dallas, TX
2/27 – Austin, TX
2/28 – Houston, TX
2/29 – Baton Rouge, LA
3/02 – Orlando, FL
3/03 – Jacksonville, FL
3/04 – Altanta, GA
3/05 – Nashville, TN
3/06 – Asheville, NC
3/07 – Charlotte, NC
3/09 – Charlottesville, VA
3/10 – Baltimore, MD
3/11 – Philadelphia, PA
3/12 – Brooklyn, NY
3/13 – Brooklyn, NY
3/14 – Boston, MA
3/15 – Buffalo, NY
3/16 – Cleveland, OH
3/17 – Three Rivers, MI
3/18 – Chicago, IL
3/19 – Madison, WI
3/21 – Minneapolis, MN
3/22 – Lincoln, NE
3/23 – Lawrence, KS
3/24 – Denver, CO
3/25 – Salt Lake City, UT
3/26 – Boise, ID
3/27 – Spokane, WA

* Favorite Vocal Albums of 2011 *

29th Dec 11 (Thu) 6 comments

I’ve been buying less music… or, at least a lot less mainstream (major label) music. This is also my fourth year now that I bought more instrumental CDs than vocal CDs. I think as I get older, I am drawn more towards jazz and other instrumental forms of expression. For that reason, the favorite vocal albums list goes first this go ’round. Hopefully my spilling out of music that I like finds interest with someone else. But if not, thanks for stopping by… check out the artists’ webpages, Facebox pages, yadda yadda yadda. A lot of these also made it on to my 2011 Mix CD (free streaming/download).

OK, now on to the best of what’s hit my ears this year…

Honorable Mentions: Iron & WineKiss Each Other Clean, Tres MtsThree Mountains, PomplamooseThe Album You Bought At Our Show (Thanks for That), MC FrontalotSolved and The RootsUndun.

BjörkBiophilia :: It started with an iPhone / iPad app… I was skeptical, but it turned out to be a really cool app and a really cool album.  I don’t think the actual music broke any new ground for Bjork, but her willingness to approach technology and manifest an album initially with a new format is what will keep her in the forefront for me.
Elysian FieldsLast Night on Earth :: Brooklyn-based sultry art rockers Elysian Fields don’t really tour outside of NYC often.  Jennifer Charles and Oren Bloedow find their way to Europe on occasion, but most U.S. fans only really have their studio albums to sate their musical desires.  This is their sixth full-length album in their near 16-year career.  Well crafted, well produced, lush vocals and folk meets dusky jazz.
BlackfieldWelcome to My DNA :: I was disappointed that I couldn’t make it out for this tour.  The album is good, albeit a little disjointed compared to their other two albums (probably due to Aviv Geffen doing more of the writing versus Steven Wilson who was busy with his solo album – see #9 below).  Nice orchestration and a solid offering from Blackfield.
Dream TheaterA Dramatic Turn of Events :: I almost didn’t buy this album.  I’m glad I did, but I’m still pretty pissed at the band for choosing to continue without founder/drummer Mike Portnoy after he expressed an interest in a short hiatus/breather.  They picked up a drummer I like (Mike Mangini, who i saw play with Extreme in 1995), but a BIG piece of what I loved about DT (after Kevin Moore left in 1994) was Mike Portnoy’s energy.  With his absence, I’m liking them less and less.  The album is good, but it’s way more bitter than sweet to me.
Foo FightersWasting Light :: Dave Grohl is a modern rock genius.  He rocks, he hooks, he continues to put out great music.
Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory OrchestraMTO Plays Sly :: A trumpet-led tribute to Sly and the Family Stone with guests vocalists.  This superb collection is less funk, but still quite enjoyable.  My favorite is the Antony-sung “Family Affair.”
Florence + the MachineCeremonials :: Soulful baroque-rock chanteuse won me over with their first album Lungs, even though I didn’t pick it up this year.  Her second album solidifies her as more than a fluke.  The album is dancey and dark.  Great for fans of Tori Amos & Kate Bush!
IncubusIf Not Now, When? :: Incubus took some time off so guitarist Mike Einziger could work on his degree at Harvard and singer Brandon Boyd could put out some art as well as his solo album.  They regrouped and put out an album that had a similar vibe to the ocean-groove Morning View.  They aren’t breaking new ground, but they still have a solid position in my ears.
The Jelly JamShall We Descend :: The supergroup of Ty Tabor (King’s X), John Myung (Dream Theater) and Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs) finally found some time to hit the studio!  The result is an excellent rock album…
ChevelleHats Off to the Bull :: Chevelle are a sleeper in my collection.  I almost write them off and then with each album, I think how stupid it’d be to write them off.  Great hard rock with a vocalist that reminds me of Maynard (Tool, etc).  I really need to see this band live – I’ve yet to have a the chance…
My Brightest Diamond & Murat EyubogluLetters to Distant Cities :: A short spoken word album, featuring the words of Mustafa Ziyalan.  Words spoken by Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), backing music by Murat Eyubolu, with two songs sandwiching the poetry – one by MBD and one by Clare & the Reasons.  A great arty piece.
 
Jason LudwigTanglings :: Jason Ludwig returns to the Cincinnati music scene after his 2010 band break up (Noctaluca) with two full-length albums (Tanglings and Lost in Love).  Tanglings is my favorite of the two, but they’re both quite excellent.  Well-produced, well-arranged, creative singer-songwriter that reminds me of a cross between the pop of Glen Hansard (of the Swell Season and the Frames) and the creative of Daniel Johns (of Silverchair). If you don’t like these albums, I’d be surprised.
Hotel LightsGirl Graffiti :: Darren Jesse was the drummer for Ben Folds Five, and wrote one of my absolute favorite songs for them – “Magic” from The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.  He puts down the sticks and picks up the guitar and vocal duties for Hotel Lights.  This is HL’s 3rd album, and he continues to impress me with his versatile skills.  Poppy indie rock.
EisleyThe Valley :: The long gap between The Valley and their last album was trying for the band.  After many contract dispute with their former label (Warner), they were finally set free.  Many bands don’t make it out of contract disputes alive – it’s easier to break up sometimes.  Well, thankfully it’s difficult for Eisley to break-up, as they’d still see each other at holidays and family get-togethers (the band consists of 3 sisters, a brother, and a cousin).  The Valley picks up where 2007’s Combinations left off.  Alt-pop-rock goodness.  Vocal duties traded off between sisters Sherri & Stacy…
Tori AmosNight of the Hunters :: This was Tori’s first album on classical label Deutsche Grammophon.  I was skeptical at first, not because of the classical bent.  I knew she could handle that… I was skeptical due to the first artwork that looked plastic (which sadly stayed) and her last studio album was a lackluster (IMO) holiday album (blech).  Tori enlists her daughter Natashya on some vocals, and delivers one of my favorite Tori albums since 2002’s Scarlet’s Walk.
David BazanStrange Negotiations :: Continuing in his solo expressions after the official ceasing of Pedro the Lion, David Bazan manifests wit, a sharp tongue, and a questioning mind into his DIY-indie rock.  This year, he toured quite a bit, solo and with a band.  An album last year (Curse Your Branches), an album this year, and another on the way.  He’s slogging away, trekking all over the country, and making some great music on the way.
Steven WilsonGrace for Drowning :: Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson is a hard worker.  Whether he’s producing albums for others or making albums & touring with PT, Blackfield, No-Man, Storm Corrosion, or solo – he’s always busy each and every year.  This year brought his second solo album and a small tour.  The album is a bit more stripped down from his other projects.  It is reminiscent of Pink Floyd in spots – specifically this song “Home in Negative.”  He also rocks out a bit in the almost two hour double album… check out the video for “Track One” here (it’s a bit bleak then startling).  Gorgeous work.
WussyStrawberry :: Well, I was super happy when I found out that Wussy was putting out their fourth full-length studio album this year. They’re a fantastic rock quartet made up of Chuck Cleaver, Lisa Walker, Mark Messerly, and Joe Klug. They write catchy, poppy choruses and meld it perfectly with Midwest Americana-meets-indie-rock grit (or “Midwestern drone” as their press says).   Vocal duties are traded off with Chuck (of Ass Ponys) and Lisa (of Magic Words).
RadioheadThe King of Limbs :: I could probably put an “indie” icon next to Radiohead… I think technically they put TKOL out by themselves.  But they’re a huge superpower of a band.  I like this record, but I’ll admit that it’s still sinking in… I need to give it some more spins.  This album spawned a seven 7″ vinyl remix set.  The video for “Lotus Flower” also spawned a silly “Thom Yorke dancing” meme… one of my favorites being the tennis/fish and the “Single Ladies” editions.
Jeffrey FoucaultHorse Latitudes :: Jeffrey Foucault is a favorite Americana artist that I got turned on to by singer-songwriter/storyteller Peter Mulvey.  Jeffrey and Peter work together in the band Redbird (with David Goodrich and Jeffrey’s wife Kris Delmhorst).  I didn’t pick up Jeffrey’s albums until the past year and a half.  He’s definitely more on the cusp of country than I tend to traverse, but I dig his authenticity, poetic wit and charm.  He’s a delight on stage and a fantastic John Prine-esque songwriter for the new generation.
OpethHeritage :: Mikael Åkerfeldt hangs up the cookie monster vocals and “Swedish death metal” rattle and puts out a solid heavy metal album that is a tribute to his progressive metal ancestors.  I’ll admit, I miss the heavier side, but it’s still good to see Mikael evolve.
Over the RhineThe Long Surrender :: For those that don’t know Over the Rhine, they started out as a four piece in Cincinnati in 1989 and put out their “post-nuclear, pseudo-alternative, folk-tinged art-pop” indie debut ‘Til We Have Faces in 1991. After about a decade as a four-piece, Ric Hordinski (guitars) & Brian Kelley (drums) left.  Karin Bergquist (vocals) & Linford Detweiler (keys) carried on the Over the Rhine flame throughout the years… moving away from a rockier feel to a more folky-pop-Americana thing. What I like about Over the Rhine is they continually change and evolve into a different band with each album and each outing. I’ve seen them rock out, I’ve seen them jazz it up, I’ve seen them happy, I’ve seen them somber, I’ve seen them celebratory, and I’ve seen them tell stories that will make you laugh and cry.
dredgChuckles and Mr. Squeezy :: I love this band.  I hate the album title, but I love the band.  Modern progressive rock, tons of talent, thoughtful lyrics, none of that “prog wankery” that is generally detestable.  While it’s hard for them to follow-up the stunning The Pariah The Parrot The Delusion (from 2009), this new album does a hearty job of maintaining their quality rock standards.
My Brightest DiamondAll Things Will Unwind :: Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) took some time off since her last album – 2008′s A Thousand Shark’s Teeth.  She put out some stunning collaborations in the past three years (see #15 above) including her first kiddo; so the lapse in studio work was a-OK.  On this album, Shara teams up with NYC-based ensemble yMusic to create a lush backdrop for her gorgeous voice.  I can’t praise this album enough!
PusciferConditions of My Parole :: Tool / A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan makes wine and makes other music in his time off from Tool and APC.  I loved Puscifer’s debut and the subsequent EP, but this album tops it all.  It’s a brilliant record, recorded in one of his wine cellars with his friends – featuring backing vocals from Carina Round.  It’s self-released by Puscifer music with a small distribution partner (available in indie shops, primarily).  The tour this year was great (I caught Seattle), and I’m glad they’re heading out in the spring again (I’ll be at Portland).

