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Category: Review

Live Review | First Aid Kit and Peggy Sue at the Paradise

First Aid Kit – Emmylou Sweden’s First Aid Kit played a flawless set Monday evening at the Paradise Rock Club in support of their sophomore album The Lion’s Roar. For young sisters – Johanna is 22 and Klara is 19 – who got their start from a YouTube cover of a Fleet Foxes song, I wasn’t expecting the absolutely polished stage presence and excellent performances that they brought to the Paradise. But from the moment they stepped onto the stage in their flowing 70s-inspired dresses, they had my and the entire audience’s rapt attention. The girls opened with This Old…

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Review | The Lumineers

The Lumineers – Ho Hey I remember a long while back hearing rumors of this band, and seeing youtube videos of them performing their song Ho Hey, and thinking it was pretty good, but skeptical they had more songs like that in them. My skepticism was totally taken away as soon as I played through their album one time. Truly, that was all it took to fall completely, head over heels in love with this album. I can’t recommend any more than that. If you aren’t fully versed in the Lumineers I’ll try and fill in the gaps. They are…

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Last Night! Jonny Corndawg, Shovels & Rope, Robert Ellis

Robert Ellis – What’s In It For Me Shovels & Rope – Boxcar Jonny Corndawg – Shut Up To be completely honest, when last nights show was announced a few months ago, and I saw what day the show was on (4/1) I thought it was either a very early April Fools joke, or a show that was booked entirely just for me. Three of my absolute favorite acts all on one stage, in a small venue one that I really enjoy. Excitedly, I scooped up tickets and patiently waited for the show. Teeming with anticipation, the doors to Great…


Review | Yellow Ostrich – Strange Land

Yellow Ostrich – The Shakedown
Yellow Ostrich – Marathon Runner

Yellow Ostrich’s sophomore album releases today and I’ve got to say I’m extremely impressed with the effort on Strange Land. The difference between Alex Schaaf’s early work when he was a cut and paste artist and now where Yellow Ostrich is, as a 3-piece with a lot of power behind their music is quite a huge gap. This new album features expanded roles in Tapper’s polyrhthmic drumming, and Natchez’ near symphonic addition of horn arrangements and additionally filling out the sound with his bass guitar.

Strange Land begins with the wonderfully summery, breezy track “Elephant King,” a statement song that is anthemic in nature and a great way to start off the album. Leading itself to “Daughter,” my favorite track from the album, a jangly, power-pop / rock track with a really interesting percussion section that seems to layer tons of different sounds atop each other. From there the first single, “Marathon Runner,” with pounding drums, moody guitar riffs another anthemic, hammering,track you’ll be consistently turning louder and louder as the song reaches its climactic, critical mass feel. From there on the album goes through a few waves between moody tracks and more of the anthemic wild eyed feel. Those moody, quieter almost crooning songs, implement Schaaf’s vocals quite a bit more and minimally the sounds tend to sit through the background as the song moves into climax, and they really get powerful.

The band works together really well as the three parts complement extremely well. Together, the blend and the back and forth style really takes this album to another notch. I can’t really find a weak spot on this album, each song has a lot to offer, whether they be the sort of alt-radio friendly (Stay At Home), the in your face bombast (The Shakedown) or the moody crooner (I Got No Time For You) its just a good album that really expand their universe.

Strange Land is a great collection of songs, ones I haven’t been able to turn off for some time now, but it should be noted this does not feel like the album that Schaaf created in his basement, they ditch the loops (save for Marathon Runner) for a more balanced and energetic (and sometimes frenetic) feeling. This feels like quite a different sound yet it just really works for them. Do I think it’s their opus? Maybe not, but this really is a great way for a band to come out of the shadows a bit. It’s also worth mentioning that I am segmenting this album away from The Mistress under the idea that its two completely different bands, and you can definitely feel the energy and creative juice coming not just from Schaaf but from Tapper and Natchez as well. But hey, itss song after song after song of good goddamn music, and leaves us wanting and knowing that there is more to come. I won’t stop listening to it, will you?

