The Rosebuds played a vibrant set to a packed Boot and Saddle

The Rosebuds | Photo by Chris Sikich |
The Rosebuds | Photo by Chris Sikich |

We all have bands we love that we wish would make it big. Among mine are The Rosebuds. They certainly have found success, as Merge signed them back in 2003 and they have worked with big-name collaborators like Justin Vernon. The well-attended Boot & Saddle show on Thursday night showed a demand for their indie-pop aesthetics. But at the end of the day they should at the very least entertain a full house at Union Transfer. Why? Harmonies, percussion, keys and strings floating between early ‘60s rock, Hall and Oates and the dance floor make them a unique, creative force that exists in a class of its own.

Ivan Howard, with his newsboy cap and rich vocals, and Kelly Crisp, front-and-center on keyboards with sweet harmonies at the ready, were a joy to watch. The one-time married couple are completely in-synch musically, leading The Rosebuds current line-up. Among the mix were drummer Rob Lackey, guitarist Brian Weeks and bassist and back-up vocalist Mark Paulson. Continue reading →


The Rosebuds return with their pal Justin Vernon in tow

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

The Raleigh, North Carolina duo The Rosebuds (Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp) are releasing a new album, Sand + Silence on Western Vinyl, on August 5th. Joined by Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) on guitars and synthesizers, Bon Iver drummer Matt McCaughan and Nick Sanborn of Sylan Esso on bass the album was recorded at Vernon’s April Base Studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The Rosebuds debuted in 2001 and over the course of six studio albums, a collection of Christmas songs and a free digital song-for-song cover of Sade’s classic Love Deluxe Howard and Crisp have steadfastly committed to making a different kind of synth-pop; informed by indie-rock, warm washes of guitars, touches of melancholy and romance. They’ve always been a smart rock band, and smart songwriters, and “In My Teeth” is an excellent example of what The Rosebuds do so well. Plus, the get extra points for the use of the voice box on this new tune.

The Rosebuds play Boot & Saddle on Thursday, August 7th.


Recap: The Rosebuds brought Love Deluxe to Johnny Brenda’s (photos, review)

The Rosebuds | Photo by Chris Sikich |
The Rosebuds | Photo by Chris Sikich |
All photos by Chris Sikich |

Tuesday night at Johnny Brenda’s an odd, yet inviting sound came forth from the miniature stage and dark, moody lighting – Sade’s whole album, Love Deluxe, as covered by the underrated North Carolina alt-rockers The Rosebuds. And if that seems like an unlikely pairing, consider the fact that the band fronted by the once married Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp released this cover album for free last year and had not released new non-holiday oriented material for two years (they did put out a Christmas album last year as well). Add to this the fact that Crisp was absent (due to being back at school in New York) and you have a night of the seemingly unexpected.

But, if you know how talented Howard is, you could sense this would be a satisfying experience, especially with a solid five piece backing band. Though the crowd was sparse – no more than 75 people attended – the reception for the delivery of such Sade classics as album opener “No Ordinary Love” was quite warm. It was an intimate evening of music that ended with two great notes – the delivery of one of their finest tunes off of my favorite work of theirs (Birds Make Good Neighbors), “Blue Bird,” and a brand new song to end the night. Of course the lack of Crisp’s harmonies was felt, but there is promise for more aural plumage in the future.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: XPN Welcomes Mayer Hawthorne to Union Transfer, The Rosebuds at Johnny Brenda’s, Majical Cloudz at Kung Fu Necktie, Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra residency at Khyber Pass


XPN welcomes Mayer Hawthorne to Union Transfer tonight with Superhumanoids.  The neo-soul / R&B singer released Where Does This Door Go earlier this year, showing an ability to put on a more pop-angled hat while still maintaining the retro flair that won over early fans.  Tickets and information for the show can be found here; watch Hawthorne’s video for “Her Favorite Song” below.

The Rosebuds will make a special appearance at Johnny Brenda’s, performing Sade’s Love Deluxe in its entirety.  After the marital split of band members Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard during the release of 2008’s Life Like, Howard retreated to coastal North Carolina where he recorded the entire 1992 album that had meant so much to him throughout his life.  The pair have managed to redefine their relationship as friends in recent years and bring their intimate tour to Philly tonight with Dark Rooms.  Tickets and information can be found here.  Stream “No Ordinary Love” below and download the full tribute album for free here.

