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MusicNOW Festival 2011 (kicks off today!)

13th May 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

Today is the first performance in the amazingly stacked MusicNOW Festival 2011 line-up in Cincinnati, Ohio. My Brightest Diamond kicks off the fest at Memorial Hall.  The National play Cincinnati’s Music Hall later this weekend. Click the reblog below or hit musicnowfestival.org for more info.

Read my review of My Brightest Diamond, Sufjan Stevens, Amiina, and more from MusicNOW Fest 2007.

~Dan

MusicNOW Festival 2011 If you live in or near Cincinnati Ohio, this is a fantastic music festival for you – MusicNOW Festival 2011.  I’m officially jealous, as I won’t be able to make it out this year.  I went in 2007 when I still lived in Cincinnati, and it was amazing.  Trust me, I thought about going back for this year’s line-up… The National / Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) / Sharon Van Etten / Richard Reed Parry / Little Scream / yMusic / Owen Pallett / Meg … Read More

via mainly music meanderings

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MusicNOW Festival 2011

12th Mar 11 (Sat) Leave a comment

If you live in or near Cincinnati Ohio, this is a fantastic music festival for you – MusicNOW Festival 2011.  I’m officially jealous, as I won’t be able to make it out this year.  I went in 2007 when I still lived in Cincinnati, and it was amazing.  Trust me, I thought about going back for this year’s line-up…

The National / Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) / Sharon Van Etten / Richard Reed Parry / Little Scream / yMusic / Owen Pallett / Megafaun


For info, go to: http://www.musicnowfestival.org/
Tickets will be on-sale Tuesday, March 15th at 10 am.

~Dan – np: EisleyThe Valley

Favorite Concerts of 2008

3rd Dec 08 (Wed) Leave a comment

Well, shockingly, I don’t have any concerts on the calendar for December 2008 (next up is Zappa Plays Zappa on Jan 2nd).  Of course, Sam Bond’s may book a jazz show that I don’t find out about until a week prior.  Eh, anyway, I’ve seen 42 concerts and 91* artists perform so far in 2008 (which is oddly considered a “slow year” for me).

Assuming no other shows pop up out of nowhere and blow me away, here are my favorite concerts for 2008:

  1. Extreme & King’s X – Union Center Blvd Bash – Cincinnati, OH {10 Aug} [review with pictures]
  2. Jude Christodal, opener: Ryan Andrew – Aladdin Theater – Portland, OR {6 June} [review with pictures]
  3. Secret Chiefs 3 with Secret Chefs 3, Diminished Men – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR {3 Aug} [review with pictures]
  4. Sigur Rós with Parachutes – Arlene Schnitzer Hall – Portland, OR {6 Oct} [review with pictures]
  5. Ornette Coleman – Arlene Schnitzer Hall/PDX Jazz Fest – Portland, OR {15 Feb} [review]
  6. SFJazz Collective with Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Miguel Zenon and more focusing on the music of Wayne Shorter – Newmark Theatre/PDX Jazz Fest – Portland, OR {15 Feb} [review]
  7. Ani DiFranco, openers: Animal Prufrock, Judy Grahn – McDonald Theatre – Eugene, OR {16 Apr} [review]
  8. My Brightest Diamond with Clare & the Reasons – W.O.W. Hall – Eugene, OR {21 Nov} [review with pictures]
  9. Nellie McKay, opener: Amorèe Lovell – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR {15 Aug} [review with pictures]
  10. Orange Tulip Conspiracy – Samurai Duck – Eugene, OR {17 Nov} [review with pictures]
  11. Bill Frisell / Eyvind Kang / Rudy Royston – The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts – Eugene, OR {7 June} [review with pictures]
  12. Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket with J.Kingham – W.O.W. Hall – Eugene, OR {21 Feb} [review]
  13. Branford Marsalis and the Philharmonia Brasileira – The Hult Center – Eugene, OR {2 Oct} [review]
  14. Medeski Martin & Wood – McDonald Theatre – Eugene, OR {15 Nov} [review with pictures]
  15. Talkdemonic with Heavenly Oceans – Sam Bond’s Garage – Eugene, OR {9 Feb} [review]

Runners Up: God of Shamisen at Samurai Duck, EARTH at WOW Hall, Radiohead at White River Amphitheatre, Skerik’s McTuff & Skerik’s Maelstrom Trio at Sam Bond’s Garage, and Raquy and the Cavemen at Cozmic Pizza.

