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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-

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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

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