Check out the 2011 Mix for some samples, click the Amazon buttons for other samples, and support the music if you like what you hear!

My Other Favorites of 2011 Recaps:

~Dan – np: Trent Reznor & Atticus RossThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

REVIEW: David Bazan Band @ Sam Bond’s Garage (Eugene, OR – 12/14/11)

15th Dec 11 (Thu) 4 comments

If anything is certain in life, the move from the Midwest to the West Coast has been good for my David Bazan tour in-take.  Being only a short hike from his homebase in Seattle, we get the treat of the former Pedro the Lion frontman in our neck of the woods several times a year.

Many times, he trots out on his own… which is usually more intimate.  But the chance to see Bazan with a backing band shouldn’t be passed up.  He’s really able to let the rock come forth in his songs.  His doubtful, questioning, reflective lyricism work just as well behind a dirty, loud guitar as it does with just him and a guitar in a living room.

Last night at Sam Bond’s, after delightful indie-rock quartet opener Shay Roselip’s short set, Bazan came on to do what I thought was just sound check.  Nope… boom goes the dynamite, his mighty three-piece kicked into a tune from Pedro the Lion’s Control… “Second Best.”

Setlist: ~85 mins

  • Second Best [Pedro the Lion]
  • Wolves at the Door
  • Bless This Mess
  • How I Remember
  • I Do [PTL]
  • Of Up and Coming Monarchs [PTL]
  • Q&A #1
  • Gas and Matches [Headphones]
  • Eating Paper
  • Magazine [PTL]
  • Climb That Hill [Tom Petty]
  • Bearing Witness
  • Q&A #2
  • Virginia
  • People
  • Cold Beer and Cigarettes
  • Big Trucks [PTL]
  • Criticism as Inspiration [PTL]
  • Q&A #3 with lifetime pass drawing
  • Strange Negotiations
    No encore

The setlist was similar to other shows on this tour… a great mix of Pedro the Lion tunes, a Headphones tune, a Tom Petty cover and a lot from his two solo albums & EP.  Strange Negotiations, this years effort, will definitely be somewhere on my Best of 2011 list (still formulating).

Being the last stop of the 40+ date tour across the country, his voice showed some wear – especially on the “right on” part of “Cold Beer and Cigarettes.”  He powered through it, dropping the notes to a more suitable weary-throat range.  His band, made up of Alex Westcoat on drums and Andy Fitts on bass, blistered away with David.  Despite the aforementioned vocal strain, their musical chops were evident last night.

They were driving through the night to make it home to Seattle by sun-up.  If you missed them on this tour, David hinted at a new album being done by March 1st, with it coming out sometime in 2012.  So the chance of more tours in 2012?  High possibility!

The Appropriate Linkage:

This was the last date of the tour… see other dates below.  I’m sure David will be out again in the Spring…

Next show for me… Cellophoria private house concert on 12/18.

~Dan – np: Marketa IrglovaAnar

David Bazan + Band Tour – Fall 2011

11/01 Tue – Spokane WA – A Club
11/02 Wed – Boise ID – Neurolux
11/04 Fri – Colorado Springs – The Black Sheep
11/05 Sat – Lawrence KS – Bottleneck
11/06 Sun – Omaha NE – The Waiting Room
11/07 Mon – Iowa City IA – Blue Moose Taphouse (upstairs)
11/09 Wed – Milwaukee WI – Cactus Club
11/10 Thu – Indianapolis IN – White Rabbit Cabaret
11/11 Fri – Newport KY – Southgate House
11/12 Sat – Grand Rapids MI – Ladies Literary Club
11/13 Sun – Pittsburgh PA – Brillobox
11/14 Mon – Hoboken NJ – Maxwell’s
11/15 Tue – Baltimore MD – Ottobar
11/17 Thu – Charlottesville VA – The Southern
11/18 Fri – Norfolk VA – Jewish Mother
11/19 Sat – Charlotte NC – Evening Muse
11/20 Sun – Columbia SC – New Brookland Tavern
11/21 Mon – Knoxville TN – Pilot Light
11/26 Sat – Athens GA – Caledonia Lounge
11/27 Sun – Nashville TN – Mercy Lounge
11/29 Tue – St Augustine FL – The Original Cafe Eleven
11/30 Wed – Tampa FL – Crowbar
12/01 Thu – Tallahassee FL – Engine Room
12/02 Fri – Oxford MS – Proud Larry’s
12/03 Sat – Memphis TN – Hi Tone
12/04 Sun – Norman OK – Opolis
12/06 Tue – Albuquerque NM – Low Spirits
12/07 Wed – Tucson AZ – Solar Culture
12/08 Thu – Las Vegas NV – Beauty Bar
12/09 Fri – Costa Mesa CA – Constellation Room
12/10 Sat – Santa Cruz – Crepe Place
12/11 Sun – Sacramento CA – Blue Lamp
12/12 Mon – Arcata CA – Jambalaya
12/14 Wed – Eugene OR – Sam Bond’s Garage

David Bazan on Dickie’s Sounds

27th Oct 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

Great in-studio set from David Bazan on Dickie’s Sounds… here’s “Wolves at the Door” (my fave track from his last album Strange Negotiations):

There are also in-studio videos for “Virginia” and “Strange Negotiations.”  He’s starting a big month and a half long tour with a band next week.  Check out the dates below…

David Bazan + Band Tour – Fall 2011

11/01 Tue – Spokane WA – A Club
11/02 Wed – Boise ID – Neurolux
11/04 Fri – Colorado Springs – The Black Sheep
11/05 Sat – Lawrence KS – Bottleneck
11/06 Sun – Omaha NE – The Waiting Room
11/07 Mon – Iowa City IA – Blue Moose Taphouse (upstairs)
11/09 Wed – Milwaukee WI – Cactus Club
11/10 Thu – Indianapolis IN – White Rabbit Cabaret
11/11 Fri – Newport KY – Southgate House
11/12 Sat – Grand Rapids MI – Ladies Literary Club
11/13 Sun – Pittsburgh PA – Brillobox
11/14 Mon – Hoboken NJ – Maxwell’s
11/15 Tue – Baltimore MD – Ottobar
11/17 Thu – Charlottesville VA – The Southern
11/18 Fri – Norfolk VA – Jewish Mother
11/19 Sat – Charlotte NC – Evening Muse
11/20 Sun – Columbia SC – New Brookland Tavern
11/21 Mon – Knoxville TN – Pilot Light
11/26 Sat – Athens GA – Caledonia Lounge
11/27 Sun – Nashville TN – Mercy Lounge
11/29 Tue – St Augustine FL – The Original Cafe Eleven
11/30 Wed – Tampa FL – Crowbar
12/01 Thu – Tallahassee FL – Engine Room
12/02 Fri – Oxford MS – Proud Larry’s
12/03 Sat – Memphis TN – Hi Tone
12/04 Sun – Norman OK – Opolis
12/06 Tue – Albuquerque NM – Low Spirits
12/07 Wed – Tucson AZ – Solar Culture
12/08 Thu – Las Vegas NV – Beauty Bar
12/09 Fri – Costa Mesa CA – Constellation Room
12/10 Sat – Santa Cruz – Crepe Place
12/11 Sun – Sacramento CA – Blue Lamp
12/12 Mon – Arcata CA – Jambalaya
12/14 Wed – Eugene OR – Sam Bond’s Garage

~Dan – np: Chamberlain/Krauss/PhelpsModular: Sonic Explorations

David Bazan on Daytrotter (#3)

25th Oct 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

Another Daytrotter from David Bazan.  His third time in the studio, this time for promotion of his latest album – Strange Negotiations.  He’s starting a big month and a half long tour with a band next week.  Check out the dates below…

Of the few websites that aren’t RSS feed-able that made it to my “must check every day” list… Daytrotter is great…

