August 29, 2012

Interview with Jukebox the Ghost

I think this is just one of those bands that has stuck-in-your-head-all-day kind of songs. The Brooklyn-based trio Jukebox the Ghost released their third studio album, Safe Travels, this June, and have been setting off on an extensive nationwide tour, including the Outside Lands Music Festival. Their lively set on Saturday was dancey and fun, and the band's stage presence certainly makes them a fun band to see live.


Guitarist Tommy Siegel chatted with me on Saturday of the fest! Read below to see what he had to say about his most embarrassing moment onstage, his wish-list for bands to see at the fest, and more, and listen to the poppy track "Oh, Emily" from their most recent album.

Jukebox the Ghost - "Oh, Emily"
 
On reception of their new album

Tommy:
It’s been going great! It’s been a really pleasant surprise to see that when we play shows, it doesn’t feel like we’re playing new songs; the crowd just seems like totally with it. It’s just been really exciting, it’s going great.

On festival playing

Tommy: We played yesterday and part of playing a festival is knowing that you’re not playing to your hardcore fans. You’re playing to get some new fans. So for us, we wanted to promote the new record. There were probably some new fans that came and were pissed that we didn’t play more songs of our first two records. But it’s the chance for us to actually branch out and show people what we’re doing right now.

On his most embarrassing moment

Tommy: [laughs] That’s a great question. Okay, this is a bad one. So, on our first record, we have a lot of songs about the apocalypse. I was giving a little introduction at one of our shows to talk about what the song was about, and instead of apocalypse...I said “Holocaust.” It got really bad. As a Jew myself I was able to clean it up a bit, but it was not good.

On bands at Outside Lands

Tommy: You know, I was kind of most excited to see Neil Young last night, because I’ve never seen him, that was awesome. He lived up to all my expectations. And I’m excited to see Tame Impala today. I was excited to see Yellow Ostrich but I think I missed them. Dr. Dog tonight will be great, Stevie Wonder tomorrow will be great.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - "Thrift Shop"


The Mack is back. As we announced a while ago, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will be releasing their debut album, The Heist, on October 9th. We heard the gay rights anthem "Same Love" and now we get to hear about Mr. Haggerty's awesome thrift shopping skills. The single definitely shows Ryan Lewis expanding his sound from his usual piano melodies towards something quite a bit more old school. And it works quite well. Check it out! Also watch the music video, one of the funniest I've seen in a while. What do you think?

Buy on iTunes

Macklemore X Ryan Lewis - Thrift Shop feat. Wanz

Foreign Slippers - "It All Starts Now"


If You Like: Ben Howard, Angus & Julia Stone, James Vincent McMorrow
Sweden is hot right now. The indie music scene in Scandinavia is simply bursting with young talent, quite a bit of it falling into the indie pop wheelhouse. This track, from Sweden/London-based Foreign Slippers, is a classic mellow-to-anthemic tune that is nothing but charming. Aside from fantastic vocals by frontwoman Gabi Froden, and a rousing melody, the percussion sets everything off, keeping the song driving along. And it includes handclapping which is always a good sign. The track is off their new album, Farewell To The Old Ghosts, which you can buy right here. Enjoy!

August 28, 2012

Tunesday: WHY? - "The Vowels, Pt. 2


If you try to Google the band Why? you may have some difficulty. But once you find their music you it will all be worth it. Dubbed as a indie hip-hop group from Berkeley, CA, the band has a constantly evolving sound. They released their new Sod In The Seed EP a few weeks back and will drop a new full length album, Mumps, etc.  on October 9th. In the meantime, take a listen to my personal favorite song of theirs, "The Vowels, Pt. 2" from their 2008 album Alopecia. It includes plenty of their signature drawl, as well as an awesome chain snare sound.

Why?-"The Vowels, Pt. 2"

August 26, 2012

Interview with Fitz & The Tantrums

Fitz & The Tantrums, a six-piece band based in Los Angeles, California, have come a long way since the release of their debut album Pickin' Up the Pieces about two years ago. This soul-influenced funk/indie band has garnered national media attention with their throwback tunes and have been traveling around the country playing shows and major music festivals, such as Outside Lands! The group played an energetic, hour-long set that had everyone at the main stage on their feet and dancing. No matter the venue, these guys really understand how to get the crowd moving, and every show they perform is truly a blast.