Shows I’m bummed I missed… Beck in Bend, Tegan & Sara in Salem and/or Portland, Sunn 0))) in Portland, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (twice) in Eugene, Glen Phillips in Portland, Chali 2Na & Ozomatli in Portland, Steven Bernstein’s Millenium Territory Orchestra at Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Fest, and next week’s Charlie Hunter in Portland (I wish it weren’t on a Monday). :( Oh well, maybe next year

Of my concert photos this year, I think these are my faves (in no particular order):

  • Jude Christodal
  • Silhouetted Secret Chiefs 3
  • Jason Schimmel & Timb Harris from Secret Chiefs 3
  • Sunspot Doug Pinnick & Ty Tabor from King’s X
  • Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme
  • Nellie McKay
  • Ninja, laser-eyes Lee Smith from God of Shamisen
  • Jónsi Birgisson from Sigur Rós

I’m definitely looking forward to 2009… Dweezil Zappa & Co playing Frank’s music, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, the SF Jazz Collective (with Dave Douglas & Joe Lovano), and Madeleine Peyroux are already on the calendar

~Dan – np: John Zorn Film Works XXII: The Last Supper

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*
This was also the first year in 11 years that I haven’t seen Over the Rhine.  I wish I was able to make it to their reunion show with Ric Hordinski, but alas, I shan’t be able to go.

Past Concert Fave Recap: 2007

Ric Hordinski back with Over the Rhine… one night only

25th Nov 08 (Tue) Leave a comment

I knew about this a bit ago, but don’t know why I never blogged it… anyway, guitar master & production wizard Ric Hordinski (aka Monk) is playing a one-off show with his former band, Over the Rhine, at their annual get together at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati, OH.  This is one of those shows that I’m totally bummed I’ll be missing.  Ric is an amazing guitarist, and Over the Rhine’s sound has been missing a ton of what I loved ever since he left in 1996/1997.  I also assume that original drummer Brian Kelley will be playing with the band, too.  But I haven’t heard either way///

Anyway, one night onlyOver the Rhine with Ric Hordinski, December 19th, 2008 at the Taft Theater, Cincinnati, OH.  Check out http://overtherhine.com/ for more info.

Ric is also doing his annual holiday show at his monastery studio with Ellery (my new favorite husband-wife duo from Cincinnati).  Ellery’s 2006 debut album (Lying Awake) and very recent EP (You Did Everything Right) are among my favs in that genre that includes singing*.

*– Yeah, this year is my first year with more instrumental intake than vocal… alas, I still dig me some folk-pop stylings… especially that of Tasha & Justin Golden (i.e.- Ellery).

The Ric Hordinski & Ellery get together is the week prior (December 12th):

Friday, December 12th :: 7:30pm
– Doors open at 6:00pm, with caroling at 6:30pm
– Tickets are $15, only 100 seats available!

~Dan – np: Steven WilsonInsurgentes

REVIEW: King’s X & Extreme @ Union Center Blvd Bash (Cincinnati, OH – – 8/10/08)

10th Aug 08 (Sun) 14 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW are at the BOTTOM

My wife thinks I’m crazy. I think I agree. I used SkyMiles to fly from Eugene, OR, to Cincinnati, OH, to see two rock bands. I don’t do this often (fly somewhere for a show). Anyway, this time it was for two bands I’ve liked for 15-20 years: King’s X and Extreme. While I love King’s X, I’ve seen them a bunch and they tour a bunch; so the main reason to fly was to see Extreme* – – who broke up 12 years ago.

*– Extreme is much more than that “More Than Words” band (or that “Beethoven jamming in the mall on Bill & Ted’s” band). They wrote great rock songs, great guitars & insightful lyrics, and bordered on art rock in many cases, i.e.- the IIIrd Side (unofficially) starting with “God Isn’t Dead?” and moving into the 23-minute, three-part with orchestration, epic “Everything Under The Sun” on III Sides to Every Story. “Everything Under the Sun” is most likely my 2nd favorite song ever written (Kevin Moore’s “Space-Dye Vest” being #1).

The closest this double-bill tour was coming to me (in Eugene, OR) was Las Vegas… which would mean expensive ticket, expensive hotel, expensive meals, and a city that I find kinda boring (unless you add an expensive Cirque du Soleil show). With that being said, a FREE show with a brother within 2 miles of the festival with a FREE bed to sleep in made this one too good to pass up. [Thanks, David & Alicia!]

The day started with a yummy vegan biscuits & gravy brunch at MELT in lovely Northside and ended with Nuno Bettencourt wailing on guitar in West Chester (home of the Union Center Boulevard Bash). Well, on to the show…

This was my 15th time seeing King’s X. Did I mention I like them? The only thing that’s kept me away from one of their shows within a 200 mile radius would be a wedding. My own wedding. :) Anyway, they put on a great show tonight. Doug Pinnick, Ty Tabor, and Jerry Gaskill are the epitome of a power trio. They put out a wall of sound, heavy, chunky, yet melodic. They were scheduled to play 45 minutes (the ills of a free festival opening slot), but they got a good hour and change to play. Great crowd response, and kudos from Nuno & Co later in the evening. They put on a great set, as usual. And a friend from Nashville texted me unexpectedly while at the show. [It was great to see you, WalruSteve!]


(Doug, Ty, Jerry – not my pic, obviously)

King’s X Setlist:

  • Groove Machine
  • Alright
  • Rocket Ship
  • Black Flag
  • Move
  • Dogman (one of my favs of the set)
  • Pray (with Doug on 12-string bass)
  • We Were Born to Be Loved
  • Go Tell Somebody
  • Looking for Love (one of my favs of the set)
  • Over My Head
  • Encore: King

The spiritually searching lyrics to “Looking for Love” has been a mantra of some sort for me since way back in ’96; so it’s always good when that’s in the set. Doug seemed to be in pretty good spirits. Ty’s hair kept blowing in his face, but that didn’t stop him shreddin’ up the frets. Jerry was killin’ the skins, as usual. The sun was beatin’ down on the band, but they muscled through. Here’s hopin’ this Extreme tour helps them bring some new fans on board.

As for Extreme… This was my 2nd time seeing them. I saw them on their Waiting for the Punchline Tour in 1995 (@ Bogart’s in Cincinnati). They broke up shortly afterwards, as Nuno Bettencourt went on to do some solo stuff and Gary Cherone went on to join Van Halen (which turned out to be a poor choice… as, you know, Van Halen sucks ass). Anyway, when Extreme broke up, it was truly amicable. The band had run its course, the landscape of music wasn’t all that into hardrock with solos (but rather flannel and apathy rockin’ the suburbs), and the guys in Extreme all had different opportunities. A reunion was always a possibility, it was just a function of time…

They had their new CD (Saudades de Rock) at the show… even though it doesn’t come out until Tuesday. Only $10, too. Rock on!!


