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REVIEW: Nellie McKay’s ‘I Want To Live!’ in Oregon @ the Shedd & Alberta Rose Theatre (Eugene 3/2/12 & Portland 3/4/12)

6th Mar 12 (Tue) 2 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOWs at the BOTTOM

I’ve seen Nellie McKay quite a bit since moving to Oregon.  She plays two-week residencies in New York on occasion (lucky!!), but she rarely hit the Midwest when I lived there.  Now that I’m here in the Northwest, I’m glad that she tried to swing by at least annually.  This time was for her new project, yet to be released officially in any form… I Want To Live! – a story of Barbara Graham, the third woman to be executed in the State of California (via the gas chamber at San Quentin).  It’s loosely based on the 1958 film of the same name.

This death row theme shouldn’t be a shock for fans of McKay.  She’s never been afraid to push boundaries – hitting political hot-button issues right out of the gate with her debut album, Get Away From Me (“Sari,” “It’s a Pose,” “Won’t U Please B Nice,” et cetera), and some of her non-jazz-standard followups Pretty Little Head (“Cupcake” and “The Big One”) and Obligatory Villagers (“Mother of Pearl”).

In person, though, she’s as lovable and jovial as some of her adorable, campy press photos suggest.  She’s also a great thinker, great interpreter of classics & standards, and a great artist in her own right.  She may have been “born in the wrong era” (her words), but she’s doing the best with her love of the classics by making a great mark and not giving in to the current trends in what a jazz/pop “woman and a piano” should sound or act.

The first hour of the I Want To Live! tour makes up the story of a woman who falls in with the wrong people, gets caught up in a crime, and – whether innocent or not – is found guilty of murder.  Nellie plays all of the emotions perfectly.  Love, mystery, joy, pain, frustration – all while weaving in standards and her own tunes to tell Barbara Graham’s story.  While she hints at Graham’s fervor for being innocent, Nellie leaves her opinion about guilt or innocence out of the musical.  She also leaves her opinion of the death penalty out of it, which – quite honestly – was shocking that she didn’t add some of her thoughts on it, specifically due to her past as being very politically opinionated.  Perhaps that will show up in the liner notes if this gets released as an CD or DVD some day…

 

I Want To Live! setlist: about an hour (both nights)

  • Billie’s Bounce [Charlie Parker]
  • Purple Haze [Jimi Hendrix]
  • Swingin’ On The Reservation [Ella Fitzgerald]
  • Please
  • Pity The Downtrodden Landlord [Woolf/Clayton]
  • April Showers [DeSylva/Silvers]
  • Isn’t It A Lovely Day [Irving Berlin]
  • They Say It’s Spring [Blossom Dearie]
  • Some Other Spring [Billie Holiday]
  • I Only Have Eyes For You [Warren/Dubin]
  • Don’t Worry Be Happy [Bobby McFerrin]
  • The Down Low
  • Call The Police [Nat King Cole]
  • Twinkle In Your Eye [Burl Ives]
  • Song For Troy Davis
  • I’m So Tired [The Beatles]
  • There You Are In Me
  • Small Day Tomorrow [Landesman/Dorough]
  • Chelsea Bridge [Billy Strayhorn]
  • Genius Of Love [Tom Tom Club]
  • Ah! The Sweet Mystery Of Life [from Naughty Marietta operetta by Young/Herbert] (gorgeous operatic chops on Nellie for this one)
  • Straight To The Top [Tom Waits]
    I think I got all of the cover tunes identified, if not, please comment& I’ll correct.

Eugene setlist, post-IWTL! (3/2): about 30 mins

  • One’s On the Way [Shel Silverstein]
  • Midnight Sun [Ella Fitzgerald]
  • ¡Bodega!
  • Clonie (audience request)
  • Sari (audience request)
  • Encore: A Wonderful Guy [Doris Day]
  • The Dog Song

Portland setlist, post-IWTL! (3/4): about 30 mins

  • The Dog Song
  • In a Sentimental Mood [Duke Ellington] (with false start)
  • Caribbean Time
  • I Will Always Love You [Whitney Houston] (snippet)
  • Encore: One’s On the Way [Shel Silverstein] (dedicated to Rick Santorum)
  • Mother of Pearl (with Michele Bachmann tagline at end)
  • I Wanna Get Married

Two wonderfully entertaining nights in Oregon.  Nellie and her band are excellent performers and entertainers.  Through wardrobe changes, police chases, drug addiction, and working in different musical genres – the band was on point.  At one point, the saxophonist mimics a crying baby simply with his mouth as the instrument, and it drives you mad how amazing he pulls it off without a talkbox or effects.

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… Adam Carolla @ the Newmark (3/11) and Puscifer @ the Schnitzer (3/14).

~Dan – np: Steven WilsonCatalogue / Preserve / Amass (live in Europe)

NELLIE McKAY PHOTOS
Eugene (53 pics) then Portland (32 pics)
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Nellie’s 2012 Winter/Spring Tour Dates (so far)

  • 1/25 & 1/26 – Minneapolis, MN Dakota
  • 2/9 – Lafayette, IN Duncan Hall
  • 2/10 & 2/11 – Elgin, IL Elgin Community College Arts Center
  • 2/12 – Louisville, KY Bomhard Theater
  • 2/25 – Park City, UT Eccles Center
  • 2/28 & 2/29 – San Francisco, CA Rrazz Room
  • 3/2 – Eugene, OR Shedd Institute
  • 3/3 – Kirkland, WA Kirkland Performing Arts Center
  • 3/4 – Portland, OR Alberta Rose Theatre
  • 3/7 – Chico, CA Laxson Auditorium
  • 3/8 – Santa Cruz, CA Kuumbwa Jazz Center
  • 3/9 – Hollywood, CA Catalina Jazz Club
  • 3/20 to 3/31 – New York, NY Feinstein’s at Loews Regency
    ^^^^ “SILENT SPRING – It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature”
  • 4/26 – Alexandria, VA The Birchmere Music Hall
  • 5/19 – Denver, CO Swallow Hill

Nellie McKay in Oregon *this* weekend

29th Feb 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Nellie McKay plays the Shedd in Eugene on Friday, March 2nd and the Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland on Sunday, March 4th.  Tickets are still available for both Oregon shows… so, get on it.  You won’t be disappointed!  I’ll have a review with setlists and photos of both shows posted early next week (likely by Tuesday).

I Want to Live!  a musical death row revue, conjures the life story of “a woman of dubious moral standards often a guest in seedy bars.”

