I've been pretty het up about the White Denim/Sam Cohen package tour since it was announced months ago. As far as complimentary match-ups, getting these two together for a tour is a mind-bogglingly great pairing of chops and songwriting skills. Sam Cohen (formerly of Apollo Sunshine and Yellowbirds, and also a guest of TRB podcast) released one of my favorite records of 2015 (Cool It), and handles mellow psychedelia and explosive sunshine-y pop territory with equal aplomb, gracefully warming up the mellow Monday crowd into a raucous (for Seattle) throng by the end of his spacious set.Read More
Filtering by Tag: video of the day
If there's a music documentary out there worth the film it's on, I've probably seen it. That said, I don't know that I've seen a series of live recordings that capture the atmosphere quite as well as the Live At Massey Hall series. Recorded at the 110-year-old venue in Toronto, Massey Hall is a gorgeous 2700 seat venue in the heart of downtown Toronto.
It seems like these videos are coming on a fairly regular basis, but yesterday's upload of a particularly well-polished but rough-hewn Constantines show had me feeling like it was Christmas morning. Bands at the Constantines level don't often have someone with the budget to document/edit a performance this beautifully, so I'm thrilled to see that time and energy go into a band so deserving of proper documentation (note: there's also a set from Cons frontman Bry Webb in the playlist). Do yourself a favor; plug whatever device into your TV/stereo and watch this Constantines episode on the big screen, fully amplified. You can thank me later (although I take no responsibility for damages caused by couch-bound circle pits).
Who knows what else to expect out of this series, but if the quality is anything like what's out there right now, it's going to be worth watching every single episode. Cheers to the makers of Live At Massey Hall.
I'll fully admit to taking The Helio Sequence's presence as a Pacific NW regional band for granted. They play Seattle pretty frequently, and I never go see them. Their consistency as a band is incredible, but somehow, their newest album (self-titled, on Sub Pop) pushes at their atmospheric edges, experimenting with electronic elements but still retaining an organic/human foundation. At times, the record finds The Helio Sequence sounding more relaxed yet more confident than ever. "Battle Lines" marches along stridently while still retaining a breezy, shimmery atmosphere, pining for the promise of a better day (and remaining optimistically hopeful in the process). The entire record is a great summer soundtrack, urgent in all the right places but still wistfully relaxed.
The Helio Sequence play The Neptune Theatre in Seattle on Saturday, July 11th, 2015. Tickets are available here.
Toronto's METZ is back with their second record (the subtly titled "II", out today on Sub Pop Records), and it's got the band doing exactly what I hoped they would do; taking their already jittery, agitated sound and somehow winding it up into an even more aggressive, anxious mess of noise that somehow still retains it's hookiness. They're touring basically from early May until October of this year, and if they don't come to a town near you? You might want to move.
If you're a fan of Seattle's Campfire OK, you've probably been curious about the band's whereabouts for the past few months. After quite a few years under that moniker, changes in membership and artistic direction seem to have instigated a name change. If their first single ("1983") is any indication, the band now known as The Weather seem to have kept a lot of the same melodic sense as Campfire OK, but with the gloss knob turned up to 11. Trust me, that isn't meant to come across as snarky; singer Mychal Cohen's musical world has always had a beautiful and dark atmospheric side, but hearing that vision fleshed out into more explorations with electronic elements (and not so rooted in organic instrumentation) literally makes the songs shimmer like fever dreams.
The Weather's forthcoming album "Waters Electric" will be released in early 2015. They play Neumos on Saturday, January 17, 2015.
While it's hard to complain about carving out a decent living in a place like Seattle, there isn't a week that goes by where some little innocuous thing pops up and tugs at my heart strings to remind me of my hometown of Kansas City. All political shortcomings aside, Kansas City is where I grew up and is the place I feel the most at home. After six years in Seattle, I still have a tendency to feel a lack of history in this place, and a lack of historical context for the incredible things that I know have happened here, and times where my existence here merely feels like a wonderful lucid dream that I'm sure I'll wake up from someday.
Long story short: I love you, Seattle, but Kansas City will always be the place that made me.
I'm guessing fellow Kansas ex-pat Brendan Hangauer feels pretty similar these days. Having relocated to the Bay Area after years in Lawrence, Kansas fronting local favorites Fourth of July, Hangauer obviously still feels that calling back home (or at the very least, the acknowledgement of the uncertainty of the new ground below one's feet). Debuting his new project (Empty Moon), Hangauer wanders aimlessly through the desert in an Andrew Wiggins jersey, lamenting over life's swift changes, his old college days and being a stranger in a new town. Sometimes a line hits you in your bones, and hearing Hangauer's closing confession that "you said you wouldn't miss the seasons but now you do" gave me chills.
Hangauer has always been a plain-spoken, confessional songwriter, but my early impression is Empty Moon has a bit more musical weight to it, shifting the focus of his compositions away from the sugary pop blasts of Fourth of July and into a deeper, more melancholic place. It's a good look, for sure.
Every time OK Go releases a new video, it's a "drop what you're doing" moment that finds you spending 15 minutes watching and rewatching the video to figure out how the heck it was done. "I Won't Let You Down" was released today, and is even more game-changing than their previous efforts. I had my doubts about the end graphics/umbrella choreography, but sure enough, it seems like they went over the top with ambition (as is the OK Go way) and did it all live. Thankfully, Petapixel did an in-depth article on the behind-the-scenes of the video. Still, so many questions!