(Pat, Gary, Nuno, KFigg – not my pic, obviously)

Extreme ripped up the stage for almost two hours, playing a good mix of old songs, new songs, hits, fan favs… KFigg did a great job filling in Paul Geary’s drum “shoes.” Pat Badger’s bass playing was superb. Gary’s voice was on. Nuno was Nuno (i.e.- God) — meedley-meedley-meeeeeeeeeeee (Strongbad Email link)…

Extreme X Setlist:

  • IIIrd Side Intro Music (strings)
  • Decadence Dance
  • Comfortably Dumb (new one)
  • Rest In Peace (one of my favs of the set)
  • Star (new one, with Star-Spangled Banner outro)
  • Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
  • 1989 medley: Kid Ego /
    Little Girls /
    Teacher’s Pet /
    Play With Me
    (Nuno’s solo ripped — one of my favs of the set)
  • Midnight Express (instrumental — one of my favs of the set)
  • More Than Words
  • Ghost (new one, Nuno on piano)
  • Cupid’s Dead
  • Take Us Alive
  • Am I Ever Gonna Change? (one of my favs of the set)
  • Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee (Nuno’s guitar-only take on Tchaikovsky — one of my favs of the set)
  • Get the Funk Out (one of my favs of the set)
  • Encore: Hole Hearted (one of my favs of the set)
  • Communication Breakdown [Led Zeppelin]

Overall… fuppin’ awesome! I am crazy for music, but I love being crazy. :) Being crazy is what keeps me sane.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Yeah, that’s a lotta links… I took a bunch of pictures of both bands. I hope to have them up soon, once I get back home to Oregon and have a chance to edit and upload ’em…

~Dan – np: ExtremeSaudades de Rock

KING’S X (24 pics) & EXTREME (70 pics) CONCERT PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2008 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution
(click to enlarge)

King’s X Band (6):


More band shots: #3, #4, #5, #6

Doug Pinnick (8):


More Doug shots: #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8

Ty Tabor (8):


More Ty shots: #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8

Jerry Gaskill (2):


Sorry, no more Jerry shots.

Extreme Band (19) + Gear (2):


More band shots: Mourning Widows racks, Drums, Band #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, Bow #18, Bow #19

Gary Cherone (7):


More Gary shots: #3, #4, #5, #6, #7

Nuno Bettencourt (21):


More Nuno shots: #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21
Yeah, I’m a bit obsessed with Nuno. :)

Pat Badger (2):


Sorry, no more Pat shots.

Kevin Figueiredo (4):


More KFigg shots: #3, #4

Gary & Nuno (10):


More Gary & Nuno shots: #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10

Nuno & Pat (5):


More Nuno & Pat shots: #3, #4, #5

REVIEW: MusicNOW Fest (Sufjan Stevens, Amiina, My Brightest Diamond…) Cincinnati, April 2007

9th Apr 07 (Mon) 5 comments

I’ll start this 1st review by saying that I truly feel fortunate to live in the city that is hosting this truly wonderful MusicNow Festival. It is elegantly and professionally put together and a trove of new and exciting music (many of the pieces from last night were world premieres).

Music Now Festival – April 5, 2007 (Day 1)
Memorial Hall, Cincinnati, OH

http://musicnowfestival.org/

Pedro Soler:
selected works for solo guitar
We showed up a little late (maybe only 10 minutes), but luckily there were some fabulous seats up near the front left. Pedro plays an amazing flamenco guitar. Very much a virtuoso. I’d say the music was not quite noodling, but also not quite all that melodic either — sort of a cross-between. His technique was fascinating to watch, and it was oft stunning. He played probably 50 minutes or so, ended with a standing ovation. He’s 68 or 69 years old and a world renowned flamenco guitarist, but this is apparently his first tour of the U.S. — with Cincinnati being one of the first dates. Bizarre choice in city to start.