Two members of the band, drummer John Wicks (left), and sax/flute player James King (right), were kind enough to take some time and chat with me after their set! Read below to see what these two skilled musicians had to say, and listen to the band's soulful cover of "Sweet Dreams."

Fitz & The Tantrums - "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)"

ON TOURING

John: A lot of us, James in particular, have done touring prior to being in Fitz & The Tantrums. So I think really, to be honest with you, the only guy that was kind of new to it was Fitz himself, he had never been in a band that had toured. To his credit, he kind of hit the ground running and was really a road dog from the start, even when we were just in a van or in a car, and it was a little bit rough but he handled it really well. We’re kind of road dogs as it is. The thing that’s been really surprising has been the quick rate of growth that we’ve had, playing for these size crowds, just insane.

James: We definitely all have toured in different situations. For myself, I’ve been in that level of kind of the van to tour bus, but like John said, to come and play for 20-30,000 people at big festivals on main stages, we’ve done a lot of those in the last year and it’s always humbling. Coming here today is just no different. That never gets old.

ON FESTIVAL PLAYING

James: You perceive it a little differently [than playing smaller venues], but I think that the intent is always the same. It is to get everyone, from the front to the back of the crowd, into it. You have the same challenges with a small club to a big festival. Sometimes, you just have to put yourself in the right mindset. And it’s one of those things that if you really, really give all of yourself to the show, then people will respond.

John: From a drumming standpoint, it’s a different thing. Like James said, you still want to put the same energy, whether it’s 10 people or 10,000. But, when you’re playing in an outdoor venue like this, you actually have to taper down the amount of subtle things you do because they don’t really translate, ‘cause people can’t really hear that stuff. It’s kind of more of a meat-and-potatoes style of playing that translates to the back of the crowd. The other thing is, you get so freakin' amped up when you see that many people that you have to be careful that you don’t wear yourself out after the first song. Because if you go out there with guns blaring, sometimes, by the end of the first song, I’m just like, “Oh my god, I still have an hour to go.”

ON MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENTS

John: [laughs] It might’ve been today! Bless his heart, we had a guy that we totally fed to the lions today. Unfortunately, our keyboard player had some family issues that he had to attend to so we had a last minute sub. And this guy came in and he did such a great job, but at one point, he started the wrong song, and it was just like, “Woah,” and I was looking at him and it’s that moment where you’re trying to figure out, are we going to go with him and start this new song?

James: That’s when those years of touring come in handy.

John: That’s right!

James: ‘Cause we look at each other and we know what we’re going to do. When something like that happens you just have to run with it, and the less experienced musician might have responded, “Ah, I’m just going to start it myself and maybe everyone will follow me,” but you really have to be a psychic and all come in together.

John: Right. But as far as the most embarrassing thing that’s happened, Fitz saying the wrong city we were in. That’s happened once or twice.

James: Yeah, that “Hello Cleveland” thing is never good.

John: [laughs] Yeah, we were in Spokane or Seattle and he said something like that. So we got booed there for a minute and then you try to win ‘em back over, cause you don’t want it to seem impersonal. But I think that was a month into our tour, and you’re just delirious. It’d be like going to San Francisco and saying, “Hello L.A.”, it’s like the worst possible thing you can do.

ON THEIR UPCOMING ALBUM

James: I’d say [the new album] is a lot different. We touched a nerve with people when we first came out because we harken back to this classic sound. We came in around the time when a lot of other people were looking to that era of music, which is good, the timing was perfect. Of course, that’s a sound we’re all into. For the next record, those production techniques haven’t gone away, we’re still trying to get classic sounds, but it’s more kind of looking back to stuff that we came up listening to. So that would be classic 80s. It’s a different kind of retro thing, I guess. We have a lot of the same elements as the first record, but there’s this whole other palette of sounds that we have to work with in our heads, and we’re excited that we get to use those on the next record.

John: The common thread between the last record and this next record is the songwriting. Fitz, before we even started writing for this record, set the bar and said, “Look, no matter what, every song has to be able to stand up on its own and not lean on a single, and it’s got to be all killer, no filler.” And when you’ll be able to listen to this record soon, you’ll see, that it’s the same as the last one, it’s all great songs. And I don’t think there’s any ones that are there for filler.