Go here for the free music:
http://tinyurl.com/bazantrotter3

1) Eating Paper 2) Level With Yourself
3) Virginia

David Bazan + Band Tour – Fall 2011

11/01 Tue – Spokane WA – A Club
11/02 Wed – Boise ID – Neurolux
11/04 Fri – Colorado Springs – The Black Sheep
11/05 Sat – Lawrence KS – Bottleneck
11/06 Sun – Omaha NE – The Waiting Room
11/07 Mon – Iowa City IA – Blue Moose Taphouse (upstairs)
11/09 Wed – Milwaukee WI – Cactus Club
11/10 Thu – Indianapolis IN – White Rabbit Cabaret
11/11 Fri – Newport KY – Southgate House
11/12 Sat – Grand Rapids MI – Ladies Literary Club
11/13 Sun – Pittsburgh PA – Brillobox
11/14 Mon – Hoboken NJ – Maxwell’s
11/15 Tue – Baltimore MD – Ottobar
11/17 Thu – Charlottesville VA – The Southern
11/18 Fri – Norfolk VA – Jewish Mother
11/19 Sat – Charlotte NC – Evening Muse
11/20 Sun – Columbia SC – New Brookland Tavern
11/21 Mon – Knoxville TN – Pilot Light
11/26 Sat – Athens GA – Caledonia Lounge
11/27 Sun – Nashville TN – Mercy Lounge
11/29 Tue – St Augustine FL – The Original Cafe Eleven
11/30 Wed – Tampa FL – Crowbar
12/01 Thu – Tallahassee FL – Engine Room
12/02 Fri – Oxford MS – Proud Larry’s
12/03 Sat – Memphis TN – Hi Tone
12/04 Sun – Norman OK – Opolis
12/06 Tue – Albuquerque NM – Low Spirits
12/07 Wed – Tucson AZ – Solar Culture
12/08 Thu – Las Vegas NV – Beauty Bar
12/09 Fri – Costa Mesa CA – Constellation Room
12/10 Sat – Santa Cruz – Crepe Place
12/11 Sun – Sacramento CA – Blue Lamp
12/12 Mon – Arcata CA – Jambalaya
12/14 Wed – Eugene OR – Sam Bond’s Garage

Past Daytrotter Sessions I’ve blogged about and dug (links and free music not guaranteed on these old blogs): Inlets, Iron & Wine, El Ten Eleven, A Weather, Tegan & Sara, Clare and the Reasons #2, CocoRosie, Portland Cello Project, Matisyahu, Tori Amos, The Swell Season, David Bazan #2, Copeland, Bad Veins, Nellie McKay, Clare and the Reasons #1, My Brightest Diamond #2, Damien Jurado, Talkdemonic, Aimee Mann, Ani DiFranco, Bad Veins #1, Kaki King, Holy Fuck… and David Bazan, My Brightest Diamond, Erin McKeown.

~Dan – np: Travis12 Memories

REVIEW: David Bazan @ House Show (Eugene, OR – 9/29/11)

30th Sep 11 (Fri) 3 comments

Wave 2 of the David Bazan 2011 Living Room tour… I missed the last swipe through in Corvallis, but was destined to see him in my home town again.  It was held at the same house from 2009 (that review here).  Thank you so much to the super great hosts!

No opener this time.  David kicked into it just after 8pm with the lead off track to his new album, Strange Negotiations.  It’s a great record, and rumor has it that he’s working on a new one already – but there was no mention of that last night…

Setlist: ~80 mins

  • Wolves at the Door
  • Cold Beer and Cigarettes
  • June 18, 1976 (Pedro the Lion)
  • Hard to Be
  • Q&A 1
  • Foregone Conclusions (Pedro the Lion)
  • Shit Talker (Headphones)
  • Virginia
  • Q&A 2 on old blues guitarists
  • Fewer Broken Pieces
  • Slow and Steady Wins the Race (Pedro the Lion)
  • Q&A 3
  • Transcontinental (Pedro the Lion)
  • Q&A 4
  • Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box (Radiohead cover for Elliott Smith)
  • Won’t Let Go
  • Curse Your Branches
  • Q&A 5
  • Strange Negotiations
  • No Encore

David’s playing Sam Bond’s Garage in about 2 1/2 months with a full band (Dec 14th for those wanting to know); so Eugene will be lucky to see his beardy face grace our presence once again.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out the now-almost-all-done tour dates below.  Woodinville, Washington tonight – then he’s back to his own bed until the band tour hits in the late Fall…

Next show for me… Melt Banana at WOW Hall on 10/1.

~Dan – np: Frank Zappa – Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison

Bazan’s 2nd wave of Living Room Tour Dates 2011

Mon 9/5 – Bozeman, MT
Tues 9/6 – Salt Lake City, UT
Wed 9/7 – Fort Collins, CO
Thurs 9/8 – Topeka, KS
Fri 9/9 – Winona, MN
Sat 9/10 – Wheaton, IL
Sun 9/11 – Champaign, IL
Mon 9/12 – Lexington, KY
Tues 9/13 – Scott Depot, WV
Wed 9/14 – Wilmington, OH
Thurs 9/15 – Cleveland, OH
Fri 9/16 – Rochester, NY
Sat 9/17 – Wilkes-Barre, PA
Sun 9/18 – Williamstown, NJ
Mon 9/19 – Oakton, VA
Tues 9/20 – Charlottesville, VA
Wed 9/21 – Simpsonville, SC
Thurs 9/22 – Birmingham, AL
Fri 9/23 – Shreveport, LA
Sat 9/24 – Tulsa, OK
Mon 9/26 – Payson, AZ
Tues 9/27 – Aliso Viejo, CA
Wed 9/28 – Santa Rosa, CA
Thurs 9/29 – Eugene, OR
Fri 9/30 – Woodinville, WA

ha’fway 2011

6th Jul 11 (Wed) 2 comments

Happy belated 235th birthday, United States!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So, here are my faves of the first half of 2011… it’s all bound to switch around by year’s end (click album art for sound samples):

  
  
  
  

Artist Album (style)

  1. Murat Eyuboglu & My Brightest DiamondLetters to Distant Cities EP featuring the words of Mustafa Ziyalan (spoken word/indie rock)
  2. Over the RhineThe Long Surrender (folk-americana)
  3. RadioheadThe King of Limbs (anti-radio rock)
  4. David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion) – Strange Negotiations (indie rock)
  5. dredgChuckles and Mr Squeezy (modern progressive)
  6. EarthAngels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1 (drone metal)
  7. Tides from NebulaEarthshine (postrock)
  8. Garage A Trois (Skerik & Co) – Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil (groove jazz)
  9. Kevin MooreShine (Küçük Kıyamet Soundtrack) (movie score)
  10. Explosions in the SkyTake Care, Take Care, Take Care (postrock)
  11. ReptetAt the Cabin (horny jazz)
  12. Goddamn Electric BillJazz (organic electronic)
  13. Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (postrock)
  14. Yoshie Fruchter’s Pitom – Blasphemy and Other Serious Crimes (instrumental klez-rock)
  15. Tres Mts (Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam & dUg Pinnick of King’s X) – Three Mountains (rock supergroup)
  16. Eisley – The Valley (modern rock)
  17. Michael Kelsey – Submerged (Midwest guitar virtuoso)
  18. Trey Parker & Matt Stone / Original Cast Recording – The Book of Mormon (sacrilegious broadway)
  19. Elysian Fields – Last Night on Earth (lusty indie-pop)
  20. Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean (whispy indie rock)

I didn’t get a few that already came out this year (yet)… the new Hiromi, Gangpol & Mit, and whatever “et cetera” that the cool kids are listening to these days; but they may make it to the list at the end of the year.

The 2nd half of 2011 promises to bring some potential great ones, too… a few more from John Zorn, (including The Dreamers Xmas CD & the Rovo Sax Quartet collaboration), Secret Chiefs 3 Book of Souls (maybe), Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer (2nd album), some digital releases from A Perfect Circle, the doomy Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Opeth‘s 70s throwback album, Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson‘s 2nd solo album, My Brightest Diamond is wrapping up one in the studio (will it be out in 2011?), Ani DiFranco always has something coming out (it’s been a while though), probably something from one of Mike Patton‘s other bands (Fantômas live DVD, Tomahawk’s 4th album, more?), and I’m sure another dozen or more that I’ll dig from Tzadik.

