Monday, April 02, 2007
Well, that was a week right there. Sorry about the relative silence, but I was too busy living life to write anything about it. Before I share a few mp3s below, here's a quick run down...
And with all that, my personal March went out like a over-active lion. This first April week isn't nearly as hectic, but there's some potential quality ahead: A Northern Chorus with the Twilight Sad on Wednesday night (gentle reminder: enter my ticket giveaway for that one), and Low with Loney, Dear on Saturday (for which I'm sadly missing the return of Shearwater).
I'm giving Low another chance to win me back, as my disappointment remains from the last time I saw them a couple years ago. I actually bought the tickets well before I'd heard their new album, and I'm sad to say I may have held off otherwise. I'm coming to terms with the fact that the Low I once loved dearly may be gone for good, with only their voices remaining to keep me connected. While I appreciate their studio experimentation in theory, I do long for shades of the Low of olde, the one that used organic instrumentation and actual guitar chords. There's a tad too much technology in "Drums and Guns", making it sound more like a Low remix album than a proper follow-up to "The Great Destroyer". I miss Mimi's tasteful drum-tapping, and Alan's reverberating strums. That said, I'm still fairly curious to see how these songs come across live, and hope they leave the sequencer at home. Come Saturday, I'll be sitting in the Somerville Theater with an open mind.
Here's a little game of compare and contrast, Low-style...
Mp3: Low - "Breaker"
(album version from "Drums & Guns")
Mp3: Low - "Breaker" (Dub Plate)
(remix from the bonus pre-order 7")
Mp3: Retribution Gospel Choir - "Breaker"
(from the out-of-print RGC tour EP)
Retribution Gospel Choir, for the unaware, is Low's Alan Sparhawk and bassist Matt Livingston with drummer Eric Pollard, who are joined occasionally by Red House Painter / Sun Kil Moon man Mark Kozelek. That vastly different (and for me, far better) version of "Breaker" comes from their 2005 tour EP (on which their version of Low's "Hatchet" also appears), and they've recently made their second tour EP available on Low's merch page. Grab it before it's gone as well. Hear some songs on their MySpace page. Could be that Low's new(er) direction is related to Alan getting his guitar fix with RGC on the side.
Next Monday, a week from tonight, may just bring me back to River Gods in Cambridge for a listening party that will celebrate Caspian's breathtaking new full-length, "The Four Trees". Even though my pre-order arrived over the weekend (and made my weekend just that much better), I'd be happy to spend an evening among like-minded listeners and the Caspian crew as they play a few of their own selected faves. According to the band: "We'll be spinning the new record plus all our favorite post-rock, indie-rock, sad-sap singer/songwriter, and anything else we feel like." Sounds good to me.
Again, that's on Monday, April 9th, 9pm at River Gods near Central Square. And if you missed the mp3 I recently shared from "The Four Trees", here it is again...
Mp3: Caspian - "ASA"
Order up the album, which officially arrives on Tuesday, April 10th, from Dopamine Records, or grab it at the release party on Friday, April 13th at the Paradise, where Caspian will be supported by On Fire and Constants. Tickets here.
Former Catherine Wheel frontman and current solo guy Rob Dickinson has been candidly answering fan questions on his MySpace blog. In response to a question I asked about reissues or b-sides collections, he said...
"... there should be some "re-presentation" of Wheel material in the not-too-distant future. Too many people, myself and the band included, have questioned why we haven't had a best-of or compilation record...or a live record.... or a further collection of our extensive, unreleased material. There's so much to dive into as it to be almost bewildering. There is much to revisit and revisiting will be done..."Good news indeed.
Progress on "Cinnamon Girl", the upcoming girl-flavored Neil Young tribute record that American Laundromat Records is putting together, is coming along, with a new twist: a contest for a female-fronted act to contribute their version of Neil's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". The winner would find themselves alongside artists like Blake Hazard, Britta Phillips, Kristin Hersh, Tanya Donelly, and The Watson Twins. Submissions are due by May 15th (details here), and the completed compilation is due out on October 3rd of this year.
While an official tracklisting may be a way off, word from the Throwing Music forum is that Kristin Hersh's contribution will be a cover of "Like a Hurricane" with her rock trio 50 Foot Wave. Hearing their version can't come soon enough. And the mere possibility of Tanya Donelly doing "Heart of Gold"? Takei says "Oh My".
Margot & the Nuclear So and So's are hard at work on "Animal!", the follow-up record to last year's "The Dust of Retreat", and have been sharing in-studio progress reports via their MySpace blog. Among the studio updates is word that they'll be offering up a new EP in June and doing some touring to keep us satisfied until the album's ready for release. Mighty kind of 'em.
So I've ignored the conventional wisdom that music bloggers are better read than seen or heard, and made a quick guest audio appearance in the latest installment of something called Blog Fresh Radio. It's a recently-launched music podcast that has various mp3 bloggers (including the proprietors of Ear Farm, Obscure Sound, and Lost In Your Inbox) introduce tracks by bands they dig and have featured on their sites. I intro'd Shearwater's excellent "Seventy Four, Seventy Five", and sure as hell hope I pronounced "Okkervil" and "Meiberg" correctly.
Alright, time to get this week's live music post together. No rest for the wicked busy.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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