Bryce Dessner’s “Memorial” (2006):
Bryce Dessner (guitar), David Cossin (percussion), Padma Newsome (viola)
This piece for trio showed off some great playing and composition. It was originally composed for the New York Guitar Festival to show off Bryce’s Spanish guitar playing. I’d say it was probably 10-15 minutes (no idea really) with some flair and highlights from Padma and David as well. David’s percussion on this piece made us excited for the next piece…

Tan Dun’s “Water Music” for solo percussion (2007):
David Cossin (percussion)
This was a third arrangement of Dun’s “Water Music.” The initial being for percussion and orchestra and the 2nd being for a percussion quartet. The solo percussion from David Cossin was brilliant and subtley played. Not brilliant in the Alanis “My Humps” way, but brilliant in the soundscapes and avant-garde asthetic kinda way. :P His main “drums” were two big plastic bowls… BIG bowls (10 gallons each is my guess). The opening was a rainfall from a colander. Next up was an odd-looking bulb with water in it, and a stem with strings (or spokes) that David played with a cello bow. It made primarily shreeking, dissonant noises; but then he warbled it around near the mic and the water in the bulb at the base ossilated the sound. Quite neato. He then went on to play different cymbals over (and in) the water and different depths with different mallets, sticks, et cetera. Two of the cooler parts of the set — 1) the wooden bowls of different sizes placed upside-down over the water… think “water tom” drums. Nice, full sounds… he played these with bigger tympani-like sticks, as well as with his hands. And 2) the water trombone… it was a clear boxy basin of water with a clear, slender tube in it. He hit it with something that resembled a Croc shoe (but wasn’t), and he raised the tube up and down. Again, “water trombone” is the best description.

Anyway, I’m a fan of one-man musical freak-shows (That1Guy, Buckethead) and a fan of composed and avant-garde music (Zorn, Zappa, et al). This was a pleasant combination of all three of those aspects of experimental music. David Cossin’s performance wins my “surprise enjoyment” award for the evening. Surpise in that I didn’t know so many artists were playing Thursday night, but I’m glad he did. The other musicians that evening were also probably glad that their gear wasn’t set up too near his 20 gallons or so of water… as some of it made its way on to the stage.

Maria Huld Markan’s “Thorri” (2007):
Hildur Ársælsdóttir (saw), David Cossin (marimba), Osso Quartet: Maria Jeffers (cello), Marla Hansen (viola), Oliver Manchon (violin), Rob Moose (violin)
Written by Markan of Amiina and performed here for the first time in public… it had a good vibe. Very much like most chamber music I’ve heard, but with a slight world feel (marimba) and oddities from the saw. It wasn’t as captivating/electronic as Amiina’s music, but I enjoyed it. Maria’s intro to it was funny. The title of the piece (Thorri) is all about what Icelanders call the Jan/Feb period in winter. They have a festival where they eat traditional, yet disgusting foods… “rotten shark” and “sour ram testicles” were uttered in an accent that was not-unlike that of Björk. Quaint. Anyway, she wrote the piece in London because she missed the bright, crisp winters she had in Iceland while suffering through a grey, rainy London winter. Great music, too…

Sufjan Stevens’ selections from Enjoy Your Rabbit arranged for string quartet (2007):
Michael Atkinson (arrangements), Osso Quartet: Maria Jeffers (cello), Marla Hansen (viola), Oliver Manchon (violin), Rob Moose (violin)

Enjoy Your Rabbit is Sufjan’s experimental, instrumental electronic album. When I first got in to Sufjan, I actually liked this album the best (it’s fucking weird as was what I was craving musically at the time). Anyway, “selections from Enjoy Your Rabbit arranged for string quartet” was actually one of the biggest draws for me for this festival in the first place. I heart Enjoy Your Rabbit; and, bonus, I heart string quartets. The formerly unnamed string quartet (named themselves “Osso” {aw-so} from the stage last night) played the selections in a very chamber music way, but paying attention to the electronic blips-and-beeps from the original by vocally “shushing,” playing pizzicato, and plucking or beating on their instruments to translate the electronic structure for their organic instruments. They played what I figured they would… the more melodic tunes from the album: Year of the Ox, Enjoy Your Rabbit, Year of the Lord, and Year of the Boar. Great stuff, and I was thrilled to be part of this world premiere.