New York Times’ Stephen Holden writes, “Inspired by the 1958 movie of the same name, I Want to Live! combines Nellie McKay’s virtually unlimited gifts as a singer, songwriter, actress, pianist, ukulele player, mimic, satirist and comedian into a show that is much deeper than its surface might suggest.  In the most lighthearted way they evoke a heartless environment of social injustice in which people who fall through the cracks are invisible to everyone else.”

“Pretty darned unique,” adds Michael Musto of the Village Voice.

“The McKay voice is a knife edged with honey. Which is good, because the words she writes are razor sharp beneath a homespun mantle.”Tony Gieske

It’s a rare treat to have Nellie in our neck of the woods; so I’ll be at both the Eugene and Portland shows. :)

~Dan – np: TW WalshSongs of Pain and Leisure

Bad Veins “Dancing on TV” (video premiere)

8th Feb 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Secret Chiefs 3 & Dengue Fever reviews/setlists/photos from the Eugene & Portland gigs to be
posted tomorrow (Thursday 2/9).  Go here for a teaser… now on to some music news…

As previously mentioned, Cincinnati indie power-pop duo Bad Veins have a new album coming out soon… April 24th – The Mess We’ve Made (Modern Outsider Records).  They just released their video for “Dancing on TV,” featuring a quaint 70s retro vision and the Bad Veins signature move of girl-meets-boy and missed connections… ’tis quite cute:

Pre-order for The Mess We’ve Made is coming soon, per the label.  Bad Veins are not hitting my coast this time… but here are some of their spring tour dates:

Bad Veins 2012 Tour Dates
03/19 – Denver, CO @ Hi Dive *

03/20 – Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room *
03/21 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater *
03/22 – Dekalb, IL @ The House *
03/23 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge *
03/24 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Lounge *
03/25 – Iowa City, IA @ The Blue Moose Tap *
03/27 – Bloomington, IN @ Bluebird Nightclub *
03/28 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall *
03/29 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/ In *
03/30 – Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree *
03/31 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade *
04/02 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar *
04/03 – Miami, FL @ Bardot *
04/04 – Orlando, FL @ The Social *
04/05 – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern *
04/07 – Durham, NC @ Motorco *
04/10 – Baltimore, MD @ Sonar *
04/11 – Pawtucket, RI @ The Met Café *
04/12 –  Hamden, CT @ The Space *
04/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy
04/14 – Annapolis, MA @ The Whiskey
04/15 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
04/16 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
05/31 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues ^
06/01 – Austin, TX @ Stubbs BBQ ^
06/04 – Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theater ^
06/05 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution ^
06/06 – Tampa, FL @ The Ritz ^
06/10 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade ^
06/11 – Carrboro,NC @ Cat’s Cradle ^
06/12 – Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live! ^

* = w/ We Were Promised Jetpacks
^ = w/ Two Door Cinema Club

~Dan – np: Sean LennonRosencrantz & Guildenstern are Undead

Jude… working on new music…

26th Jan 12 (Thu) Leave a comment

You/all/everybody… have been waiting for a follow-up to the last Jude studio album – technically 2006’s Redemption.  He has put out some music since then (the Low Stars album, the Cuba b-sides record, some music for TV’s LOST), but he’s still been in fairly silent mode.

Well on 1/24/2012, he posted…

New Album of Songs

I’ve decided to cobble together some unfinished records and make some new recordings as well. I’m past the point of pain from the writing, past the preciousness that keeps me from finishing songs, and past the point of thinking each track can change my life. So, with that remarkably confident build-up, in case anyone is still out there reading this, I love you for listening, and I hope to please you with this next work.

All I can do is try to be truthful in the songs. My instrument (vox) ain’t exactly what it used to be, but I’ll try to hide that from you with magical over-tracking, just like all the cool kids do now :)

Peace be with you. I expect to take a month, and then maybe get it out this Spring or something, no need to wait, right?

Now be patient and kind or I’ll crawl back into my hole! Oh, and Happy 2012. Peace be with us all.

Wow, no news and then hopefully a new album by Spring?  Yay!

~Dan – np: Damien JuradoMaraqopa

4 8 15 16 23 42 Lost numbers

The Chance Brothers “Ruby”

24th Jan 12 (Tue) 1 comment

One of my good friends from Cincinnati, Ashley Peacock, is back in the saddle making music again. His new band is called the Chance Brothers (Ash is “Butch Chance” and Todd Gilbert is “Bobby Chance”). The recorded their debut album over the holidays, and they just released the first single online – “Ruby.”

Check it out here:

Their album will come out in 2012… Follow them here:

If you’re in the Cincinnati area, they play the 86 Club on Saturday, January 28th (FB Event).

~Dan – np: Frank Zappa & Captain BeefheartBongo Fury

Over the Rhine on The Portland Sessions

5th Jan 12 (Thu) 1 comment

Last November, Cincinnati-based folk-Americana band Over the Rhine stopped by Portland, Oregon.  Their show at the Aladdin Theater on 11/17 is recounted at my post HERE.

From the stage, singer Karin Bergquist mentioned that they had stopped by and recorded in-studio with The Portland SessionsTPS wasn’t up and running yet, but it is now posted… enjoy all 26 minutes!

They play “The King Knows How” (dedicated to Elvis), “Oh Yeah by the Way,” the new song that I’m unofficially calling “On The Sacred Ground,” the Good Dog Bad Dog classic “Latter Days,” and end it with a Q&A.

Follow Over the Rhine: WEB / FB / Tw
Follow The Portland Sessions: WEB / FB / Tw

~Dan – np: Year of the RabbitYear of the Rabbit

Damien Jurado – Static To Be Sold @ Pickathon (7″ release)

3rd Jan 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

The first session posted and the last session recorded from Pickathon 2011, Seattle-based singer-songwriter Damien Jurado and his new band take us through “Static To Be Sold” recorded by Live & Breathing in the Pickathon Pumphouse:

 

Per Damien, the song won’t be on the record, but will be out on a 7″ vinyl…



On February 21, Secretly Canadian will be releasing the upcoming Damien Jurado LP, Maraqopa, another collaboration with musician/producer and Cottage Grove-Oregon resident, Richard Swift.

Go HERE for more info on Maraqopa.  You can pre-order it HERE on CD or vinyl.  There’s also a free mp3 download of “Nothing is the News” here:

~Dan – np: WussyFuneral Dress

2011 mix

24th Dec 11 (Sat) 6 comments

Time for this year’s mix CD, except I decided to go CD-free this year.  It’s still formatted to stay contained on one CD (20 tracks ~77 mins); so if you want to download the whole shebang and burn to a CD – go for it!

Check out 2009’s mix over here and 2010’s mix over here.  No major theme this time like some of my prior mixes (4 Elements & A-to-Z mixes)… the only rule I placed before myself was that everything is current (i.e.- released in 2011).  This year’s mix ended up mellower than most mixes from me.  There are a few rock songs, but whilst re-listening, it’s definitely less rocky.  I hope you enjoy.

The following songs were put on the mix from mostly lossless sources where possible and 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, Facebook, and Amazon links are available for each song below. I’ve also included concert review links if I’ve seen the artist recently.

Download the ZIP File (136M) available *HERE*, extract then drag & drop the mp3 files to your iTunes (or other playback software).

All Songs Streaming Playlist (click arrows to skip back & forth… for individual songs find them below. Note: Track 20 has explicit content.)

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01 PusciferThe Green Valley” from Conditions 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).  While there are some rockers (maybe 1/3 of the album), this song is fairly representative of the feel of the album.  It’s my #1 album in 2011.

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02 My Brightest DiamondBe Brave” from All 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 (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.  It’s my #2 album in 2011.  I can’t praise it enough!

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03 Ric HordinskiMy Pretty Bagatelle” from Arthur’s Garden

Guitarist extraordinaire Ric Hordinski (formerly of Over the Rhine – in their rockier days) has been a favorite of mine for a LONG TIME. He’s the kind of guitarist who is subtle and unassuming in his approach, but you end up wracking your brain how he gets such lush and complex sounds out of the frets.  This album was part of a Kickstarter campaign, and while the physical manifestation hasn’t hit my mailbox yet, I was happy he sent it out to Kickstarter funders early.  It’s such a great record… you can get it now on bandcamp!

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04 Goddamn Electric BillSin” from Jazz

GdEB is the one-man brainchild of Jason Torbert.  He hits the spot for organic electronic meets post-rock for me.  Ambient at times, melodic other times.  His latest work has featured some vocals, but he’s primarily a groove-induced soundscape kind of guy.  Chirps and glitches, too.  Excellent stuff!

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05 RadioheadCodex” from The King of Limbs

I could probably put the “indie” icon next to Radiohead, too… 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.

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06 Garage A TroisAssault on Precinct 13” from Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil

Skerik, Stanton Moore, Marco Benevento (who replaced Charlie Hunter) and Mike Dillon make their way through Oregon quite a bit.  They are a sight to see – you don’t know exactly what kind of show you’ll get, but it’s definitely a fun time.  Fun, groove-oriented “new jazz.”

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07 dredgThe Tent” from Chuckles 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, this new album does a hearty job of maintaining their quality rock standards.

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08 Tres Mts.Makes Me Feel” from Three Mountains

Supergroup made up of dUg Pinnick of King’s X, Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, and Richard Stuverud of the Fastbacks.  They jangle through about an hour of solid rock tunes… more closely resembling a soulful King’s X trajectory vs. Pearl Jam – mainly due to dUg’s vocal duties.  This is a great trio that I hope isn’t a one-off.  With King’s X on tour in 2012, I doubt we’ll hear more from Tres Mts for a while, though.

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09 Chamberlain/Krauss/PhelpsEverest” from Modular: Sonic Explorations

Gorgeous soundscapes from Matt Chamberlain, Viktor Krauss, and Dan Phelps.  The Modular Project is the collaboration of the aforementioned musicians working together to “discover what the spontaneous and organic manipulation of sound can yield. Inspired by the world around them, they set out to discover what it might sound like when continents shift, clouds form, and roots push through soil.”  This track, “Everest,” features one of my favorite cellists – Eyvind Kang (who has worked with Secret Chiefs 3, John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Mike Patton).  It’s a great mix of cello, vibes and soaring atmosphere.  It’s only available digitally or on vinyl (it’s a luscious triple-gatefold!)…

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10 Jeffrey FoucaultPasserines” from Horse 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 Prine-esque songwriter for the new generation.

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11 Peter Mulvey & David GoodrichDrumlin Trail” from Nine Days Wonder

Peter Mulvey has toured all over the US and the world for about 2 decades.  Some of the first times I saw him in concert, he had “Goody” with him on backing guitar.  They don’t get a chance to tour together much lately, but they did find some time to hole-up inside a studio to write and record some instrumental guitar duets.  While I love Peter’s vocal storytelling, it’s nice to hear his and Goody’s instrumental interplay tell a different story.

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12 Steven WilsonHome in Negative” from Grace 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.

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13 WussyPulverized” from Strawberry

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).

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14 PomplamooseTelephone” from The Album You Bought At Our Show…

This is the song that got me into Pomplamoose.  It’s a cover of the collaboration between Lady Gaga and Beyoncé (whose ridiculous but still kind awesome original video has 129 million hits as of Dec 2011).  Pomplamoose does “video songs,” and this was the hook to lure me in.  Click the image at the left to see their video of the song.  The CD came out this year as part of their first tour ever… which I caught in Portland.  Excellent, fun band!

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15 David BazanWolves at the Door” from Strange 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.

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16 John ZornSong of Experience” from At the Gates of Paradise

“Channeling the work of Romantic visionary William Blake and ancient Gnostic writings from the Nag Hammadi archives, At the Gates of Paradise is the newest installment in Zorn’s ever growing catalog of mystical works. The music is filled with bright light and a childlike innocence, and ranges from long form compositions with constantly shifting time signatures that unfold with a compelling inner logic to mysterious ballads and hypnotic moods.”  The album features a quartet that I know and love from many jazz/avant outfits: drummer Joey Baron (Masada and many more), bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr Bungle, Fantômas, Nels Cline Singers), keyboardist John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood) and vibraphonist Kenny Wollesen (Sex Mob, Electric Masada, etc).

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17 Over the RhineDays Like This” from The 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.  This tune was written by fellow Cincinnati singer-songwriter Kim Taylor (it originally appeared on her 2008 EP The Greatest Story).  I’d highly recommend checking her out as well.

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18 Elysian FieldsSleepover” from Last 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.

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19 Kevin MooreHypnogogic” from Shine

This is a little palette cleanser for the mix CD – right before the end.  Kevin Moore’s main projects are the trippy/sample-heavy Chroma Key & heavier prog collaboration band O.S.I. (with Jim Matheos).  Shine is the soundtrack to the 2006 Turkish film Küçük Kiyamet (“Little Apocalypse“).  It came out in early 2011 after a successful Kickstarter in 2010.  The next album from O.S.I. comes out in February 2012 on Metal Blade.  I can almost guarantee it will be my Top album of 2012, and I haven’t heard a shred of it yet.