Favorite concerts of 2011 (so far):

  • Erik Friedlander plays John Zorn’s Masada Book Two – The Shedd, Eugene, Jan 8th
  • Reptet – Luckey’s, Eugene, Jan 14th
  • The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (Sean Lennon & Charlotte Kemp Muhl) – The Woods, Portland, Jan 28th
  • Nels Cline Singers – Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, Jan 30th
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Crystal Ballroom, Portland, Feb 18th
  • U2 – Qwest Field, Seattle, Jun 4th
  • A Perfect Circle – The Schnitzer, Portland, Jun 29th
    (click pictures below for review links)

~Dan – np: Secret Chiefs 3Book M

David Bazan – Strange Negotiations (2011) & Tour

30th Mar 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

David Bazan (Pedro the Lion) has a new solo album coming out… it now has album art, a release date, and a summer tour planned…

Strange Negotiations
May 24, 2011

http://davidbazan.com/

Bazan & Band 2011 Summer Tour

  • 06/01 Wed – Salt Lake City UT @ Kilby Court
  • 06/02 Thu – Denver CO @ Hi Dive
  • 06/03 Fri – Kansas City MO @ Record Bar
  • 06/04 Sat – Council Bluffs IA @ Westfair Amphitheater w/ Bright Eyes
  • 06/06 Mon – St Paul MN @ Turf Club
  • 06/08 Wed – Chicago IL @ Lincoln Hall
  • 06/10 Fri – St Louis MO @ Old Rock House
  • 06/11 Sat – Columbus OH @ The Basement
  • 06/12 Sun – Akron OH @ Musica
  • 06/13 Mon – Pontiac MI @ Pike Room
  • 06/14 Tue – Toronto ON @ Lee’s Palace
  • 06/15 Wed – Ottawa ON @ Maverick’s
  • 06/17 Fri – Ithaca NY @ The Haunt
  • 06/18 Sat – Hamden CT @ The Space
  • 06/19 Sun – Cambridge MA @ TT the Bears
  • 06/22 Wed – New York NY @ Bowery Ballroom
  • 06/23 Thu – Philadelphia PA @ TBD
  • 06/24 Fri – Washington DC @ Black Cat
  • 06/25 Sat – Chapel Hill NC @ Local 506
  • 06/27 Mon – Orlando FL @ The Social
  • 06/28 Tue – Atlanta GA @ The Earl
  • 06/29 Wed – Birmingham AL @ The Bottletree
  • 06/30 Thu – New Orleans LA @ One Eyed Jacks
  • 07/01 Fri – Baton Rouge LA @ Spanish Moon
  • 07/02 Sat – Houston TX @ Fitzgerald’s
  • 07/03 Sun – Dallas TX @ TBD
  • 07/05 Tue – Austin TX @ ACL Satellite Sets
  • 07/07 Thu – Phoenix AZ @ Sail Inn
  • 07/08 Fri – San Diego CA @ Casbah
  • 07/09 Sat – Long Beach CA @ TBD
  • 07/10 Sun – Los Angeles CA @ Troubadour
  • 07/12 Tue – Visalia @ Cellar Door
  • 07/13 Wed – San Francisco CA @ The Independent
  • 07/15 Fri – Portland OR @ Mississippi Studios

~Dan – np: B Lan 3Music for Hunting and Mapping

Interview with David Bazan (via the138)

13th Dec 10 (Mon) Leave a comment

Excellent interview about David Bazan‘s upcoming album, Strange Negotiations

Interview with David Bazan We recently sat down with musical artist David Bazan and picked his brain on as many topics as we could. Ladies and gentlemen: David Bazan. Photo By: Joshua Watson   How did Strange Negotiations (the upcoming album) get its name? David Bazan: It’s a phrase that had been kind of rolling around in my head for the past year, or so, I guess. It just popped in and it seemed to describe the feeling I had about certain cultural … Read More via the138

The album comes out May 2011.  The “Help David Bazan Make a Record” drive is over, but check back at http://www.davidbazan.com/ in the future for more info on the album as it gets done / put up for sale…

~Dan – np: Loose GripLooking Glass

David Bazan’s Christmas 2010 7″ vinyl

11th Oct 10 (Mon) 1 comment

It’s October… leaves are starting to change, school is in full swing, days are getting even shorter, and David Bazan‘s annual Christmas 7″ vinyl is up for pre-order… starting with the Pedro the Lion days (2002’s The First Noel 7″), it’s become an indie rock tradition to get your mits on the meloncholy holiday tunes pressed to wax from Bazan.

For 2010, the songs are “WISH MY KIDS WERE HERE” and “I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY.”  Suicide Squeeze Records has it – limited to 1000 copies (200 Orange, 400 Opaque Red, 400 Opaque Yellow). This 7-inch EP opens with a Bazan original, a heartbreaker of a track titled, “Wish My Kids Were Here.” The flip revisits an old favorite, Longfellow’s “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” an update on a song he first recorded/released, in 2002, at the start of the series.

ORDER HERE:

http://www.suicidesqueeze.net/index.php?section=store&ID=91

Act fast… 1,000 doesn’t last long.

~Dan – np: Holy FuckLatin

REVIEW: David Bazan @ Sam Bond’s (Eugene, OR – 3/4/10)

5th Mar 10 (Fri) 7 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

So, what is there to say about David Bazan that I haven’t already said?  Well, not much; so I’ll just recap.  In short, he’s a genuine song-writer, an honest thinker, a gentle soul, and a wonderful song-weaver.  Since moving to Eugene, I’ve had the opportunity to see him three times… now a fourth.  All in a shorter window of time compared to the rare opportunities when I saw him in Ohio.

The show last night was one of the first shows from his Winter/Spring Tour (and the first with opener Headlights).  For more tour dates, check out the list at the bottom.  At Sam Bond’s Garage, David Bazan isn’t on the same A-frame as a delicious quiche (click for picture from a recent gig), but he does share the venue with some mighty fine pizza and beer.

Headlights were really good.  They played about 45 minutes and had some good indie rock / pop songs with nice melodies.  They are a traditional four piece (guitar, keys, bass, drums) and swapped lead vocal duties around a bit.  Their sound at Sam Bond’s Garage last night was a little too loud, but that’s definitely not the band’s fault.  I think Sam Bond’s doesn’t seem to have the acoustics for rock bands (this issue spilled over into David’s set, too).  Anyway, Headlights = good.  Check ’em out!  Here’s the video for their song “Secrets“:

David went on with his band a little after 10pm.  His band this time around is Blake Wescott on guitar, Andy Fitts on bas, and Alex Wescoat on drums.  The set was filled with songs from his most recent solo album, Curse Your Branches, as well as older material – including a nice collection of Pedro the Lion and Headphones songs.  Outsider of the aforementioned curse that Sam Bond’s Garage has on rock bands’ sound, it was a highly enjoyable show.  The mix of tunes and passion with which David sings is fun to take in.

Setlist: about 75 minutes

  • I Do (Pedro the Lion)
  • Transcontinental (Pedro the Lion)
  • Man in Me
  • Please, Baby, Please
  • June 18, 1976 (Pedro the Lion)
  • Q&A #1
  • When We Fell
  • Magazine (Pedro the Lion)
  • How I Remember
  • When They Really Get To Know You, They Will Run (Pedro the Lion)
  • Q&A #2
  • Shit Talker (Headphones)
  • Harmless Sparks
  • Fewer Broken Pieces
  • Q&A #3
  • Bands With Managers (Pedro the Lion)
  • Bad Diary Days (Pedro the Lion)
  • Cold Beer and Cigarettes
  • I Never Wanted You (Headphones)
  • Penetration (Pedro the Lion)
  • In Stitches
  • No Encore

Personally, ending the show with “In Stitches” is perfect.  That song sunk in with me last fall, especially the last verse…

When Job asked you a question,
You responded, “Who are you
to challenge your creator?”
Well if that one part is true
It makes you sound defensive
Like you had not thought it through
Like you didn’t have an answer
Like you bit off more than you could chew

So, yeah, the well documented pivot from religious to questioner to agnostic suits Bazan’s songwriting especially well in my book.

more photos below

SO, if you haven’t gotten it already, go check out his new live in the studio recording from his Fall 2009 band tour.  Bazan: Live at Electric Audio is a great recording, and it’s out on CD, vinyl, or digital only (for insane people):

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan – np: Bill FrisellRambler

DAVID BAZAN & HEADLIGHTS PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Winter/Spring 2010 Tour Dates

  • 03/03/10 Wed – Salem OR – Ike Box
  • 03/04/10  Thu – Eugene OR – Sam Bond’s Garage
  • 03/05/10  Fri – Sacramento CA – Blue Lamp
  • 03/06/10  Sat – Visalia CA  – Cellar Door
  • 03/07/10  Sun – Santa Barbara CA – Soho
  • 03/08/10  Mon – Long Beach CA – Alex’s Bar
  • 03/09/10  Tue – Las Vegas NV – Beauty Bar
  • 03/10/10  Wed – Phoenix AZ – Sail Inn
  • 03/12/10  Fri – Norman OK – The Opolis
  • 03/13/10  Sat – Springfield MO – Gallery Sounds
  • 03/14/10  Sun – St Louis MO – Old Rock House
  • 03/15/10  Mon – Newport KY – Southgate House
  • 03/17/10  Wed – Nashville TN – Exit/In
  • 03/18/10  Thu – Asheville NC – Grey Eagle
  • 03/19/10  Fri – Columbia SC – New Brookland Tavern
  • 03/20/10  Sat – Richmond VA – Alley Katz
  • 03/21/10  Sun – Baltimore MD – The Ottobar
  • 03/22/10  Mon – Philadelphia PA – First Unitarian Church
  • 03/23/10  Tue – Brooklyn NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • 03/27/10  Sat – Grantham PA – Messiah College
  • 03/28/10  Sun – Columbus OH – The Summit
  • 03/29/10  Mon – Bloomington IN – The Bishop
  • 03/30/10  Tue – Grand Rapids MI – Calvin College
  • 04/01/10 Thu – Iowa City IA – The Mill
  • 04/02/10 Fri – Urbana IL – Canopy Club
  • 04/03/10  Sat – DeKalb IL – House Cafe
  • 04/04/10  Sun – Milwaukee WI – Pabst
  • 04/05/10  Mon – St. Paul MN – Turf Club
  • 04/06/10  Tue – Fargo ND – The Aquarium
  • 04/08/10  Thu – Missoula MT – The Palace
  • 04/09/10  Fri – Spokane WA – Empyrean
  • 04/10/10  Sat – Bellingham WA – Western Washington University

Bazan: Live at Electrical Audio

19th Feb 10 (Fri) Leave a comment

So, David Bazan took his band into the studio to record a live session last fall.  It’s coming out on CD and vinyl LP.  CDs ship late March, vinyl ships late April.  Pre-order and you get an immediate 256kbps mp3 download.  They do some Bazan solo tunes, some Pedro the Lion tunes, and a Headphones tune.  More info over at davidbazan.com