James: That’s really a litmus test for all of us, we’re musicians that have worked in a lot of different genres. And, like right now [Beck is performing in the background], Beck is playing “Lost Cause” and it’s the test for a musician like that. Can you play one of his songs on the guitar by itself and will it sound good? Will it sound like a song? And of course, for him, the answer is yes. For us, I mean the challenge in that is not having any guitar players, but would these songs make sense, say, if a pianist was sitting at a keyboard and singing by himself? I think so. And you know if the song is there, if the picture’s there, then all we have to do is show up and play the best we can. That’s really a challenge and a blessing at the same time.

ON THEIR MUSICAL BACKGROUNDS

James: John and I are both style hoppers, we listen to anything and everything. We’ve studied all different types of music. And they do seep in. Of course, you can’t go crazy and go and play thrash metal to our music. But yeah, you definitely can take pieces of yourself, that’s why we work as a band. It’s not just like, Keyboard Player A, Drummer B, we actually work together as musicians with like-minded taste.

John: James and I both came up playing jazz music mostly. It’s kind of a funny thing that happens with jazz musicians, there’s two camps; you hit a crossroads and it’s the point where you go, either that you enjoy the athleticism that’s involved with that style of music and the sheer technical facility that you’ve acquired from that music, that’s very very difficult. But some guys, I can’t speak for James but I know him well enough that he sort of shares this with me, that sort of lost its sparkle for me. I got tired of music feeling like an athletic event. I started to take more of an attraction, I don’t want to say simple music, but music that was less notes and more heartfelt. Sort of go that route. All of my favorite drummers are guys that didn’t play that many notes, and technically were not that great, but they were so heartfelt so we went that camp. I have the utmost respect for the other camp, which is to try and take it to the next level technically and play just amazing stuff, and I’m always blown away. A lot of those guys end up being true innovators. But, I couldn’t do that anymore.

James: I think where that line exists for me is, at a certain point, when you’re studying jazz and going further into it, there comes a point where you’re playing to an audience of musicians, or are you playing to an audience of your peers and people who you can actually change their perspective a little bit? If you’re playing to an audience where, like John was saying, you’re trying to take it to the next technical level, athletic level and intellectual level, that’s awesome. I have the utmost respect for that, like he said. But you’re playing to a room of saxophone players, drummers, bass players. There’s a time and place for that. But you couldn’t do that at a place like Outside Lands, you have to connect. That’s been the goal with this band from the beginning and with the next record, I think it’s really going to happen.

Noelle Scaggs of Fitz & The Tantrums performing at Outside Lands

Photos by Rachel and Olivia Fidler 
Click here to see all of Write To The Beat's photos from Outside Lands!

August 25, 2012

Outside Lands: The Good


The 5th annual Outside Lands Music Festival brought the rock August 10-12th in San Francisco. Set in woodsy Golden Gate Park, festival goers got to experience a wonderful blend of nature and metropolitan in one of the best festivals in Nor Cal. With big-name headliners this year, one might think that this fest might've lost its down-to-earth vibe. Turns out we won't have to worry about that. Not only was the venue fantastic, the food absolutely delicious, and the people friendly and ready to have a good time, the musical acts were impressive and just plain fun. Here are some of Write To The Beat's favorite acts from the weekend!

(See all of our photos here!)


Definitely my favorite act of the weekend, hands down. I never would have expected such an enjoyable and amusing show when I cruised over to the smallest stage Saturday afternoon. Joshua Tillman, formerly of Fleet Foxes, performed at the festival under the moniker Father John Misty. He was certainly one of the most pleasant surprises of the weekend, capturing the audience with his witty banter and jokes, sultry dance moves, and killer back-up band. The band's lead guitarist displayed incredible talent, shredding on some rocking solos as the entire band jumped and jived to their music.


The first band to play on the Twin Peaks stage this weekend was PAPA, a four-piece group led by lead singer and drummer (previously of the band Girls) Darren Weiss. The crowd was loving the energy as they rocked through a 45 minute engaging set of their tunes. PAPA had a really strong turnout even though they had an early set, with many dancing and jumping to the band's lively music. They were clearly a fan favorite, and PAPA is bound to be going places this upcoming year.


The Icelandic band Sigur Rós performed an electrifying set on Saturday night. Perhaps it was because Metallica was performing on the main stage that night, but the crowd at Sigur Rós was lively and engaged, definitely a plus. This band is unique and fascinating, and I was completely and utterly wrapped up in the evocative beauty of their music. It was certainly a spiritual experience for me and many others in the crowd.


