Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Maps and Atlases - Pertch Patchwork

Maps and Atlases: Perch Patchwork out TODAY!
--Head past the interview to read a little blurb about the album--

1. Will
2. The Charm
3. Living Decorations
4. Solid Ground
5. Is
6. Israeli Caves
7. Banished Be Cavalier
8. Carrying The Wet Wood
9. Pigeon
10. If This Is
11. Was
12. Perch Patchwork

To preface, this interview with Dave Davison of Maps and Atlases was my favorite phone interview to date. This was strongly due to the fact that Dave was on the phone with me for nearly an hour sitting outside a Whole Foods Co-Op somewhere near Erie, Pennsylvania and laughed at most of my jokes. He ventured into the store several times to purchase food, he put me on hold, and he seemed to enjoy almost every side comment I made. I have no idea what the hell the rest of the band was doing this whole time, but apparently they didn’t care much that their chatty lead singer was shuffling along the sidewalk, in and out of the store and answering absurd questions left and right. When I spoke with Dave, the guys were smack in the middle of a tour with Frightened Rabbit (Scotland!) on their way to Cleveland’s Grog Shop. According to Dave, the tour was going quite well.

Let’s do this interview a little differently so you can skip over the parts you don’t want to read, get to the good stuff, and ignore all the pretentious Indie descriptions that take away from your internet experience.

Band Background: (Note: Read and/or skim this if you know little-to-nothing about the band and care to know their geographical roots and/or coming of age story)

1. There are four people in Maps and Atlases. Their names are Dave Davison, Chris Hainey, Erin Elders, and Shiraz Dada. The founding members met at art school at Columbia College in Chicago.
2. They have been together for six years-ish.
3. Dave is 26, Chris is 26, Aaron is 27, and Shiraz is 29 (This is important for a lot of reasons, you just don’t know them all yet.)

Non-Relevant Random Questions. (Note: Read this if you want to read questions and answers that have little to nothing to do with music but are probably, if not wholly, more interesting than most interview moments you will come across)

1. On death row (for undisclosed reasons), Dave would eat, drink, hook with, and play the following:

Meal: Catered from Karen’s Cooked in Chicago. “They can figure out the courses,” he tells me. Who doesn’t appreciate that decisiveness and confidence? He’s pretty adamant about their vegan-ness and bread pudding though, just FYI if you’re ever trying to bring him a snack at a show.
Drink: Black Coffee.
Hook: “I’ve had this discussion on several occasions quite recently. I don’t think I could name, like, five celebrities.”
Song: “What song would I really pick? I mean, I don’t know... What’s the best song that’s going to practically be the best song in that situation?” Graceland. Paul Simon. “It’s a good song.”

2. On the wildness of their tour with Frightened Rabbits et. al: “I think we’re probably one of the least crazy bands.”

3. On what Dave would name his hypothetical child when given the options Bullitt or Gator: “Definitely Gator.” (Laughs heartily, making me feel both validated and hilarious as a human being.)

4. On whether or not the band partakes in van sing alongs: According to Dave, they “sometimes” do, but mostly to older songs or 90’s alternative rock. “I love Third Eye Blind....Semi-Charmed Life is rock solid.”

5. On asking me a random question: “Do you feel like that song [Semi-Charmed Life] was a gateway song to you doing drugs?” God. Dave is funny.

Musical Musings:

1. On the Songwriting process on the first two EPs: -“The process was very different; the songwriting process has sort of evolved. When we first started it was based on us stumbling upon ideas and jamming and all that...We recorded both the Eps really fast with the mindset of first documenting our live shows.”

2. On being dubbed as strictly math rock: “We want to make music for people to enjoy and for people to like, it’s not totally cerebral; we want to make music that has a soulful quality too.”

3. On having the opportunity to go into the studio with any musician, dead or alive: Van Morrison.

4. On his favorite band they’ve played shows with: “The National was awesome...[They] became one of my favorite bands just from hearing that show.”

5. On other notable showmates? Deerhoof, Steven Malkmus and the Jiggs, Public Enemy (to name a few)

6. On his favorite albums of all time? “I think Moondance by Van Morrison would be up there...Ziggy Stardust, the Rise and Fall...” and then he rambles off into his fear of betraying albums that are classics and those that are currently spinning...

7. On what he’s been listening to lately: “Kate Bush...Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds...Yeasayer...

The Album, Perch Patchwork:

1. After two EPs over the last several years, this is the band’s first full length. And it’s kind of a big deal. In case you couldn’t tell.

2. It’s officially released today, so go climb out your window and buy it. Or at least open up Itunes and type in those credit card numbers.

3. “The Charm” is his favorite song on the new album, a song that they never play live. (Or at least at this point, they hadn’t played it live: “Maybe we should someday,” he thoughtfully tells me.) What a bizarre notion!