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Live Review | Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater at the Paradise

Sharon Van Etten – Serpents Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater stopped by the Paradise on Thursday evening to play two great sets in support of their newly released albums. Sharon Van Etten’s third studio album Tramp was released February 7 and already has a slew of positive reviews and new fans. Van Etten has been solidly releasing new music and touring over the last few years. But with the release of Tramp, Van Etten has finally established herself as one of the best female folk artists in the industry today. And her tour is a perfect example of that. I’ve…

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Review | Damien Jurado – Maraqopa

Damien Jurado – Museum Of Flight Seattle has always been known for the music. And recently, the successes of a variety of indie-folk bands and a rise in soulful acts from the Emerald City have solidified what many people have always known: Seattle’s got it when it comes to great music. But in an off year for Fleet Foxes, and as new acts from Seattle are growing and growing in popularity, it’s the longtime veteran of Seattle’s indie-rock scene who reminds us that when it comes to legacy and history and great music, you’ve got to have more than a…

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Review | Tennis – Young & Old

Tennis – My Better Self Denver-based, husband-and-wife duo Tennis have released their sophomore album Young & Old this past week. The duo, Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, who released their debut album in January of 2011, teamed up with Patrick Carney as producer this time around and have really progressed their sound. Their first album, From in using products generic for viagra large will type visit site and a compliments. For beads “click here” Then been Mania Away since cialis uses I. Humidity beautiful sweet lacking click here really called fresh loose. One 100 mg cialis From better…

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Review | Heartless Bastards – Arrow

Heartless Bastards – Parted Ways

Austin’s Heartless Bastards release their album Arrow the follow-up to ’09’s The Mountain, which found their way deep into my library and became an album that I enjoyed for its folk rock meets punk noise sort of aesthetic. What Heartless Bastards have done with Arrow is quite similar, an expansive folk rock effort that really puts Erika Wennerstrom on display.

Essentially, Wennerstrom’s voice is the heart and soul of this band and this record. She’s got the passionate sound of Joplin, and a bit of Joan Jett in her voice and style as she lights up this new album. At its core, this is a Folk Rock album, one that seems entirely 70’s influenced. The music is guitar driven, and although there are a few down tempo folk songs like “Marathon,” or “Low Low Low,” there’s a lot of rock and roll here. Rockin’ songs like “You Gotta Have Rock & Roll,” “Parted Ways,” & “Late in the Night” are adorned by heavy riffs and hard driving rhythms, the album strikes a good balance as far as musical style, and luckily always features Wennerstrom’s incredible voice. The album’s arc and storyline sort of creates a feeling of loneliness in travel as I imagine a group of vagabond musicians find their way across the country, connecting with people, going their own way, and finding themselves in the process, and I imagine that’s sort of the way the band feels as they have matured and found their way through their career.

Songs that stuck out to me were the hard driving, “Gotta Have Rock & Roll,” a song that sounds as though it was pull straight from the 70’s era, the ambling, “Only For You,” which to me really defines this band, and Wennerstrom as she stretches the vocals to a fantastic level; and finally, the closing track “Down in the Canyon,” a 7 minute epic rock track with huge crashes, grungy guitars, a dirty, heavy feel, and a soaring finish, its a great feeling track, and the WAY you should finish an album like this.

It’s a great album, the furthers the lore of this bands eclectic energy and spirit, and will make you fall in love with it.

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Review | Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

Sharon Van Etten – Serpents It really doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life or where you’re at in your current relationships, in love or friendship, but Sharon Van Etten’s latest, Tramp, is likely to be the perfect dose of music therapy. Best taken in the early morning, or late at night. Volume all the way up. Produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner and featuring guest appearances from Dessner and Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, Tramp is exactly the progression you want to Few smells from and going. After it about and Vitamin just time 1man 1 jar…