Though these guys have been lying low since the band's 2009 Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, Franz is back with a kick. They played all their old favorites and had the packed main stage dancing it out during the whole set. These Scots really know how to rock out, ending their act with all four members concurrently participating in a 5 minute drum solo (on one drum set). 


It was a full-on dance party at the Panhandle when Electric Guest took the stage; their songs were just made to dance to. The lively tunes, reminiscent of 70s funk and jazz, combined with the killer falsetto of lead singer, Asa Taccone, are certainly a crowd pleaser. This band released their debut album, Mondo, only April of this year and are bound to be heard more and more these next few months.


Stevie Wonder has and always will be a legend. Everyone had a blast at his set, with the whole crowd singing and grooving, making it was a fantastic way to end the weekend. Not only did he play many of his most popular songs (did you know he's had more than 30 top ten hits??), but Stevie also played some great covers, like "My Girl," "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)," and more. Mr. Wonder also took the time to emphasize his well-known philosophy of loving everyone, and urged us at the festival to do the same. His great music and soulful ease on stage continues to make him a great performer.

Having seen this band at Sasquatch, I knew that Alabama Shakes would draw a huge crowd, but nothing could have prepared me (or the rest of the festival-goers) for the massive amounts of people at their set. The whole "Lindley Meadow" was PACKED with thousands of people, all vying for a chance to see Brittany Howard and the rest of her crew play their well-known tunes. Never turn down the chance to see these guys live, they play a show like no other!

Regina Spektor
This girl's got guts. It has to be mildly terrifying, stepping out onto a huge stage to a large crowd of eager fans. But you wouldn't guess that Regina has any qualms about performing. She started her set with an amazing acapella tune and her act just got better from there. Her voice is as impeccable live as it is on her album, and her quirky style and sweet demeanor really drew me in. A very talented singer-songwriter, indeed.

Photos by Rachel Fidler

August 21, 2012

Tunesday: Katy Perry - "E.T. (Noisia Remix)"


I wouldn't call myself a Katy Perry fan, but a while ago, I heard a song that made me doubt myself. Her Kanye West-starring hit "E.T." was remixed by Dutch trio NOISIA (For a neat trick, rotate your screen 180° and see what their name is now!). The resulting track blew my mind. It takes the song, smashes it up, and adds one of the largest drops known to man. While it may be embarrassing to blast Katy Perry in the car, this will be worth it. 

Katy Perry-"E.T. (Noisia Remix)"

August 15, 2012

Pinback - "Proceed To Memory"


On October 16th, Pinback will return with their first album in five years. The upcoming album is titled Information Retrieved and will be released on Temporary Residence Ltd. The first single from the disc, "Proceed To Memory," shows the band exploring new, and promising territory. On one hand it is classic Pinback, with precise, simple guitar lines, but it is also quite a bit bigger than usual. Stream the new track via Rolling Stone here!

August 14, 2012

Tunesday: P.O.S. - "Purexed"


If you like: Astronautalis, Grieves, Blueprint
P.O.S. is not your average rapper. His introspective, poetic flow earned him a spot on Atmosphere's Rhymesayers label, he heads the increasingly popular Doomtree collective, and his work combines punk instrumentals with his raps. The result is some of the most visceral, intelligent music out there. His track "Purexed" from his 2009 album Never Better is P.O.S. at his finest. If you like it, he will be releasing a new album, We Don't Even Live Here, on October 23rd.

P.O.S.-"Purexed"

August 10, 2012

Red Hot To Release Arthur Russell Tribute Album


Red Hot, the organization behind the fantastic Dark Was The Night compilation, will release a album paying tribute to songwriter Arthur Russell. The album, released in association with Pitchfork, will be titled This Is How We Walk On The Moon and will be co-funded by a Kickstarter campaign. There is an incredible lineup or artists participating including Robyn, 
Hot Chip, 

Devendra Banhart, Nico Muhly and Owen Pallett
, Okkervil River's Will Sheff, Laurel Halo, Cut Copy
, Twin Shadow, Washed Out, José González, 
Scissor Sisters, Sam Amidon, 
Ólöf Arnalds, Sandro Perri, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, and more. The collection will benefit the organization's fight against AIDS.

You can donate to the campaign here.

August 08, 2012

Guide To Outside Lands: Bands You Can't Miss

 
The 5th annual Outside Lands Music Festival is coming back to Golden Gate Park in only two days! If you're heading to the Bay, here are some suggested acts for you to check out.