David BazanLive at Electric Audio

1. I Do
2. How I Remember
3. When We Fell
4. Magazine
5. Never Wanted You
6. Cold Beer & Cigarettes
7. Heavy Breath
8. Keep Swinging
9. Fewer Broken Pieces
10. In Stitches

David Bazan: bass, vocals
Blake Wescott: guitar, vocals
Andy Fitts: guitar, keyboards, percussion, vocals
Eric Elbogen: guitar, keyboards, vocals
Casey Foubert: drums, percussion

Recorded by Matthew Barnhart
Mixed and Mastered by TW Walsh
Photos by Bob Andrews and Caleb Palma

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter & Pound for PoundReturn of the Candyman

Artists of the Decade – 2000s (#11 to 20)

4th Jan 10 (Mon) 5 comments

Artists of the Decade – Honorable Mentions (1/1/2010 blog link)

  •  Dweezil Zappa
  • Tori Amos
  • Celldweller
  • Iron & Wine
  • King’s X
  • Derek Webb

Artists of the Decade (#21 to 25) (1/1/2010 blog link)

25 ~ Ben Folds (solo)
24 ~ Peter Mulvey

23 ~ Opeth

22 ~ dredg

21 ~ Holy Fuck

And now round 2

~*~*~

20 ~ Pedro the Lion (and David Bazan solo)

Pedro the Lion released their two most powerful and poignant albums in the early 2000s (Control and Achilles Heel), then frontman David Bazan decided to disband PTL and go solo (though by the 2000s, the writing was primarily Bazan anyway with hired guns for studios and tours).  Prior to his first full length solo album, he did a side project called Headphones, put out annual Christmas 7″ vinyls, and released a split electric/acoustic EP.  At the end of the decade, he hit the ground running with his fantastic “breaking up with God” record, Curse Your Branches.  He’s been touring in a solo fashion fairly regularly since 2007 or so and is going to hit the road again this coming spring…

~*~*~

19 ~ Jurassic 5

Jurassic 5 combined four well-versed, naturally flowing MCs (Chali 2Na, Soup, Marc7 & Akil) and two melodic, creative, musicianship-driven DJs (Cut Chemist and NuMark) to create some excellently catchy hip-hop and rap.  What I loved about them is that they weren’t all about the “drugs and bitches” that the gangsta rap had just previously been all about (don’t get me wrong, I love Dr. Dre’s The Chronic from the 90s, but J5 tended to keep it positive and definitely more musically-inclined).  All six members have gone on to do solo albums and/or side projects after the band’s official breakup in the late 2000s… my faves have been Cut Chemist’s The Audience’s Listening and Chali 2Na’s Fish Outta Water.  I still long for a reunion record, and I bet it’ll happen… maybe in the 2010s?

~*~*~

18 ~ My Brightest Diamond

Shara Worden’s utterly gorgeous, operatic voice is almost too much for the indie rock scene.  Almost.  It seems to fit in perfectly with Sufjan Stevens’ quirky folk and her own lush My Brightest Diamond string-infused indie pop (and the subsequent remix LPs/EPs centered around her studio albums).  In a live setting, her voice is powerful and sublime, and her stage presense is charming.  If you can get ahold of her pre-MBD band CDs, do so (AwRy was the name of the band).

~*~*~

17 ~ Nellie McKay

Her debut, Get Away From Me, is a 2-disc / 18-song satirical, poignant, humorous & angsty romp.  The tag-line of “Eminem meets Doris Day” rang true.  She followed it up with a couple of more subdued albums with the occasional harder edge tune, and then by decade’s end, she released a Doris Day only album.  It seems somewhere along the line, she lost the Eminem edge, but she ended up still topping my list with the more gentle album.  Her live performance for the Doris Day material was fantastic – which definitely helped its appeal with me.  She’s a vegetarian and animal rights activist, too… so, definitely on my friendly artists list.

~*~*~

16 ~ Secret Chiefs 3

Book M and Book of Horizons (both in the early 2000s) were SC3’s last officially “SC3 studio albums,” but since 2007, they have been busy with a handful of impressive 7″ vinyl singles, a “greatest hits” compilation, an amazing John Zorn Masada Book Two release in 2008 (Xaphan), a great concert DVD, a soundtrack to a made-up movie, and the ever-lasting promises of the Book of Souls (an album in the making… since… 2005?).

~*~*~

15 ~ Over the Rhine

In 2001, I think Over the Rhine made one of the best albums of their career… Films for Radio.  They followed with a stunning double-album (Ohio), several solo albums by pianist Linford Detweiler, four live compilations, a few more pretty darn decent albums (including a new holiday album), and continual touring every spring & fall/winter.  All in all, it was a pretty solid decade of a healthy work ethic.  I’m curious what the 2010s will bring in the land of Over the Rhine.  One can hope that they keep evolving.

~*~*~

14 ~ Mike Patton

Mr. Bungle broke up at the front end of the decade… but Mike continued on from Fantômas to Tomahawk to Lovage (with Dan the Automator & Elysian Fields’ Jennifer Charles) to Peeping Tom to multiple movie scores to many projects with John Zorn and back to Faith No More in 2009. As we lead into 2010, there are more Faith No More touring plans, more Fantômas plans, new bands Mondo Cane (50s Italian pop) and Crudo (DJ/rock-oriented), another Peeping Tom in 2011, and plenty else up his sleeve. Patton’s vocal versatility and hard work ethic make him one of my faves this past decade.

~*~*~

13 ~ Ani DiFranco

Similar to Tori Amos, the 1990s found a more consistently on her game Ani. While those days are gone, in the 2000s Ani kept delivering album after album after album and has way too many wins than loses, in my book. Revelling / Reckoning is quite possibly the most important release of her career (though not necessarily my favorite in this long oevre). She’s continually active and important in my musical world.

~*~*~

12 ~ Johnny Cash

This decade brought us American III, IV & V, and the Unearthed box set… all true genius from Johnny and Rick Rubin. The video for “Hurt” (a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song) is one of the most powerfully emotional videos I’ve ever seen (he really brought something new to that original NIИ song). If Rick Rubin never does anything important in the world of music ever again, he’ll still be the one who made Johnny Cash a legend (again).

~*~*~

11 ~ Dave Douglas

Founder of Greenleaf Music (a jazz label), and member of John Zorn’s Masada quartet… Dave Douglas is my #1 living trumpet player. My foray into a mega jazz love throughout the decade led me to be a fond admirer of Dave and his varied work.  His various incarnations – the Quintet, Keystone, Brass Ecstasy, the Big Band, and more – show that he’s a hard worker.  I can safely say, he’ll be back on this list in late 2019. :)

~*~*~

Tune in tomorrow for the final round…

My Other Favorites of 2009 Recaps:

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter Gentlemen, I Neglected To Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid

Oh, and for those who say that the decade ends at the end of 2010… meh. I’m starting with 0 and ending with 9 (like a LOT of people). Rationale: the 80s, the 90s… you don’t say the 80s went from 1/1/1981 to 12/31/1990 or the 90s from 1/1/1991 to 12/31/2000.

* Favorite Vocal Albums of 2009 *

29th Dec 09 (Tue) 20 comments

Disclaimer (with a nod to Andy Whitman of Paste): No, I haven’t heard all 8,000+albums released this year. I’ve heard about 200 of them, which makes me at least 97.5% likely to be wrong. I make no claims to objectivity. These albums are my favorites from 2009. You might think that the one you’ve heard that I haven’t heard is the best album of 2009. And you might be right. So go ahead and vent. Enjoy!

As I start this post, I will say that this is the second year now that I bought more instrumental CDs than vocal CDs. I think as I get older, I am drawn more towards jazz and other instrumental forms of expression. For that reason, the favorite vocal albums list goes first this go ’round. Hopefully my spilling out of music that I like finds interest with someone else. But if not, thanks for stopping by… check out the artists’ webpages, SpaceBook pages, yadda yadda yadda. OK, now on to the best of what’s hit my ears this year…

Honorable Mentions: Jars of Clay‘s The Long Fall Back to Earth, U2‘s No Line on the Horizon, Madeleine Peyroux‘s Bare Bones, Piano Magic‘s Ovations, and Ember Swift‘s Lentic :: 子玉.