4. He attributes his liking of the song to perhaps an “element of weird mystery...” He talks about how songs lose their mystery appeal when you listen to/play them over and over and over and over and over and over and over again...

Overall, hopefully it is clear that Maps and Atlases are a multifaceted group with lots of ideas, talents, and potential. The conversation ranged from an admiration of Van Morrison to a discussion of 90's pop, and it showed me the side of bands we all want to see: they're real. Maps and Atlases work hard to create what they love, and they don't lose sight of all the other things in life they are passionate about. This new album is certainly a step in the right direction for them, and will definitely not be the last we see or hear of them!

About the Album:

'Entitled Perch Patchwork, the record was produced by Jason Cupp (The Elected, Nurses, Cast Spells). The band’s unique style melds the technicality of progressive music and the idiosyncrasies of art rock into a fascinating and oddly accessible sound all their own. Known for their virtuosic musical ability, Maps & Atlases write pop songs with a magnificent aptitude for texture and a distinctive blend of both the intricate and organic.

'It was great to be able to step outside of our live setting and imagine the songs in a different way,' said guitarist Erin Elders about the recording process for Perch Patchwork. 'Jason Cupp brought another dimension to the songs that was really exciting to hear. We were able to deconstruct them part by part and then rebuild each verse or chorus with a different sonic idea.'

Continues singer/guitarist David Davison, 'We went into the record with the understanding that the creation of the album would be separate from its existence as a live piece of music, which was really liberating.'"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One EskimO - Interview

This Interview will be about the band, One EskimO.

-Answered by Jamie Sefton from One Eskimo-

EIN: How do you feel like your fan base differs in London and other parts of England and Europe and the United States?

OE: It's difficult to say now. We've been away from the UK for so long it would be difficult to make an accurate comparison. But it is clear that the majority of music fans in the states care solely about music and not the peripherals such as image and marketing gimmicks. If the music sounds good to them, that's the only criteria to buy.

EIN: If you could take three people (one person you know, one celebrity, and one fictional character) with you on a desert island, taking into account how they might all get along, who would you pick?

OE: I would take my fiancee, milas kunis and Kate Austin (from lost). Don't know whether they'll get on. I think I could be happy ;-)

EIN: How was it working with an engineer who has worked with some of the most seminal rock acts ever?

OE: The biggest advantage was that he was friends with Robert Plant who came into the control room and I had a chat with him about our music and Welsh mountains.

EIN: You guys seem to have an overwhelming array of influences—who would you say has been one of the most important in developing your own sound?

OE. I couldn't give one artist as I don't know myself. My influences could stem from nano-seconds of sound, vision as well as experiences throughout my life. I was brought up on a rich diet of mowtown, stax and soul. I picked up more influences whilst playing in brass bands, orchestras whilst doing my degree in music and then found myself in a progressive punk band! But I'm definitely more inspired by music than any other art form. You can choose to look at art or read literature but it's impossible to shut out music. Music, that you despise can evoke just as powerful an emotion as the music that you adore.

EIN: If you could pick a few songs to be sort of background songs to your life—like, your own personal “entry” music—for whenever you entered a party, stage, room, etc, what would you pick? Why?

If it was to be entry music...Then "eye of the tiger" by survivor. Needs no explanation ;-)

EIN: Tell me about the capital O.

OE: Whilst recording the album one of the engineers typed it in. It looked right. So we kept it!

EIN: What does the next year look like for One EskimO?

OE: I've been writing and working on some tracks whilst on the tour bus with the guys. I hope we get to record them soon. Touring is great, but we're all miss the creativity of the studio live room. Then we can get back on the road and expand our live set.

EIN: What would you say is one of your major goals as a band?

OE: To keep playing and keep creating music and hope that our listeners grow as we do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This Will Destroy You: Interview & Review

This interview will be about the band, This Will Destroy You. It is also about their new album, Tunnel Blanket. It is also about their show last week in Nashville, TN. It also includes the new single and mp3, Communal Blood.

This Will Destroy You is not simply a harbinger of imminent danger or impending doom. In fact, it’s potentially the opposite. This Will Destroy You, an instrumental “post rock” group from Texas, is a band (Jeremy Galindo, Chris King, Donovan Jones, Alex Bhore) with a mindset of art they want to create and the talent to make that a sonic truth. And the only impending doom associated with them comes to the listener who doesn’t take the time to acknowledge their musical capacity.

I’m always hesitant about music without lyrics; being a wholeheartedly biased English Literature degree-holder and writer, it’s easy for me to focus on the lyrics and only the lyrics. So, when I started perusing the catalog of They Will Destroy You, I was certainly skeptical at first. However, after venturing to their show on Thursday (June 17) at Nashville’s The End, and chatting with lead guitarist, Jeremy, over the phone, I must say that I’m nothing short of impressed. And amused.