Majical Cloudz performs at Kung Fu Necktie tonight with Moon King.  The simultaneously lush and sparse project belongs to Devon Welsh, a Canadian musician / producer who writes emotionally heavy electronic music.  Impersonator, Welsh’s first LP under the moniker, was released in May and instantly perked up ears with its piano / synth base and downtempo vocals that aim for your core.  Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show can be found here.  Watch Welsh perform “Bugs Don’t Buzz” for La Blogotheque below.

Joey Sweeney and his Long Hair Arkestra present their second of four residency nights at the Khyber Pass Pub tonight.  This week will feature performances by The Lift Up and Heyward Howkins in addition to Sweeney’s latest rock project.  The Long Hair Arkestra will release its debut record this fall on La Société Expéditionnaire / BITBY.  Listen to “Kate Moss Hologram” from the band below, followed by an iPhone demo of “Our Brothers” from Heyward Howkins.  More information can be found here.


One night only, The Rosebuds are playing Sade’s “Love Deluxe” (at Johnny Brenda’s 9/10)

rosebInfluenced heavily by the 1980 R&B sensation Sade, The Rosebuds‘ Ivan Howard created his own version of Love Deluxe while isolating himself on the coastal beaches of North Carolina. Reinventing the electronic elements of the original tracks with his own organic, live instrumentation, one can quickly hear the deep changing relationship Howard had with the music as he journeyed through life. Listen to and download (for free) the entire album below. The Rosebuds tour in support of their cover of Love Deluxe comes to Johnny Brenda’s on September 10th. Get tickets for the special album tribute show here.


The Week’s Best MP3 Downloads, incl. Pissed Jeans, Tommy Conwell, Erin McKeown

Pissed JeansPhilly thrash heroes Pissed Jeans released their first new music since the 2010 7″ Your Life Is Worth Pissed Jeans, a raging track called “Bathroom Laughter.” It’s going to be on the band’s forthcoming LP Honeys, expected for release sometime in February. You can listen to it, and download it for the price of an e-mail address, in the player below.

Continue reading →


My Morning Download: The Rosebuds release a song for song cover of Sade’s Love Deluxe

In celebration of the 20th anniversary release of Love Deluxe by Sade, the Raleigh, North Carolina indie-rock band The Rosebuds (Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp) has released a song-for-song cover of the album for free. Love Deluxe was Sade’s fourth album, released in the UK in October 1992 and in the States in November of 1992. About the album, Kelly writes: “To say this album is a constant influence to The Rosebuds and the records we’ve made over the years would be an understatement. We’ve always been fans.” Download the Rosebuds’ version of it below.


Tonight’s Concert Pick: The Rosebuds at Johnny Brenda’s

The video for The Rosebuds‘ song “Woods” is a lament to a relationship featuring the lonely, black-and-white journey of band member Ivan Howard. Masked in grainy, colorless camera effects, Howard shouts lyrics as (bandmate and ex-wife) Kelly Crisp’s eerie vocals dangle in the background. The couple divorced right before writing and recording their most recent album, Loud Planes Fly Low, which, as a result, is their most creative and unrestrained project. Words like “the smallness is the comfort between us/but experience makes us mean,” prove that the members of The Rosebuds share every detail of their past and present relationship with the listener. Although the lyrics can be mournful and the music desolate, the video for “Woods” is a visually and musically pleasing representation of the duo’s emotionally complex relationship. The Rosebuds perform with Yellow Ostrich at 9 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are $12. —Caitlyn Grabenstein


In case you missed it: Bon Iver and The Rosebuds at the Tower Theatre photo recap, videos, set list and review

Bon Iver and The Rosebuds rolled in to town this week at the Tower Theatre. Check out our photo recap of Bon Iver here and our photo recap of The Rosebuds here (photos by Eric Ashleigh). Kiley Bense wrote a review of the show that you can read here. Below, check out a couple of fan videos from the show and the set list.

Bon Iver set list, Tower Theatre August 3, 2011
Minnesota, WI
Beach Baby
Blood Bank
Hinnom, TX
Creature Fear
Re: Stacks
For Emma
The Wolves (Act I and II)
Skinny Love


Photo Recap: The Rosebuds at the Tower Theatre

Last night at the Tower Theatre, The Rosebuds opened for Bon Iver with a fantastic set. Photos by Eric Ashleigh. Check out the photos from Bon Iver’s set here and read our interview with The Rosebuds here