Wow … talk about a busy week for new music. As I write this we just got a new song from Gary Clark Jr, and yes I’ll play it tonight! We’ll also have a listen to a bunch of albums coming this fall from Dawes, Bon Iver, Billy Bragg & Joe Henry, Mike Doughty and more. And here’s a little sample of what else we’ve got lined up for you tonight on our New Music Show …
The Indie Rock Hit Parade returns tonight with an all-new show that’s sure to tickle you. Tune in at 11pm ET on WXPN for a full-two hour mess of new tracks, including a spotlight on Convenience, the debut album from NY noise-punks PILL. If you’re a fan of the brash but poetic ‘no wave’ scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s, you’ll find PILL’s combination of sexually charged, confrontational lyrics and blaring saxophone to be the perfect prescription (boooooo). Also in the mix are new tracks from some familiar faces, some of whom have been out of the spotlight longer than others. Bon Iver announced a mystical new record, Warpaint‘s got a dark and groovy “New Song,” and Father John Misty does what he does best. Check out a preview of those tracks below:
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have become legendary for their energetic, never-ending performances, but Monday night in Paris the Boss proved too much for the power supply at AccorHotels Arena as they blew a main electrical fuse during the show- cutting electricity to the stage for about 20 minutes and forcing Springsteen to do a little impromptu dancing in the dark. Watch.
The Eaux Claires festival in Eau Claire, WI continued (read about Day 1 here) July 18 with a much slower start, a combination of Friday’s intense heat and thundershowers through the night having broken some of the pressure.
Leaving no time to waste, staff photog Jeremy and I headed over to the dome marked “Eternity Awaits” that I described yesterday. Once inside the dome, recorded “confessions” and “Alleluias” played as a soundtrack for the experiment as the hay bales started to fill with those anxious to confess. These recorded confessions included everything from a woman sharing she was really a cat to friends admitting they deceived each other; really weird mix of stuff. I pulled the number “12” from the ticket wheel and patiently waited. Astronautalis came out from the confessional between hearing confessions in full priestly regalia, guzzling a Miller Lite and sizing up every sinner in the room with his own appearance-based evaluation – never mind what each person was actually going to confess.
Finally, my ticket was called and I approached the confessional, totally unsure of what to do once I got up there. But, just like in my Catholic upbringing, I entered one side of the confessional and Astronautalis entered the other. The walls of the small box were filled with photobooth-like mugs of others; a kneeler and a screen were also present in on the wall facing Astronautalis. Continue reading →
The journey to Eau Claire (pronounced “Oh Clare”), Wisconsin for the inaugural Eaux Claires (EXC) indiefolk mammoth of a festival started like a freak folk dream that never really stopped. From the time we pulled into the two hour wait line outside the muddy camping grounds Thursday night – during which antsy campers skipped up and down the aisles of cars and coolly flaunted their half-shaven haircuts on cig breaks – the party kept rolling with no signs of slowing down.
Lines of hipster drones sweated outside the gates from 10 a.m. Friday morning until they could break through to music mecca curated by the one and only Justin Vernon, aka Bon Iver. (Our staff photog Jeremy cleverly nicknamed the festival #BonnarooIver.) Make no mistake about it; everything on these grounds felt handpicked by JV from the focus on Midwestern artists – every artist on the bill had a personal connection to Vernon, even those of non-Midwestern descent – to the oddly terrifying family zone – more on that tomorrow. Continue reading →
Folks expecting to see Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ Saturday night got an extra bonus as Bruce Springsteen jumped on stage to perform a surprise set of music. Continue reading →
Mark Kozelek, who performs under the name Sun Kil Moon, and Volcano Choir (side project of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon) are currently collaborating on two of three 12″ records benefiting the restoration of the Crescent Park Looff Carousel. The carousel, which is hailed as one of East Providence, Rhode Island’s treasures, has been in use since 1895. As the site is a National Historic Landmark, the high costs for maintenance of each horse typically run from $2500-$4500.
The two 12″ records from Kozelek and Volcano Choir are expected to be completed by December of this year. A third 12″ record is in the hands of Secretly Canadian co-founder Chris Swanson, who has compiled a set of unreleased material from the late Jason Molina to round out the collection. The reparation effort, which is being done by Shorebird, will sell only 3,500 copies of each record, but will make other rewards available for supporters which include a white vinyl copy of Unmap,Volcano Choir’s 2009 LP, as well as a 7″ of Molina covering Townes Van Zandt. To support and/or find out more about Project Carousel, you can visit their IndieGoGo page here,
Sun Kil Moon performs at Union Transfer on Wednesday, July 23rd. Go here for more information on the show.
Below, you can listen to “Ben’s My Friend” from Sun Kil Moon’s latest effort, Benji.
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 →