For a band that doesn’t have lyrics to their songs, Jeremy certainly has a way with words. To jump start what could potentially have been an awkward and invasive interview, I asked him who he would eat first if he were stuck on an island with Ke$ha, Justin Bieber, and all of Nickelback. Now, I know you’re all answering this in your heads right now – each of you with a respectful and well-defended response-- but Jeremy’s was flawless. Without hesitation, he said, “Nickelback. They look delicious.” (Take that as you will.) He had some choice words and commentary about Justin Bieber, but decided to keep him around because, “at least he kind of looks like a girl...” referencing the fact that he would like to have a mate of sorts on the island. Which, in his defense, is both logical and well thought out.

Still, if he could bring people to this island(one friend, one celebrity, and one fictional character), he chooses Kelly Kapowski, Barack Obama, and his cat. (“I don’t like my friends,” he says. Haha.) Once again though, Jeremy wanted America’s finest rock quartet there. “What about the guy from Nickelback, can I bring him?” You can see how this interview went from potentially insidious to somewhat ridiculous and simultaneously hilarious—thanks to Jeremy’s answers, not my questions--.

On a more related note, the guys are in the midst (or just finished up) a short three week tour through the Midwest, and are heading out later this summer. Jeremy expresses their love for the actual performance part of touring—the playing, the meeting people, the drinking—while maintaining a sincere distaste for the van: “We all hate the van.” As anyone probably would who spent the majority of their waking hours in one. The guys have toured extensively over the past six and a half years since their inception, and noted Moscow and Athens as two of their favorite pit stops during their world travels over the past couple of years—noting that they were fun to play for “really crazy crowds.”

(photo courtesy of Andrewweiss.com/last fm--I didn't take photos during the show because I was pretty mesmerized.)

After discussing the new album, Tunnel Blanket, a bit, Jeremy told me that there’s “not a song on the album that we don’t like, or a song that we think is a filler song,” a notion that is apparently different than their last albums. In reference to their ubiquitous label that can often leave them pigeon holed, he tells me “it’s just words...we’re just gonna make the music we want to make. The new album is definitely not post rock...I don’t know what that means...” Granted, Jeremy echoed my sentiments of being mildly confused by the label post rock and its over-arching meaning, but he seemed to agree that the labels don’t affect the band or the music they create.

In terms of their creative process, it appears that members of the band take on different roles in the development of the album—lyrics, titles, artwork, etc. As far as naming the songs that don’t have words, Chris, the band’s other guitarist, names all the songs—usually keeping with a particular theme. Thematically, each album varies from the others, and influentially, Jeremy and I delved into those musicians that inspire the band—or at least him. Jeremy tells me that if he could go into the studio for an hour with any musician dead or alive, he would pick, Richard James (Aphex Twin) Steve Wright, Gustavo Santaolalla, and Johnny Greenwood (Radiohead). “Those would be my people.” And as far as a good cover with those people? “Rainy Day Women.” A diverse collection of incredibly talented individuals (even though he was technically only supposed to pick one musician.)

To keep things haphazard and spontaneous, I had to throw in my ever-present and always completely unrelated question, would you rather name your hypothetical child Bullitt or Gator? Jeremy tells me, “Gator, for sure...It’s got bite to it:” an answer that I (unbiasedly or not) wholeheartedly agree with. The newest album doesn’t currently have a release date, as the band will be shopping it around to labels quite soon. It’s finished, mastered, and everything else a album needs to be, its just a matter of finding a label. Still, keep your eyes and ears ready for these guys on record or live—it will be well worth your time.

In terms of what will this new album sound like? Or what They Will Destroy You sound like in general? Think Explosions In The Sky births a somewhat darker younger brother with a bit of an edge. That being said, their live show at The End blew my mind. It’s often difficult to go see a band whose music you don’t know well—particularly if you don’t know any of the words to any of the songs. I guess when there are no words to learn, this problem disappears. The End is a tiny hole-in-the-wall, beer-only, dive venue located within walking distance of Vanderbilt. Realizing that is extraneous information, let’s get to the music. As the band chatted in the courtyard pre-show, I hardly knew they were the people getting ready to take the stage next. When they did, however, the small crowd was mesmerized. The place was neither vacant nor packed, but it wouldn’t have mattered either way.
There was something captivating about the songs – none of which I can title – it was like emotion was pouring offstage in every guitar lick, drum beat, and bass riff. I felt moved; I felt like they had captured all the unspeakable feelings in the human soul and morphed them into a melody that contained a dangerous amount of sentiment. It was like experiencing a certain kind of sonic certainty; there was something climactic about the moments they built up melodies and chords until they had no choice but to slowly calm their instruments and the crowd. People were enchanted, and in fact, I couldn’t have left early even If I wanted to. I’ve never been so audibly engrossed in a concert; usually, if I don’t know the words to most songs, I get distracted and discouraged and zoned out unless they are particularly groundbreaking. This Will Destroy You changed all of that.
Monday, June 21, 2010

