March 04, 2012

Portland Cello Project Goes H.A.M.

Renowned cello group The Portland Cello Project, or PCP as fans call them, are known for their genre-bending classical performances. Having covered everyone from Pantera to OutKast to Britney Spears, they are not your typical classical group. In fact, they have just announced that their upcoming album, Homage, due out May 1st, will include covers of many hip-hop favorites. Among the tracks will be "H.A.M.," a cover of the brutally heavy song by Jay-Z and Kanye West. Check out the track below and head to their website to hear their beautiful rendition of "All Of The Lights" by Kanye West. Enjoy!

Portland Cello Project-"H.A.M."

Jack White on SNL

Last night, Jack White made his solo debut on Saturday Night Live, performing "Love Interruption" and "Sixteen Saltines". Enjoy!

March 03, 2012

New Multitudes

New Multitudes comes to us as an interpretation of the work of icon and musical legend Woody Guthrie. Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Will Johnson (Centro-matic), Anders Parker (Varnaline), and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket) come together to present 23 sets of previously-unrecorded Guthrie lyrics. The album, though possibly billed as a tribute, feels like so much more. It seems, in this day and age, the sure embodiment of all the emotions Woody conveyed through his words. It is excellent, if only for its ability to capture these emotions. The men's voices blend beautifully, and the subtle layering added to many of the stripped down guitar ballads works tremendously well. Listen now!

Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker & Yim Yames--"Hoping Machine"

Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker & Yim Yames--"Talking Empty Bed Blues"

Wildlife - "Sea Dreamer" Music Video

Canadian rockers Wildlife, the guys behind the irresistible tune "Stand In The Water," have released their debut music video for "Sea Dreamer"! The hilarious clip shows the band in a series of conflicts with an evil rival gang! Check it out!

Wildlife-"Stand In The Water"

March 02, 2012

The Shins - "Bait and Switch"

The Shins have released another video from their upcoming album, Port of Morrow, due out March 20th. The video, for "Bait and Switch," shows the band rehearsing in a Portland log-cabin. Enjoy!

March 01, 2012

Bowerbirds - The Clearing

Is it too early in the year to nominate an album for my Best of the Year list? Bowerbirds certainly don't think so. With their previous albums, Upper Air and Hymns for a Dark Horse, I was made a fan and it was clear that the group had a huge amount of potential. The Clearing, however, realizes every last bit of that potential. The folk group from North Carolina skyrockets past their previous efforts, and, I think, makes the best album they possibly could have. 

From the first track, I knew things were different. The melodies of "Tuck The Darkness In" have been wandering around my head for weeks and the beautiful instrumentation reveals further subtleties with every listen. The song builds and builds, showing that when the group gets loud, their whole effect is more powerful. The second single, "In The Yard," surprises yet again, with soaring fuzzy guitar lines and yet another catchy melody. 

I could go on and on like this about every single track, but this piece of folk genius is best experienced firsthand. Not a single track stood out as being weak, although "Walk The Furrows" and "Now We Hurry On" were additional highlights. 

With The ClearingBowerbirds expand their sound, from almost exclusively slow acoustic ballads, to fuller arrangements with distorted guitars, more present drums, and strings. The vocals are stronger, less hushed, and more powerful. This album is everything Bowerbirds should be. 

Enjoy the video below of the Philip Moore and Beth Tacular discussing the making of the album. 

Bowerbirds-"Tuck The Darkness In"

Bowerbirds-"Walk The Furrows"

Newport Folk Festival Lineup Announced

The Newport Folk Festival, around since 1959, has been one of the most consistent and groundbreaking music festivals of the 20th century. Well for 2012, they are continuing the tradition. The lineup features some of the best folk acts around and is truly amazing. The festival, running July 28-29 in Newport, RI, will feature performances by My Morning Jacket, Jackson Browne, Conor Oberst, Iron & Wine, Dawes, The Head and the Heart, City & Colour, The Tallest Man On Earth, Alabama Shakes, Blind Pilot, Of Monsters & Men, First Aid Kit, and many many more. Check out all the festival info here!