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20 Childish GambinoHeartbeat” from Camp (warning: explicit content)

I first heard of Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) like many people – via television.  Donald plays Troy Barnes on NBC’s Community.  I’ve heard a few of his albums, but this was his first full-length with a wide release.  This song almost didn’t make the cut, but the melody in the chorus and the grinding keyboards just made it to difficult to ultimately cut from the mix.  Brilliant song about the messiness of dating.  If you’d like the “clean” version of the song, there is a “clean” version of the whole album on Amazon.

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Near misses from the mix: something from Earth’s Angels of Darkness Demons of Light 1 & Opeth’s Heritage (songs are too long) and Azealia Bank’s “212” (infectious as hell)… plus songs from several other albums that’ll still be on my Best of 2011 lists (coming soon).

Let me know what you think… If you enjoyed what you heard, please support the music.  Definitely feel free to pass the link the mix along:

http://tinyurl.com/MixyD2011

~Dan – np: Florence + the MachineCeremonials

there are no torrents, free mp3 or other downloads available

Glen Phillips “The Next Day” (free download)

16th Dec 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

On Wednesday, Glen Phillips (from Toad the Wet Sprocket) released a free download of a new song, “The Next Day.”  Go get it on his bandcamp site…

http://glenphillips.bandcamp.com/track/the-next-day-2

From the 12/13/11 show at Soho in Santa Barbara. Closest I will make it to a holiday song this year. More of an OWS support ditty with a seasonal reference in the chorus… Be happy, be well.

Also, rest in peace, Christopher Hitchens.  You were great.  God is Not Great.

~Dan – np: WussyStrawberry

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

Derek Webb – Democracy Vol 2 #9

13th Dec 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

One a month, from March to December 2011…

Derek Webb’s Democracy Vol 2… This month, it is “Falling Slowly” by The Swell Season. It starts out not as expected, a little more rough around the edges compared to the original.  I love this song, though – and I think Derek does it justice.

For those not in the know, Democracy Vol 2 is a continuation of the covers project Derek started last year. The fans get to nominate songs and then vote once the nominations are tallied. Here’s what he’s done in 2010 and 2011 to date (you can still go back and buy this volume):

  • January 2010: The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • February: Coldplay – Fix You
  • March: Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’
  • April: Gnarls Barkley – Who’s Gonna Save My Soul
  • May: Sufjan Stevens – Chicago *a personal fave*
  • June: U2 – Where the Streets Have No Name
  • July: Huey Lewis & the News – Power of Love
  • August: The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby *a personal fave*
  • September: Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence
  • October: Radiohead – Karma Police *a personal fave*
  • November: Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
  • December: Robert Robinson (traditional hymn) – Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  • January 2011: off
  • February: off
  • March: Cee-Lo Green – F**k You *a personal fave*
  • April: Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
  • May: The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
  • June: U2 – One
  • July: Dallán Forgaill (traditional hymn) – Be Thou My Vision
  • August: Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • September: The Beatles – Revolution *a personal fave*
  • October: Rich Mullins – Creed
  • November: The Swell Season – Falling Slowly

~Dan – np: Childish Gambino Camp

Democracy Vol. 2 is a series of subscription based albums of cover songs that Derek will be recording annually, starting January 2010. Those who participate will not only receive the exclusive album, but will democratically decide what songs Derek will record.

Ever wished you could hear Derek cover your favorite Beatles song? Or Backstreet Boys song? Or even re-record your favorite old Caedmon’s Call song? Here’s your chance. Songs will be nominated and voted down to 10. Derek will record them (demo quality) and deliver them digitally (320kbps MP3s), one song per month for 10 months (March to December). Don’t miss your chance to be part of this unique collaborative project with Derek Webb!

RECAP: Glen Phillips @ Stageit Sofa Sundays (Santa Barbara, CA – 11/27/11)

27th Nov 11 (Sun) Leave a comment

Glen Phillips (from Toad the Wet Sprocket & Works Progress Administration) has been doing what he calls “Sofa Sundays” on Stageit.com for a couple months now.  I didn’t know what it was all about until the last one (after it happened).  He sits down in his living room and plays (at least) 30 minutes of music directly to his computer-connected audience.  His shows thus far have cost only $3, and you can pay more (in tips) – but it’s limited to the first 250 people who buy tickets.  You can make requests and also chat with others in “attendance.”  Here’s what he played…

11/27/11 Setlist: ~50 minutes

  • Train Wreck
  • Nanci [Toad the Wet Sprocket]
  • The Next Day
  • Back On My Feet
  • I Still Love You
  • Cry For You [WPA]
  • I Will Not Take These Things For Granted [Toad]
  • Don’t Need Anything [fast version]
  • Thankful
  • Rainbow Connection/I’m Going To Go Back There Someday [teasers only]
  • End This Now
  • Good Intentions [Toad]
  • Redemption Song [Bob Marley]
  • Windmills

Easily the best $3 plus tip I’ve ever spent for live music.  From here on out, if I’m around, I’m IN.  He mentioned after “Train Wreck” in response to some requests, that he’ll do a show in the near future that’s more request oriented on songs that he doesn’t necessarily know off hand (i.e.- he’ll practice).

Stay tuned… the next Sofa Sunday might even be next week!

The Appropriate Linkage:

~Dan – np: Explosions in the SkyTake Care, Take Care, Take Care

REVIEW: A 3-day string of shows with Peter Mulvey (Eugene & Corvallis, OR – 11/10 to 11/12/11)

13th Nov 11 (Sun) 3 comments

Peter Mulvey takes the craft of American singer-songwriter out of the humdrum of a “guy and three chords on a guitar” into the realm of oft-comedic-oft-sentimental storytelling mixed in with the grit of the road and the shine of fine silver in your grandmother’s dining room.  He plays Tom Waits with humility and charm, and he plays perfectly ear-worm inducing folk-pop originals.  He plays show tunes, rock covers, and Michael Hedges-executed instrumentals.  His music gets stuck in your head, and for me, any time I hear of new music from him, I get it without question.  I also try to see him whenever I can… which brings me to recount the past three days of fantastic music.

from the house concert, 11/11/11
more photos at the bottom

Three Peter Mulvey concerts, three unique experiences.  First up, an interview with Peter Mulvey on KLCC Living Large (stream it here).  He talks about his tentative new standards album (tentatively called “Pocket Diamonds“) and played a few new songs in the studio.