The Big Shots:
Neil Young and his associated rock band, Crazy Horse, are bound to put on a show harkening back to classic rock 'n' roll concerts, playing both familiar tunes and songs from their newest album, Americana. Unfortunately, their set conflicts with Justice, the French electronic duo. I have high expectations for this group, whose shows have been described as epic, complete with jumping, dancing fans and crazy light shows. As a compromise, I would suggest seeing the first half of Young's set, and then before you're ready to settle down for the night, head over to Twin Peaks Stage to see the final songs by Justice, which will be familiar dance-heavy beats.

If you feel like letting out your inner metalhead (or if you already are one), get ready to be rocked with an excellent show by the forefathers of the thrash metal scene. The conflicting set is Icelandic band Sigur Ros, which couldn't really play more contrary music. While their recent album Valtari is made up of mostly slow, quiet songs and haunting melodies, the live shows put on by Sigur Ros are supposedly incredible; the band envelopes their audience with beautiful compositions and the soothing voice of the lead singer, Jónsi.

Stevie Wonder is truly a legend, known as one of the "most creative musical figures of the late 20th century," and his music will get you to boogie and jive. The conflicting act is Skrillex, the dubstep, electro house king. Totally different types of music, but both danceable. Just depends on what kind of music you want to dance to!

Other notable acts:
Jack White will, and I repeat, WILL rock you. The man was born to be a performer, and will play most of the classics from his days in the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, the Dead Weather, and much of his new music from his debut solo album, Blunderbuss. It is going to be loud, and it is going to be awesome.

This gang of soulful funk musicians will have you grooving to their throwback tunes of the band's debut album, Pickin' Up the Pieces. Both the lead singer, Michael Fitzpatrick, and vocalist Noelle Scaggs are wonderful performers. Having seen this group multiple times, I can assure you that you will not be able to stop dancing during their set.

The talented Dallas Green, who goes by the moniker City and Colour, is sure to mesmerize the crowd with his magnificent singing voice and guitar playing. We have been lucky enough to see this Juno Award-winning Canadian previously in concert. Read our review here!

Joey Youngman, better known by his stage name Wolfgang Gartner, is a Grammy-nominated house music DJ that creates infectious dance beats. His performances are up-beat electronic dance parties, so if you go all out, be prepared for some sore feet the next day. Good thing his set's on the last day!  

Two Gallants
The bluesy indie rock band Two Gallants are San Francisco natives, and are bound to have a devoted crowd at their set. Combined with the band's high-energy music and demeanor, this folk rock duo should present an electrifying act you won't want to miss. The band will most likely playing both old favorites and upcoming tunes due out on their fourth studio album, The Bloom and the Blight, releasing this September. Check out their album trailer below.


Honorable mentions:
- Of Monsters and Men
- Alabama Shakes
- Yellow Ostrich
Read our review of these bands' performances from Sasquatch 2012 here, they are sure to live up to our expectations again!

See Part 1 of our Guide To Outside Lands for bands lower on the bill!

Tunesday: Grynch - "My Volvo"


If you like: Macklemore, Scribes, Sol
Young Seattle MC Grynch loves his car and he wants you to know about it. Even though it's an old, rickety 1986 Volvo 240 DL. On his track "My Volvo" he talks about the endearing, frustrating, and downright terrible aspects of his ride. The subject matter may seem silly at first, the song is actually pretty touching and works surprisingly well. And the track has some serious swagger. If any of you out there drive a Volvo, you now have an anthem to bump with the windows down. The video also features some of Seattle's finest MC's, with cameos by Macklemore, Sol, Fatal Lucciano, and more. Happy Tunesday!

Grynch-"My Volvo"

August 07, 2012

Guide To Outside Lands: Bands To Know

With some big name headliners this year at the Outside Lands Music Festival, it's easy to get forget about smaller bands at the bottom of the bill. Never fear, however! Write To The Beat is here to help remind you (and maybe introduce you) to some fabulous bands and artists that are lesser known, but still great!
If you like: The Drums, Portugal. The Man, Girls
PAPA's debut EP, A Good Woman Is Hard To Find, only came out less than a year ago, but this band has been making waves. PAPA has a rough yet lovely, easy-going, surf-rock vibe that brings the California coast to your headphones. I predict that their energized yet simple tunes will gather a fun crowd at the festival.