Padma Newsome / Clogs Songs (2007):
Shara Worden (vocals), Sufjan Stevens (vocals, banjo, celeste), Padma Newsome (vocals, viola, harmonium, celeste), Rachel Elliott (bassoon, celeste), Thomas Kozumplik (percussion), David Cossin (percussion), Aaron Dessner (bass, guitar), Bryce Dessner (mandola, ukelele, guitar), Maria Jeffers (cello), Marla Hansen (viola), Oliver Manchon (violin), Rob Moose (violin), Michael Atkinson (horn), Irena & Vojt–ch Havel (cellos)
Another world premiere… the Clogs had heretofore been primarily an instrumental band. This collaborative Clogs (fronted by Padma Newsome and Bryce Dessner) featured more “traditional” song structures and *gasp* vocals. Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) lended her operatic voice to the first three songs (“On the Edge,” “The Owl of Love,” and “The Adages of Cleansing”). She’s got a beautiful voice, but I don’t think it matched well with the songs. Viola-playing Padma switched to vocals and harmonium for the 4th song (“Red Seas”). Sufjan joined the percussionist to play the celeste (like a super-sized toy piano). The Osso string quartet also joined the band for some songs (I forget which ones). The last song (“We Were Here”) featured Sufjan on vocals and banjo and Shara Worden came out and sang with Sufjan. All in all, a great set…

I’m looking forward to Day 2 (Amiina & My Brightest Diamond) and 3 (The Havels & Sufjan).

Music Now Festival – April 6, 2007 (Day 2)
Memorial Hall, Cincinnati, OH

http://musicnowfestival.org/

Amiina:
Maria Huld Markan Sugjusdóttir, Hildur Ársælsdóttir, Edda Rún Ólafsdóttir, Sólrún Sumarliadóttir
I like Amiina a lot, having seen them open for Sigur Rós several times, and this show didn’t disappoint. It was good to pick up their debut LP (Kurr) without having to pay tons in shipping. Their sound also featured some gentle vocals in several tracks, which is a new direction for them. It almost seemed to Enya-y for me, but that’s OK. Maybe it’ll replace Bob Johnson‘s Musings as our house’s 1 massage CD (“oh no, not Bob Johnson!“). I dug their hour long set — it was a good mix of the string/organic sound and electronics. It was a very similar set-up as previous shows… instruments everywhere and the girls roaming about and playing just about everything. The saw song (“Seoul”) was played. They also had a short last song where all four girls played saws of various lengths. I can’t say I saw that coming…  :D

My Brightest Diamond:
Shara worden (vocals, guitar, piano), Osso Quartet: Maria Jeffers (cello), Marla Hansen (viola), Oliver Manchon (violin), Rob Moose (violin)
Shara Worden’s been a favorite vocalist of mine since I first heard her on MySpace. Bring Me the Workhorse, her debut album under the My Brightest Diamond moniker (she has three discs as AwRy), was one of my favorite CDs in 2006. Anyway, I knew what to expect going in, but she still blew me away. Her vocals are quite possibly the richest, most beautiful in indie rock. She’s got the delicate, quirky pixie side and the grandiose, powerful operatic side. It’s compelling to see her sing. The last time I saw her, she had more of a rock-meets-strings setup. This time around, her backing band was solely the Osso string quartet (no drums/bass). I scribbled down the song titles, but I know I’m guessing on some in the italics (she didn’t give the name, or I forgot it/couldn’t hear her totally)… Apples (a very cute song), Dragonfly (from Workhorse), If I Were Queen, Bass Player (a new song), Disappear (from Workhorse), Goodbye Forever (which had the lyrics “A Thousand Shark’s Teeth” which will be her new album title), Clean Through, Gone Away (from Workhorse), Riding Horses (from her AwRy Quiet B-Sides disc), New Dawn/Day/Life (Nina Simone standard), Golden Star (from Workhorse), Black and Gusteaux (the French Sherlock Holmes), Youkali (gorgeous French lyrics, a cover from her AwRy Quiet B-Sides disc). A fantastic performance.

