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ha’fway 2012

4th Jul 12 (Wed) 3 comments

Happy 236th birthday, United States!

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

So, here are my faves of the first half of 2012… and outside of the Top 5, it’s all kind of random order on how I feel today… it’s all bound to switch around by year’s end (click album art for sound samples):

Artist Album (style)

  1. OSI Fire Make Thunder (glitch prog)
  2. Fiona Apple The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (jazzy pop)
  3. Peter Mulvey The Good Stuff (indie songwriter playing standards with a band)
  4. Damien Jurado Maraqopa (indie rock)
  5. Celldweller Wish Upon A Blackstar (electronica)
  6. Sigur Rós Valtari (ambient icelandic)
  7. Emily Wells Mama (chamber hip-pop)
  8. Floratone Floratone II (jazz)
  9. s/s/s (Sufjan Stevens, Son Lux, Serengeti) – Beak & Claw -EP- (interesting)
  10. Storm Corrosion (Steven Wilson & Mikael Akerfeldt) – Storm Corrosion (ethereal proggy departure)
  11. John Zorn The Gnostic Preludes (jazzy experimental)
  12. John Zorn’s Moonchild Trio (Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn & Joey Baron) with John Medeski – Templars (noise rock)
  13. Earth Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 2 (drone)
  14. The Chance Brothers Growing Concern (indie rock)
  15. Regina Spektor What We Saw From the Cheap Seats (pop)
  16. Ani DiFranco Which Side Are You On? (folk pop songwriter)
  17. Buckethead Electric Sea (gentler instrumental guitar)
  18. Bad Veins The Mess We’ve Made (indie rock)
  19. Cosa Brava (Fred Frith, Carla Kihlstedt, etc) – The Letter (rootsy jazz adventure)
  20. David Krakauer plays Masada Book Two Book of Angels, Vol. 18 (Pruflas) (klezmer jazz)

I didn’t get a few that already came out this year (yet) 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 2012 promises to bring some potential great ones, too… a few more from John Zorn, Mike Patton & Luciano Berio’s Laborintus II, Ben Folds Five’s reunion studio album, Ric Hordinski’s Arthurs Garden (physical CD, though the download came out a bit ago), the Dusted debut from Holy Fuck’s Brian Borcherdt, Erin McKeown’s kickstarter, and I’ve heard rumors of a new Nellie McKay disc for the Fall.

Favorite concerts of 2012 (so far):

  • Penn & Teller and Cirque’s Zumanity in Las Vegas, Jan 18th & 20th
  • Secret Chiefs 3 in Eugene & Portland, Feb 6th & 7th
  • Nellie McKay’s I Want To Live! in Eugene & Portland, Mar 2nd & 4th
  • Puscifer in Portland, Mar 14th
  • Seun Kuti & the Egypt 80 in Eugene, Mar 18th
  • Radiohead in Seattle, April 9th
  • Roger Waters presents Pink Floyd’s The Wall in Portland, May 22nd
  • Beck in Bend, May 27th
    (click pictures below for review links)

~Dan – np: CelldwellerWish Upon A Blackstar

REVIEW: Erin McKeown & Emily Wells @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 4/21/10)

22nd Apr 10 (Thu) 3 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM


(despite these pictures, this show was not a head-scratcher)

Last night, the Mississippi Studios in Portland had a triple-bill tour de force.  Almost two and a half hours from three wonderful musicians – violinist indie-rapper Emily Wells, folk-pop songwriter Erin McKeown, and Portland-based singer Timmy Straw.  All three were showered us with great music (both old and new)…

Timmy Straw hit the stage late and quickly went into the first number.  Timmy’s vocals were gorgeous, in that gristly-yearning kind of way.  Songs were mostly haunting piano numbers, but there was some electronic-infusion on a song or two.  I picked up Timmy’s equally gorgeous debut CD, 2009’s State Parks.  Timmy only had a little banter during the set, playing fairly straight from one to the next (playing about 6 or 7 songs in a half hour).  Songs I did catch names for are “Rock of Ages,” “Scoops,” and “Herakles.”  I highly recommend State Parks. I think you can only get it at shows at this point (if someone has other info, please pass it along).