The first of three shows was at Sam Bond’s Garage in Eugene on Thursday, November 10th.  The opener was local musician Michael Conley.  He played a shortish 25 minute set, but I was impressed with his songs… he fit in really well with fans of Peter Mulvey and Jeffrey Foucault.  Good guitar work.  Gritty songs, yet with a pop edge.

Peter came on at 9:45 and started off with a normal closing song for him, “Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad (And Far Away From Home).”  As expected, Peter’s set was a great mix of originals and covers.  Despite the large amount of covers that he plays, he really puts his own mark on them.  He also pulls songs out that are classics or memorable favorites but not in the forefront of one’s memory.  A favorite from the night was his take on U2’s “The Fly“…

Eugene 11/10 Setlist: ~80 minutes

  • Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad (and Far Away From Home)
  • Are You Sure? [Willie Nelson]
  • Old Simon Stimson
  • “The Rain Comes Down” [new PM song]
  • The Knuckleball Suite
  • Two Janes [Los Lobos]
  • Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies [Maybelle Carter]
  • Some People
  • Lonely at the Top [Randy Newman]
  • Black Rabbit
  • What Else Was It? [new PM song]
  • Lord I Have Made You a Place in My Heart [Greg Brown]
  • The Dreams
  • Blackbird [The Beatles]
  • Charlie
  • The Fly [U2]
  • Kids In The Square
  • Encore: The Book of Love [The Magnetic Fields]

Peter is usually good with a few one-liners or jokes.  Some favorites from the Sam Bond’s gig:

Freedom should be fried.
I had a banjo once, and then someone broke into my car… and they left 12 more banjos.

SO, how do you make a concert experience better?  You invite the musician to your house (or a friend’s house in this instance) and have him play in a living room for 35-40 of your friends.

Well, that’s what we did on Friday, November 11th… we invited Peter to play at a friend’s farm in Creswell (near Eugene).  He played two fantastic sets, with only a little bit of overlap from the night before.  There was much fantastic music, fantastic food (a HUGE vegetarian smorgasbord thanks to host Jenny!), vegan cupcakes (yay Divine Cupcake!), great craft beer and homebrew beers and sodas, and great discussion!

House Show 11/11 Setlist: two 45-minute sets

  • Set1 ~ You Meet the Nicest People in Your Dreams [Fats Waller]
  • “shout the battle cry of freedom” [public domain w/ Beatles instrumental tag at end]
  • Kids In The Square
  • Windshield
  • Pearl Handled Pistol [Jeffrey Foucault]
  • The Knuckleball Suite
  • Shirt
  • What Else Was It? [new PM song]
  • …Plus The Many Inevitable Fragments / Dynamite Bill
  • Set2 ~ Black Rabbit
  • Charlie
  • The Trouble With Poets
  • Trempealeau [new from 2010, not recorded yet]
  • Jockey Full of Bourbon [Tom Waits]
  • “The Rain Comes Down” [new PM song]
  • The Healthfood Girl [new PM song]
  • Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad (and Far Away From Home)
    No Encore

I bought tickets to the Corvallis show (Saturday, November 12th) before I even knew about the Sam Bond’s show and before I could organize the house show.  Was I going to go?  Um… duh!

This was my first time to the Majestic Theatre in downtown Corvallis.  It was a gorgeously remodeled theater, and it looks like they’re ramping up to have a lot more exciting things going on (if you’re local, friend them on Facebook or sign up for their newsletter).

We had a wonderful dinner at Del Alma then dodged the rain to catch the opener Joe Von Appen.  I had only seen a YouTube clip of him prior, and it didn’t grab my interest.  Well, I’m glad I showed up for his set.  He was a mix of thinker/agitator/comedian/one-man freak show.  He was thought provoking, humorous, and frighteningly exciting and entrancing.  He is from Portland, and I hope he makes his way down south sometime again.  He was highly entertaining!

Peter hit the stage at 8:45 and played his longest set of the weekend.  Some repeats (hey, we like re-Petes) and tons of untouched music in the three-day run.  He did one of my favorite spoken word pieces from Letters From A Flying Machine – “Vlad the Astrophysicist.”

A new Mulvey tune “The Cardinal” made its first appearance for me.  It was a touching tune that came along with a seemingly non sequitur story about a squirrel getting into a large batch of THC butter.  Another favorite song he played was a Joe Henry cover… “Richard Pryor Addresses a Tearful Nation“… I think I’ve heard Peter play this before.  Prior to this, though, I was only familiar with Joe’s producer/mixer work (he does a LOT, specifically Over the Rhine’s latest album that I’m currently listening to in advance of their gig this coming week – The Long Surrender).

Peter also busted out not one, not two, but three Tom Waits tunes – the last one as the encore, sung off-mic.  He has a side gig in The LPs, and they play Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs front to back!  I’d LOVE to see that gig…

Corvallis 11/12 Setlist: ~1 hour 40 min

  • Kids In The Square
  • “man I’m broke and I’ve got nowhere to go” [Mississippi John Hurt, unidentified title]
  • Black Rabbit
  • Oh What A Beautiful Morning [Rodgers & Hammerstein Oklahoma! teaser]
  • The Dreams
  • Charlie
  • Shirt
  • “The Rain Comes Down” [new PM song, guess on title]
  • Richard Pryor Addresses a Tearful Nation [Joe Henry]
  • Girl in the Hi-Tops
  • Old Simon Stimson
  • Jockey Full of Bourbon [Tom Waits]
  • Hang Down Your Head [Tom Waits]
  • The Cardinal [new song]
  • What Else Was It? [new song]
  • Some People
  • Vlad The Astrophysicist
  • Mailman
  • Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad (and Far Away From Home)
  • Encore: Goodnight Irene [off-mic] [Tom Waits]

Some gems of info… Peter was once in an all-rollerskate version of Oklahoma!  Also, apparently, scientists have a difficult time showing THC toxicity in small animals.  A new expression Peter uttered… “the nickel of espresso dropped.” (explaining when the caffeine kicks in).  I dig it!

Peter has a new guitar duets CD out now, Nine Days Wonder, with long-time collaborator David “Goody” Goodrich.  It’s a fantastic record (click the image to the right for samples) – though it’s not really indicative of his live show.  Based on the amount of new material he played this weekend (five songs not on a PM record yet), it looks like he has a good start on a new studio record.  Here’s hoping!

In the meantime, check him out on Facebook, iTunes/Amazon, YouTube, etc… and go see him live if you get a chance.  He plays upwards of 120 live gigs a year all over the US (and sometimes in Europe, too).