Sufjan is tonight… Shara and the Osso quartet will be backing him. yay!

Music Now Festival – April 7, 2007 (Day 3)
Memorial Hall, Cincinnati, OH

http://musicnowfestival.org/

Irena & Vojtech Havel:
cellos, piano strings, piano
The sister of festival curator Bryce Dessner went to Prague in the mid-80’s and bought a CD by the Havels and brought it home. That CD would shape Bryce’s musical interests as he progressed into songwriting. He essentially went on a 15-20 year hunt for this band from Prague, but finally made contact last year in order to bring them to Cincinnati to play at this festival (made possible by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council). Some people in the audience might not have liked the Havels, but I thought they were quite compelling to watch – – except for perhaps when Irena was singing (I liked it more when they were both cello-ing). They played for about an hour, 10 minutes of which was vocal and the rest was all instrumental – – chiefly avant-garde, but more composed in nature than noodling, IMO. There was some bird chirping and kittie meowing cello lines, but there were also some more standard scales. Their dual cello work was all over the place, but still structured, sort of. I loved it when they were complimenting each other (one upbeat, one downbeat). I also liked some of the more adventurous plucking below the bridge and almost strumming the cello like a guitar (rather than pizzicato). Their second to last bit was of both of them playing the piano, Irena sitting and after Vojt–ch finished on the cello he came around and played on her right, then, while standing started playing on both her right and left. It was sweet and romantic.

Sufjan Stevens:
Sufjan Stevens (vocals, guitar, banjo, piano, harmonium, celeste), Shara Worden (vocals, celeste, piano), Bryce Dessner (guitar), Michael Atkinson (horn), Rachael Elliott (bassoon), Padma Newsome (viola), Osso Quartet: Maria Jeffers (cello), Marla Hansen (viola), Oliver Manchon (violin), Rob Moose (violin)

The first time I saw Sufjan live, he and his band dressed up as cheerleaders. The second time I saw him live, he had on huge bird wings, and his band had on butterfly wings. This time, it was all about the music… no costume gimmicks. He and his lovely string-based band put on a great show. Probably my only regret in setlist was that they didn’t play “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From the Dead!! Ahhhh!” (my favorite from Illinoise), but all-in-all, it was a great-sounding, moving set… hour and a half, I think.

Here are the songs that they played (I’m not claiming 100% accuracy)…

  • “Jupiter to June” (titled guess… song from way back in his unreleased conceptual songbook about the planets)
  • “Dad’s Girlfriend” (titled guess… Sufjan on solo banjo… song about one of his dad’s crazy girlfriends)
  • Three Stars (new one?)
  • The Avalanche (from the vinyl & iTunes version of Come on Feel the Illinoise and the CD version of The Avalanche)
  • All the Trees of the Fields Will Clap Their Hands (from Seven Swans)
  • The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us! (from Illinoise)
  • Casimir Pulaski Day (from Illinoise)
  • John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (from Illinoise)
  • Come On! Feel The Illinoise! (Part 1: The World’s Columbian Exposition; Part 2: Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream) (from Illinoise)
  • “???” (a new one… I think I zoned out)
  • The Transfiguration (from Seven Swans)
  • Year of the Boar (played by the string quartet, Osso… from Enjoy Your Rabbit)
  • Seven Swans (from Seven Swans)
  • ENCORE: To Be Alone With You (Sufjan solo guitar… from Seven Swans)

It seemed heavy on the Seven Swans/Jebus-y stuff, but seeing as it was “Zombie Carpenter Eve” this night, I understand why… there also may have been an instrumental or two from Michigan and/or Illinoise that I didn’t know the name — thus it didn’t make it in my notes…

Fantastic festival. Day 2 was probably the most favorite, but all three days were utterly enjoyable.

