Most of my review writing this month was around the Hopscotch
Music Festival that happened earlier in the month.
I posted the write-ups and photos over on the review site...see
individual links below.
On day one I saw Young Magic, Jon
Mueller's Death Blues, Altos, Screaming Females, Liars, and Trash
Talk. Read the reviews here. Look at the photos here.
On day two I saw Jenny Besetzt,
Matthew E. White, Love Language, Built to Spill, The Jesus & Mary
Hiss Golden Messenger, Yo La Tengo, Mountain Goats, and Killer Mike. Read the
reviews here. Look at
the photos here.
On day three I saw Oneida, Old Quarter,
Mount Moriah, The Roots, Nobunny, Danny Brown, Lambchop and
Sunn O))). Read the reviews here. Look at the photos here.
Metal front men making solo records - it's the new black. Whether
it's a desire to express their folkier side or just want-
ing to make music without dealing with pain-in-the-ass band mates, it
seems to be happening a lot lately.
Nate Hall was the first half of
tonight's show. Nate is probably best known as the singer and
guitarist of US Christmas,
a band I have written about many times. Probably because I like
them a lot. Also probably because they are friends of
mine. I've really enjoyed Nate's first solo record "A Great
River," and was glad to finally hear the songs live. His set
stuck pretty close to the album - the accapella mountain ballad
"When the Stars Begin to Fall," the Townes Van Zandt
cover "Kathleen," and a selection of his own dark, haunting
songs. I know I've compared Nate and USX to Neil Young
before, but with this solo material the comparison is more apt than
ever. This feels like a natural progression for Nate,
and an enjoyable progression at that.
Mike Scheidt is also the face of
a metal band - the Pacific Northwest institution Yob - and like Nate, Mike has
leased his first solo album "Stay Awake" via Thrill Jockey. I've
seen Yob before but knew nothing of solo record, so
I was a blank slate regarding this performance. Unlike Nate who
came across as a man well versed in folk music,
Mike's songs sounded more or less like metal songs rearranged for the
acoustic guitar. It was still plenty enjoyable,
just different. Mike has such a strong voice that it might be
tough for him to sound anything other than metal. Towards
the end of his set Nate joined Mike on stage and they teamed up on a
cover of the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers," a
grand song done right. As a side note, I need to make myself a
mix of all of the Stones' best country songs. I'd prob-
ably listen to that more than anything else they've put out.
got to do is use your instincts. How do you think a lion knows to
tackle a gazelle? It's written, it's a code written
in his DNA, says, 'Tackle the gazelle.' And believe it or not, in every
man there's a code written that says, 'Tackle drunk
Some selections from the great "So Young But So Cold: Underground
French Music 1977-1983" compilation. Mathématiques Modernes - Disco
Rough. Bernard Szajner - Welcome (To Heathrow).
Ruth - Roman Photo.
Built Like Alaska - Antique Love.
Great, underrated Central Valley band that never quite got out from
shadow of Grandaddy.
Saint Is Here.
Jeff The Brotherhood - Heavy
Easily one of my favorite bands going these days, especially
Got The Look.
Little Brother - The
I decided to wait until way after they broke up to get into these local
Lovers - From
Speaking of underrated bands, Lovers are probably at the top of that
list. How they aren't
hugely popular is beyond me.
Red Sparowes - In
Illusions Of Order.
Hey, it's a long instrumental postrock song!
Total Control - Carpet
Side project of Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Best band to sound
like the A-Frames
since the A-Frames.