I can guarantee you’ll like him (I’ve yet to hear someone who doesn’t love him when I drag them along to shows). :)

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next shows for me… Cirque du Soliel presents Michael Jackson: The Immortal (Eugene 11/15), rapper Chali 2Na (Eugene 11/16) and the Americana duo Over the Rhine (Portland 1/17).

~Dan – np: Over the RhineThe Long Surrender

PETER MULVEY PHOTOS 11/10 to 11/12/2011

 

REVIEW: My Brightest Diamond @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 11/6/11)

7th Nov 11 (Mon) 7 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

I can’t go on enough about how much I love My Brightest Diamond and how much I love her newest album, All Things Will Unwind.  She hasn’t planned a full tour under this record (yet), but when I saw she was playing a couple one-offs in Seattle and Portland, I jumped out of my chair.

While hitting both shows in a scenario like this isn’t uncommon for me, I showed some restraint and only hit the Portland show…

The opener, Netherfriends, is currently in Portland this week for a “residency” of sorts.  Several shows at the Mississippi Studios and two DJ sets (one at Aalto Lounge and one at Beech Street Parlour).  He was a veritable one-man rockfolktronic wrecking crew.  After his first song, I wasn’t sure what to expect… he powered through some technical difficulties and ripped through 35-40 minutes of fun energy.

Very danceable, very off-kilter, a little spastic, but grounded in melody.  Sort of like Holy Fuck, if they were a one-man band.  Beatboxing, electronic drums, loops, Harry Nilsson covers (see below).

What’s more to love?  Check him out (free downloads here)!

Since it was billed as a “Shara Worden solo show,” I expected a more stripped down My Brightest Diamond set.  Oh, was a wrong… she came out initially in costume (mask, fabric bubbles on her shirt) and danced along to a pre-recorded instrumental number, then immediately took off her mask and started in with the lead-off track, “We Added It Up.”  She donned the mask again for “Be Brave“…

She mixed up the set a bit with ukulele, keyboards, pre-recorded drums and strings, acoustic guitar, rockin’ electric guitar, mbira (below), and a hand-held harp-like instrument.

Setlist: just over an hour

  • Instrumental #1 with dance
  • We Added It Up
  • Everything is in Line
  • Golden Star
  • Escape Routes
  • Instrumental #2 with dance
  • Be Brave
  • She Does Not Brave the War
  • There’s a Rat
  • High Low Middle
  • Apples
  • Feeling Good [Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley]
  • I Have Never Loved Someone [for her son]
  • Inside A Boy
  • Encore: Be My Husband [Nina Simone]

My favorite songs of the night were “Be Brave” and “Inside A Boy,” but honestly, I enjoyed it all intently.  Even the almost-too-cutesy-for-meThere’s a Rat” was brought to new heights for me with Shara’s adorable story about her rehabbing her “fixer-upper” that she and her husband recently bought in Detroit.

more photos below

I hope she does a bigger/longer tour for the record… but if she doesn’t Portlanders & Seattlites can count themselves blessed.

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Puscifer tonight (11/7) in Seattle, then a three-day run by Peter Mulvey (11/10 @ Sam Bonds in Eugene, 11/11 @ private house concert in Creswell, 11/12 @ Majestic in Corvallis).

~Dan – Peter Mulvey & David GoodrichNine Days Wonder

MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND (SHARA WORDEN)
& THE NETHERFRIENDS PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2011 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Ani DiFranco – Which Side Are You On? (Jan 2012)

3rd Nov 11 (Thu) 1 comment

This just in… new album from Ani DiFranco called Which Side Are You On? comes out January 17, 2012.  It’s her first album in over 3 years (or 1,204 days – but who’s counting?).  And, yay, Anais Mitchell & Skerik are on it!

Update 11/18 Tracklist (below) and pre-order info (ships 12/23 for the 1/17 release date):

Pre-order from RBR http://store.righteousbabe.com/departments/product/anidifranco/
Pre-order from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0060GVI2C/

Here’s the official press release:

ANI DIFRANCO RETURNS WITH HER FIRST NEW ALBUM IN MORE THAN THREE YEARS

Powerful collection features array of iconic guests, including Ivan & Cyril Neville, Anaïs Mitchell, and the legendary Pete Seeger   JT

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ani DiFranco has announced the upcoming release of her eagerly awaited new album. Which Side Are You On? arrives via the Grammy-winning artist’s own Righteous Babe Records on January 17, 2012.

Which Side Are You On? marks DiFranco’s first studio album in more than three years. The collection features 11 new songs alongside a radically reworked rendition of the classic title song, famously popularized by the one and only Pete Seeger nearly five decades ago, but no less relevant today. Backing DiFranco is a remarkably diverse line-up of stellar musicians, including members of her own crack touring band as well as such guest players as Ivan and Cyril Neville (of New Orleans’ first family of funk and R&B, The Neville Brothers), avant-saxophonist Skerik (Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, The Meters), acclaimed singer/songwriter (and Righteous Babe recording artist) Anaïs Mitchell, guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, Amos Lee), and a host of New Orleans-based horn players known for their work in such outfits as Galactic, Bonerama, and The Rebirth Brass Band.

What’s more, Ani is joined on her stunning new version of Which Side Are You On? by the aforementioned Pete Seeger, whom she praises as “my elder, my forefather in folk music and political song.” DiFranco was inspired to record the famed protest anthem after being invited to perform at Seeger’s 90th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in May 2009. She contributed her own straight-from-the headlines verses to the song and has used it to close her own live shows ever since. The newly recorded version of Which Side Are You On? is a funk-fueled epic, incorporating not just Ani’s band, but Seeger himself on banjo and vocals alongside The Rivertown Kids, a Hudson Valley-based children’s chorus, and The Roots of Music Marching Crusaders, a brass band consisting of students from The Roots of Music, a music education program for at-risk middle-school students in New Orleans.

“All of my musical community, my comrades, are in there,” says Ani of the cross-generational recording. Which Side Are You On? was co-produced by DiFranco and her longtime collaborator Mike Napolitano over a series of sessions in 2010 and 2011. The basic tracks feature two slightly different versions of Ani’s touring band, recorded at Bogalusa, Louisiana’s renowned Studio In The Country, Brooklyn, New York’s Brooklyn Bridge Studio, and her own New Orleans home studio, The Dugout.

The album represents an extraordinary snapshot of DiFranco’s own life as well as her sense of where the country stands at this particular moment in time. The long gap since 2008’s acclaimed Red Letter Year offered an array of new opportunities, including a backlog of songs and the ability to painstakingly fine-tune new recordings. Many of the songs featured on Which Side Are You On? are reflections on growing older and being totally okay with that process. As she sings on “If Yr Not,” “If yr not getting happier as you get older/then yr fucking up.”