~Dan

Favorite Local Artists’ Albums of 2006 (Cincinnati, OH)

30th Nov 06 (Thu) Leave a comment

FAV Albums of 2006 coming in a month or so…

My Favorite Local* Artists’ Albums for 2006:
* – local for me equals the Dayton/Cincinnati, OH-area.

1) NoctalucaTowering the Sum ~ Long, long, long awaited debut album from Jason Ludwig-fronted rock band Noctaluca. Solid, powerful, well-crafted rock songs in a loose-concept album. Overall, a crowd pleaser. I loved Jason Ludwig solo, but I’m really digging his band — and his vocals are superb. The only dissappointment with the album is that it didn’t include the early Noctaluca song “Monkey Moon.” Kim Taylor also makes an appearance on backup vocals on the sprawling “My Magic Hour.” All of the album’s artwork is from (legendary?) Gottfried Helnwein. If you love good rock music, this is one of my favs this year.

2) (tie) ElleryLying Awake ~ Ellery are quickly becoming my new favorite wife-husband duo from Cincinnati. Eh… sue me, Apples. Passionate, well-crafted pop songs… and Tasha’s vocals are simply surreal. Former-Over the Rhine guitarist Ric Hordinski and (Cincinnati drummer/percussionist-extraordinaire) Josh Seurkamp appear on the album (Ric produced half of it). I first heard (of) Ellery when they opened up for my friend Ashley Peacock in 2005, and then I first heard them (for real) when they opened up for the ever-wonderful Ryan Adcock at his EP-release party earlier in 2006 (see below). Anyway, I think I’ve seen Ellery 4 or 5 times since then… and I’ve got ’em on my calendar 2 more times for the month of December… rolleyes.gif You all owe yourself a new fantastic CD by Ellery.

2) (tie) Kim TaylorI Feel Like a Fading Light ~ Kim’s debut album (So Black, So Bright) was fantastic. Her extended play, also fantastic, gave us a glimpse of what Ric Hordinski could do for her… then she toured a-plenty in 2005 with Over the Rhine, which made the “production by Ric” somewhat of a difficult scheduling situation. In September of 2006, after re-recording with a new producer (Jimmy Zhivago), her sophomore full-length album finally dropped. It was worth the wait. While I’m missing the Ric & Josh element in Kim’s live sound… her songwriting and vocals are still what make her a special artist. Josh Seurkamp does drum & “percuss” on some tracks… which makes all three of these “Favorite Local Albums of 2006” connected… or incestual, perhaps. I look forward to more Kim Taylor in the future.

All three of which have a serious chance of being in my Top XX list for 2006 overall…

Favorite Local -EP- for 2006:
?) Ryan AdcockUnfinished -EP- ~ Ryan’s first two albums (Like Orville Stared at Air -and- From Silence and Joy) remain frequent “pull out and listen” albums in our house. Unfinished is comprised of 5 songs — full-band “singer-songwriter in rock mode” songs that expand upon his great songwriting from his first two albums. The only problem is that you’re actually wishing it were a full album. Here’s where Ryan got clever… on the actual slipcase for the -EP-, he’s got the missing tracks listed, and you can download the 5 acoustic tracks from his website and put them all in order and viola… a full-length album (with new artwork on the site, too). My run-on sentences notwithstanding, it’s a solid EP with a little web add-on that makes it bigger. In other Ryan releases this year, he was on a Cincinnati Reds album called Cincinnati Clutch Hits. The album (as a whole) is on par with “would someone do me a courtesy and keeeeeeeellll meeeeeee!!” (to quote the “having a bad time in the bathroom” rabbit on TV’s Greg the Bunny). However-however-however, Ryan Adcock’s song (“The Cul-de-sac League“) is brilliant, funny, and well… sweet. Ryan’s and Greg Mahan‘s songs are the only ones I enjoy on that album, and luckily can be bought online by themselvessmile.gif

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Website: http://www.ryanadcock.com/
MySpace: http://myspace.com/ryanadcock ?disappearing myspace page?

~Dan – np: XtatikaTongue Bath
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