ChevelleSci-Fi Crimes (Epic) :: I don’t find Chevelle to be all that original. I mean, I found them early on (the Squint days) and I liked them due to their sound similar to Tool. I don’t know… I continue to like what Chevelle puts out, regardless of its similarities to other bands. They have good hooks, vocals, and melodies. I’ve yet to see them live… they tend to always show up where I’m not. Maybe I’ll get lucky on their next batch of tour dates.
Kim TaylorLittle Miracle (indie) :: Kim is a Cincinnati favorite of mine. She tours a lot with another Cincinnati band, Over the Rhine – which is how I first heard of her (so many years ago). Anyway, if you’re in Cincinnati, swing by her coffee shop – Pleasant Perk (and buy a CD along with the Mocha you’re craving). This record came out only about a week ago. It still needs to sink in, but it’s got that Kim Taylor vibe – sultry/smoky vocals with heartfelt lyrics. This album is more stripped down than her prior releases, full of warmth.
Tori AmosAbnormally Attracted to Sin (Universal) :: Tori’s heyday for me was the 1990s. Sin hearkens back to those days, but still remains in this weird phase of “I don’t know if I like, but I do kinda like it” for me. It’s not classic Tori, but it is a good record. Her live show this year in Portland helped me get into this album a bit more. After 20 or so years of touring, she still delivers the goods consistently.
Chali 2NaFish Outta Water (Decon) :: Chali 2Na was always my favorite rapper in Jurassic 5. I dig all of those gents, but Chali has that powerful booming baritone with quick delivery. His first official solo album [he had a mixtape type thing a few years back], this one doesn’t disappoint the J5 fan in me.
Alice in ChainsBlack Gives Way to Blue (EMI Virgin) :: New singer, same great grunge sound. Jerry Cantrell and Company are back with a great new hard rocking record. While Layne can’t be replaced, the band goes on and it doesn’t disappoint. Their live show this year was excellent as well.
IsisWavering Radiant (Ipecac) :: Post-rock, post-metal, ambient metal… I don’t know what you want to call it. I first saw these guys open up for Tool a few years back, and I subsequently quit putting off getting their music. They’re on Mike Patton’s Ipecac label (so I had heard of them prior to the Tool gig), and they are both meandering and powerful. This is not a metal band full of riffs… they would fit more in the camp with post-rockers Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed! You Black Emperor than with Metallica and Megadeth.
Talking Snakes (Gary Lenaire)Nonogram Zen (indie) :: Former guitarist/vocalist for metal band Tourniquet, Gary Lenaire, released his book An Infidel Manifesto a few years back. This album is his first solo album as being an out atheist. I love the music and lyrics in Nonogram Zen. I think this album stacks up to anything he did in Tourniquet (OK, Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance still “owns” Gary’s catalogue, in my opinion). Musically, Nonogram Zen ranges from really heavy, to electronic-tinged, to more melodic pop songs (with auto-tune… *shudder*) – but all in all, I’d consider it to be a metal/hard rock album. It’s only currently available as a digital release, but perhaps it will see a physical form in the near future.
Dream TheaterBlack Clouds and Silver Linings (Roadrunner) :: I bought the special edition of this record, mainly for the CD of completely instrumental versions of Black Clouds songs. While I love the instrumental versions better, the entire album is really well crafted. As much as I think James LaBrie’s vocals and Mike Portnoy’s oft-clunky rhyme-writing get in the way, I think this album holds up in their ever-expanding catalogue.
Bad VeinsBad Veins (Dangerbird) :: Three years in existence and the band finally gets their debut album out the door. While I think it’s a solid album, and I think the song-writing is superb, I think my fondness of their early live shows and acoustic / in-studio sets have more musical magic to me. I did get a chance to see Bad Veins twice this year, which was quite the coup – as they live 2,300+ miles from me. I’m glad that this album finally made its way out and I hope there’s another one to follow in less than three years time.
dUg Pinnick (of King’s X) & RAZR 13RAZR 13 (RockArmy) :: Doug Pinnick (aka dUg) has an amazing voice; so when he starts lending his voice out to other bands, well, I am not complaining. This collaboration finds dUg rockin’ out with Austin metal band RAZR 13. It is more like his prior metal collaborations with The Mob and 24-7 Spyz than the more straight-ahead Supershine or Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament collaborations. 2010 promises another dUg Pinnick collaboration in the new group with 24-7’s Jimi Hazel called A.N.M. Yay, more metal Pinnick!!
Regina SpektorFar (Sire Warner) :: Regina’s latest album grew on me slowly. By the time I saw her in Portland (in early November), I was digging this latest album the best out of her material thus far. It is quirky, poppy, and makes you think (especially on “Laughing With”). Her live show is energetic and quite a full night of music.
Extra GoldenThank You Very Quickly Vol. 3 (Thrill Jockey) :: I didn’t know about Extra Golden until about 3 or 4 months ago, when my friend Aaron told me about their set at Eugene Celebration. I went to that show and was a fan. They are a half American, half Kenyan group… and they play sort of jammy, sort of African songs. It’s a great melting pot of sound. Their record and live show are highly recommended!
Various Artists (produced by Ric Hordinski) – Notes From the Monastery (indie) :: Rarely do I buy a “various artists” album… in the age of iTunes, it’s easier (and usually beneficial) to just buy the few tracks from artists that I know. Well, this compilation is all music produced by a person who I enjoy and respect… Mr. Ric Hordinski. He was a founding member of Cincinnati band Over the Rhine, the creative force behind the more meandering band MONK, and the knob-noodler for his Monastery Studios. This album features all new, previously unreleased songs by Ellery, Over the Rhine, Sarah Masen, Ric Hordinski, Phil Keaggy, David Wilcox, and more. There is not a bad song on the whole disc. Kudos, Ric!
Works Progress Administration (featuring Glen Phillips)WPA (Elite Artist Services) :: While I often lump this in the “Glen Phillips side project” category, it that doesn’t really do it justice. My favorite songs are the Glen ones, but Luke Bulla and Sean & Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek) round this album out into an important Americana album in 2009. Let’s just say, I came to find WPA due to Glen, but I stuck around due to it being a great band with a great new record.
FanfarloReservoir (indie) :: The best way to build a fanbase overnight… have a moderately successful internationally touring artist pimp your music directly via their website and offer your album for a $1 download months before it’s available in shops. Sigur Rós’s web viewers and mailing list got a first taste and nudge to check out Fanfarlo, and that’s all it took – a gentle nudge. While Fanfarlo isn’t really all too much like Sigur Rós, I can see why their fans intersect… gentle songs with complex and often unusual instrumentation. I missed Fanfarlo as they swung through the Pacific Northwest, as I was on vacation, but I hope they come through again soon.
Tegan and SaraSainthood (Sire Vapor) :: This T&S album is rockier than their last few albums, but after the second listen, I think I like it more than both The Con and So Jealous (and, yeah, their pre-Jealous ones, too). I think with The Con, they had started to really figure out to write really hooky yet still mature songs. While Sainthood heats it up on the rockier edge, I think the songs are better overall. This was their first album where they wrote a large chunk of the songs together in the same room – maybe that was their secret formula. I’m looking forward to their upcoming tour… April 2010 in Portland!
The Swell SeasonStrict Joy (Anti-) :: The ONCE soundtrack sunk in immediately after I heard it. While Strict Joy took a while to sink in, I think it’s a more solid record than Once. While this album represents their personal “break up,” I hope they keep working together as a band. I’ve heard some of Glen’s work with The Frames, and it’s good – but Marketa and Glen together really seems magical.
David BazanCurse Your Branches (Barsuk) :: The oft-used tagline for this record is “David’s break-up album with God.” Sure, OK. I never really thought his prior albums were all that ostentatiously “God-y” anyway. I admired David’s doubting and questioning in his prior Pedro the Lion music. His move to a more agnostic / atheistic-leaning artistic expression is a-OK with me. I realize that it’s a personal journey, and as long as he keeps putting out challenging and witty lyrical numbers, and he keeps touring & bringing some fun Q&A time to stages near me – I’m fine with whatever his philosophy moves towards.
O.S.I.Blood (Inside Out) :: What, a Kevin Moore album at #7 in its release year? I know, I know… Chroma Key and the first two O.S.I. albums were at least Top 3 spots in their respective years. While I have been moving towards a lot more instrumental music, this year’s vocal albums that I did get had some great music… the Top 10 vocal albums for me this year are especially strong albums, regardless of my bent towards the sans vocal route. Anyway, I really dig this new O.S.I. record. I wish more news and touring from Kevin Moore would leak out… I mean, news bites are few and far between. It gets a bit frustrating in this era of readily available information. Chroma Key or O.S.I. album #4… I hope not too far out there.
Nellie McKayNormal As Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day (Verve) :: While I dig Nellie’s own music better than this batch of mostly Doris Day cover songs (there is one Nellie original), this may be the most perfect tribute album. From the cover art, to the campy photos inside, to the delivery that truly honors Doris Day, to Nellie’s excellent jaunt with The Aristocrats – this album I think is more than the sum of its parts. Back on a major label (this time Verve instead of Sony), I hope they give Nellie some creative control to go back in the studio to make her next originals album.
Porcupine TreeThe Incident (Roadrunner) :: I think I like the non-concept songs on disc 2 more than the individual parts in The Incident concept disc. Regardless, I think Steven Wilson has turned the corner away from Fear of a Blank Planet, and maybe he’s heading back into a more interesting progressive arena. The tour was also great this year, but maybe they play their instruments too perfectly. I almost felt as if I could have gotten as much out of the DVD of the show as the actual show (hey, my only negative about this latest effort is that they play “too perfectly”). Go figure!
Peter MulveyLetters From a Flying Machine (Signature Sounds) :: Half spoken word, half poppy singer-songwriter tunes… that doesn’t scream “Top 5” album release. But it is. I think this is Peter’s most solid piece of work in a while, and it ranks amongst The Trouble with Poets and Kitchen Radio for me. Peter is still fairly unknown… but he is quite prolific (12+ full lengths in 17+ years), hard-working (constantly touring all places from Alaska to Ireland), quite witty (he could be a comedian if the whole music thing doesn’t work out), and energetic (he did a 1,100 bicycle tour this year – playing gigs from Michigan to Massachusetts). He plans to do a bicycle tour from Wisconsin to the West Coast in 2010… yay!
Derek WebbStockholm Syndrome (INO) :: I grew up with Derek Webb as he made his musical start in the contemporary christian music scene – with Caedmon’s Call. I always loved his songs and vocals the best; so when he left the band, I followed. His latest album gets it right in both music and lyrics… calling out those who hate others due to their sexuality (the “controversial” What Matters More) and calling out hate in the name of God (“Freddie, Please” dedicated to Westboro Baptist’s jackass preacher). I feel that even though I have differing (non-)religious beliefs, I still can call Derek Webb a compatriot. The more electronic-tinged music is also welcome from his more “guy & a guitar” days (though, he carried that sound well, too). I look forward to his upcoming subscriber series in 2010 – Democracy, Volume 1.
WussyWussy (Shake It) :: Wussy just keeps getting better. Lisa and Chuck & Company have really stepped it up on their third full-length. I wish I still lived in Cincinnati sometimes after seeing their “hey, we’re playing at Northside Tavern” posts on SpaceBook and MyFace. Anyway, I’m utterly delighted with this record, and they’ve unofficially promised to hit the West Coast in Spring 2010. Fingers crossed…
dredgThe Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion (Ohlone) :: dredg has evolved from “good opener” the first time I saw them to “really good rock band” after I delved into Catch Without Arms (specifically “Ode to the Sun” and the b-side “Stone By Stone”) to one of my favorite bands with this new release. Quite honestly, from the first full listen back in June, I knew this would be my #1 album for 2009. It’s a concept album based loosely on Salmon Rushdie’s “Letter to the Six Billionth Citizen,” and, well, it shows off dredg’s great vocals, subtle progressive guitars, and unique and inspiring drumming. I hope album #5 is not another 4 years away… or, if it is, I hope they keep touring. I got to see them twice this year – both fantastic shows.