Elsewhere, Ani tackles some of the many crises that are currently confronting the nation and the world, spanning environmental disaster, government inaction, and a culture hooked on comfort and acquisition at any cost. Songs such as “Amendment” and “J” see DiFranco addressing these issues with a directness that is striking even for an artist long known for her activism and outspoken point of view.

“I’m testing deeper waters with the political songs on this album,” she says. “I feel a little bit frustrated, politically desperate. After having written hundreds of songs over decades, I think, ‘Now what? How far can I go with this? Can you sing the word ‘abortion,’ can you sing the word ‘patriarchy’ – what can you sing and get away with? I guess I’ve been pushing my own boundaries of politics and art. Seeing what people have the ears to listen to. How big is my mouth? What can I get out of it successfully?”

The last two decades have seen DiFranco staking a historic claim on popular music, spanning 16 studio albums and countless live recordings (including 1997’s RIAA gold-certified Living in Clip), EPs, and compilation contributions. Along the way she has amassed a devoted fan following, received numerous awards and nominations, earned rapturous reviews, and basically rewrote the rules of the recording industry.

Now Ani’s recommendation about the album’s opening track “Life Boat” can be said to apply to Which Side Are You On? as a whole: “Just listen, drop your idea of who is singing and what you already know they’re saying, and go somewhere else, open yourself up to a new story.”

CD, vinyl and mp3 digital download release.

Tracklist

  1. Life Boat
  2. Unworry
  3. Which Side Are You On?
  4. Splinter
  5. Promiscuity
  6. Albacore
  7. J
  8. If Yr Not
  9. Hearse
  10. Mariachi
  11. Amendment
  12. Zoo

~Dan – np: The Unbelievable TruthAlmost Here

REVIEW: Pomplamoose @ Doug Fir (Portland, OR – 10/27/11)

31st Oct 11 (Mon) 1 comment

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

I first heard Pomplamoose with their cover of the Lady Gaga/Beyonce tune “Telephone” and their video song concept: (1) what you see is what you hear (no lip-syncing for instruments or voice), and (2) if you hear it, at some point you see it (no hidden sounds):

Pomplamoose kept coming out with more and more clever video songs… that video alone is at 7.8 million views as of 10/31/11 (69 million total views on their channel!).  The creativity from Nataly and Jack made me fall in love with their music – whether covers or originals.  They each have their own YouTube channels (Nataly’s / Jack’s) and there’s also a Nataly side project with Lauren O’Connell called My Terrible FriendYes, they’re busy people.  Go check them all out, you won’t be disappointed.

On to the show…

The opener was Louis and Genevieve

They played about a half hour of electronic pop.  A nice core sound, but it was difficult to hear the depth in the songs during the show.  I think L&G’s music is superb based on some videos they’ve posted on their YouTube channel.  I hate being negative, because hell if I could go up there and do what they’re doing… but I think their live show needed work… all said and done, they were a good warm-up act.

Pomplamoose came on and kicked right into their cover tune hit “Telephone”… and as expected, they were full of energy.  I honestly don’t know how Jack keeps up the energy, but he was pounding away on keys all night.  They had a full band; so Jack didn’t cover drum duties except for one song later in the set.  Both Nataly & Jack looked like they were truly having fun… they were playful, smiling, and even giddy when microphone cables got tangled in chairs or when they had cellphone reception issues with the monitors.

As expected, they played a great mix of covers and originals.  Since Pomplamoose is ubiquitous with YouTube, for songs below with a YouTube Video Song, click the “YT” link below.  This is a rare show where it’s truly difficult to pick some favorite songs from the set.  If I had to pick favorites, Telephone, Mr Sandman, River Shiver, and Bust Your Knee Caps would rise to the top, but in all seriousness – it’s hard to separate the creme de la creme.  The sold out Doug Fir Lounge crowd got a full set of glorious pop…

Setlist: ~1.5 to 2 hours

  • Telephone [Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce] {YT}
  • Hey, It’s Pomplamoose
  • Expiration Date {YT}
  • If You Think You Need Some Lovin’ {YT}
  • Hail Mary {YT}
  • Twice as Nice [with drum solo] {YT}
  • Beat the Horse {YT}
  • Makin’ Out [Mark Owen] {YT}
  • Nature Boy [Eden Ahbez] {YT}
  • Be Still {YT}
  • Jam
  • Mister Sandman [The Chordettes] {YT}
  • Things We Like In Hats
  • Things We Like In Hats
  • Things We Like In Hats [yes, they played it THREE times in a row]
  • Bust Your Knee Caps {YT}
  • River Shiver {YT}
  • Achin’ Heart {YT}
  • Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) [Beyoncé] {YT}
  • September [Earth, Wind & Fire] {YT}
  • Encore: Goodnight Song
  • Sexy Time [goofing around, impromptu song]
  • Centrifuge {YT}

The band had a special the album you bought at our show (thanks for that) CD that I picked up.  As far as those not lucky enough to catch their brief tour, you can find their video songs on the YouTube links above (I’d recommend subscribing to their channel).  You can also get their music via Amazon, iTunes or other e-tailers…

Their tour was very limited (Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Seattle, Portland & San Francisco), but hopefully they’ll head out again soon.

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Jason Webley & Mood Area 52 at WOW Hall (Eugene) tonight/Halloween…

~Dan – np: U2The Joshua Tree

POMPLAMOOSE PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2011 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Pomplamoose in Portland (photos by the weekend)

28th Oct 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

Brilliant show by Pomplamoose last night at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, Oregon…

Busy week for me at work; so look for the Pomplamoose (Portland) and the John Scofield Quartet (Eugene) photos and a reviews by the weekend.

Cheers!
~Dan

Derek Webb – Democracy Vol 2 #7

3rd Oct 11 (Mon) Leave a comment

One a month, from March to December 2011…

Derek Webb’s Democracy Vol 2… This month, it is “Revolution” by The Beatles. I love the fuzzy intro and backwards-seeming vocal edits throughout.  Nice job, Derek.  I still think his fans tend to be less adventurous (doubling down again), but Derek turned out a great tribute song.