One EskimO - 3rd & Lindsley

I hadn't heard of One EskimO until recently, and after I did some research I realized I was a little bit behind the times. Anywho, they played Nashville's 3rd & Lindsley Thursday night (June 17), and it was, despite its high moments, one of the more lackluster shows I've seen in Nashville. Granted, I live in a city where it's nearly impossible to hear bad music at any given moment, but it's still possible to see shows that you'd rather not be at. That being said, unfortunately, this was one of the latter. The band lacked energy, and while the crowd was certainly mellow and the atmosphere itself doesn't provide for stage dives and guitar-smashing, it was still lacking. I knew that from listening to the group live that I would (and have) enjoy (ed) listening to their album, but that would probably suffice for the time being.

(Lead guitarist. Photo courtesy of Hampton Howerton)

The single, Kandi, was certainly a highlight, but then they sang it a
second time as an encore with the elusive and enigmatic Kandi herself joining in. This was probably a highlight for superfans, but for others it was sort of mystifying and redundant--particularly when the song had first been sung with her part done by a recording. Strange.

(sort of blurry picture of the band during their second to last song. courtesy of, once again, HH)

The guys are clearly quite talented, and they certainly have developed a sound that has attracted a particular type of listener. Still, it seemed like a facsimile of their recordings. And for the casual listener, however, they failed to enchant me. Their stage presence and chemistry seemed thoughtless: I didn't believe them. I was sure they cared deeply about their music based on their sound and succinct melodies, but I wasn't sure I believed what they were singing and playing on stage. That was problematic. Ideally, there is a latent stage presence that will catapult these guys from the band you listen to in the background while you're cleaning to the band you're lining up for and giving blood to see.
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Confessions of a Bonnaroo'er

Anyone that's ever been to Bonnaroo will tell you with extreme passion and relentless enthusiasm that it was, without a doubt, the most quintessential moment of their musical existance. What they will view and reveal as trivial dispensable moments are when they woke up in their tent nearly suffocating, the time they passed out in a field near the Troo Music Lounge, the sweaty guy at Phoenix who could potentially be charged for sexual harrassment, and the way their feet felt on Sunday night around 11:30.

So, as a first-time Bonnaroo goer, I will give you the highlights and lowlights of the weekend.

Highlight #1: Mumford & Sons. After having passed my funnel cake off to drunkass Jake Wolf who had his name tattooed on his fingers and didn't really know he was in Tennessee, I stood in a packed crowd of folk fans about ten feet from the stage. Whether it was dehydration or genuine admiration, I had goosebumps for much of their set. Particularly when they pulled up Old Crow Medicine Show, Dave Rawlings, and Gillian Welch to join them for a rousing and geographically poignant, "Wagon Wheel." There are no good videos of that (where you can actually hear and see the performance), but this is a beautiful video of "White Blank Page:"

Lowlight #1: The traffic that caused me to miss both Frontier Ruckus and Local Natives.

Highlight #2: Kevin Devine. This ginger headed singer songwriter has failed to disappoint me for about three years now, but seeing him in the scorching heat with a full band, electric guitar, and devoted sweaty hippies took his performance effect to a new level. His articulately crafted lyrics are already mesmerizing, but he has the ability to intertwine current events and political howlings when least expected--KD performing "Cotton Crush" to a PACKED tent at 3:00 p.m. in the middle of the f-ing hottttttt afternoon.

Lowlight #2: The fear I felt on Saturday morning when I started to fall back asleep and thought I might pass out in my sleep and die because it was easily 103 degrees inside the nylon heat cave.

Highlight #3: Dawes. Always a highlight. Always. This is actually a video someone grabbed from Bowery Ballroom, but this is a new song and it's clever as hell.

Lowlight #3: Walking back to camp on Saturday night. Enough said.

Highlight #4: Angus and Julia Stone. Simply Beautiful. A short clip of "Mango Tree" from the cafe tent they performed in while Weezer attempted to be heard all the way in f-ing Nashville.

So, as I've discovered from my first Bonnaroo trip, it's a love hate relationship. Mostly love, because if you care about music enough to go in the first place, it's pretty much unbeatable. But, the hate part does come in when you sober up around 4 pm and only have 4 dollars cash left, or when your calves start to reject your body because you've walked more in three days then you have in three months. Still, just like most people would say, I'd go back in a second. I would curse the organizers for overlapping The Avett Brothers with Mumford & Sons, but I will return again for the opportunity to be amongst so much talent and passion and humidity.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Free Energy - Live at Exit/In

My apologies for being on a week long hiatus, but Bonnaroo will do that to a person. First things first though: Free Energy at Exit/In last Wednesday in Nashville. For the record, these Philly rockers are bonafide rock stars, that is a fact one simply cannot argue with. Why? Well, unfortunately for these gentlemen, their stint in Nashville fell on a very musically crowded night: The night of the CMT Awards and the night before the ever-sweaty and always prolix Bonnaroo. Regardless, Free Energy, who oddly enough managed to trapse around Exit/In allll night during the sets of openers Drink Up Buttercup and Jukebox The Ghost, went on around 12 a.m. to a crowd of 24 people.