Top 25 instrumental albums coming up later this week… still making my way through them at this point… oy…

My Other Favorites of 2009 Recaps:

  • Fave Concerts of ‘09 are recapped *HERE*
  • Fave EPs/Vinyl/Live/more of ‘09 are recapped *HERE*
  • Fave Instrumental Albums ‘09 are coming soon
  • Fave Artists of the Decade are coming soon
  • Old Years: 2008I, 2008V, 2008ep, 2008C, 2007V, 2007I, 2007C, 2006, 2005

~Dan – np: Roberto RodriguezThe First Basket

2009 mix

12th Nov 09 (Thu) 2 comments

Well, thanks to a certain bigwig, I got off of my duff to make a mix CD for his round robin dealio.  No major theme this time like prior mixes… the only rule I placed before myself was that everything is current (i.e.- released in 2009).

{If you aren’t part of the round robin and want a CD, contact me.  If you’re local, even better. I’ll get ’em out around Thanksgiving.}

The following songs were put on the mix CD from lossless sources for promotional purposes only (read: free direct market advertising to people who decidedly love music).  Most of the artists on this compilation are independent (put out the music themselves) or signed to smaller, independent labels.  If you like what you hear, check out their music / support them with your wallet if you are able.  The artists’ Webpage, MyFace & Spacebook (whether official or not), and Amazon links are available for each song below.  I’ve also included concert review links if I’ve seen the artist recently.

PDF front liner is available HERE (designed to print double-sided).

UPDATE (12/18): free download / bonus track #18 below

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01 Nellie McKayDo Do Do” from Normal As Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day
Well, the person who got this round robin going (Brad) was a direct influence in me getting into Nellie McKay back when Get Away From Me came out.  I’ve been a fan ever since.  I think GAFM is my favorite of hers, but she’s still quite consistently entertaining to me.  Her latest album is a tribute to the late great Doris Day.  It’s missing some of Nellie’s sly wit, but is definitely fitting in her “I wish I was born in another era” wishes.  The album art is 135% fitting for Nellie, too.  Perfect choice!

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02 John ZornMiller’s Crake” from O’o
I could have put on some more skwoky Zorn, but I opted for a more accessible number.  John Zorn is prolific, but this was actually a slow year – I only count six Zorn-related releases.  O’o is twelve lyrical and adventurous instrumentals combining world music, surf, exotica, soundtracks, easy listening, and minimalism dedicated to twelve different birds (Chippy’s artwork is amazing).  “Miller’s Crake” is a delightful Guaraldi-esque jaunt from the band that came out of the Electric Masada / The Gift / The Dreamers sessions: Marc Ribot, Jamie Saft, Kenny Wollesen, Trevor Dunn, Joey Baron, and Cyro Baptista.

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03 Extra GoldenGimakiny Akia” from Thank You Very Quickly Vol 3
I was planning on going to Eugene Celebration anyway, but I got a call from a friend who suggested that we meet and definitely go to see Extra Golden.  Um, OK, sure.  Then I saw them, and wow… fuuuuun.  I love African music, but sometimes it’s gets all too similar unless you do something fun (a la Fela Kuti, Antibalas, etc).  Well, Extra Golden are half Kenyan and half American (which I guess is the “something fun” part?  I don’t know).  They fuse some great jam-rock with Kenyan beats* and singing… great stuff.  Fantastic live show, too. *-Though, coincidentally, not so much Kenyan beats on this track.  Yeah, sorry.

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04 Ember SwiftHollowed Bones 空骨” from Lentic :: 子玉
Ember Swift (yes, her real name) is finally starting to head in a new direction.  I mean, I dig her a lot, but her past albums have been slightly derivative of Ani DiFranco (with maybe a little more adventurism).  She’s from Canada, but has spent time living in China recently.  In fact, I think she’s still living there (don’t quote me on that)… that culture has definitely had an impact on her music.

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05 Works Progress Administration / Glen PhillipsRise Up” from Works Progress Administration
This song first showed up on the Concert to End Slavery compilation as a Glen Phillips solo song.  It’s my favorite from WPA, but it’s not very representative of the album.  The album is more folky / americana via the heavy influence of Sean & Sara Watkins from Nickelcreek and Luke Bulla (from Lyle Lovett’s band).

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06 Madeleine PeyrouxDamn the Circumstances” from Bare Bones
I am usually not a fan of vocal jazz… it’s usually too full of schlock, if you ask me.  Well, Madeleine’s smoky voice overrides that generalism for me.  She’s a fantastic vocalist, a throwback to the golden era of jazz vocalists.  This album is her first of non-covers.  All original, either written solo or co-written, Bare Bones moves her from a “fantastic standards” singer to bringing vocal jazz back into fresh territory.

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07 dredgGathering Pebbles” from The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion
dredg is one of my favorite bands now.  2005’s Catch Without Arms floored me, and I was eagerly awaiting the follow-up.  It took too long (4 years), but it was well worth it.  The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion is by far my favorite album this year.  It was inspired by Salmon Rushdie’s essay “Imagine There’s No Heaven: A Letter to the Sixth Billionth Citizen.”  In fact, this past fall, dredg and Salmon did a joint show that was captured by Spin magazine.

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08 Porcupine TreeFlicker” from The Incident
The best progressive rock band around, Porcupine Tree’s The Incident is a 55-minute epic concept album/song.  “Flicker” is actually a session b-side from the 2nd disc from the collection.  I got a chance to see Porcupine Tree this September, and Steven Wilson & Co delivered the impeccable studio sound to the stage.  It’s almost magic.

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09 O.S.I.Terminal” from Blood
I really like this 3rd record by O.S.I. (formerly know as the Office of Strategic Influence).  O.S.I. is a joint collaboration of Chroma Key’s Kevin Moore and Fates Warning’s Jim Matheos.  Most of Blood is heavier progressive rock, but I tend to like the more Chroma Key-esque tracks like “Terminal.”  The album has guests Gavin Harrison (of Porcupine Tree) on drums, Mikael Åkerfeldt (of Opeth) on vocals for one track, and Tim Bowness (or No-Man) on vocals for one track as well. The 2nd disc also features a Kevin Moore-sung, rockin’ tribute to Elliott Smith (“Christian Brothers”).

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10 900XThe Black Beach” from Library Catalog Music Series: Music For Lubbock, 1980
Sufjan Steven’s label Asthmatic Kitty is really becoming a favorite.  They host music by Sufjan, My Brightest Diamond, Fol Chen, Osso, and now the excellent experimentation from the various Library Catalog Music Series artists.  The 900X release is my favorite of the six releases so far.  I received the high quality mp3s from the record label for free, and I loved it so much that I bought it on vinyl.

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11 Chali 2Na featuring Talib KweliLock Sh*t Down” from Fish Outta Water
I’m still sad that Jurassic 5 broke up, but now we get albums from Portable Payback (Marc7 & Soup), Cut Chemist, DJ Nu Mark, Akil the MC, and, of course, Chali 2Na (my favorite from the group).  Chali’s got that deep booming voice that makes you pay attention.  This song’s lyrics (and video) are kinda cheesy, IMO, but it still features some nice flow from the “lyrical manphibian.”

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12 Peter MulveyVlad the Astrophysicist” from Letters From a Flying Machine
Storytelling has always been a fantastic part of Peter’s live shows.  Nine years ago, when his first niece was born, Peter got into the habit of writing physical letters to his nieces and nephews (now 17 kids in total).  This album is interspersed with spoken word letters and new music.  I think it’s his strongest album since 2000’s The Trouble With Poets.  I like a lot of different music, but with that being said, I think Peter is by far my favorite singer-songwriter.  Support indie music!

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13 David BazanCurse Your Branches” from Curse Your Branches
I wanted to put on “Hard to Be,” but due to space limitations, I went for a shorter song.  This is David’s first full-length solo album since disbanding the indie rock band Pedro the Lion.  PTL was really David’s thing anyway; so him disbanding the band isn’t that big of a deal, if you ask me.  This album also marks his first decided move away from the “religious guy” things into the “heavily agnostic thing” (kudos to him, from me at least).  This album is peppered with his thoughts and doubts of his religious upbringing – even moreso than in his prior Pedro days.  It very well called a “breakup letter to God” by some.

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14 John ZornNovato” from Alhambra Love Songs
Alhambra Love Songs is a set of 11 songs that are an eclectic homage to San Francisco Bay area musicians.  This particular song is dedicated to Mike Patton (and, no, that’s not why I picked it).  The album is played by pianist Rob Burger, bassist Greg Cohen, and drummer Ben Perowsky – and also falls into the “more accessible” John Zorn camp.