For those not in the know, Democracy Vol 2 is a continuation of the covers project Derek started last year. The fans get to nominate songs and then vote once the nominations are tallied. Here’s what he’s done in 2010 and 2011 to date (you can still go back and buy this volume):

  • January 2010: The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • February: Coldplay – Fix You
  • March: Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’
  • April: Gnarls Barkley – Who’s Gonna Save My Soul
  • May: Sufjan Stevens – Chicago *a personal fave*
  • June: U2 – Where the Streets Have No Name
  • July: Huey Lewis & the News – Power of Love
  • August: The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby *a personal fave*
  • September: Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence
  • October: Radiohead – Karma Police *a personal fave*
  • November: Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
  • December: Robert Robinson (traditional hymn) – Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  • January 2011: off
  • February: off
  • March: Cee-Lo Green – F**k You *a personal fave*
  • April: Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
  • May: The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
  • June: U2 – One
  • July: Dallán Forgaill (traditional hymn) – Be Thou My Vision
  • August: Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • September: The Beatles – Revolution *a personal fave*

~Dan – np: Laswell/Nauseef/Mori/Parker Near Nadir

Democracy Vol. 2 is a series of subscription based albums of cover songs that Derek will be recording annually, starting January 2010. Those who participate will not only receive the exclusive album, but will democratically decide what songs Derek will record.

Ever wished you could hear Derek cover your favorite Beatles song? Or Backstreet Boys song? Or even re-record your favorite old Caedmon’s Call song? Here’s your chance. Songs will be nominated and voted down to 10. Derek will record them (demo quality) and deliver them digitally (320kbps MP3s), one song per month for 10 months (March to December). Don’t miss your chance to be part of this unique collaborative project with Derek Webb!

Tori Amos “Carry” video + pre-order + tour updates

18th Aug 11 (Thu) Leave a comment

The first track to get video treatment for Tori Amos’ upcoming Night of Hunters album is the final track, “Carry.”  Sonically, it’s a lush stringy ballad – quite fitting for Tori’s move to classical label Deutsche Grammophon.

I’m curious how the rest of the album is, but I guess I’ll have to wait until it hits on September 20th.  The CD, CD/DVD deluxe and vinyl versions are currently up for pre-order on the Amazons (digital/mp3 download version to follow).  Tori’s Fall tour dates are below as well.  I’m still bummed about no Oregon date, but hope there’s a 2nd leg added at some point…

Night of Hunters tracklist:
01. Shattering Sea
02. SnowBlind
03. Battle of Trees
04. Fearlessness
05. Cactus Practice
06. Star Whisperer
07. Job’s Coffin
08. Nautical Twilight
09. Your Ghost
10. Edge of the Moon
11. The Chase
12. Night of Hunters
13. Seven Sisters
14. Carry

Tori Amos 2011 Tour Dates:

09/28 – Helsinki, FI @ Ice Hall
09/30 – St. Petersburg, RU @ Oktyabrsky Hall
10/02 – Moscow, RU @ Crocus Hall
10/04 – Luxembourg, LU @ Den Atelier
10/05 – Paris, FR @ Le Grand Rex
10/07 – Milan, IT @ Teatro Arcimboldi
10/08 – Rome, IT @ Auditorium Parco della Musica
10/10 – Hamburg, DE @ Laieszhalle
10/11 – Berlin, DE @ Tempodrom
10/13 – Warsaw, PL @ Sala Kongresowa
10/15 – Eindoven, NL @ Muziekgebouw
10/17 – Amsterdam, NL @ Carre
10/18 – Amsterdam, NL @ Carre
10/20 – Oslo, NO @ Sentrum Scene
10/21 – Copenhagen, DK @ The Royal Theatre
10/22 – Copenhagen, DK @ The Royal Theatre
10/24 – Lucerne, CH @ KKL
10/25 – Vienna, AT @ Stadhalle F
10/26 – Frankfurt, DE @ Alte Oper
10/28 – Antwerp, BE @ QEH
10/29 – Brussels, BE @ Bozar
10/31 – Essen, DE @ Philharmonie
11/02 – London, UK @ Royal Albert Hall
11/03 – London, UK @ Hammersmith Apollo
11/04 – Manchester, UK @ Apollo
11/06 – Glasgow, UK @ Royal Concert Hall
11/08 – Belfast, UK @ Waterfront
11/09 – Dublin, UK @ Grand Canal Theatre
11/29 – Atlanta, GA @ Cobb Energy Performance Arts Center
12/01 – Philadelphia, PA @ Academy of Music
12/02 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
12/03 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
12/05 – Washington, DC @ Constitution Hall
12/06 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theater
12/08 – Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
12/10 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
12/13 – Vancouver, BC @ Orpehum Theater
12/14 – Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
12/16 – Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
12/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre
12/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre
12/21 – Austin, TX @ Bass Concert Hall
12/22 – Dallas, TX @ Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie

~Dan – np: The Swell SeasonStrict Joy

Derek Webb – Democracy Vol 2 #4

5th Jul 11 (Tue) Leave a comment

One a month, from March to December 2011…

Derek Webb’s Democracy Vol 2… This month, it is “One” by U2 (posted on 7/1).  Derek has a long affinity for these Irish gents.  My guess is that when this one came up in the vote winners pile, he paired it with this past weekend’s Nashville U2 covers show and then seeing U2 at VU/Nashville (#U2360NAS).

For those not in the know, Democracy Vol 2 is a continuation of the covers project Derek started last year. The fans get to nominate songs and then vote once the nominations are tallied. Here’s what he’s done in 2010 and 2011 to date (you can still go back and buy this volume):

  • January 2010: The Beatles – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • February: Coldplay – Fix You
  • March: Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’
  • April: Gnarls Barkley – Who’s Gonna Save My Soul
  • May: Sufjan Stevens – Chicago *a personal fave*
  • June: U2 – Where the Streets Have No Name
  • July: Huey Lewis & the News – Power of Love
  • August: The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby *a personal fave*
  • September: Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence
  • October: Radiohead – Karma Police *a personal fave*
  • November: Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
  • December: Robert Robinson – Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  • January 2011: off
  • February: off
  • March: Cee-Lo Green – F**k You *a personal fave*
  • April: Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
  • May: The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
  • June: U2 – One

~Dan – np: Secret Chiefs 3 Eyes of Flesh :: Eyes of Flame

Democracy Vol. 2 is a series of subscription based albums of cover songs that Derek will be recording annually, starting January 2010. Those who participate will not only receive the exclusive album, but will democratically decide what songs Derek will record.

Ever wished you could hear Derek cover your favorite Beatles song? Or Backstreet Boys song? Or even re-record your favorite old Caedmon’s Call song? Here’s your chance. Songs will be nominated and voted down to 10. Derek will record them (demo quality) and deliver them digitally (320kbps MP3s), one song per month for 10 months (March to December). Don’t miss your chance to be part of this unique collaborative project with Derek Webb!

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