Gazing down through the harp strings to glimpse Newsom singing her intricate melodies, I couldn’t shake the notion that this was the most beautiful performance I’ve ever heard. A case of hyperbole in my head? Perhaps, but that was how it felt in the fanciness of the moment.
August 2nd, 2010 · 1 Comment
March 30th, 2010 · No Comments
When Field Music came on stage somewhere close to midnight, they brought the place to life. Theirs is crisp, clean type of rock, but its tricky time signatures and shifts give it a sort of off-kilter liveliness.
March 11th, 2010 · 2 Comments
On the second of a two-night stand at Spaceland, the band gave fans a well-picked but fleeting review of its melancholy catalogue. MacLean’s guitar work is nearly as fascinating to watch as it is to hear: one set of fingers flailing fast to pluck the strings, the other stretching into complex chords most of us have probably never heard of, all while he shakes the entire instrument about.
February 20th, 2010 · 17 Comments
The songs are bleak and even spooky at times. What keeps it all intriguing is Carpenter’s voice—theatrical without being over-the-top, sometimes a menacing baritone, other times a soaring falsetto.
September 15th, 2009 · 1 Comment
Farmer Dave Scher is almost the Chris Darrow of his day, thanks to collaborations with Elvis Costello, Jenny Lewis, Nobody and the Mystic Chords of Memory, dios, Miranda Lee Richards and more. He is currently basking in the happy after-effects of his new solo album Flash Forward To The Good Times. This interview by Thomas McMahon.
September 14th, 2009 · 1 Comment
The man and his ace band sounded close—but not too close—to perfect as they crackled through clever, dark pop and country drifters from his now-sizable catalog, the new entry being the understated, elegant Catacombs. Styled a bit like Kenny Chesney with his sleeveless shirt and blue jeans, McCombs struck an odd balance between cool detachment and old-school showmanship.
August 27th, 2009 · 2 Comments
Somehow Farmer Dave found time to conjure up a solo album amid his time playing with Jenny Lewis, Interpol and a host of other fine acts. (And is he still selling those delicious Hot Nuts?) The man is in demand, but it’s been too long since he’s shared his own kaleidoscopic musical visions with the world. All Night Radio’s 2004 debut Spirit Stereo Frequency was a seemingly overlooked masterpiece, but the duo of Farmer Dave and Jimi Hey called it quits shortly after the album’s release. Fans of that psych-pop jamboree and the cosmic country-rock of Farmer Dave’s previous band Beachwood Sparks will find plenty in which to indulge in on Flash Forward to the Good Times.
July 8th, 2009 · 2 Comments
Rhett Miller and the Old 97’s have probably seen Dallas from a DC-9 at night on several occasions, and they return to earth when whim and inspiration combine to release albums of distinct and considered country-style rock ‘n’ roll. Miller—who is opening for his own band with a set from his new solo album—speaks now about writing a song while little children shriek all around him. This interview by Thomas McMahon.
June 11th, 2009 · No Comments
The first thing I noticed was the lack of detachment. Kids were wearing Elmo T-shirts and holding stuffed Elmos, flouting one of the key rules of concert-going cool. These little anti-hipsters were excited, and they were not afraid to show it. The music kicked in, and Sesame Street stars — Big Bird, Grover, Cookie Monster, etc. — strutted one at a time onto the stage to huge cheers, all laying down their own verses. I imagined that a Wu Tang show would go something like this.
June 1st, 2009 · No Comments
It was easy to forget that there was a band onstage during tonight’s
Troubadour set by Black Moth Super Rainbow. With what may be best described as a half-man, half-ape prancing around in the foreground and an array of absurd videos projecting on a screen behind them, the four players seemed content to labor in relative obscurity. Their fuzzy riffs, heavy beats and vocoder-ized vocals were a fitting—although perhaps a bit homogeneous—soundtrack to the psychedelic sideshows that competed for the audience’s