Did you read that? 24 people. I counted them, head by head.

Did Free Energy care, notice, or let it remotely affect their performance? Absolutely not.

The band performed like they were playing a sold out arena, self-aware as they were. They joked snarkily about the CMT Awards and never failed to acknowledge the fans that were there for a historic event (Believe me, people. In one year, you'll be kicking yourself in the left ear for missing a Free Energy show with only 23 other people there.) Opening with the concise and eponymous "Free Energy," the guys showed that they would play music for whomever wanted to listen, and they would play voraciously and passionately. Clad in everyone's favorite rock-star attire (everything from tank tops, tie dye tees, skinny jeans, and Phillies t shirts), they made their way through their debut album with attitude and an endearing sense of humor. Imitating a completely hammered 'fan' in the front,
guitarist -- Scott Wells-- managed to capture my heart by dancing and singing and clapping and even posing for the incessant photographer who had the front row all to himself. While "Dark Trance" is my go-to favorite of the band's, I think that live there was something mindlessly charming about "Bang Pop," and the opener "Free Energy."

They keep their songs sounding as fresh and accessible as they are on the album, and their stage-presence-infused-charm exudes off the stage infecting the small number of people who knew the words and smothering the people who were still there from Jukebox The Ghost. If you've ever wanted to see a band that can dominate any place at any time with any of their music, Free Energy is your band. Do not miss this. They will get big, and you will be too late.

**Camera was struggling a bit, but will try to get some pictures up soon if possible!**

Jun 15 2010 8:00P
Ironhorse w/ Todd Barry and Mates of State Northampton, Massachuse, US
Jun 16 2010 8:00P
The Club at Water St. Music Hall w/ Todd Barry and Mates of State Rochester, New York , US
Jun 17 2010 6:00P
NXNE Early Show @ Yonge-Dundas Square w/ Mudhoney X, Brant Bjork, and Icarus Line Toronto, Ontario , CA Find Tickets
Jun 18 2010 8:00P
Mr. Smalls Funhouse w/ Todd Barry and Mates of State Pittsburgh, Pennsylvan, US
Jun 19 2010 8:00P
Grog Shop w/ Todd Barry and Mates of State Cleveland, Ohio , US
Jun 20 2010 2:30P
Junebug Music Festival/Cardinal Hill Fundraiser @ Buster's Billiards & Bacroom Lexington, KY Find Tickets
Jun 21 2010 8:00P
20th Century w/ Todd Barry and Mates of State Cincinnati, Ohio , US
Jun 22 2010 9:00P
Lincoln Hall w/ Todd Barry and Mates of State Chicago, Illinois
Jun 23 2010 9:00P
400 Bar w/ Mates of State Minneapolis, Minnesota , US
Jun 24 2010 9:00P
400 Bar w/ Mates of State Minneapolis, Minnesota , US
Jun 25 2010 5:00P
Left Coast Live Music Festival w/Ok Go San Jose, CA Find Tickets
Jun 26 2010 9:00P
Bluebird w/ Mates of State Denver, Colorado , US
Jun 28 2010 8:00P
In the Venue w/ Mates of State Salt Lake city, Utah , US
Jun 30 2010 8:00P
Great American Music Hall w/ Nick Thune and Mates of State San Francisco, California, US
Jul 1 2010 8:00P
Great American Music Hall w/ Nick Thune and Mates of State San Francisco, California, US
Jul 2 2010 8:00P
Echoplex w/ Nick Thune and Mates of State Los Angeles, California, US
Jul 3 2010 8:00P
Echoplex w/ Nick Thune and Mates of State Los Angeles, California, US
Jul 4 2010 8:00P
Club Congress w/ Mates of State Tucson, Arizona , US
Jul 6 2010 7:00P
Jake’s w/ Mates of State Lubbock, Texas , US
Jul 7 2010 7:00P
Granada Theater w/ Mates of State Dallas, Texas , US
Jul 8 2010 8:00P
Warehouse Live w/ Mates of State Houston, Texas , US
Jul 9 2010 8:00P
Spanish Moon w/ Mates of State Baton Rouge, Louisiana , US
Jul 10 2010 9:00P
Workplay w/ Mates of State Birmingham, AL Find Tickets
Jul 12 2010 8:00P
40 Watt w/ Nick Thune and Mates of State Athens, Georgia , US
Jul 13 2010 8:00P
Orange Peel w/ Nick Thune and Mates of State Ashville, North Caro, US
Jul 14 2010 8:00P
Ottobar w/ Nick Thune and Mates of State Baltimore, Maryland , US
Jul 16 2010 5:00P
XpoNential Music Festival @ Wiggens Park/Camden Waterfront camden, nj Find Tickets
Jul 17 2010 12:00P
Pitchfork Music Festival @ Union Park Chicago, Illinois , US
Aug 7 2010 9:00A
Summer Sonic Festival @ Chiba Marine Stadium Tokyo, JP
Aug 8 2010 9:00A
Summer Sonic Festival @ Maishima Osaka Site Osaka, JP

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Free Energy Interview

Free Energy: This interview will be about the band, Free Energy.

If you haven’t heard of Free Energy yet, it’s fairly evident that you’ve been living under a small, albeit completely soul-consuming, rock for the past few months. These up-and-comers (or at least some of them) self-transplanted from Minnesota to Philadelphia, and in recent months they have managed to catch the eyes and ears of everyone from Rolling Stone to Spin to little old Ear it Now. Some of the members, starting off in the band, Hockey Night, have transformed their sound and band into a fresh new poprocksexyguitarriffscatchyhookslovelysounding sensation: Free Energy. Their debut full-length, Stuck On Nothing, was produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, and they are now on an extensive tour across the states with Jukebox the Ghost and then joining up with Mates of State. And, since they will be gracing Nashville, Tennessee with their presence tomorrow, the guys have recently been kind and clever enough to respond to a few questions from yours truly over at Ear it Now.

Ear It Now: Since a couple of you are from Minnesota and are now based in Philadelphia, what do you think about entering into the Philly music scene? How do you feel like you fit (or don’t) fit into it?

Free Energy: It feels like any scene-- we have a lot of friends in the scene but we aren't too involved. We are always kind of loners/weirdos. We don't really have any peers there, except for maybe the tough shits.

EIN: What’s been your favorite city/venue or pit stop thus far since you guys have had a pretty rigorous year of touring?

FE: St. Paul, D.C., San Fran, Paris, Glasgow...more to come!
EIN: Any tour stops you’re particularly looking forward to in the near future?

FE: Japan!! Australia for sure. China

EIN: If you could go into the studio with one musician (or band) for just one hour to record, who would it be?

FE: Clapton. Psych! Maybe Top dollar from the band Endless Boogie. That might get pretty heavy...

EIN: How do you feel like Stuck On Nothing differs from the Hockey Night stuff?

FE: More direct, simpler, defined melodies and structures and imagery. Confidence. Enthusiasm. Love.

EIN: You’re about to be executed. For undisclosed reasons. You get one last meal, one last beverage, and one last song to listen to and/or perform. What do you choose?

FE: Bacon egg and cheese on everything bagel.
Free Fallin - Petty

EIN: What’s your favorite song on the album? Why?

FE: Light love. Catchiest. I wish the structure was different though. It's an imperfect pop song...

EIN: Would you rather name your hypothetical child Bullitt or Gator? Why?

FE: I'd name him Mindslayer, for he will be a psychic warrior in the coming apocalyptic zombie wasteland.

Actually, I'd probably just name him Chad.

EIN: Stuck on a desert island with only your band members, you each get to bring one album and one book, what do you bring? [Note: you will probably rescued in several years, but you should still think of it as a fairly long-term situation]


Paul: Star wars fan erotica
The Monster mash

Geoff: Harry nillson's coconut

Scott: Bible and a coconut

Nick: Theme to night court

Evan: No nothin mon

If these thoughtfully quirky answers didn’t do it for you, you should probably head out to see them sometime in the next month with Jukebox The Ghost and/or Mates of State. Keep your eyes peeled on Ear It Now for a review of their show tomorrow night at Nashville's Exit/In!

Deer Tick - The Black Dirt Sessions


1. Choir of Angels
2. Twenty Miles
3. Goodbye, Dear Friend
4. Piece by Piece and Frame By Frame
5. The Sad Sun
6. Mange
7. When She Comes Home
8. Hand In My Hand
9. I Will Not Be Myself
10. Blood Moon
11. Christ Jesus

This is definitely a Deer Tick album. I realize that's probably the least articulate description I could put forth about this album, but some things have not changed. And, one of those things is John McCauley's (lead singer) scratching, howling, and borderline death-yowl voice. What has changed though? John sounds more sincere on this record. The band sounds like if it actually might mean what it is saying, and this is pretty evident on tracks like "Goodbye, Dear Friend," and the sincerely more haunting version of "Christ Jesus." The lyrics are more poignant than I've heard on previous recordings, and the album seems like a more cohesive piece than their last effort. "The Sad Sun" throws me off the most on the album; it seems somewhat oddly misplaced and the vocals are...well...not particularly listenable. However, the rest of the album certainly is. In fact, right after "The Sad Sun," the album picks back up with "Mange," propelled by a simple bassline, and the album moves steadily into its second half. Overall, a solid effort for Deer Tick, and definitely an album most of their fans will want to get their hands on. Plus the downloadable MP3 version is currently up on Amazon for 3.99. You can't beat that.

Genre: Website: Myspace | Buy!
Release Date:
Label:Partisan Records
Monday, June 7, 2010

In Preparation for Bonnaroo

For any of those brave souls headed to Manchester, Tennessee this Thursday, I thought I'd just give you a brief rundown of those artists I'm most excited to see (and thus, those that you should check out if you get a chance!)

1. Frontier Ruckus: This new-folk outfit weaves clever and GRE-level vocabulary lyrics throughout all of its songs while managing to keep you wildly intrigued by the lead singer's unique voice and the suspender-clad banjo player. I saw them play a short set earlier this year in Nashville, and it was beyond noteworthy. Definitely catch these guys if you can when they play @ 4:30 on Thursday.

2. Local Natives: If you've missed the hype on this group, now is the time to catch up. They have a flawless live show--their harmonies sounding better live than they do on the album, and their multi-instrumentation being nothing short of impressive. Get ready to dance and sing.

3. Dawes: Do.not.miss.this. It's like The Band meets The Avett Brothers meets every incredible live show you've ever been to. They're gonna be huge.

4. Kevin Devine: This Brooklyn singer-songwriter has been around for a while, and he has only gotten better. From his Bob Dylan-esque anti-war protests to his charming folk-pop tunes, he is still creating a buzz. It's only a matter of time before this ginger gets some serious attention.

5. Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights: I just saw him last week at 12th & Porter in Nashville, and it was like the second coming of Robert Plant. Jonathan Tyler is 21 years of pure sex and rock and roll, and every manager across this country is currently biding for his love and contract. He will rock your soul out.

6. Mumford & Sons: Another one--if you've missed the buzz on these guys, you've missed out on life a little bit over the past year. This Scotland folk-rock outfit has been selling out shows across the states for the past few months. Their set is bound to be emotionally intense and rockworthy. They'll have to battle the Avett Bros for their fans, but they probably won't have any problem swooning fans.

7. John Butler Trio: This guy (trio) is both sexy and talented, being an insane acoustic guitar player and sporting (or at least used to) a beautiful mane of dreadlocks.

8. The Black Keys: Saw them at Lollapalooza a few years ago, and as far as I can tell, hearing Brothers live is going to be a spiritual experience.

9. John Prine: Enough said.

10. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: This group has spent the last several months dominating every surface of the earth, and I can't imagine their Bonnaroo set will disappoint.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cadillac Sky - Mercy Lounge

If you thought Cadillac Sky was just a bluegrass band—you were wrong. If you thought they didn’t play electric guitars or dance shirtless around beams on top of speakers—you were wrong. And if you thought they couldn’t put on a rock ‘n roll show for nearly an hour and a half straight—you were definitely wrong. Cadillac Sky’s CD release show Wednesday night at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville, TN was a well-rounded, one-of-a-kind rock show. I emphasize “rock” so adamantly because often its easy to meander into a show and expect the pigeon holed reviews from local magazines to hold true: this will be a bluegrass show, this will be folky and maybe slightly boring, etc. etc. But these guys surpassed any and all expectations—and not just mine.

Cadillac sky (Bryan, Matt, Ross, Panda, and David) waltzed out around 9:30 accompanied by a fog machine, and mesmerized the crowd with some of their new album—“Trapped Under The Ice,” “Hangman,” and “Human Cannonball.” Those who hadn’t heard the new album or perhaps any Cadillac Sky ever, were certainly won over after the open-hearted swooning harmonies of “Human Cannonball,” and the immediate sing-along quality of “Hangman.” The group was, from the moment they stepped on stage, through and through musical aficionados. They swapped instruments like candy and were shredding notes on mandolins and banjos left and right. If you’ve never seen someone solo on a banjo, you’re definitely missing out. To hear most of the new record was certainly welcome—particularly since much of the crowd was able to get into the show for free with the purchase of the album. But, some of the more special moments of the night were the covers. Above all, the Death Cab For Cutie cover of “I Will Follow You Into The Dark,” was monumentally moving—lead singer, Bryan, didn’t sing into the microphone, and claimed it was a cover of one of their favorite folk bands. Which, to any Cadillac Sky and/or Death Cab fan, was oddly charming.

As the night continued, they tore apart the stage when David Mayfield pulled out his steel guitar, and they enchanted locals when friends from Nashville’s own Apache Relay stepped on stage to join them in a sing along during “Break My Heart Again.” As if that weren’t enough, they invited other local favorites, The Vespers, up on stage for their passionate cover of “Video Killed The Radio Star.” And then, just when we thought the show was over, the crowd chanted for a double encore after the lead singer jumped into the audience, set his microphone on the ground, and sang the last lines of the concert in the midst of his fans.

As if you couldn’t tell already, it was everything a concert-goer wants a show to be: the band was in love with their instruments and the ability to create and perform music, they had no problem entertaining (read: David Mayfield will take off his vest, tie, and shirt and dance for the crowd without request), and they were graciously humble—taking the time to advocate for their favorite non profit, The Mocha Club, and thank God and everyone in the crowd. And, as mentioned, there was a fog machine.

If you’ve never had a chance to see a Cadillac Sky show, or if for some godforsaken reason you’ve never heard of or listened to Cadillac Sky, now is probably the time to make a change. A short video of their Death Cab cover will be here as soon as the camera I used comes back to Nashville, and the tour dates are listed below. You’re definitely making yourself a worse person if you don’t catch them on the rest of this tour.

**Camera batteries died, so I'll post up a short video, and this picture is taken from Bluegrass Underground at caverns in Kentucky. So, not from Mercy Lounge.**

Jun 5 2010 8:30P
Beachland Ballroom & Tavern Cleveland, Ohio , US
Jun 15 2010 7:30P
Ocotillo Performing Arts Center Artesia, New Mexico Find Tickets
Jun 16 2010 9:30P
Low Spirits Albuquerque, New Mexico Find Tickets
Jun 18 2010 12:00A
Telluride Bluegrass Festival Telluride, Colorado , US
Jun 19 2010 12:00A
Telluride Bluegrass Festival Telluride, Colorado , US
Jun 23 2010 10:00P
Tractor Tavern w/ TBA Seattle, Washington, US
Jun 25 2010 9:30P
Utah Arts Festival - Utah Arts Festival Salt Lake City, Utah , US
Jul 8 2010 8:00P
House Of Blues - Cambridge Room Dallas, Texas Find Tickets
Jul 9 2010 8:00P
House of Blues - Bronze Peacock Houston, TX Find Tickets
Jul 28 2010 9:00P
Visulite Theatre Charlotte, NC Find Tickets
Jul 29 2010 7:30P
Kirk Avenue Music Hall Roanoke, Virginia , US
Jul 30 2010 8:00P
The Southern Charlottesville, Virginia Find Tickets
Jul 31 2010 8:00P
Tarara Winery - Toast to the Tunes Concert Series w/ The Vespers Leesburg, Virginia , US
Aug 1 2010 9:00P
The Soapbox Wilmington, NC Find Tickets
Aug 4 2010 9:30P
Charleston Pour House Charleston, SC Find Tickets
Aug 7 2010 9:00P
The Grey Eagle Asheville, NC Find Tickets
Aug 14 2010 8:00P
Kenton National - Kenton National Festival Kenton, Ohio , US
Aug 19 2010 8:00P
Philadelphia Folk Festival Schwenksville, PA Find Tickets
Sep 2 2010 1:00A
Sailing Southern Ground Cruise w/ Zac Brown Band Tampa to Grand Caymen, Florida Find Tickets
Sep 3 2010 4:00P
Sailing Southern Ground Cruise w/ Zac Brown Band Tampa to Grand Caymen, Florida Find Tickets
Sep 4 2010 6:00P
Sailing Southern Ground Cruise w/ Zac Brown Band Tampa to Grand Caymen, Florida Find Tickets
Sep 5 2010 9:30P
Sailing Southern Ground Cruise w/ Zac Brown Band Tampa to Grand Caymen, Florida Find Tickets
Sep 6 2010 4:30P
Sailing Southern Ground Cruise w/ Zac Brown Band Tampa to Grand Caymen, Florida Find Tickets
Sep 11 2010 4:30P
Blues at the Crossroads Festival Terre Haute, Indiana Find Tickets
Sep 16 2010 8:00P
The Five Spot Atlanta, Georgia Find Tickets
Sep 17 2010 8:00P
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Bristol, Tennessee , US
Sep 18 2010 8:00P
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Bristol, Tennessee , US
Sep 25 2010 8:00P
Levitt Pavilion Arlington, Texas Find Tickets
Oct 8 2010 7:00P
Levitt Shell Memphis, Tennessee Find Tickets
Oct 21 2010 8:00P
Trevecca Nazarene University Nashville, Tn Find Tickets
Oct 22 2010 9:00P
Western Classic (Benefit for the Foundation for Fighting Blindness) @ Rose Hill Conference Center Nashville, NC Find Tickets
Oct 23 2010 9:00P
Western Classic (Benefit for the Foundation for Fighting Blindness) @ Rose Hill Conference Center Nashville, NC Find Tickets
Sep 3 2011 12:00A
Strawberry Music Festival Camp Mather, California


If you would like to feature your band or music on earitnow or have questions or comments about existing content, or show review requests for Chicago please contact me via email michael@earitnow.com~ many thanks and enjoy your stay!

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