Here’s another track (via WNYC) from the Chris Porterfield project we told you about called Field Report. I’m very much anticipating the band’s self-titled album, which comes out on Partisan Records Sept. 11.
Field Report is Chris Porterfield, who played with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon in DeYarmond Edison, but when the rest of the band went on to form Megafaun, Porterfield struck out in his own, forming Conrad Plymouth, which he recently retired to form this new project.
Listening to these three tracks (the only songs available so far from Field Report) reminds me of stumbling upon some Bon Iver tracks over at MOKB some five years ago, before Jagjaguwar and Kanye and Grammys and all that. It’s not that Porterfield sounds a lot like Vernon, though they’d do just fine together on a “Intimate aught-folk for late nights” mixtape. But it gives me the same feeling of stumbling upon something special, something that resonates deeply and may make other people feel something, too. Maybe you’re one of those people. Give these a listen and see.
Anais Mitchell‘s folk-rock opera Hadestown was one of my favorite records of 2010, and the spritely singer returned this year with Young Man in America. I don’t think it tops something as rich and varied as Hadestown (a quasi-modern day re-imagining of the Orpheus/Eurydice Greek tragedy), but it’s a strong record from a strong songwriter nonetheless, and I relish the chance of seeing her do her thing at the Rumba Cafe on Wednesday (9pm with Cuddle Magic, $10). Also, for public radio nerds: Mitchell sings in the way Sarah Vowell speaks, which is an acquired taste but, for me, a good thing.
Above you’ll see the video for “Coming Down,” and below you’ll see Bon Iver covering the same tune recently for Australia’s Triple J. (Justin Vernon collaborated with Mitchell on Hadestown, singing the role of Orpheus.) Continue reading →
4AD and Jagjaguwar have collaborated on a live session that captures a truly unique Bon Iver performance, featuring Justin Vernon and Sean Carey. On recent tours fans will have become accustomed to seeing Vernon flanked by an eleven-piece band, with the swell in numbers lending a grandiose element to even his most delicate songs. Sidestepping expectations, the idea Vernon presented for this session was to provide a wildly different experience.
Recorded in AIR Studio’s Lyndurst Hall – a building that was originally a church and missionary school designed in 1880 by the great Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse (designer of the Natural History Museum) – Vernon was joined only by Carey, with the pair positioning themselves opposite one another at two grand pianos. Although neither Justin nor Sean’s first instrument is piano, they were able to remodel the songs in a way that showcases their complimentary vocals and, perhaps more strikingly, a seemingly effortless ability to experiment with form and structure. Continue reading →
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Two thousand and eleven has been an odd year for me, and I think for music as well. Between acclimating to a completely different environment and being fully immersed in the music world, I foresaw a serious evolution and transformation of my music tastes prior to compiling my “Best of” lists. After the completion of said lists, it seems that not much has actually changed – not only in the last year, but the last five, when observing which names were included.
To be honest, it was quite difficult to decide on 10 full albums I really enjoyed listening to from start to finish. This could be the fault of BBC6 radio, and it’s persistent nature of turning an “OK” song into a real banger after playing it enough. It could also be the fault of so many let downs and gimmicks. Never in a single year have I looked forward to so many albums that panned out to be so disappointingly average. In a market so over saturated by bands trying to “out-cool” one another and being more conscious of what they wear than how well they play, it’s no wonder that some of names keep recurring year after year or that the best single tracks list was so much more enjoyable to assemble.
But this is it, I’ve done it. I’ve decided what 10 albums and 20 tracks have been the most enjoyable, the least pretentious and will hopefully be a memorable depiction of 2011 – five, ten and fifty years from now.
As for ranking, I must digress to the one brutal truth of end of year lists that my good friend Wes pointed out recently. Ranking is, in fact, arbitrary and simply a tool for building suspense in pinning down one’s judgement on any particular topic. So to avoid that (as you may not know who I am nor care about/for my taste in music), I’ve decided to post my lists chronologically. My hope is for you to have a listen to anything you’re not familiar with and ideally find something to enjoy. That’s why you’re here, right?
This year’s list of favorites is fairly sedate (even for me), with just a little ruckus here and there. Lots of morning-coffee music, which I guess says something about my 2011. But music’s strength is its pliability. It can be whatever you need it to be at the moment, especially when we have instant access to virtually any song ever recorded, often for free. Judging by this list, I needed music to be a salve more than a release valve this year.
I also never expected my favorite album to come from someone who held the spot previously, but the iTunes “most played” playlist doesn’t lie. It’s a divisive one, but people who like it really like it.
I picked 15 favorites and several honorable mentions, plus a Favorite Columbus Albums list below — separate but equal in enjoyment and quality. As usual, I limit my lists to albums, so some EPs and 7”s I liked (e.g. Envelope, Sundown, Malefactors of Great Wealth, Dolfish) aren’t listed.
As Chip said about Wussy’s Chuck Cleaver, “One wouldn’t expect the heavily tattooed Cincinnati songwriter to produce his best collection of songs this late in his already highly-prolific career, but that’s exactly what he’s done.”
2010 is the fifth anniversary of this festival founded by The National’s Bryce Dessner, who still serves as the artistic director. Pretty solid lineup this year. Here’s the details from the website:
The festival opens Tuesday, March 30th with arresting harpist and songwriter Joanna Newsom. Wednesday, March 31st, St. Vincent, led by composer, singer and guitar virtuoso Annie Clark, will present works from their widely acclaimed latest release, Actor, as well as new works venturing deeper into chamber arranging and composition. The same evening yMusic, will premiere the festival commission written by Clark. Inventive vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Justin Vernon, best known for his work with Bon Iver, presents a rare solo concert to close the festival April 1st. All concerts will be held at the beautiful and historic Memorial Hall. Tickets are on-sale now, via the web and by phone 1-800-838-3600. Single concert tickets are $20; a festival pass for all three concerts is $50.
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Superfly Productions and A.C. Entertainment are proud to announce the initial lineup for the eighth annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. See the lineup below. The four-day camping and music festival will be held from June 11-14, 2009 on our beautiful 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. Prepare yourself for an amazing 4-day weekend with over 100 of your favorite bands, top comedians, art, activities, workshops, vendors and much more — all gathered on a rustic Tennessee farm and devoted to making this the best weekend of your life!
Tickets to the 2009 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will go on sale this Saturday, February 7, at Noon Eastern time through Bonnaroo.com. For more information, go to our website.
GET YOUR TICKETS IN 5 EASY PAYMENTS OF $50.
That’s right kids. Get your GA tickets in 5 easy payments of $50.00 plus applicable fees or a pair of VIP tickets in 5 payments of $285.00 plus applicable fees. Visit the Payment Plan Ticketing page for more information.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Phish (2 Shows)
Nine Inch Nails
Elvis Costello Solo
Ben Harper and Relentless7
The Mars Volta
TV on the Radio
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Band Of Horses
The Decemberists Continue reading →