Showing posts with label tour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tour. Show all posts

August 29, 2013

Ticket Giveaway: Kishi Bashi

Hey everybody! It's time for another exciting ticket giveaway! This time, you have the chance to see
Kishi Bashi, the Georgia-based multi-instrumentalist who has toured with Of Montreal and Regina Spektor. He released his orchestral debut solo album 151a last year to much critical acclaim and is considered one of the most exciting live acts around!

He will be performing at The Royale in Boston on September 11th and you can win a pair of free tickets simply by following the steps below.

1. Like Write To The Beat on Facebook

2. Enter your email address below.

June 25, 2013

Sarah Blacker

If You Like: Regina Spektor, Sarah Bareilles

Bostonian Sarah Blacker's music isn't normally what I gravitate towards. It is poppy, as sweet as high fructose corn syrup, and extremely easy to like. But her music and charming delivery instantly brought to mind Regina Spektor, making her tunes intriguing and very concisely and carefully crafted. They are short little gems of pop songwriting that are also catchy as hell! While you may not catch me blasting this in my car, it is a wonderful example of how pop music doesn't have to be dumbed down for it to be enjoyable. 

Check out Sarah's tour dates after the jump

April 01, 2013

Vitalic - "Fade Away (C2C Remix)"

French DJ wizards C2C are back at it. This time, their scratching and spinning treatment gets paired with fellow countryman Vitalic's electro-dance track "Fade Away." The 4 jockeys chop up everything and put it back together for a spastic, infectious, and equally epic take on the lovely dance number.

C2C will embark on a US tour in April, bringing their renowned live shows stateside for the first time in years. Catch the tour dates below.

 Apr 04 - Irving Plaza - New York, NY
 Apr 06 - Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
 Apr 07 - Metropolis - Montreal, Canada
 Apr 08 - The Mod Club - Toronto, Canada
 Apr 09 - The Metro - Chicago, IL
 Apr 12 - Coachella - Indio, CA
 Apr 13 - The Independent - San Francisco, CA
 Apr 16 - The Depot - Salt Lake City, UT
 Apr 17 - The Summit Music Hall - Denver, CO
 Apr 19 - Coachella - Indio, CA

February 05, 2013

The Lone Bellow

If You Like: Delta Rae, The Civil Wars, The Lumineers

BAND TO WATCH. That phrase might as well be stamped all over the debut record form Brooklyn folkies The Lone Bellow. They have rising sensation written all over them. Their blend of folk, country, and rock bring Mumford & Sons to mind, but with male/female harmonies that will leave your jaw dropped, they captivate in a different way. They are less hoe-down and more classy indie party. While I haven't seen them live, be sure to check them out on tour with Ivan & Alyosha and Marcus Foster this Spring.

The Lone Bellow-"Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold"
The Lone Bellow-"Bleeding Out"

September 14, 2012

Broken Twin

If You Like: Feist, Anthony and the Johnsons

Broken Twin, a female duo from Denmark, has been making waves in the blog-ocean with their classic Scandinavian cold, sparse piano tunes. Their first track, "Out Of Air," features a lonely piano line wandering about, soon joined by tender vocals. On the track "Beaches," it is clear that these women know a lot about restraint. At one point in the song, there is a pause, a long one that tests the listener's patience while making the resolve all the more satisfying. You can also catch them on tour with Jens Lekman. You can stream their whole Hold On To Nothing EP here via Under The Radar.

Out Of Air by Broken Twin
Beaches by Broken Twin

September 09, 2012

Kopecky Family Band - "Heartbeat"

If You Like: Givers, The Lumineers, Drew Grow & The Pastors Wives

Kopecky Family Band, a group I was first introduced to when they opened for The Lumineers, has come out with a rolicking, fun new single called "Heartbeat." Their debut full length album, Kids Raising Kids, will be released on October 23rd, and this is our first taste. Despite their name, they are not actually a family; they only jam together like one. Their fun, lively sound translates excellently to the stage and makes it easy to see why these guys are on their way up.

You can download the single for free below in exchange for your email address.

Kopecky Family Band-"Heartbeat"

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

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.

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)"


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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 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!

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!

July 25, 2012

The xx on Conan

Last night, The xx made their first TV appearance in support of their upcoming album, Coexist, out September 11. They played the single "Angels" on Conan. The beautiful performance shows that the band has built up some serious stage experience.

