Quips and summaries from experiencing and appreciating music in a city that is as foreign and familiar as they come - New York. So here is to music anywhere and everywhere. Starting from concert one on week one after the move in 2009.

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Music in 2010 (thus far)!!!

In a flurry of album releases, these are some of my favorite songs after listening to each album a few times. The good news about albums that get released early in the year - they will spend the rest of the year touring to support the album so there is a good chance you will get to see the bands you have recently discovered and will see how good they are live.
I can vouch for how good Local Natives are live and they are making the festival rounds for maximum exposure - everything from Isle of Wight to Coachella and Bonnaroo. Their voices are impeccable live, it is refreshing. I have heard great things about Phantogram's live show and have tickets to see them in May; they have sold out all of their shows to date in NYC. Beach House is selling out their own shows and supporting The National; their music is perfect for an outdoor venue at the witching hour. The Morning Benders are also selling out in NYC and have landed a pretty great opening slot for The Black Keys in Central Park. Finally, the Drive By Truckers are always a good show and if you get close enough to the stage, Mr. Patterson Hood just might give you a swig of the Jack Daniels bottle that is on their stage every night (which was my luck at a private party on Obama's inauguration night in D.C.)
April and May are going to be big months too - LCD Soundsystem, The National, Caribou, Liars (check out their web site for a trippy video to accommodate their single Scissor - http://www.liarsliarsliars.com)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bon Iver vs. Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel is back! Well, sort of. Rather than come out with a CD of new and original material he thought he would wail a variety of songs from other people in his own way, call it a new CD, get a ridiculous amount of praise and call it a day. A bit scathing I know but is this really going to be the trend now - borrow the sounds of the youngsters and sing your same old, same old?
One of the first singles off Gabriel's new CD, Scratch My Back, is Bon Iver's song Flume from the album For Emma, Forever Ago. This album launched Bon Iver into the high court of the indie world - Pitchfork ranked it 29th in the Top 200 Albums of the 200s and NPR named it among the 50 Most Important Recordings of the Decade.
A little background helps a lot: Bon Iver is a band founded by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. In 2007, after the end of a relationship, the breakup of a band, and a bout with mono, Justin spent three months alone in his father's cabin in Northwestern Wisconsin. He ended up writing and recording the entire album, which is a collection of beautiful, melancholy songs sung in a distinct falsetto enriched by layers of voices, which is now duplicated wonderfully live by a full band. The single Skinny Love is best known and I think explains the mood of the album very well. It is a good story and one that follows Bon Iver everywhere they go, which most recently was the soundtrack for the second Twilight movie (the song is Roslyn, Bon Iver with St. Vincent). Yeah, even the vampires are hip to the know about Bon Iver.
The great Peter Gabriel covering his song, this has to be a topping cherry for Mr. Vernon and
a nice wave of publicity for the band - the song is up on the Bon Iver web site
and Gabriel made it available on his own web site. I am excited for Bon Iver, that
Peter Gabriel loved his song enough to cover it and that Bon Iver will become known
to the masses. I won't even do my typical, petty 'I have liked them for so much longer and
of course you like them now that they are everywhere' as I hear from the new wave of fans.
I'll try at least, I can't make promises if it is a bourbon drinking night though.
I just have to say though, I like Bon Iver's original version better, WAY better.
Let's try an experiment - listen to Gabriel's version of Bon Iver's Flume first.
Comment on this post and tell me which one you prefer.
The original Flume by Bon Iver:
Pitchfork or BEST YET on
La Blogotheque (more to come on this fucking amazing web site on the next post)
I will leave the album review of Gabriel's Scratch My Back to the LA Times: