Standing out among this year’s breakout acts is Field Report, the new folk project from Minnesota native Chris Porterfield. Formerly a member of the Eau Claire band DeYarmond Edison (which also featured Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and members of Megafaun), Porterfield relocated to Milwaukee where he rekindled his love for music . When its eponymous debut was released in September, critics hailed Field Report as an artist to watch for its rich, poetic lyrics and quiet-yet-powerful sound. Adam Duritz of Counting Crows, who Field Report supported on tour this summer, said “There’s such a perfection in the songs that I wonder how long Chris spent.” This week we caught up with Porterfield over the phone about his experience working with a new group of musicians, his surprise at the success of album, and the band’s resolve to remain true to their Wisconsin roots. Continue reading →
The Gallerist, led by Boston native Mike Collins, may just be one of the Philadelphia folk scene’s best kept secrets. The group’s 2011 album, A Falling Waltz, carries itself on songs with lively narrative lyrics and captivating melodies in the same vein of artists like The Civil Wars and The Avett Brothers. It shouldn’t come as a shock that the album was audio mastered by Jeff Lipton, who has worked with Bon Iver and City and Colour. Collins and his bandmates showcase their storytelling magic in tracks like “Washed-Away” and “Crumbs.” Listening to A Falling Waltz is like a conversation with an old friend, and it’s only a matter of time before the band strikes the right note to get noticed past Philadelphia and Boston. Catch the band tomorrow afternoon at One Shot Cafe for a free show at 1:30; more details can be found here. You can stream A Falling Waltz in its entirety here. Below, watch The Gallerist perform their title track from A Falling Waltz.
Jersey rock heroes The Gaslight Anthem are bringing the fall leg of their Handwritten tour to The Electric Factory on November 27. With them comes a new single for their song “Here Comes Your Man,” which features a cover of the popular Bon Iver tune “Skinny Love.” Listen to it below, and get tickets and information on the show here.
When we reached him by e-mail, Work Drugs founding member Thomas Crystal said “We just want to thank our fans, Bon Iver, and everyone who voted for our remix. It’s pretty easy to remix when you have great source material like the song ‘Beth / Rest’. Beyond excited to be a part of Bon Iver’s digital legacy. Stay smooth, stay warm Justin. Thank you.”
Each of the winners – which also included Canada’s Teen Daze and the UK’s Ed Tullett – won a $1,000 cash prize, and had their remix included on the official Spotify remix compilation, which you can listen to below.
It’s a safe bet that nobody who saw Bon Iver‘s set at The Mann Center for the performing arts last night will again describe the Wisconsin-based new-folk collective as “mellow.” Under the guidance of frontman and songwriter Justin Vernon, the band worked its way through a 16-song, 90-minute set that hit tremendous heights and explored haunting valleys, beginning with the stark solo opener “The Woods.” Originally found on Bon Iver’s 2009 EP Blood Bank, this song’s mystical ebb and flow of auto-tune vocal passages reached broader ears in 2010 when Kanye West interpolated it into the song “Lost in the World” on his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. With Vernon a solitary figure onstage among dim lights, his voice wandered in an architecture of loops and layers reminiscent of Laurie Anderson and Imogen Heap. A beat, a breath, and then the stage erupted into a thundering full-band performance of “Perth” from last year’s Bon Iver, Bon Iver. The set followed a similar pattern: in a vigorous take on “Flume” from 2008′s For Emma, Forever Ago, the nine-piece band created a rich progressive swell of sound from behind rows of beacon lights and under ragged backlit tapestries (the stage set alone was captivating), then later brought the pace down for a stark solo-acoustic rendition of that album’s popular number “Skinny Love.” Guiding the rise-and-fall were curious interludes; Michael Noyce played a jagged, John Cale-style violin solo to transition between “Hinnom, TX” and “Wash,” later saxophonist Colin Stetson answered his bandmate with mix of rhythmic scales and intense staccato bleats. While these elements took the set to its experimental fringes, it reached the other end of the spectrum as well, with a very poppy rendition of “Beth / Rest” closing out the main set, and a jaunty “For Emma” ending the show. But that wasn’t before Vernon entreated the crowd to sing (and scream) along to the epic, post-rock swell of “The Wolves (Act I and II),” while he thrashed away at his guitar, jolted around the stage, fell to the floor, played on his back, bolted upright and generally fought back against any threat of being pigeonholed as a low-key singer-songwriter. Check out a photo recap in the gallery above, and read the setlist below. Continue reading →
Rock to the Future, the non-profit organization that brings free music education to Philadelphia students during after school programs, presents their Rock and Read Fest today at the Rotunda on Walnut St. The benefit event features story readings, poetry and music by The National Rifle, Oh Bree!, Ted Nguyent, Mike Bell & the Movies and The Rock to the Future All Star Band. Attendees can also pick up some new reading material at the book swap. Entry is a $5 donation that goes directly to Rock to the Future, and the family-friendly event kicks off at 5:00pm. More info here. Here’s some background on Rock to the Future:
Perhaps the biggest name in music in 2011, Bon Iver returns to Philadelphia tonight for a show at The Mann. Justin Vernon’s moniker has been synonymous with exquisitely composed melodies paired with delicate, heartfelt vocals ever since his 2008 indie-folk cult favorite For Emma, Forever Ago. But it was his crossover 2011 self-titled release that garnered the most acclaim, leading to two Grammy wins and a slew of festival headlining slots. He performs tonight with New England folk-songstress Anais Mitchell. Doors open at 6:00pm, and tickets are available here.