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15 WussyLittle Paper Birds” from Wussy
This little band that could from Cincinnati is getting some good buzz in major publications (I know Spin has featured them several times).  I went to college with their female lead singer, Lisa Walker, and remember when she did a more folky thing.  I think Wussy’s sound suits her well (and vice versa).  Anyway, this is their third record, and features some great songs from both Lisa and Ass Ponys’ Chuck Cleaver.

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16 The Dead Kenny G’sBirther Blues” from Bewildered Herd
Prior to moving to the PacNW, I had heard of saxophonist Skerik via John Zorn and other avant-garde connections.  I never got to hear him until I moved here and saw him at Sam Bond’s.  He seems to be down here in Eugene every other month or so, in different band incarnations.  The Dead Kenny G’s features Skerik on tenor sax & pianos, Mike Dillon on drums (who I recently saw drum with Ani DiFranco), and Brad Houser on bass & baritone sax.

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17 Ikue MoriRedeye Skimmer” from Class Insecta
Ikue Mori is an interesting instrumentalist.  She mostly utilizes a laptop, and I saw her play live with Ellery Eskelin & Jim Black in NYC in 2007 and was wowed by the improvisational nature of her craft.  Most of her albums are more avant-garde.  She has one album that I’d consider to be much more accessible (1995’s Painted Desert on Japan’s DIY/Avant label).  Class Insecta is also more accessible than most of her work.  I suppose if you like well composed, electronic music dedicated to insect species, it’s for you!

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18 Derek WebbWhat Matters More” from Stockholm Syndrome
(bonus mp3) DOWNLOAD it >> http://www.derekwebb.com/387/WMM.zip
Stockholm Syndrome is an album that I’m bummed I didn’t get fit on the CD version of this compilation.  It’s going to place fairly well in my year-end “Best of 2009” list.  I think it’s the best thing Derek’s ever done, including Caedmon’s Call and prior solo work.  It has a great overall vibe, and a message that I can agree with, even though I don’t agree with his religious philosophy.  This song, while not the best on the album (IMO), has a great lyric and pro-gay marriage position and was actually banned by his independent Christian label (INO Records).  He subsequently released an “uncensored” version of the album, and now has the song available for free on his site.

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Let me know what you think…

unfortunately missing (due to space or flow limitations, or that I simply didn’t get them in the mail yet): pop from Regina Spektor, Zero 7 & the Swell Season; jazz from Dave Douglas’ Brass Ecstasy and A Single Sky, Masada Quintet + Lovano, and The Fantastic Terrific Munkle; comedy from Flight of the Conchords; and some metal Ahleuchatistas, Megadeth, Isis, Dream Theater, Puscifer, Tides From Nebula & Alice in Chains.  Oh well, those may make it on my “favorite albums” of 2009 list.

~Dan – np: PusciferC is For…

there are no torrents, free mp3 or other downloads available

REVIEW: David Bazan Band @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 11/6/09)

7th Nov 09 (Sat) 5 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

So, last night’s show could have been presented by “Keep Portland Beard.”  Every member of both bands sported beards (which, to be fair, had some dual members).  I think beards and indie rock are like eye shadow and goth.  Except at least the women of indie rock don’t have beards (not that I know of at least).

I drove by the venue around “doors” time… and the line was part way down the block.  Yikes.  As I parked my car and walked to the venue, I spotted David Bazan and some of his posse hanging out by the nearby burrito cart.  He was on his mobile; so I opted not to bug him.

After a delicious hummus plate washed down by a McTarnahan’s Amber, SAY HI started… I found my seat at the awesomely cozy Mississippi Studios.

Say Hi is a trio, and they played what I’d call “power pop indie rock.”  I mean, that’s my best explanation… very catchy, hooky – yet retaining that gristle and DIY charm of a touring group of guys.  While Say Hi didn’t have the one-two writing & vocal punch of Neil Gust & Elliott Smith’s Heatmiser, I think Heatmiser is my closest comparison to Say Hi.  Great pop songs in a rock setting, definitely enjoyable.  They played about 40 minutes and, unfortunately, it flew by.  But… they’re from Seattle; so they’re totally on my “auto notify” Pollstar radar now.

After a very short set break (5 minutes, maybe)… David Bazan (plus band) hit the stage…

The first time I saw David Bazan (December 2003 with Over the Rhine) was the only time I’ve seen him with a “band.”  Even that time, it was a stripped down Pedro the Lion set with just David and T.W. Walsh (drummer).  The singer of Say Hi joined David on guitar, the Say Hi bassist traded bass duties for guitar / keyboards / percussion.  Blake Wescott joined on guitar, there was a new drummer, and David took care of bass (and guitar during the encore).

The set was a heavy David Bazan “solo albums” set, as expected.  I’ve really been digging his latest album, Curse Your Branches; so I picked it up on vinyl last night.  Most of the set was CYB stuff and Fewer Moving Parts material.  He did throw in a few expected Pedro the Lions and Headphones songs as well…

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • Hard To Be
  • Please, Baby, Please
  • I Do (Pedro the Lion tune)
  • Bless This Mess
  • Q&A #1
  • I Never Wanted You (Headphones tune)
  • Magazine (Pedro the Lion tune)
  • Heavy Breath
  • Q&A #2
  • Cold Beer And Cigarettes
  • When We Fell
  • Lost My Shape
  • Curse Your Branches
  • Q&A #3
  • Fewer Broken Pieces (aka Fewer Moving Parts)
  • Bearing Witness
  • Q&A #4
  • Keep Swinging (Pedro the Lion tune)
  • How I Remember
  • In Stitches
  • Encore (David solo): Priests and Paramedics (Pedro the Lion tune)
  • Will You Still Love Me In December (Julie Doiran cover)
  • Q&A #5
  • Harmless Sparks

Best David Bazan line of the night… “Infants are necessary, but they’re kinda bullshit.”

I loved David with a band.  I think the highlight of the night for me, though, was Say Hi.  I usually don’t expect to like an opener, and I like being pleasantly surprised.  I didn’t have enough coin to get some Say Hi music last night, but I plan to in the near future.

Another highlight… David’s Q&A sessions are also usually a fun aspect of his shows – it really makes a Bazan show more personal and intimate.  Most of the questions surrounded his recent “coming out” as an atheist-leaning agnostic after many years in the Christian indie rock scene.  I always loved his candor and questioning of things in religion, even when he considered himself to be a Christian and I had moved out of that camp.  I, honestly, don’t think his lyrical themes changed all that much.  His Q&A answers last night were more along the lines around around tolerance, regardless of religious beliefs or non-beliefs.  Personally, I’m glad to have him in the more doubtful camp.  However, above that, I’m glad that he’s not trying to be divisive with things like faith and his “falling from faith.”  We should move towards being different than the prior generations who don’t know tolerance.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

~Dan – np: Lowell Brams, Sufjan Stevens & Bryce DessnerLibrary Catalog Music Series: Music for Insomnia
Lowell Brams, Sufjan Stevens & Bryce Dessner - Library Catalog Music Series: Music for Insomnia

DAVID BAZAN & SAY HI PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2009 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Recent/Upcoming Tour Dates

  • 10/01 – San Francisco CA – Independent
  • 10/02 – Costa Mesa CA – Detroit Bar
  • 10/03 – San Diego CA – Casbah
  • 10/04 – Los Angeles CA – Troubadour
  • 10/05 – Tucson AZ – Solar Culture
  • 10/07 – Austin TX – Mohawk
  • 10/08 – Denton TX – Dan’s Silverleaf
  • 10/09 – Memphis TN – Hi-Tone Café
  • 10/10 – Murray KY – Lovett Auditorium / Murray State
  • 10/11 – Birmingham AL – Bottletree
  • 10/13 – Orlando FL – The Social
  • 10/14 – Atlanta GA – Drunken Unicorn
  • 10/15 – Chapel Hill NC – Cat’s Cradle
  • 10/16 – Washington DC – Black Cat
  • 10/17 – Philadelphia PA – Kung Fu Necktie
  • 10/18 – New York NY – Bowery Ballroom
  • 10/20 – Cambridge MA – TT the Bear’s +
  • 10/21 – Montreal QC – Il Motore
  • 10/22 – Toronto ON – Lee’s Palace
  • 10/23 – Pontiac MI – Pike Room
  • 10/24 – Chicago IL – TBA
  • 10/25 – Champaign IL – Highdive
  • 10/27 – Madison WI High – Noon Saloon
  • 10/28 – Minneapolis MN – Turf Club
  • 10/29 – Iowa City IA – The Picador
  • 10/30 – Lawrence KS – Jackpot Saloon
  • 10/31 – Omaha NE – Slowdown
  • 11/01 – Denver CO – Hi Dive
  • 11/02 – Salt Lake City UT – Kilby Court
  • 11/05 – Vancouver BC – Media Club
  • 11/06 – Portland OR – Mississippi Studios
  • 11/07 – Seattle WA – Neumos
    House Shows
  • 12/9 – Detroit, MI – 8pm – tickets available on db.com
  • 12/10 – Cleveland, OH – 8pm – tickets available
  • 12/11 – Columbus, OH – 8pm – SOLD OUT
  • 12/12 – Indianapolis, IN – 5pm – tickets available
  • 12/12 – Indianapolis, IN – 8pm – SOLD OUT
  • 12/13 – New Haven, IN – 5pm – tickets available
  • 12/13 – Ft. Wayne, IN – 8pm – SOLD OUT
  • 12/14 – Goshen, IN – 8pm – SOLD OUT
  • 12/15 – Lansing, MI – 8pm – tickets available
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