Erin McKeown went on around 10 and his us with a lot of gems from her latest album, Hundreds of Lions, out on Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe Records.  I’d seen her a couple times prior (in Cincinnati), and she was just as adorable and delightfully charming with her stories and music as she can be.  My wife noted (and I agree) that Erin has such great stage presence and spark.  She’s a ball of joy and it comes through in her songs…

Erin’s Setlist: ~45 mins

  • “Manifestra” (new song)
  • Cinematic
  • Santa Cruz
  • You, Sailor
  • (Put the Fun Back in) the Funeral
  • Queen of Quiet
  • Didn’t They
  • “Train of Steel” (new song)
  • Lullaby in 3/4

Emily went on around 11 and started swinging with her crowd-pleasin’ hip-hop numbers.  She employed Doug from the Portland Cello Project during half of her set.  I saw her play with the PCP last summer, and it’s what had me sold on her music.  She switched between violin and various other toys in her arsenal (toy pianos, drum loops, toy microphones, guitar, ukulele, etc).  She relied a lot on looping – which is always fun, as far as I’m concerned.  The hour-long Emily Wells “solo/live remix” included some of her Symphonies, her über-fun Notorious B.I.G. cover, as well as some newer songs… oh, and she was sportin’ some bling

Emily’s Setlist: ~1 hour

  • If You Love Me, Really Love Me
  • Symphony 1 In the Barrel of a Gun
  • Symphony 6: Fair Thee Well & the Requiem Mix
  • Juicy (Notorious B.I.G.)
  • Mama’s Gonna Give You Love (new song)
  • Give Ya Everything (new song)
  • Let Your Guard Down (new song)
  • The Fire Song (new song)
  • Passenger
  • Encore: Symphony 9 & the Sunshine

Emily has a new album coming out later this year, and also a project with Dan the Automator called Pillowfight.  Check her out on the MySpaces to keep in the loop.  We headed back home to Eugene around midnight… tired, but content.

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: OzomatliFire Away
no download or free torrent mp3 flac available
support music by buying it

EMILY WELLS, ERIN McKEOWN
& TIMMY STRAW PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2010 Daniel Temmesfeld and Margaret O’Brien,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

REVIEW: Portland Cello Project & Emily Wells @ Cozmic Pizza (Eugene, OR – 6/13/09)

14th Jun 09 (Sun) Leave a comment

I first heard of Portland Cello Project via cellist Anna Fritz.  Her 2005 album Wake featured a couple of songs with singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey guesting, of whom I had been a longtime fan already.  Anyway, shortly thereafter, Anna Fritz was posting on her MySpace page about this new band that she was in, the Portland Cello Project.  They kept playing around on times that I couldn’t see them… so last night was the first official time for me to see them, though I guess I’ve been a fan for a while.

We showed up around 8:30 to a beyond packed house.  Oh crap, I underestimated the draw of the PCP on a Saturday night in Eugene.  Emily Wells was into her set, and some of the PCP was sitting in on her set.  Great stuff… enough to buy her Symphonies album.  I hope she comes around Eugene or Portland again… I loved her sound.

The Portland Cello Project came on around 9:30.  Their sound seemed very much standard “chamber music” until they hit the more energetic Pantera and Dave Brubeck pieces.  PCP pulls off the “modern / alternative chamber music” sound pretty well without getting lumped into the sometimes cheesy Apocalyptica and the almost always cheesy “String Quartet Tribute to…” compilations.  PCP had a mix of classical, jazz, rougher music, tween pop with John Brophy, and indie rock (the songs featuring Justin Power on guitar & voice)… seemed to be enjoyed by the very large, very diverse crowd…

Setlist: (per the PCP blog)

  • Collaborations with Emily Wells
  • The Batman Theme Song (by Danny Elfman)
  • Turkish Wine (by Norfolk and Western)
  • Denmark (by Gideon Freudmann)
  • Mouth for War (by Pantera)
  • Take 5 (by Dave Brubeck Quartet)
  • A piece by Ashia
  • Ashia and Justin Power playing Hungry Liars
  • Two more Justin Power pieces!
  • Toxic (by Britney Spears) featuring John Brophy
  • What Goes Around…/…Comes Back around (by Justin Timberlake) featuring John Brophy
  • Push-it (by Salt N Pepa) featuring John Brophy and Emily Wells
  • 3 pieces collaborating with Run-On Sentence
  • Encore: Transformation from The Dream: A Three Movement Suite for Cellos, Mallet Percussion, and Drum Set by Rachel Blumberg

We stuck around through the Justin Timberlake tune (it had been a long day).  Great stuff all around.  I was very impressed with Emily Wells set (never heard of her before), and the size of the crowd at Cozmic.  I mean, seriously, I’ve never seen that many people packed in there.  It was great to see so many people out there, but I’m wondering how they heard about it.  Here I was thinking I’d show up at 8:30 and get right in…

Next time, I’ll know to show up early for PCP in Eugene.

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: FlaregunTen Sundays

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