PAPA - "I Am the Lion King"
 
If you like: Cut Copy, Holy Ghost, POLIÇA
I have been a fan of Tanlines ever since I heard their dance jam, "Real Life." Since then, I can't help but groove to all the wonderfully energizing beats this Brooklyn duo has continued to produce. Their newest album, Brothers, came out earlier this year, and has given the band a lot of buzz. Jump over to their early afternoon set at the Panhandle Stage on Friday for some great dance time.

Tanlines - "Real Life"

If you like: Pretty Lights, Paper Diamond, MiMOSA
Big Gigantic is referred to as "instrumental livetronica" for a reason. The band combines electronic beats with live drums and saxophone instrumentation. This unique sound allows for stellar live performances, complete with awesome light shows and visuals. Big Gigantic's latest album, Nocturnal, which reached #2 on iTunes electronic charts, is available for free on the band's website here.

Big Gigantic - "The Uprising"

If you like: Said The Whale, Gold Motel, Foster the People
If you're looking for some summery, peppy, catchy music, you've found the right band. Jukebox the Ghost, a Brooklyn-based trio, released their third album Safe Travels earlier this year, and I must say, their music is infectiously happy. See their fun one-take video of "Somebody" here, shot on the Coney Island boardwalk.

Jukebox the Ghost - "Oh, Emily"


If you like: Ben Howard, Amos Lee, Otis Redding
Michael Kiwanuka, an expressive and eloquent singer-songwriter, has a voice that really gets into your soul. This incredibly talented Brit has gotten quite the spotlight after touring as Adele's opener, and truly deserves it. His debut album, Home Again, displays his immense musicality and deep emotion in his songwriting. If you'd like a preview of Kiwanuka live, check out this Take Away Show he did with La Blogotheque, and be ready to be blown away by his set this weekend. 

Michael Kiwanuka - "Home Again"
 

If you like: Blitzen Trapper, Dawes, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
With a little bit of blues, a tinge of folk, and a lot of rock, Cory Chisel and his band really reflect the age of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and the other legends. You can't help but get inspired by the spirit of these musicians, with some truly great classic rock-style anthems and tender, bluesy ballads. Even though they have an early set time (12PM on Saturday), make sure to get over to the Sutro Stage to see this talented band perform!


Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons - "Born Again"


If you like: Dispatch, G. Love, Jack Johnson
Sean Hayes brings about a romantic, passionate gesture toward music. This soulful singer-songwriter, a San Francisco-based artist, croons with a rough yet entirely soothing warmth that echoes another era. Check out the music video below for his new single, "Miss Her When I'm Gone." His full album, Before We Turn To Dust, is due out September of this year.


Sean Hayes - "Powerful Stuff"



Check out Part 2 of our Guide To Outside Lands here!

August 03, 2012

TNGHT


Two hot producers, Hudson Mohawke and Lunice, have combined forces to create something even larger. They go by the name of TNGHT, and have just released an EP of the hardest, heaviest, most intense hip-hop beats I've heard in a while. The five enormous tracks have been making waves that big too. Apparently the duo are being courted by quite a few rappers who want to use some of these beats. And I don't blame them. They are simple, and impossible not to headbang to. Listen to all of "Higher Ground" and a sampler of the whole EP below. Go crazy. 




August 02, 2012

Aunt Martha


When I saw the amazing Delta Rae perform in New York, I got an extra treat when the opener, Aunt Martha, took the stage. The band (nobody is named Martha) drew a small crowd of rabid fans, and their tender acoustic folk stood out. The problem with bands like this is that there are so many that, at first, sound very much alike. And I must admit, Aunt Martha, may sound like one of the pack at first. But give them a deeper listen, and you will be pleasantly surprised. The melodies stick, the vocals never disappoint, and live, they are captivating. Below, you can stream one EP, and download another. Check it out!


August 01, 2012

Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan & John Smith Cover The Band

A.V. Club is known (at least to me) for their brilliant series, Undercover, where they invite artists to cover songs outside of their comfort zone. This time, they're taking a break from the usual formula, and bringing us just a fantastic, but fairly expected, cover. Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan, and her collaborator, John Smith, team up to cover The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." Hansard often performs this song live, and a few weeks ago in New York, I caught a live version of this cover from all three of them. It was absolutely fantastic. Now you can see it too!