July 17, 2012

The S.S. Coachella

Coachella's mystery announcement came a bit early today! The concert promoter will not be moving the festival, but instead will begin offering a music cruise, the S.S. Coachella. The lineup is headed by Pulp, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Girl Talk, James Murphy, and Sleigh Bells with a total of 22 artists on board. There will be two iterations of the journey, one headed towards the Bahamas, and the other to Jamaica. Both cruises will leave from Ft. Lauderdale, FL in December. Interesting, no? Let us know what you think of the idea. 

Tickets go on sale this Saturday. 
All details of the cruise can be found here

Bahamas - "I Got You Babe"

Bahamas is seriously making the rounds. Riding the success of his latest album, Barchords, Afie Jurvanen is making appearances on radio stations, blog videos, and everything in between. He recently stopped by KCRW to record an always-lovely rendition of "I Got You Babe." Enjoy his smooth voice and fantastic guitar work.

July 16, 2012

Mumford & Sons Announce New Album

Mumford & Sons, almost three years after releasing their world-conquering debut, Sigh No More, have finally announced their sophomore album, Babel, due out September 25th. The album took over a year and a half to record, due to a hectic tour schedule that took the group around the world multiple times. According to the band, the new album will have a similar sound to Sigh No More, but will include heavier emotions and a touch of darkness. Can't wait to hear this one!

Babel Tracklist:
01. Babel
02. Whispers in the Dark
03. I Will Wait
04. Holland Road
05. Ghosts That We Knew
06. Lover of the Light
07. Lovers’ Eyes
08. Reminder
09. Hopeless Wanderer
10. Broken Crown
11. Below My Feet
12. Not With Haste

The xx Release New Single - "Angels"

The xx will be releasing their highly anticipated sophomore album, Coexist, on September 11th. The first single from the record, "Angels," has finally arrived and it is a beauty. Listen to the song below via YouTube. The song will be available for instant download starting tomorrow, for all those who preorder Coexist on iTunes. The group will also head out on the road before and after the album release. 

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Announce Debut Album

After rising through the ranks and becoming one of the hottest new voices in rap music today, Macklemore has finally announced his debut album with producer Ryan Lewis. Out October 9th, The Heist will be followed by an enormous (and their first) world tour (dates above). As announced on KEXP this morning, their first full length has been completed and will be sent to be mastered in the next week or two. They will have a release show in their hometown of Seattle, WA at the WaMu Theater on October 12th. I know I can't wait to hear what they have next. As the MC said on air, this will be the beginning of "a whole new chapter."

Update: The Heist has been released! You can buy the incredible album right here. As of right now, the album is #1 on iTunes! Quite an amazing accomplishment for a completely independent artist.

July 13, 2012

Blitzen Trapper - "Girl In A Coat" Music Video

Portland's Blitzen Trapper have released a new video from their latest album, American Goldwing, this time for "Girl In A Coat." The clip shows drummer Brian Koch's grandfather. See what Koch says about the video:

"I was struck by how, even though so much had become blurry, confused or completely fallen away from his memory, some things remained. Just shy of his 100th birthday, Daniel Elkayam and I began to create a video from my grandfather's perspective, blurring the boundaries of time and space in memory. 'Girl in a Coat,' with its wearied narrative of retrospection, seemed the perfect match for the concept."

July 11, 2012

Purity Ring - "Fineshrine" Music Video

Purity Ring, the dark electronica duo that has been buzzing quite a bit lately thanks to a few incredible singles, has released a music video for their latest track, "Fineshrine." The clip is dark and creepy, like the music, yet also beautifully filmed and quite intriguing. Their album drops July 24th. You can preorder it from iTunes here. Check it out.

July 09, 2012

Cold Specks - I Predict A Graceful Expulsion

Cold Specks is just the stage name of London-based singer/songwriter Al Spx, but those two words somehow describe her music perfectly. Her debut album, the therapeutic I Predict A Graceful Expulsion is already one of my favorite albums of the year. Her soothing voice isn't typical; it has a raspy and old quality that give Spx's voice a resounding sense of wisdom and grace. Her songwriting takes influence from gospel, yet it has been described as doom-soul, thanks to a very dark lyrical message. The entire album is so calming and definitely worth listening to over and over. This is a very "wash over you" kind of record. The kind of album that sets a mood so strongly that is literally takes you over as you listen.

Cold Specks-"Holland"
Cold Specks-"Blank Maps"

The Tallest Man On Earth - "Leading Me Now"

For a Carmel Guitar promo, Kristian Matsson recently recorded an intimate version of "Leading Me Now," off his latest, and fantastic album, There's No Leaving Now. Be sure to catch his live on his current tour because he is even better in person.